Threat to the Future of the Yeats Society

Threat to the Future of the Yeats Society

Statement on behalf of Acting Chief Executive Sligo County Council and President of IT Sligo

We wish to express our strong support for the fund raising campaign that has been launched by the Yeats Society in Sligo in order to ensure that it can survive the impact of the pandemic.

WB Yeats is Ireland’s national poet, who has helped for over a century to reinforce Ireland’s global image as a place of culture, reflection and deep insights, and whose lines are regularly quoted by people with only a passing interest in poetry.

The Yeats Society in Sligo has a proud history of sustaining and developing the Yeats legacy for just over 60 years, and has built a global network of scholars and writers directly involved in Sligo, from literature students beginning their programmes to poets of the eminence of Seamus Heaney.  It has provided a focal point for international and Irish visitors to Sligo.

We are very conscious that very many cultural, community and sporting groups have been very badly hit by the pandemic, and many will tragically fail to re-emerge from it.  We are committed to doing what we can to help such groups within the resources and obligations we are working under.

We do believe that the Yeats Society is a particular priority for our County for the following reasons;

  • The Yeats legacy is a primary defining feature of Sligo’s place in Ireland and the world.
  • The Yeats Society has built a 62-year legacy of engagement with pre-eminent scholars from around the world and a rich record of documents and discourse around that legacy.
  • Prudent management has ensured the Society has no debt but Covid has wiped out its revenues. It has shown that in normal times it can survive without exceptional support.

Therefore we believe it would be a great failure on our collective parts if this most valuable cultural asset for our County were to be allowed to fall on account of a temporary and exceptional crisis.  We will be encouraging people therefore to give their support to this fund-raising campaign where they can.