Kilkelly in Co. Mayo

Blog Header Image

Located in the parish of Kilmovee, Kilkelly is a small village, approx 5.5 miles south of Ireland West Airport Knock, along the national primary road (the N17) between Galway and Sligo.

The inhabitants of Kilkelly are a friendly and outgoing people who enjoy making new friends and acquaintances. We look foward to seeing you in the future and feel we can guarantee you a pleasant, fulfilling and activity filled holiday.

Leisure Activities

Sporting activities include indoor and outdoor basketball, tennis and badminton. Two swimming pools - Kilmovee and Claremorris - are within twenty minutes of Kilkelly while a School of Equitation also in Claremorris provides a pleasant distraction for equestrian minded.


The river Trimogue flows through the town dividing the parishes of Kilmovee and Aughamore. Lake Nambrackragh is within walking distance of the town. This is a beautiful tranquil area for fishing or family picnics. Extensive landscaping has been carried out by the local angling club and by the community council.

Urlaur Abbey

Urlaur Abbey lies three miles from Kilkelly on the banks of Urlaur Lake, a monastic settlement founded in 1430 by the Dominicans and a must for all tourists as the Abbey has been remarkably well preserved.

The local Heritage office provides guides for walking groups, information historic and current on the locality and its people. They will also provide information on genealogy and can organise guided tours of the local area.

An annual 'Pattern Day' is held every year on the 4th August. This starts with concelebrated Mass in the Abbey, followed by Music, Sports, Novelty Events etc and everyone is welcome to this fanastic day out.

For further information about this event you can contact the secretary Mr Peter Niland Tel +353 (0) 94 964 9060 or Mobile +353 (0) 87 6979522  

Irish Music

Irish music, song and dance is very popular in the Kilkelly area, all year round, with a host of local talent plying their skills. Visiting Musicians are welcomed and encouraged to join in. Traditional sessions take place in local hostelries who provide a welcoming relaxed environment to have a drink or join in the "craic".

Kilkelly Ireland Song

The 'Kilkelly Ireland Song' now a famous ballad, draws its inspiration from a series of ten surviving letters written on behalf of Byran and Elizabeth Hunt by the local school master to their emigrant son in America.

John Hunt emigrated to the States in 1855 and the letters written to him by his parents were re-discovered in an attic in Bethesda Maryland by his American descendants the Jones family. Some 120 years after they were written, Peter Jones a great, great grandson of John Hunt composed the ballad based on the contents of the letters. It is a poignant song dealing with the effects of Famine, poverty and emigration in one Irish family.

However its universal appeal comes from the fact that this could be the saga of countless thousands of other families in the latter part of the 19th century. A dramatisation of the "Kilkelly Ireland" story is available on video tape.

The old cemetery mentioned in the song has been renovated and restored, and a picnic area has been developed close by on the banks of the Trimogue.


'A Lot of Fact, A Little Fiction', A Book of Poetry by Peter Costello

Other Things You Might Like