Sligo comes from the Irish word, Sligeach which means abounding in shells.
County Sligo is 400,000 acres in area, making it the 16th largest county in the country.
It is bordered by Leitrim, Roscommon and Mayo and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Sligo has a population of 18,000 and is the second city of the provence of Connaught.
Man's presence here extends back over 7000 years and with over 4500 sites in Sligo alone document evidence of his tenacity and allegiance to this place abounds.
The area was productively farmed as long ago as 5000 b.c. spending winter months at the sea shore living on oysters, mussels and other shell fish. At Carrowkeel, Creevykeel and many other sites substantial evidence of his burial practices and life patterns remain.
Within three miles of Sligo Regional Airport at Carrowmore are the largest megalithic remains in Europe.
The remains of great castles such as those at Ballymote and Moygara bear testimony to the troubled Middle Ages while later fortified and semi-protected Elizabethan houses at Parkes Castle and Castlebaldwin demonstrate the emergence of the North West as we know it.
The magnificent sweep of Streedagh beaches holds in it's sandy depths the oaks of three Spanish Armada ships which were thrown ashore during the violent storms of 1588. Captain de Cuellar, with the help of the O' Rourkes of Breffni, survived and told his epic tale in a book that remains one of the key sources for historians of Spain's saddest hour.
Sligo City is the capital of the north-western region of Ireland. In ancient times it was of strategic importance.
Owned by the MacDermott
until the 12th century, Sligo was subsequently under the
rule of the DeBurgos, O'Donnells, and
O'Dowds before being chartered as a county in 1579.
The painter Jack Butler Yeats and his brother, poet William
Butler Yeats, spent much time in Sligo as youths. The poet
died in France and was buried there due to the outbreak of
WWII . After the war, in 1948, his body was finally taken
back to Sligo and reinterred in Drumcliff.
The mountain areas provide the most spectacular scenery in County Sligo and have major potential for activities such as sightseeing, mountaineering, hill walking and pony trekking. A significant portion of Sligo's land area is occupied by forests which are open to the public. Woodlands include Slishwood, Union Wood, Lough Gill Forest, Ben Bulben Forest, Collooney Forest and Lough Talt Forest.
Sligo's lakes give the county a special identity with lakes like Lough Gill, Lough Arrow, Lough Gara, Glencar Lake, Lough Talt and Lough Easkey. The 150 mile coastline of County Sligo is a major resource. The traditional resorts of Mullaghmore, Rosses Point, Strandhill and crone have long attracted many visitors. There are magnificent beaches at Dunmoran and Streedagh and many similar beaches dotted along the coast with excellent surfing facilities at Strandhill and Easkey.
Sligo Airport is part of a network of Regional Airports which serve the coastal areas of Ireland, linking the North West region directly with Dublin and overseas destinations.