A WEST of Ireland man has won free travel on Irish Ferries for life after he suggested the name for the company’s latest passenger vessel – the W.B. Yeats.
Lee Maxwell, from Manorhamilton in Co. Leitrim, was picked from thousands in a poll who shared his choice – securing him free travel for the rest of his life.
Irish Ferries said that Lee will be presented with the incredible prize shortly.
The newly-named W.B. Yeats cruise ferry is currently being built in Germany for service on routes between Ireland, Britain and France.
Irish Ferries said that "it was clear from the poll that there is widespread public affection for W. B. Yeats, due in the main to the magnificence of his writings and his contribution to Irish society, theatre and the arts generally.”
Acclaimed as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century and one of Ireland’s foremost literary figures, W.B. Yeats was born in Dublin and educated in both Ireland and London.
Among the poems for which he is most fondly remembered is ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, a composition inspired by his many holiday visits to Sligo, where, in a churchyard beneath Ben Bulben, his remains now rest.
The decision by Irish Ferries to name their new €144m vessel after the iconic Irishman continues the tradition adopted by the company of selecting names drawn from the world of Irish literature.
Managing director Andrew Sheen said: “In choosing W. B. Yeats from the many whose works are revered by Irish people and students of literature the world over, we have selected one that will give the new vessel its own distinct identity and stir memories of a poet who is held in high esteem by so many, here and abroad”.
“It is a name that will convey a sense of the magnificence and grandeur that passengers can expect when travelling on our new vessel, sailings of which are expected to commence on the Dublin – Holyhead and Ireland – France routes from mid-Summer next year”.
When built, the W.B. Yeats will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 1,200 cars and 440 cabins including luxury suites with their own private balconies.
Other facilities will include a Club Class lounge with direct passenger access from the car decks, á la carte and self-service restaurants, cinema, shopping mall, choice of bars and lounges and exclusive areas for freight drivers.
Pet owners will be happy to hear that dedicated facilities for pets will also be provided on board.