Auction in WB Yeats’ tower to raise funds for restoration

Colm O'Farrell, as WB Yeats, at the Gort St Patrick's Day parade.

Colm O'Farrell, as WB Yeats, at the Gort St Patrick's Day parade.

A 40 per cent cut in funding to the arts has meant that a local committee in Galway is going it alone to restore WB Yeats’s home in Gort. The Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society has launched a call for funds in Ireland and abroad to restore Thoor Ballylee, a fine 14th century tower owned by Yeats.

The fundraising effort gets into full swing with an Open the Tower evening at Thoor Ballylee on May 31 at 6pm. Activities include an auction from the tower roof by WB Yeats (aka Colm Farrell, local auctioneer ), poetry reading, singsong round an open fire, and barbecue with locally produced beef and farm produce. Auction items will include a candlelit dinner for 10 on the roof top. To donate items, and for further information, contact the YTB board at [email protected].

Donations are also accepted, no matter how small, on the society’s website at

You can become a Thoor Ballylee friend for €25 and you will be regularly informed on the progress of the project and the use of all funds. With their permission, the names of all Thoor Ballylee supporters will be featured on a supporters’ wall on the website.

The society plans to develop a self sustaining cultural centre in the tower which would provide a huge attraction for the area and boost tourism revenues for the region. However there are no Government funds available to restore this cultural jewel. The tower will accommodate a new Yeats exhibition, a cafe, bookshop, and space for exhibitions, lectures, and classes. The committee is also working with academics in NYU, University of Limerick, and NUI Galway to develop an international writers in residence programme that promotes the study of Yeats.

For more information about this ambitious project contact [email protected].


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