Overview

Coney Island is the largest and the most famous of the three islands off the northern coast of the Coolera peninsula. It lies in Sligo Bay between Rosses Point and Ben Bulben in the north, and Strandhill and Knocknarea to the south. The island which is 1½ miles long by ¾ mile across is accessible by boat from the pier at Rosses Point, but the most popular route is by way of Cummeen Strand when the tide is out. This strand is exposed at low tide and is marked by 14 stone pillars for a distance of 5km leading to the island.  Old stone walls, friendly locals and amazing empty beaches make this a must-see when in Strandhill.

Laze on the beach, have a picnic or have a pint of Guinness in McGowans public house, the only pub on the island.

History

This is the original Coney Island which gave its name to the American Coney Island. In Gaelic the name means “the island of rabbits”. In the last century the merchant ship “Arethusa” used to sail between Sligo and New York. The captain of the ship, observing many rabbits in the New York Island, named it after his own Coney Island in Sligo Bay. Or so the story goes… more in our history section.

Directions

Access to Coney island via Cummeen Strand is signposted. Driving from Strandhill take the main Sligo road for 2km. Once you pass Scarden graveyard on your left, it is the next left-hand turn. Before crossing Cummeen Strand, make sure that the tides are favourable and don’t take risks – the strand is covered at high tide.

Check tide times for Sligo here