Even though Thoor Ballylee is just a quick 30 min drive from my home in Galway, it is somewhere we rarely get to visit. The former home of WB Yeats had been closed since 2009 due to extensive flood damage. Lack of funding meant that it remained closed until a local community group the ‘Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society’ leased it from Failte Ireland and raised the funding to reopen this stupendous building to the public. Opening it in June of 2015 just in time for the 150th anniversary of Yeats’ birth.
Visit to Thoor Ballylee & Mill
The tower and adjacent mill is well worth the visit, it was so great to be able to have access to the building, up until this visit, my infrequent trips had ended with us walking around the building and guessing what may be inside. Packed with displays and video shows, there is a lot of information about both the tower and Yeats to hand. Along side, that is, being able to imagine walking in Yeats’ footsteps throughout the cottage and tower and listening to the river gently babble past the downstairs open window, as he must have done whilst penning his poetry.
Video the Mill @ Thoor Ballylee
After visiting the tower we strolled gently by the river to the derelict mill, peace and quiet permeates the surrounding countryside, no wonder at all Yeats choose this as a place to live.
The tower opens from May through to mid October, so for the remainder of this year it is closed, definitely a must visit if you are in Galway in 2017.
For more details about Thoor Ballylee and Yeats himself visit Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society’s website: https://yeatsthoorballylee.org/home/