We love receiving guest posts here at Sligo Hub and this one is a fantastic read. Mary from Liber Bookshop told us some of her recommendations of Sligo related books:
Sometimes summer is a time when you realise that you need to be a tourist in your own town. We walk and drive around our locality so often without noticing or paying much heed to the sites and places that people travel from afar to see. It’s often a case of thinking that because we live here we’ll get around to visiting these places one day.
Well, perhaps today is the day … or, more likely, the first of many! The range of interesting places to visit in Sligo is vast. Some are far more well-known than others. So doing a little bit of reading might help you to choose a place to start … and where to go from there. To match all the great sites we have a great variety of local interest books for you to browse in Liber.
Sligo’s stunning landscape is captured in books of photos and drawings, such as Gareth McCormack’s Portrait of County Sligo and Sligo Land of Destiny, written by Joe McGowan and illustrated by Anne Osborne, which has stories of history and legend associated with many locations around Sligo town and county. Joe, a native of Mullaghmore, has dedicated much of his life to recording the histories and details of life and traditions in Sligo. His other books cover a range of topics from rural village life, its traditions and the characters which populate it, in The Hidden People, Echoes of a Savage Land and A Bitter Wind to the history of place and people in Island Voices – about Inishmurray and its wealth of monuments, infamous visitors and customs – and Countess Markievicz: The People’s Countess.
As one of the largest megalithic sites in Western Europe, Carrowmore attracts visitors from far and near. You can pick up various guides to, and interpretations of, this richly historic site. Archaeology Ireland’s Heritage Guide No. 78 covers the sites of the Coolera Peninsula, including Carrowmore. Padraig Meehan’s Listoghil: A Seasonal Alignment? and Goran Burenhult’s Illustrated Guide to Carrowmore will inform, guide and offer theories from those who have excavated and worked at this site over the years.
For an account of the more recently built landscape of Sligo take a look at the extensive range of photographs and details in An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Sligo, produced by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. There is a wealth of information and photographs related to all kinds of local topics contained in the Sligo Field Club Journals. A few of the topics covered in recent editions include: Marine Debris Along the Sligo Coast; German Perceptions of Sligo in the 1850s; Damselflies and Dragonflies; Violent Death in Early Medieval Sligo; The Salt Industry in Sligo 1700 – 1850; The Source of the Moy; and Sligo Soldiers of the Jalandhar Mutiny , India 1920. Among contributors to these journals is Cian Harte, a local writer and historian who has also published the books The Lost Tales: Riverstown’s Troubles 1919 – 1923 and Henry Kelly: County Sligo’s Forgotten Rebel, amongst others. Other topics and stories have been kept in the public conscious by several local authors who have dedicated their time to recording these stories, including Down Harmony Hill by Padraic Feehily, From Cliffoney to Crosna by Fr. Michael O’Flanagan and The Benbulbin Barytes Miners by Gerry Foley.
Sligo’s rich musical heritage provides the material for Fiddlers of Sligo by Oisin Mac Diarmada and Daithi Gormley. Other locals who have put pen to paper include Philip Murray in Adventures of a Book Collector; Tommy Higgins in Just the Ticket, Cyril Meehan in The Ideal Guard and many poets including Gerry Boland, Padraic Neary, Anne O’Connell and Seosamh MacSuibhne. Much of their work has been inspired by the wonderful landscape in which we are fortunate to live.
The books mentioned here are just some of many on local interests. Come in, look around and read. Then go out, look around with some new insights … perhaps you will be inspired to write something yourself!