Ballinasloe
Overview
 
Ballinasloe is a town in the easternmost part of County Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

 in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.
The town developed as a crossing point on the River Suck
River Suck
The River Suck is a river in Ireland, approx. in length.It is the main tributary of the River Shannon. It meets the River Swilly a few kilometres north of the village of Shannonbridge to form the Suck-Swilly, which becomes the River Shannon....

, a tributary of the Shannon
River Shannon
The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland at . It divides the west of Ireland from the east and south . County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception...

. The Irish placename — meaning the mouth of the ford of the crowds — reflects this purpose. The latter part of the name suggests the town has been a meeting place since ancient times. The patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of Ballinasloe is Saint Grellan
Grellan
Saint Grellan is an Irish saint and patron saint of the Kelly and Donnellan clans and of the parish of Ballinasloe, in County Galway, Ireland.-Early life:...

, whom tradition believes built the first church in the area at Kilcloony.
Encyclopedia
Ballinasloe is a town in the easternmost part of County Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

 in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.

Name and history

The town developed as a crossing point on the River Suck
River Suck
The River Suck is a river in Ireland, approx. in length.It is the main tributary of the River Shannon. It meets the River Swilly a few kilometres north of the village of Shannonbridge to form the Suck-Swilly, which becomes the River Shannon....

, a tributary of the Shannon
River Shannon
The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland at . It divides the west of Ireland from the east and south . County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception...

. The Irish placename — meaning the mouth of the ford of the crowds — reflects this purpose. The latter part of the name suggests the town has been a meeting place since ancient times. The patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of Ballinasloe is Saint Grellan
Grellan
Saint Grellan is an Irish saint and patron saint of the Kelly and Donnellan clans and of the parish of Ballinasloe, in County Galway, Ireland.-Early life:...

, whom tradition believes built the first church in the area at Kilcloony. A local housing estate, the branch of Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge is a non-governmental organisation that promotes the Irish language in Ireland and abroad. The motto of the League is Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin amháin .-Origins:...

, and formerly a school are named after him.

October Fair and Festival

Every October, Ballinasloe is host to the ancient annual October Fair. Chiefly agricultural in the past, it is now focused on the horse. The Ballinasloe Fair is one of the oldest horse fairs
Horse fairs
A horse fair is normally an annual fair where people buy and sell horses.In the United Kingdom there are many fairs which are traditionally attended by gypsies and travellers who converge at the fairs to buy and sell horses, meet with friends and relations and to celebrate their music, history and...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

; bathed in history it dates back to the 18th century. Today the ever popular fair is still held, along with a festival that attracts up to 100,000 visitors from all over the world. The town also boasts a successful summer festival called An tSúca Fiain.

Economy

The biggest local employers are Portiuncula and St. Brigid's hospitals.The Dubarry
Dubarry
Dubarry of Ireland or just Dubarry is a footwear and clothing company headquartered in Ballinasloe, County Galway. Dubarry was established in 1937 by the newly formed Ballinasloe Chamber of Commerce primarily as a co-operative initiative to provide local employment...

 shoe manufacturing company has been based in the town, although manufacturing at the plant ceased in November 2004. The American pen manufacturing company A. T. Cross
A. T. Cross Company
A. T. Cross is a traded American company that competes in the writing instrument, stationery and premium sunglass businesses.-Overview:Cross manufactures and distributes writing instruments, journals and sunglasses worldwide...

 had a factory in the town for many years as did electrical components company Square D
Square D
Square D is an American manufacturer of equipment used to control and distribute electric power headquartered in Palatine, Illinois.Square D was founded in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan by Bryson Dexter Horton who is credited with the invention of the safety switch which encased high voltage switches...

.

Transport

Ballinasloe railway station
Ballinasloe railway station
Ballinasloe railway station serves the town of Ballinasloe in County Galway.The station opened on 1 August 1851....

 opened on 1 August 1851, and is served by the DublinGalway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

 railway line
Rail transport in Ireland
Rail services in Ireland are provided by Iarnród Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and by Northern Ireland Railways in Northern Ireland.Most routes in the Republic radiate from Dublin...

. Once a notorious bottleneck on the old Galway to Dublin road, on 18 December 2009, the town was officially bypassed for the first time, when the M6 motorway
M6 motorway (Ireland)
The M6 motorway is a motorway in Ireland, which runs from Dublin to Galway. The M6 extends from its junction with the M4 at Kinnegad all the way west to the outskirts of Galway City, but the Athlone bypass and the approach to Galway city - while of dual carriageway standard - have not been...

 opened as an upgrade to the N6.
From 1828 to the 1960s, Ballinasloe was the terminus of the Grand Canal
Grand Canal of Ireland
The Grand Canal is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west,via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin's inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the...

. A new public marina has been developed on the river in recent years that allows traffic from the Shannon navigation to access the town.

Local Media

A number of newspapers circulate in the Ballinasloe area, such as Connacht Tribune
Connacht Tribune
The Connacht Tribune is a newspaper circulating chiefly in County Galway, Ireland and is currently the most popular and successful regional newspaper in Ireland....

