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Hello from Ireland,

We are in the heartlands of County Mayo today – so please come along with me to visit the charming town of Kiltimagh. The town’s name, in Irish is Coillte Maghach (the woods of Maghach) – that is based on a reputed association with a chieftain of the ancient tribe of the Fir Bolg named Maghach. Over the years this then became known as what it is today, Kiltimagh.

It’s a busy town with three nearby rivers – the Glore River, Yellow River and Pollagh River and is overlooked by the nearby hill Silabh Carn that is said to contain coal and evidence of iron deposits.

The weather is changeable today – it’s just finished raining but at least the day is mild. Our starting point will be the old railway station. This opened in 1895 as part of the route from Claremorris to Sligo however it closed to passenger traffic in 1963 and goods traffic ended in 1963. An old railway coach has been preserved and one of the buildings houses the local history museum.

Just beside the station is a very unique feature that is a great credit to the local community. During the summer of 1993 a sculpture symposium was held in the town whereby local students, with the help of sculptors of national renown, created nine pieces of work that we can enjoy today. Let’s take a look at some of these pieces as we stroll along.

Now, we can head up towards the main street and admire some of the interesting shops and facades. Apart from the brightly painted buildings we can see further bronze statues dotted about . Inspired by the sculpture park , in more recent years the community went on to commission several pieces that stand in the town’s main Street, the Market square and beyond in the wetlands area. I just love how they seamlessly fit in with the streetscape.

Let’s stop in the market square to take a look at an interesting and very animated statue – it’s Raifteiri , the famous Irish language poet. A sign nearby tells us about Antoine O’ Raifteiri – Anthony Raftery who was born nearby and lived from 30 March 1779 – 25 December 1835. He was an Irish language poet who is often called the last of the wandering Bards and I recall a poem from my school days :

Is Mise Raifteirí an file,

Lán dúchais is grádh

Le súile gan solas,

Le ciúnas gan crá.

Ag dul síar ar m’aistear

Le solas mo chroí

Fann agus tuirseach

Go deireadh mo shlí

Féach anois mé

Is mo chúl le bhfalla

Ag seinm ceoil

Do phócaí folamh


I’m Raftery the poet,

Full of hope and love,

With eyes without sight,

My mind without torment.

Going west on my journey

By the light of my heart.

Weary and tired

To the end of my road

Behold me now

With my back to the wall

Playing music

To empty pockets.

As we stroll back to the station, I want to share some local trivia with you . The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the word ” Culchie” “, a mildly derogatory term for a country person or one not from Dublin city, may be an “alteration of Kiltimagh, Irish Coillte Mach “. Other sources however suggest that “culchie” is derived from the Irish word coillte, the Irish word for “woods” or “forests”.

Having reached the old station and the end of our walk, let me tell you about a really interesting and innovative project that has just recently opened. The Kiltimagh Community is renowned for turning adversity into a resource and now many years after its closure, 15 Kilometres ( almost 10 miles ) of the old railway line has been converted into a unique outdoor amenity. The team have restored , cleared, and repaired the track and road crossings allowing a fleet of pedal powered rail “ buggies “ to travel the route and explore the local countryside. This is the first of its kind in Ireland and the UK. I was in touch with them,and I appreciate that they sent me some photos that I now share with you.

I have to say that I am really impressed and excited about this and you can learn more on and on Facebook :


I do hope you enjoyed this stroll around Kiltimagh. Don’t forget to check out our Connemara Marble Jewelry here at

Until next time,

Sláinte, Stephen

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