The 16sq m, commissioned by Amnesty International and part-funded by the singers, will hang from the ceiling of Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2.
Bono said he cherishes Heaney’s works every time he travels. “With my life, I pass through a lot of airports. Seamus’s poems are my companion on every journey — they come with me wherever I go,” he said.
“Now, when any of us travel — be it leaving our home, or our visitors returning to their own homes — Seamus will be there to bid us all farewell.”
The poet laureate died last August aged 74.
Paul Simon, a friend of the poet, unveiled the tapestry and also headlined a commemorative concert in Dublin as part of a day of celebrations to mark his life. “How wonderful that the memory of Seamus Heaney be celebrated with a work of art,” the US singer songwriter said.
“It speaks not only to the great affection with which his country holds him but also to a love of poetry that is a sacred part of the Irish soul. Travellers would do well to carry Seamus Heaney’s words with them as they journey around the globe. He was, truly, a poet for all the world.”
The tapestry was designed by acclaimed Czech artist Peter Sis and woven over the past five months by master weavers in Ateliers Pinton in Aubusson, France. The idea was conceived by Art for Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey on behalf of Amnesty International and supported by others including U2 guitarist The Edge, Paul McGuinness and Kathy Gilfillan, Marie and Joe Donnelly, Kathy and Ed Ludwig, and Dublin Airport Authority.
Heaney was a great supporter of Amnesty for more than 30 years and dedicated a poem to it — From The Republic of Conscience — which inspired the Ambassador of Conscience Award which has been given to people like Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mr Shipsey said: “Seamus was the unofficial poet laureate of the entire Amnesty International global movement.
U2’s The Edge added: “Seamus Heaney was an inspiration to our band — as well as to politicians, artists, dreamers and all in between, from every corner of the world.
” I love the idea that the words of this great poet, and Sis’ beautiful tapestry, will send travellers from Ireland and beyond safely on their way out of the marvellous.”