in County Mayo in the West of Ireland
Killala (in Irish: Cill Ala) is a picturesque seaside village six and a half miles north-west of Ballina in north Mayo, famous in Irish history for the part it played in the 1798 rebellion.
In August of 1798 General Humbert arrived into Kilcummin pier from France and combined with the Irish forces against the English forces in the area. This year is chronicled in Irish history as the Year of the French and a book and television history celebrate this unique event.
Consequently, Killala has become a popular location for the historian and in fact was used as a major location for the 1981 multi million pound film "The Year of the French". In 1998 Killala celebrated the bicentenary by twinning with a town in Chauve in France.
Killala Round Tower
Killala's skyline is dominated by a round tower, dating to the 12th century, a testament to the historic distinction of the village as an ecclesiastical centre. The Killala round tower was most likely used as a belfry and is one of the best examples of round towers in Mayo.
In the centre of Killala there is a Church of Ireland cathedral, built in 1670 over the remains of a ruined Catholic cathedral that had stood on the same site. The adjoining graveyard has a 9th century souterrain with numerous chambers.
The origins of the Killala diocese date from the time of St Patrick who appointed his disciple, St Muredach, over the church there - dating back to 442 or 443 AD.
The area is rich in archaelogical remains such as:
- Rosserk Abbey (founded in 1400 AD as an early Franciscan Friary)
- Moyne Abbey
- Rathfran Abbey (Dominican Priory 1274 AD)
- Meelick Castle
- Humberts Rock
- Céide Fields (the oldest enclosed farms in the world) are a short distance away near Ballycastle.
Photo: Rosserk Abbey on the Moy Estuary
between Killala and Ballina © Michael O'Sullivan
Killala is a popular tourist destination with many amenities and activities to entertain visitors of all ages.
There are beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the region, including nearby Ross - a Blue Flag beach, excellent for swimming and other watersports.
A strong tradition of fishing prevails in the area and the village harbour is a focal point for many visiting fishermen. Other locations for fishing include river, shore and offshore fishing.
If bird-watching or seal-spotting is your fascination, a medley of waterside birds can be spotted, such as cormorants, gulls, brent geese, ducks and more. Seals can often be seen in Killala Bay or nearby Bartra Island.
In Killala you will find Bed and Breakfast or Rental Accommodation as well as an excellent choice of Pubs and Restaurants with traditional music and food including fresh seafood dishes.
Other services include a Post Office, Taxis, Shops, Chemist, Garage and there is a daily bus service in the town.
Killala Community Centre is one of the largest centres in the north west catering for handball, football, soccer, badminton, volley ball, squash and tennis. It has a fully equipped kitchen, meeting rooms, tourist office and community council offices.
For further information contact the Community Council office:
Tel: + 353 (0) 96 32166
Fax: + 353 (0) 96 32484
Population from Census
- 569 (2006)
- 650 (2002)
- 657 (1996)