South of Ballymote the R293 runs parallel to the Dublin railway line before drifting away through fertile farmland and reaching the crossroads village of GURTEEN after 11km. Gurteen sits at the heart of South Sligo’s traditional-music scene, and its greatest son was the fiddler Michael Coleman. Right by the crossroads stands the Coleman Irish Music Centre (wwww.colemanirishmusic.com), which stages traditional music and dance shows, has a small interactive exhibition area, and a shop selling a very good range of books and CDs, including several collections of recordings from its own archives. Gurteen hosts the Coleman Traditional Festival over the last weekend in August, while regular sessions are held in the Teach Murray (Mon) and Roisín Dubh (Tues & Sat) pubs.

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