Updated: 31/12/16 : 06:05:49
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'Missing' statue near Sligo Wine Street GPO

A post on Boards.ie is seeking info on a 'missing statue in' in Sligo.

The post read;

'I haven't been in Sligo for years and I'm unlikely to be up that way in the near future so I wonder if anybody can help.

I'm researching statues/monuments that have disappeared, for whatever reason, and the 1940s postcard below caught my attention.

Who was the statue of and where is it now?

Couldn't see it on Google Street View and even the street names seem to have changed, but the Post Office remains. Thanks in advance.'

Sligo Today understands that the statue of PA McHugh who was elected Mayor of Sligo on six separate occasions in1888, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1900 and also a Member of Parliament for North Leitrim in 1892. The statue, erected in Wine St in 1916 was moved to it's new location in the 70's to make way for a new traffic system.

It was moved, along with it's plinth, from its location outside the GPO to directly outside Sligo Town Hall.

According to the Sligo Town website P.A. McHugh was also the Nationalist owner of The Sligo Champion newspaper, as well as being one of the leading figures in the political affairs of Sligo in the period from 1885 up to the time of his death at the age of 51 years of age in 1909.

P.A. McHugh was well known as a firebrand figure in Irish politics, and as the publisher of the Champion, he was against Sinn Fein when it first started. Being put into jail for as he put it, printing the truth about the land laws in North Leitrim.

The first meeting of Sligo County Council was held in the Grand Jury room, Sligo Courthouse on April 22nd 1899. P.A. McHugh was the only nominee for Chairman, and the record shows that he "took the chair amidst great acclamation" John O Dowd was unanimously elected Vice-Chairman.

The Sligo Independent newspaper reported on the historic meeting with "It is gratifying to be able to say that their deliberations were conducted with becoming decorum. If the Council acts with wisdom and prudence, and attend to local affairs, the affairs of the county should progress."

Five months after his election, P A McHugh resigned the Chairmanship due to the pressure of Parliamentary duties, with the mantle passing to John O Dowd.

The statue of P.A. McHugh was originally erected in 1916, at the top of O'Connell Street, opposite the Post Office, in the middle of the junction, though it must be remembered that there wasn't anywhere near the amount of traffic in those days, over 100 years ago. The statue was moved to its present location in the 1970's to make way for a revised traffic system in the town centre.