Two important books on the history of Sligo, which have been unavailable for some time, have just been made available here as pdf downloads.

Both are by the Coolaney-born writer, Michael Farry, “Sligo 1914-1921 – A Chronicle of Conflict” and “Killoran and Coolaney – A Local History”

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Sligo 1914-1921 – A Chronicle of Conflict

This book, first published in 1992, is a detailed study of County Sligo during the period from 1914 to the signing of the treaty in 1921. It deals with Sligo’s reaction to the tumultuous events of those years. These included the founding of the Irish Volunteers, the outbreak of the great war in which many Sligomen lost their lives and the 1916 Rising.

The subsequent rise of Sinn Fein resulted in landslide victories for that party in the two Sligo constituents in 1918. The drift into the War of Independence, the eclipsing of Sinn Féin by the IRA and the ambushes and reprisals during the war are dealt with in detail.


An impressive number of sources were consulted in the writing of this work. These included all the available local newspapers, RIC reports in the British Public Records Office and official Dáil Éireann records. Some survivors of the period were also interviewed by the author and some written accounts by participants were used.

As with most history there are a wealth of characters who stand out in the book – such as the local politician John Jinks, the IRB, Volunteer leader and first Sinn Féin TD for South Sligo, Alex McCabe, the labour leader John Lynch and the IRA leaders Frank Carty and Billy Pilkington.



Billy Pilkington


Killoran and Coolaney – A Local History

This history of the area around Coolaney, Co. Sligo was first published in 1985. Though many more sources have become available since the book’s first publication it still remains an excellent local history. It covers parish history from earliest times to the beginning of the twentieth century.

It has a particularly impressive chapter on the famine in the area and makes use of letters which were written by Kate P Thompson, wife of the owner of Knockadoo House, to the Society of Friends in Dublin asking for relief for the people of the area and describing in detail the terrible conditions of the times.


It has detailed descriptions of the prehistoric remains in the area, including impressive megalithic tombs along the Ox Mountains.

It also has chapters on the holy well at Tubber Tullaghan and on the O’Hara’s who were landlords of the area for many centuries.


Wedge tomb at Gortakeeran, Coolaney

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