Welcome to Belcarra Village

Home to one of Europe’s rarest birds – Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Photo by Geraldine Nee (@nee.geraldine)

Birdwatchers from all over the world have been making their way to our beautiful village of Belcarra in Co Mayo, to catch a glimpse of a species of bird never before seen in Ireland or the UK.

The Yellow-crowned Night Heron originates from North America and was first spotted in the village by local girl Lorraine Ryan Jennings on Sunday 26th May 2024. News quickly spread and within 24 hours almost 50 bird watchers had arrived in the village from the UK.

The “extraordinary” sighting has been described as a “once in a lifetime experience” by bird and wildlife experts.

About Belcarra

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Belcarra (Baile na Cora) is located in County Mayo in the West of Ireland.  The name means ‘the village of the weir’ or river-crossing. It is referred to on some old maps as Ballycarra but the name was changed by deed poll in1970 to Belcarra.  It is 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) south-east of the county town, Castlebar. 

There is a vibrant community with a Community Centre in the heart of the village which hosts a wide-variety of social events, community groups and remote working hub with fibre optic broadband.  There are amenities such as: sports centre, recreational park with playground, riverside walk, general grocer with postal service, artisan butcher, recycling centre, and two pubs.   The Local Business section gives details of all businesses in the area.

St Anne’s Catholic Church is also located in the heart of the village close to the Community Centre.

Our village received its first county award for the tidiest village in Mayo in 1977 and has gone on to win county Tidy Towns Award on fourteen occasions so far.

In 2007, Belcarra was twinned with Belcarra, British Columbia in Canada.

Belcarra Crest and Motto

Background for front page header with Belcarra Coat of Arms

Belcarra Community Council adopted a village Crest and Motto in 2007. The crest features the Killeen Stone Head, representing Belcarra’s pre-historic pagan past, and the Celtic cross representing the Christian present. The village name is rendered in ancient ogham script along the top of the shield. The design also features a garland of shamrocks and maple leaves symbolising the links forged with Belcarra, British Columbia, Canada in 2007. The hand-clasp symbolises friendship and hospitality.

The jackdaw, perched on the shield, reminds us that we share our world with many living creatures. In Belcarra village we are proud to have a historic rookery where several hundred rooks and jackdaws spend the night.

The village Motto “Ar scáth a cheile” is an abbreviated rendering of “Ar scáth a cheile a mhaireann na daoine” – a well known Irish proverb which stresses neighbourliness, and reminds us that we all depend on one another.

The Twinning of Belcarra, County Mayo, Ireland and Belcarra, Columbia, Canada.pdf

As Gaeilge (in Irish)
Ghlac Baile na Cora armas agus manadh chuici fein so bhliain 2007. Sa sciath ornáideach feictear ceann cloiche ársa an Chillin mar shiombal d’ár re Peganach. Seasann an chrois Cheilteach do re na Criostaiochta agus tá bláth-fleasc de sheamroga agus mailp ann in aitheantas d’ár nasc le Belcarra, British Columbia, Ceanada. Os a gcionn sin tá ainm an bhaile scriofa in ogham.

Comhartha cairdis agus feile atá as ghreim láimhe.

Leirionn an fich dubh ár geeangail dluth leis an gcomhshaol. Is siombal cui e mar go gconaionn na milte preachán sa bhaile fearainn.

“Se manadh an bhaile “Ar scáth a cheile” – cuid de’n sean-nath “Ar scáth a cheile a mhaireann na daoine”.

Irish to be updated by Sean Nestor

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