in County Mayo in the West of Ireland
Mayo is the 3rd largest county in Ireland and Castlebar (gaelic Caisleán an Bharraigh, meaning Barry's Castle) is the county town and also the administrative seat for the county. It is a busy bustling Market Town and is one of the fastest growing towns in the country, with av variety of interesting, modern shopping areas.
Castlebar was originally a garrison town and derives its name from a settlement around the de Barra Castle - built by one of the Barry family from Buttevant, County Cork - in the 11th century. A town steeped in history, Castlebar has hosted historical events that later influenced the county of Mayo and indeed the entire country of Ireland, for example the 1798 French and Irish rebellion known as 'The Races of Castlebar'. The streets of Castlebar have echoed the sounds of conflict and battle on numerous occasions and a 1798 memorial stands at the entrance to the Mall in honour of the French soldiers who died on Irish soil that year.
Castlebar was once the capital of the 'Provisional Republic of Connacht' and is the burial place of John Moore, the first appointed President of that Republic on 31 August 1798.
One of the oldest buildings in Castlebar is Christchurch whose foundation stones were laid in 1739 and inside Christchurch there are excellent visual records of Castlebar from 1590 to 1914 with many plaques commemorating countless people from that era.
The large green tree-lined Mall, which today is the town park, is steeped in history in its own right. It was once the cricket pitch of Lord Lucan and is also famous for the many Land League meetings held there by Michael Davitt, founder member of the 'Land League' movement. Daly's Hotel (formerly The Imperial Hotel) on the Mall was the location of the foundation of the Land League.
The linen industry played a key role in the formation of the town of Castlebar and Linenhall Street is named after this period.
Click here for a more detailed account of Castlebar's history.
Famous Castlebar People
Castlebar is the birthplace of many historical people including:
- Charles J. Haughey - former Taoiseach of Ireland
- Louis Brennen - inventor of the mono-rail torpedo
- Margaret Burke Sheridan - world famous soprano
- It is also the home place of Lord Lucan and of former EU Commissioner Padraic Flynn
Present day Castlebar is a town with a good infrastructure and a developing, industrial and commercial centre, with businesses premises covering a vast spectrum of products and services.
Arts, Sports and Leisure are well catered for in the town with numerous facilities, exhibitions, competitions and festivals including the world famous International Four Days Walks and the Guinness Castlebar Blues Festival, the longest running blues festival in Ireland.
Castlebar offers a great range of accommodation facilities including B&B's, self-catering accommodation, hotels and hostels. Most importantly, the town prides itself in the welcome extended to visitors whether here on business, visiting relatives or just here on holidays.
The town is well serviced with good roads including the N5 to the East and North and the N60 & N84 to the South.
Iarnrod Eireann provide regular daily railway services both to and from Dublin. We are also linked by regular Bus services to every part of the country.
Castlebar is only 28 miles from Ireland West Airport Knock.
Castlebar has numerous attractions for the visitor. It has received international recognition for both walking and angling. It is also centrally located for touring Mayo including Ballintuber Abbey, The Ceide Fields, Croagh Patrick, Foxford Woollen Mills, Moore Hall, Pontoon and the Turlough Round Tower. The range of facilities in Castlebar include, swimming, bowling, golf, pubs, cafes, horse riding tennis and many many more.
Arts, Sports and Leisure
Castlebar has a vibrant arts community with amateur drama groups, pantomime groups, choral societies, dancing schools, exhibition centres and display outlets. There are currently very good sports facilities in the town both for outdoor and indoor use. There are also many natural amenities in the area suited to outdoor recreation.
Castlebar is now a centre in educational excellence with modern pre-schools, primary, secondary and third level educational facilities. The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology at Castlebar, less than 10 minutes walk from town, opened its doors in September 1994 and now has a student population of approx 1,200 from every corner of Ireland. There are also numerous courses and facilities available for adults wishing to get back into educational both full-time and part-time. The County Library is in Castlebar with a wealth of information and resources on matters of local, historical and genealogical interest.
Summer Heritage Tours
According to many tourists and travellers the best and most exciting way of getting to know any town is to walk around it. The usual guided historical walking tours of the towns of Castlebar and Newport continue throughout the months of July and August.
A Guided Walking tour around the heart of Old Castlebar, conducted by Brian Hoban, Local Historian & Failte Ireland Approved Tour Guide, will take place each Saturday morning during July and August. Tour will depart from The 1798 Memorial, The Mall, Castlebar (Opposite Church of Ireland) at 10am sharp and lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours.
In addition a guided historical tour will be provided each Friday evening during July and August in Newport. Meeting place for this tour will be Hotel Newport, Main Street, Newport. Group tours may be arranged at other times by appointment.
Tailor made sightseeing and heritage tours throughout Mayo are offered for groups as a new service for the 2009 season. For further details or quotations contact Brian at 087 9234504 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Population from Census
- 10,655 (2006)
- 10,287 (2002)
- 10,005 - Urban 6,585 - Rural 3,420 (1996)
Visiting Castlebar? To book a Castlebar hotel online visit Mayo Hotels for a secure online booking facility.