Stories of the Showgrounds

Showgrounds History being published

It has been the home of Sligo Rovers since the club was formed, it has seen countless epic battles and exciting dramas which have enthralled and entertained generations of supporters.  The Showgrounds has also hosted numerous other sporting and social events throughout its fascinating history. This history has now been documented and will be published shortly by the Sligo Rovers Heritage Group.

This project has been funded by the PEACE 111 Programme through the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by Sligo County Council on behalf of Sligo Peace and Reconciliation Partnership Committee.

Sligo Rovers Heritage Group was established two years ago with the objective of preserving and promoting the club’s history and heritage. In 2013 the Group hosted an exhibition of Rovers memorabilia in Sligo Museum, the highlight being the visit of the family of Dixie Dean. This year the Group is working with the Forthill History Group to host an exhibition celebrating the special association between the Northside Community and Sligo Rovers;  The exhibition ‘The First Rovers’ was launched recently and is currently on display in the Northside Community Centre.

Chairman of Sligo Rovers Heritage Group Aidan Mannion says the publication of the History of the Showgrounds will be a valuable reference book for Sligo Rovers supporters. ‘We are deeply grateful for PEACE 111 funding this project, and when you consider the ideals and objectives promoted by the Peace Programme, these are very much in evidence in the history of our ground and our club – no one asked your religion, background or ethnicity when you managed or played for Sligo Rovers, and this is very clear when you examine the mix of people who served the club in various capacities on and off the pitch since the club was formed in 1928.’


 ‘Stories of the Showgrounds’ will trace the establishment of the ground by the County Sligo Agricultural Society in 1907, recall the early days of the Annual Show, and report on the first sporting events hosted in the new grounds in its first years of operation.

The book will include reflections of some of the players who represented the club in the fifties and sixties, recalls some of the major incidents and controversies in the ground over the years, and will profile some of the many people who served  throughout the club’s often difficult history. The publication will outline the way the ground developed over the years, and will present the recollections of the people involved in purchasing the ground in the late sixties.


The Peace 111 Programme is a distinctive European Union Structural Funds Programme aimed at ‘reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation.’ The programme’s focus is on reconciling communities and contributing towards a shared society.’

Kevin Colreavy