Loughrea is a town in 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...

, 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 lies north of a range of wooded hills, the Slieve Aughty Mountains
Slieve Aughty Mountains
The Slieve Aughty are a mountain range to the west of Ireland spread over both County Galway and County Clare. The highest peak in the Slieve Aughty Mountains is Maghera in Clare which rises to 400m...


The town expanded in recent years as it increasingly becomes a commuter town
Commuter town
A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood. Many commuter towns act as suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns...

 for the city of 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...



The town takes its name from Loch Riach (Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 for "the grey lake") on which it lies. It is also suggested that the lake's name derives from Loch Riabhach (meaning "speckled lake"). This alternative Irish name is used in the name the local Irish-language multi-faith primary school: Gaelscoil Riabhach. The town is within an area that was historically called Trícha Máenmaige.


Loughrea was traditionally a farming town that cut its industrial teeth with Tynagh Mines, 6 km (3.73 mi) to the east. Tynagh
Tynagh is a village and parish in south-east County Galway in Ireland.-Origin of the name:Recorded as Tyneaach , Teacneaghe , Theaneac , its current name is a contraction of Teach nEachach, 'Eochu's house'. In medieval Irish sources it is referred to as Teach nEachach, or 'the house of Eochu'...

 was for 15 years (1960–1975) the most important zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 and silver mine
Silver mining
Silver mining refers to the resource extraction of the precious metal element silver by mining.-History:Silver has been known since ancient times. It is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and slag heaps found in Asia Minor and on the islands of the Aegean Sea indicate that silver was being separated...

 in Ireland. There is now a Gas Powered electricity power station on the site of Tynagh mines
As well as being a dormer town for Galway, Loughrea now hosts a number of pharmaceutical and data-processing industries. Tourism and small cottage industries also play an important role in the community. Loughrea's tourist infrastructure is supported by several hotels, a country-resort, as well as many bed and breakfasts, restaurants, coffee-shops and pubs.

Places of interest

The Turoe stone
Turoe stone
The Turoe stone is a granite stone decorated in a Celtic style located in the village of Bullaun, County Galway, Ireland, 6 km north of Loughrea off the R350 regional road...

 in nearby Bullaun
Bullaun, County Galway
Bullaun is a village in east County Galway, Ireland. It lies 6 km northeast of Loughrea on the R350 regional road. It shares its parish with a village called New Inn....

 (8 km (4.97 mi) north) is perhaps the most important Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic monument in the area and the Cathedral of St. Brendan on the lakeshore, in the town centre, is considered an important repository of Celtic-revival art and architecture in Ireland.
St. Brendan's Catholic Cathedral was designed by William Byrne in 1897 and completed five years later. Its double transepts are an unusual architectural feature. It contains some very fine internal decoration.
Spring-fed, Loughrea Lake overlooked by Knockash is popular for trout, pike and perch fishing. It is also an important bird sanctuary as well as being popular for water sports and swimming. Immediately behind the Loughrea boathouse are the remains of an old crannog
A crannog is typically a partially or entirely artificial island, usually built in lakes, rivers and estuarine waters of Scotland and Ireland. Crannogs were used as dwellings over five millennia from the European Neolithic Period, to as late as the 17th/early 18th century although in Scotland,...

. The Loughrea dwellers of another time would have sought protection from raiders by living in comparative security provided by the lake, on which Darren Coy's new ricket's centre has been set up.


Loughrea is connected to the M6 Dublin-Galway 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...

 via the N65
N65 road (Ireland)
The N65 road is a national secondary road in Ireland. It links the N52 at Borrisokane, County Tipperary to the M6 north of Loughrea in County Galway.En route it crosses the River Shannon at Portumna.The road is long.-See also:*Roads in Ireland...

. The town was historically served by the Midland Great Western Railway
Midland Great Western Railway
The Midland Great Western Railway was the third largest Irish gauge railway company in Ireland. It was incorporated in 1845 and absorbed into the Great Southern Railway in 1924. It served part of Leinster, County Cavan in Ulster and much of Connaught...

 and a railway branch from Attymon Junction, until 1975. This line was Ireland's last operational rural railway branch line, having outlasted most other country railway lines of this type by 10 – 20 years, and even surviving to have diesel trains used on it. The link road from the proposed Ballinasloe - Galway dual carriageway to Loughrea removed most of the remains of the original trackbed. Loughrea railway station opened on 1 December 1890 and finally closed on 3 November 1975.

