#OTD in 1923 – Forty Republicans burn the railway station in Sligo town, destroying it and badly damaging seven engines and forty carriages.

The Great Southern and Western Railway Company releases a report detailing the damage Anti-Treaty forces have caused to their property over the previous six months; 375 lines damaged, 42 engines derailed, 51 over-bridges and 207 under-bridges destroyed, 83 signal cabins and 13 other buildings destroyed. In the same month, Republicans destroy the railway stations at Ballybunion and Listowel.

The Sligo station opens on 3 December 1862 when Sligo acquires rail links to Dublin. The Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway link to Enniskillen to the north in 1881. A link to Limerick and the south follows in 1895. The line to Enniskillen closes in 1957 and passenger services to Limerick close in 1963. For many years CIÉ keeps the latter line open for freight traffic, and although it is now disused, it forms part of the Western Rail Corridor redevelopment project.

In 1966 Sligo railway station is renamed Sligo Mac Diarmada Station after Irish rebel Seán Mac Diarmada from Co Leitrim.

Today, Sligo Mac Diarmada station is a mainline railway station which serves the town of Sligo. It is a terminal station, with two platforms. There is a passing loop at the approach to the station. Iarnród Éireann, Ireland’s national railway operator, runs inter-city rail services between Sligo and Dublin on the Dublin-Sligo railway line.

Debris at Sligo Railway Station after it was mined and burned during the Civil War in January 1923; right: the burnt out shell of the railwat station after it was set on fire during the Civil War attack. Pictures courtesy of Padraic Kilgannon

Posted by

Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.