Clew Bay (Irish: Cuan Mó) is a natural ocean bay in County Mayo, Ireland. It contains Ireland's best example of sunken drumlins. According to tradition, there is an island in the bay for every day of the year. The bay is overlooked by Croagh Patrick, Ireland's holy mountain, and the Nephin Range mountains of North Mayo. Clare Island guards the entrance of the bay. From the southwest part of the bay eastwards are Louisburgh, Lecanvey, Murrisk, and Westport; north of Westport is Newport, and westwards from there lies Mulranny, gateway to Achill. From the south side of the bay, between Clare Island and Achill, Bills Rocks can be seen.
Clew Bay was the focus of the O'Malley family possessions in the Middle Ages, and is associated especially with Grace O'Malley or Granuaile. She is known as the Pirate Queen who commanded a fleet of ships and maintained several castles, including those on Clare Island, Achill and Rockfleet.
During the Irish Civil War in July 1922, 400 Free State troops were landed at Clew Bay to take Westport and Castlebar from Anti-Treaty forces. The bay is also home to Dorinish, a private island purchased by John Lennon in 1967. Glenans Ireland, a non-profit sailing school, has a branch on Collanmore Island where sailing on dinghys, sailboards and catamarans is taught. Mayo Sailing Club is based in Rosmoney on the shore.
Stands on Inishgort island 5 km from Murrisk - for photo see external links below.
Fish Farming in Clew Bay
Memorial for the victims of the Clew Bay Drowning on June 14, 1894 at Kildavenet Graveyard, Achill Island
Islands of Clew Bay
Legend has it that Clew Bay has 365 islands in it—"an island for every day of the year". The large number of drumlins at the east end of the bay gave rise to this myth, but in fact there are not so many.
Drumlin islands, sandbars, and rocks
This chart shows the relative positions of the islands, sandbars, and rocks in the eastern half of Clew Bay. There are 117.
|Beetle Island North
|95||Moynish More||Black Rock
Beetle Island South
Kid Island East
|89||Island More||Collan Beg||Collan More
|Stony Island||Cleavlagh Strand|
|Green Islands||Carricknacaly||Monkellys Rocks
|84||Cahernaran Island||Annagh Island West
|Annagh Island East
|83||Annagh Island Middle