‘Tír Sáile’, the North Mayo Sculpture Trail, is Ireland’s largest public arts project featuring site-specific sculptures in places ranging from a disused quarry to sand dunes and agricultural land. These fascinating works bring together art and environment, and pay homage to the great cultural heritage of the region. As you travel along the north Mayo coastline from Ballina to Blacksod, you can discover each of the sculptures and the landscape – all are marked by road signs.
The Sculpture Trail had its genesis in the discovery of the most extensive Neolithic site in the world at Céide Fields on the north Mayo coast. 1993 was the year of the Mayo 5000 cultural celebration inspired by the surviving human imprint in earth and stone on the Mayo landscape over fifty centuries. In many ways, north Mayo presented the perfect backdrop to an undertaking of this kind. The interwoven tapestry of the physical landscape and cultural heritage combined perfectly to provide inspiration for the artists in the creation of their work and the sculptures have very much added to their settings.
The sculptures include Gateway to North Mayo Sculpture Trail at the Old Culleens School, The Inter Communication Park at Killala Harbour, Tonnta na Blianta at Kilcummin Pier, Tearmon na Gaoithe at Lacken Bay, The Echo of Nawascape at Lacken Bay, Slí na nÓg at Lacken Cross School, Court Hence at Ballycastle Cottages, Battling Forces at Downpatrick Head, Wind Trees at Muingelly on the Ballycastle/Belderrig Road, Dun Caochain Head at Carrowteige, Stratified Sheep at Ballinaboy Visitor Farm, Acknowledgement at Claggan Island, Reconnections at the Belmullet Canalin Belmullet town, Idir dha Sháile at Mullachroe and Deirble's Twist at Fallmore. All are well worth a visit to experience both the talent of the artists and the diverse landscape in which each is set.
In 2014 a new sculpture was completed at the Wild Atlantic Way Signature Discovery Point at Downpatrick Head. Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean and Dún Bríste sea stack, The Crossing, which is crafted to surround a blowhole on the clifftop, commemorates the natural power and richly-layered historical tales of the site .