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Gort County Galway Ireland
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Gort is a medium sized market town on the Galway to Ennis Road, situated in a gap between the Slieve Aughty Mountains and the Burren to the south.

The town takes its name form King Guaire, the sixth century King of Connacht, who built a castle here. He had a reputation for his generosity and it was said that his right arm, his giving arm, was longer than his left. One legend recalls how Guaire was sitting down to dinner when mysteriously the plates disappeared out the windows. He quickly followed them on horseback and soon met St Colman who had just finished a seven year fast and had eaten the food. The King was impressed by his ingenuity and granted him lands at Kilmacduagh where he built a monastery, one of the oldest in Europe. 
Coole Park Gort County Galway Thoor Ballylee or Ballylee Castle Gort County Galway
Thoor Ballylee
Thoor Ballylee (above right) was Yeats's monument and symbol; in both aspects it had multiple significance. It satisfied his desire for a rooted place in a known countryside, not far from Coole and his life-long friend Lady Gregory. To live in a Tower complemented, perhaps, his alignment with a tradition of cultivated aristocracy which he had envied and a leisured peace which he had enjoyed.

Coole Park
Coole Park (above left) outside Gort was the home of Lady Augusta Gregory, dramatist and co-founder with Edward Martyn and W.B. Years of the Abbey Theatre. The area is also a National Nature Reserve due to its great wildlife importance - its native woodlands and turloughs.

Kiltartan Gregory Museum and Millennium Park Gort County Galway Kilmacduagh Monastery Gort County Galway
The Kiltartan Gregory Museum and Millennium Park
The Kiltartan Gregory Museum and Millennium Park ; located two miles from Gort on Galway Road at the historic spot "Kiltartan Cross" where the blind poet Rafferty met and fell in love with the "Beauty of Ballylee" Máire ní hEidhie. This building was a National School built in 1892 at the behest of the local landlord, Sir William Gregory of Coole Park, Gort. The Museum was opened by Mary Robinson on the 8th August, 1996. The Museum is Largely devoted to the works of Augusta Lady Gregory (1852 - 1932), widow of Sir William. The most renowned member of the Gregory family was Lady Gregory. During her time there, Coole became the meeting place for writers, chief of whom was W.B. Yeats who later bought Thoor Ballylee.
Kilmacduagh Monastery
Near Gort is the site of an old monastic settlement of Kilmacduagh. The name Kilmacduagh means "church of Duagh's son". The 7th century saint, Saint Colman, son of Duagh, established a monastery on land given him by his cousin King Guaire. According to legend, Saint Colman MacDuagh was walking through the woods of the Burren when his girdle fell to the ground. Taking this as a sign, he built his monastery on this spot. The girdle was said to be studded with gems and was held by the O'Shaughnessys centuries later, along with St. Colman's crozier, or staff. The girdle was later lost, but the crozier came to be held by the O'Heynes and may now be seen in the National Museum of Ireland. This early Christian site is well worth a visit not only for its ruined churches and well preserved round tower, but also the site affords a splendid view of the local area, and is the centre of interesting local legends and folklore.

The area around the town is notable for its landscape of grey stone walls and stone-strewn fields. The eighteenth century weigh-house in the Town Square has recently been restored. There is a strong tradition of Irish music in the locality and many pubs stage sessions at night.

Famous People

Lady Augusta Gregory - dramatist and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.


Towns & Localities in County Galway

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