Yeats 2015 Presents a “Significant Cultural Opportunity for Ireland”

Extensive research and business case analysis conducted by the Ross School of Business at Michigan University has highlighted the cultural and economic possibilities associated with the upcoming Yeats 2015 programme. MBA students at Ross School of Business, in collaboration with the Western Development Commission (WDC), have recently undertaken the detailed exploration of the planned Yeats 2015 celebration.

Commenting on the Michigan University report, Head of Regional Development and Acting CEO of the WDC, Ian Brannigan stated that “The potential of Yeats 2015 from both an economic and cultural perspective is very clearly defined in the Ross report. This year-long celebration will attract visitors from Japan, the US and continental Europe – W.B. Yeats has a substantial international following with Yeatsian societies in many countries. It is estimated that Yeats 2015 could attract thousands of additional international visitors netting millions in international tourism and cultural revenues”

While recent tourism initiatives such as The Gathering have illustrated the scope and economic impact of focused international marketing campaigns – Yeats 2015 offers a distinctly unique cultural opportunity to celebrate Ireland, through the prism of one of its most renowned literary icons. Given the geographical resonance of much of Yeats’s writing, there is also a distinct connection between the writer and the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’.

Speaking about their involvement in the research project underpinning Yeats 2015, Ross 2015 MBA student Evan Botsford stated that “Based on our extensive research and analysis, our team concluded that, with the help of our report’s recommendations, the Yeats 2015 event has potential for a very positive long-term impact on not only marketing Ireland and its’ culture, but also developing unique, sustainable partnerships, and unifying the myriad of ideas and passions regarding the legacy of WB Yeats around the globe.”

The Yeats 2015 celebration was officially launched earlier this year by the former Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan T.D., and its programme will commence in early 2015. The WDC has also recently issued a call for tenders in respect of the development of the celebrations’ website and expects to issue a request for ‘Expressions of Interest’ in the coming weeks to engage with the creative industry nationally and regionally regarding potential linkages.

To find out more about the Yeats 2015 celebration, contact the WDC at 094-9861441 or visit

Notes to Editor:

The Yeats 2015 initiative was formally announced by the former Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan T.D., at the ‘Yeats Day’ Launch on June 13th 2014.

Yeats 2015 will be a year-long national and international celebration of the life and works of the Nobel Prize winning poet William Butler Yeats. It will mark 150 years since his birth on June 13th 1865.

The Vision of Yeats 2015 is that “Yeats 2015 will celebrate and commemorate the life, work, influence and achievements of W.B. Yeats. Through an engaging, celebratory and cultural programme, it will showcase Ireland as a dynamic, inspiring and creative place”.

The year-long celebrations will be rooted in Sligo – Yeats’ ‘spiritual home’ – and connect with every county across Ireland. The celebrations will draw people to Ireland to begin to understand what inspired him and to share that experience. It is intended that institutions and organisations from around Ireland and the world will partner with Yeats 2015 and offer a diverse and rewarding series of events to acknowledge and celebrate the range and depth of his work and that of his family.

Yeats 2015 partners will span the literary, cultural, creative, historical and academic worlds. Through Yeats 2015, Ireland will make a bold statement to the world about our rich cultural heritage and showcase our contemporary cultural wealth.

Contact Details:

Ian Brannigan, Head of Regional Development and CEO(a) WDC:

Mary Keaveney, WDC: – 094 9861441

Karan Thompson, Yeats 2015:  – 086 2550291