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India's gift for Yeats' friendship

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Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh, (Ambassador of India) John Perry TD, Senator Susan O'Keeffe, Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady, Dr.V.K.Singh, (Minister os State for External affairs, India) Frances Fitzgerald (Minister for Justice and Equality) Councillor Thomas Healy, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon

Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh, (Ambassador of India) John Perry TD, Senator Susan O'Keeffe, Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady, Dr.V.K.Singh, (Minister os State for External affairs, India) Frances Fitzgerald (Minister for Justice and Equality) Councillor Thomas Healy, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon

Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh, (Ambassador of India) John Perry TD, Senator Susan O'Keeffe, Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady, Dr.V.K.Singh, (Minister os State for External affairs, India) Frances Fitzgerald (Minister for Justice and Equality) Councillor Thomas Healy, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon

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A bust has been unveiled in the centre of Sligo to commemorate the friendship between W B Yeats and an Indian poet.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald was on hand to unveil the bust of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore which is a gift from the people of India. It was erected to coincide with the 150th anniversary celebration of the birth of Yeats.

The sculpture is placed on a limestone plinth directly opposite the former Pollexfen building on Wine Street. Pollexfen House was erected in 1858. It served as the home and offices of Sligo Steam Navigation Company (later W & G.T Pollexfen Co.) It was formed by Sligo millers William Pollexfen (Yeats maternal grandfather ) and William Middleton (Yeats great uncle & brother of Elizabeth Pollexfen, Yeats maternal grandmother). During the 1860's this building also served as the Pollexfen's family home. The Yeats family stayed there periodically with the poet's grandparents.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Perry said: "This unveiling of a bust of the great Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore by Minister Singh, on behalf of the Government of India and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. on behalf of the Irish Government is a suitable and appropriate way to commemorate the close and long personal and poetic relationship between Yeats and Tagore.

"In addition, it is also a suitable and appropriate way to acknowledge that this friendship, together with our parallel journey to nationhood and independence, are key foundation stones to the special relationship between our two countries.

"Sligo County Council has picked a most suitable location for the memorial. It is located in a prominent location in Sligo where local people will be able to see and appreciate the sculpture every day as they go about their daily routines."

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After the ceremony the Indian Association of Sligo hosted a culural programme based on the works of Tagore at City Hall.


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