Trail Stop 5
Achill Beg is a small island off the coast of Achill Island, beside Cloughmore, and it is easily accessible at any time as long as a local fisherman is willing to sail out or lend a boat. People lived on Achill Beg for around 3000 years and now the island is nearly deserted. People regularly camp, walk and swim at Achill Beg. There is a lighthouse at one of the tips of the island where there is a sudden drop off into the sea. The water there is usually calm and provides an excellent source of mackerel and crabs. Today the ruins of the old school and many of the houses still stand and are easily found.
Achill Beg, The Life Of An Island , by Jonathon Beaumont, was published in 2005 and is one of the newest sources of information about the island. It has information about some of the villagers who once lived there and how they lived, and also mentions some of the archaeology of the island. Achill Beg: Impressions of An Island contains stories and day to day entries by each of its authors, Cyril O’Flaherty and Lol Hardiman, from when they stayed on Achill Beg.
The poem “Landing”, by John F. Deane, describes the emptiness of Achill Beg today and the evidence of the life that once was on the island – the lighthouse, deserted houses, and the old school house. It was published in Muintir Acla, Issue 007, 1997.
A Guide to Achill, by Noreen Gannon, from nearby Cloughmore, has information on many places in Achill such as The Colony , Dooega , and Achill Sound, and of course Achill Beg.