We present X-ray, optical and ultraviolet observations of the rich cluster A2597 and confirm the presence of a central cooling flow. The intracluster gas is cooling at a rate of ~370 M_sun_ yr^-1^ and we observe extended optical line-emitting gas around the central galaxy over a radial distance of ~25 kpc. Examination of the blue continuum spectrum of the central galaxy indicates that only < 0.1 M_sun_ yr^-1^ of detectable star formation is taking place. These stars are restricted to the mass range 1-3 M_sun_. The emission-line gas cannot be photoionized by OB stars.