The Legacy of Belief


The purpose of The Legacy of Belief programme is to explore the impact of Anglo Irish heritage, partition and the Northern Ireland conflict on Sligo.

This will be achieved through:

  1. An interactive project looking at the history of Sligo as a Garrison Town, the legacy of the Anglo Irish in Sligo and the effects of Partition on Sligo.
  2. Community dialogue to raise awareness of shared local heritage and its impact across communities and cultures.
  3. A showcase exhibition.

Sligo’s rich cultural heritage reflects a history which dates from early pre-history to a modern vibrant society. This project seeks to engage with the more recent, seminal aspects of this history which strongly influenced modern-day Sligo (cited in 1. above).  Through exploring the politics of the post-medieval period - from the arrival of the Spanish Armada and the construction of the garrison town, right up to Partition - with a representative number from Peace III target groups, this project aims to get a clear understanding of the views held by a diverse group of people and share their perspectives with the public.

This project will take an approach which nurtures diversity, protects heritage, strives for unity and which recognises all the rich elements that make Sligo great and different.

Programme Partners

  • Derry Heritage and Museum Service - Margaret Edwards, Education Officer
  • Museum of Free Derry - Adrian Kerr, Manager
  • Apprentice Boys Museum, Derry/Londonderry - Billy Moore, Curator
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast - Marian Ferguson, Head of Education

Management Group 

  • Sligo Arts Service - Mary McAuliffe, Partner, Arts Officer
  • Eithne Verling - Expert Consultant/Partner Programme Manager and Curator.
  • Mary Mc Donagh - Project Manager
  • Administrative Support - Helen O’Hara
  • Communications Lead - Rhona McGrath and Sarah Leavy, Sligo Arts Service



On Friday July 9th a book documenting an exciting and innovative interactive community history project calledThe Legacy of Belief' nbsp;was launched in the Model Arts Centre.

The project, which took place from November 2009 to June 2010, was delivered by Sligo Arts Service & partners.  The project is supported by the PEACE III Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by Sligo County Council on behalf of Sligo Peace and Reconciliation Partnership Committee.

The main objectives of the project were to examine a number of themes from a number of different perspectives.

  1. the effect of Partition and the Northern Ireland conflict on Sligo
  2. the historical and contemporary implications of Sligo as a garrison town
  3. the stories of those affected by sectarianism in Sligo
  4. the influence and legacy of the Anglo-Irish in Sligo
  5. contemporary Sligo- peace and multi-culturalism

The perspectives of local Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Traveller, and immigrant people informed the process and culminated in the publication of a 144- page colour, illustrated book that represents the views of 21 local participants on their own and Sligo's history.

Two of the photographs selected by the participants have a public art dimension. These photographs have been enlarged and mounted on gable walls within the area of Sligo known as 'The Hill'. One is of a well-known local character, who fixed everything for everybody,  called Nancy Callaghan. She is the grandmother of one of the participants – Mairéad O'Boyle. The second photograph is a very early photograph of a young Sligo All Stars football team, later to be named Sligo Rovers.

The project also included an intergenerational project which was based on the life of Constance Countess de Markeivicz and involved all the teachers and 77 pupils of ;" St. Patrick's National School Maugherow and the members of the Maugherow Active Age Group. The work of this project resulted in the making of a five-minute animation based on the creative work of the school children and the older adults. This animation, a copy of which will be included in the book, was also launched in the Model.

The project provided opportunities to interrogate historical events and examine the material culture left behind through museum visits and looking at personal and family treasured objects.  It facilitated learning through group discussions a talks programme, workshops and museum visits in Derry, Belfast and Sligo

It promoted an appreciation and acceptance of diversity and strives to achieve unity and an understanding of the shared experiences of citizenship.

The project also provided a sound platform to explore cultural identity, shared history and issues related to sectarianism and community relations in Sligo, Derry and Belfast and through this to contribute fully to the Sligo Peace and Reconciliation Partnership Committee Action Plan.

Eithne Verling - Expert Consultant/Partner Programme Manager and Curator.

Sligo Arts Service

The Intergenerational School Project
Creative Art Workshops - St Patrick's National School, Maugherow

I. Workshop Animation
II.Workshop Documentry

© Sligo County Council Arts Department, City Hall, Quay Street, Sligo, Co. Sligo, Ireland tel: +353 (0) 71 911 4465