New Year 2016

Best Wishes for New Year

At this time of new beginnings, we just want to wish all our guests, friends and supporters every good wish for the year ahead. We may see some of you again in 2016, we may not. We might get to meet your friends or relations or who knows what will happen!

We are all set for the year ahead and are really looking forward to meeting new people from new places. Just to leave you with this little poem and the thought – can gentle spring be far away?

Pat & Rita – Moy River 1st Jan 2016.



Winter, a sharp bitter day
the robin turns plump against the cold
the sun is week silver faded from gold
he is late in his coming and short in his stay. 

Man, beast, bird and air
all purging, all cleansing
earth already purified awaits the rite of spring
her bridal gown a virgin snow and frosts in her hair.

 A snowdrop by the road today
bowed gracefully and high upon the wing
up in the sparkling nothingness a lone bird began to sing
can gentle spring be far away?

– Tommy Makem


Gift Vouchers


9A Gift Voucher is not just for Christmas!

Why not treat a friend to a stay at Moy River B&B. After one year catering for guests we are very proud of what we have to offer and we can assure you that your family member or friend will be well looked after.

Our guests enjoy Moy River for many reasons; the genuine welcome, the peace & quiet, our home-cooked food, the conversation and the information and advice we provide.

 “We really enjoyed our stay at the Moy River B&B. Pat and Rita are warm and welcoming hosts. Their place is beautiful; very comfortable and the food was delicious!”

KC – Washington State.

Vouchers are available by contacting us directly – not through our booking page. This allows you to choose how much you want to spend. Our standard rate per person per night is €40.1-Moy River

All bookings made through Gift Vouchers are subject to availability.

Ph. +353 71 9121902
Mob: +353 87 2512030.


One Year On

This November, Moy River B&B has been one year in business. It has been an experience filled with excitement, new friends and great memories. All in all, it has been a very rewarding twelve months.

1-DSC_0271We had a few ideas starting off as to what we might like to achieve and how we would like to run our new business but the one thing we did not know was if guests would ever choose to stay. While we make a virtue of the fact we are in a quiet location and slightly off the beaten path, we started in hope rather than confidence.

Boy were we rewarded! Our first bookings came right away and our first official guests arrived in 1st January. We were anxious for sure; everything was new. The guests were new, the business was new and our approach  was new and it was New Year’s day! This was the review from that first visit:

“I very seldom give so much attention to a review, but this B&B was just exceptional. It’s spacious yet cosy, modern yet quaint, and situated in a beautiful part of Ireland. Pat and his wife were attentive in every way possible, helping us plan our journey for the following day. I can’t fault our room, it was private, quiet, very comfortable, and well heated at the height of winter.” Josh, Dublin.

That compliment and the reaction of other guests and the reviews that followed gave us confidence. As the weeks and months passed the pages  in the red diary began to fill. The highlight of the year was our participation in the new UTV Ireland B&B Road Trip TV show featuring singer, Daniel O’Donnell and his lovely wife, Majella. 1-DSC_1118

We thought as autumn arrived that things might ease off and they did but not completely. As I write on November 17th we are after a busy weekend and we have bookings into December with more for early 2016. This review came to us in August and it is one of our favourites from the past year. A special word of thanks to everyone who helped and supported our new venture.

1-DSC_0567“The most wonderful B&B I’ve ever stayed in, by a very long way. The warmest welcome I’ve ever had at any accommodation I’ve stayed in anywhere. Delightful, peaceful, relaxing surroundings, gloriously comfortable bed, and an absolutely superb breakfast of smoked salmon, eggs cooked to perfection and laid by the very chickens that were clucking around outside, excellent coffee, and delicious home-baked bread. There were lots of other great things about staying here but I’ll let you discover them for yourself. Everything was perfect and I departed feeling restored and very happy. I’m hoping to go and stay there again soon.” David, UK.

Daniel O’Donnell at Moy River B&B

Irish Singer, Daniel O’Donnell and his wife, Majella stayed with us at Moy River in early July as part of the making of their new television show, The Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip.

Created with Nokia Smart CamWe were one of twelve B&Bs throughout the 32 counties who were chosen to participate in the programme. The couple were just lovely; down to earth and really interested in the local area and in our new venture. They were very impressed with the Cloonacool region; Daniel described it as “a really lovely place hidden away from it all”. They said they will be back again bringing friends with them next time!

