'Sligo is surprising,' says
the tourism slogan - and indeed it is!
'Benbulben? Is that where the sheep hang on with one hand and eat with
the other,' an American once inquired of me. Perhaps they do. Anything
is possible here! From our first glimpse of this unique mountains' towering
limestone slopes, our imagination is captured. Even in a land already
distinguished by unsurpassed scenic beauty, this natural monument at once
marks County Sligo as unique.
'I have the same sort of feeling here that I've had when looking at the
pyramids - of something which has seen a lot and knows a lot,' is how
the writer, Owen Tweedy, put it.
The Yeats brothers
The poet W.B. Yeats was no less enthusiastic: 'The place that really influenced
my life was Sligo,' he wrote. His brother Jack, who painted many of its
moods and people was equally pasionate: 'Sligo was my school; and the
sky above it,' he enthused. These remarkable brothers had a lifetime love
affair with the county that has been reciprocated in full measure. In
the form of the Yeats International Summer School that, each year, attracts
Yeats devotees from all over the world, the romance continues. In Drumcliffe
churchyard, under 'bare Benbulben's head' the poet's bones are laid to
rest in the Sligo soil he loved so well.
'The Land of Heart's Desire' is how W.B. described it. And who can argue?
It must have always seemed so, starting with the first land-hungry colonists
who viewed Benbulben's lofty towers from the wild Atlantic to the O'Neill
and the O'Donnell of a later time. 'Yes this is the Promised Land,' we
can hear them say. 'Here is a land worth fighting for.'
Today, Sligo is a flourishing commerical industrial and marketing centre,
the largest town in the North-West with a population of about twenty thousand.
Situated at the mouth of the Garavogue River, flowing from Lough Gill,
it is surrounded by mountains- Benbulben (526m)) and Truskmore(645m) to
the north. Queen Maeve's Knocknaera to the West and the Ox mountains to
Sligo Town is a vibrant and
lively region and home to a great selection of accommodation, pubs, restaurants
and cafés. If you are looking for warm hospitality and experience
Irish culture first-hand, then Sligo is the place for you. It's hotels
and B&Bs are renowned for its friendly hosts and comfortable surroundings
that offer modern facilities, whilst retaining their cosy home from home
appeal. This website will provide you with many useful links
to further information. As it is vitally important to find a convenient
hotel in advance of your visit it will also provide you with multiple
choices of accommodation in Sligo. Click HERE
to make the best choice in choosing your accommodation options.
When in Sligo do make sure to take a trip with:
Inishmurray Island Tours
also: Seal Watch, Historical Cruises, Daytrips to Killybegs...
Go to "books" for Island Voices, Joe McGowan's publication on the history and heritage of mystical Inishmurray island...
"...an almost vanished world of superstition and magic." - Anna Carey, The Sunday Tribune
Experience the romance and mystery of Inishmurrray island aboard the fast mv
Excalibur. Keith, will reveal the
secrets of the island as you travel.
Sceilg Michael, Inisheer, Inishmaan, Tory: these are all enchanted places that call to mind visions of offshore islands shrouded in romance and mystery, repositories of culture and customs lost and gone forever on the more accessible mainland.
St Molaise founded a Christian Monastery on Inishmurray in the 6th century, the remains of which are remarkably intact to this day. This remote and mystical island, four miles from the coast of Sligo, excels all others for its state of preservation as an early Christian site, for its wild scenery and as a wildlife sanctuary.
For more on Inishmurray see short stories:
"Inishmurray, Land of Gale, Stone and Fire" and "The Other Atlantis" in Archives
Planning a family get-together? A company outing? Can't think of an original gift to give for a birthday, wedding or anniversary?
A gift certificate of a day trip to Inishmurray is the ideal answer!
Remote and mystical Inishmurray is uniquely preserved as an early Christian site and wildlife sanctuary. Vestiges of pagan and Christian beliefs abide here in harmony.
Click here to enlarge.
A sealwatch tour allows you to observe the thriving seal colony off the Sligo coast. Photo courtesy John Fitzsimmons.
Click here to enlarge.
‘Excalibur’ is Dept. of Marine licensed to European safety standards.
Click here to see a larger image of 'Excalibur'...
Contact Keith at 071 9142738 (days) or mobile: 087-2540190 anytime
Click here to email
|A distinguished visitor to Inishmurray, July 2006: Jean Kennedy-Smith (third from right) and friends; beside her, skipper Keith Clarke and Director of National Museum Pat Wallace. Mullaghmore harbour in background.
Skipper Keith Clarke's sideline is beekeeping (picture left). His apiary produces some of the finest honey in Ireland: Pot, Section, Cut-comb, Light flower, Dark blossom, Chunk, Heather, Granulated and Creamed honeys. This year the yield was exceptionally fine from an unusually profuse flowering of whitethorn which is said to occur once every seven years. Honey from whitethorn blossom has especially curative properties.
Enquiries to: Knocknarea Honey