Lacken in Co. Mayo
Lacken nestles along the rugged North Mayo coastline, between the towns of Killala and Ballycastle, looking out onto the Atlantic and offering a breath-taking view of Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal - the north west region of Ireland. With miles of beautiful shoreline and some of the best unspoilt beaches, the scenic beauty of Lacken is quite unrivalled. Lacken has two small harbours, one at Rathlacken in Lacken Bay and the second at Kilcummin in Killala Bay. The area is divided in two by a 600 acre strand and a 500 acre marshland.
Lacken enjoys a location in an area steeped in history with many monastic ruins to explore, rich in archaelogy with the Céide Fields nearby and abundant in flora, fauna, beautiful beaches and pure fresh air to exhilarate even the most weary traveller.
The Year of the French
Lacken is easily found in the annals of Irish history, being the site of the French landing at Kilcummin Strand on August 22nd, 1798. The first contingent of 200 French army men came ashore, at a spot called Leac A’Chaonaigh (The Flagstone of the Green Moss), at Kilcummin Strand. The remainder disembarked close to the present pier, at a spot known as Leac A’Bhaid (The Flagstone of the Boats). From here began General Humbert's march to Ballina.
The many hills along the west and north-west edges of Lacken afford magnificent views of the surrounding landscapes. One of the best viewpoints in Lacken is the hill behind the ruin of Castlelacken, where a peculiar structure of rough stones known as the 'Gazebo' stands sentry over the bay, overlooking sea and land for many miles. The mountains of Killybegs in Donegal are visible from here on a clear day, while Sligo's Ben Bulben and Knocknarea can also be seen.
Tír Sáile is a sculpture trail marking Mayo 5000. There are three sculptures in Kilcummin, one at Kilcummin pier, one at Bár Na Binne and one at the road to the strand.
Lacken is an excellent destination for swimming, surfing, water-skiing or just relaxing from the hustle and bustle of life. Other attractions and activities in Lacken include pier, boat and cliff fishing, bird watching and cliff and shore walking. Stroll along Lacken strand and watch the turbulent Atlantic Ocean as it battles with the shore, or the gentle lapping waves on a summer evening ... an absolute haven for anyone with a passion for painting, sketching or photography. Unpolluted waters, excellent visibility and abundant sea life make Lacken an attractive and popular location for diving enthusiasts. The coastline from Lacken to Ballycastle provides a range of spectacular dives and has become very popular for scuba diving in recent years.
St Patrick's Statue and Well
Lacken is a parish with a long history and reputedly it has strong links with St Patrick. St Patrick's Well, in Foghill, has been a place of pilgrimage for generations, with people travelling long distances to do the stations there. It is customary for pilgrims to circle around three mounds of earth while reciting prayers and the station ends by drinking water from the well. A statue of St Patrick was erected in 1936, with the inscription "Erected by the people of Lacken parish, in honour of St Patrick, 1936 Micheal F. Quinn PP".
While in the area be sure and visit the Dun Briste sea-stack at Downpatrick Head.