Achonry is located four miles north-east of Tubbercurry and is the ancient diocesan seat for both the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.
Its ecclesiastical history goes back to the 6th Century when Saint Finnian of Clonard founded a monastery here. There are still traces of the original circular outer walls of the monastic settlement to be seen. This site was recognised as being an important one and was declared a diocese in the 12th Century. This monument is classed as a boulder burial similar in structure to about 70 others found mainly in the south of the country in west Cork and Kerry. They are associated with Bronze Age stone circles and stone rows. They have also been linked to areas where copper deposits have been found. It is thought that boulder burials are set as memorials above burials rather than as formal chambers intended as receptacles for burial deposits. One excavated example was found to stand above a pit containing a cremation burial.
Following the establishment of the National School System in 1831, hundreds of schools were built in the country and the first to be built in this area was Carrowmore in 1834, making it one of the oldest school houses in Ireland. The school closed in 1973 and the pupils transferred to Achonry National School. The old Achonry N.S. opened in 1902. In 1964 a new school was built, replacing the old school, which is now derelict. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, three schools were amalgamated with Achonry:-
1. Carrowrile National School (1968)
2. Carniara National School (1971)
3. Carrowmore National School (1973)
Past pupils of note include the writer, Benedict Kiely, who attended the school for a period while staying with a local family.
The present Achonry N.S. is situated in the Parish of Achonry. It is surrounded by stretches of bog and farmland and is overlooked by Muckilty and Cnoc na Sí. The Parish has two churches – Church of St. Nathy & St. Brigid in Achonry and Church of the Sacred Heart in Mullinabreena.