Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
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Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,

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Lot 266/0196

Estimate: €1000-1500

Yeats (William Butler) A very good autograph signed letter, 3pp. (single folded sheet), on headed Coole Park notepaper, to Dr. George Sigerson, dated 25th July, no year (probably circa 1901), concerning the forthcoming Pan Celtic Congress. “I have been urging the Gaelic League if it cannot take part in the Pan Celtic Congress to give an independent reception to the visitors. I find that even this is impossible, but it has been suggested to me that it would be very serviceable if some ‘third body’ should give a ‘conversazione’ or other entertainment to these visitors, and this would draw many people, Gaelic Leaguers and others, who would not take part in the Official Pan Celtic Ceremony, or perhaps in any ceremony presided over by Castletown – fresh from the [Boer] War as he is … I suggest that the National Literary Society should be this ‘third body’. It is I think most important that the visitors should not go away convinced either that Catletown is the leader of the Irish movement, or that there is no movement to lead. So far as I can make out at present there will be no real reception, but on the other hand there will be some private hospitality given chiefly by Lord Castletown himself and his friends, all Unionists and imperialists. It seems to me neccessary to the ‘foreign relations’ of Ireland that some welcome be given to these people.’.. As a m/ss., w.a.f. (1)
* A very important and interesting letter. Dr. Sigerson was President of the National Literary Society. The Pan Celtic Congress was a body including Dublin Castle society figures such as Lord Castletown and Lady Fingall; see various references in Foster’s biography Vol. I (in which this letter is not cited). Rare.

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