Wednesday 17 July 2019

Cabinet to hold 'out-of-town' meeting in historic Lissadell mansion

Lissadell House in Sligo.
Lissadell House in Sligo.
John Downing

John Downing

The Cabinet is to hold an 'out–of-town' meeting in the historic Sligo mansion at Lissadell near Sligo next week.

The move is another signal that the Government feel the recession is ending as it returns to a practice frequently used by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the height of the boom, when the Government met in Ballaghaderren, Co Roscommon, Killarney, Co Kerry and other centres around the country.

The Lissadell meeting next Wednesday afternoon is linked with celebrations to mark the 150th year of the birth of Ireland’s most celebrated poet, WB Yeats, who had close links with the place.

But the Lissadell mansion and grounds were also the centre of a marathon legal battle between its owners and Sligo County Council over a right of way. This ended in 2014 with defeat for the local authority and an estimated €7m legal bill for taxpayers.

Sligo County Council is now in a tussle with central government about whether central or local government should foot the lawyers’ bill.

Lissadell was the ancestral home of 1916 Rising leader, Constance Markeviez, and her sister Eva Gore Booth was also a poet. Both were friends with Yeats who was a frequent visitor.

The court battle forced the closure of the house and its estate for five years.

But they were fully re-opened this year after the current owners, leading barristers, Constance Cassidy and Eddie Walsh, said they wanted to “move on” from the case.

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