Category: current
Updated: 14/11/17 : 07:37:25

New Cenotaph memorial in Sligo not welcomed by all

Over 50 people turned up at Sligo's Cenotaph on Saturday at 11am to remember family members and former comrades who died in both World Wars and in more recent conflicts.

The Remembrance ceremony administered by Dean Aaron Williams saw a number of wreaths laid at the monument.

Speakers included the Rev Jeremy Nicoll, Canon Patrick Bamber and Fr Pat Lombard. Also present was Fr John Carroll - Chaplain to Sligo University Hospital.

Sligo County Council was represented by the Mayor of Sligo, Cllr Hubert Keaney whose cousin was killed in WWII while serving with US forces.

Sinn Féin's Cllr Chris MacManus was also present as was former Borough Councillor and party colleague Arthur Gibbons. Former Labour Councillor Marcella McGarry was also in attendance.

Following readings and a moment's silence for reflection, Dean Williams called for a good turnout at that evening's concert in Gilhooley Hall  to help raise funds for a new memorial to be erected in the town.

                 Some of those attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in Sligo


He said the current location had become dangerous as it was sited at a very busy junction which was evident by the traffic noise drowning out the readers on Saturday morning.

However the news of a new monument was not welcomed by all as one lady, Trudi Hooten voiced her objection. Dean Williams said, "This is neither the time or the place for that, today is for remembering." Ms Hooten retorted that this was the perfect time to discuss such a move.

Speaking to Sligo Today, Ms Hooten stated that she and many friends had been coming to the Cenotaph since they were children and she did not support any move to move the Cenotaph from its current position.

A representative from the Royal British Legion later advised that the Cenotaph would not be moved from the Pearse Rd/Mail Coach Rd junction, instead a new monument would be commissioned bearing over 800 names of the Sligo dead from WWI inscribed on it.  

Locations under consideration include the new coach car park at The Model and Stephen St Car Park.

However it is unclear at which monument the annual Remembrance service would take place.

Laying wreaths on the day

No Man's Land

The Cenotaph in Sligo is unusual because when being decided where to locate it, the pro-republican Borough Council opposed any suggestion for its site. The owner of the house adjacent to the current memorial, just yards outside the then Borough Council's boundary, donated a piece of his garden for the monument's erection.

Over years of house ownership changes the site was not recorded on updated title deeds. Neither is it on Sligo County Council land and therefore the Cenotaph uniquely stands on Sligo's own 'no man's land'.