Killaspugbrone was founded by St Patrick and later his foundation was led by his disciple Brón

Once, while visiting Killaspugbrone, St Patrick tripped and lost a tooth, which he presented to Bishop Brón.
The tooth was treated with great reverence and in the 14th century Thomas de Bermingham, Lord of
Athenry, who owned land in Killaspugbrone, had an ornate shrine made for the tooth. The shrine,
called Fiacail Phádraig, is now in the National Museum.

People from Catholic and Church of Ireland communities were buried in Killaspugbrone graveyard over the centuries, including members of the Brennan, Waters, Curran, Burns, McLoughlin, Higgins, Fallon, Ormsby and Meredith families. The Ormsbys had a family burial vault built into the western wall of the church. The last person buried in the graveyard was Sarah Parke of Carrowbunnaun who was interred in November 1962.

Between the graveyard and the runway are the remains of earthen banks and ditches that probably
surrounded an Early Christian settlement – perhaps the very earliest Strandhill.

The first Strandhill village was located somewhere northeast of Killaspugbrone. Blowing sand and
the hurricane called The Big Wind in January 1839 buried this village and people left their sand-
covered houses and settled further up the hill.

Originally the site of Sligo Aero Club, the club aerodrome was upgraded in the 1980s to become Sligo Regional Airport. It was serviced at various times by Avair, Iona, Aer Lingus, Aer Arann and Euroceltic airlines. In the hangars, Strandhill People’s Market is held every Sunday in season.

Look out on the Airport Road for the Giant’s Grave, a Neolithic court tomb, which sits just off the
eastern side of the road. Between the forestry and seashore, wild flowers and the rare protected
snail Vertigo Angustior, thrive in the sandy ground.


  1. Visit the lively Strandhill People’s Market from 11am every Sunday in season.
  2. Look out for the Giant’s Grave, a Neolithic court tomb, which sits just east of the Airport Road.
  3. Just before the airport buildings turn left onto the Airport Loop to the Killaspugbrone Loop path. You can turn right to walk to Killaspugbrone church or left for Strandhill seafront with its cafes, pubs and seaweed baths.

Take happy memories with you but leave no litter and respect the ancient monuments. Watch out for other walkers and traffic.