Diving Achill

Could this be a Dive site
close to Clare Island?

Achill is now regarded as one of Europe's best locations for diving. With safe, clean waters the area is a diver's paradise, where wreck sites, wall sites and shelf and shallow sites can be explored. Scuba diving, open water diving and deep-sea diving may be enjoyed.

Clare Island

For the diver Clare Island is irresistible, the combination of dive sites, underwater visibility, sea life and on-shore facilities are probably among the best in western Europe. The Bay View Hotel was first established by Chris O'Grady in response to demand from French and English sea anglers. The hotel now operates a well equipped dive centre, with accommodation ranging from grade B hotel, farm houses, guesthouses and self catering hostel facilities. there is one 10m launch and a 6.5 RIB, with experienced skippers, two compressors, cylinders and weight belts for hire and changing rooms with drying facilities. Sail boards and water skis may also be hired. Clare Island is definitely worth a visit and whether one travels alone, with a Diving Club or with one's family, the Island will cater admirably for all.

The Mweelaun's (1)

The Mweelaun's comprise two main rocks rising 20m from the sea and lying about 4.5km SW of the Harbour. It is usual to start the dive on the South side of the gap unless there is too much swell from the Atlantic which is possible even on the best days. It is difficult to get much more than 28-30m but, once below the kelp, the bottom is strewn with boulders and the sea is filled with life. (See map at bottom of page)

Deace's Rock (2)

Deace's Rock never quite covers, though  there is invariably a swell there. It is located off the North tip of the island no more than 0.5km from the old disused lighthouse. There is a tidal set of about 2 knots in this area and consequently it is advisable to dive there either at high water or low water. Deace's Rock has huge underwater cliffs, gullies and ledges around it with depths up to 35m to the West.

The Bills (3)

The bills are probably one of the most renowned diving locations in Ireland. they are located about 14km WNW off Clare Island and rise 40m above the sea. If you dive close to the North face of the Eastern most rock you will have 45-50m before you hit the bottom. the way down is fantastic, with ledges and an unbelievable variety of colours from the sea anemone which cover the rock face. The sea is alive with Mackerel, Pollack, Wrasse etc. The Bills were used as a firing range before 1918 and the brass rings from the shells are still to be found.

Kinatevdilla Head (4)

Kinatevdilla Head is on the SW corner of Clare Island and it is possible to swim between it and the mainland. The passage is shallow and the seabed to the North of the main island and to the North of the Head is only of fair interest, especially if you have already been spoiled by the Bills and by Deace's Rock.

The Lighthouse (5)

The North West shore of the island under the old lighthouse and south of it, is an interesting, if shallow dive. The area is sheltered from South West winds.

Two Fathom Rock (6)

Two Fathom Rock, which lies a little more than 800m North of Lecknacurra Head, is another popular dive. Many have finned South from Two Fathom Rock towards the island in search of a German WWII Aircraft, which has never been found. Every time the story is told the aircraft is "reliably" positioned in a different location.

Shore Dive (7)

It is possible to dive from the shore, but without transport, all but the very enthusiastic are limited to the shore which lies between the Bayview hotel and the harbour. The water there is clear and the bottom mainly sandy with depths which are seldom in excess of 10m. Nevertheless a night dive from this beach can be most rewarding.

Clare Island