A larger than life size bronze statue of the poet WB Yeats is unveiled at a ceremony in Sligo town.
Despite it being Yeats County, the location outside the Ulster Bank at the busy junction of Stephen Street and Markievicz Road is the first statute of the internationally acclaimed poet William Butler Yeats in Sligo.
The sculptures is unveiled by the poet’s son Senator Michael Yeats, who speaks of his father’s love of County Sligo.
The 8 foot high bronze sculpture is by Rowan Gillespie, whose work includes 'Blackrock Dolmen’ and ‘Cashel Dancers’. His sculpture of WB Yeats combines a realistic portrait of the poet with an abstract body and is imprinted in positive relief with extracts from more than 150 of poems. The cobblestone plinth for the sculpture is made from stones collected on the Sligo quays.
The sculpture of Yeats was funded by Ulster Bank and the local community. 1989 saw the 50th anniversary of Yeats’ death and this spurred on a group of people to form an ad hoc committee to erect a commemorative sculpture.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 May 1990. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.