Sport and culture

Loughrea GAA Club were 2006 Galway Hurling and 2006 Connacht Hurling champions
Connacht Senior Club Hurling Championship
The Connacht Senior Club Hurling Championship was an annual hurling tournament played between the senior hurling clubs in Connacht contested from 1970 until it became defunct after the conclusion of the 2007/08 season due to the predominance of the Galway champions coupled with a lack of meaningful...

. They also reached the 2007 All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship
All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship
The All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship is an annual hurling tournament played between hundreds of senior hurling clubs in Ireland. The Tommy Moore Cup is awarded to the winners. The current champions are Clarinbridge...

 final, but lost out to Ballyhale Shamrocks
Ballyhale Shamrocks GAA
Ballyhale Shamrocks is a Gaelic Athletic Association club located in the parish of Ballyhale in County Kilkenny, Ireland. The club was founded in 1972 and is primarily concerned with the game of hurling...

. Loughrea has a Rugby club, Loughrea Rugby Club, an 18-hole golf course and an Athletic Club. Each year, In October, the town plays host to the BAFFLE
Baffle or baffles may refer to:* Baffle , a flow-directing vane or panel in some vessels such as shell and tube heat exchangers, chemical reactors, or static mixers...

 International Poetry Festival.held every October www.bafflepoetry.org Loughrea also boasts a Musical and Dramatic Society, Historical society, and an active community association. In the 2006 National Glór na nGael awards for "Irish language in local communities", Loughrea's "Glór committee" was awarded first prize. Glór has an umbrella committee which involves local organisations in the promotion of Irish.. Local group, Gaeilge Locha Riach, promotes the Irish language in Loughrea among the community and businesses. Loughrea cricket club is currently one of the leading clubs in Connacht.There is also a large vibrant Foróige Youth club in the town.

Notable people

  • Aedh mac Suibhne
    Aedh mac Suibhne
    Aedh mac Suibhne, Chief or King of Máenmaige.In 581 the Annals of the Four Masters records the death of "Aedh mac Suibhne, toiseach Maonmuighe"/"Aedh, son of Suibhne, chief of Maenmagh". He was probably a ruler of the native dynasty, later termed the Ui Fiachrach Fionn, who were conquored by the Ui...

    , King of Máenmaige
    Máenmaige was a originally a kingdom, later termed a trícha cét, and in Anglo-Norman times a cantred, which formed the barony of Loughrea.-Early historic rulers:It was first under the control of Ui Fhiachrach Fionn, and later by the Uí Maine...

    , died 581.
  • Cathrannach mac Cathal
    Cathrannach mac Cathal
    Cathrannach mac Cathal, possible King of Máenmaige, died 801.In 801 the Annals of Ulster records the deaths of Cathrannach mac Cathal of Maenmag, and the anchorite Ninnid. Nothing further appears to be known of Cathrannach...

    , possible King of Máenmaige
    Máenmaige was a originally a kingdom, later termed a trícha cét, and in Anglo-Norman times a cantred, which formed the barony of Loughrea.-Early historic rulers:It was first under the control of Ui Fhiachrach Fionn, and later by the Uí Maine...

    , died 801.
  • Neide mac Onchu
    Neide mac Onchu
    -Biography:Neidhe mac Onchu mac Finnlugh was described as the Cú Chulainn of the Conmaicne in an account of the battle of Ardrahan, which took place sometime about 800....

    , fl. c. 800.
  • Fearghal mac Catharnach
    Fearghal mac Catharnach
    Fearghal mac Catharnach, Lord of Loch Riach, died 821/823.Fearghal was ruler of Loch Riach in what is now County Galway. He appears to have been a son of Cathrannach mac Cathal, described as of Maenmag in the Annals of Ulster upon his death in 801....

    , Lord of Loch Riach, died 821/823.
  • Cétadach
    Cétadach, 31st Abbot of Clonmacnoise, died 848.Cétadach succeeded Rónán, who resigned in 823 but only died in 844. Events which occurred during his abbacy included:...

    , 31st Abbot of Clonmacnoise, died 848.
  • Cormac mac Ceithearnach
    Cormac mac Ceithearnach
    -Biography:Cormac is described as the prior of Terryglass and Clonfert, "and the second lord who was over Loch Riach at that time."Loch Riach is a lake at the foot of the Sliabh Eachtaí, located in a territory then called Máenmaige; its ruleing dynasty were the Ui Fiachrach Finn...

