Proposed Yeats centre should be in Drumcliffe councillors say

Councillors in the north Sligo area are insisting that a proposed Yeats Interpretative Centre be located in Drumcliffe rather than in Sligo town.

They point out that the Nobel Prize-winning poet is buried in Drumcliffe, which they say is in the heart of the Yeats country which inspired and featured in his writings.

It’s generally accepted that William Butler Yeats, in one of his poems, asked to be buried ‘under bare Ben Bulben’s head,’ at Drumcliffe, where one of his ancestors was a church rector.

He died in France in January 1939, but it was almost a decade later before his body was brought back to Ireland for burial, in Drumcliffe..

Now, north Sligo Sligo councillors, are making the same wish for a proposed Yeats Interpretative Centre.

The issue arose at yesterday’s meeting of councillors from the Sligo-Drumcliffe Municipal District as a result of a joint motion from Fianna Fail Councillor Donal Gilroy and Sinn Fein Councillor Thomas Healy seeking an update on the proposed project..

Cllr Gilroy says that if a Yeats Interpretative Centre is to be built, Drumcliffe is the obvious place for it.

But at yesterday’s municipal district meeting, councillors were told it was not a simple and straightforward process, particularly as Drumcliffe is such a historically and archaeologically rich area.

Despite Drumcliffe playing such a central role in the story of Yeats, there’s also been suggestions that a Yeats Interpretative Centre should be located in Sligo town, particularly as there are plans for a major cultural area there.

A Yeats Interpretative Centre, located along the Wild Atlantic Way, would undoubtedly become a global attraction, drawing people from around the world.

But if Yeats had a desire to be buried ‘under bare Ben Bulben’s head,’ he also had another wish, as stated on on his headstone in Drumcliffe, ‘Cast a cold eye on life, on death, horseman, pass by.’

For now, however, local councillors are unlikely to ‘pass by’ the opportunity of a Yeats mega-attraction in their area.