Overview : This Literary Heritage Trail is brought to you by a first year group of students at Coláiste Pobail Acla, Achill, Co. Mayo. The... more »
This Literary Heritage Trail is brought to you by a first year group of students at Coláiste Pobail Acla, Achill, Co. Mayo. The... more » research for the trail was carried out in the school year 2011-2012.
The participating students live in the area stretching from Dooagh to Ballycroy, including Currane and Mulranny. Many writers and publications are associated with this beautiful part of Mayo, and in the area itself there is a strong tradition of local publication. The students bring you on this scenic tour of their home place, giving you a taste of its rich literary heritage.
As part of this project the students also interviewed local people about the history of their locality and you can find out more by visiting www.ouririshheritage.org less «
The Greenway can be accessed at the beginning of this Trail, in Mulranny.
Along the road to Currane there are great views of Clew... more » Bay and Clare Island.
As you drive from Currane towards Achill Sound you can see Cloughmore, the RNLI Lifeboat Station and Derreens.
As you approach Cloughmore you can see the Graveyard at Kildownet; the oldest graveyard on the island.
Pay heed to warning signs along the Atlantic Drive as the shoreline terrain can be dangerous in places.
There is a viewing area at the top of Ashleam between Cloughmore and Dooega.
If you stop at the Tommie Patten Monument in Dooega you might like to picnic or walk on the small beach just across the road.
To drive up to the Statue of Our Lady at the top of Minaun, turn left off the road between Dooega and Cashel. less «
By Hannah Sullivan, Coláste Pobail Acla
Mulranny is the first stop on our trail. It is located between Newport and Achill Sound. There is a hotel there called Mulranny Hotel. There is a nice beach there you can walk on and run on and play on. You can even go swimming in the sea in the summertime when the weather is nice and hot.
Part of the... More Great Western Greenway runs between Mulranny and Achill. It was once an old railway line between 1894/95 and 1937. In Rails to Achill, Jonathan Beaumont writes about how Mulranny was when the railway was coming into Mulranny and on to Achill Sound. He describes tourism in the area and the Mulranny Hotel.
Years ago there was a man who wrote about Mulranny and the local area. His name was Pádraig Ó Móráin and he lived in Mulranny. His book was called A Short Account of the History of Burrishoole Parish. It was published in 1957.
Fintan Masterson wrote about the history and architecture of Rosturk Castle in Cathair na Mart, the journal of the Westport Historical Society.
Coming Home, compiled by Frances Browner, is about the “Safe-Home” Programme, Mulranny.
By Mary Louise Wallace, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Currane is a small village located off the coast of Achill Island. It has inspired writers such as Annette Hemphill, who wrote the book Rambles of 4 in Western Mayo 1906, published in 1991. It is a diary of the experiences she and her fellow travellers had while visiting the Currane Peninsula. It gives... More the reader a strong feel of what Currane was like all those years ago and how things have changed since then. Annette Hemphill is also referenced in The Irish Naturalist published by the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland,Dublin (1908).
Many articles have been published in magazines about Currane. One such article can be found in the magazine Faces, where an article was published about the life of the late Denis Gallagher. An interview with Patrick Gallagher, originally from Currane, featured in a book called Coming Home. The book features many interviews with different people about their experiences of leaving home, but returning. Patrick was one of these people, and his story is truly heart-warming. He tells of his joy at looking out across Clew Bay again from his beloved Currane, after so long. He was interviewed in Mulranny, where he now lives. Currane people also featured in a book entitled Clew Bay Folklore a book of stories and folklore, which included an interview with John Mhíckey Gallagher, who was originally from Currane.
Why Were Her Toes Like That?
Gareth McNamara, a Currane native, wrote a short story called “Times Two” in the anthology of short stories Why Were Her Toes Like That? Gareth’s story is very creative and extremely well written. He wrote it when he was just fourteen.
The poet Mark F. Chaddock wrote a poem called “The Devil’s Hoof-print” in his anthology of poetry The Ordinary Miracle. The poem is about a rock on the side of the road in Cushleka, a small village near Currane, in which there a mark that resembles a hoof print, which is called locally “The Devil’s Hoofprint”.
