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Welcome to Sligo

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Towns in Sligo
Ballinfull Collooney

The grandeur of Sligo with its flat topped mountains, picturesque lakes and sand-dune beaches is immortalised in the works of poet W.B. Yeats and the paintings of his younger brother Jack, both of whom spent much time in Sligo, drawing inspiration from its legends and picturesque landscape.

Dominating the town of this small county of Ireland is Knocknarea, the 'Hill of the kings', crowned with a great stone mound known as Queen Maeve's Cairn. This mound conceals a 5000 year old, as yet unexcavated tomb. Maeve, a powerful figure in Celtic legend, led a huge army from the western province of Connacht to the east coast in search of the best bull in Ireland. A story which signifies the first real glimpse we get of women in ancient Ireland. ancient saga's from which Yeats drew inspiration.

During the period of literary revival, a period of exploration of ancient roots, Yeats drew upon great Irish figures like Queen Medb (Meave) as he did of Lady Gregory of Coole Park in Galway and Constance Markievicz of Lissadell in Sligo, both of whom came to the fore in cultural and political activities in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and so rekindling a national pride and spirit in Ireland that had been crushed by the Great Famine of the 1840s and political failures.

There is a fine collection of ancient graveyards in Co. Sligo, however, worth a visit is Drumcliffe Graveyard one of the most visited graveyards because W.B Yeats is buried here under his chilling epitaph:

'Cast a cold eye
On Life, on death
Horseman, pass by!'

If its local history you are interested in or archaeology the county museum is worth a visit with its exhibition, also including a special section on W.B Yeats including his Nobel Prize medal. If its an eye for art you have, The Municipal Art Gallery next door houses the artistic achievements of his younger brother Jack Yeats among other Irish artists.

Drive on to Rosses Point with its two beaches, where the young Yeats would walk with his uncle or Tee-off at its championship golf course.

Yes, Sligo seems to have it all, steeped in history and mythology and its wide golden stretches of sand, with the Atlantic surf rolling in, makes Sligo one of the most popular places for surfers and wind surfers in Ireland.

Neighbouring Counties
Leitrim | Mayo | Roscommon
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