A feature of this visit was a really great session of song and dance in the company of our very own Cloonacool Strawboys! Daniel and Majella were enthralled by the spectacle and joined in the fun and games with ease. Another lovely aspect of the time they spent with us was the time we had to chat with each other and swap stories and experiences. At breakfast there were no cameras present so we were able to give them all our attention and set them on the road to their next accommodation for the programme.

4-DSC_1107Moy River B&B was only established this year and has had a very busy initiation into the business receiving guests from all over the globe. In the age of Internet communications we are likely to get guests from as far away as the Dominican Republic and as close to home as Donegal – and we have had them all. Regardless of where people come from, we give everyone the same welcome and while Daniel and Majella were more celebrity than most, we treated them like we treat all our guests. The TV cameras added a degree of difficulty to this particular visit but really enjoyed the experience.

3-DSC_1109We like to do as much home cooking as we can using local produce whenever possible. Our own home produced eggs are a real favourite. In promoting the business, we make a feature of the fact that we are a place of peace and quiet just off the beaten track. Many guests comment on the beauty and solitude of this part of the Ox Mountain where the river Moy has its source.

The Daniel and Majella B&B Road Trip show featuring Moy River airs on UTV Ireland at 8pm on Monday 26th October.

Workshops at Moy River

A series of workshops will take place at Moy River in October & November. The workshops are open to all and are ideally suited for our B&B guests.

My_photographyPHOTOGRAPHY FOR BEGINNERS                                     

Facilitated by Pat McCarrick

Weekend workshop: Oct 16 & 17 – Fri 7pm-9pm & Sat 10am-4pm.

Weekend workshop: Nov 13 & 14 – Fri 7pm-9pm & Sat 10am-4pm

Cost: €50 (lunch included).


Facilitated by Rita Normanly

Weekend workshop: Oct 23 & 24 – Fri 7pm-9pm & Sat 10am-4pm

Weekend workshop: Nov 20 & 21 – Fri 7pm-9pm & Sat 10am-4pm.

Cost: €50 (lunch included).

Both facilitators have many years experience in their areas and are excited about the prospect of holding the workshops. Moy River B&B was established this year and as well as receiving visitors from all over the world, Pat and Rita are interested in developing other aspects of the business.

To book a place on a workshop: Email: or Phone 087 2512030.

1-Moy RiverContact us at any time with your interests or requirements or send us your email address for regular up-dates on events and activities here at Moy River B&B.

The workshops are subsidised by a grant from Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB.



Sligo – A Land Carved by Ice

About 200,000 years ago glaciers ground their way through southern Sligo on their way to the sea, carving the countryside through which it moved. When the ice receded 10,000 years ago, one of Ireland’s most beautiful and unspoilt areas was revealed, sculpted with valleys and shimmering with lakes. It is also a region rich in tradition and home to some of Ireland’s most famous musicians.

Carrowkeel is a Neolithic passage tomb cemetery in the south of County Sligo, near Boyle, County Roscommon. Circumstantial Carbon 14 dating places the tombs at between 5400 and 5100 years old (3400 to 3100 BC), so that they predate the Pyramids on Egypt’s Giza plateau by 500–800 years. Carrowkeel is set on high ground above Lough Arrow and contains fourteen passage tombs located there. Twelve more passage tombs are located close by, most of which form part of the Keshcorran complex. A particular type of crude pottery found in passage tombs has been titled Carrowkeel Ware, having first been recorded in the Carrowkeel Monuments.

Close to Lough Arrow and just north of Carrowkeel is another, apparently related, giant passage tomb, Heapstown Cairn. This is part of the legendary Moytura, site of battles between the Tuatha Dé Danann, the ancient gods of Ireland, and the demonic Fomorians.

Carrowmore is one of the four major passage tomb complexes in Ireland. It is located at the geographical centre of the Cúil Irra peninsula in County Sligo and 3 km west of Sligo town. This is one of the largest (in terms of number of monuments) complexes of megalithic tombs in Ireland and is also among the oldest used passage tombs, the earliest depositions approximately 3700 BC.

Placed on a small plateau at an altitude of between 36.5 and 59 meters above sea level Carrowmore is the focal point of a prehistoric ritual landscape which is dominated by the mountain of Knocknarea to the west with the great cairn of Miosgán Médhbh on top. To the east is Carns Hill with two large cairns overlooking Lough Gill.

