La An Logha in Belmullet in Co. Mayo
La an Logha occurs on the 15th of August each year and is arguably the biggest single event and one of the busiest days in Belmullet or indeed in Erris each year.
La an Logha translates as the day of indulgence. Traditionally there was a pilgrimage on August 15th to St. Deirbhle's well in Faulmore to gain an indulgence in her name. The legend of St. Deirbhle tells us that she was originally from Kildare and that she was a nun. She was of exceptional beauty and many a man wished to be her suitor. One man in particular was besotted by her. She finally asked him what he found most attractive about her and he replied "your eyes”.
With that she plucked one of her eyes out near the well on the main Blacksod road in Carne. The other she plucked out in Faulmore. It is a local belief that if you bathe your eyes in Deirbhle's well in Faulmore you will never go blind. The pilgrimage to the holy well is still undertaken, though now usually on the nearest Sunday to August 15th.
Other more practical explanations for the 15th of August holiday centre around the fact that is was a traditional Catholic Church holiday and therefore normal work would be suspended for the day and even the normal buying and selling that went on at other fairs was not as important as having a day of leisure.
Another tradition associated with La an Logha was that it was a day for men to propose to their future wives and go parading around the town with her on this special day.
Whatever its origins August 15th can be one of the most enjoyable days in Belmullet with huge crowds in the town, streets overflowing with market stalls and all the fun of the fair.
It is the traditional time that emigrants return for their holidays and often people who live in different parts of the world meet again at the Logha.