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Sligo ( — "sly-go" ), is the county town of County Sligomarker in Irelandmarker. The town is a borough and has a charter and a town mayor. It is the second largest urban area in Connacht (after Galwaymarker). It is home to the Sligo Institute of Technologymarker and St. Angela's College.


A view over Sligo

Sligo's Irish name "Sligeach" - meaning shelly place - allegedly originates in the abundance of shellfish found in the river and its estuary, and from the extensive 'shell middens' or Stone Age food preparation areas in the vicinity.

A recently published theory is that Sli in Sligo is not Shell but actually Slighe -- meaning an Important Road, and has further suggested the full Irish name is Cuan Slighe dha Atha being 'The Harbour Road of the Two Fords. There are a number of potential crossing points within the Bay of Sligo, Bay of Ballisodare and Bay of Drumcliffe in which this ancient route traversed. />

}} The river (now known as the Garavogue 'rough river' ) was also called the Sligeach from . The Ordnance Surveymarker letters of 1836 state that "cart loads of shells were found underground in many places within the town where houses now stand". At that time shells were constantly being dug up during the construction of foundations for buildings. This whole area, from the river estuary at Sligo, around the coast to the river at Ballysadaremarker Bay, is rich in marine resources which were utilised as far back as the Mesolithic period.

The significance of Sligo in the Early Neolithic period is demonstrated by the abundance of ancient sites close by, not least Carrowmoremarker, on the Cuil Irra peninsula, 3k from the town. The NRA excavation for the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road in 2002 revealed an early Neolithic causewayed enclosure (c. 4000 B.C.) overlooking the site of Sligo town today. It would have been enclosed by a ditch and palisade, and was perhaps an area of commerce and ritual. According to Edward Danagher, who excavated there, 'Magheraboy demonstrates the early Neolithic settlement of this area of Sligo, while the longevity of the activity on the site indicates a stable and successful population during the final centuries of the fifth millennium and the first centuries of the fourth millennium BC'. Sligo town's first roundabout was constructed around a megalithic tomb (Abbeyquarter North, in Garavogue Villas ).

Maurice Fitzgerald, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland is generally credited with the establishment of the medieval town of Sligo, building the Castle of Sligo in 1245. Sligo was burned with regularity throughout the medieval period. In 1257, Geoffry O'Donnell, chief of Tirconnell, marched on Sligo and burned the town. The annalists refer to this Sligo as a "sradbhaile"; meaning a village or town not defended by an enclosure or wall, and consisting of one street. By the mid 15th century the town and port had grown in importance. Amongst the earliest preserved specimens of written English in Connaught is a receipt for 20 marks, dated August 1430, paid by Saunder Lynche and Davy Botyller, to Henry Blake and Walter Blake, customers of “ye King and John Rede, controller of ye porte of Galvy and of Slego”. Over a century later an order is sent from the Elizabethan Government to Sir Nicholas Malby, Knight, willing him to establish ‘apt and safe’ places for the keeping of the Assizes & Sessions, with walls of lime & stone, in each county of Connaught, “judging that the aptest place be in Sligo, for the County of Sligo…”

Sligo Abbeymarker, the Dominican Friary, is the only medieval building left standing in the town (Bram Stoker, whose mother came from Sligo, has cited ghost stories about the abbey as part of the inspiration for his infamous novel, Dracula). The abbey was founded by Fitzgerald in 1253 but was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1414, and was rebuilt in its present form. When Frederick Hamilton’s soldiers sacked Sligo Town in 1642, the Abbey was burned and everything valuable in it was destroyed. Much of the structure, including the choir, carved altar and cloisters remain.

Between 1847 and 1851 over 30,000 people emigrated through the port of Sligo. On the Quays, overlooking the Garavoguemarker River, is a memorial sculpture to those people. This is one of a suite of three sculptures commissioned by the Sligo Famine Commemoration Committee to honour the victims of the Great Famine. A plaque in the background, headed 'Letter to America, January 2, 1850' tells one family's sad story: "I am now, I may say, alone in the world. All my brothers and sisters are dead and children but yourself... We are all ejected out of Mr. Enright's ground... The times was so bad and all Irelandmarker in such a state of poverty that no person could pay rent. My only hope now rests with you, as I am without one shilling and as I said before I must either beg or go to the poorhouse... I remain your affectionate father, Owen Larkin. Be sure answer this by return of post."

