The Murtagh, Byrne, Moran, Brennan, Gormally, McAllister, McNicholas and McLaughlin families and many others call these lands home. And for centuries they farmed, fished, and raised sheep, goats and cattle.

If you love history, you'll be in the thick of it. The castle ruins above, once owned by the Jordan and McNicholas families, is less than 10 minutes away by car. There is an excellent round tower also close by - less than 15 minutes. Driving 20 minutes southwest is Ballintubber Abbey, and just 30 minutes due west is Croag Patrick, Ireland's holy mountain that thousands climb every July in memory of St. Patrick.

Croag Patrick

But the best part of staying at the McLaughlin Farm is the chance to stay in a nineteenth century farmhouse. The ancient hearth will warm you when you return from the walks that will take you past the many local circle mud duns (forts). Or bike over to the Cilladin Cemetary and 1,000-year-old church where Raftery, the blind poet, spewed his magical words. Or follow the route that the French and the men and women of Mayo took in 1798 as you criss-cross Mayo just as in that year of the French.*

If your family is from Mayo, then you'll want to spend time in Castlebar looking up your ancestors' birth records. A name and the approximate birth date is all you need to start.

Local History and Ruins

Round Tower

*Your explorations will take on added significance if you read Thomas Flanagan's historical novel "The Year of the French" before or during your visit!

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