Various booklets have been published to commemorate special occasions in Currane. One of these would be a booklet to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of nearby Belfarsed Church, published in May 2011. Another would be a booklet called Teach Pobail Muire, which was published by The Loch Geal Community Group in association with FÁS, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Currane Church.
And so, it is plain to see that Currane is an inspiring place, if not for its beautiful scenery and stunning location, then for its charming, charismatic people.
By Roisin Kelly, Coláiste Pobail Acla
This area has inspired many writers. Mark F. Chaddock is a poet who emigrated from England to Achill Island and now lives in the area. He wrote about the “New Michael Davitt Bridge, Achill Sound” in his book called Ordinary Miracle. Tom McSweeney wrote about local fishermen in Seascapes.
Kieran... More Waldron has a chapter about Scoil Damhnait in his book called Out of the Shadows. Scoil Damhnait was the lay Catholic school in Polranny, between 1948 and 2011. Two students from Scoil Damhnait – Orla Cafferkey and Hessel Van Goor – had stories published in Shooting from the Lip (ed. Re O’Laighleas) in 2001. Michael Davitt Park, Achill Sound is a booklet for the opening of the football pitch at the Sound on May 6th, 1979. Many people took the train from Achill Sound when they were emigrating to Scotland and England. Achill Island Tattie-Hokers in Scotland and the Kirkintilloch Tragedy 1937, by Brian Coghlan, is about the Achill people who died in a fire tragedy in Scotland. Their bodies were brought home to Achill by train and then they were buried in Kildownet.
Saula is a village near Achill Sound. Chris McGinty from Saula, and Sean Grealis from Dooniver, wrote a book called The Scanlon Cup, 1954 - 1995. It is about the local gaelic football club competition, “Achill’s All-Ireland”. Scoil Náisúnta Naomh Pádraig Sáile 1910 – 2010 is a book published to celebrate 100 years of Saula school.
Sraheens and Bleanaskill
The villages of Sraheens and Bleanaskill are located along the Atlantic Drive between Achill Sound and Cloghmore. Galloway Street, by John Boyle, is about growing up Irish in Scotland. The author often visited his aunt Mary in Sraheens when he was young. Alexander Williams was a landscape and marine painter. He lived in a house in Bleanaskill. Gordon T. Ledbetter wrote a book about him called Privilege and Power: The Life and Times of Irish Painter and Naturalist Alexander Williams 1846 – 1930.
By David Gavin, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Cloghmore is a village located in the south of Achill Island. It has a good lot of writing associated with it.
Kildownet Castle is a tower located in Cloghmore near the pier. It once belonged to Grace O’Malley(Granuaile). It features in many books or biographies about the life of Grace O’Malley.... More One book is Pirate Queen which was written by Morgan Llewyln, a well-known children’s historical fiction author. Another book is Granuaile by Anne Chambers. It gives a more factual account and focuses more on Granuaile’s life as a chieftain and pirate.
There are also books written about the story of St. Dympna. She was the Princess of Oriel (a kingdom in Ulster). After her mother died her father proposed marriage to her. Shocked by the idea of incest she fled the kingdom. She travelled the country fleeing from her father’s men. Eventually she came to settle in Clouhmore, where she later founded a church. One book written about her is Fugitive Saint, by Angela Verne, and there is a chapter about her in Praying With Celtic Holy Women, by Bridget Mary Meehan and Regina Madonna Oliver.
Honor Tracey is a writer who was born in 1913 in Surrey, England. In the 1950’s she moved to Cork. In local news and media she criticised the Catholic church. This made her unpopular with the locals who led a torch lit procession to her house. She eventually left Cork and moved to Achill. She bought a house in Kildownet. The people and landscape of Cloghmore inspired her for some of her books including the well known Straight And Narrow Path. She left in the 1980’s and is still remembered by the people of Cloghmore as a kind and charitable lady. Her best known book is Winter In Castille.
