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Achill Literary Heritage Trail

Follow these points of literary interest and take in the rich heritage of this beautiful part of Mayo.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 63 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

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 »

Tips:  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 »

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Points of Interest

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... More

2. Currane

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.... More

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.

Polranny

... More

4. Cloghmore

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.

Granuaile

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... More

5. Achill Beg

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,... More

6. Dooega

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... More

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.

Writers’ Workshop

The... More

8. Bunnacurry

By Tomás Randle Coláiste Pobail Acla

Bunnacurry

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... More

9. The Valley, Dooniver and Innisbiggle

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

10. Dugort: The Colony

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.

Built

Nangle was born in Athboy, Co. Meath... More

11. Dugort: The Heinrich Boll Cottage

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... More

12. Slievemore

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... More

13. Keel

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... More

14. Dooagh

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. ... More

15. The Greenway, Tonragee

By Eliza Lavelle Cafferkey, Coláiste Pobail Acla

Tonragee

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... More

16. Ballycroy

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