The Amethyst Hotel


“Paul Henry (1876-1958), Irish artist lived and worked here and at other locations in Achill 1910-1919”.

According to a plaque mounted on the wall of the Amethyst Hotel near the main entrance, Paul Henry lived at the location some time between 1910 and 1919. The plaque was unveiled in 2002, tells only of one famous resident, but the hotel saw its share of celebrities over the years.

The building itself dates back to the 1890’s. It was owned by the Barrett family, who sold it to Thea Boyd in the 20’s, who opened it as a guesthouse. The Amethyst, was owned by the Boyd family for many years, it was given as their address when they married and children were born. In November 1928 – Northern Whig – Belfast, contained the following birth announcement

DEATHS BIRTHS BOYD—June 17, 1947, at Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Blackham’. wife of R. D. Boyd, Amethyst Hotel, Keel, Achill son (Charles Robert).

MARRIAGES- Headquarters, Dublin, elder son of Mr. and the late Mrs. A. J. Boyd, Malone Road, Belfast, to Thea Marguerite Blackham, Amethyst Hotel, Achill, County Mayo, younger daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Blackham, Orwell Park, Dublin, was announced on 01 January 1946 in the Northern Whig.

Emily attended parties there over the years. A lady who lived on Achill in the 1940’s recalls one of those parties, where she Emily and Major Dermott Freyer, the then owner of Corrymore House spent the most of the night arguing a point. A friendly argument of course, however at the end of the night the argument was unresolved and all parties agreed to disagree.

The most renowned guests had to be former Beatle, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who dined there in 1967. The couple were staying at the Great Southern Hotel Mulranney at the time. They were shopping for an island in Clew Bay, which they bought but never got to live on. Just before his death in 1980, he was looking to build a house on it when his live came to an abrupt end, after being shot by a fan outside his apartment in New York. To read more on John Lennon and his time in Mayo, vist Jim Reilly’s post on Facebook

John Lennon and Robert Shaws visit to Achill 1967

Jim Reilly


JOHN LENNON planned to turn a remote island off the Irish coast into a hideaway retreat, shortly before he was shot dead in December 1980 outside his apartment block in New York…


Perhaps the longest standing owners or “parents” of the Amethyst Hotel were Noel and Joan Scanlon, who lived there for thirty or so years.


15 November 1928 – Northern Whig – Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland
01 January 1946 – Northern Whig – Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland
S B Kennedy, former Keeper of Art at the Ulster Museum by Jim Reilly