Achill Drowning is about the Clew Bay Drowning Tragedy that happened in 1894. Many Achill people were lost in the drowning and they are buried in Kildownet Graveyard. Two Cloghmore people, Anthony Kilbane and Mary Jo O’Keeffe, contributed to Clew Bay Folklore by the Mayo Folklore Project. Noírín Anne Gannon, from Cloghmore, has written two books of poetry, Verses by Twilight and Words from an Island.
Derreens is located between Achill Sound and Cloughmore. A booklet called Taispeánta Caorach Acla was published in 2011 about the Achill Sheep Show which takes place every year in Dereens when many farmers come to present their livestock to a panel of judges.
In 2011 a booklet was also published about the church in Dereens for its fifty years anniversary. It contains a lot of information and photographs of the events held in it over its fifty years of being an active church. It was renovated in the mid 1980’s.
By Ashleigh Henry, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Achill Beg is a small island off the coast of Achill Island, beside Cloughmore, and it is easily accessible at any time as long as a local fisherman is willing to sail out or lend a boat. People lived on Achill Beg for around 3000 years and now the island is nearly deserted. People regularly camp, walk... More and swim at Achill Beg. There is a lighthouse at one of the tips of the island where there is a sudden drop off into the sea. The water there is usually calm and provides an excellent source of mackerel and crabs. Today the ruins of the old school and many of the houses still stand and are easily found.
Achill Beg, The Life Of An Island , by Jonathon Beaumont, was published in 2005 and is one of the newest sources of information about the island. It has information about some of the villagers who once lived there and how they lived, and also mentions some of the archaeology of the island. Achill Beg: Impressions of An Island contains stories and day to day entries by each of its authors, Cyril O’Flaherty and Lol Hardiman, from when they stayed on Achill Beg.
The poem “Landing”, by John F. Deane, describes the emptiness of Achill Beg today and the evidence of the life that once was on the island – the lighthouse, deserted houses, and the old school house. It was published in Muintir Acla, Issue 007, 1997.
A Guide to Achill, by Noreen Gannon, from nearby Cloughmore, has information on many places in Achill such as The Colony , Dooega , and Achill Sound, and of course Achill Beg.
By John Joyce, Coláste Pobail Acla
Dooega is a small village on the west coast of Achill. It has a population of around 150 people.
The Colony in Mweelin
A number of books have been published that refer to the Colony in Mweelin. Mweelin is east of Dooega along the Minaun Mountain. One of the books is called Edward Nangle The Apostle of Achill. ... MoreIt was published in 1884 in London. It was written by a man called Henry Seddall who was wrote about Edward Nangle, a Protestant clergyman who set up the Achill Mission in Dugort. He set up a smaller Colony in Mweelin. The Mweelin Colony was seven miles east of the Dugort Colony. In September 1851, the Achill Missionary Herald reported that the Mweelin Colony contained, a rectory, a church, a steward’s house, a long row of cottages, in all eighteen families, a school, a college and a teacher training house. Today you can see the ruins of the “university”, the college, and some of the cottages. Another book partly about the Mweelin Colony was written by P.J.Joyce. A Forgotten Part of Ireland was published in Tuam in 1910. It includes details about Edward Nangle’s life and his two Colonies in Dugort and in Mweelin. P.J.Joyce was from Philadelphia, U.S.A. The book Boycott, by C.A. Boycott also mentions Nangle’s Colony at Dooega.
There is a monument erected near Dooega Beach in memory of a man called Tommy Patten from Dooega. He was one of 14 in his family. At the age of 26, he went to Spain as a volunteer and fought in the Spanish Civil War. He died in Madrid in 1936. The poet John F. Deane wrote a poem about Tommie Patten called “Revolution”. It is published in The Stylized City. The writer, Peadar O’Donnell, who used to visit Achill often, dedicated his book, Salud, to Patten.
By Anita McGinty, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Cashel is a small village located between Bunnacurry and Achill Sound. The annual Public Reading for the Scoil Acla Writers’ Workshop is held in Ted Lavelle’s Pub in Cashel. Scoil Acla is a traditional music and cultural summer school that takes place annually in Achill.
