Partry, Co. Mayo in the West of Ireland


Partry parish lies between loughs Carra and Mask, world renowned wild brown trout lakes, on the Castlebar/Ballinrobe road, with the villages of Kilkeeran on the west Carra shore and Aughnish, Ballygarry and Derrymore on the Mask east shore. The old name for the parish is Ballyovey, while the existing name is derived from "Partraigh", the tribe living here in ancient times.

Rev Monsignor James Horan, who conceived the idea of and developed Knock Airport, was born in Tooreen, Partry.

The countryside is undulating, made up of farmland, bog, and some scrubby woodland, with rocky outcrops and shorelines. Agriculture is almost the sole industry, with farms, none of them very big, being mostly owned by the same families for a number of generations. There is a small but modern farmhouse cheese industry which also sells home produced honey, and a blacksmith making and selling useful, decorative ironware.

With a population of about 500, the parish has a Church, National School, community centre, post office, two pubs and garda barracks. A popular tourism fishing destination, Partry has a number of B&Bs, self catering houses, holiday caravans and several boatmen with boats for hire.

History & Archaeology

Archaeological remains of various periods are common throughout the parish, including such items as the Colmcille’s Well, just west of Partry at Ballygarry. Established in the days of the early Christian church by followers of St Colmcille, annual 'Pattern' or ‘Holy’ days are celebrated here. Other archaeological landmarks include old churches and a Stone Age causeway crossing the Carra at Kilkeeran.

A priest-hunter named Seán na Sagart was killed in Partry in Penal Times. He was a villainous man who 'spied' on priests and Catholic teachers in the 18th century and was paid handsomely for information leading to the arrest of either. He himself was hunted down and killed in Partry.

The word "Boycott" became part of the English language due to the efforts of the Partry people and their priest to cut off all contacts with Captain Boycott, a much-despised local land agent.