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Kieran Quinn, pianist and composer, on Culleenamore Strand


Home to an incredibly rich and diverse landscape, steeped in cultural heritage and abundant with a thriving arts and creative scene, Sligo, perched on the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way, has rightly earned its title as the cultural capital of Ireland’s North West.

Sligo boasts a wealth of unparalleled heritage sites including Carrowkeel and Carrowmore, the burial place of Queen Maebh atop Knocknarea, and the burial site of poet laureate W.B. Yeats against the striking backdrop of ‘bare Benbulben’s head’. The rich landscape, archaeology and natural beauty that inspired the Yeats Family over a century ago, continues to entice a wealth of artists and makers to call Sligo their home today.

Noted for a rich musical heritage, Sligo has produced many notable musicians from traditional through to contemporary music across all genres, carving a unique reputation as the home of exceptional live music. This vibrant and diverse music scene is nurtured through a variety of music series, festivals and schools throughout the year.

Sligo’s cultural life enjoys the support of a strong and nurturing infrastructure with professional publicly funded venues such as The Model, The Hawk’s Well, The Yeats Society, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company and The Coleman Centre in Gurteen. The Model houses The Niland Collection, one of Ireland’s most significant public art collections which was founded by Nora Niland in 1959. Sligo Library and Sligo County Museum are housed in two buildings of architectural and historical note. Between them, they host a wealth of artefacts, scripts, photographs and memorabilia.

Sligo County Council is committed to nurturing this rich cultural and creative scene, alongside reviewing gaps, and embraces the opportunities presented within Creative Ireland to do so.

Sligo has become home to a diversity of nationalities, whose own cultural traditions are now interweaving within the fabric of cultural life in Sligo and celebrated year-round. Sligo’s rich countryside provides a wealth of food providers, nature walks and trails. Latest technologies and new ways of working are embraced and encouraged. New ways to sustainably develop awareness of all that Sligo has to offer, and to create connections between communities and creatives are embraced as an integral part of encouraging creative communities.

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Sligo’s Broadsheet of Writing, The Cormorant Issue 3

The first issue of The Cormorant was launched in July 2018, an initiative of Tread Softly Festival, powerfully evoking a sense of place with writers connected to Sligo, including the Booker longlisted Kevin Barry along with Molly McCloskey, Tess Gallagher and many others. There were over 300 submissions for the 3rd issue in July 2019, 31 published. The publication accepts prose under 300 words or poetry under 50 lines.

Cruinniú na nÓg 2019

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Culture and Creativity Team

Laughing conductor

Donal Tinney

Creative Ireland Coordinator & Librarian


Ciaran Hayes

Chief Executive, Sligo County Council


Dorothy Clarke

Director of Services


Margaret McConnell

Senior Executive Officer


Mary McDonagh

Public Art Officer


Stephen Walshe

Business Adviser, LEO


Michael Carty

Senior Executive Engineer, Tourism


Rhona McGrath

Assistant Arts Officer


Siobhan Ryan

Heritage Officer


Ultan McNasser

Executive Librarian


Michelle Brennan

Librarian, Acting


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