To reach the wonderful areas of Termoncarragh Lake, Ceann an Eanaigh, Scotchport and Dún na mBó, you must travel through the small village of Corclough. The nearby lighthouses on Eagle Island was a dangerous place for lighthouse-keepers and their families to live. So after a very bad storm in 1894, shore dwellings were built in Corclough village. The families moved in at the end of 1900, enabling the keepers to semaphore to the island.
The historical Cross Abbey is the trailhead for the Cross Loop Walk, which brings you along an impressive beach with views of the legendary island of Inis Gluaire, and then takes you through the machair hills to and around Cross Lake.
Doohoma, like much of Erris, has had a long history of emigration. Large numbers of people travelled every year to the potato-picking fields of Scotland. ‘Tattie-hokers’ was the name given by the local Scottish people to the workers from the west of Ireland. So numerous were the ‘tattie-hokers’ in Doohoma, that ships would moor off Doohoma Head (Ceann Ramhar) to transport them to their new lives.
There was once a castle and a coastguard station in Doolough, but the area is now more well-known for the annual Doolough Races. The horse and dog raceing takes place on the Doolough strand and are the most popular events during the Geesala Festival every August, attracting thousands of people to the beach. The races provide the backdrop to the world-famous ‘Playboy of the Western World’, written by J.M. Synge. Synge spent a lot of time in Erris and refers to 15 local placenames in his masterpiece.
The name Elly comes from the Irish word ‘oileach’, which means a stone house or fortress. It is believed to have got its name from the ancient tribe Oileach. They were chieftains of ancient times long before Normans or Vikings came to Ireland.
Fál Mór is a holy place. St. Deirbhile’s Church is one of Ireland’s oldest and it is said that anyone able to pass through its narrow window three times will never drown. Grass is said not to grow on St Deirbhile’s grave. The graves of the 10 Inis Gé fishermen, whose currachs overturned in the storm of 1927, can also be found here in Fál Mór.
The endangered corncrake travels to Fál Mór every year, all the way from Africa. As a shy and secretive bird, it is rare to catch a glimpse of them. You are more likely to hear its distinctive ‘crex-crex’ call, which can be heard from April to September.
The small village of Geesala is world-famous for its annual horse racing event on Doolough beach every August. John Millington Synge spent a lot of time here and based his masterpiece ‘The Playboy of the Western World’ here. In recent years, the village has also become well-known due to its boxing club, which is produced many high-calibre boxers, with students achieving world titles and Olympic medals.
The village of Inver is in the parish of Kilcommon, which takes its name from St. Comán who lived around the end of the sixth century AD. The saint is allegedly buried in the old churchyard at nearby Pullathomas, near to the entrance where the walls of the old Church can still be seen.