Friday, July 17, 2009

The Trip to Sligo 4

And then the arrival at Coolaney, the small village in the centre of the county on the southern slopes of the Ox Mountains. Not to be confused with Collooney the larger village five miles away. Because of the possible confusion the railway station at Coolaney was named Leyney to avoid the Coolaney/Collooney confusion.

Coolaney has been the tidiest town in County Sligo for the past seven years and it's easy to see why when you drive through the town. Lots of new building during the Celtic Tiger days haven't spoiled it.

Once an important place, it had the chief castle of the O'Hara clan which ruled the area. The manuscript Book of O'Hara is in the National Library and the compiler, Cormac O'Hara, lived in a castle at the end of the town. He died in 1612. The book contains bardic poems dealing with the O'Hara family.

The Sligo crest on the sign above contains the title of an early Yeats' play The Land of Heart's Desire. In that play Yeats ends with "many voices singing":

But I heard a reed of Coolaney say -
"When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
The lonely of heart is withered away."

A few miles from Coolaney are the Hawk's Rock and the Holy Well which have been suggested as the source of Yeats' Hawk's Well in his 1917 play.

Áine's Coolaney page here.

No comments: