Sligo Things to Do Tips by Goner
Sligo Things to Do: 52 reviews and 114 photos
Like many Norman towns in Ireland, Sligo had an Abbey (Dominican Friary) and castle. The abbey was founded by Maurice Fitzgerald, the Chief Justice of Ireland, in 1252/3.
It was destroyed by fire in 1414, rebuilt in its present form, then burned again in 1642 when everything valuable in it was destroyed. Much of the structure, including the choir, carved altar and cloisters remain.
I thought it an imposing structure, just pulsating with ancient history.
Open daily 10AM-6PM (last admission 5:15PM).
Closed from mid-Dec until Feb..
Adult:€2.10, Senior:€1.30, Student:€1.10, Family:€5.80, Group Rate:€1.30. edit as of 5/2008
Directions: Sligo Abbey is located directly in the town centre on Abbey Street.
Phone: 071 914 6406
Carrowmore Methalithic Cemetery
The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is different from Stonehenge. It's actually a burial ground of tombs and among the Ireland's oldest dating back to the fifth and early fourth millennium BC (per the archeological digs in the area). There are over 60 tombs that have been located. Here also are some restored cottage houses and a small exhibit that tells you about the site. It takes about an hour to walk about the grounds which is uneven and much of it's uphill.
When we were there climbing against the wind and I was trying to keep my hair from flying in my mouth, I kept thinking how much fun it would be to dig one of these mounds up to see if there are bones in them, maybe someone has?.
See the Website below for more information.
Address: Outside Sligo
Directions: 9 km from Sligo off N4 (Sligo-Dublin Road) or 4 km from Sligo town Center off the R292
Phone: 353 71 916 1534
An icon, Bebbulben Mountain, is taller than Knocknarea and seems to loom up from everywhere you drive in the Sligo County area. We didn't hike to the top but others have to take in the amazing beautiful views you can see from its top.
Directions: The Benbulben is situated about 10 km north of Sligo next to the small village of Drumcliff.
Sligo's Famine Memorial, Quay Street
This is one of three sculptures commissioned by the Sligo Famine Commemoration Committee to honor the victims of the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849), Over 30,000 people emigrated through the port of Sligo. The plaque reads "Letter to America, January 2, 1850" - tells one family's sad story which can be read in its entirety in my traveloge.
Sligo was one of the main ports of emigration on the western coast and it became known as the embarkation point for the 'coffin ships', as the poorest of the poor walked here and sailed from this town. Many thousands of others walked from Sligo to Dublin, to depart from the River Liffey
There is no record of how many died on that 140 mile-walk. It was claimed that Sligo's own death rate was not as high as the other devastated counties of the West and the South at the time and it is reported that some of the landlords of this county were fair-minded and caring people.
Address: Quay Street
Childrens' Famine Memorial
Neither of us were aware of the Childrens' Famine Memorial in Sligo before we arrived. Our taxi driver asked if we wanted to see it. Since both Kathy's and my ancestors were from this area, we have an interest in the victims of the famine.
This memorial isn't tall or spectacular in any way and not professionally done - this seems to make it even more important and touching. It's hidden away in the bushes and trees with only the iron tree that marks its location.
I've not been able to find and reference to it on the Internet, if anyone has any information regarding this memorial I would be very interested.
Address: Sligo Town
Overlooking the megaliths at Carrowmore is the legendary Maeve's Cairn. It sits on top of Knocknarea, the only mountain around so easy to spot. The site is Neolithic and about 5000 years old. It is the alleged burial site of the Iron Age queen of Connaught, Maeve, who supposedly watches over Connaught from her vantage point to be ready for invaders from Ulster - another romantic Irish fable.
Time and wind didn’t allow for us to make the journey up the mountain, but others who have made the two plus hour climb to to see the huge Cairn say the views from the top of Knocknarea are worth the climb.
Directions: South of Sligo Town.
Inside the Arigna Mine
The Arigna Mining Experience is you guessed it, a trip into a coal mine.
The Arigna was a working mine for 400 years and last working coal mine in Ireland until it closed in 1990. The mine sits above the most picturesque countryside and lake; the breathtaking scenery is worth a visit.
On the narrated tour you see the terrible working conditions of the miners The miner lays in a cramped workspace with water dripping on him all day and as there is no room for him to sit up he must roll from side-to-side as he’s chipping away at the coal. After he’s chipped enough coal, he then pushes it out into the main tunnel where it’s loaded onto coal cars. It seems nearly impossible when you’re actually see the size of the coal cars and are informed he must fill 21 of them on his eight to ten hour shift.
Not only grown men worked under these conditions but children were put to work here as soon as they were able as the family needed the income. Before you enter the mine, there are exhibits that take you through the history of the mine and of these enduring people.
Be prepared for a rather scary ending on the tour.
This particular coal mine may have been one my late ancestors worked in as they were coal diggers from this part of Ireland.
Since there were no organized tours of the Sligo area, we hired a driver at the local tourist office to drive us to the various places we wanted to see.
Address: Hills of North Roscommon
Directions: From Sligo take N4 towards Carrick-on-Shannon
Phone: 071 9646466
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