The West side of Elly is considered to be the wild side, which can be attested as it is the side that is favoured by all the surfers. On the East Side or sheltered side you will find families paddling or strolling along the beach and enjoying picnics with views across Blacksod Bay from the sheltered side, or the Atlantic Ocean from the wild side.
The name Elly comes from the Irish word ‘oileach’, which means a stone house or fortress. It is believed to have got its name from the ancient tribe Oileach. They were chieftains of ancient times long before Normans or Vikings came to Ireland.
In 1883 & 1884 thousands of families left the shores of Trá Oiligh (Elly Bay/Elly Beach), headed for Boston and Quebec. As part of James ‘Hack’ Tuke’s assisted emigration scheme, they were rowed out from the land to the emigration ship in the deeper waters of Blacksod Bay. Find out more information at Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre in Eachléim.