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The Towns





Nestled on the western seaboard of Ireland is the natural and unspoilt county of Mayo. Covering and area of 2,159 square miles, this rural corner of Connaught houses a population of just over 110,000 people and is the third largest county in Ireland. Derived from the Irish name 'Maigh Eo', meaning the plain of yew trees, County Mayo is home to a rich history of organized farming dating back some 5,000 years, preserved Neolithic remains and has strong connections with the early ministry of St. Patrick.

County Mayo offers a rugged landscape of outstanding beauty with mountains and lakes in the north and west. Achill Island, the largest island off the coast of Ireland, can be reached by bridge from the mainland. Visitors to Mayo will discover golden sandy beaches, open moorland, dramatic cliff scenery and the extraordinary bogland of North Mayo, Ceide Fields. Angling, golf, riding and walking are some of the leisure attractions of this breathtaking landscape. The Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) communities in Mayo provide a link to the past, keeping alive a rich Celtic culture through the spoken word and traditional music.

Towns of County Mayo
In contrast to its ancient routes, the towns of County Mayo thrive as part of an Information Age of Technology network giving the people of the county access to the internet and e-commerce through public libraries and local initiatives. The county capital of
Castlebar provides a wealth of community information through its very active website Other towns and business centres in Mayo are Ballina, Westport, Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Charlestown, Claremorris and Swinford.

Please see town guides for futher information

Business Information
Agriculture overall is still the principal source of employment in County Mayo; dairy, sheep and beef farming all being prevelant across the county. Manufacturing and engineering are the two main industries from precision tool and farm equipment production to pharmaceuticals with multinational companies. Tourism represents the major service industry in the county. The IDA (Industrial Development Agency) regional office is based in Galway, they actively seek overseas companies to avail of the facilities in Mayo and establish their business in the county. Enterprise Ireland support medium sized Irish businesses to develop and expand their services. Small businesses with under 10 employees can receive assistance from the Mayo County Enterprise Board with grant application, business skills training and other related support. The Integrated Rural Developments and Leader groups are available in most of the major towns in County Mayo.
Helpful contact details for business enquiries
Mayo County Enterprise Board   tel: (353) (0)94 22887
Enterprise Ireland Regional Office tel: (353) (0)91 735900
Industrial Development Agency (IDA)
Regional Office
tel: (353) (0)91 751111
Other sources of finance applicable to buiness start up, development and acquisition, and related services:
Credit Unions   tel: (353) (0)1 4908911
National Irish Bank tel: (353) (0)1 6785066
Ulster Bank (Small Business Unit) tel: (353) (0)1 6777623
Bank of Ireland Enterprise Support Unit contact any branch.
Smurfit Job Creation Enterprise Fund tel: (353) (0)1 4784091

The Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Employment:- tel:(++) (353) (0) 1 661 4444; has extensive and very helpful advice on all aspects of business and employment in Ireland, including a business start up information pack which is superbly put together and includes everything from planning, funding, locating, employing people and development businesses.

Travel (also see town guides)
30 minutes drive from Castlebar is Knock International Airport at Charlestown, County Mayo providing a direct route from London Stanstead, Manchester and Birmingham in the UK, Germany and Switzerland into the heart of Connaught. Irish Rail operate a daily train service from Dublin to Westport and Ballina. Alternatively, the ferry to any of the eastern seaboard ports in Ireland and a drive cross country will take you to the West of Ireland.

Knock International Airport
(and car hire bookings from Knock Airport)
tel: (353) (0)94 67606
Bus Eireann
tel: (353) (0)96 71800
Ferry Services
Brittany Ferries
tel: (353) (0)21 277801
Irish Ferries
tel: (353) (0)21 551995
P&O European Ferries
tel: (44) (0)870 2424777
Stena Line
tel: (353) (0)1 2047700
Swansea Cork Ferries
tel: (353) (0)21 271166
Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail) tel: (353) (0)1 836 6222
Tourism, Leisure and Accommodation
Please see town guides
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