Tour of bog reveals fragile ecosystem

Patches of sitka spruce which intermittently line the road winding north from Ballyhaunis in the Ballaghadreen direction are evergreen clues to the recent decades of rural economics and policy making which encouraged the planting of peatlands with fast growing coniferous trees. The prevailing thought was timber harvesting offered a means to exploit otherwise idle, un-exploitable […]

Economy Local Society

Migrant workers are key to economic growth of our region

One of the more striking data sets in the recent national census concerned Ballyhaunis. The town was shown to have one of the fastest growing populations in the Western region according to the 2022 census which shows the town’s population rose 14.3 percent –adding 438 people, to 3,495 – between 2016 and 2022. By contrast […]


Stonemason keeps alive a rural tradition

Dominic Keogh is a master stone mason keen to preserve the craft of dry-stone walling, once the knowledge of every farmer in Mayo. On the way to meet him recently in Spell’s Bar in Ballaghadreen I pass mansion sized houses with limestone cladding facades and sandstone pillars, suggesting stonework as a local marker of aspiration […]


‘There’s a place for the rural pub that isn’t serving food’

  Two busy pubs run by second generation young publicans in the Mayo Roscommon border country suggest the demise of the rural hostelry may be exaggerated as locals over compensate for time under lock down. The peaty aroma of a turf fire greets the visitor to Duffy’s bar in Kilmovee on a Sunday afternoon recently. […]