Sligo town recently highlighted its connections with Goon Show star and writer Spike Milligan by unveiling a plaque at the former Milligan family home at Number 5 Holborn Street.


Sligo town has 9 primary schools and 6 secondary schools. St Angela's College and Sligo Institute of Technologymarker are third-level colleges located in the town.


Sligo Hub & Gateway access
The primary arteries of Sligo's road network are: the N4 road to Dublin, the N15 to Liffordmarker, County Donegalmarker; and the N16 to Blacklionmarker, County Cavanmarker. The section of the N4 road between Sligo and Collooney is made up of dual carriageway. The first phase of this road was completed in January 1998, bypassing the towns of Collooneymarker and Ballysadaremarker. An extension to this road was completed in September 2005, known as The Sligo Inner Relief Road.

O'Connell Street - the main street in the town - was pedestrianised on 15 August 2006. Plans of the proposed redevelopment and paving of this street were publicly unveiled on 23 July 2008 in that day's edition of The Sligo Champion. The newspaper later revealed that people were not in favour of the pedestrianisation of the street. The street may be reopened to traffic in the future.

Sligo acquired rail links to Dublinmarker in 1862, with the opening of the Sligo railway stationmarker on 3 December of that year. Connections to Enniskillenmarker and the north followed in 1881 and Limerickmarker and the south in 1895. The line to Enniskillen closed in 1957 and passenger services to Galway-Ennis-Limerick closed in 1963. For many years CIE kept the latter line open for freight traffic, and although it is now disused, it forms part of the Western Rail Corridor redevelopment project. In 1966 Sligo railway station was renamed Mac Diarmada Stationmarker after Irish rebel Seán Mac Diarmada from County Leitrimmarker. Iarnród Éireann, Ireland's national railway operator, runs inter-city rail services between Sligo and Dublin Connollymarker.

Sligo Town and County Sligo are served by Sligo Airportmarker, 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Sligo town and close to Strandhillmarker village, served by Aer Arann, which operates flights to Dublin.

Sligo port handles relatively small ships up to .

There is also a bus service provided in the town by Bus Éireann that operates 4 different routes in the town, one which serves the town centre and one which serves the western area of the town. There are two other routes operating in the town, which operate between the town and Strandhill and Rosses Point respectively .


The Garavogue River And Rockwood Parade (Right)
Like many urban areas in western parts of Ireland, Sligo suffered for many years from a lack of development, mainly due to its relative isolation. However this has improved in most sectors in the past decade.

Development has occurred along the river Garavogue with the regeneration of J.F.K. Parade (2000), Rockwood Parade (1993-1997), The Riverside (1997-2006) as well two new footbridges over the river itself, one on Rockwood Parade (1996) and one on The Riverside (1999).
Sligo Cityscape from Hughes Bridge


There are four local newspapers in Sligo. The Sligo Weekender, the Northwest Xtra, The Sligo Champion and The Sligo Post.

The locality is serviced by the local radio station, Ocean FM, which also broadcasts to counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo. Sligo is also served by the West youth radio station I102-104FM.

Three members of Westlife (Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Kian Egan) hail from Sligo.

Twin cities

See also


File:sligo_yeats.jpg|Yeats' statue outside the Ulster BankFile:sligo_abbey.jpg|The choir of Sligo AbbeyFile:sligo_famine.jpg|The Sligo Famine Memorial on the QuaysFile:sligo_garavogue.jpg|The Garavogue River in the town centreFile:Sligo-tower.jpg|Clock tower of the Roman Catholic CathedralFile:Sligo-church.jpg|The Roman Catholic CathedralFile:Sligo Borough Council.jpg|Sligo Borough CouncilFile:SligoCourtHouse.JPG|The Court HouseFile:Sligo Post Office 1996 08 27.jpg|Sligo Post Office in 1996

External links


  1. Insert footnote text here Wood-Martin's History of Sligo, 1882.

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