    , ruler
    A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is an instrument used in geometry, technical drawing, printing and engineering/building to measure distances and/or to rule straight lines...

     and cleric, died 881.
  • Conchobar Maenmaige Ua Cellaigh
    Conchobar Maenmaige Ua Cellaigh
    Conchobar Maenmaige Ua Cellaigh, 40th King of Uí Maine and 7th Chief of the Name, died 1180.-Origins:Conchobar Maenmaige is agreed in all sources to have been king for forty years, so it appears he succeeded Tadhg Ua Cellaigh sometime after his abduction by an army from Munster in 1145...

    , King of Uí Maine, died 1180.
  • Conchobar Maenmaige Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht
    Connacht , formerly anglicised as Connaught, is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the west of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for...

  • Anthony Dominic Fahy
    Anthony Dominic Fahy
    Anthony Dominic Fahy, was an Irish Dominican Priest, missionary and head of the Irish community in Argentina between 1844 to 1871.-Life:...

     (1805–1871), Catholic priest and head of the Irish community in Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

  • Edmond MacHugo
    Edmond MacHugo
    Edmond MacHugo , Irish Chief of the Name, alive 1559.MacHugo is notable as one of the first certain bearers of the surname MacHugo, and the only attested Chief of the Name. The family being a sept of the Burke family of Clanricarde, County Galway...

    , Chief of the Name, alive 1559.
  • Patrick Deeley
    Patrick Deeley
    Patrick Deeley, Irish poet, born 1953.Deeley was born in Loughrea, County Galway. His poems have been published in Ireland and abroad over the past thirty years, and five collections of his work have appeared from Dedalus Press...

    , poet and novelist, born 1953.
  • Neev Kennedy
    Neev Kennedy
    Neev Kennedy, Irish singer-songwriter, born 1989.Kennedy is a native of Loughrea, County Galway, and became popular with internet users by broadcasting performances from her bedroom. Her song "Gullible" has become an internet hit on Livewebstars.tv....

    , singer-songwriter, born 1990.
  • James MacHugo
    James MacHugo
    James MacHugo, United Irishman, fl. 1797–1799.MacHugo was a merchant trading in tobacco until found guilty of smuggling, which led to revenue officers impounding his entire stock and putting him out of business...

    , United Irishman
    United Irishman
    The United Irishman title has been a very popular newspaper title in Ireland and a number of newspapers have been published under the title.*...

    , fl. 1797-1799.
  • Tadhg an tSleibhe Ó Fathaigh
    Tadhg an tSleibhe Ó Fathaigh
    Tadhg an tSleibhe Ó Fathaigh, Irish Chief of the Name, fl. 1620.-Ó Fathaigh of Slieve Aughty:Tadhg an tSleibhe was one of the few known chiefs of the Ó Fathaigh clan, located in Uí Maine, in what is now County Galway. Descendants of Fathadh mac Aonghus, they were a minor clan, based in an area...

    , Duellist, fl. 1620
  • Seán Ó Maolalaidh
    Seán Ó Maolalaidh
    -Ó Maolalaidh of Máenmaige:The Ó Maolalaidhs were, with the Ó Nechtains , one of the two leading septs of Máenmaige in western Uí Maine...

    Floruit , abbreviated fl. , is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something was active...

     1419–1480), Chief of the Name.
  • Patrick O'Kelly
    Patrick O'Kelly
    Patrick O'Kelly was an Irish writer and eccentric.O'Kelly was born in Loughrea, Ireland, and was noted in his lifetime for poems such as Killarney and the satire, Doneraile Litany,...

    , writer and eccentric, 1754-1835.
  • Andrew Ó hAughegan
    Andrew Ó hAughegan
    Andrew Ó hAughegan , Ribbonmen informant, fl. 1820.Ó hAughegan was a servant of Patrick Cullen, a revenue officer who resided at Coorheen, Loughrea. On a night in late February or early March 1820, Cullen's house was visited by Ribbonmen led by Anthony Daly...

    , Ribbonmen informant, fl. 1820.
  • Patrick J. Touhey (1865–1923), celebrated player of the uilleann pipes
    Uilleann pipes
    The uilleann pipes or //; ) are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland, their current name, earlier known in English as "union pipes", is a part translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann , from their method of inflation.The bag of the uilleann pipes is inflated by means of a...

  • Cathal Maenmaighe
    Cathal Maenmaighe
    Cathal Maenmaighe was the 19th King of Uí Maine.Cathal appears to have taken his name from Trícha Máenmaige.During his reign, the following events occurred in Connacht and Ireland...

