The Bealach Garbh, Bangor in Co. Mayo

Major Bingham came into Erris by the "Bealach Garbh" or "rough mountain mass", across the hills from Newport. This was the ancient and only pathway into Erris and crossed the Aronmore river convenient to where Bangor now stands. It is still to be seen along the hillside in a south-easterly direction from Bangor-Erris.

Many stirring stories are told about hardship endured along this mountain pass. There were no bridges, and it was no uncommon occurrence for travellers to find themselves benighted on the lonely hills, owing to floods.

When horsemen were travelling over this pathway it was the custom whenever they came to a soft part to alight, strip saddle and bridle off, upset the horses in turn, tie their legs and drag them across.

It is also recorded that when a lady had to cross over one of those "sloughs", a number of men ranged themselves in two rows across it and grasped each other's hands. She then stepped from one set of hands to the other, the hindmost pair still moving in front, as she proceeded, until hard footing was reached on the opposite side.

Put together by the 5th & 6th class pupils of Bangor National School.

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