William Butler Yeats is one of the most famous Irish authors of all time and was awarded the Nobel prize in Literature in 1923. He spent his childhood in County Sligo, where his parents were raised, and loved the North-West of Ireland, which in his honour is known as “Yeats Country”. W.B. Yeats is buried, as he had wished “under bare Ben Bulben’s head in Drumcliff churchyard”.
Yeats Country and adjoining areas are now under threat from fracking. Imagine this beautiful landscape dotted with 60 well-pads, each 7 acres or more, with drilling rigs and 3,000 deep wells, enormous traffic and pollution problems, total change of land use, contaminated water, public health issues and a way of life destroyed. A rural idyll turned into an intensive mining zone.
County Leitrim is an undiscovered bit of rural Paradise with its mountains, lakes, rivers and areas of great beauty which can be compared to the more well-known areas of Kerry. Licencing options have been granted for all of Leitrim, giving oil/gas companies first refusal on shale gas exploration and extraction. This is in essence a modern land-grab!
Jobs in the North-West are mainly in tourism and agriculture. Pharmaceutical companies in the area rejoice in the clean air and pristine environment. By allowing multi-national oil and gas companies to take over the land, we would put at risk what we have, and what is so valuable to us.
The Lake Isle of Inisfree is the icon for the North-West. Help us to keep this dirty industry out and to ensure that future energy sources and jobs in Ireland are sustainable.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.