Information about Louisburgh
Louisburgh is a small town on the southwest corner of Clew Bay in County Mayo, Ireland. It is home to Sancta Maria College and the Gráinne O'Malley Interpretive Centre.
Louisburgh is located on the R335 regional road. It can be approached from Westport (13 miles) or from Leenane (19 miles). Both approaches are stunning as the former passes along the beautiful Clew Bay on one side and Croagh Patrick on the other while the latter passes through lake and mountain scenery.
Most of Louisburgh lies within the townland of Clooncarrabaun. The town was constructed in 1795 by the 3rd Earl of Altamount, (later 1st Marquess of Sligo), John Denis Browne of Westport to house Catholic refugees who fled sectarian conflict in the north of Ireland. Originally a planned town, it retains many of the eighteenth century features in style and scale. The 1st Marquess of Sligo named the town Louisburgh in memory of his Uncle, Captain Henry Browne, who fought on the British side, against the French, in the 1758 battle of Louisburg. Louisburg (or Louisbourg in French) was a French named fortress on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. As a result of the British victory, a temporary unit of Louisbourg Grenadiers was formed, in which his Uncle was a captain.
What to see
Louisburgh is built on the Bunowen River, part of which is a salmon fishery. Nearby Roonagh Pier, approx 6 km from the town, is the departure point for ferries to Clare Island and Inishturk. There are a number of stunning beaches in the area renowned for their cleanliness. Nearest to the town are "majestic Old Head", Bunowen and Carramore while Carrowniskey, Cross, Lecanvey are within easy reach. Further to the west is the famed White Strand of Tallabawn. Each year, on the May Bank Holiday Weekend, the town hosts a traditional music festival, Féile Chois Chuan, which attracts a large number of enthusiasts from many parts of Ireland and abroad.
The main geographical features around Louisburgh are Croagh Patrick to the east, the Sheaffrey and Mweelrea Mountains to the south, the Atlantic to the west and Clew Bay to the north.