Home From Home Published

This Mayo property would stop St Patrick himself in his tracks

(IRISH INDEPENDENT, March 4th, 2016)

The four-bedroom Kilsallagh property  fits snugly  into the wild western landscape
The stunning view of Croagh Patrick from the cottage in Kilsallagh, Co Mayo

Is there anything quite like the breathtaking view on a clear day from the top of Croagh Patrick on the Murrisk peninsula in Co Mayo? It must have made St Patrick himself pause in wonder before he set about banishing those pesky snakes from his green shamrock shores.

Looking out over Clew Bay, its 365 island jewels sparkling in the deep blue Atlantic swirl, and with the panorama of the Mayo and Connemara mountains all around, would make anyone, saint or sinner, pause.

In the foothills of Croagh Patrick, or The Reek, as it is known locally, is where you will find our featured property over in Kilsallagh.

The house

Fitting snugly in the wild western landscape, clever design is a defining feature of this three to four bedroom property. It’s attractive outside, but it is also quirky, and cosy inside.

Most unusually, the two upstairs bedrooms each have their own private stairwell. This is a house that works on many levels, literally. For example, you step up from the front part of the living room, to the snug area around the corner.

There is also a raised office/living room space off the kitchen area.

The main body of the property is open plan. The kitchen/dining/living room area has an open fireplace – which has a back boiler – and there is also a sun room, two bathrooms and two mezzanines. One of these has been used as an office, the other as a reading area.

There is also an original stone shed to the side of the house; it is accessible from the snug/TV room, which gives the option of expanding into that space.

The locale

Just off the coast road of Clew Bay, between Westport and Louisburgh, this is a beautiful part of Mayo and very popular for fishing, surfing, cycling and sailing. There are several blue flag beaches, the nearest being Old Head, a superb little beach.

Connemara and Galway are all within an hour’s drive.Westport is a most attractive spot with its lime tree-lined riverside Mall and pretty stone bridges, colourful streets, pubs and restaurants, iconic Clock and the Octagon monuments.

The nearby stately Westport House is home to the Pirate Adventure Park where you can let the kids go wild on the Cannonball Run slide, Pirate Queen Swinging Ship and the Pirate Plunge log flume ride.Westport House and Grounds was recently put up for sale by the Browne family, direct descendants of pirate queen Grace O’Malley, and who have owned it for generations, but it is still business as usual.

The town of Louisburgh, on the Bunowen River, retains many 18th century features, while Roonagh Pier, 6km away, is the departure point for ferries to Clare Island and Inishturk. Other scenic drives include going south to Connemara via Doolough and Leenane, north to Achill via Westport and Newport, or to Ballycastle and the Ceide Fields via Castlebar and Pontoon.

What to do

Well, there is the 765m Croagh Patrick to climb. Or maybe you will wait for the annual National Pilgrimage on the last Sunday in July each year, known locally as “Reek Sunday”.

The Great Western Greenway, Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail, meanders along the old Westport to Achill railway line and takes in stunning views of Clew Bay along its 42 kilometres.

Murrisk village is surrounded by wonderful cycling terrain. There is a designated cycle track along the coast into Westport using the National Coastal Path and there are lots of small back roads over the mountains in the area.

Mayo is a wonderland for hikers, with stunning trails among the Sheeffry Hills, Mweelrea, and that little-visited sweep of mountains from Nephin, through the Nephin Begs out to spectacular Croaghaun at the western end of Achill Island.

Ireland’s largest island, Achill, reached by bridge from the Corraun peninsula, has five Blue Flag beaches.

A sea kayak would allow you to experience Clew Bay from a different perspective – outdoor adventure company, Adventure Islands, operates from Westport House and also from Rosmoney Pier and Collanmore island in Clew Bay, and runs all sorts of activities including dinghy sailing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, water skiing and stand-up paddle boarding.

Every summer Louisburg hosts the Féile Chois Cuain, a traditional music festival, while the Westport Food Festival takes place in June.

If you can’t wait until then, artisan growers have their fresh fruit, vegetables, jams, cheeses and meats on sale every Saturday from March at the Westport Food & Craft Market.

If you want to land your own seafood, the Westport Sea Angling Festival will take place in June, while Murrisk will host its annual Lobster Festival on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

Food and drink

Westport is a culinary mecca and, according to foodie gurus John and Sally McKenna, the menus written by chef Seamus Commons at Knockranny House, for instance, “read almost like novellas: roast turbot comes with baby broad beans, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus tips, a duck and foie gras cigar, and a caper and herb velour. Phew”. The McKennas wax lyrical too about the fare at The Idle Wall on Westport Quay.

An Port Mor, on Bridge Street, offers signature dishes such as Achill sea trout with Clew Bay mussels.

The Tavern Bar and Restaurant in Murrisk, draws foodies to its fine bar and restaurant, with local seafood a speciality.

There are many pubs in Westport and beyond of course, but if you have to pick one, it would have to be Matt Molloy’s Bar on Bridge Street. Owned by the celebrated Chieftains flautist, this intimate venue has no TV or kids after 9pm, when the music really gets going.

The crowd

Not as feted or busy as Kerry or west Cork, Mayo still brings in discerning tourists for its good food, beaches, trekking trails and beauty spots. It also attracts the younger kayaking and surfing set.

What’s not to like

The traffic in Westport can be annoying, especially when delivery trucks block lanes.


Westport, Co Mayo

Asking price



Dearbhla Friel Properties, Breaffy Road, Castlebar. Tel: 1890 876 196

— Enda Sheppard

About endardoo

A newspaper sub-editor for many years, I am now a blogger and freelance sub-editor. Husband of one and house daddy of two: a feisty and dramatic 17-year-old girl and a bright, resilient football nut of a boy aged 16. My website: endastories.com.

1 comment on “This Mayo property would stop St Patrick himself in his tracks

  1. Pingback: The Mayo property would stop St Patrick himself in his tracks | endastories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: