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Toormakeady or Tourmakeady (Irish: Tuar Mhic Éadaigh, meaning “the pasture of the son of Éadaigh”) is a Gaeltacht in south County Mayo.

Tourmakeady or Toormakeady (Irish: Tuar Mhic Éadaigh, meaning “the pasture of the son of Éadaigh”) is a Gaeltacht in south County Mayo. It is located between the shores of Lough Mask and the Partry Mountains. Tourmakeady had a total population of 1,007 recorded in the 2011 census. Tourmakeady is also the name of the principal village in the area.

Those parts of Ballinchalla Electoral District in Tourmakeady and the whole of the Owenbrin Electoral District in Tourmakeady together comprise nearly half of the land area of Tourmakeady and were previously parts of County Galway. In 1898 they were transferred to County Mayo.

The famous Tourmakeady waterfall is located in the Coillte owned Tourmakeady Millennium Wood which has seen the replacement of 35 hectares of conifer forest by a native woodland planted in 1999 and offers an interesting example of the tree species and the fauna dwelling in the woods.

From the time of the Great Famine of the mid-1840s onwards, the Toormakeady area has experienced a high level of emigration. Many descendants of emigrants return every year to find their roots. The genealogical records for this area have been computerised at the South Mayo Family Research Centre in nearby Ballinrobe.

In 1905, the Gaelic League set up their first Irish summer college in Tourmakeady called Coláiste Chonnacht. It was successful at attracting students who would come to the area to learn Irish. However, the college was disowned by the league after only a few years operation due to a dispute with the Archbishop of Tuam and the Tourmakeady college closed its gates in 1909 as the main one had transferred to Spiddal that year.

On 3 May 1921, during the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Republican Army south Mayo flying column of around 30 men together with a small number of men from east Mayo mounted an ambush at Toormakeady. The events of this day have been written about in Donal Buckley’s ‘The Battle of Tourmakeady: Fact or fiction. A study of the IRA ambush and its aftermath.

The English actor Robert Shaw, best known for his work in From Russia with Love, Jaws and The Sting, lived in Drimbawn House, Toormakeady, until his death in 1978.

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