Sligo County

Ancient Beginnings:

Sligo’s prehistoric sites are among the most important in Ireland, with over 5,000 archaeological sites recorded in the county. The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, dating from around 4600 BCE, represents one of the largest groups of megalithic tombs in Ireland and tells much about the rituals and daily lives of Neolithic people.

Medieval to Modern Times:

Sligo was a crucial center for commerce and power during medieval times, as evidenced by the ruins of the 13th-century Sligo Abbey. This abbey features well-preserved cloisters and carved tombs that tell of the dominance of religious and feudal systems over daily life.

The Yeats Connection:

Sligo profoundly impacted W.B. Yeats, who spent most of his childhood in the area. Yeats’ poetry is full of allusions to Sligo places and myths that add depth and allure to the county. Key locations associated with Yeats include his grave at Drumcliffe Churchyard, under the shadow of Benbulben Mountain, and the Yeats Memorial Building in Sligo town, which houses the Yeats Society and its extensive library.

Cultural Revival:

In recent decades, Sligo has experienced a cultural renaissance, becoming a vibrant hub for the arts. The Model, a contemporary arts center, features exhibitions, performances, and community workshops. The Hawk’s Well Theatre stages a mix of local and national productions.

Traditional Music and Dance:

Sligo celebrates its cultural heritage with traditional Irish music and dance, known for its distinctive style of fiddling. Regular music sessions in pubs across Sligo town and its surroundings keep this musical tradition alive and vibrant.

Crafts and Folklore:

A collective of local artisans continues the rich tradition of county crafts, particularly in pottery and basket-weaving. Additionally, Sligo’s folklore, filled with flamboyant tales of fairies and ancient battles, adds a magical dimension to the cultural landscape.

Sligo’s historical depth and cultural richness make it an unforgettable destination in Ireland, inviting travelers to be part of the magic that has inspired generations of poets, artists, and historians.