independent

Saturday 16 December 2017

Pilot houses in Rosses Point now enjoy new status

Pilot House in Rosses Point
Pilot House in Rosses Point

Two historic houses in Rosses Point, mentioned in the writings of W B Yeats, has made it on to the list of the county's protected structures following a plea from a councillor at last Monday's meeting of the County Council.

Councillor Declan Bree had proposed last March that the two Pilot Houses in Rosses Point be included in the Record of Protected Structures saying they were an important part of Sligo's built heritage.

"I have to say I am shocked that the Chief Executive is still recommending that the pilot houses should not be included in the Record of Protected Structures," he told Monday's meeting.

"He states that no evidence has been submitted in support of the proposed inclusion and that there is insufficient information regarding the structures and that there are insufficient resources in the Planning section at present to carry out the necessary research and assessment with regard to the structures," said Cllr Bree, who added that surely in the past eight months someone in the Council could have carried out even a minimal amount of research.

"Clearly Rosses Point's maritime tradition and history should be taken into consideration and in particular the Yeats connection to the river pilots old watch houses.

"The pilot house North of Jackson's Pier features in Jack Yeats 1900 masterpiece "Memory Harbour" which has been described as Yeats's most important water colour.

"W.B. Yeats, in "The Old Men of the Twilight" refers to "the place, close to the Deadman's Point at the Rosses where the disused pilot house looks out to sea through two round windows like eyes."

"There are a hell of a lot less important building included in the Record of Protected Structures in this county and I am at a loss to comprehend why the Chief Executive would not recommend that the pilot houses be included.

What additional information is required?

Rosses Point and its people were an inspiration for both of the Yeats brothers. As children they spent much of their summers in Rosses Point where their uncle Henry Middleton owned Elisnore Lodge, which unfortunately now lies in ruins.

Last year we learned through the media that W.B. Yeats's Nobel Prize Medal, the showpiece of Sligo's Yeats Collection, which had been in the possession of this Council and which had been on display in Sligo for over 50 years, was gone and was transferred to Dublin," said Cllr Bree.

His motion seeking protected status for the pilot houses was seconded by Cllr Gino O'Boyle and unanimously adopted.

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