Kilrea musician to play at festival honouring Heaney

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Talented Kilrea musician Robyn G Sheils says he is ‘thrilled’ to be on the line up at a festival to celebrate the late great Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

‘On Home Ground’ will host a collection of literary events in the stunning setting of Laurel Villa in Magherafelt.

The event, running over four days next month, will celebrate the life, work and legacy of Ireland’s most well-known and respected poet through poetry, music and art and will bring a host of huge names from all of these worlds to Magherafelt, the district Heaney called home.

Keynote speakers include Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Seamus McKee from BBC Radio Ulster, author and journalist Liam Clarke and Pat Loughrey, former controller of BBC Northern Ireland.

Seamus Heaney’s nephew, James, actually plays in Robyn’s band, and as the Kilrea singer-songwriter tells, the late Seamus was a fan of the Kilrea man and his band.

“I am thrilled to be asked to play at this event.

“Marie Louise Muir, who is curating the event, asked us along, and I have to say I am humbled to be a part of it.

“Seamus really liked one of our songs - Two Nights in June - after his nephew James played it in the car, whilst giving Seamus a lift to Belfast one time.

“ I often joked with James that Seamus was our number one fan, and to be honest we used to milk it a bit - so we’re going to play this song, with James on the banjo, for the event - I think it would only be fitting, at an event to celebrate his life.”