Crubeens, creativity and commemorations at Cúirt literary festival

New plaques celebrating Yeats, ‘The Kasbah’ and Ó Conaire to be unveiled in Galway city

Galway city's association withWB Yeats and George Moore and an infamous late-night crubeen cafe known as 'The Kasbah' have been commemorated with two new plaques as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

Three plaques in all – the third to Pádraic Ó Conaire – will be unveiled during the five-day event, extending the city’s existing literary trail.

Poets Paul Durcan, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Louis de Paor and John Montague and writers Colm Tóibín, Naomi Shihab Nye and Irvine Welsh are among the participants in the 30th annual celebration which opens officially today.

A tribute to the late writer Dermot Healy, an exploration of new voices in British poetry and a literary lunch will also take place, along with kitchen readings, masterclasses and the "labs" youth programme.


Alan Titley's work on translating Máirtín Ó Cadhain's epic Cré na Cille is the theme of this year's Anne Kennedy memorial lecture at An Taibhdhearc theatre tomorrow.

‘Hail and Farewell’

An experience shared by Yeats, Moore and

Edward Martyn

in Galway in 1902 is recalled by the first of the three new plaques, unveiled on the Salmon Weir Bridge over the Corrib yesterday by poet

Martin Dyar


Yeats, Moore and Martyn went for a stroll and found themselves on the bridge.

The text on the plaque is an extract from Moore’s memoir Hail and Farewell about the evening: “On the other bank there were waste places difficult to account for, ruins showing dimly through the soft diffused light, like old castles, but Yeats said they were the ruins of ancient mills, for Galway had once been a prosperous town.

“Maybe, my spirit answered, but less beautiful than she is to-day.”

Nora Crubs, a one-time Quay Street venue also known as 'The Kasbah' and immortalised in verse by poet Gerard Hanberry, was the subject of the second plaque, unveiled yesterday at Tigh Neachtain's pub.

For more details, contact 091-569777 or go to

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times