KILLALA, a sea-port , market and post-town, and parish , and the seat of a diocese , in the barony of TYRAWLEY, county of MAYO , and province of CONNAUGHT ,22 miles (N.) from Castlebar ,and 131 1/2 (N.W.) from Dublin, on the road from Ballina to Ballycastle; containing 3875 inhabitants , of which number ,1125 are in the town.
During the disturbances of 1798,General Humbert , with two frigates of 44 and one of 38 guns, having on board 70 officers and 1030 men , sailed from Rochelle on the 4th of August, to make a descent on the county of Donegal ; but being frustrated in that attempt by contrary winds , landed his forces in Kilcummin bay on the 22 nd of the same month. The garrison , at that time consisting of only 50 men , fled , after a vain attempt to oppose the entrance of the French vanguard; and several of them were taken prisoners. The French forces were joined by many of the peasentry , and after they had taken Ballina greater numbers flocked to their standard , to receive the arms and uniforms which had been sent from France for their equipment.
The town is situated on the bay of the same name , and on the west bank of the river Moy; it contains about 200 houses , of which those in the principal street are well built.
The manufacture of coarse linens is carried on to a very small extent , but the principal trade is the exportation of grain , of which the annual average from 1810 to 1820 was 5000 tons , chiefly oats and barley; and the value of the imports , consisting of planks , iron , tar , slates , flax-seed , herrings , and sugar , about £5000. The trade was on the increase from 1820 till 1825, but, from the improvements of the port of Ballina , what formerly came into this port for the supply of that town is conveyed thither direct by the river Moy , and from 1830 to 1835 the average exports from Killala have not exceeded 3500 tons , nor the value of the imports £ 4000 per annum.
A considerable fishery is carried on , in which more than 300 persons are occasionally engaged , and for which this is a very good station ; and large quantities of sea-manure are landed at the quay ; the pier is very old , but has been recently repaired .The entrance to the bay is between Kilcummin Head and Kennisharrock Point. On the western side of the bay, off the point of Ross , are the Carrigphadric rocks, between which and the mainland is a shoal dry at low water : and on the eastern side , about two miles from Kennisharrock Point , is a creek called Pullogheeny , where small vessels load kelp and other commodities during the summer . The harbour affords good and safe anchorage for vessels drawing eight or nine feet of water ,and the vessels drawing 12 feet may get to the anchorage about high water.
A constabulary police force is stationed in the town ; and it is the head of the coastguard district , comprising the stations of Dunkeehan, Port Terlin , Belderig , Ballycastle , Lacken , Kilcummin , and Ross . The market is on Saturday , and fairs are held on May 6 th , Aug. 17 th and Nov. 8 th Petty sessions are held in a private house every Friday , and a manorial court is held occasionally.