Anna Lo MLA said: “I am greatly saddened by the death of Seamus Heaney. He was one of my heroes and favourite poets. I greatly admired his work and on several times I had the privilege of listening to him during a reading of his poems.
“I met him several times and on each occasion I could not help but be inspired by his enthusiasm for culture. There are many poets in the world who would not have taken up writing had it not been for Seamus Heaney.
“Northern Ireland has lost a cultural icon. He was one of the greatest writers, not just in Northern Ireland but in the world.”