Hot summer air burst into the open windows of the car, filled with the scent of fields and the approaching ocean. We crossed Ireland from East to North-West, at a good speed for 3 hours, and the road sign indicated that our destination -
Sligo - 25 km left to reach...
A trip to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and to this city was spontaneous, but not accidental - 8 years ago my colleague came here from Vilnius for just a few days and, in his own words, “fell ill” with this region, hoping for many years to go there again. He called me on Saturday early in the morning and asked if I wanted to join him and see new places, and we, throwing a minimum of clothes and food into the trunk, left the still sleeping Dublin and set off on the road. It was an amazing and fabulous two days, when everything was one-on-one and nothing prevented us from seeing so much beauty in the surroundings of Sligo, traveling by car, and we were damn lucky with the weather - the thermometer always showed +26 degrees ... When and if you happen to spend at least a few days of your vacation in Ireland, you will realize that we are really very lucky with the weather.
Look at the geographical map of Ireland ... on the west coast of the island you can find the city of Sligo - Sligo ... A piece of "green island" between the Atlantic Ocean and the largest group of mountains in Ireland, a beautiful place on the West Coast ... The region, with more than inherited the tragic past of its country, the land of sad ballads, mystical legends, where the earth and stones are stained with the blood of those who rebelled and did not put up with English colonization, when human life was the only price for freedom and the ability to own land in their country.
The first mentions of Sligo — Sligo — take us back to 537 AD and tell us about the English lord Fitzgerald, who captured and took away the ground around the Shelly River (the Shelley River) owned by the Irish family O'Donnell (Odonel) and built a castle and abbey there , around which, as usual, the town has grown up with the times. The name of the river, which in Irish sounds like Sligeach, and gave the name of the city.
Land battles in those days were commonplace, and the war for the notorious castle continued, with varying success, right up to the 16th century, when, finally, the descendants of the O'Donnell family took possession of it, but in 1597, after a cruel Cromwell ruthlessly crushed another Irish uprising, one of the sons of O'Donnell, nicknamed "Red Hugh", destroyed the castle to the ground so that it would not get to the British, and since then it has never been restored. The castle was destroyed, but the city remained and experienced many disasters in its lifetime. The blessed Irish land attracted not only the British, who considered the island to be their fiefdom by right, understood only by themselves.
In 1588 three ships of the famous Spanish “Spanish Armada” reached the western shores of the emerald island. After agonizing and humiliating negotiations with the Spanish monarch, some representatives of the Catholic part of the Irish people invited the Spaniards, also Catholics, to help in the war against the British colonialists. Spanish sailors, who traveled all over the world in search of untold riches and deservedly won the glory of fearless sailors and warriors, found their death in Ireland — more than 1,800 sailors were killed by English soldiers.
In our itinerary there was no definite goal for the shelter, we drove what is called where our eyes were looking and high in the mountains that surround the city, skipping the turn we needed and slightly lost, we saw a pointer with the words "Spanish Armada". We were curious, we turned in that direction and for a long time we drove along the mountain road, trying to find at least something that could remain from it, but could not find anything, even from afar resembling a Spanish ship, and how it could be in the mountains? We decided that the locals simply perpetuated in this way the name of the Spanish fleet. And it would be interesting to look at the wreck of a Spanish ship and try to imagine how it all happened in those days .
Если говорить о внешности истинных ирландцев, которые берут свое историческое происхождение от кельтов и викингов, то им присуща очень светлая кожа и тела, как мужчин, так и женщин очень часто усыпаны таким количеством веснушек, что при желании чисто гипотетически вы не сможете воткнуть иголку между этими веснушками , среди ирландцев много рыжеволосых мужчин и женщин. Потомки же испанских флибустьеров имеют черные или очень темные волосы и темные глаза.
But let's continue the story:.
In 1642, Sir Hamilton burned the city of Sligo in accordance with the orders of Cromwell and enslaved the sugar plantations in the West Indies took out all the surviving men, killing 300 women and children. The British forbade the Irish Catholics to own land and 63,000 acres were given to Cromwell soldiers. This incident was not isolated, as the story tells - during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Irish were taken out and brought into slavery.
The French revolution of 1789 became a kind of impetus to the beginning of yet another liberation uprising, which the British also suppressed in particular cruelty. Many more “bloody” years passed, the Irish continued to resist the oppression of the British, but it was not until 1800, after the signing of the peace treaty, that the local people had the opportunity to develop trade and industry. Sligo survived more than one shock after this — the cholera epidemic of 1832 claimed hundreds of lives, when entire families died ... This epidemic was the worst in the history of Ireland, and the famine of 1847, when the only potato to the poor Irish peasantry was not born ... The dead lay on the streets, the city was dying out, literally and figuratively. One of the journalists seemed to draw a line in the history of the long-suffering city, saying then, “Sligo no longer exists.” That's how he described the Sligo of that time, “... the schools were empty, there was no one to cultivate the fields, and no ships stood on the Atlantic coast ...
Sligo was revived only by the 20th century, and slowly the industry began to emerge, the production of bed linen, which is so famous for modern Ireland, the cultivation of leather and fishing nets, arose, later built a port and a railway. A new wave of Irish nationalism rose in 1916 and Ireland finally gained long-awaited independence and the opportunity to develop as an independent state, becoming a republic.