Thoor Ballylee draws over 3000 visitors

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.

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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


Culture Night: Revolutionary & Romantic Yeats

This Friday 18th September from 7pm Thoor Ballylee opens its doors for Culture Night. With late opening and free admission join us as shadows lengthen and dusk sets at the tower. Explore the interior and meet our resident bats. Or join us for music and dramatic presentations in the cottage.

Culture Night

Revolutionary Yeats

A dramatization of republicanism in Yeats’s  poetry performed by An Tine Beo

preceded by a short representation of

Romantic Yeats

by Gerry Conneely

with welcome & interval music by Coole Music

Coole Music


7.30pm – 9.30pm

Friday 18th September 2015


Thoor Ballylee (Yeats’s Tower)

just off the N18

Ph: 091 631224 

Culture night is brought to you by the Dept. of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht in partnership with regional arts offices, local authorities and cultural organisations throughout the island of Ireland.


Galway Co Council

burren lowlands


Thoor Ballylee wishes Galway good luck

This weekend as Galway travel to Croke Park the flag of the Tribesmen flies over Thoor Ballylee.

Thoor 1

Yeats’s poor eyesight made hurling an unlikely sport for him, although he did try fencing with Ezra Pound (‘the Irish like contradiction’, said Pound). On the other hand his friendship with Douglas Hyde, founding president of the Gaelic League, gave him an intimate familiarity with the wider aims of the GAA. Yeats’s connections to Dublin and Sligo are well known: his long association with Galway and Thoor Ballylee in particular make this small gesture at the Hiberno-Norman tower, now open 10-1 weekdays and 12-4 weekends for the month of September, all the more fitting.

Thoor Ballylee open for September

The Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society is delighted to announce in this special anniversary year of Yeats2015, W.B.Yeats’s venerable tower will remain open for the month of September.

Please note: revised opening hours apply: the tower will now be open 10-1 weekdays and 12-4 on weekends. Now on view is a newly restored film about the tower and its resident poet, and an interior unseen for many years.


As well as viewing from outside the stern Hiberno-Norman defensive tower with its bridge, stream, and pleasant gardens, this summer for the first time in years visitors can come in and view at firsthand the tower and cottage interior.


Inspect the study and diningroom, imagine the poet’s wife George fishing from the window, cross the threshold of the old bedroom, climb the winding stair, meet our resident bats in the rafters, and pace on the battlements as did Yeats himself, enjoying wonderful 360º views of the surrounding countryside. Then return downstairs to browse our exhibition of local artists, buy keepsakes at our gift shop, talk further with our friendly volunteer guides, or just sit with a complementary cup of tea.


On show for the first time in our new audio-visual space under slates in the old cottage is a newly-restored film about W.B.Yeats and the tower from RTÉ, written and narrated by the inimitable Yeats scholar, the late Augustine Martin.


Altogether an unmissable experience. To find out more, contact us, or come and join us as a friend and help us keep this indispensable piece of heritage open for future generations.