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#William Butler Yeats

# william-butler-yeats - Tuesday 18 October, 2016

Taoiseach wants Ireland to introduce a Navy hospital ship for global emergencies

He made the comment while launching a new patrol ship yesterday, the William Butler Yeats.

# william-butler-yeats - Wednesday 13 August, 2014

Opinion: The cultural influence of Yeats, Beckett and Heaney stretches across the world

Culturally, these Irish writers belong to the world – but all of them saw life and used language from an Irish perspective.

# william-butler-yeats - Tuesday 28 January, 2014

Open thread: What's your favourite WB Yeats poem?

Yeats died 75 years ago today but his work is still being studied in schools across the country. Are there any lines still floating around in your heads from your schooldays?

# william-butler-yeats - Thursday 12 August, 2010

THE SIZE of the fortunes left behind by some of Ireland’s most famous sons have been published by an online genealogy website. has published the details of millions of wills, including Irish legends Oscar Wilde, Charles Stewart Parnell, William Butler Yeats and Ernest Shackleton.

The records made available also include those of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Charles Dickens.

We’ve gone through some the best-known names to give you the details:

Oscar Wilde

Dublin man Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde – better known as Oscar Wilde – remains one of Ireland’s most famous writers. Wilde was also extremely popular during his own lifetime and was paid handsomely for his works, which included The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

But, despite this, he died in diminished circumstances.

Wilde died in November 1900, and while it would be wrong to say that he died “penniless”, he left an estate worth just £250 (€28,000 today ) which, considering his earlier wealth, was a very modest sum. His estate, which he left to his son Vyvyan Beresford Holland, took twenty years to settle.

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats, a poet, dramatist and Nobel Prize winner,was born Co Dublin and was one of the driving forces behind the Irish Literary Revival. He famously penned The Tower and The Winding Stair and Other Poems.

Yeats left an estate valued at £4,498 14s 2d (worth €267,000 today) to his widow Bertha Georgie Yeats. He died in January 1939,

Charles Stewart Parnell

Wicklow man Charles Stewart Parnell championed the cause of Home Rule for Ireland, was elected as the MP for Co Meath, and entered the House of Commons in London in 1875.

He fell from grace after the details of his seven-year affair with married woman, Kitty O’Shea, were revealed. The pair later married.

In 1891 Parnell – known as the “uncrowned king of Ireland” – left a total of £11,774 7s 3d, which would be the equivalent of €1.3m in today, to his wife, Kitty.
Ernest Shackleton
Ernest Shackleton, born in Kilkea in Co Kildare, was a polar explorer and one of the principle figures involved in what is known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He died during his last expedition in 1922.
Shackleton left an estate of £556 2s 2d (the equivalent of around €24,000 today) to his widow, Emily Mary Shackleton.
Bram Stoker

Clontarf-born “Dracula” author Bram Stoker left an estate worth £5,269 12s 7d (€553,000 in today’s values) to his widow, Florence Ann Lemon Stoker after his death in 1012.

Other famous names

  • Author and creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, left the equivalent of €3.6 million by today’s standards
  • Writer Charles Dickens left the equivalent of €8.5 million
  • British naturalist Charles Darwin left behind a whopping estate worth €15 million
  • Socialist Karl Marx left a much more modest sum, the equivalent of €27,000, to his youngest daughter Eleanor allows registered users a two-week free trial. After that, there is a subscription service, or pay as you go, at a cost of £6.95 for access to 12 documents.

# william-butler-yeats - Monday 26 July, 2010

WITH ONE OF the biggest fixtures on the racing calendar – the Summer Festival at the Galway Races – kicking off this evening, it seems only right that we go back down memory lane a bit and pick out some random bits and bobs for your afternoon amusement.

They’re a pretty old-school thing
The first ever racing festival at the famed Ballybrit racecourse was a two-day meeting in August 1869. Back then, Ulysses S Grant had just taken over as the 18th President of the United States, some random book called War and Peace was being published, and Queen Victoria had just appointed Gladstone as prime minister.

The festival only became a 3-day event 90 years later, but had more and more days added over the 1970s and 1980s before becoming a week long in 1999.

It had the world’s longest bar…
Anyone who has been to the races before they became a 7-day event in 1999 may recall the old main Corrib Stand – or, at least, they’ll recall it if they weren’t at the bar below for too long.

The bar along the foot of the old stand, which essentially stretched its entire length, was anecdotally the longest bar in the world for many years but had fallen into disrepair before the new Millennium Stand was opened in ’99.

…and the shortest gap between two fences
As if for perfect contrast, aside from having the longest bar in the world, it also has the shortest gap between two fences of any racecourse in the world.

Keep an eye out for the last two fences at the end of the ten-furlong course – which themselves are in the middle of a slight dip in the ground. If a horse takes the second-last badly, it might not make it over the final fence.

The Pope wandered along in 1979
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”

The Bible is fairly black and white on gambling – but not that Pope John Paul II was too bothered when he attended the races in September 1979 as part of his visit to Ireland.

280,000 people showed up to hear him speak and to hear the immortal words:

Young people of Ireland, I love you.

It was such a great occasion – even in the early 1900s – that Yeats wrote about it
One of William Butler Yeats’ more celebrated works celebrated sport’s ability to help its spectators escape from the humdrum of the real world and for a brief few minutes live on a higher plane:

THERE where the course is,
Delight makes all of the one mind,
The riders upon the galloping horses,
The crowd that closes in behind:
We, too, had good attendance once,
Hearers and hearteners of the work;
Aye, horsemen for companions,
Before the merchant and the clerk
Breathed on the world with timid breath.
Sing on: somewhere at some new moon,
We’ll learn that sleeping is not death,
Hearing the whole earth change its tune,
Its flesh being wild, and it again
Crying aloud as the racecourse is,
And we find hearteners among men
That ride upon horses.

Just remember that when your odds-on favourite stumbles between the last two fences.