, Athlone Topic and the Roscommon Champion. As Ballinasloe sits on the border between two counties it is served by 2 local radio stations, Galway Bay FM
Galway Bay FM
Galway Bay FM is an Irish independent local radio station and operates under a license from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. Established in 1989, the station broadcasts from studios in Galway, serving the city and County Galway.-Programming:...

 and Shannonside FM. Local radio from other neighboring counties such as Midlands 103
Midlands 103
Midlands 103 is an Irish local radio station broadcasting to Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.The station's headquarters is in Tullamore, and it also has studios in Athlone, Mullingar, and Portlaoise.- Presenters :*Aidan Barry...

 and Tipp FM are well received in the area. National stations in the area include RTE Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926...

, 2FM, RTE Lyric FM
RTÉ lyric fm
RTÉ lyric fm is an Irish classical music radio station, owned by the public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann. The station, which is based in Limerick, was launched in 1999 and is available on FM in Ireland, on satellite, on Sky Digital in Ireland and United Kingdom and via the...

, Today FM
Today FM
Radio Ireland Ltd, trading as 100-102 Today FM is an Irish commercial FM radio station which is available nationally. The station, which commenced broadcasting on Saint Patrick's Day in 1997, can be received nationally and carries a mix of music and talk...

, and 4FM
4fm
Classic Hits 4FM is an independent multi-region radio station broadcasting to Dublin and commuter belt, the cities and counties of Cork, Limerick, Galway and County Clare. Reception is also possible in parts of several other neighbouring counties...

.

Sport

Ballinasloe itself harbours historically rich soccer, golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

, and rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

 clubs, whilst also containing the Duggan Park Gaelic Athletic Association
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

 grounds. Gaelic games are perhaps the most deeply entrenched and most popular sporting culture in the town, most of all in its surrounding hinterland. The local GAA clubs are Ballinasloe GAA
Ballinasloe GAA
Ballinasloe GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association gaelic football and hurling club located in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland.It was formed on 1 December 2005 as the result of a merger of St Grellan's GFC and Ballinasloe Hurling Club.-External links:*...

 (incorporating St Grellan's
St Grellan's GFC
St Grellan's Gaelic Football Club is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland. The club is a member of the Galway GAA...

 Gaelic football
Gaelic football
Gaelic football , commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic", or "Gah" is a form of football played mainly in Ireland...

 club and Ballinasloe Hurling Club) and Ballinasloe Camogie
Camogie
Camogie is an Irish stick-and-ball team sport played by women; it is almost identical to the game of hurling played by men. Camogie is played by 100,000 women in Ireland and world wide, largely among Irish communities....

 Club. Ballinasloe also has a proud boxing tradition and has two resident boxing clubs Emerald ABC and Ballinasloe and District.

Schools

In Ballinasloe there are three national schools (Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh
Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh
Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh is an Irish-teaching national school in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. The school houses around 150-165 pupils, and seven teachers, and its site comprises nine classrooms, two offices, a hall, a library, and three playgrounds.-History:...

, Creagh National School and Scoil an Chroí Naofa) and two secondary schools (Garbally College
Garbally College
Garbally College is a Catholic, boys-only, secondary school based in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland. It is officially known as St Joseph's College .-History:...

 and Ard Scoil Mhuire).

Culture

Ballinasloe is home to Galway recording artist Milan Jay. He has so far released one studio album entitled "Mellow Funk" in Dec 2009. "We Believe in Drawing the Dole/Sono" has been the biggest hit to date featuring plays on BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music is one of the BBC's digital radio stations, was launched on 11 March 2002 and originally codenamed Network Y. It was the first national music radio station to be launched by the BBC in 32 years....

 and 2XM as well as numerous Irish stations.

Twin towns

  Chalonnes-sur-Loire
Chalonnes-sur-Loire
Chalonnes-sur-Loire is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. The closest airport to Chalonnes Sur Loire is Angers Airport also worth considering are Nantes Airport , Rennes Airport , or Tours Airport ....

, Maine-et-Loire
Maine-et-Loire
Maine-et-Loire is a department in west-central France, in the Pays de la Loire region.- History :Maine-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. Originally it was called Mayenne-et-Loire, but its name was changed to Maine-et-Loire in 1791....

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Since 1988.

Annalistic references

From the Annals of Lough Cé
Annals of Lough Cé
The Annals of Loch Cé cover events, mainly in Connacht and its neighbouring regions, from 1014 to 1590. It takes its name from Lough Cé in the kingdom of Moylurg - now north County Roscommon - which was the centre of power of the Clan MacDermot...

:
  • LC1114.3. A hosting by Domhnall Mac Lachlainn to Rath-Cennaigh, when Eochaidh Ua Mathghamhna, with the Ulidians, came into his house, and Donnchadh Ua Loingsigh, with the Dal-Araidhe, and Aedh Ua Ruairc, with the men of Breifne, and Murchadh Ua Maelsechlainn, with the men of Midhe. They all proceeded across Ath-Luain to 'Dun-Leodha (the original name of Ballsinasloe) where Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair, with the Connachtmen, aud Niall, son of Domhnall Mac Lachlainn, with the chieftains of Clann-Conaill, came into his assembly.

See also

  • Ballinasloe Town Council
    Ballinasloe Town Council
    Ballinasloe Town Council is the municipal authority for the town of Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland....

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland

External links

  • ballinasloe.com: Ballinasloe Town website with up-to-date local news and information on the town for visitors and residents alike
  • ballinasloe.org: An independent site with articles on Ballinasloe's history as well as a tips on genealogical research.
  • Tourist Information for Ballinasloe: Provides information on Ballinasloe's attractions, activities and businesses.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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