Countdown to Easter Reopening

Easter reopening

Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society is delighted to announce our Easter reopening, and welcoming back our visitors – after a two year closure – on Easter Saturday 16th April 2022!

It’s been a hard road, but after two years socially distanced or online, and with plenty of ongoing work to the thatch, the mill, and latterly our spring clean-up – and especially thanks to our many helpers, contractors, and volunteers (to help or join us see below) we are primed and ready, and excited to welcome you back!

The new thatch at Thoor Ballylee

Kiltartan Gregory Museum

Meanwhile we highlight other gems of the area for our visitors, and invite you to visit the award-winning Kiltartan Gregory Museum. The following film showcases this hidden gem, based in the old schoolhouse at Kiltartan Cross (mentioned in Yeats’s poem ‘The Irish Airman Foresees His Death’), devoted to Lady Gregory and Yeats and featuring all kinds of fascinating art, books, letters, publications, and memorabilia concerning the area and its literary heritage.

In the run up to our spring reopening, Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society is presenting the online premieres of new films about Yeats and Galway. Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society youtube channel

With the help of the Spot-lit programme for literary tourism, with camera and editing by Morgan Creative and Seanchas Productions, and featuring local musicians and contributors, these short films are voiced by luminaries like Marie Mullen from Druid Theatre and some of our very own members. They highlight places in County Galway important to Yeats and which feature in some of his finest poems, from ‘The Tower’ to (as here) ‘Meditations in Time of Civil War’, as a ghost returns to old haunts.

Come and help!

Thoor Ballylee historic fourteenth Century tower house, once home to Nobel Prize winning poet WB Yeats and his family, is managed and run by an amazing group of volunteers. We are currently adding to our volunteer pool so if you have a love of literature or history, enjoy interacting with people and have four hours a week to spare, please contact Thoor Ballylee at +353 85 862 0935, email, or contact us above.

We are a voluntary group with no permanent external funding. We’d love for you to help us keep this unique heritage site going for all of us today, and for future generations. To join us or donate any amount large or small see the donate page above.

Then and Now: stories and folklore at Kiltartan and Thoor


our intangible culture in South Galway


Celebrating folklore & storytelling for Heritage Week

with playwright Marina Carr

storyteller Rory O’ Shaughnessy 

folklorist and musician PJ Curtis

and the children of Kiltartan


Saturday 15 August 2-5pm Kiltartan Gregory Museum

Saturday 22 August 2-5pm Thoor Ballylee

On Saturday, 15 August 2-5pm  children are invited to come to the Kiltartan Museum  2pm-5pm to see the copybooks of the children who visited their grandparents, parents and elderly neighbours a hundred years ago, and wrote down their customs and beliefs in the copybooks which will be on view in the museum.  The children of today can see the museum and embark on a similar project: to visit their older relations and neighbours and to record in notebooks or on their phones, over the months until Christmas, the ways and practices of today in beliefs, customs, cures, stories  and so on. The storyteller, Rory O’ Shaughnessy, will be on hand to help, and there will be other talks outdoors,  and a picnic in the museum grounds.

On the following Saturday, 22 August 2 -5pm pm,  we will follow up, outdoors at Thoor Ballylee, with the children who have decided to take on the project,  as well as their families and any interested people. The playwright Marina Carr will talk about Lady Gregory’s folklore collections, and about myths and legends of old  – and the folklore and musical expert and historian, PJ Curtis will be present with others to picnic and to share stories and knowledge to get this enjoyable heritage project started with gusto!

Notebooks and support will be provided during this winter and we plan a booklet and recording of the findings and an award celebration in 2021.

For more contact Lelia Doolan, Yvonne Nolan, Nichola Baverstock, Rena McAllen – try  086 825 2164!



International Yeats Society comes to Thoor

From 15th – 18th October 2015 the first annual International Yeats Society conference took place at the University of Limerick. Performances, readings and a wonderful donation of books by Prof Michael Gilsenan to the Glucksman Library were interspersed with conference presentations of the highest quality, setting Yeats in an international context from Japan and India to Russia and Finland, from nationalism to the Noh, in myth and moonlight, craft and creativity, and in conjunction with a dozen arts.

The conference climaxed with a visit on Sunday 18th October by members of the International Yeats Society to Coole Park, the Kiltartan Lady Gregory Museum, and Thoor Ballylee. There they took tea and a tour up the winding stair.

TowerGroup_3469 copy

Members of the International Yeats Society, including conference hosts Professor Margaret Mills Harper, Dana Garvin, and Rick Stoops, plenary speakers Professors Marjorie Howes and Matthew Campbell, and other distinguished delegates from around the world, are joined by members of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, including  Sr Mary de Lourdes Fahy, Rena Mcallen, Lelia Doolan, and Dr Adrian Paterson. Deirdre Holmes was behind the camera.

The reopening of Thoor Ballylee for this anniversary celebration of Yeats2015 allows visits like this for the first time in many years. To find out how you can help further click here.