    , King of Uí Maine, died 745.
  • Ciaran Fitzgerald
    Ciaran Fitzgerald
    Ciaran Fitzgerald in Loughrea, County Galway is a former Irish rugby union footballer and coach of the national team.- Biography :...

     Former Ireland and Lions
    British and Irish Lions
    The British and Irish Lions is a rugby union team made up of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales...

     rugby captain
  • Patrick Farrell
    Patrick Farrell (Garda)
    Patrick Farrell, Garda Síochána 8232 and recipient of the Scott Medal, born 6 June 1909.-Background:Farrell was born at Doon, Loughrea, County Galway. He had been a farmer prior to joining the Gardaí on 8 March 1932.-Incident at Kilsheelan:...

    , recipient of the Scott Medal
    Scott Medal
    The Walter Scott Medal is a medal awarded annually for bravery to Garda Síochána police officers and firemen. It is not a state award, being at the gift of the commissioner, but the medals are awarded by the Minister for Justice. FDNY recipients are also awarded $500, donated by the Fire Foundation...

    , born 6 June 1909
  • Neide mac Onchu
    Neide mac Onchu
    -Biography:Neidhe mac Onchu mac Finnlugh was described as the Cú Chulainn of the Conmaicne in an account of the battle of Ardrahan, which took place sometime about 800....

    , chief of the Conmaicne
    The Conmhaicne or Conmaicne were an ancient tribal grouping that were divided into a number of distinct branches that were found scattered around Ireland in the early medieval period. They settled in Connacht, where they gave their name to several territories....

    , fl. c. 800.
  • Olive Loughnane
    Olive Loughnane
    Olive Loughnane is an Irish race walker. She has competed in three Olympic Games . Loughnane has represented Ireland at five consecutive editions of the World Championships in Athletics and she won a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships. Loughnane earned $30,000 in prize money from the...

    , Silver Medalist In The 20k Walk In The World Athletics Championships Berlin, 2009.
  • Michael P. O'Connor
    Michael P. O'Connor (writer)
    For the Michael Patrick O'Connor who was a US Representative from South Carolina, see Michael P. O'ConnorMichael Patrick O'Connor, was an Irish doctor, author and broadcaster....

    , writer and civilian internee 1941-45.
  • P.J.Kelly (Fenian)
    P.J.Kelly (Fenian)
    P.J.Kelly 1843, - 18 April 1908.Kelly was one of six children, raised in Grange Park, Killeenadeema, Loughrea. His mother, Winifred Taylor of Kilchreest, was a member of the Church of Ireland. All of his brothers emigrated to Australia. He married Sabina Conway and had seven sons and two daughters...

    , 1843 - 18 April 1908.

  • Peter Kelly (GAA)
    Peter Kelly (GAA)
    Peter Kelly 1847, - 7 April 1908.Kelly was a native of Killeenadeema, Loughrea. He and a number of other men from the area - William J. Duffy, John P. McCarthy, John Sweeney, Loughrea; Michael Glennon, Kilchreest - who asked Bishop Patrick Duggan to become the patron of the nascent G.A.A....

    , GAA President) 1847-1908.
  • Shane Keena
    Shane Keena
    Shane Keena is an Irish singer-songwriter.Keena is a native of Loughrea, County Galway, and his debut single "Almost There" entered the Irish charts at thirty-one. He hopes to release a full album "in the near future."...

    , singer-songwriter.
  • Tony Ryan
    Tony Ryan
    Thomas Anthony "Tony" Ryan was an Irish multi-millionaire, philanthropist and businessman.He was a founder of Guinness Peat Aviation as well as co-founder of Ryanair with Christy Ryan and Liam Lonergan...

    , Golfer-welder.1970-present.
  • Bridie O'Flaherty
    Bridie O'Flaherty
    Bridie O'Flaherty was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who left party in 1986 to become a founder-member of the Progressive Democrats. She was the Mayor of Galway from 1980–1981 and again from 1985–1986....

    , née Lawless (1917 – 31 December 2005), Mayor of Galway
    Mayor of Galway
    The office of Mayor of Galway is an honorific title used by the of Galway City Council. The Council has jurisdiction throughout its administrative area which is the city of Galway – the largest city in the province of Connacht, in the Republic of Ireland. The office was originally established by a...

  • Joe Burke (born 1939), accordion player.
  • Ulick Burke
    Ulick Burke (politician)
    Ulick Burke is a former Irish Fine Gael politician. He served as a Teachta Dála for the Galway East constituency from 1997–2002 and 2007–11, and was also a Senator for three terms....

