Mayo is the 3rd largest county in Ireland and Castlebar (gaelic Caisleán an Bharraigh) 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.
Castlebar was originally a garrison town and derives its name from a settlement around the de Barra Castle in the 11th century. A town steeped in history with one of the oldest buildings being Christchurch whose foundation stones were laid in 1739. Since then it has featured in the battles of 1798 and has been the birthplace of many a famous son.
The 2014 Fleadh Cheoil Chonnacht was hosted in Castlebar from June 30th - July 6th. The programme for the week will include concerts, céilithe, sean nós workshops, lectures, an intercultural evening, oíche ghaelach, féile sráide and many other events. Fleadh competitions will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Castlebar is the birthplace of many historical people including:
Mark Mellett - Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces
Charles J. Haughey - former Taoiseach of Ireland
Louis Brennen - inventor of the mono-rail torpedo
Margaret Burke Sheridan - world famous soprano
Enda Kenny, former Taoiseach of Ireland
Present day Castlebar is a town with a good infrastructure and with businesses covering a vast spectrum of products and services. The County Library in Castlebar has a wealth of information and resources on matters of local, historical and genealogical interest. Arts, Sports and Leisure are also well catered for with numerous facilities, exhibitions, competitions and festivals which include the world famous International Four Days Walks and the Guinness Castlebar Blues Festival. We also have great accommodation facilities including B&B's, self-catering accommodation, hotels and hostels.
Most importantly of all is that we pride ourselves in the welcome we give to all our 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. Annual festivals include the International Four Days Walks, The Blues Festival and The Heritage Day. The range of facilities in Castlebar include, swimming, bowling, golf, pubs, cafes, horse riding tennis and many many more.
You can take a stroll round Lough Lannagh and visit the Mayo Peace Park. A must visit is the National Museum of Country Life in Turlough. Information on these and much more can be found on our See and Do in Castlebar page.
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.
The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology at Castlebar, less than 10 minutes walk from town, opened its doors in September 1994 and now has an attendance of approx 1,200 students from every corner of Ireland. There are also numerous courses and facilities available for adults wishing to get back into education both full-time and part-time. Overall, Castlebar is now a centre in educational excellence with modern pre-schools, primary, secondary and third level educational facilities.
Guided walking tours of historic Castlebar with local historian and Fáilte Ireland Approved Tour Guide Brían Hoban take place each weekend during months of July and August. Tours will start from the Tourist Office, Linenhall Arts Centre on Saturdays at 11a.m. Group tours may be arranged at other times by appointment. For details call Brían at 087 9234504