Castlebar - The place to be this Mayo Day

Saturday 29th April marks the third celebration of Mayo Day, a phenomenally successful global initiative that celebrates our Mayo-ness and our impact on the world. From a póc fada in Buenos Aires to our own flagship celebrating the Mayo-French Connection, the power of Mayo is felt around the world and back again.

This year for Mayo Day, Castlebar is holding the Flagship event – Mayo-French Connections - which celebrates our accomplishments in shaping the nation during a pivotal time in history, and the connections we made with the French in 1798. These themes are explored in the L’Arbre de la Liberté Conference, and the excitement of the times are brought to life in historic re-enactments throughout the weekend.

The connections with France still run strong, with 16,000 French people living in Ireland; many of them reside here in Mayo, and the French influence can be found in place and family names, food and craft, businesses and music. There is an intimate connection between Irish and Breton music, and we are thrilled to welcome a group of musicians straight from France to Castlebar. Keep an ear out for them on the streets and in some of the local pubs over the weekend.

The Mayo-French theme runs through all of the activities in Castlebar over the bank holiday weekend. Family activities on the Mall on Saturday include a combination of French and Irish music, puppet shows, games, art activities and a few surprises. On Sunday, after the Races of Castlebar, join us for an Irish-French street spectacle on Linenhall Street.

French musicians will also be playing along the West of Ireland’s Women’s Mini Marathon route, and participants in the Mini-Mini run a carefully measured 1798 metres. The entire county and the world are celebrating Mayo Day on 29th April 2017, and there are already plans afoot for 2018 and beyond.

“Mayo is a can-do county and connected county. We are trying to invert the conversation from ‘Why Mayo?’ to ‘Why not Mayo?’ That is a little bit of what Mayo Day is about.”

Peter Hynes

Chief Executive,

Mayo County Council


 Vive la France, Vive l’Irlande, Hon Mayo Day!


In Humbert’s Footsteps: Step Back to 1798

The scene is set for the encounter between General Humbert and General Lake on the streets of Castlebar. The troops are mustering for battle in their encampment on the Mall on Saturday, awaiting their moment to run the British troops out of town on Sunday. Meet and mingle with the soldiers and Pikeman in the camp; discover what goes on in the daily life of the troops, from cooking to preparing for battle. On Sunday, stand back and witness the Races of Castlebar, with its booming cannons, crackling muskets and clashing steel swords. Or, take part in the battle itself as a Pikeman, and play a role in history.

Email for more details about getting involved.

“We are all looking forward to the excitement that Mayo Day will bring to Castlebar, and encourage everyone to come out for the full programme of free events taking place on the weekend.”

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne

Cathaoirleach of the

Castlebar Municipal District of

Mayo County Council


L’arbre de la Liberté | Liberty Tree Conference 2017

GMIT Castlebar Campus - Friday 28th & Saturday 29th April 2017

A two day conference exploring the origins of republicanism:

How a relationship between Ireland and France was forged.


Mayo County Council & the Environment, Culture, Heritage, Language Working Group of The Mayo Local Community Development Committee are hosting a Conference in conjunction with Mayo Day celebrations 2017. The event will be held at GMIT, Castlebar entitled The Liberty Tree – L’Arbre de la Liberté. The Conference will also include a guided tour of Moore Hall, home of John Moore, first President of the Republic of Connaught. Admission to this event is free of charge.



There will be a number of street closures in Castlebar over the weekend due to the Mayo Day Activities and the West of Ireland Mini Marathon. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. For a full listing of road closures, please visit our website:



Battle re-enactments are fun and noisy. Please be aware that over the weekend, you may encounter the sound of canons and muskets at various times and locations. If you are attending the re-enactments on the Mall on Saturday and the Races of Castlebar on Sunday, please consider the noise levels and plan accordingly, particularly if you are bringing children along. Please do not bring dogs for their own protection and for public safety concerns.




8th Annual Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini Marathon

Sunday, 12pm

The Western People West of Ireland Womens Mini Marathon 10K takes place on Sunday April 30th at 12noon. Starting and Finishing at the Mall in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Registration can be done online at


4th Annual Mini Mini Primary School Children Fun Run

Sunday, 12.10pm

Mayo Sports Partnership’s 4th Annual Mini Mini Fun Run focuses on encouraging children throughout the county to become more physically active. This year’s Mini-Mini is a distance of 1798 metres, and will be French themed to celebrate the Races of Castlebar. Suitable for boys and girls of all ability. For more information on the Mini Marathon and Fun Run, visit or contact Mayo Sports Partnership on 094-9047025 or email