Sligo Town Hall must certainly rank as one of the most stunning buildings in Sligo Town.
The siting of Sligo Town Hall at its present location was suggested by F.M. Olpherts, agent for John Wynne of Hazelwood House, on April 10th 1861.
This was to be on the site of a Cromwellian Stone Fort which dated back to 1646, part of these lands, known locally as the ‘Old Fort Plot’ were owned by Mr Owen Wynne.
The lease for the building of Sligo Town Hall was signed in May 1864 and the foundation stone was laid by the then Mayor of Sligo, William Abbott Woods on 12th October 1865
Sligo Town Hall was designed by the Dublin architect William Hague and was built by the Dublin firm OF Crowe and Brothers for the sum of £5,000. Crowe and Brothers were no strangers to Sligo Town, having just finished construction of Sligo Railway Station.
Sligo Town Hall is of a modern Italian Renaissance style and has a double faced frontage with dressings of Limestone and with Freestone which came from Mountcharles, County Donegal, which contrasts well with the colour of the masonry. The caps of the shafts and the spandrels of the window arches are of Portland stone.
The Harbour Commissioners had the Clock Tower erected at a cost of £975 pounds by local builder Patrick Morris. The Clock Tower afforded the Harbour Master an impressive view of the harbour so as to monitor the progress of shipping entering and leaving the harbour.
Construction of this fine building took almost seven years to complete, being hampered from time to time by lack of money, mainly due to the building costs exceeding the the original contract amount by about £6,000.
Sligo Town Hall has been described as “a beautiful building”, regarded by people qualified to judge as the most graceful hall devoted to municipal purposes in Ireland. by the historian Tadhg Kilgannonby some 75 years ago.
Today it is much improved, thanks to a multi-million Euro refurbishment which was completed in 2000 and renewed Sligo Town Hall to its former glory, thus restoring its rightful place as the civic centre of Sligo Town.
To the right of the Town Hall is The Caretakers Lodge which was designed by William Cochrane The Borough Surveyor and was built by Denis McLynn at a cost of £750 in 1896.
In front of the Town Hall stands a statue of Mr P.A. McHugh, the Nationalist owner of ‘The Sligo Champion‘ newspaper.
P.A. McHugh was elected Lord Mayor of Sligo for five successive years and became a Member of Parliament for North Leitrim in 1892.
Mr P.A. McHugh died in 1909 with this statue being erected in his honour in 1916.
This statue originally stood outside the main Post Office in Sligo Town.