From the Mullet Peninsula, a craggy finger of land in the Atlantic Ocean, along a spectacular seaboard from the prehistoric Céide Fields to Gaoth Sáile (Geesala) and inland to the great expanse of Erris before turning southwards to Oileán Acla (Achill Island), this is the magnificent Mayo Gaeltacht. Inland, on the shores of Lough Mask and nestling under the Partry Mountains in the south of the county is the lovely Gaeltacht village of Tuar Mhic Éadaigh (Tourmakeady).
The wild and wonderful Mayo Gaeltacht offers a wide variety of land and seascapes together with a unique cultural heritage. Here, the Irish Language (Gaeilge) is the spoken language of a people who have experienced much since the first farmers settled in Beldeirg before the pyramids were built! People here switch from Irish to English and vice versa with ease.
The Mayo Gaeltacht is a region which deserves to be explored. In the North, the Barony of Erris is one of Europe’s least inhabited areas and lies in a pristine environment that is maintained and nurtured with care. Amongst its many special features are cliffs, seastacks, machair, mountains, bogland, beaches and many other secrets that await discovery. As one moves south, Ireland’s largest island comes into view. Linked by bridge to the mainland, Achill Island still retains that unique sense of self-sustainability. Achill is famous for it’s music, its scenery, its beaches and its warm and friendly hospitality.
Whether it is learning the Irish language, deciphering the mystic legends of the land or studying its varied unique environment the Mayo Gaeltacht has something to suit you.
In Erris, dolmens, prehistoric ritual graves, standing stones, monasteries, abbeys and castles bear testimony to a rich heritage. The most historic sites include the Céide Fields, Belderig Prehistoric Farm, and Glosh Tower. Learn about the local folklore of the Barony of Erris including the legend of Clann Lir by visiting Ionad Deirbhle Visitor Centre in Eachleim or The Seanscoil in Ceathrú Thaigdhe.
A historical site in Achill is ‘The Mission’ or ‘The Colony’ at Dugort which was a proselytising mission encouraging conversion to Protestism. The 80 ruined houses in the Deserted Village at Dugort are a testimony to hard times and poverty on Achill in times past.