The writers’... More workshop was introduced in 1989 under the stewardship of Jack Harte, and John F. Deane and assisted by Gerry O’Malley and Bob Collins. Macdara Woods is one of the authors and poets who comes to conduct the workshops that go on for a week. The Workshop focuses on the art of creative writing. At the end of the week everyone who attends the course holds an evening to read their completed works from the week. The Workshop and public reading are always a most enjoyable event. In 1991 Achill Island Volume 1: Writings from the Workshop on Achill Summer 1990 was published. The Writers’ Workshop has been a great success over the years. Maura Mulligan, one writer who has attended the Workshop in the past, is publishing a book called Call of the Lark in 2012.
Macdara Wood’s new book of Collected Poems is due to be published in 2012.
The Achill Writers’ Group also meets regularly at Ted Lavelle’s PubLess
By Tomás Randle Coláiste Pobail Acla
Bunnacurry is a small village located in the centre of Achill. The poet John F. Deane was born in Bunnacurry and went to school there. His mother was a teacher in the Girls’ School in Bunnacurry. Deane lived in Achill until he was 13. In his book The Stylized City there is a selection of poems... More called “The Achill Island Poems” in which he writes about the monastery, the forge, and the fishermen of Achill. Two novels by John Deane are Flightlines, set in Achill of World War II, when a young boy enrols as a fighter pilot and the love of his life doesn’t want him to leave, and Undertow set in 1950s Achill.
James Lynchehaun, a famous figure in the history of Achill, also went to school in the Monastery in Bunnacurry where he befriended Brother Paul Carney, one of the monks. The Playboy and the Yellow Lady, by James Carney, is the story of James Lynchehaun and his brutal attack on Agnes MacDonnell of the Valley House. James Carney got the story from his relation, Brother Paul, who had recorded the story of Lynchehaun and his escape. The Playboy of the Western World, by John Millington Synge, is based on the story of Lynchehaun. The recently published The Veiled Woman of Achill, by Patricia Byrne, is a fiction novel also based on the same story
Emer Davis grew up in Bunnacurry and had her book of poetry, Kill Your Television, published in 2012. It has poetry in it about Achill.
By Patrick Lavelle, Coláiste Pobail Acla
The Valley, Dooniver and Innisbiggle are located along the northern coast of Achill.
The Yellow Lady
James Carney wrote a book called The Playboy and The Yellow Lady about a criminal called James Lynchehaun who worked for Agnes MacDonnell at The Valley House but the two had a disagreement. James... More Lynchehaun set fire to the Valley House while Mrs. MacDonnell was alone in it. Word spread quickly through the village that the big house was on fire. During that time James Lynchehaun dragged Mrs. MacDonnell out the back of the house to a stable where he beat her so badly she lost an eye and he also bit her nose off. Mrs. MacDonnell was so disfigured she covered her face until she died in 1927. Meanwhile, Lynchehaun went to prison but escaped off a train to Westport into the darkness to an uncle’s house in Polranny where his family prepared him for his hiding period. He lived under the floorboards in a friend’s house but was caught again. He died at the age of 77 in Scotland.
By Seán McNamara, Coláiste Pobail Acla
The Colony is located in Doogurt on the island of Achill. It is an old village at the base of Slievemore. It was established by a man called Edward Nangle, who was a Protestant. He was very influential in Achill as you will find out as you read on.
Nangle was born in Athboy, Co. Meath in 1799. He was... More a reverend and first came to Achill on a charity mission in 1831 as the island was in deep trouble with famine. He decided to stay, and English Protestants gave him money to help the island when he described the poor state of the people. From this, he built the Colony. In the Colony was a church, a hospital, a kitchen, two substantial dwellings for two clergymen, a steward’s house and thirty cottages. There was another Colony built in Mweelin, Dooega but it is mostly in ruins now.
But this was not the best thing that Nangle did for the island. In 1837 he also set up a newspaper called “The Achill Missionary Herald and Western Witness”, partly describing what was happening in Achill. This paper brought a lot of publicity to Achill. It was supposedly printed using an Eagle Press. The original paper was 12 pages long (but eventually grew to 16). Each page was 28.7cm x 22cm with three columns per page. The newspaper was printed and published by Michael Daly and was distributed worldwide. Subscriptions were five shillings per annum with the money going to funding for the Mission. Nangle had rented 130 acres of land from Sir Richard O’Donnel who was the owner and landlord of the island.
