W.B. Yeats’s Thoor Ballylee has drawn well over 3000 visitors from near and far in the three months since its reopening.
Doors and windows opened in Yeats’s tower, Thoor Ballylee, Co. Galway, June 2015, on the occasion of W.B. Yeats 150th birthday. A local community group, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society has worked tirelessly to make this happen, following the closure of the Tower after flooding six years ago. The society is delighted to report that since the opening there has been a steady flow of visitors, over 3,000 people during the 3-month period. This figure does not even include children who attend free of charge. None of this would have been possible without the help and support of the local community and a staggering 30 volunteers who manned the tower for a total of 800 hours.
Funds are also steadily rolling in from admissions and also from online donations which means that we hope to be able to maintain the tower as a magnificent visitor experience and literary haven for years to come. We are delighted to say that the Tower will be open throughout September, Monday – Friday 10am – 1pm, Saturday – Sunday 12 – 4pm.
Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, Chair of the Thoor Ballylee Society, said ‘we would like to thank everyone who has visited the Tower and to all the volunteers who have made this possible. The entire project has been a labour of love and strength of conviction about the need to preserve our literary past and Yeats’ legacy for future generations. Let’s not forget that this is a project the state had abandoned save for the commitment and vision of local voluntary effort.’
Angela Guillemet, head of PR and Fundraising for Thoor Ballylee noted ‘No one should be excluded from experiencing the magic of Thoor Ballylee and sharing in the literary heritage that it exudes. We are calling on the local community, business, scholars, the media and on the government to continue their support for the project so ambitious plans to turn the tower into a world class cultural centre can be realised.‘
Come and see our audio-visual display, view our exhibitions, stalk the stairs, rooms, and battlements of Yeats’s tower in the poet’s footsteps, meet our bats and friendly helpers, and have a cup of tea. Seasonal opening until the end of September.
And please note there are a number of special events taking place in Thoor Ballylee over the coming weeks:
18 September Culture Night: Romantic & Revolutionary Yeats
25-27 September Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering – talks, dramas, readings – with John Banville
18 October Inaugural International Yeats Society visit
21 October Lady Gregory: A Galway Life, from London Irish Theatre
27 October Harp Festival of Moons – with special guest Caitriona Yeats