2016 - The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium July 1-2
Visiting Ballina

Blessed with the breath-taking Atlantic Coast, stunning landscapes, vibrant towns and 5,000 years of history, Mayo North is full of variety and experience.

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Top 10 Things to do in North Mayo

1. Trace Ireland’s history at the Jackie Clarke Collection

A collection of Irish material comprised of over
100,000 items that span 400 years, the Jackie Clarke
Collection is the most important private collection
of Irish historical material in public hands.
Witness a dramatic narration from an original 1916
Proclamation of Independence or browse the vast
collection which includes the tricolour cockade
taken from the hat of Wolfe Tone by his captors
in 1798 and letters from Michael Collins, Douglas
Hyde, Charles Gavan Duffy, Michael Davitt and
O’Donovan Rossa. As well as rare books, posters,
political cartoons, pamphlets, handbills, maps,
hunger strike material and personal items from
Leaders of the 1916 Rising. The exhibit is located in
Ballina on Pearse Street.

For more information or to arrange bookings contact
the Jackie Clarke Collection on 096 73508.

2. Explore the dungeons of Belleek Castle

Set in 1,000 acres of woodland & forestry, on the
banks of the River Moy, Belleek Castle stands as
a symbol of a bygone era. Belleek Castle was built
between 1825 and 1831, on the site of a medieval
abbey. Take the fascinating tour which includes
an explanation of the origins of the Castle and the
history of its former owners, the Knox-Gore family.
The highlight of the tour is the Marshall Doran
Collection, which will take you to down into the
dungeons of the castle and showcase one of the
finest collections of arms and armour, fossils and
antiques in Ireland. You will also see the Grace O’
Malley room and the last wolf shot in Connaught.

For more information or to arrange bookings contact
Belleek Castle on 096 22400.

3. Indulge in afternoon tea and falconry at Mount
Falcon Estate

Mount Falcon is a luxury family run 4 star Country
House Hotel set on an idyllic manicured estate.
Begin your day with Afternoon Tea at the Residents
Lounge prepared by Head Chef Daniel Willimont
and his team. Practiced on the grounds of the
estate is the ancient tradition of Falconry which has
been handed down for generations for over 4000
years. Visitors can enter into this world with Mount
Falcon’s resident Falconers who will personally
introduce you to the various birds of prey on display.
Experience a Hawk Walk and share in the secrets of the
birds hunting habits and their place in the ecosystem.

For more information or to arrange bookings contact
Mount Falcon on 096 74472.

4. Discover Mayo’s forgotten history in the Belderrig
Valley Experience, with renowned Professor
Seamus Caulfield

Experience the excitement of discovery and of
hands-on research in the most intensely researched
thirty kilometres of the entire Wild Atlantic Way.
Based at the Belderrig Research and Study Centre
visitors can participate in one, two or three day long
archaeological experiences. You will be introduced
to the excitement of discovery in the outdoor
‘laboratory’ with guided walks, demonstrations
and hands-on data collection which includes turf
cutting and other activities. Indoors at the Research
Centre laboratories examine your findings with
cutting-edge scientific equipment. Examine the ring
patterns of the trees for knowledge of the age of the
tree when it died, whether blown down, burnt or
died of natural causes. Identify some of the billion
grains of botanical information (pollen) contained
in a sod of turf.

For more information and for bookings, contact
Declan Caulfield on 087 2515292.

5. Weave an unforgettable experience at Foxford
Woollen Mills

Originally founded by an Irish Sister of Charity in
1892, the fledgling woollen and textiles business
overcame many challenges down through the
years in order to survive. Enjoy an interactive
journey through a turbulent and fascinating
history, finishing with a tour of the working mill
where master craftspeople are at work on some
of the world’s finest weaves using techniques
and traditions passed down through generations
to create contemporary blankets, garments and
products that are sought after worldwide. Have lunch
in the bright and airy gourmet café and restaurant
where local ingredients are prepared by Head Chef
Kathleen Lally, formerly of the Four Seasons.

