Downpatrick Head

Downpatrick Head

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Name Downpatrick Head County Mayo Nearest Town Ballina Access Road R314 About Downpatrick Head is in County Mayo, some 20 kilometres north of the town of Ballina.

Downpatrick is where the Atlantic has gouged a huge bay from the mighty cliffs and their summits scoured of all vegetation except grass by the ceaseless ocean winds.

When the weather is rough, look out for the puffing holes that spew out tall columns of sea spray.

The most spectacular of these is called Poulnachantinny sea stack.

Legend tells us that it was created, apparently, when St Patrick was fighting with the Devil.

The saint landed such a fearsome blow with his crosier that he detached part of the headland.

Now known as Doonbristy, this lone stack of rock is crowned by an old ruined fort.

On the Head itself, a plaque commemorates those who lost their lives in the aftermath of the 1798 rebellion.