But eventually Nangle left and went to Skreen, Co. Sligo. The paper changed to become “The Irish Church Advocate” in 1870, then “The Church Advocate” in 1879. Rev. Edward Nangle died in 1883, aged 84. He did a lot for and brought lots of publicity to Achill. Some writers came to Achill and wrote about the Colony and Nangle, attracted by the newspaper while he was alive, or the history while he was gone. Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Hall and Harriet Martineau visited the Colony in Nangle’s time. But even more writers wrote about the Colony and Rev. Nangle. Henry Seddal wrote a book entitled Edward Nangle; The Apostle of Achill. The book was published in London in 1884. It tells us about Edward Nangle and his time in Achill.
Another book that tells of Nangle’s time in Achill is Rev. P.J. Joyce’s A Forgotten Part of Ireland. The book was published in Tuam in 1910. Chapters 9 and 10 tell us in detail about Nangle’s influence in Achill.
There are also short essays or pieces of information written about Nangle and the Colony that have been published such as “Edward Nangle (1799-1883), The Achill Missionary in a New Light”. It was written by Patrick Comerford and was published in Cathair na Mairt, No. 18 in 1998. Another essay, called “Edward Nangle and the Achill Mission 1834-1852” written by Irene Whelan, was published in A Various Country, Essays in Mayo History, 1500-1900.
But some writers actually visited the Colony, as well as wrote about it. The before mentioned Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Hall wrote a book called Ireland, Its Scenery, Characters etc. which contained information about the Colony. Aesnath Nicholson wrote a book which talked about the Colony called Bible in Hand, Ireland’s Welcome to Strangers. Charles Boycott also visited the Colony, and the book Boycott, The Life Behind the Word written by Boycott’s descendant, C.A. Boycott, describes his visit to the Colony and the Colony itself.
Nangle also published some books, guides, etc. himself, including a copy of the Bible in Irish. There is no doubt that Edward Nangle helped make Achill the way it is today and that he was also a huge figure in literature and publishing.
By Aoife Cooney, Coláiste Pobail Acla
The Heinrich Böll Cottage is in Dugort. It is a residency for writers and artists who stay in the Cottage and write or work there. Heinrich Böll was a German writer who lived for some time in Achill. He was drafted into the German army and fought on the Russian and French fronts during World war II. He was... More wounded four times before being captured and held in a U.S. prisoner-of-war camp. Following the War he turned to writing. He wrote many of his early works in his cottage in Dugort, including Irish Journal, which is an impression of Irish life and people in the 1950s. He published over 20 books and in 1972 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Since 1992, the Böll cottage at Dugort has been provided without charge by the Böll family for use as a residency for writers and artists. The residency programme has been administered by the local voluntary committee, The Achill Heinrich Böll Association. The Cottage is a memorial to Heinrich Böll and it was restored and reopened in 2005.
The Heinrich Böll Cottage on Achill Island was published in 1998 as a celebration of the first years of the residency programme. Many authors have stayed in the Cottage and written there including Maura Mulligan whose book, Call of the Lark, goes on sale in 2012.
Heinrich Böll Weekend
Dr Gisela Holfter has written a book called Heinrich Böll and Ireland. The book was launched at the Heinrich Böll Memorial Weekend in May 2012. This is a weekend held each year by The Achill Heinrich Böll Association in memory of the author. Many well-known writers speak at it. The 2012 programme included Eva Bourke, Leland Bardwell, Patricia Byrne, Eoin Bourke, Dr Gisela Holfter and Klaus Modick.
The book 'Follow the Moon' by Sheila Sullivan contains a chapter about Heinrich Böll’s time in Achill.
By Clodagh Cooney, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Slievemore is a small village near Dugort. Heinrich Böll wrote about a visit to the Deserted Village on Slievemore in the book Irish Journal, published in 1957. Heinrich Böll was a German novelist. He was born in 1917 and had his first book published in 1949. He has published more than twenty books some of ... Morewhich have been translated into English. Henrich Böll came to Ireland a lot in the 1950’s and 1960’s and he had a cottage in Dugort, near Slievemore. The Train Was On Time was the first book he wrote. He won a Nobel Prize in 1972.
