Swinford is a thriving town at the junction of the N5 and N26, on the Caracanada River which flows into the famous River Moy, two miles away. Swinford is known in Gaelic as 'Béal Átha na Muice', meaning 'Mouth of the ford of the pigs'. There are a number of different suggestions as to how the town got this name, the most common theory being that there is a fordable stream north of the town where a large pig market was once held.
Situated only 10 minutes from Ireland West Airport Knock, Swinford is an ideal base from which to tour Mayo and bordering counties. It is approximately 20 minutes from Mayo's county town, Castlebar.
Congratulations to the town of Swinford which will host the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil 2014 from May 9th to May 11th.
The town of Swinford was established in the late 1700s by the Brabazon family, who were given land in the parish of Kilconduff during the Cromwellian settlement. Their grandson, Sir William, became an MP for Mayo and much of the development of Swinford town in the early 19th century, can be attributed to him. In 1811 as MP for Mayo he had a Post Office, a police station, and a Courthouse erected in Swinford.
Swinford is recognised for the abundance of fishing waters convenient to the town, particularly its proximity to the River Moy which produces some great salmon angling and the Callow Lakes which yield excellent brown trout. It is also within easy driving distance of the great fishing lakes Conn and Cullin.
Swinford and surrounding area has many interesting walking, cycling and driving tours. There are a number of leisurely strolls around the park road and golf course parks, as well as some woodland walks, where visitors can savour the beauty of the natural Irish countryside.
The more dedicated walkers and cyclists can enjoy the rugged splendour of the countryside on walks such as the Foxford Way and The Tour de Humbert cycling route.
A superb 9 hole golf course is one of Swinford's finest features and is located in Brabazon Park, near the town centre.
A wealth of archaeological sites are within walking distance of the town, and Swinford Famine Grave is one of the best preserved mass famine graves in the country.
The annual Siamsa Sraide is a long established, traditional street festival, which takes place in Swinford on the August Bank Holiday weekend and attracts many visitors. This famous festival depicts many of the traditions of east Mayo through heritage and craft displays, pageantry, music, song and dance.
A special part of the festival is the Heritage Day, where visitors are invited to step back in time, as shop fronts are changed and vintage cars and other historical and heritage items are on display.
Siamsa Sraide is excellent all-round family entertainment and visitors lucky enough to attend the festivities will be left with fond and lasting memories of their visit to this progressive town.
"A Story Told to Us Last Night" is a recently published book, bringing together traditional stories from the 1937/38 National Folklore Collection, Schools in Ireland, with stories from the present, written by children now in school in Midfield, Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland.