The Mullet
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THE MULLET PENINSULA              sunset2.jpg (96330 bytes)  Sunset in North Mayo

26 km by 16 km from Blacksod point on the south to Erris head in the north, it offers miles of secluded beaches and coves. It has many and varied archaeological sites. At Annagh Head there are gneisses which are some 2000 million years old, the oldest yet recorded in Ireland. The similarity of the rock type and structure to that of the eastern seaboard of North America, Newfoundland and Greenland, leads to the conclusion that they were once joined, torn apart when the Atlantic opened up 200 million years ago. It is also a well known area for many rare birds especially on the islands of lnniskea and Innisglora. 


       donkey.jpg (11335 bytes)   Some residents of The Mullet    horses.jpg (22739 bytes)


At least two Spanish Armada ships sailed into Blacksod Bay - the 'La Rata Sancta Maria Encoronada' and the 'Duquesa Santa Ana'; the 'Santiago' foundered in Broad Haven. At the summit of Glosh Hill stands a signal tower, built by the British during the Napoleonic Wars early in the nineteenth century to protect the coast from attack. There is one position in Erris where it is said that you can see four lighthouses. Eagle Island, which was first lit in 1835 is situated off Doonamo Head where the rock scenery is beautiful in this vicinity and worth a visit if you are in the mood for a walk. At the southern tip of the peninsula is a beautifully built of cut granite lighthouse at Blacksod. It was built in 1864 by Bryan Carey of Belmullet and now also contains a helicopter port to service this coast. Twelve miles out to sea is Blackrock lighthouse built in 1864 which was a very lonely place for the light-keepers especially in olden times. Finally in the northern mouth of Broadhaven bay stands Ballyglass lighthouse which guides the boats into this bay leading to Belmullet. Those lighthouses show the maritime importance of this coastline in earlier times.


boats.jpg (22672 bytes)  Local fishing boats at anchor in Blacksod Bay


From the gaelic Each (horse) and Léim (jump), folklore has it that a horse leapt from the western end of the townland to the east, and the land between was thus named. Ten miles south west of Belmullet, close to the unspoilt beaches of Mullagh Rua and Elly, this vibrant Gaeltacht area is steeped in tradition and culture. The Ionad Deirbhile - Eachléim Heritage Centre - gives a friendly and informative glimpse at life here in times past. Named in honour of the sixth century St Deirbhile, according to tradition she rests at nearby Fál Mór, and water from her well is said to have curative properties for eye complaints. Custom also has it that if you can pass three times through the small east window of her Chapel, heaven is your reward; another says that passing seven times means you will not die by drowning.

Ionad Deirbhile, Eachléim (Aughleam)    church.jpg (24023 bytes) Deirbhiles Church

Off the coast to the west lie the beautiful islands of Inis Glora, Inishkea North and South, and Dubh Oiléan Mór, on all of which monasteries flourished in Early Christian times. St Brendan the Navigator (who sailed the Atlantic in a leather boat) had links with Inis Glora, as did the fabled four Children of Lir, doomed to wander the waters of Ireland for 900 years as enchanted singing swans, spending their last 300 here before regaining human form and withering to dust.

plaque.jpg (27926 bytes) Plaque on Glosh Beach commerating the disaster of 1927


The Inishkeas had a thriving fishing community until disaster struck on 28th October 1927, when ten fishermen were lost at sea. There were two survivors, and the Islands were abandoned shortly after. St Colmcille founded a monastery on Inishkea North. A whaling station was set up by the Norwegians in 1907 on Rusheen, a tidal island east of Inishkea South, and the remains are still evident today. The Inishkeas are internationally important with respect to birdlife - half of the Irish wintering population of Barnacle geese make these islands their home.

sunset.jpg (48628 bytes)    Sunset overlooking the Islands