From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Western People - 30 July 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
2, Aug 2003 - 11:16

Spectacular Clew Bay archaeological trail to open in August

The first directional signs for the new Clew Bay Archaeological Trail will be erected over the coming weeks, pointing the way forward for the full opening in early August of one of the country’s most spectacular tourist trails. The trail will be officially launched on September 3rd by Anne Chambers, local historian and author of The Life and Times of Grace O’Malley. Stretching a magical 35 km from Westport to south of Louisburgh and then out to Clare Island, the Trail takes in 21 sites. According to Committee Chairperson Harry Hughes it will provide visitors with an unrivalled outdoor museum of archaeology, history and folklore. Along the Clew Bay Archaeological Trail you can see rock art dating to the time of the ancient pyramids, marvel at a stone row which lines up with Croagh Patrick on the winter solstice, explore where Granuaile is buried, or see where Bronze Age farmers cooked their meat.

This is an excellent idea and congratulations to all those who got together to make this happen. Too often in the recent past we have destroyed ring forts and bulldozed sites regardless of their deep historical significance. In the West of Ireland, where the land is poorer from an agricultural point of view, many more have survived. We should appreciate what has been almost accidentally spared to us and protect them while making best use of them to show off our past and heritage. This archaeological trail will join a growing number of other tourist trails around Mayo that provide focal points for walkers, cyclists and drivers of course who come here to see our (still?) beautiful countryside. The sculpture trail Tir Saile is a great tourist attraction across North Mayo but of course it is all modern (some very modern) pieces albeit some of them located close to archaeological sites like that at Downpatrick Head. By bringing attention to these ancient artefacts, the new archaeological trail may also help to protect thousands of other historical sites. It may also make us think twice about spoiling the countryside that surrounds them by allowing Spanish haciendas to be built here there and everywhere. It may also counteract the trend of blocking access with no trespassing signs. Our past belongs to us all not just the owner of the field where a standing stone, ring fort, mass rock or other national monument happens to be located. In the United States anything more than 150 years old is valued as precious by dint of its age. In Europe and in Ireland in particular we have taken our past too much for granted. Apart from the intrinsic value of our archaeological heritage it also has a commercial side. They used to say that you can’t eat scenery, but tourism is now the single biggest revenue earner in the country – the new Clew Bay Archaeology Trail will help to put bread on the table so to speak in many a household along the fringes of Clew Bay adding to the reasons for people to visit this part of the world. announces special incentive after Castlebar losses

In response to the announcement of 170 job losses at the Volex plant in Castlebar,, a leading recruitment website has announced a special 1 month period of free jobs advertisements on its site. The incentive is specifically for employers based in and looking for staff in the Mayo area and to enable those looking for work to get rapid access to a variety of jobs in their vicinity by simply clicking on the website. The website already has in excess of 350 jobs advertised on its site in the Galway/Mayo region with 84 jobs specifically in Castlebar. To avail of the special incentive for employers in the region have a special lo-call number 1890 450 750 or e-mail to

An interesting, if opportunistic, response to the Volex wind-down. While it smacks of vultures picking over the bones it undoubtedly may be of interest – especially the fact they say there are 84 jobs already available in Castlebar. Looking through the site most of the jobs seem to be of a highly skilled nature and quite a wide variety from engineering to accounts to scientific and technical plus of course telesales. Not many in the telecoms sector though!

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