Only the lyrical words of a poet could give meaning to the sad origins of Bunlahinch Clapper Bridge by the coast near Killeen, south of Louisburgh, a unique relic among Irish bridges and a reminder of a sad episode in Mayo’s tragic past.
When James Henry Casserly who was the first Station Master in Killala Railway Station was leaving in 1894, the people of Killala and Ballycastle came together to present him with a pocket watch as a token of the high esteem in which the community held the Galway native.
As we approach the centenary Armistice Day commemoration here in Ballina, I am glad to report by the strangest of coincidences that we can shine some light on the fate of one of those young men whose name is inscribed on the Great War Remembrance Monument at Green Park, Ballina.
Ballycastle, the gateway village to the wild wilderness that is North Mayo, has one of the most scenic looped walks in Ireland.
The newly-opened Ballina and Killala sections of the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway, the 10km walking and cycling trail, partly follows the route of the old railway line that once linked the two north Mayo towns.
It’s great fun to create a looped walk from scratch. Spread the Ordnance Survey Map out on the kitchen table and, as the radio jingle used to say, “let your fingers do the walking” while you set about discovering somewhere new to explore.
The mists of time have once again briefly lifted on beautiful Doohoma beach to reveal the preserved remnants of a prehistoric forest that once covered Mayo.
Blanemore Forest Archaeological Walk near Moygownagh is another gem in Mayo’s treasure chest of extensive Neolithic sites – the best known of which is the Ceide Fields near Ballycastle.
‘Amongst Our Own’ is a book about the Inishkea Islands by Tomás Bán O’Raghallaigh, whose parents were among the last inhabitants of the islands, located a few miles off the Mullet Peninsula in North West Mayo.
It’s hard to believe that Palmerstown Bridge, the main artery linking Mayo’s remote north-west corner to the rest of the county, dates back to the decade before the 1798 Rebellion.
The ferns, nettles, bushes, and briars now hide much of what was once a 19th-century village on the slopes of the Ox Mountains.