Banada 041Tubbercurry or Tobercurry is the second-largest town in County Sligo. It lies at the foot of the Ox Mountains, on the N17 national primary road. The earliest mention of Tubbercurry is from 1397 when a battle took place in the town between two O’Connor families, the O’Connor Don from Roscommon and the O’Connors from Sligo town. St. Nathy is the patron saint of the area.

Tubbercurry boasts two of the most popular and successful festivals in the West of Ireland; the South Sligo Summer School of Irish traditional music and the Western Drama Festival held every year. These events attract large numbers of performing artists and cultural tourists from all over the world. There is also an annual Old Fair Day held in Tubbercurry every August.

26Lough Talt is situated in the heart of the Ox Mountains south Sligo on the road to Ballina.  It is a glacier lake and lies at approximately 500 ft above sea level and measures 67 ft at its deepest point. Its area is nearly 194 acres. The lake is a noted site of picture perfect sunsets on calm evenings, as the sun sinks over “The Windy Gap”.

The Lake is a good source of brown trout. Arctic char are also reported to be still present in the deeper waters of the lake. The trout are free rising and their weight averages about a half pound. The Lough Talt mountain pass is popular among walkers. It has a 6.5 km circuit winding around its shore. It also serves as the starting point for The Sligo Way, a 74 km long linear trail that ends in the village of Dromahair in Leitrim County.

Sligo is the county town of County Sligo. With a population of approximately 20,000 in 2014, it is both the largest urban centre and the regional capital of the northwest of Ireland. Despite its relatively small size, Sligo is an historic, cultural, commercial, industrial, retail and service centre of regional importance. Served by established rail, port and road links, Sligo exerts a significant influence on its hinterland.

Sligo is also a popular tourist destination, being situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with many literary and cultural associations.

lough talt 052William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin 150 years ago in 1865. The young Yeats was very active in societies that attempted an Irish literary revival. His plays usually included Irish legends; they also reflect his fascination with mysticism and spiritualism. He was a regular visitor to Sligo and was inspired by its landscape.

After 1910, Yeats’s dramatic art took a sharp turn toward a highly poetical style. Although a convinced patriot, Yeats deplored the hatred and the bigotry of the Nationalist movement, and his poetry is full of moving protests against it. He was appointed to the Irish Senate in 1922. Yeats’ poetry made him one of the outstanding and most influential twentieth-century poets writing in English.

Michael Coleman was born near Killavil in County Sligo in 1891. He competed at the Sligo Feis Ceoil in 1909 and again in 1910. In October 1914, at the age of twenty-three, Coleman sailed to America. Between 1921 and 1936 he recorded roughly eighty records.

lough talt 169Coleman was the most famous exponent of what is today known as the Sligo fiddle style, which is fast and flamboyant, and heavily ornamented. Coleman became renowned for his extensive melodic variations, and his settings of tunes such as “The Boys of the Lough,” “Bonny Kate” and “Lord Gordon’s Reel”, have become part of the standard Irish fiddle repertoire. Coleman died in New York in 1945 and is buried in St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx.

Yeats Day

Happy Birthday WB!

At Moy River peace comes dropping slow,
It doesn’t matter where you go.
From your bedroom window you can see
The fairy mountain, Knocknashee.
Find hazel woods and beeloud glades
Lakes hidden in the mountains’ shade.
The light of evening, golden brown
The wandering waters rushing down
Walk quiet lanes and read your poems
At Moy River we’ll make you feel at home.
If you love the waters and the wild –
Arise and come with your inner child!

RN – June 13th 2015.



Home-produced Eggs

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well here at Moy River it was the chicken but way back in agricultural history, it was probably the egg!

I have been keeping hen for over 25 years now. It all was inspired by a trip to the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh in Northern Ireland. There, rare breed hens and chickens wandered around the park in a very traditional way taking the visitor back in time to a simpler and more practical time. Couple to this the fact that I was born and raised on a farm and also the fact that a grand aunt of mine was a poultry expert who ran a Poultry Station in the Ireland of the 1940’s.1-DSC_0567

Hens (or chickens if you live in the US) are simple beasts but very productive. There is not a culture on earth – poor or wealthy – that does not depend upon and enjoy the value of eggs. Most hens reach maturity at six months and begin to lay shortly after. Most hens will lay 500 eggs in a lifetime.

