(Cluain Cearbán) is a small town on the southwest corner of Clew Bay
in County Mayo
. It is home to Sancta Maria College ,the Grace O'Malley
Interpretive Centre, and close to Old Head
Wood and Delphi
Originally a planned town it retains many of the eighteenth century features in style and scale. The town was constructed in 1795 by Lord Altamount of Westport to house Catholic refugees who fled sectarian conflict in the north of Ireland. It is said that Altamount named the town after his daughter Louise.
Louisburgh is built on the Bunowen River
part of which is a salmon fishery. Nearby Roonagh Pier, approx 6km from the town, is the departure point for ferries to Clare Island
. There are a number of beaches in the area renowned for their cleanliness and 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.
Economy and culture
Louisburgh is experiencing an upturn in its fortunes as is the rest of Ireland. For many years emigration and joblessness prevailed but more recently high employment especially in construction has prevailed due to a large a number of holiday homes being built. Many local people commute to work in nearby towns such as Westport
, each of which have a growing industrial base.
Recreationally, Louisburgh is a paradise for fishermen, surfers, hill walkers, beach-walkers and photographers. It is hoped that its unrivalled seclusion and tranquility on the very western edge of Europe will endure into the future.
Recently the theatre has received a major boom in the town with the addition of a second drama society. The new group entitled Ceoil agus Drama i gCluain Cearban (Music and Drama in Louisburgh) formed with a focus on children's theatre and pantomime. They then went on to perform the first ever pantomime in Louisburgh helping to raise over 1,000 euro for the local Order of Malta group.