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From Tullylish to Drumcliffe

Saturday 3rd October saw the first of the 'Yeats' projects come to fruition in Tullylish Church of Ireland Hall. 

As part of the 'Good Relations Week', Armagh District, Craigavon Borough and Banbridge Council began the day with a local tour led by Plunkett Campbell and Éamon Phoenix. 

 

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 In the old Tullylish graveyard.

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Gilford Castle 

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Gilford Mill 

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 Dunbarton House

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 St. John's Church, Gilford - home of two Harry Clarke windows

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 Some of the Historical Society committee members pose for a photo.

The idea of 

'Cast a Cold Eye"
From Tullylish to Drumcliffe"

was born about 6 months ago and surpassed all our expectations.  The journey took us down many avenues and we met and made many new friends along the way.
It was a joy to work with the Church of Ireland and a huge thank you to Jim Bell, Jean Glass, George and Noeleen Wilson, Isabel Whiteside, Muriel McCracken who helped every step of the way and to Alan Hanna who made sure we all got parked! Thanks also to those (too numerous to mention)  who helped set up the hall and serve the tea on Saturday night to a packed audience and to Gilberry Fayre for the supper.  
The search for the elusive Reverend W.B was known far and wide and every day brought a new 'find'. 
We knew he had a son, John B, born in Tullylish and we knew two children had died.  We now know he had 12 children, (8 born in Tullylish), was a man passionate about Education, a brilliant speaker invited to speak at several events in England who died in 1862 at the age of 53 years. The Yeats family lived firstly at the Vicarge Farm in Drumnascamph, then in Tullylish House, followed by Gilford and finally Lenaderg. He spent the last 9 years of his life in Sandymount, Dublin and died suddenly after his dinner in his brother-in-law's house - Sandymount Castle. After several months of 'searching' registers and graveyards, we found (thanks to an obituary in Downpatrick Recorder 1862)  that he is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin. His name does not appear on a headstone but thanks to 'Frank' in Mount Jerome - he found he was buried in an 'Armstrong' vault. (His mother-in-law was an Armstrong). Mount Jerome Cemetery covers 48 acres and is worth a visit.  http://www.mountjerome.ie/?content=history

Our next stage of the project is the production of a pictorial DVD which will be launched in the Spring. 

 WB Yeats grave

 

Yeats vault and info PPS Large Web view

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 The three speakers: Plunkett Campbell, Anne Taylor and Dr. Éamon Phoenix

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 Ann Mallon, ex principal of St. Patrick's College, Banbridge with Andrew Bell, principal of Banbridge High School and his wife.

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 Jim Bell opened the proceedings with the 'rules'!

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 Maria McCartan was a terrific M.C. for the evening

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 Noeleen Wilson recited 'Isle of Innisfree'.

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 Plunkett relayed the story of the Reverend William Butler Yeats, rector of Tullylish 1836 - 1862.

 

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Mrs. Margaret Meeson, principal of St. Colman's Bann P.S. with Maria McCartan, Tullylish Hitorical Society 

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 Plunkett greeting Tullylish Church historian, Isabel Whiteside

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 Paul and Lynn Laverty with Paula Jordan provided the beautiful music. 
They sang 'Down by the Sally Gardens' and 'Innisfree'

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 Anne Taylor with her 'Yeats' bag.

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 Anne Taylor and Dr. Éamon Phoenix
As usual Éamon stunned us all with his knowledge of the famine and its impact locally. 

Anne is a retired lecturer from Queen's University and a member of the Church of Ireland in Belfast.
Anne gave a very humourous account of the life of the poet W.B. Yeats and came dressed for the part, in the style of Maud Gonne - the love of Yeats' life. 

 

A huge thank you to the local schools who showed such enthusiasm for this project. 
Banbridge High School and St. Patrick's College worked together on some outstanding art work.

St. Colman's Bann and Milltown gave us some great sketches and will be working on a joint venture after Christmas.
St. John's P.S. Gilford are currently working on theirs. 

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