The mill on the Mad River in Cloonacool, was recorded by Ordnance Survey 1835-1836 and listed in Griffith’s Valuation 1854-57. It was used to mill corn crops, especially oats, produced by local farmers. It had 2 kilns.
The mill was set up by one of the Doyle brothers, a milling family, originally from Wexford, who managed several mills in south Co. Sligo. Patrick managed mills at Montiagh in Curry and at Coolaney, Thomas at Castlerock, James at Ballisodare, Peter at Benada and Martin Doyle managed the mill at Cloonacool.
The growth of the large mills, especially at Ballisodare, Collooney and Sligo, took most of the business away from the smaller mills, leading to their eventual closure from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.
The mill would always have been a meeting place for people in the village, a place where neighbours gathered. We have named our community café after it, continuing the tradition of having a meeting place where people can stay in connection with each other.
John Doyle, a descendant of Martin, still lives in the village. We are very grateful to John for providing us with the history of the mill and for the gift of the original mill stone which he has kindly donated to the community.