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On the West side rocky cliffs defy the Atlantic gales while to the east, sheltered by the Atlantic Ocean, lie a golden sandy beach and picturesque stone-built harbour.
It is a noted holiday destination, characterized by a skyline dominated by the monolithic shape of the mountain Ben Bulben.
The area is very popular with visitors from Northern Ireland.
It was a favoured holiday retreat of Louis Mountbatten, and it was here that he, along with Baroness Brabourne, Nicholas Knatchbull and local teenager Paul Maxwell, were killed by a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA in August 1979.