Fáilte Ireland officially launched its newly-revitalised Yeats Passport Trail — which takes in three sites in south Galway — at an event at Sligo City Hall this week. The event coincided with the 70th anniversary of the death of William Butler Yeats on January 28 1939. The trail was officially launched by another Nobel laureate, the renowned poet Seamus Heaney.
The Yeats Passport Trail uses a brochure in four languages (English, French, German, and Japanese ) to take the visitor on an intriguing journey that draws you in to the world of Nobel poet WB Yeats and his artist brother Jack Yeats. From Dublin to the west of Ireland, key attractions are featured bringing the visitor through landscape, literature, history, and culture including Dublin Writers’ Museum, Drumcliffe, Yeats’ burial place in Sligo, and three sites in south Co Galway, near Gort. The first of these is Thoor Ballylee, a Norman tower which Yeats purchased in 1916 to use as his summer residence. Nearby, the former home of Lady Augusta Gregory, Coole Park, has a visitor centre, nature trails, tea rooms, and the ‘autograph tree’ where famous Irish writers, including Yeats, have carved their initials. Coole was the inspiration for Yeats’ poem ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’ written in 1919. The third attraction is the Kiltartan Gregory Museum, an award-winning museum whose facilities include guided tours covering photographs, first editions, and memorabilia related to WB Yeats and Lady Gregory.
“We are delighted to be involved in the Yeats Passport Trail, which is a real product of excellence and will certainly enhance visitors’ experience to the region,” said Fiona Monaghan, general manager of Fáilte Ireland West. “The Yeats Trail will take the visitor on a tour that showcases some of the best that this region has to offer and incorporates the stunning beauty of south Galway with the strong literary legacy that has been left to us by this great Irish writer.”