Sheila Sullivan lives in Dookinella, near Slievemore. She was born in the USA in 1956. She has lived in Boston, New York, Dublin and Achill Island. She wrote an account of Henrich Böll’s time in Achill in her book called Follow The Moon which was published in 2006.
David Doherty wrote a story set in Slievemore in the book of short stories called Flame Angels which was
published in 2000, and Bob Kingston published a book in 1990 called The Deserted Village at Slievemore. The poet, Paul Durcan, visits the area often. He has a new book out called Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have my Being (2012).
By Colm O'Malley, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Keel is a small village located in lower Achill. Several writers are associated with Keel and several books have been published about Keel. Chris Newton wrote the book Hugh Falkus, about the broadcaster and film maker who made ‘Shark Island’, a film about shark fishing in Keem Bay. The sharks were brought... More back to Purteen Pier, in Keel, from where they were transported to Ballinasloe for producing shark oil and to make cosmetics; the fins were sent to Japan. A book written about Keel Pipe Band called The Band From The Bonny Spot was written by two local men, Anthony N. Lavelle and Kieran O’Malley. It is about the formation of the Keel Pipe Band.
Grace and Paul Henry
J.G Cruikshank wrote the book Person And Artist which is about Grace Henry, her work and her life. Grace Henry was the first wife of the artist Paul Henry who lived in Keel for a time in the early 1900s. Paul Henry wrote the book Irish Portrait and S.B. Kennedy wrote a book about him called Paul Henry.
A new book, Sea Meets Land, written by Keel resident Alexandra Van Tuyll, was launched in May, 2012. Escape to the West is a novel written by Geraldine Mitchell about a young girl called Aoife and an elderly woman called Immogen O’Toole who become partners in adventure as they escape to Keel.
Dookinella is the first village after Keel on the way to Bunnacurry. The Memorial Pipe Band Dookinella is a Pictorial History book written about the Dookinella Pipe Band and published in 1998, the year of their fifty years in existence. Dookinella National School Centenary is a book written about Dookinella National School, it was published in 1998 the year of the school’s centenary. Sheila Sullivan, who lives in Dookinella, wrote Follow The Moon.Less
By Niamh Cooney, Coláiste Pobail Acla
The large village of Dooagh, and nearby Pollagh, Corrymore and Keem, are located on the western side of Achill Island. There are several writers and poets associated with the area such as Arthur Flynn, Anne Kelly, Garret Cormican, Major Dermot Freyer, Vincent Keane, Ernie O’Malley, Graham Greene, C.A. Boycott... More, and Louis McNiece. These writers and poets have written books or poetry about Dooagh or the area around it or have lived or visited there.
Arthur Flynn’s children’s novel, 'Achill Adventure', is about a boy who moves from Dublin to the Dooagh area of Achill.
Graham Greene is novelist who stayed and visited Achill in 1940’s. He wrote parts of the novels 'The Heart of The Matter' - which was published in 1948 - and 'The Fallen Idol' in Dooagh. Achill Island is also said to have inspired Greene to write some of his best poetry.
Michael Gielty was born in Dooagh in 1933 and tells about the hardships endured by the tattie hookers, the treacherous job of shark fishing in Keem Bay, and the bravery of Achill fisherman at sea, in the book 'Clew Bay Folklore'.
'The Mirror in the Sea', by Garrett Cormican, is about the artist Camille Souter who lives in Dooagh. The artist Robert Henri also lived in the area and the book From New York to Corrymore (by Stuhlman and Leeds) is about his life and time spent in Ireland and Achill.
