The first Castlebar Song Contest was staged in 1966. The contest was organised by the Chamber of Commerce as part of a drive to promote tourism to Castlebar and the Mayo region.
Cathal O'Shannon chats to Chairman of the Castlebar Chamber of Commerce Mr MJ Egan about the contest. Mr Egan says the hope is to find a song which will do for Castlebar what songs like 'Galway Bay', 'The Rose of Tralee' and 'Lovely Leitrim' have done for other Irish towns.
We want something pop now to publicise the town.
There have been about seventy entries for the competition. While Mr Egan notes that some of the entries wouldn't win a competition anywhere, he feels that they have
An embarrassment of good songs.
The song contest was hosted by Gay Byrne and took place on 10 October 1966 at the Royal Ballroom in Castlebar. The contest was won by Dublin songwriter, Sheila Fawsitt Stewart with the song 'Caisleán A' Bharraigh'. The song was performed by showband 'Dragoons'. Sheila Fawsitt Stewart won a prize of £50.
A 'Newsbeat' report by Cathal O'Shannon broadcast on 10 October 1966.