Killala (cill Ala) is a small town on the west shore of Killala Bay, 10 km north-west of Ballina. It is a developing town and a well-known angling centre, especially for Killala Bay, where there are over 30 different species of fish. It has good sports and leisure facilities, with Ross Strand nearby. St. Patrick is said to have founded a church in Killala and assigned it to St. Muredach. Following the reform of the Irish church in the 12th century, Killala became the see of a diocese to which it has given its name. St. Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral (17th century) is supposed to occupy the site of the original church. (The Catholic Cathedral is now in Ballina and the church of Ireland diocese is united with Tuam).
The region around Killala has a wide range of archaeological treasures: megalithic tombs, an ogham-stone, friaries, ringforts and other monuments. The earliest surviving ecclesiastical monument in the town is its fine round tower (25.6m in height), one of the best preserved in the country. After taking Killala in 1798, General Humbert and his men established their headquarters in Bishop Stock's residence. An Irish flag with the words Erin go brach ('Ireland for ever') was erected over the residence. Several people were killed in and around Killala following the defeat of the Franco-Irish force. Killala was the location for the film, The Year of the French.
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