Situated just 15 minutes drive away from Knock airport by car, this small town in East Mayo has activities to suit all tastes and needs. Whether it is checking out some of the world class fishing along the river Moy or learning about the local history and culture in Hennigan’s heritage centre there are some excellent things to do in Swinford and its surrounding area.
Sitting on the mouth of the river Moy, Swinford earns international recognition from anglers throughout the world. Swinford boasts some of the best salmon and trout angling in Europe and has developed easy access to all parts of the river to enable the angler to fish in comfort. The bridges at Cloonacannana, Cloongullane, and Ballylahan provide excellent vantage points on the river.
Brabazon Woods on the Kilkelly Road are a 2 minute walk from Swinford town centre. A beautiful children’s playground is located at the base of this walk which starts with a pathway that leads you on a short uphill stroll through the trees. A glorious nature walk, you will take in the sights of the beautiful old trees, the flora and fauna. With a gentle stream flowing through, you can also observe the golfers on various holes along the way.
Visit: Brabazon Woods Facebook page
Hennigan’s Heritage Centre in Killasser is a mecca of un-spoilt countryside overlooking Creagaballa Lake. It is located 6.5 kilometres from the famine workhouse in Swinford, where thousands of people from the region died during the 19th century due to starvation. Hennigan’s Heritage Centre tells the story of the lives of local West of Ireland people over the past 200 years. A guided tour of this small holding is provided by Tom Hennigan who is the sixth-generation of his family to live here. See and hear how this family survived on less than ten acres of poor land for twenty decades. Information displays range from prehistoric to the 19th century land estates and tenants, through Independence and to present times. Working demonstrations of the implements on display plus archaeological tours of the surrounding historic area can also be provided.
One of best features in Swinford is its golf course. Surrounded by mature woodland, this beautifully maintained course is a challenge to all levels of golfer. It is relatively short in length, but this can be an extremely tricky course with many blind second shots, severely sloping greens and out of bounds in play off the tee on 5 of the 9 holes. While many try to overpower the course with the driver, the course can bite back. Accuracy and course management is the key to scoring well around Swinford.
Tel: +353 94 92 513785 | Visit: Swinford Golf Club
“The Procession of the Souls” is a memorial dedicated to the history of the Great famine in Swinford, Co Mayo. The memorial is designed and constructed by Travis Price and his students from the school of Architecture & Planning/Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design in Washington USA. The memorial is being constructed on the site of the Famine & Paupers Graveyard which has been under restoration by Swinford Tidy Towns since 2012.
Visit: Swinford Tidy Towns
Swinford is a town with a great historical sporting pedigree that continues through to the current day. There are a whole host of sports catered for in the town including ladies & men’s GAA and soccer, handball, athletics, triathlon and boxing. These clubs regularly compete in county and provincial competitions through out the year. Up-coming fixtures and other information can be got from the club links below:
Swinford GAA Club: www.swinfordgaa.ie/
Swinford Ladies GAA Club: Swinford-Killasser Ladies GAA Facebook page
Swinford Triathlon Club: www.swinfordtriathlon.com/
Swinford Athletic Club: Swinford Athletic Club Facebook page
Swinford Soccer Club: swinfordfc.com
Swinford Boxing Club: Swinford Boxing Club Facebook page
Swinford Handball Club: www.swinfordhandballclub.weebly.com/
Swinford indoor country market takes place on the first Saturday of every month from 9.30am to 2pm in the stunning Swinford Cultural Centre. Each monthly market offers you a wide variety of produce including home baking, breads, local honey, jams, preserves, chutneys, fresh fruit & veg, fresh flower and silk flower arrangements, crafts, sewing, quilting, crochet, knitting, herbs, plants, flowers, bulbs, exotic & unusual plants, home spun wool, soaps, jewellery of all types, greeting cards cheeses and olives and much, much more.
Live entertainment provided by local musicians serves to further enhance the atmosphere on market day. The Railway Café serves teas, coffees and a selection of other mouth – watering fayre also.
Quench your thirst in one of Swinford’s many cosy bars.
Swinford has a fine selection of bars and lounges that will help you quench your thirst, with most hosting live music at the weekends as well as all the major live sporting events. Lovers of traditional Irish music and dance, should take a visit to the renowned weekly ceili every Monday night in Julian’s of Midfield, or visit Campell’s or Mellett’s in the heart of the town.