The village of Cliffoney itself was the first Sligo home of British Prime MinisterLord Palmerston where he resided at the Cliffoney Inn (now O’Donnell’s Bar) before building Classiebawn Castle at nearby Mullaghmore. Lord Palmerston’s grandfather had been granted the title of Viscount Palmerston on 12 March 1723 and was also made Baron Temple, of Mount Temple in the County of Sligo, 12,000 acres which included the lands at Cliffoney and surrounding area. The front of the original Cliffoney Inn from 1802 remains while the second part of the building dates from 1836 and was built by Alexander Nimmo the famous engineer. The stairs which Nimmo created are still in use in O’Donnell’s Bar today.
Interestingly, the original Coach House (Harrison’s Bar and Restaurant) on the journey from Sligo to Ballyshannon, the oldest town in Ireland, is also still in use as a busy hostelry.
Palmerston himself died at the age of 83 in 1865 and, in recognition of his services to the country as Minister for War during the Crimean War and two terms as Prime Minister, received a state funeral at Westminister Abbey, only the fourth person of non-royal blood to receive this honour.