Bangor Erris is a town in the parish of Kiltane and barony of Erris in County Mayo. It is on the banks of the Owenmore River and is the gateway to the Erris Peninsula linking Belmullet with Ballina and Westport, nestled at the foot of the "Bangor Trail" a 22-mile mountain pass across the Nephin Beg Mountain Range to Newport. Only a mile away is Carrowmore Lake. Bangor is a centre for wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout fishing. Due west from Bangor are the towns of Belmullet, Geesala, Mulranny, Westport and Doolough.
A legend of the Ulster Cycle took place not far from Bangor Erris at the fort at Rathmorgan beside Carrowmore Lake. Known as Táin Bó Flidhais it tells the story of a cattle raid around the 1st century AD.
The original name for Bangor was Doire Choinadaigh (Kennedy's Wood), a name found on maps from 1724 - 1829. the place was also called 'Coineadach' by John O'Donovan in the Ordnance Survey Name Books of 1838. In 1802 when James McPartlan (Statistical Survey p. 159) surveyed the area, he called the village 'Cahal' and noted that there were regular fairs held there at that time. Locally the village was known as 'Aonach Cathail' because a wealthy buyer of that name was a regular at the fair days. The name 'Bangor' was given to the village by Major Denis Bingham who established the town of Bangor Erris.
The reason Bangor was chosen as a site for Bingham's town was because it was situated at the crossroads of two old roads which were in use from about the middle of the 18th century. One road led from Carne (Mullet peninsula) to Castlebar and the other went from Inver (Kilcommon) to Newport. Both roads were repaired by order of the County Assizes in 1793. The crossroads was well sheltered from the worst of the prevailing winds and its situation on the banks of the Owenmore River also made it a suitable site.
Major Bingham introduced the Revenue Police to stamp out the illicit distillation of drink, in reality it was to get personal protection for himself in his house Bingham Lodge on the western edge of the town.
Bus services link Bangor Erris with Bellacorick, Crossmolina and Ballina. In the reverse direction it links to Belmullet and the Mullet Peninsula. There is one service a day in each direction, including Sundays. On Friday evenings an extra journey operates from Ballina. Onward rail and bus connections are available at Ballina.
There are three public houses in Bangor. Talk Of The Town owned by Kevin Campbell who welcomes all with a warm greeting and kind smile. Opposite is the Kiltane Tavern run by Kitty and TJ Carey and family, which has won many awards for hospitality The West End Bar is situated just past on the crossroads; the establishment is run by Seamy Henry and Monica. There is one supermarket/grocery shop in Bangor, Carrabine's, which stocks a wide range of goods. There is a bookmakers and a hardware store also. Bangor National School which is attended by the children of Bangor and other neighbouring villages such as Tawnagh and Bellacorick. There is an all-weather Astroturf pitch which is suitable for 7/8 a side or 2 x five-a-side football.
The GAA Club in Kiltane is Kiltane GFC. Kiltane were founded in 1964 and wear blue and gold jerseys.They won the Junior and Intermediate Championships in 1972 and 1973 respectively.The fact that Kiltane have maintained their Senior status ever since is a source of tremendous pride to a parish who have always relied upon a very small player pool most of whom are living out of the area.
The association football club in Bangor Erris is named Bangor Hibernians F.C. Founded in 1995 the club plays in the Premier division of the Mayo Association League and is fully affiliated with the Football Association of Ireland. The club's colours are blue and black vertical stripes. 2009 was historic for the club with its fielding of a B team in the Mayo League. The club President is Miomir Jugin, Belgrade, Serbia.The club crest denotes the "Big Bridge" in Bangor which carries traffic over the Owenmore River and is situated close to the club's home ground namely Ballybeg Park. The Club's first major Junior Cup Final victory came against Partry Athletic in the Tonra Cup in 2006. (1-0 a.e.t.). 2011 has been a historic year for Bangor Hibs with the team recording a second major Cup Final victory by claiming the Tuohy Cup ironically also against Partry Athletic on a 3-0 scoreline in the final which was played in Milebush Park, Castlebar. Just two weeks later on 7 August the team have recorded a first ever League title (PREMIER B) following a 2-1 home win over local rivals Crossmolina.Bangor Hibs were named Mayo League Club of the Year in 2011. The club have recently completed an all weather Astroturf facility at Ballybeg Park suitable for 7/8 a side or 2 x 5 aside football. Bangor Hibs added a second League title in 2015 when they also won the Premier Division B title.
- Noone, Fr. Sean. Where the Sun Sets (1991) Kildare.