CastlebarCounty Mayo

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Castlebar Bacon Factory stood where Mayo Movie World is now and was one of Castlebar's biggest industries ever.

It was built on Lord Lucan's farmyard in an area known as the 'Bull Yard'.  It was originally established by a Fr. Hughes who was a priest in Islandeady as a co-operative.  This was 1917 and was known as Castlebar Co-Operative Curing Factory with locals owning shares.  It was once of Castlebar's biggest employers throughout the years up to its closure in 1989 with many full families being employed there (in 1977 it reportedly had a turnover of just under £10m). Coming up to Christmas, they took on extra staff in order to pluck turkeys for the Christmas trade.   Some of these were sent to England during the Second World War years. Beef was also processed in the factory.   It was famous for 'Barcastle' sausages and pudding, and tinned meat. 

Modern processes eventually led to the closure of this once great institution and when it finally closed, it was a very sad day for the town.  As well as the job losses, a part of the life of the town died.  There is no trace of the factory now on the site except the old 'boning hall', opened in 1958 is now used as stores for a petrol/filling station.  There is also a pub on the site which is called 'Hog's Heaven' in memory of the bacon factory.

There is a very good documentary on RTE Radio about it for further information. It is called 'The Price of Bacon' and can be found here. 

https://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/2009/0427/645959-factorylives/

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