Local history project by pupils of St. Patrick's B.N.S, Castlebar

               Louis Brennan, the Castlebar Inventor


Louis Brennan was an inventor from Castlebar. He was born just above where Staunton’s Gift Shop is now situated. When he was nine he and his family had to move away due to work shortage which was very common at this time. At the age of 16 he left for England. In England he worked for the English government. During the 1880s he invented the torpedo for the English government, he was paid 230,000. The torpedo weighed 3.5 tonnes. He was paid well because the English used the torpedo to sink German U-boats (warships).

He married a daughter of the famous Quinn family who owned the land on which our school, St.Patrick’s, and the Church of the Holy Rosary are built today.


Louis died in 1932 when he was knocked down by a car. All in all he had 48 inventions and patents. Some of his best known are the helicopter, the torpedo and the monorail.

Louis’s father was also an inventor and sold from a needle to an anchor in his little shop on Market St. now known as Main St. On his fathers shop window there was a mechanical man which his father invented and on market day people used to stop and stare in awe at it.

Main St in 1900
(photo from the Wynne collection)

Also before the gas works came in the 50’s his father had a gas lamp in his shop. Some more of his inventions can be read about in a book in the library so next time your up there ask the librarians about it. The family vault is in the middle of the old cemetery in Castlebar and it is carved in old Irish.