Our Corner of Ireland
The island of Ireland historically has been divided into four provinces and 32 counties, each of which has its own unique charm and long-standing traditions. Our distillery is located in the province of Connacht, the county of Mayo, and the town of Ballina.
For our non-Irish visitors, these locations are pronounced as:
– Connacht: conn’ oct
– Ballina: bah’ li nah
– Mayo: may’ oh
The province of Connacht encompasses the area along Ireland’s central western coast. It is home to stunning ocean coastlines, rugged mountain ranges, pristine lakes and rivers, rolling green farmland, and barren peatlands. Hugging the Atlantic Ocean, one can drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, a tourism trail that runs the western length of the island.
Often called “the most Irish part of Ireland,” many parts of Connacht retain their very strong Gaelic traditions, including the old Irish language. Connacht boasts an extensive selection of archeological sites and ruined abbeys, but it also houses charming towns with welcoming pubs and comfortable hotels and bed & breakfasts. The five counties of Connacht are Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo.
There is an untamed magnificence to the County Mayo. The wild and rocky Atlantic coastline defines its western profile, from the inlets and islands of Clew Bay in the south to the dramatic cliffs of Downpatrick Head and the sandy beaches of Kallina in the north. In Mayo’s northwest, a vast tract of blanket bog creates a sweeping landscape. Farther inland are rolling valleys, rivers, and lakes, including the twin lakes of Lough Conn and Lough Cullin which provide the water for our distillery.
Mayo is steeped in heritage and tradition. The area provides insight into Ireland’s distant past at Céide Fields, the world’s most extensive Neolithic site, and numerous megalithic tombs dating back 5,000 years. The county is also rich in museums and heritage centres that reflect Ireland’s more recent history, including its rural farming and fishing economies, the impact of the Great Famine, and genealogy resources. Check out the Museums of Mayo
Ballina lies in northern County Mayo on the banks of the famous River Moy, a few miles south of where the Moy empties into the Atlantic Ocean. A town of about 11,000, Ballina hosts a wide variety of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops, as well as excellent area hotels, resorts, and bed & breakfasts. Ballina’s attractions include the ruins of Moyne Abbey and Rosserk Friary, both of which date back to the 15th century, and the impressive St Muredach’s Cathedral, which stands imposingly in town on the banks of the river.
The River Moy is internationally acknowledged as an exceptional salmon fishery. The famous Ridge Pool, a salmon anglers’ paradise, is located in the heart of Ballina. Each year in July, Ballina ignites into a frenzy of activity with its annual salmon festival. Over the past years, it has developed into one of Ireland’s major festivals, providing a week long feast of free entertainment for the entire family – music, song, theatre, art, heritage, and culture.
In addition to fishing, Ballina provides an excellent home-base for golfing, walking, and cycling. Three championship links golf courses are within a short drive of Ballina, and several walking and cycling venues are readily available. We are particularly pleased that the Connacht Distillery is immediately adjacent to a newly constructed walking and cycling greenway. The “Monasteries of the Moy Greenway” is a 14km off-road walking and cycling route between the towns of Ballina and Killala. The greenway passes the ecclesiastical ruins near the River Moy and then runs along the north Mayo coast, offering some of the most spectacular views in Ireland.
Situated in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, Connacht Whiskey Company is the perfect change of pace as you journey through the 2500 km Wild Atlantic Way driving route.
Visitors have the freedom to experience the variety of beauty on the Wild Atlantic Way adventure as they journey in either direction, looping in and out between atmospheric towns and villages and vast natural coastline.
This is a journey of discovery, to hidden places and secret worlds where enchantment awaits. Featuring the wildest, most captivating coastal driving route in the world, the Wild Atlantic Way is the ultimate travelling experience. You will explore the wildness of the west, enabling you to find vibrant towns and villages snuggled into the coastline, each with their own unique traits and selection of cafes and restaurants. This section of the route is the perfect opportunity to live and breathe the Wild Atlantic Way.
Take in a few words of Gaelic (Irish) or surf the magnificent waves of Lacken and neighbouring Easkey and Enniscrone in county Sligo. Maybe you might choose to reflect on 5,000 years of civilisation and embark on a history tour through the most extensive Neolithic site in the world at Céide Fields in Belderrig, to exploring the monastic settlements and Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina, the Wollen Mills of Foxford or the Family Heritage Centre at Enniscoe House. Alternatively, roam the beauty of North Mayo’s walking routes, take a trek or trail through the Barony of Erris or enjoy a day of links golfing or fishing along the way. Wherever you go or whatever you choose along the Wild Atlantic Way, you will experience moments of magic, memories to treasure and encounters that will make you want to come back again and again.
The Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland’s west coast leads you through one of the world’s most dramatic coastal landscapes, a landscape on the edge of Europe that has shaped the development of its people, communities and settlements, a landscape that has inspired its own particular language, literature, art, song and dance. It’s a place of many natural features – seascapes, sea-life, cliffs, mountains, glens, loughs, trails and pathways. It’s a place to experience nature at its wildest, a place to explore the history of the Gaels and their religion; a place to experience great events, great food and drink, great music and the craic.