    , TD
    Teachta Dála
    A Teachta Dála , usually abbreviated as TD in English, is a member of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas . It is the equivalent of terms such as "Member of Parliament" or "deputy" used in other states. The official translation of the term is "Deputy to the Dáil", though a more literal...

     for the Galway East, born 1943.
  • Seamus O'Kelly, playwright, c.1875 – 14 November 1918).
  • Ulick na gCeann Burke, 1st Earl of Clanricarde, died 1544.
  • Cléircheán of Saintclerans
    Cléircheán of Saintclerans
    Cléircheán of Saintclerans, fl. 5th - 7th century?, Irish hermit.Cléircheán is an obscure hermit who gave his name to Díseart Cléircheán in the parish of Lickerrig, County Galway...

    , fl. 5th - 7th century?, hermit
    A hermit is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society.In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament .In the...

  • James Daly, 1st Baron Dunsandle and Clanconal
    James Daly, 1st Baron Dunsandle and Clanconal
    James Daly, 1st Baron Dunsandle and Clanconal was an Irish politician.-Background:Daly was the eldest son of Denis Daly and Lady Henrietta, daughter of Robert Maxwell, 1st Earl of Farnham. The Right Reverend Robert Daly was his younger brother.-Political career:Daly was elected Member of...

     (1782–1847), politician.
  • Ultan Conlon
    Ultan Conlon
    Ultan Conlon Irish singer-songwriter, born 1980.Performed live with John Martyn, Lisa Hannigan, Mark Geary, Roesy, Sabrina Dinan, David Kitt, and the Four of Us. His single of 2005, "Really Gone", featured John Martyn...

    , singer/songwriter, born 1980.
  • John Quinn
    John Quinn
    John Quinn or Jack Quinn is the name of:*Jack Quinn , White House counsel, 1995–1996*Jack Quinn , Congressman from New York*Jack Quinn III, Assemblyman from Erie County, New York and son of the Congressman...

    , One of the founders of the Anglers Association, Notable community member.
  • Henry Benedict Medlicott
    Henry Benedict Medlicott
    Henry Benedict Medlicott was an Irish geologist who worked in India.-Early life:He was born in Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland, the son of the Church of Ireland Rector of Loughrea, Samuel Medlicott and his wife Charlotte , daughter of Henry Benedict Dolphin, C. B...

    , FRS, geologist

Mayors of Loughrea

  • 2001-02:Niall Coen (Loughrea), first Mayor of Loughrea from the travelling community.
  • 2002-03:Colin Kennedy
    Colin Kennedy
    Colin Kennedy was a notorious 19th century criminal in San Francisco, California. An Ohio native, Kennedy left his family to make his name and fortune in the west. However, Kennedy became a well known criminal and committed one of the most notorious multiple-murders of his time.-Early life:Born...

  • 2003-04:* 2004-05:Pat Hynes
    Pat Hynes
    Pat Hynes, Galway County Councillor and Mayor of County Galway.Hynes is a native of Kylegarriff, Killeenadeema, Loughrea. His family originally lived in Lydican Castle, Kiltartan, before being evicted by Cromwellians in the 17th century. They became tenants of Clanricarde at Carrowsteelagh townland...

  • 2006-07:Darren Coy
  • 2007-08:Michael "Mogie" Maher
  • 2008-09:Gabriel Burke
  • 2009-10:Pat Hynes
    Pat Hynes
    Pat Hynes, Galway County Councillor and Mayor of County Galway.Hynes is a native of Kylegarriff, Killeenadeema, Loughrea. His family originally lived in Lydican Castle, Kiltartan, before being evicted by Cromwellians in the 17th century. They became tenants of Clanricarde at Carrowsteelagh townland...

  • 2010-11:Gavin Hoban (first openly gay mayor)

Annalistic references

  • 797(802). The demolition of Loch Riach by Muirghius, son of Tomaltach.
  • 821. Fearghal, son of Catharnach, lord of Loch Riach, died.
  • 823. Fearghal, son of Cathasach, lord of Loch Riach, died.
  • 881. Cormac, son of Ceithearnach, Prior of Tir Da Ghlas and Cluain Fearta Brenainn, and the second lord who was over Loch Riach at that time, died.
  • 1408. O'h-Echeidhein was slain by the O'Dalys on the plain of Moinmoy.

See also

  • List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Galway)
  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
  • Marquis de St Ruth
    Marquis de St Ruth
    Charles Chalmont Marquis of St Ruth was a French general. Early in his military career, he fought against Protestants in France...

External links

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