Welcome the Granuaile Centre located in Louisburgh, Co Mayo and home to Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen.
This fearless woman of the 16th century, ruled the seas off the coast of Mayo. This region holds her history in towers and legends. The Centre is full of her stories, replicas of her times, books and a documentary that will help you know this fascinating woman and her place as a leader in Ireland’s history.
Grace was born in 1530 to the legendary O’Malley clan, that had several strongholds along the Mayo coast. The towers at Achill Island, Rockfleet and Clare Island are still standing today. In time, Grace used those strongholds to maintain her control of the coastal seas of Mayo. Her story is full of fiery patriotism, and her personal life is no less adventurous.
In addition to the Grace O’Malley exhibit, there is also a Famine Exhibition with artifacts, illustrations and documents that chronicle the horrific famine times. Known as “The Great Hunger,” the period from 1845 through 1850 saw over a million deaths from starvation in Ireland. Add the untold thousands who were forced to emigrate to the U. S., Canada and elsewhere, the population of Ireland decreased by 25% as a direct cause of the Famine.