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Mayo, Ireland

Last modified: 2022-10-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: mayo | castlebar |
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Mayo County Council:

[Mayo County Council] image by Patrick Devers

See also:

Description of the flag

Flag divided vertically green and red, with shield on centre. The county flag bears the official crest. The official Mayo shield consists of nine yew trees (that used on the sporting flag only has 8), a Patriarchal Cross and three Passion Crosses, with a ship and waves. The word Maigh Eo (Mayo) means "the plain of the yews", and the nine yew trees express that fact, with one for each barony of the county. The Patriarchal Cross (a cross with two bars) symbolises the Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam and the three Passion Crosses represent the other three Catholic dioceses in Mayo, i.e. Achonry, Killala, and Galway-Kilmacduagh-Kilfenora. Mayo is a maritime county and that fact is represented by the ship and waves. The colour scheme of the crest incorporates the Mayo Gaelic Athletic Association (G.A.A.) colours, green and red. The motto "Dia is Muire Linn" translates as "God and Mary be with us". The rose represents the gold rose presented to Knock Shrine by Pope John Paul 11 during his visit in 1979.
Patrick Devers
, 3 September 2005

Mayo County shield

[Mayo County Crest] by Michael Baynes, 15 March 2000

The armorial bearings granted to the Mayo County Council on 10th March 1981.
Laurence Jones, 4 September 2005

Sporting Flag

[Mayo County sporting flag] image by Patrick Devers

This "county flag" is used by supporters of Gaelic Athletics (Gaelic Football, Hurling etc.) teams. There are as many versions of these as there are manufacturers, and none of these have official status. What is consistent is the county colours. The device on the centre is the unofficial arms used by the town of Longford until 1978 when they got a proper grant of arms (I believe it is based on the arms of Lord Longford).
Laurence Jones, 2 November  2005


[Castlebar town flag] image provided by Valentin Poposki, 11 November 2005

This is a banner of the arms granted by the Chief Herald of Ireland on 20th August 1953.

"Gules, on a saltire argent between in chief a castle and in fesse two yew trees all proper, five crosses patonce vert on a canton or two pikes in saltire gules, with the motto: AR AGHAIDH."

I have gathered the following information on the design of the arms:

Castlebar (Caisleán an Bharraigh - Barry's Castle) is situated in the centre of County Mayo, of which it is the capital. The yew trees show that Castlebar is in County Mayo - the County's name meaning "plain of the yews". The Castle that gave the town its name is shown at the top of the shield. The crossed pikes refer to the events of 1798, when French forces under General Humbert occupied the town. The ensuing military actions became known as the "Races of Castlebar". The arms were registered in 1953 to allow them to be displayed along with those of ninety-five other towns and cities on the streets of Dublin as part of An Tóstal - a festival to encourage Irish emigrants to visit Ireland as tourists. They had been in use unofficially for some years previous to this.

Castlebar arms

[Castlebar town Crest] by Michael Baynes, 15 March 2000