THE EVOLUTION of the development and topography of Sligo as a town can now be traced, and compared to other towns throughout the country, thanks to a new publication called The Sligo Historic Town Atlas that is now available in local shops, priced €30.
A lavish historical record, the A3-sized publication, known as a fascicle, comes in a folder complete with DVD. It contains text, illustrations, drawings, maps and old photos, most of them portraying aspects of the 19th Century town of Sligo.
Fiona Gallagher, one of the authors of the publication, described it as "a topographical history of the town and how it developed." The aim of the project was to trace the growth and development of towns by looking at the town plan and morphology of the townscape.
At its launch in Sligo City Hall, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan described it it as "a treasure trove of meticulously researched material that lays the bedrock for so much more work in the future."
The Irish Historic Towns Atlas is a Royal Irish Academy research project, first established in 1981 and forms part of a wider European project.
Also present at the launch were Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Michael Fleming, authors Ms. Gallagher and Marie-louise Legg, and the President and members of the Royal Irish Academy.
Fiona Gallagher has been interested in the history of her home time all her life and drew her first map when she was ten. Her publication, ' The Streets of Sligo' which was published in 2008. Mary Louise Legg is an historian who has published widely on Irish matters.
Mayor Councillor Rosaleen O'grady welcomed what she called was the perfect sense of timing, with the launch of the Atlas "in the year we prepare to celebrate the 400th anniversary of our charter."