Achill Cultural Activities in Co. Mayo

Cultural activities, arts and crafts are a major part of life in Achill. The island has attracted many artists, potters, sculptors, writers and photographers to the area, many of whom have resided there down through the years and taught or passed on their skills to others.

The beauty and splendour of the island has provided inspiration for artists such as Robert Henri and Paul Henry and has influenced, in no small way, writers such as Heinrich Boll and Graham Greene. This creative legacy continues today with several craft shops and art galleries selling traditional handcrafts, pottery, fine art, prints and photographs.

Traditional music, song and dance is another significant feature of island life and music classes are on offer in Scoil Acla in August. Scoil Acla is the annual Achill Island summer school, which has been fostering traditional Irish music, arts and culture for almost 30 years.

The extensive range of traditional music classes available at Scoil Acla include tin whistle, concertina, harp, accordion, fiddle, banjo, uileann pipes and concert flute. This popular summer school also hosts a highly esteemed writers' workshop, poetry readings, drama performances, concerts and art exhibitions.

Achill has several adventure schools, one of which, Coláiste Acla, innovatively combines Irish language tuition with its adventure and outdoor activities.

The Achill Archaeological School explores the heritage of Achill and regularly hosts informative lectures, excavations and field trips from its base in Dooagh. They are currently working on an extensive survey of the Deserted Village at Slievemore.

Achill is a highly popular destination for long weekends, short breaks and Bank Holidays and visitors to the island can experience unique and memorable celebrations for St Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve.

The Western Light Gallery at Keel houses a collection of photographs and paintings and the Yawl Art Gallery at Dooega exhibits local and other paintings.

Craft shops include the Shell Craft Shop at Keel, the Chalet Craft Shop, the Beehive and Achill Island Pottery, also in Keel.

Computer courses are available at Ionad Chumarsaid Nua Acla, that is the IT Centre at Crumpaun School, Keel.