16 Jun 2017
One of Castlebar’s most celebrated sons found fame by inventing a torpedo, a helicopter and a monorail locomotive. Inventor Louis Philip Brennan’s parents once owned a hardware store on the Main Street, which must have come in handy.
But Louis Philip Brennan isn’t the only recognisable name. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny is currently Castlebar’s most familiar native but he’s facing a challenge from a sporty newcomer. Local swimmer Nicholas Quinn recently qualified for the 200m breaststroke in the Rio Olympics and a good performance could easily see him capture the public imagination.*
Of course, there’s much more to Castlebar than famous faces too!
County Mayo is the fifth cheapest place to buy a house in Ireland and the average asking price for properties is €127,664, according to the latest Daft Report.
“The market is quite strong at the moment,” says Barney Kiernan, Manager of EBS Castlebar. “There’s a lot of first time buyers out there but there’s a supply issue.” Prices have remained pretty stable although high demand has seen a 6% rise in the last year.
Mayo’s charms have previously attracted notable house hunters like former Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton, who bought a home in Ballina to indulge his love of fishing. John Lennon also bought Dorinish Island off the Mayo coast in the seventies, which is still known as “Beatle Island.”*
“One of the best-kept secrets in Castlebar is a large lake in the town,” says Barney. “If you drive into the town you wouldn’t see it.” Lake Lannagh is a natural attraction at the heart of the urban area, with the addition of a playground and 1.9km walking trail. This unique resource is less than 10 minutes from the town’s Main Street.
Other interesting outdoor amenities include a 14km Greenway that runs from Castlebar to Turlough, making the region’s natural beauty accessible by bike or foot.
“Castlebar is a great place to raise kids,” says Barney. “It has attractive areas to live, excellent education facilities and the employment in the area is a big attraction.”
Sport is also big in the area, with a strong GAA and soccer tradition as well as local rugby and swimming clubs. McHale Park GAA pitch is a superb facility that’s been mooted as a venue for an Irish Rugby World Cup bid.
One area that’s particularly popular with families is Turlough, a village outside Castlebar. It’s best known for its National Museum of Country Life, which is the only branch of the National Museum outside of Dublin.
“Turlough is a community that’s captured the public imagination and it’s only five minutes from the main amenities in Castlebar,” says Barney. “A lot of young families are moving out there and property prices have remained very strong. It’s a very attractive location for families.”
Brayfield and Breaffy House Resort are also popular options, as are the villages on the outskirts of the town.
“Generally, first time buyers are looking for three and four-bed houses,” says Barney. “They would gravitate to more popular estates like Rossmore and Rockvale in Castlebar. Those locations would be largely owner occupied so they appeal to both first time buyers and families.”
Many people choose to buy cheaper properties outside of Castlebar and commute to work. Commuter areas like Swinford, Kiltimagh and Foxford offer easy access to the town. Major local employers include the likes of Baxter Labs, state bodies, Mayo General Hospital, GMIT, and Castlebar’s retail and service industries.
“We’ve got great educational facilities, good sports, shops and theatres – everything you’d expect in an administrative capital,” says Barney. “Castlebar has all the essential facilities you’d expect in an urban area - and it’s only 15 minutes away from the Atlantic coast.”
Of course, another big attraction is the quality of life that’s on offer. Castlebar is a perfect base to explore the beauty of the West. The third largest county in Ireland, it offers everything from a stunning network of lakes and rivers to rugged cliffs and beaches.
Mayo is famous for iconic locations like Croagh Patrick and Achill Island. It forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way, with around 117 islands dotted around its coastline. Recent initiatives like the 42km Great Western Greenway have also provided a great way for people to take in the fantastic natural amenities on their doorstep.
Whatever your reasons for choosing Castlebar, there’s something there for everyone.
Before you go house hunting, it's a good idea to get your mortgage arranged – or at least find out where you stand. Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer and Next Time Buyer guides. You can use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.
You can also call in and talk through your mortgage options. They offer a face-to-face service and you can book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with Fiona or one of the team in the EBS Raheny Office.
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Barney Kiernan EBS trading as EBS Castlebar is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c. EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
*If we mention celebrities, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us.
House Prices taken from Daft.ie accessed April 2016.