The Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society is delighted to welcome Caitriona Yeats, Solo Harpist at the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and grand-daughter of W.B. Yeats to perform at the Harp and Moon Festival taking place in Thoor Ballylee on the 27th of October. She will be joined by celebrated artists, Aine Ní Shioradáin, harpist and singer; Michelle O’Sullivan, poet as well as Nicola and Karina Cahill on harp and flute. A small reception will open the evening’s entertainment at 7.30pm
For a warm, unique and unforgettable evening’s entertainment, please call or email Nichola to book your ticket costing 10 euro (payable on the door) email:firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +353 (0) 91 631436. Please note space is limited.
Speaking in advance of the event, Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, Chairperson, Yeats’ Thoor Ballylee Society said ‘This is a very special event and will bring our 150th anniversary celebrations of Yeats’ 150th birthday to a culmination. This Harvest Moon event is part of the Harp Festival of Moons, a year-long festival dedicated to W.B. Yeats, whose literary work was frequently inspired by the moon and the local landscape. We are deeply honoured to have Caitriona Yeats, grand-daughter of WB perform for us locally. Not to be missed!’
Thoor Ballylee was Yeats’ poetic model for his famous poem “Blood and the Moon” and where he wrote the “Phases of the Moon”.
“The purity of the unclouded moon
Has flung its arrowy shaft upon the floor.
Seven centuries have passed and it is pure,
The blood of innocence has left no stain.
There, on blood-saturated ground, have stood
Soldier, assassin, executioner.
Whether for daily pittance or in blind fear
Or out of abstract hatred, and shed blood,
But could not cast a single jet thereon.
Odour of blood on the ancestral stair!
And we that have shed none must gather there
And clamour in drunken frenzy for the moon.”
*More About Thoor Ballylee
Ireland’s Nobel Laureate for poetry, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) spent his summers in Thoor Ballylee, where the landscape and spirit infused so much of his poetry. In 1928, Yeats published “The Tower” followed by “the Winding Stair” in 1933. Both collections were inspired by the life, landscape, and architecture of the place, and feature many poems set and composed at Thoor Ballylee.
In 2014, our local community group, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society leased Thoor Ballylee from Fáilte Ireland to develop it into a world-class cultural centre. It was re-opened on June 13th 2015 in time for the Yeats 150th Anniversary. The Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society’s plan to develop a self sustaining Cultural Centre in the tower which would provide a huge
attraction for the area and boost tourism revenues for the region. The tower will accommodate a new exhibition, cafe, bookshop, and space for exhibitions, lectures and classes. An education program will also be developed which leverages the beauty and peace of Thoor Ballylee. The program will include an international writers-in-residence
program and a series of workshops to promote the study of poetry and creative writing among school children. The Society is undertaking a national and international fundraising effort to realise the ambitious project.
** More about the Harp Festival of Moons
Yeats included the moon and landscape in much of his literary work and his connection to the harp as both a national emblem and a symbol on our coinage inspired the idea of hosting a harp focused event on the full moon of every month of this year. 2015 is a blue moon year, with 13 full moons instead of 12, and the Harp Festival of Moons will present 13
events in 2015. These events are taking place in locations mentioned in the poet’s work, connected to his life, or in areas of significance to the harp in Ireland.