Seamus Heaney's Belfast Festival Memories

Following news that Queen's University has withdrawn funding for the Belfast Festival, watch a video interview from 2012 in which the late poet recalls transformative Festival experiences

In 2012, Culture Northern Ireland interviewed the Nobel Prize-winning poet, Seamus Heaney – a graduate of Queen's University in Belfast – about the Belfast Festival at Queen's, then celebrating its 50th birthday.

'I think it's central to a certain part of Queen's [University's] mission,' said Heaney, 'to be a centre that transmits values that are part of the civilised life.'

Following the announcement that Queen's University has withdrawn funding for the Belfast Festival, citing 'significant cuts to the public purse, and a recent strategic review of the event, which endorsed the need for a redesigned and refreshed international arts event for the entire city', we delved into the Culture Northern Ireland archive to hear what Queen's University's most famous son had to say about the annual international festival of the arts.