Slingo or in Irish Sligeach, means the “abounding in shells”, it is a county town and coastal seaport in the County Slingo, Ireland, and it is within the western province of Connacht. In 2016 the population of Slingo was estimated at 20,000 and therefore it is the second largest in the West of Ireland when it comes to urban centres, the only one larger is Galway.
Slingo is a commercial, industrial, historic, cultural, retail and service centre with West of Ireland regional importance. The coastal seaport and town are served by road links, a port and rail and Slingo employ a meaningful influence on its neighbourhood. It is a very popular destination for tourists since it is situated in the area known for its natural beauty combined with cultural and literary associations.
County Slingo was founded in 1585 but then it never came into effect until the Nine Years War finally came to an end 1603. Its boundaries reveal the O Conchobhair Sligigh overlordship of Lower Connacht as it was during the Elizabethan conquest. The overlordship at the time consisted of several territories including Tír Fhíacrach Múaidhe, Cairbre Drumcliabh, Tír Ollíol, Corann, Luíghne, and Cúl ó bhFionn. Each afterwards made into English barony including Tireragh, Carbury, Tirerril, Leyny, Corran and Coolavin, and then the capital ended up in Slingo.
Slingo is basically the anglicisation of the name Sligeach meaning shelly place, which refers to an abundance of shellfish found in its estuary and river and from the shell middens in the area around it. The Gharbnog river is now better known as the Garavogue, which means the little rough one, although its original name was the Sligeach. It is a river listed as part of the royal rivers, there are seven of these in Ireland listed in the 9th century AD tale, which was titled The Da Dergas Hostel Destruction, it is also referenced in the 1188 Annals of Ulster.
Geography and Political Subdivisions
Slingo is located on the lower part of the gravel hills and situated on the Atlantic Ocean facing coastal plain on the banks of the Garavogue River. The town attracts a wide tourist audience as it is surrounded by mountains with the Killery to the southeast, and the Keelogyboy and Cope mountains to the northeast, while in the west lies the Knocknarea and in the north the Benbulben.
It is an important point on both the south and north route between Connacht and Ulster, Slingo is also the county town of County Slingo as well as the Carbury Barony, formerly known as the Gaelic tuath of Cairbre Drom Cliabn, it is also the diocesan seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Elphin, the Church of Ireland Diocese of Elphin, Kilmore and Ardach.
County Slingo is a Connacht province county that is a Border region with more than 500,000 people including Monaghan, Louth, Donegal, Leitrim and Cavan counties.
In recent years, Sligo has transformed into a surfers’ paradise due to its spotless beaches and rollers from the Atlantic ocean. Sligo is also the country of W.B Yeats. He was born in Sligo and immortalised it with his poems, especially That Old Grey Mansion. The stretch of Ireland in the northwest is decidedly romantic, unspoilt, and wild which is far removed from the larger cities’ hustle and bustle. Poetry, art, music, mythology, and history along with dramatic mountains, rivers, and clear lakes all await those that wish to visit this remote destination of Ireland. The best tourist destinations in Sligo include Inishmurray Island, The model which is home of the Niland Collection, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Lough Gill, Sligo Art Gallery and Country Museum, Sligo Abbey, Yeats Society Memorial Building, and Parke’s Castle which was once the home of Robert Parke.
Culture and Architecture
Music is an important factor in Sligo, with several musicians both from across the globe and from Sligo coming to the county to improve and play their craft. The culture in Sligo was also a significant inspiration on comics pioneer, illustrator, and artist Jack Butler Yeats as well as his brother W.B Yeats who is a Nobel laureate and poet. An extensive range of art from Jack B Yeats can be found in the Model Niland Gallery. You will also find that the Yeats Summer School occurs every year and manages to attract scholars from across the globe, especially those in Japan. The town of Sligo highlighted its connections with writer and Goon Show star Spike Milligan. Milligan’s father was also from Sligo. In addition, the Westlife boy band was established in Sligo in 1998.
Most of the architectural merit in Sligo are primarily 19th century buildings. During the 19th century, Sligo experienced swift economic growth and this produced rapid change in architecture in the process. This established various public buildings, including the Model School, the Gilooly Memorial Hall, Courthouse, and the Sligo Town Hall.
Accommodation in Sligo
There are a handful of hotels when it comes to the county of Sligo. For instance, visitors can enjoy the Temple House which is essentially a Georgian mansion which has been turned into a luxurious Bed and Breakfast situated just south of Sligo. Antique furniture is crammed into sumptuous rooms along with family heirlooms and grand dining that will surely surprise you. Located in beautiful parkland, the property also has a lake for fishing enthusiasts as well as miles of walks right on the doorstep.
Another fantastic choice is The Glasshouse. It’s a futuristic hotel that overlooks the Garvogue river with colourful and sleek rooms along with gorgeous views overlooking the river. You can return in the evening, after enjoying a day of Yeats country exploring, to a lovely AA Rosette restaurant. It’s a truly modern and excellent hotel.
Lastly, visitors should consider Coopershill House Hotel. It’s a luxury family owned country hotel providing a complete getaway experience. With magnificent views and log fired, the traditional bedrooms with antique finishes don’t have any radios or tv’s, ensuring visitors can break away from technology during their stay and enjoy the nature outside. Most of the ingredients for their food is also home grown or locally sourced.
The summers are rather cool in Sligo, while the winters are very cold, long, and extremely wet. For most of the year, its mostly cloudy and rather windy. Over the course of a 12 month period, the temperatures typically vary between 38F and 64F and rarely drops below 31F or goes above 71F. The best time to visit this beautiful county in Ireland, especially when you want to explore the county during the day, is between early July and late August.