Jimmy Deenihan TD Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (May 23rd 2012) launched  the schedule for the inaugural Yeats Day which will take place on the anniversary date of  WB Yeats’ birthday – Wednesday June 13th 2012.
Speaking at the launch in the National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin Minister Deenihan said “Yeats Day is designed to provide a  schedule of events for the day to run from dawn to dusk and embrace places and spaces in Sligo that were dear to WB Yeats. The day is designed to encourage the community – young and old – to come out on the streets – to enjoy music, poetry, readings and much more – in celebration of a unique poet in a unique place.
Celebrating the legacy of WB Yeats in Sligo – his spiritual home – is a wonderful event for Sligo and for Ireland.  WB Yeats always made clear his love of Sligo and the role it played in his written work over many decades.
Yeats Day is a collaborative event – locally with Sligo County Council, Sligo Borough Council, County Library, the Hawkswell, the Factory, the Model, Sligo Tourism and the Western Development Commission. It is supported by the Department of the Arts and Failte Ireland.  “This is the first time that WB Yeats birthday will be celebrated in this way in Sligo. The national dimension to the event ensures that Yeats Day will be on a firm footing to build the event internationally into the future” added Minister Deenihan.
On the day the Abbey Theatre, the National Library and the National Gallery will all take part locally in Sligo and the Japanese ambassador Mr Atsumi will be in Sligo to celebrate also. Minister Deenihan will officially inaugurate the day at Drumcliffe where WB Yeats is buried.
Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan also said: “I am delighted to launch the schedule for Yeats Day and I look forward to being in Sligo on 13th June next – Yeats Day. It’s great to see such enormous collaboration to make this event happen and I am delighted that my Department can celebrate the cultural contribution that WB Yeats has made and continues to make in Sligo and beyond. The additional support of Fáilte Ireland to the Yeats season in Sligo is also very welcome and is a fine example of how Government departments can work together with shared purpose.”
The event is supported by the esteemed Yeats Society. President Joe Cox said  that “I am delighted to see Yeats shared in the wider community. He is a wonderful poet and we in Sligo are proud of him and want to share his work and raise his profile – especially among children.”
Senator Susan O’Keeffe said “this is an idea I had many years ago – to bring the love of Yeats onto the streets and for the community to be able to share this wonderful poet in many different ways.  I am delighted to build this day in collaboration with so many people and organisations so that we can celebrate this wonderful poet in Sligo and in time across the world.”
Regional director of Fáilte Ireland Martina Bromley welcomed the launch and added that “it is part of a new Yeats season that will see Yeats in Sligo across the summer. There is wonderful work taking place that will offer theatre, music and poetry that everyone can enjoy. Yeats Day will kick off that season in style.”


Yeats Day

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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