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County Town: Sligo
Population: 60,894
Area: 1,837 sq km
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Sligo is perhaps most famous for its resident poet, William Butler Yeats, whose works tell of his love for the rolling green hills of his county. The landscape is similar to that of neighbouring Mayo: bleak and imposing in places, more gentle and subdued in others. Towering valleys, a rocky coastline interspersed with hidden coves and sprawling beaches, it is another county that is dominated by its countryside rather than its towns. Perhaps most scenic of all are its lakes dotted with wooded islands. The most famous of these being the Isle of Innisfree on Lough Gill, its beauty immortalized in one of Yeats’ most popular works. Yeats is buried at Drumcliffe churchyard under the imposing loaf-shaped Benbulben mountain which can be seen from miles around. Sligo’s scenic coast has some excellent surfing beaches, including Strandhill, Rosses Point and Enniscrone, also popular for their golf courses. Lissadell House, the ancestral home of the Gore-Booth family, is a good family attraction, with a lovely beach nearby. Sligo Town is attractive and atmospheric, with good bars and restaurants, theatres, art galleries and delicatessens. Sligo is the largest town in the north-west, with a heritage going back 6,000 years.

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Dare to be honest and fear no labour. - Robert Burns
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On this day:
Normans Invade Ireland - 1169, Great Exhibition opens - 1851, TUC meets to agree on a General Strike - 1926, Sutton Hoo Dig Begins - 1939, Betting Shops Legal - 1961, Last UK Concert by Beatles - 1966, Tony Blairs 'New Labour' sweeps to power - 1997, Millennium May Day Protests - 2000
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