A trove of documents from a French chateau has cast doubt on the remains of beloved Irish poet W.B. Yeats but fans have shrugged off the controversy and said there is no doubt as to his spiritual home. The Nobel laureate died in southern France in 1939 but because of legal issues and the outbreak of World War II it wasn’t until 1948 before a coffin said to carry his remains was repatriated to Ireland. For over six decades, the site of the poet’s grave in a picturesque country churchyard in Drumcliffe in northwest Ireland has been a literary landmark in Ireland, attracting thousands of tourists every year. Yeats had strong family connections to the area and a simple grey headstone over his grave contains some of the Nobel-winning poet’s verses as an epitaph: ‘Cast a cold eye/ On life, on death/ Horseman, pass by.’

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