Síamsa Sráide 2016


 

Swinford is situated on the N5, on a tributary of the famous River Moy. This lively town is only 10 miles from Ireland West Airport Knock, and 20 minutes drive from Mayo's Capital town, Castlebar. Its range of quality services and activities make it ideal for holiday makers. Swinford is renowned for its fishing waters, in particular the Callow lakes.

The River Moy is internationally famous for its excellent salmon fishing, and attracts anglers from all over the globe. The East Mayo Anglers' Association, Swinford have over six and a half miles of prime fishing water

A wealth of archaeological sites are within walking distance of the town, which is an excellent base from which to tour many of Mayo's visitor attractions including Croagh Patrick, Ceide Fields and the Foxford Woollen Mills. A long stretch of the N5 by-passes the town and has proven very popular with cyclists due to the excellent, slightly undulating road surface. A very successful Connaught time trials have took place from Swinford in summer 2009.

The annual Tour De Humbert runs from Kilcummin, on Killala Bay in Co. Mayo, where a French expeditionary force landed in 1798 to help the Irish in their rebellion that year. It follows the erratic path of the advancing force to the scene of their final battle and defeat at Ballinamuck in Co. Longford. The route passes through some wonderful Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo scenery including Swinford where General Humbert is said to have camped and stocked up with various supplies.

A view of Swinford from the bridgeOver the August Bank Holiday weekend, the town hosts its annual street festival, titled Síamsa Sráide Swinford (Fun on the Streets of Swinford), one of Ireland's longest running street festivals. Activities during the week include pageantry, heritage displays, ceili dancing and an international busking competition which is held on the Wednesday of the festival, the traditional Harvest Fair Day. A hugely popular 8km road race forms part of the Mayo Race Series in the town which takes place around Swinford town on the Sunday of the festival.

Swinford is also a convenient base for anyone who would like to explore many of Mayo's major attractions including Knock Shrine and Folk Museum, Foxford Woolen Mills, Ceide Fields, Croagh Patrick, Achill Island, Westport and The Museum of Country Life at Turlough, near the county town of Castlebar.

There are many varying theories as to how the town got its name. Many people say that it derives from a fordable stream which passes through the town and near which was formerly held a considerable market for swine. Like most Irish towns, its placename has no significance or meaning unless written in the Irish language: "Beal Atha na Muice - Mouth of the Ford of the Swine".