Westport community to celebrate ‘Best Place to Live’ title at Westport House this weekend

Westport community to celebrate ‘Best Place to Live’ title at Westport House this weekend

This Sunday, September 9, thousands will descend on Westport House to celebrate Westport winning ‘The Best Place to Live in Ireland’.

Organised by Westport Town Council and The Irish Times, the free Afternoon Party in the grounds of the historic house will feature a packed schedule things to see and do, including heritage, horses, music, food, arts, and sports. All the attractions at Westport House are open to the public with free admission for everyone.

All local people are welcome to attend this unique celebration of the town. Everyone is encouraged to use the free car-parks in Westport and enter Westport House via their new gates on Church Lane, beside Westport Leisure Park.

Westport Town Council and The Irish Times want to express sincere thanks to all in the Westport community for making this day happen, especially John O’Callaghan, The Browne family at Westport House, An Garda Siochana, Mayo Civil Defence, Westport Order of Malta, Westport Tidy Towns, Mayo Sports Partnership, Gno Mhaigh Eo, Westport Chamber of Commerce, Volunteers, All Participants, Artists, Entertainers etc.

You are the reason Westport is Ireland’s Best Place to Live! – Míle Buíochas!


1.00 pm Ecumenical Celebration – Holy Trinity Church.

1.45 pm Clew Bay Pipe Band marches from The Octagon and leads people through the New Gates to Westport House at Church Lane.

2.00 pm The Celebration begins in Westport House and continues throughout the afternoon until 6.00 pm.

Heritage Haven – West Garden

Display on the terrace with demonstrations of crafts from the past, including butter-making, baking, spinning, basket making, wood turning, tin smith etc, with vintage tractors and threshing machines on display.

Experience majestic eagles soaring over your head while The Mad Poets Society recite their ramblings. Bronagh Joyce will bring ‘The Story of Westport’ to life with interactive talks at 2.45pm,3.45pm, and 4.45pm.

Westport Horse Show Revisited

The West Mayo Equine Group will bring to life memories of the internationally renowned Westport Horse Show of the 60s and 70s. Parade rings, cross country show jumping and pony rides on ‘The Lawn’.

Sports for All

Demonstrations with our local sporting clubs in association with the Mayo Sports Partnership plus an opportunity to challenge yourself on giant inflatables.

From The Fields of West Mayo

Sample the fare of our local food producers, restaurants and the Westport Country Markets.

Mayo Craft Workers

Display, demonstrations and sales by members of Craftworks Mayo Living Crafts.

Round Table Discussion

The Irish Times Forum – ‘The role of community in modern Ireland’.

Chaired by Kathy Sheridan from The Irish Times – The Drawing Room – 3.30 pm

It never changed a bit!

Learn more about the Laurence Collection, a unique collection of photographs capturing life in Westport from the period 1870 -1914.

Exhibition and illustrated talk by Seamus Gavin – The Greenroom – in the basement of Westport House.

Keep your hat on!

See some of the award-winning millinery by Westport’s Lena Stein – dramatic creations to literally make your head spin – The Blue Bedroom Room in Westport House.

The House is alive to the sound of music

Three locations to listen to a wide variety of music inside Westport House – folk, traditional, classical, choral, jazz, country, and rock.

Portraits in Pastels

Yes, he’s back in The Dining Room, Westport’s own Tom Smith creating those wonderful portraits that so many of us have from of childhood days. Get there early to book yours.

The House Story

Join a guided tour of Westport House running at 3.30 pm and 5.00 pm and learn about the House, Grace O’Malley and The Browne’s connection to the town. Or do your own self-guided tour!

With a bang on a drum!

Fancy yourself as a drummer – join the Drumming Workshop at Gracy’s Beer Garden in The Farmyard, book your space at 2.15pm, start your class and be ready to perform on the steps of Westport House at 5.15pm. This workshop/performance is in association with The Snakes Drumming Group.

The Greenway Artists Initiative

Meet the artists and view the talents of this newly formed collective of artists as they exhibit at The Loft @ Gracy’s Bar in The Farmyard

Tóraíocht Taisce Gráinne Mhaol – Grace O’Malley Treasure Hunt

(in association with Gnó Mhaigh Eo)

Foghlaim faoin bhfoghlaí mara agus aimsigh an taisce! Ceisteanna bunaithe ar an Pirate Queen!

Be in with a chance to win a voucher for 2 adults and 4 children to Winter Wonderland in Westport House plus a host of spot prizes on the day.

Meet the Community

The Community Groups Marquee is where to meet the people who make Westport what it really is. It’s your opportunity to get to know some of those great voluntary organisations and maybe offer your services.

FREE FAMILY FUN in the Pirate Adventure Park!

Yes we said FREE – enjoy a ride on all the Pirate Adventure Park attractions, including the Pirates Den indoor soft play, The Swan Pedaloe Boats, Westport House Express, The Pirates Plunge Log Flume, Bouncy Castle and Swinging Ship.

Adventure Activities to suit all ages

Try out Zorbing, or Ireland’s longest Zip-wire, give Laser Clay Pigeon Shoot, Archery, Laser Combat Games, Kayaking. And Stand-up Paddle-boarding a go! ALL FREE, sign up early as places may be limited.


2.15 pm Drumming Workshop

2.45 pm Strike up the Band – Westport Town Band entertains at the steps

3.00 pm The Irish Times ‘The Best Place to Live’ Presentation. The Main Entrance Steps to Westport House.

3.30 pm Show Jumping on The Lawn

3.30 pm The Irish Times Forum – ‘The role of the community in modern Ireland’. Chair: Kathy Sheridan, Irish Times – The Drawing Room

3.30 pm and 5.00 pm The Westport House Story – guided tour.

2.45 pm, 3.45 pm, and 4.45 pm. ‘The Story of Westport Town’ – Heritage Haven


Wedding Garden – Outdoor Stage

2.00 pm Gary O’Malley

2.45 pm Russian Delingquents

3.30 pm The Olcan Masterson Band

4.15 pm Avalon

5.00 pm Gremlins at The Disco

Inside the house

On The Great Stairs

2.10 pm Westport Children’s Choir

3.15 pm Mary Curran (French Horn) and Áine Ni Dhubhghaill (Irish Harp)

4.30 pm Westport Choral Society

5.00 pm Coda

The Long Gallery

2.30 pm Ain’t Mis-behaving

4.00 pm The Octagon Jazz Band

The Courtyard

2.00 pm The Cove Youth Café Music Showcase

For further details contact Westport Town Council on 098 50400 or email dlangan@mayococo.ie