Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, visited Sligo to officially open the Yeats Trail.
The Yeats Trail visits 14 sites throughout the county which have an association to the works of William Butler Yeats. The new trail complements the Wild Atlantic Way and will help attract visitors to the region.
The project received an investment of €500,000 through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, with a further €170,000 provided by Sligo County Council to complete the project.
While in the county the Minister visited three of the trail’s sites – Knocknarea, Benbulben and Hazelwood – to open the unique artistic installations and interpretive signage designed for each individual site.
Speaking at the official opening of the Yeats Trail, Minister Humphreys said, “the county of Sligo left a lasting mark on Yeats. The influence that the people and places of Sligo had on the poet are evident in his writing and led to some of the poet’s best known works. Even though Yeats was born in Dublin, it is Sligo that is known as the ‘Yeats County’. Yeats spent some of his happiest days in Sligo, absorbing the beauty and folklore of the county. The Yeats Trail has been developed to link and interpret the most important sites in Sligo where visitors can learn more about the county’s history and its influence on the writing of WB Yeats. It is wonderful that visitors to Sligo can now walk in the poet’s footsteps and visit the places that inspired his most famous works.”
While in Sligo, Minister Humphreys also opened projects at Knocknarea, Gortarowey and in Hazelwood House, which were funded under the Department’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Speaking at the official opening of the Lady Ann Walk at Hazelwood House, the Minister said, “walks like this, are places where we can come together as family and friends to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and where better to do this than in the stunning beauty of County of Sligo. I really believe that by investing in our outdoor amenities – our rivers, our lakes, our walkways and cycleways – we can provide a real economic and social boost to rural Ireland. I want to commend the work of Sligo County Council and all other stakeholders who have worked closely together to deliver this project. Your collaboration, dedication, and drive is truly admirable.”