These pages on Achill Island 24/7 will build into a history of Achill Island, Co Mayo, Ireland, including profiles of famous inhabitants such as Granuaile, Capt Boycott, Rev Nangle, Fr Manus Sweeney and James Lynchehaun.

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History of Achill Island, Co Mayo, Ireland

Covering an area of about 60sq miles, Achill is the largest of Ireland's islands. There is evidence that the island was inhabited up to 5,000 years ago, and was home to Celtic tribes from the fourth century AD.

Along with many remote and rural parts of Ireland, Achill suffered greatly from the Great Famine of the 1840s. The island's population was recorded as 4,901 in 1841, but declined greatly during the following decade. In 1961 the island's population reached 4,069, almost returning to pre-famine figures, but since then emigration has seen the number of inhabitants fall to under 3,000.

For a fuller outline of the history of Achill Island, visit the History section of the Achill Tourism web site. This informative site also has dedicated sections on Achill's famous people and interesting details of flora and fauna on Achill.

James Kilbane
Probably Achill's most famous person recently is James Kilbane, a local entertainer who has made it through to the final two contestants in You're A Star, a national competition to find Ireland's entrant for the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. Since then James has pursued a professional singing career and has released several albums. Buy James Kilbane CDs online from the Achill Tourism web site.

Related links:

The Deserted Village

Click this link for a picture gallery from the deserted village at Slievemore, Achill Island.

Fr Manus Sweeney

Click this link for a picture gallery from Burrishoole Abbey, final resting place of Fr Manus Sweeney.

Achill Archaeological Field School

Click this link for the Field School web site, with details of its work at the deserted village, Slievemore. (This link will open in a new window)