The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast has opened a new landmark building that honours the legacy of Seamus Heaney and looks ahead to the future of poetry and creative writing on the island of Ireland. 
The building was officially opened by Marie Heaney, wife of Seamus, and President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Sir Ian Greer, during an event on Tuesday 18 June. 

Pictured in Top Photo:  Lord Mayor Micky Murray, First Minister Michelle O'Neill, Marie Heaney, Deputy First Minister Emma Little Pengelly, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Greer and Professor Glenn Patterson.
Also in attendance were members of the Heaney family, invited guests including the First and Deputy First Ministers, Michelle O’Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly; Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Micky Murray; Ciaran Hinds; Geraldine Hughes; and staff, students, and friends of the University. 

Rachel Brown, Christopher Heaney, Ciaran Hinds, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Greer, Marie Heaney, Catherine Heaney, Professor Glenn Patterson and Geraldine Hughes.

Professor Sir Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s said: "This centre is more than just a building; it is a tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest poets, Seamus Heaney, and it will be a cornerstone of the University. 
“The new centre will be a landmark on the island of Ireland that will look to the future, providing an inspiring environment for our students, staff, writers, and the wider community to engage in the study and creation of writing. 
“The University has contributed hugely to the literary life of Belfast and further afield with many notable alumni such as Paul Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian, Ciaran Carson, and Lisa McGee to name but a few. This new space will harness the development of many more creative talents in the years to come.” 
Located at the listed historic building, 38 - 40 University Road and 3 Mount Charles, just a short walk from the main Lanyon building at the heart of the Queen’s campus, the new centre boasts a large venue space, scriptorium (a writing area), offices and creative spaces for students and staff. There is also a public exhibition area which will display the Seamus Heaney archive held by the University for the first time.  
Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, Professor Glenn Patterson commented: “This beautiful new building is a recognition of how the Heaney Centre has developed in the twenty years since it was opened by Seamus Heaney himself under the directorship of the late Ciaran Carson. The ethos - the heart - remains the same, but the new premises offer exciting opportunities for study, for research and for even greater community engagement.” 
During the opening event, the square on Mount Charles just beside the new venue, was unveiled as ‘Marie Heaney Square,’ in honour of Marie Heaney. 
Catherine Heaney, daughter of Seamus said: “The Seamus Heaney Centre is really important to me and my family because it’s about education. So many people know my father as a poet, and Queen’s is where he started writing poetry, but also it’s where he studied himself and where he started his career as a lecturer and an educator. As far as we’re concerned, it plays a really important part in his legacy.”  
The total cost of the building was £4.9 million, funded by the University's Capital Development programme and generous philanthropic donations and grants from around the world. £1.7 million has been raised to date through the support of our donors towards the new Seamus Heaney Centre Building, outreach activities and academic positions. Lead supporters include the Wolfson Foundation, the Weston Foundation and the Brennan-Glucksman Family. 
Jessica Warner, Head of Funding at the Wolfson Foundation said: “We’re delighted to have supported this new home for the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s. Support for research and education is at the heart of what we do, and we look forward to seeing the Centre continue to inspire and foster future generations of writers.” 
The official opening event was part of several events taking place from 17–27 June, many of which are open to the public.   
For more information on the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, visit:  HERE!
+Over 1000 sq. metres - the new centre will be over double the size of the current Seamus Heaney Centre. 

+The new Centre will have a large venue space, scriptorium (a writing area), public exhibition area, academic offices, and creative spaces for students and staff.  

+The public exhibition space will house the Seamus Heaney archive held by Queen’s University Belfast and opened to the public for the first time from Saturday 22 June, and then Tuesday – Sunday, 10.00am - 4.00pm.  

+For sustainability reasons, Queen’s decided to reuse and refurbish the existing buildings instead of demolishing and rebuilding. 

+The Seamus Heaney Centre is home to 12 academic staff, plus a growing team of specialists to help deliver its programme for students and the community. Every year it hosts two Fulbright scholars, a Visiting International Poetry Fellow, three Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows, the Children’s Writing Fellow NI, a Publishing Fellow and a two Ciaran Carson Writing and the City Fellow.

+About the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s: Since 2003 the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's has been home to some of the UK and Ireland's foremost poets, novelists, scriptwriters and critics. Building on a literary heritage at Queen's that stretches back to the 1960s 'Belfast Group', the Centre is dedicated to excellence and innovation in creative writing and criticism. Some of the Seamus Heaney Centre’s notable alumni include Louise Kennedy, Michael Magee, Stephen Sexton, Manuela Moser, and Padraig Regan.