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Downpatrick Head

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Downpatrick Head is a rock formation that stands just off the west coast of Ireland. This sea stack lies a few kilometres north of Ballycastle village in County Mayo. Dún Briste, its Gaelic name, means broken fort.

Standing at 38.5 metres (126 feet) above the sea, Downpatrick Head is a stunning site. Geological formation over hundreds of thousands of years combines with local folklore to make the sea stack a legend. 

The rock formation is home to the ruins of a church, a holy well and a stone cross. This religious site was founded by St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, giving it national and spiritual significance.

During World War II, Downpatrick Head was used as a lookout post because of its location. You can still see a stone building atop the formation. Today, its ruin is used by birds as a nesting place.

To admire the sweeping views over the coastline and sea, you can walk to the cliff by Downpatrick Head. From this spot, you can also admire the unique collection of islands known as the Staggs of Broadhaven. As there are no barriers, caution is advised.

Nearby, you can admire another natural wonder, Poll na Seantainne. This mysterious formation is a blowhole that plummets down to the ocean below.

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