Chickens, as we know them today, originated in Southeast Asia. They were domesticated from the wild jungle fowl of that region, tamed and bred for their egg-laying and meat producing traits. They soon became an indispensable part of village life; their ability to turn grain and waste food back into food for humans being unrivalled for speed and efficiency.

Over the intervening centuries, chickens formed a major part of agricultural production. Their eggs and meat could always be counted upon even for communities on the move; nomads and sailors alike. Over the last 150 years, they developed into two distinct groups; the light Mediterranean breeds who were best known for egg production and not being broody and the heavier Asian breeds best suited for broodiness and meat production. In the past 80 years, hybrid chickens have been created to meet the needs of modern egg and meat production. The female hybrid egg layer will still only lay 500 eggs but she will pop them out over a two-year period (as opposed to 5 years for the traditional breed). The hybrid broiler, for meat production, reaches maturity in as little as 10 weeks!

house-399Here at Moy River we have a mix of old breeds and hybrid hens whose job it is to provide us with enough eggs for our guests at breakfast time. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon are a favourite while pancakes topped with maple syrup and berries are a sweet alternative. And over breakfast every morning, our guests can enjoy watching the hens begin another day of doing what hens do in the garden.

“Oh, God above, if heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovelier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden tea?” – Frank McCourt

Pat and the gals – Moy River.







Dawn Chorus Fundraiser

 Moy River B&B will host a fundraiser in aid of Crumlin Childrens Hospital on the morning of May 9th. It starts with a walk in the woods at 6am to hear the Dawn Chorus, followed by buffet breakfast in Moy River. Michael Bell of Birdwatch Ireland will walk with the group identifying the various early morning bird calls.

moy-river-breakfastIf rising before 6am is not your thing, at 9am Michael will give advice on feeding wild birds and attracting them to your garden. Breakfast will continue up to 12 noon. Everyone is invited to join in some part of the morning and all donations will go to support the work of Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Blue titThe Dawn chorus is at its very best in early May. Few enough people have the opportunity to actually enjoy the chorus despite the fact that it takes place every single morning at this time of year. Given the right location and reasonable weather conditions, it gives rise to a very memorable experience in nature.

Crumlin Children’s Hospital provides a vital service to sick children and their parents from all over Ireland. Like all areas in the current health service, they struggle to provide this service.

So if you would like to enjoy a dawn chorus experience, or treat yourself to breakfast out, you can do both to support the work of Crumlin Hospital. We hope you will join in this unique early morning experience at Moy River B&B in Cloonacool on Saturday 9th of May, 6am to 12 noon. Contact Pat or Rita on 071 9121902 for more details.

RobinThe dawn chorus occurs when birds sing at the start of a new day. In temperate countries this is most noticeable in spring when the birds are either defending a breeding territory or trying to attract a mate. In a given location, it is common for different species to do their dawn singing at different times.

Michael Bell is a member of the Sligo Branch of BirdWatch Ireland.  He also runs his nature education company, Nature Learn, and is a Heritage in Schools specialist visiting many schools throughout the North West.  He has been an avid bird watcher since childhood and has been involved in numerous bird surveys as well as leading several dawn chorus events.

Contact Pat McCarrick: – 0872512030


Local Walking Festival

South-Sligo-Walking-Festival logoSouth Sligo Walking Festival is taking place this coming May Bank Holiday weekend (Sat 2nd – Mon 4th)

This festival of walking has been taking place in the Ox Mountains near Aclare in Co. Sligo for many years now and has grown into a great weekend for visitors and locals alike. The local organisers, the Ox Mountain Development Company, go out of their way to show people a great time. Not only are there great walking and affable guides, there is great hospitality as well. Being met with a van-load of hot tea and sweet cake is only one of the many tricks theses lads and lassies can pull out of the hat. Soup and a beer in the local pub, Joe Dan’s after your walk is another treat.

The walks cater for all interests and abilities. There are usually three walks each day for the 3 days of the festival. You can do some or all days, suit yourself. The Ox Mountains are rugged but they are so rewarding for the walker. Deserted cottages and shaded laneways are a feature of the foothills while wide open spaces and embryonic mountain rivers are a sight to behold in the uplands.

There are lots of places to stay locally from local B&Bs to hotels in nearby Tubbercurry. Of course we hope you might be tempted to stay with us at Moy River B&B, just 15 minutes from the starting point for the walks each day.

Visit for more details.