For more information or to check availability of the
tour, contact Foxford Woollen Mills on 094 9256104.

6. Walk the beautiful Enniscoe House gardens
Witness the enthralling beauty of Enniscoe House
“the last Great House of North Mayo” hidden
among the woods at the foot of Mount Nephin.

Enniscoe is your opportunity to experience life in
a fabulous heritage estate. Experience the fantastic
lakeside trails through amazing pastures and
woodlands and the carefully restored Victorian
walled garden, organic walled garden and 19th
century pleasure grounds that extend to the shores
of Lough Conn. Visit the Mayo North Heritage
Centre to trace your family history or to browse
the exhibition which houses an impressive array of
local farm and household artefacts. The gardens
are open to the general public from 30th March to 31

The centre is open from April to October.
For more information or to check opening times,
contact on 096 31809.

7. Step into the past with a visit to Rosserk Abbey
and Moyne Abbey

Take a day to admire the beautifully preserved
religious sites of North Mayo and avail of the
fantastic photography opportunities. Witness one
of the finest and best preserved of the Franciscan
Friaries in Ireland, Rosserk. This historic site was
founded around 1440 by a member of the Joyce
family. These ruins are accessible to the public
and are beautifully positioned on an estuary of the
River Moy. They boast remarkable carvings and
features such as its west doorway, the single-aisle
church and a unique double piscina. Follow the
River Moy to its estuary and Moyne Abbey, which
was founded in 1460 for the Franciscans. The
extensive ruin includes a cruciform church, chapel,
tower and cloisters. Visitors can also explore the
sacristy, chapter house, kitchen and refectory.

8. Cast a line on the world-renowned River Moy

The Moy has long been famous as Ireland’s premier
Salmon river and it offers a wide variety of quality
angling to suit all tastes and budgets. Most of
the Moy River and its larger tributaries provide
excellent spring salmon and grilse fishing with
both fly and bait. Anglers to the area can also fish
for large stocks of sea trout. One of the top spots to
fish the river Moy is Ballina town which has been
crowned the Salmon Capital of Ireland. Whether
you are an experienced angler or an enthusiastic
beginner, the setting of the Moy River is the perfect
place to enjoy one of Ireland’s oldest pastimes.

For more information, contact the Moy Fishery on
096 21332.

9. Cycle through the enchanted Belleek Woods -
Europe’s largest urban woodland

Situated along the banks of the river Moy lays
the tranquil Belleek Woods which features some
fantastic cycling trails. This peaceful woodland
stretches for 6 miles and is one of the largest
urban forests in Europe. There are many historical
features from bygone days to unearth at Belleek
Woods including a hermitage site, Knox-Gore
Monument also known as “The Horse’s Grave”, the
ominous concrete boat which has lain breached at
Belleek Woods for decades, and an extraordinary
wall built during the famine in Ireland. The forest
is well sign posted and there are routes to suit all
the family and level of cyclists.
A number of service providers offer bike rentals in
the area, such as Paddle and Pedal and Killala Bike

10. Explore the Waterways by Paddle Board or Kayak

If it’s a water based activity you are after, look no
further. Mayo North has a flood of outstanding
lakes, rivers and rugged coastlines each with
something different to offer. Why not take the
plunge and try your hand at stand-up paddle
boarding. A water based activity which combines
a surfboard and a long one-handed paddle. It’s
a traditional Hawaiian sport which promotes
balance, strength and general fitness, and is a
fantastic way to explore the stunning natural
landscapes that are on offer. If you’re looking for
something a little more intense, why not try a spot
of kayaking. Take to the seas on specialist tours
and explore the rugged coastline at Ballycastle in a
sea kayaking experience to remember.
Ballina is a hotspot for water based activities, with
companies such as Harbour Sup n’ Sail and Paddle
n’ Pedal offering a variety of activities.