Yeats Trail Launched
Omedia was centrally involved in the production of the new Yeats Trail in Sligo, which connects the locations that inspired the poetry of W.B. Yeats. We compiled the event video - see below, as well as writing the website and signage text and overseeing the launch, which took place in Sligo in March 2023.
This is the press release for the event.
The new Yeats Trail has been officially opened by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Social Protection and Rural and Community Development, who also launched several other infrastructural projects in Sligo on Friday March 31st.
A total of almost €1.2m was invested to create the Yeats Trail and to develop, extend and upgrade car parking facilities and other amenities through the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF) and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) in 2019-2020.
€670,000 was invested in the development of the Yeats Trail at scenic locations in counties Sligo and Leitrim through RRDF. Upgrade and redevelopment works to the value of €514,000 were also carried out under ORIS funding, including the first phase of trail development works at the Lady Anne Walk on Lough Gill. At Knocknarea and Gortarowey, new car parking facilities were installed and improvements were made to trailhead information for walkers.
The Yeats Trail was launched in the company of local political representatives and other stakeholders, including members of the Yeats Society, and was greatly added to by the presence of Caitríona Yeats, grand-daughter of the famous poet W.B. Yeats. The official launch took place at the Yeats Memorial Building in Sligo, and was followed by a visit to some of the Yeats Trail locations, including Knocknarea, Benbulben Forest Walk and Hazelwood.
Speaking from the scenic setting of Half Moon Bay at Hazelwood, Councillor Michael Clarke, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council said that "the Yeats family had close connections with Sligo, its culture, folklore and landscape. It is clear why places like Hazelwood inspired the writings of W.B. Yeats and the creation of installations along the Yeats Trail will make these locations more accessible and interesting experiences for the culturally curious and it will be of benefit to the local hospitality sector."
From Sligo’s iconic Yeats Building, Minister Humphreys said "As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I’m delighted to have been able to support the Yeats trail project with a 500,000 euro investment under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. This is a project that will attract thousands of visitors every year – where they will enjoy the beautiful surroundings of County Sligo and the Wild Atlantic Way. And so, I would like to congratulate Sligo County Council and everyone involved in all aspects of this project on this great achievement."
The Yeats Trail comprises fourteen locations of great natural beauty that were referenced by Yeats in his works, or are known to have been part of the greater landscape that inspired him. Among them are Knocknarea, Slish Wood, Glencar and Innisfree, places that are associated with some of his best loved poems like The Stolen Child, The Wanderings of Oisin and The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
"They really are a remarkable series of locations that underline why Sligo was so important in the writings of Yeats," says Máirtín Enright, former President of the Yeats Society and a member of the team that wrote the content for the Yeats Trail website. "Many of the locations remain largely unchanged, so a visit to them means that you really are, in large part, seeing them in the same way Yeats himself did all those years ago."
W.B. Yeats was born in Dublin, but spent periods of his youth in Sligo. He was an avid walker, and his rambles along country lanes, as well as his interest in tales of folklore led to his early poems, in particular, drawing on the heritage and beauty of Sligo. Now, each of these sites contains an installation where the visitor can sit, look around them and listen, and where the words of the poetry associated with the location are printed, along with other relevant information like maps and a QR code which links to the Yeats Trail website.
"It's a great initiative, and one that I'm sure will be very popular," says Martin Lydon, CE of Sligo County Council. "Visitors can enjoy each location individually if they wish, although several of them are located close together and you can easily move from one to the other," he adds. "For example, there are five locations around the shores of Lough Gill, which can all be done together, and you can choose to visit the others over the course of an extra day or two."
Daithi de Forge, Head of Recreation, Coillte said, “These are fantastic additions and upgrades to the existing and expansive network of forest trails in Co. Sligo. Coillte’s forests are very popular walking destinations for locals and visitors alike and we are delighted that these works locally will greatly enhance the visitor experience.”
The Yeats Trail is a touring route which provides the visitor with a sense of the diversity of Sligo, its culture, heritage and landscape. From Neolithic monuments to national forests, golden beaches to stunning mountain views, each stop enables the visitor to immerse themselves in the landscape that fired the imagination of Ireland's national poet. Yeats's relationship with the county deepened as his life wore on, culminating in his decision to choose Drumcliffe Graveyard as his final resting place. The Yeats Trail offers the visitor an opportunity to follow this relationship through the places he loved and wrote about, in this unique experience.
For information, maps and details on each of the locations visit www.YeatsTrail.ie.