Town History

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Posted by Jean on June 22, 2001 at 23:53:50:

I came across this neat little book "Tourist Guide to Castlebar" has no date,
The only inkling I can gather is that Eamonn Joyce was the Chairman of Castlebar UDC
when this was published.

Castlebar is believed to be derived from a castle built by and Anglo-Norman named Barry
on the site of the present Military Barracks. This Barry came here with the De Burgos who
conquered a large part of Connaught in the 13th century and dominated the region until the
arrival of the Binghams in the late 16th century. John Bingham built the town, which was
granted a chapter of incorporation by James 1 in 1611.

In the autumn of 1798 about 1,000 french troops under General Humbert landed in Kilcummin,
in the north of the county and after having captured Killala and Ballina, marched on to
Castlebar with their irish allies. Surprising the defenders by taking an infrequented
route through the Windy Gap and Burren, they routed them in an engagement known as
"The Races of Castlebar" For a week Castlebar was the capital of Connaught. John Moore
a scion of the Moores of Moore Hall, near Lough Carra, was appointed President. Superior
forces brought the Republic to an end and Humbert surrendered shortly afterwards at
Ballinamuck, near Longford. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Castlebar was a flourishing
market town and also had a variety of industries, producing linen, leather, beer, tiles and tobacco.

Will post further items over the next days or so.

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