Industry, History of Achill Island in Co. Mayo

A little number of small industries were set up on Achill through the centuries but none of them survived.

Flax grew abundantly at Keel Sandbanks, Dookinella and Dooniver. Flax was harvested and spun on the island, there was a flax mill in Dookinella and another one in Keel.

There were also a mill for grinding the corn and a mill for thickening flannel in Belfarsad.

It was said there was a salt factory before the Achill Mission was established in 1833.

On Achill there were four blacksmiths located in Keel, Cabán, Cashel and the Valley and twelve shoemakers which made high quality homemade shoes. In early 1930s’ shoemakers closed down definitely after the coming of cheap shoes on the market.

There were copper and sulphur mines situated in Bolinglanna, Benderg and between Gubroe and Carricknahelty.

Some of the Achill women tried to set up small knitting industries: in Dooagh Miss Eva O’Flahertyran a little business using knitting machines and employed a good number of women. She sold her items all over Ireland.

Dugort women made stockings and flannel. They spun and knitted the coarse wool of their sheep. They used to sell them to Frenchmen coming twice a month to the village.