Visit the well-resourced Louisburgh-Killeen Heritage site here.
Louisburgh enjoys the unusual privilege of being a “planned town” retaining many of the original eighteenth century features in style and scale. It is also unique among Irish towns by taking its name from a town in the New World – the reverse of the normal pattern.
It is almost certainly named after the fortress town of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia where a member of the founding landlord’s family, a Henry Browne of Westport, had taken part in a seige in 1758, and afterwards was a member of the reconstituted regiment called the Louisbourg Grenadiers.
This Henry Browne was an uncle of John Dennis Browne, 3rd Lord Altamont, who on the 21st May, 1787, married Louisa Catherine Howe, daughter of the Admiral of the British Fleet during the American Revolutionary War, and who also had family involvement in the siege of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, Canada. Their son in turn married Catherine de Burgh, daughter of the Earl of Clanricarde.
So, when the new town of the Earl of Altamont on West Mayo came to be built about 1795/1796 in the western part of His Lordship’s estate, the name Louisburgh naturally presented itself from the family connections with Louisbourg and the combined names of the two ladies, Louisa Catherine and Catherine de Burgh.
The town almost immediately received an influx of refugees fleeing from sectarian battles in County Armagh in 1795-1796.