Clew Bay

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Overlooking Murrisk and Clew Bay

Clew Bay is a natural ocean bay in County Mayo. It contains Ireland's best example of sunken drumlins. The bay is overlooked by Croagh Patrick to the south and the Nephin Range mountains of North Mayo. Clare Island guards the entrance of the bay. From the south-western part of the bay eastwards are Louisburgh, Lecanvey, Murrisk, and Westport; north of Westport is Newport, and westwards from there lies Mulranny, gateway to Achill. From the south side of the bay, between Clare Island and Achill, Bills Rocks can be seen.


Clew Bay was the focus of the O'Malley family possessions in the Middle Ages, and is associated especially with Grace O'Malley or Granuaile. She is known as the Pirate Queen who commanded a fleet of ships and maintained several castles, including those on Clare Island, Achill and Rockfleet.

During the Irish Civil War in July 1922, 400 Free State troops were landed at Clew Bay to take Westport and Castlebar from Anti-Treaty forces.


Inishgort Lighthouse stands on Inishgort island three miles from Murrisk.

Fish Farming in Clew Bay

In recent years there has been controversy over fish-farming in the bay. "The Organic Salmon Company" is based in Clare Island.[1]

Islands of Clew Bay

The bay is also home to Dorinish, a private island purchased by John Lennon in 1967.[2] Glenans Ireland, a non-profit sailing school, had a branch on Collanmore Island where sailing was taught.

Legend has it that Clew Bay has 365 islands in it—"an island for every day of the year". The large number of drumlins at the east end of the bay gave rise to this myth, but in fact there are not so many.

See also


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Clew Bay)

Outside links