A New Year – 2017

2016 was another great year here at Moy River B&B with lots of visitors and new friends being made. We were a little busier than your first year so thank you all for that. 

2016 was special for a few reasons; it was of course a great year of celebration for Ireland as we commemorated 100 years since the 1916 rebellion. We got a few of the flags of the time and gave them some air during the year. It was also a time of celebration here in our own community of Cloonacool with the local GAA club celebrating 100 years in existence as well. That was a real fun time with the whole community coming together to enjoy looking back on past glories and great sports personalities from the locality. Even the weather came out to salute.

dsc_5762Speaking of the weather, it was not a good summer. Oh boy, when May was over, that was it. It was wet and cold throughout and at times we felt so sorry for our visitors. However, by now we have learned that people who visit Ireland in the summer seldom come here for the weather. Sometimes, what we call bad weather is just Irish weather to our guests and it just seems to add to their Irish adventure!

I know we lost many great stars of stage, screen and studio in 2016 but the one that seemed to be felt most here in Sligo was the loss of Leonard Cohen. His great concerts held at Lissadell a few years ago will live long in the memory. I think a little piece of of Sligo died with Leonard Cohen.

dsc_5463As I write, our winter weather is doing what our summer didn’t do. We have little enough rain, not much cold and with a small stretch in the days, our laying hens are feeling that spring is in the air. One way of another, this will be a short winter and if it is, then summer and a new season of guests and visitors is just around the corner. Welcome!

Moy River Birds

We are located at the headwaters of the river Moy in Cloonacool. Every stream that runs by our door is a small tributary to the river which eventually reaches the sea near Ballina in County Mayo. Any day you can spend a few minutes along the streams or the river itself, you will see lots of wildlife, especially birds. The following colourful characters are usually on display. 

Dipper A short-tailed, plump bird with a low, whirring flight. When perched on a rock it habitually bobs up and down and frequently cocks its tail. Its white throat and breast contrasts with its dark body plumage. It is remarkable in its method of walking into and under water in search of food. Shown above.

wagtailGrey Wagtail The grey wagtail is more colourful than its name suggests with slate grey upper parts and distinctive lemon yellow under-tail. Its tail is noticeably longer than those of pied and yellow wagtails. They have gradually increased their range in the past 150 years and in the UK have expanded into the English lowlands from the northern and western uplands.

Kingfisher Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue andkingfisher orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water’s surface.
They are a vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.

moorhenMoorhen (known locally as Waterhen) Moorhens are blackish with a red and yellow beak and long, green legs. Seen closer-up, they have a dark brown back and wings and a more bluish-black belly, with white stripes on the flanks.


Ref: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) 

Flags of the World

We feel there is something quite spectacular about a flag; national pride, a sense of occasion, celebration or in our case, a welcome for the weary traveler.

29-DSC_5079When we started Moy River B&B back in 2014, we put our sign at end of our drive and it helped to highlight our entrance. It was however just on one side and the other side looked a bit lonesome, without colour. We had the idea to raise our own national flag and so we started with one flagpole. We then had the idea to start a collection of flags, to welcome our guests and so followed two more flagpoles. Since then we have built quite a collection of flags and use them every day to welcome our guests from all over the globe.

1-DSC_1341By now we have almost 30 different flag to fly as occasions or visitors demand. Some have even been replaced, our German flag gets more use than any other followed by the French tricolour, and so our Irish weather has taken its toll on the bright colours. By now we even have guests that send us their national flag on their return home if we didn’t have it for them on arrival. We will then have it for the next guest that arrives from The Netherlands or Scotland. If we have family or friends going abroad to exotic climes, we always include a flag request.

2-DSC_1092We now have family connections of our own in France and Canada and so this winter during the quiet midweeks, those two flags will fly and will serve yet another purpose. This one for ourselves – reminding us of loved ones far away from home.

Thankfully, we have plenty of wind here in Ireland to show all flags at their very best!



Recommendations & Awards

Awarded the Magic Stickers!

We were delighted at the end of 2015 to get notice from TripAdvisor that because of our consistent quality reviews they would be including us on their Recommended list!

Needless to say, after just a year in business, we were delighted with the accolade. It’s a simple process really; the reviews build and eventually you get the email!

1-DSC_2317A Recommended by TripAdvisor sticker is now up there beside our door bell to welcome all who arrive. This recommendation was followed soon afterwards with a Guest Review Award from our friends in Booking.com; “We’re trilled to see that your guests have acknowledged your hard work by giving you a review score worthy of a Guest Review Award. Your reward is a symbol of excellence”

Just now it’s mid February and there are signs of spring everywhere. Our Irish climate gives us so many changes each year; everything from dark winter landscapes to the long cool days of June to the golden crunch of autumn. Our B&B friends, old and new as well as those we have yet to discover, are always welcome to come to enjoy the seasons at Moy River in Cloonacool, Co Sligo!


A very special word of thanks to all those who came to stay and took the time to give us such great reviews; this is your award as well!

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.

E: bandb@moyriver.com
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: bandb@moyriver.com 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.