Dooagh is the founding place of Scoil Acla, the Irish Traditional Music Summer School that takes place annually. Scoil Acla was established in 1910. Paul Henry, the artist, was an active member of Scoil Acla and in 1912 he directed the play Casadh at-Sugan by Douglas Hyde. The school gradually went into decline but was revived in 1985. Achill Songs and Poetry was published by Scoil Acla, and Scoil Acla 1910 – 2010 was published in 2010. The Scoil Acla Writers’ Workshop is part of the annual Scoil Acla programme and Achill Island, Vol.1 and Achill Island 11 contain writings from workshops in 1990 and 1992/1993. Macdara Woods is the regular tutor for the Workshop. Each year, writers give talks and readings at Scoil Acla. Writers who have been on the Scoil Acla programme over the years include: John F. Deane, Paul Durcan, Seamus Heaney, Brian Keenan, John McGahern, Macdara Woods, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Michael Harding, Iosold Ní Dheirg and Patrick Comerford. Mary J. Murphy’s book Achill’s Eva O’Flaherty: Forgotten Island Heroine is due to be launched this summer at Scoil Acla 2012. Eva O’Flaherty was a founding member of Scoil Acla.
Chris Newton wrote the book 'Hugh Falkus', about the broadcaster and film maker who made ‘Shark Island’, a film about shark fishing in Keem Bay.
Robert Praeger, a well-known 20th century botanist, mentioned a stay in Keem in his book 'The Way I Went' (1937), writing “you will obtain changing and ever wonderful views of the wild cliffs of Achill Head which will long remain in your memory”.
Captain Boycott, from whose name the word “boycott” comes, lived for a time in Keem in a house called Corrymore House. C.A. Boycott – a distant relation – wrote a book called 'Boycott: The Life Behind the Word', published in 1997. This tells the story of Captain Boycott’s life through the view of a distant family member.
Anne Kelly was born in Pollagh in 1939. She published her first collection of poetry, A Homecoming, in 1999/2000. Her second collection is called Dream Journey, published in 2001, and her third and final collection entitled A New Tomorrow was published in 2002. All proceeds of her collections go to St. Colman’s Nursing Home, Achill, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin, and the charity, L’Arche.
By Eliza Lavelle Cafferkey, Coláiste Pobail Acla
Tonragee is a small village that lies between Polranny and Mulranny.
The Greenway runs through Tonragee. It is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland, passing through some of the most stunning scenery in the West of Ireland. It was once an old railway line from... More Achill Sound to Westport between 1894/95 and 1937. In the 1890s the Westport line was extended to Achill Sound after Arthur J. Balfour introduced an Act of Parliament providing State assistance for the construction of light railways to disadvantaged areas in Ireland.
Before the line was properly opened it brought home the bodies of the Clew Bay Drowning in 1894 when 32 Achill people were killed when a hooker called ‘Victory’ capsized just outside Westport Harbour. In 1937 the Kirkintilloch Disaster happened killing 16 Irish men on the 16th of September. This is written about in Achill Island Tattie-Hokers in Scotland and the Kirkintilloch Tragedy 1937, by Brian Coughlan. There was a man named Brian Rua O’ Cearbháin who had predicted that the first and last trains would bring home the bodies of disasters. A book about the railway is Rails to Achill By Jonathan Beaumont. Carlo Gebler uses the Achill Line in his children’s novel Caught on a Train, a story set on a train travelling from Dublin to Achill.
Tales from the West of Ireland by Sean Henry tells about a man stayin in Tonragee who hears stories from a local man about life in Achill.
S.N. Thoin Ré Gaoith, Achill: Céad Bliain ag Fás includes stories from the school and local people of TonrageeLess
By Liam Gallagher, Colaiste Pobail Acla
Ballycroy is located in the west of Ireland. It is reached from Achill by taking the N 59 before Mulranny. It has wonderful scenery and has inspired many books and poems. Mark Chaddock wrote a poem about Ballycroy entitled “This Place: Ballycroy”. It was included in his book of poetry The Ordinary Miracle.... More J.M. Synge wrote a play while staying near Ballycroy called The Playboy of the Western World. Another writer inspired by Ballycroy was W.H. Maxwell. He visited Ballycroy to collect information for his book Wild Sports of the West which was published in 1832. Paul Henry was an artist from Belfast who lived in Achill for a time from 1910 – 1919. He enjoyed the scenery in Mayo and became “paymaster” for Ballycroy, Bangor Erris, and most of the Peninsula of Killala. He wrote about his time in the west of Ireland in his book An Irish Portrait.