Rural heritage and tourism in Ireland: A County Mayo case study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Much of Ireland's heritage is by default a rural one, and tourism is a mainstay of many rural livelihoods. This chapter examines constructs of rural heritage and rural tourism in Ireland generally, but with a particular emphasis on the western seaboard county of Mayo. A typological framework of heritage tourism will be presented in the form of selected case studies: neolithic rural heritage tourism is presented via the site of the Ceide Fields; Intangible rural heritage is assessed via the town of Westport and examines music, festivals, the arts and Croagh Patrick as sites for tourism engagement; natural rural heritage examines Ballycroy national park, and a final section evaluates how the Museum of Country Life interprets and presents themes of rural heritage more formally to visitors as a key national cultural institution located in the west of Ireland. There follows a narrative on how differing forms of the rural (landscape, society, performance and culture) are commodified in heritage tourism contexts across the county. A case study approach allows readers of this text to access short examples set within a definitional and analytical framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeritage and Tourism in Britain and Ireland
EditorsGlenn Hooper
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781137520821
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Heritage tourism
  • Rural tourism
  • Ireland
  • Mayo
  • Cultural tourism
  • Landscape tourism


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