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Sligo Harbour was a very important port in the 18th. and 19th. Centuries. The port became more accessible in the era of steam in the 1900s as the narrow channel was difficult to navigate using sailing ships.

There were regular services between Sligo and both Liverpool and Glasgow, with even on one occasion, a service between Sligo and London. During these centuries it was sometimes easier to travel to other coastal destinations by sea than by road.

The Sligo Steam Navigation Company in 1899 commenced one such service between Sligo and Belmullet calling at RossesPoint, Ballycastle and Belderg. The ship was called the Tartar. Passengers wishing to disembark en-route would have to arrange small boats to come out to the ship to collect them and bring them ashore.

Just as the railways went into decline in the 1930's, so too did the shipping movements through the port of Sligo. Road communication improved and the need to travel by ship to coastal destinations declined. Today no passenger ships leave Sligo. Instead there are cargoes of scrap metal and coal.

Planning your trip

Look at the map of North Sligo and Mayo. Plot your trip from Sligo to Belmullet by boat.

Map of Sligo and Belmullet

Look at the route from Sligo to Belmullet. If you were travelling from Sligo to Belmullet, compare the choices you would have today with the choices you would have had in 1900 to make your journey. How do you think you would choose to travel?

Travelling from Sligo to Dublin

List the ways you could travel from Sligo to Dublin now.

Which do you think is best - now or in the time of Constance?