Sligo, a maritime county of Con naught, is bounded by the Atlantic, the Bay of Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Mayo. It is 41 miles E. to W., and 38 N. to S.; area, 442,205 acres. Pop. (1841) 180,886; (1901) 84,083, of whom 76,146 were Catholics. The coast-line is indented with Killala Bay, Sligo Bay, etc. The surface rises gradually from the coast as far as the Slieve Gamph and the Ox Mountains (1778 feet). Sligo contains some picturesque lakes. Iron is abundant and copper occurs, but neither is worked. The climate is moist, mild, and healthy. The chief occupation is agriculture, especially the feeding of cattle, nearly one-half of the total area being under grass. Coarse woollens and linens are manufactured; and fishing is prosecuted. The county forms two parliamentary divisions. The principal towns are Sligo, Ballina, Ballymote, and Tobercurry. Sligo was anciently the seat of the O'Connors. It contains a group of cromlechs near Sligo, a round tower at Drum-cliff, a ruined abbey at Ballysadare, besides raths, cromlechs, and ancient caverns.
Sligo, the county town, stands at the mouth of the Garvogue, 137 miles N W. of Dublin by rail. Pop. (1861) 13,361; (1901) 10,870. Sligo had its origin in a 13th-century Dominican abbey, now in ruins; it was walled and defended by a castle (1242), of which no vestiges are left. There are a Roman Catholic cathedral, a modern town-hall, a lunatic asylum, etc. The harbour exports cattle, corn, butter, and provisions. Sligo was disfranchised in 1870. See county histories by O'Rorke (1889) and Wood-Martin (3 vols. 1890-93).