Seamus Heaney HomePlace Opening Weekend

30 September - 03 October
The family of Seamus Heaney will perform the official opening of the new arts and literary centre dedicated to the life and literature of the late poet and Nobel Laureate.

A celebratory weekend to mark the opening of Seamus Heaney Home Place with a long weekend of events, featuring music, theatre, poetry, song, readings and talks in its dedicated performance space. The weekend is also the prelude to a year-long programme of events across the art forms, responding to the poet’s twelve poetry collections in chronological order. Across two weekends each month, events at HomePlace and in the surrounding landscape will celebrate Seamus Heaney’s poetry, prose and plays.

30 September
A nine-piece ensemble of globally-renowned traditional musicians arrive in Bellaghy from Eastern Europe, America, Greece, Scotland, Japan and Ireland - cultures and countries that have been closely associated with Seamus Heaney’s life and work - to perform ‘Lifecycle’.From one musical highlight to another on the same evening, the pre-eminent singer and songwriter, Paul Brady, gives a very special performance in the first of a series of concerts The Home Key which will take place across the opening year.
]attention turns to drama for a re-telling of the gripping story of the larger-than-life Beowulf, as translated by Seamus Heaney, and presented by Tron Theatre group, with the award-winning Lynne Parker directing a cast of three women and featuring the original soundscape by Denis Clohessy.

1 October
Sunday evening brings a truly unique musical experience to audiences when internationally acclaimed cellist, Christina Poltéra, plays the famous 300-year-old cello ‘Mara’ for a performance of Bach’s first three cello suites. The recital, entitled Bach to Broagh, will be intercut with readings of Seamus Heaney’s poems, including In Time, the last poem he wrote in August 2013, while listening to the music of Bach at the Proms.

Poetry Readings
The weekend’s inaugural poetry reading will bring together Michael Longley and Sinéad Morrissey, and two special discussions will see Tom Paulin, Christopher Reid and Julie O’Callaghan Remembering Seamus on Saturday 1 October, followed by Pater Fallon, Olivia O’Leary and John Horgan on Sunday 2 October.

Other Weekend Highlights
The Wild Dog Rose, combining the talents of The Chieftain’s Paddy Maloney and Tríona Marshall with the poet John Montague, and readings from All Through The Night, a new anthology of night poems and lullabies edited by Marie Heaney. Readers will include Marie Heaney, Gerald Dawe and Michael Longley with performances by Bronagh Gallagher and Iaona Petcu Colan.

Closing Celebrations
Closing the celebrations is a performance of The Burial at Thebes by the Magherafelt-based Off The Cuff Theatre Group, setting their production of Seamus Heaney’s play in a Northern Ireland city.

The celebratory opening weekend is also a prelude to the year-long artistic programme, ‘12 Months, 12 Books’, based on the 12 original volumes of Seamus Heaney’s poetry and beginning with Death of a Naturalist in October 2016, and finishing with Human Chain in September 2017.

Arranged over two floors and filled with personal stories, artefacts, dozens of family photographs, video recordings from friends, neighbours, world leaders and cultural figures, the exhibition features the voice of the poet himself reading his own words and uses the latest touch screen, video and audio technology. It also includes a recreation of the poet’s Dublin study.

HomePlace also boasts a 189-seat performance space, the core venue for much of the year-long cultural events programme ‘12 Months, 12 Books’ which has been developed by artistic programmers Doran Browne, and is based around the 12 original volumes of Seamus Heaney’s poetry.
The building is also home to a library, education and learning spaces, a café, shop and an annex for community use.

See more details about the event -
NB. This map is based on the postcode and so may not reflect the exact location.

Opening times:

All year. Monday-Saturday 10:00 – 17:00, Sunday 13:00-17:00 and in the evenings for events.


Adult £7.00, Child £4.50, Concession, £4.50. Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) £19.
* Contact Box Office or check online for events ticket pricing*

The nearest Tourist Information Centre is:

Magherafelt Tourist Information Centre
  • Credit/Debit Cards Accepted
  • Prior Booking Required
  • Free (parking charges may apply)
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