Ballycastle >Tourist Information

'The Shambles' Project

Summary of Feasibility Study prepared by Moy Valley Resources, Ballina, Co. Mayo


Ballycastle/Belderrig Development Company are proposing to develop the “Shambles” site in Ballycastle into a modern Visitors Centre, aiming to provide for the needs of tourists, climbers, archaeologists and nature lovers who visit this beautiful part of Mayo.  


Ballycastle is an area of the North coast of Mayo with a richness that is unique only to the study area.   These riches include its quality landscape, mountains, marshes, sandhills, cliffs and ancient historical sites.   It's attraction lies in the beauty of the unspoilt scenery and the environmental contrast and hospitality which it offers to visitors.   The overall area is extremely rich in items of interest to biologists, archaeologists and students of history, also megalithic tombs (Céide Fields), early Christian and mediaeval ruins.

Aims and Objectives

The overall aim of the group is to provide a modern, comfortable and up-to-date information centre for tourists to the region.  

The Centre will be managed by a voluntary committee from the Development Company, assisted by participants from the Rural Social Scheme.   The availability of such a facility will improve the socio-economic welfare of the community.

The Project

The management committee has devised plans to construct a modern up-to-date multifunctional centre on the “Shambles” site on Main Street, Ballycastle.   The site measures 43,000sq feet, with an entrance from the Main Road, and is owned by the Company.  


The building will be designed in a “Shell” shape configuration which will maximise the potential use of the site.   The complex will include a tourist information centre, showers, drying room for walkers and cyclists, restaurant and meeting area.

The design will allow for a panoramic view of the bay area from the rear view of the building.


It is envisaged the Centre will provide services and facilities such as

•  Hot food, hot showers, secure lockers, drying room for clothes
•  Internet access, Fax and Photocopying services
•  It is also envisaged that the Centre will accommodate a dedicated “Fáilte Ireland Tourist Office” and also facilitate booking of accommodation and general tourist information/activities in the area.

It has been proposed to name the Centre “Tom Langan Centre” after the great Gaelic footballer of the fifties.  

The success of this plan depends on the commitment and vision of the local community to implement it and also from state and local agencies to recognise and assist with the development of this unique area.

Additional amenities for consideration

Ballycastle would benefit from a Children's Playground Area.   This facility would be required to constructed to the highest standard and with all safety aspects and would cater for tourist and local children.

Additional opportunities for the area

Diving :    With 5 spectacular dive sites within easy reach of Ballycastle Harbour, the potential for a Dive Centre is enormous.   This Centre would cater for the needs of visiting dive clubs and tourists.   Currently a number of dive clubs visit the area because of the excellent diving conditions, but due to lack of accommodation and facilities (compressor etc) the numbers are static.

With over 70 diving clubs in the country, the potential development is excellent for the area.


Cycling:   Currently there are organised cycle tours of the wide open plains of West Mayo available.   A more detailed itinerary is available on booking through


Walks : Ballycastle is an ideal location for walking enthusiasts.   There is a huge variety of landscapes to explore. Some walks are mapped out and direction signposts are placed along the route.

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