The Achill Experience Aquarium and Visitors Centre is a community led project and is a proud member of Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla (CFÁA). Through the Achill Experience we aim to maintain, and keep alive the rich cultural heritage of Achill and its people through education and programs promoting the history of the Parish, customs and traditions, the native wildlife and the promotion of the Irish language through education, tourism, while also providing employment to the local community.
The Achill Experience works very closely with the local community of Achill and has promoted and held many events that are aimed to give back and make a difference. Here are some of the events and programs that we have organised or partaken in that give back to the community.
Many of our native Irish marine species have been sourced by the local fishermen from Achill and around the West of Ireland. Particularly our rare lobsters, Our orange lobster Rusty was caught of the coast of Galway and donated to us by the fisherman Cathal King and Charlie our white lobster who was found near Achill and named after the fisherman who caught him, Charlie O’Malley. Their input and knowledge have been a vital asset to our aquarium and raising awareness on the importance of conservation, sustainable fishing practices and the diversity of Irish marine life.
The Achill Experience Aquarium and Visitors Centre caters for school tours, where students can learn all about the native species that live around Ireland and the local history and heritage of Achill. By providing school tours we are enhancing the curriculum of the students by bringing their education to life while also raising awareness about the importance of sustainability, our native animals, the environment and conservation.
Tabhair cuairt ar Santa
Every December the Achill Experiences hosts a visit from Santa Claus. The event is a great way to connect with the local community and provides a fun and educational day out for families as they are also provided with a self-guided tour of our aquarium. Santa’s visit is also for a great cause as 25% of ticket sales and 100% of raffle proceeds are donated to St Colman's Care Centre to aid the amazing and vital work that they do.
Our gift shop also stocks a wide variety of local products, made right here in Achill. From an assortment of different flavoured jams, soaps, sea salt, artwork and photography. Our gift shop ensures its support to artisan and small businesses around Achill and the West of Ireland which in turn aids the local economy. We also stock many books by local writers, some are works of fiction based in Achill while others are historical or biographical.
The Achill Experience holds a coffee morning every September in aid of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. Visitors who take part can enjoy hot beverages and sweet treats while also getting the opportunity to win amazing prizes in our raffle. All proceeds from the Coffee Morning and Raffle go directly to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice to aid the fantastic work and services they provide.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution(RNLI)
Institiúid Ríoga Náisiúnta na mBád Tarrthála(RNLI)
We are proud to support the RNLI here at the Achill Experience and all the amazing work that they do. As with many islands and coastal counties around Ireland the RNLI are regarded as an important organisation who provide a vital service in order to save lives at sea, conduct search and rescue missions, flood rescue and educate the public on water safety in order to prevent disasters or tragedy. We also have a stand and terminal within our Visitors Centre with more information on the RNLI, the importance of their organisation and all the work that they do wile also giving visitors the opportunity to donate to a vital service for Achill and indeed any coastal county with a tradition of maritime activity.
The Achill Link
The Achill Link is our annual magazine published every year and features stories, articles, poems and photographs taken from Achill throughout the year. It also features advertisements for the many local businesses and services available around Achill. It provides readers with a snapshot in time of Achill and helps, remember, commemorate and celebrate the people, and community of Achill both at home here in Ireland and across the globe.