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Ben Bulben

County Sligo

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Ben Bulben

Irish Name: Sligeach: "A shelly place"

County Town: Sligo

Nickname: The Yeats County, The Magpies

GAA Colors: Black and White

Famous People with Sligo roots: WB Yeats, Edward P. Doherty (allegedy caught Lincoln assassinator John Wilkes Booth), Bram Stoker, Neil Jordan, Brother Waldred (founder of Celtic FC), Countess Markievicz, Bernardo O'Higgins (former President of Chile)

County Sligo is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and is located within the province of Connacht. It was named after the town of Sligo.

Sligo is the 22nd largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 25th largest in terms of population. It is the fourth largest of Connacht’s 5 counties in size and third largest in terms of population.

Sligo is bordered to the west by Mayo, to the south by Roscommon, and the east by Leitrim.

County Sligo has a long history of traditional music. The south of the county is particularly noted with such musical luminaries as James Morrison, Michael Coleman, Paddy Killoran, Fred Finn , Peter Horan, Joe O'Dowd, Jim Donoghue, Martin Wynne, Oisín Mac Diarmada (of Téada), tin-whistle player Carmel Gunning and the band Dervish.

The county has many traditional music festivals and one of the most well known is the Queen Maeve International Summer School, a traditional Irish Music summer school of music and dance which is held annually in August in Sligo Town.

 On the more contemporary music scene there are Westlife, Tabby Callaghan and The Conway Sisters who are from Sligo. Strandhill, about 9km west of Sligo, hosts the Strandhill Guitar Festival each year, featuring a wide variety of guitar music and musicians.

The megalithic cemetery of Carrowmore is located in County Sligo. It forms part of a huge complex of Stone Age remains connecting Carrowkeel in South Sligo to the Ox Mountains, to the Cuil Irra Peninsula, where Queen Maeve's tomb dominates the skyline from the crest of Knocknarea Mountain. The poet and Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) spent much of his childhood in northern Sligo and the county's landscapes (particularly the Isle of Innisfree, in Lough Gill) were the inspiration for much of his poetry.

Yeats said, "the place that has really influenced my life most is Sligo." He is buried in North County Sligo, "Under Ben Bulben", in Drumcliffe.

Common Surnames in Sligo: Gallagher, Brennan, MacGowan, Kelly, Gilmartin, Healy, Walsh, Hart, Feeney, MacDonagh, Loughlin, Connor, Beirne, Conlon

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