Sligo Main Towns


At the foot of the Ox mountains, the unspoiled scenery and the friendly nature of the local community here is remarkably refreshing.

Ballinafad nestles beside Lough Arrow at the foot of Bricklieve Mountain. It comes to life during the Mayfly season when the game anglers appreciate the excellent fishing in the lough. The small castle was built at the end of the 16th century to protect the pass through the Curlew mountains.

This village, at the mouth of the Owenmore River, takes its name from the nearby falls and rapids. Situated on the main Dublin road it is a popular traditional music venue, while nearby are some interesting monastic ruins dating from the medieval period. The bay provides a marvellous environment for wildlife, including migrant sea birds and there is good salmon fishing for a 4km stretch of the River Ballysadare. W.B. Yeats’ poem “Down by the Sally Gardens” was composed from the lines of a song the poet heard from an old woman in the vilage.

A popular angling, centre boasting some of the finest coarse angling in Ireland, this market town has an early 14th century castle built by Richard de Burgo. The Book of Ballymote was compiled in this castle in the 15th century and gives the key to the Ogham inscriptions, the ancient Irish system of linear writing, which can be seen on many standing stones in the country. Traditional Irish music is a big feature of the town’s entertainment. Golfers will enjoy the challenge of the lovely 9-hole course. The Caves of Kesh, 6 km to the east, are well worth a visit.

This village at the mouth of the Owenmore River, takes its name from the nearby falls and rapids. Situated on the main Dublin Road it is a popular traditional music venue, while nearby are some interesting monastic ruins dating from the medieval period. The bay provides a marvellous environment for wildlife, including migrant sea birds and there is good salmon fishing for a 4km stretch of the river Ballysadare.

Cooldrumman, the townland near the village, was the subject of probably the first copyright judgement ever made. Colmcille had copied a book of psalms written by Finian of Movile and refused to return the copy to its author. During the controversy the King of Tara ruled that “to every cow its calf, to every book its copy”. Between here and Lissadell is a wildfowl reserve, noted for the barnacle geese which winter here.

Carrowmore, 5km from Sligo town, has one of the largest collections of Megalithic monuments in Northern Europe. These are mostly dolmens and small passage tombs. Nearby Knocknarea has a cairn on top of which, tradition says, is Queen Maeve’s grave. She was a Connacht Queen who reigned in the 1st century A.D.

The castle here – really a fortified house – dates from the 17th century. Carrowkeel passage tombs are nearby.

Welcome to Cliffoney, a tranquil village located in one of the most beautiful parts of the North West Coast of Ireland. Cliffoney is situated in North County Sligo on the N15, 25 kms from Sligo Town and 8 kms South of Bundoran, County Donegal. Resting at the foot of the Benbulben and Benwhisken Mountains, Cliffoney overlooks Donegal Bay and Mullaghmore Harbour. The charm and friendliness of the Cliffoney people is in harmony with its fresh air, clean water picturesque settings and unspoilt landscapes. Surrounded by sea and mountains, the area includes a series of pleasant discoveries such as the Gleniff Horseshoe, Creevykeel Court Tomb, Bunduff Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary which has an abundance of over-wintering birds. The Cloonerco Bogs which stretch across the Cliffoney landscape are of particular significance to flora and fauna enthusiasts. A painters paradise with its mountains, valleys, beaches and bays, Cliffoney also appeals to the keen angler with its lakes and rivers where salmon and trout are plentiful, whilst hillwalkers, sub-aquaists, surfers and pony trekkers are enraptured by the unspoilt beauty and activity base of the area.

The Teeling monument outside the town commemorates the capture of a British gun by Bartholomew Teeling, when the combined Irish-French forces were under pressure at the Battle of Carricknagat. The French had come to Ireland in an abortive attempt to aid the Irish in the 1798 rebellion. The 1847 Roman Catholic Church was designed by Benson, noted Victorian architect and a native of Collooney, and is well worth a visit. Near the village is Markree Castle dating from the 17th century with 19th century additions. This was the home and demesne of the Cooper family. The house is now a hotel. Collooney is a popular game angling centre.

