The Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney has been laid to rest in his native Bellaghy, Co. Londonderry, at a large funeral where his life and successful career as a poet were celebrated. The 74 year-old died in a Dublin hospital on Friday after suffering a short illness.

Seamus Heaney
Poet Seamus Heaney Passed Away Last Friday.

Amongst the mourners present at the ceremony were Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, , Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Irish President Michael D Higgins, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and the SDLP's John Hume were the politicians who attended the burial whilst Irish rockers U2 were present along with Hollywood actor Stephen Rea, Paddy Moloney from the Chieftains, and singer-songwriter Paul Brady.

president michael d higgins
Irish President Michael D. Higgins Was Present At Seamus Heaney's Funeral.

Seamus Heaney's son, Michael, paid an emotional tribute to the poet, revealing that in Heaney's final text to his widow Marie was written in Latin and read "Noli Timere": "Don't be afraid." "His generosity in spirit as well as obvious gifts as poet left everyone who met him feeling lucky to have known him," said Michael as he, his mother and two siblings led the proceedings, reports BBC News.

Seamus Heaney Poet
The 'Death Of A Naturalist' Poet Will Be Missed By Many.

A book of Heaney's poetry was brought to the altar during the offertory procession and his poem 'The Given Note' was read out by fellow poet and publisher, Peter Fallon, before a traditional Irish song was played on uilleann pipes to give the congregation time to reflect upon the extraordinary life of the man who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 for his stirring poetry.

The Edge
Irish Rockers U2 Turned Up To Honour The Late Poet.

Poet Paul Muldoon also spoke at the funeral, describing the awe he felt towards Heaney's career, yet describing the formidable poet as "big-hearted," "bounteous," and "bouncy." "I have to tell you that I speak, humbly, as someone who has been shoulder-charged by Seamus Heaney. He bounced me off, like snow off a plough or whatever. He rebuffed me benignly," said Muldoon.

Seamus Heaney Family
Seamus Heaney's Family Led The Congregation In Mourning.

Mourners lining the streets outside the church applauded as Heaney's coffin was driven away after the ceremony with several books of condolence opened across Ireland for his fans to write their tributes.

To see more photos of Seamus Heaney's funeral, visit our gallery.