Other Attractions

Other Attractions in and around Ballinrobe include:

Knock Shrine

Knock Shrine is an international place of pilgrimage and prayer where over one and a half million pilgrims come every year. The Shrine grounds incorporates five churches, including the Apparition Church, Parish Church/Old Church, Basilica, Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Chapel of Reconciliation. All of these are set in beautiful landscaped gardens of approximately 100 acres creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.

Services at the Shrine include: daily public devotions and masses with Anointing of the Sick, Confessions and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; Youth Ministry; Prayer Guidance; Rest and Day Care Centre for welcome and hospitality; Family Life Centre; Shrine Offices where pilgrims can enrol family and friends in the Knock Shrine Friends’ Association masses. Lay and religious staff and volunteers of the Knock Shrine Society are involved in all these services.

As part of the attraction at Knock Shrine is the Knock Folk Museum, officially opened and blessed in May of 1987 and is located on the grounds of then Knock Shrine. The museum’s theme ‘A look into the past’ portrays life in 19th century rural Ireland and the museum itself is divided into fifteen sections each devoted to a particular subject. It attempts to delve deeper into the past so that visitors will gain a sense of historic place.

Westport House

Westport House & Country Park is a very popular family attractions located in Westport, appealing to everyone with its extraordinary mixture of history, culture and fun for all the family.

It is situated in a magnificent parkland setting, with a lake, terraces and spectacular gardens overlooking Clew Bay. It is a major attraction for day visitors interested in Ireland’s history, architecture and works of art, and is one of Ireland’s most popular days out for the entire family. Over 3,000,000 visitors have now been welcomed since it first opened to the public.

Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey is a royal abbey in Co. Mayo, Ireland, founded by King Cathal Crobdearg O’Connor in 1216. It is said to be the only church in Ireland founded by an Irish king that is still in regular use.

Despite being suppressed and damaged during the reformation, the roofless abbey continued to be used throughout penal times by Catholics. In 1966 the nave was restored and reroofed, in time for the 750th anniversary of the abbey’s foundation, and in 1997 the Chapter House and Dorter area were restored and reroofed. It is planned to restore the entire east wing before the 800th year celebration in 2016.

The abbey has several modern outdoor attractions, including a very modern abstract Way of the Cross, an underground permanent Crib, and a Rosary Way. There is a small museum. Seán na Sagart, the infamous priest-hunter, is said to be buried in the grounds. A large tree marks the spot.

Pierce Brosnan was married there, and the abbey marks the beginning of Tochar Phádraig, the ancient pilgrimage route to Croagh Patrick, long defunct but now reopened as a cross-country pilgrimage/tourist trail.

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life opened in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park, Co. Mayo in September 2001. The new Museum site was achieved as result of a co-operation involving the National Museum of Ireland, the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, the Office of Public Works and Mayo County Council.

The Country Life complex includes exhibition galleries, storage facilities for the reserve collection, education rooms, and a conservation laboratory. The exhibition galleries are housed in a purpose-built stone-clad building designed by the Architectural Services of the Office of Public Works.

Public facilities, including a restaurant, bookshop and library, and staff offices are located in the Victorian Turlough Park House – formerly the home of the Fitzgerald family. The original drawing room and library of the ‘Big House’ are open to the public and furnished as they may have looked in 1900.

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