More famous now as the final resting place of W.B. Yeats, whose grave is in the churchyard under a simple headstone with the inscription: “Cast a cold eye on life, on death, Horseman pass by”. Drumcliffe was an important monastic settlement founded by St. Colmcille in the 6th century. The remains of a Round Tower and the inscribed High Cross, which dates from c 11th century are in what was the old monastic enclosure.

Easkey is a small fishing village and seaside resort which is gaining in reputation as one of Ireland’s best surfing destinations.

Grange is the starting point for a spectacular drive through the Gleniff Horseshoe. Huge limestone cliffs in the valley between the towering Truskmore and kings Mountains and a cave associated with the legendary lovers, Diarmuid and Grainne, are some of the features on this drive. There is an interesting amenity area in the village where a replica of the 14th century statue of St. Molaise can be seen. The original is in the National Museum, Dublin. There is a residential riding centre here.

A mecca for traditional music, this small village and its hinterland has produced a disproptionate number of excellent players for its size.

A charming resort with a marvellous 18-Hole links golf course on the shores of Killala Bay. The deep bay produces the wonderful sandy beach, a 5km stretch with safe bathing. There are two bath houses with hot sea water, seaweed and steam. The Moy Estuary which forms part of the bay is a popular haunt for game anglers.

A classical house of the 1830s distinguished more by its occupants than by its architecture. The artic explorer, Henry-Gore-Booth was born here in 1843 and so were his remarkable daughters, Eva, the poet, and Constance (Countess Markievicz) the revolutionary, who was elected first woman member of the British House of Commons in 1918, but took her seat in Dail Eireann (the Embryonic Irish Parliament) instead. The house is open to the public during the summer months.

The history of the Monasteraden area is rich and varied with an abundance of archaeological remains and historic sites. It stretches from the early pre-historic age right through to the 16th century castle ruins around the shores of Lough Gara. The Monasteraden area is well-known for Traditional Irish Music. Visitors can enjoy the special sound and rhythm from traditional instruments such as the flute, the fiddle, the accordeon and the bodhran. Sessions are common in all the local pubs during the summer. Also during the summer there is a musical festival in nearby Gurteen. It is in honour of the legendary Michael Coleman, and another in Ballaghaderreen in honour of Dr. Douglas Hyde.

A lovely little fishing harbour which provides sheltered anchorage for small boats and a long sandy beach which is safe for bathing and windsurfing. There is a fully equipped sea angling boat for hire here and the waters are ideal for deep sea diving.

Rosses Point
A seaside resort with unique features, including an 18-hole championship golf course, two magnificent sandy beaches, a yacht club and a fully equipped sea angling boat for hire. The village is set against the back-drop of a spectacular mountains and the beauty of Sligo Bay. There are restaurants and good accommodation as well as friendly pubs where there is live entertainment during the season. The bay is ideal for windsurfing and other water sports.

Sligo town is situated at the mouth of the Garavogue River, and is the largest town in the north-west. The original settlement here was set up by the Vikings, and the Normans came here during the late 12th/early 13th century. Both the Fitzgeralds and de Burgos built castles, however neither of these still exist.Two annual events are held in the town – the Yeats Summer School and the Sligo Arts Festival. There are many historical buildings in the town, for example: Sligo Abbey (1253), Saint. Johns Church (1730), Church of the Immaculate Conception (1874), and the Courthouse (1878). There is a tourist trail around the town that starts in Stephen Street.

A quiet resort with a challenging 18-hole links set amongst the dunes. Knockarea, the fabled mountain, overlooks the course. Queen Maeve, who ruled the province of Connacht in the 1st century A.D., is said to be buried in the mountaintop cairn. There is a signposted trail to the top which offers wonderful views. You can appreciate the exhilarating waves, which surfers particularly enjoy, from the fine sandy beach. Dolly’s Cottage, a typical 19th century rural dwelling, can be seen on the outskirts of the village.

This town is an important centre for Traditional Irish music, and also plays host to the South Sligo Summer School. It is a good base for touring the Ox Mountains and also a good angling centre – both coarse and game. Tubbercurry has a strong amateur drama movement and holds an annual festival.