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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Fears for Yeats' old haunt
WB Yeats
WB Yeats was inspired by County Sligo landscape
A stately home frequented by Irish poet WB Yeats has gone on sale amid calls for the manor house not to fall into the hands of property developers.

The 19th-century mansion Lissadell, which sits on 400 acres of land in County Sligo, went on sale on Thursday with an asking price of three million euro.

The grey limestone manor house has been owned by the aristocratic Anglo-Irish Gore-Booth family since it was built in the 1830s.

Current owner Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth has decided to sell the house because he felt it had become a burden.

Too much of Ireland has gone into golf courses for Americans
Maura McTighe
Yeats Society
Yeats was a frequent visitor to the house because he was enamoured with the poet Eva Gore-Booth as well as her sister, the Irish nationalist Countess Constance Markievicz.

The wife of a Polish count, Countess Markievicz was pardoned from execution following the 1916 Easter Rising and went on to be the only woman elected to parliament in the post-Independence Irish Free State.

Yeats and Markievicz were prominent figures in the revival of Gaelic literature and arts at the turn of the last century.

Maura McTighe of the Yeats Society said the house needed to be preserved and protected.

Lissadell House
Lissadell House up for sale
She said she would be devastated if the estate went to developers.

"Too much of Ireland has gone into golf courses for Americans," she said.

Arthur Morgan, a Sinn Fein member of the Irish parliament, called on the Irish Government to preserve the house "as a monument to the heroine of the 1916 Rising".

"Sinn Fein believes that it is time for the state to examine the options for re-appropriating hereditary estates which are a legacy of our colonial past and have no place in a modern Ireland," he said.

County Sligo in the Irish Republic has become known as Yeats Country, as much of the poet's work was influenced by the surrounding landscape.




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