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Westport is unusual in Ireland in that it is a planned town. The original village of Cathair na Mart was moved to its present site in the 1780s by the Browne family, descendants of Grace O’Malley, the pirate. The town was laid out by James Wyatt, a famous English architect. The most notable feature of James Wyatt's plan is the lovely tree-lined boulevard, the Mall, built on the River Carrowbeg.
Wyatt also completed Westport House, a project started in the 1730s on the original O' Malley Castle site: the dungeons still remain. Westport House and Children's Animal and Bird Park are a particular draw for families, many of whom stay at the caravan and camping park which belongs to Westport House. The nearest pub has a children’s play area much like a McDonald’s. Matt Molloy of the Chieftains has a vibrant musical pub on Bridge Street at the heart of the town.
In January 2008, Westport became Google Earth's first fully 3D town allowing potential tourists and other visitors to the town stroll through the streets whilst sitting at their computers
People from Westport town are traditionally known as Coveys. Some decades ago the Covey dialect still existed and was unintelligible to outsiders. For example the Covey word for a woman was a "doner". To this day inhabitants of nearby areas, including Castlebar, refer to the people of Westport, sometimes mildly disparagingly, sometimes somewhat affectionately, as Coveys. Source

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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