Brief History of Belcarra in Co. Mayo

Name

Belcarra (Ballycarra) means town of the weir - Baile na Caradh. The name Ballycarra was changed by deed poll in 1970 to Belcarra, so in some old maps the town is referred to as Ballycarra.

Castle

There are several references to a castle at Belcarra in former times. This castle was occupied by a family called Burke. In 1632, Myles Burke proffered a petition to King Charles 1st asking that the village which had grown up around his castle be appointed as the principal place to hold all future courts.

Eviction Cottage

The eviction of James Walshe and his family in 1886, was one of the most horrific evictions ever effected and pictures of the eviction scene are still recalled.

The ruins of his cottage have been restored and furnished as a Heritage Centre.

Ruins

Near the eviction cottage is the old graveyard of Elmhall which has the ruins of a Protestant Church and many famous people are buried in the Tombs there.

In the immediate vicinity and close to the river, lie the ruins of Colonel Cuffe's Castle, once the seat of Lord Tyrawley.

Famous People

Belcarra is the birthplace of many famous people including

  • Fr John Blowick founder of the Maynooth Mission to China

  • Former Minister for Lands Joe Blowick

  • Provost of Trinity College, Dr Tom Mitchell