On a gloriously sunny 6th June this year, St Bernadette’s SVP Conference Belfast organised a day out for senior members of the parish to visit the Seamus Heaney Centre in Bellaghy in county Derry. Four members of the conference accompanied the group of thirty-two. The bus took approximately an hour to reach Bellaghy, which looked so beautiful in the sunlight that you could readily imagine the influence of this place on the psyche and work of the poet.
On arrival the group were greeted with refreshments in the cafe before embarking on a tour of the centre. The tour guide was excellent and related many anecdotes about the Nobel Laureate and his family. We were then given a hand held piece of equipment which enabled us to listen to the poet reciting his various poems as we read them on our way round the exhibition. The materials were beautifully laid out in chronological order and in a very coherent way. The centre is organised over two levels but with a lift to facilitate those who might have difficulty negotiating the stairs. There was plenty of seating to facilitate visitors and they were well utilised by our group on this warm day.
All too soon it was time to leave the centre to go to the Thatch Inn for lunch. By this
time we had worked up an appetite and a delicious and leisurely lunch followed which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Afterwards there was time to sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather for a while before we headed back for the bus to take us on our return trip to Belfast. After an uneventful journey we arrived back at St Bernadette's Church.
As we used to write in school compositions about a day out; we all arrived home tired but happy!