Gaelic: Clár Chlainne Mhuiris
The town sits at the bottom of a valley, all roads leading to the town follow hills, in particular the old Knock road (known as the Knock hill) and Courthouse road. Although low-lying, the town does not experience flooding. There is no major river through the town.
Claremorris is the fastest growing town in County Mayo. There was a 31% increase in the town's population between 2006 and 2011 and a 23% increase between 2002 and 2006.
The town derived its name from Maurice de Prendergast, a Norman who came to Ireland in 1169.
The town was established during the 18th century. In 1822 the Roman Catholic Chapel was built, which was later demolished to make way for the town hall. The present Roman Catholic St Colman's Church, was built in 1911. St John's Anglican Church, now the town library, was built in 1828.
The main landlord family in Claremorris was the Browne family, one of whom, the Hon. Denis Browne (1760-1828), was High Sheriff of Mayo during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and acquired the nickname of "Donnchadha an Ropa" (Denis the Rope) as a result of his treatment of captured rebels, who had also burnt down his house. He was afterwards MP for Mayo in the UK Parliament.
Many new shops have been added in the last few years, including The Silverbridge Shopping Centre. With the development of Chapel Lane from a derelict street to a commercial street, this part of the town has been transformed. Four supermarkets compete for customers in the town including retail giants Tesco and Aldi.
There are three hotels including the modern 4-star McWilliam Park Hotel, which opened in late 2006. It has a leisure centre, swimming pool and conference facilities. The town has several restaurants catering for Italian, Indian, Chinese and Irish cuisine.
Claremorris has many pubs, however a number have closed down in recent years. The town has two nightclubs namely Rumours and Diceys.
A swimming pool and leisure centre opened on 1 September 2009. A new Garda Station opened in 2008. A new 6-screen cinema has been planned.
There are two secondary schools - St Colman's College for boys and Mount St Michael for girls - and several primary schools.
The surrounding countryside is of rolling drumlins, eskers, woods and lakes.
There are a number of sporting clubs including:
- Claremorris GAA, train at many pitches in the town, and compete at many levels from under-10s up to senior in both Men's & Ladies' Competitions. They have been County Mayo senior hurling champions twice: 1968, and 1971 and senior county Gaelic football champions four times: 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1971.
- The Swimming Club train at the all-new, ultra-modern Claremorris Leisure Centre. The swimming club incorporates water polo. In recent years the team became the first club from Connaught to win the all-Ireland under 16 & under 19 Boys championships, as well as being the first club to win the inaugural Girls Under-16 & Under-19 Championships.
- The new Claremorris Leisure Centre opened on 1 September 2009. It has a 25-metre, 6 lane, short course competition pool. It also incorporates a large gymnasium & fitness studio. It offers a wide variety of fitness classes.
- The Association Football Club, which trains & plays their matches at Concannon park.
- The Golf club play at the local 18-hole course located just outside Claremorris on the Galway Road
- The Athletics Club train on a newly developed mondo athletics track.
- The Tennis Club courts at the centre of town are the most modern in Mayo.
- Claremorris Colts RFC was established in 2009 and runs mini rugby for boys and girls aged from 7– 12 years old each Saturday morning from September to March at the Mount St Michael Convent Girls School pitch. The club also has teams in u13, u14, u15 and u16 age grades who compete in the Connacht Branch league and cup competitions. In April 2012 Claremorris Colts RFC was awarded the title of 'Club of the Year 2012' by the Connacht Branch of the IRFU.
The town was once a major traffic bottleneck, until the N17 bypass opened in July 2001. Journey times at peak periods were reduced by 30 minutes on the Galway/Sligo route after the opening. The project was built as a grade-separated single carriageway. The new ten-mile road bypassed one of Irelands most treacherous national routes, the original seven-mile stretch between Claremorris and Knock had a very high accident rate due to its poor alignment. The busy N60 still passes through the town via an inner relief road. A second bypass for the town is included in the proposed new N60 road to Castlebar, in 2011 the NRA suspended this road development due to government cutbacks.
Claremorris railway station is served by the Dublin Galway/Westport line as well as the Ballina Branch Line. There is currently a campaign underway to open the Western Railway Corridor through Claremorris linking Limerick to Sligo. The Claremorris-Tuam phase was due to open in 2014 but is indefinitely postponed.
Claremorris is home to one of Ireland's eight inland weather observing stations, located a mile from the town centre. It began recording weather in November 1943 and was run and staffed by a local family. During WWII Ireland provided detailed weather reports to the Allies. Weather reports from Claremorris and Blacksod Lighthouse (located on the west coast of Mayo) played a significant factor in selecting the date of launch for the invasion of France (D Day) on 6 June 1944. In 1996 staff were relocated to Ireland West Airport Knock and it now operates automatically with data uploaded to Dublin .
Claremorris is the birthplace of:
- Lucinda Creighton TD, Minister of State for European Affairs
- Cardinal John D'Alton, Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh & Primate of All Ireland, 1946–1963
- Derek Glynn, Irish Soccer Player (striker)
- Sir John Gray, physician, surgeon, journalist, newspaper proprietor, and MP for Kilkenny City
- John Hegarty, 44th Provost of Trinity College, Dublin
- Delia Murphy, Singer and collector of Irish Ballads. Known as the "Queen Of Connemara".
- Catherine Noone, Fine Gael Senator
- Seamus O'Malley, who captained Mayo to their first All-Ireland|All Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1936
- Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources
- Michael Commins, Journalist and Radio Presenter
- Patrick Cassidy orchestral, choral, and film score composer
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- Claremorris Chamber of Commerce
- Claremorris, The Heart of the West
- Claremorris Golf Club
- Claremorris Community Radio
- Claremorris Colts Rugby Football Club
- Claremorris Workhouse
- Actual and percentage change in population 2006 to 2011 by Province County City Urban area Rural area and Electoral division by District, Year and Statistic Central Statistics Office. Retrieved: 2011-11-27.
- Claremorris Leisure Centre
- "Met Éireann". Claremorris History. http://www.met.ie/about/weatherobservingstations/claremorris_history.asp.
- The Gray Family of Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Thomas Ormsby Ruttledge, in The Irish Genealogist 7, 1989