There was once a castle and a coastguard station in Doolough, but the area is now more well-known for the annual Doolough Races. The horse and dog raceing takes place on the Doolough strand and are the most popular events during the Geesala Festival every August, attracting thousands of people to the beach. The races provide the backdrop to the world-famous ‘Playboy of the Western World’, written by J.M. Synge. Synge spent a lot of time in Erris and refers to 15 local placenames in his masterpiece.