Community Archaeology Seminar to highlight Sligo’s Castles

Community Archaeology Seminar to highlight Sligo’s Castles Aerial view of the O’Dowd Castle or fortified house at Cottlestown, Co. Sligo.
Built c.1600, it is remarkably intact and of national importance.
Please note that the building is in private ownership and there is no public access to the site.

Would you or your community group like to learn more about setting up a community archaeology project in your locality?

Are you interested in Sligo’s Castles and how your group can research, conserve and present these fascinating monuments?

Angela Wallace of Atlantic Archaeology is delivering the Sligo Community Archaeology Project on behalf of the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council.  As part of this project an information seminar will take place on Wednesday 5th October in the West Sligo Family Resource Centre, Enniscrone, F26 V5T8 (turn off Pier Road) from 10am-2:30pm.  The seminar is free and open to all, but booking is required due to limited capacity.

The seminar will focus on community archaeology projects linked to castles in the region but will be of interest to any group about to embark on a research or conservation project. There are talks on castles linked to the O’Dowds and the local communities efforts to research, conserve and facilitate access to Enniscrone Castle.

Conservation Group Enniscrone Castle Local advocates for conservation & research works at Enniscrone Castle
Left-Right: Michael Breen (Enniscrone & District Community Development), Tommy Foody (O’Dowd Clan), Angela Wallace (Sligo Community Archaeology Project), Paddy Tuffy (North Mayo West Sligo Heritage Group).

PJ and Kate O’Neill of the Moygara Castle Research and Conservation Project have been instrumental in facilitating and encouraging research on Moygara Castle in South Sligo.  They will outline the various steps they have taken over the years to keep this very worthwhile project on track which has now evolved into an active conservation programme.

Dr. Niall Brady of AdCo will outline how progress has been achieved in developing research, community engagement and conservation works at Ballintubber Castle in Co. Roscommon.

All three castle projects have very strong links with the clan organisations connected to them, the O’Garas at Moygara, the O’Conors at Ballintubber and the O’Dowds in Enniscrone.  This has created strong links and support with the wider diaspora and the local castle communities.

Frank Hall who is carrying out doctoral research on Castles in Connacht at the National University of Galway will give an overview of his research on castles in the region.

All of the Sligo projects highlighted have benefitted under the Community Monuments Fund, administered by the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council on behalf of the National Monuments Service with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.  This fund has been instrumental in developing conservation studies and on the ground conservation and stabilization works.  This will hopefully facilitate the long-term survival of these castle sites, and will enable further research and safe public access into previously inaccessible structures.  Preserving the intertwined histories and community identity linked to these sites is considered a worthwhile and rewarding endeavour by the various groups presenting at this seminar.

This will be an informative seminar outlining how different communities have developed research and conservation plans for their projects.  It will also facilitate discussion and sharing of expertise and inspire other communities around the county to build on existing projects or initiate their own local projects.

Places at this seminar are limited to 40 and can be booked through an Eventbrite link on Sligo Community Archaeology Project Facebook page or by emailing