Béal Átha na Sluaighe
|Council||Galway County Council|
|Civil parishes|| Kilcloony |
|• Total||8.6 km2 (3.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||65 m (213 ft)|
|• Density||770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|Eircode routing key|
|Telephone area code||+353 90|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Ballinasloe ( // bal-en-a-SLOH; Irish : Béal Átha na Sluaighe, meaning "mouth of the ford of the crowds") is a town in the easternmost part of County Galway in Connacht. It is one of the largest towns in County Galway with a population of 6,662 people as of the 2016 census.
The town developed as a crossing point on the River Suck, a tributary of the Shannon. 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 of Ballinasloe is Saint Grellan, whom tradition believes built the first church in the area. A local housing estate, a GAA club, the branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, and formerly a school are named after him.
Richard Mór de Burgh is credited with founding the town.
During the 2009 floods in Ireland, the River Suck burst its banks and caused major flooding in Ballinasloe.About 40 families were evacuated by boat after the flooding caused over €8 million worth of damage to homes and businesses in the town, which were left under water for several weeks.
Fast-food restaurant Supermac's opened its first restaurant in Ballinasloe in 1978.The restaurant chain is now present in over 116 locations, including three stores in the town.
Ballinasloe was traditionally an agricultural economy, though the 1980s and 1990s saw a number of factories locate in the town. Local employers include Aptar, a manufacturing company, and Surmodics, a medical company who committed to creating 100 new jobs in Ballinasloe between 2016 and 2021.Both factories are located in the Business & Technology Park, which is a 39-acre site.
Another contributor to the local economy is the Enterprise Centre.Managed by the Ballinasloe Area Community Development (BACD), it is located on the outskirts of Ballinasloe along the Creagh Road. As of mid-2020, there were 26 enterprises based in the centre, with 9 more regularly using the training, meeting and hot-desk facilities.
Local business in the town centre focuses on stores and restaurants. Gullane's Hotel, a three-star hotel, has served the area since 1943.The Shearwater Hotel, a four-star hotel, is located at Marina Point, just across from Lidl.
In May 2017, a Bank of Ireland "Enterprise Town" weekend was hosted in Ballinasloe, the event being opened by Minister Denis Naughten, and Gavin Duffy of Dragons' Den.
In June 2020, fears began to grow for the future of 120 jobs at an Aptar factory in Ballinasloe.Several TDs called for a multi-agency taskforce to respond to the issue. On 28 August 2020, Aptar confirmed it would cease operations at the facility by December 2020, with the loss of 115 jobs. In a statement, Aptar announced that industrial equipment would be transferred to other Aptar global sites between September and November 2020.
Ballinasloe hosts a number of annual events and festivals throughout the year.
The Ballinasloe Horse Fair is held annually in October. It is reputedly the oldest horse fair in Europe and dates back to the 18th century.Chiefly agricultural in the past, it is now focused on the horse, and the associated festival attracts up to 80,000 visitors. A large market typically takes place, along with a number of events, fireworks, a dog show and a fun fair beside Ballinasloe's town theatre. The 2020 event, which would have been the 298th fair, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Larry Reynolds' Weekend is a celebration of traditional Irish music. The event has run annually since 2014, in commemoration of Larry Reynolds, a late Ballinasloe native who emigrated to the United States in 1953 and brought the east Galway style of music to Boston.The festival sees a number of traditional music performances in the different bars around town.
What would have been the seventh event, due to have taken place from 10 September to 13 September 2020, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Strings Festival, a music event focusing on stringed instruments, was hosted by Ballinasloe library in July 2017 and 2018.
A "Zombie Walk" is held at Halloween on the grounds of the Garbally estate.First held in 2015, the event involves "zombie" tour-guides bringing groups through Garbally woods. The 2019 Zombie Walk event was shortened to one day due to the weather, and the 2020 event was cancelled outright in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland.
Once a notorious traffic jam on the old Galway to Dublin road, Ballinasloe is now by-passed by the M6 motorway. The motorway was opened on 18 December 2009 as the N6 was upgraded.
The town can also be accessed by public bus, with Bus Éireann and CityLink serving the town on their Limerick to Galway and Dublin to Galway routes.
The Ballinasloe railway station opened on 1 August 1851,and is served by the Dublin–Galway railway line.
From 1828 to the 1960s, Ballinasloe was the terminus of the Grand Canal. Guinness Company used the town's canal stores to store and distribute the Guinness to the midlands. The Grand Canal provided a route for Guinness barges to travel from Dublin to Shannon Harbour. The town features a public marina which was developed on the River Suck to allow traffic from the Shannon Navigation to access the town.
A number of regional newspapers circulate in the Ballinasloe area, such as Ballinasloe Life magazine, the Connacht Tribune , Galway Advertiser , Athlone Topic and the Roscommon Herald . As Ballinasloe sits on the border between two counties it is served by two local radio stations, Galway Bay FM and Shannonside FM. Local radio from other neighbouring counties such as Midlands 103 and Tipp FM are also received in the area.
Ballinasloe has one university hospital, Portiuncula University Hospital. Opened by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood in 1943, it is managed by the Saolta University Health Care Group.Ballinasloe had one psychiatric hospital, St. Brigid's Hospital, opened as the Connacht Asylum in 1833. After the introduction of deinstitutionalisation in the late 1980s the hospital went into a period of decline and closed in 2013.
Ballinasloe has soccer, golf, and rugby clubs, alongside Duggan Park Gaelic Athletic Association grounds. The local GAA clubs are Ballinasloe GAA (incorporating St Grellan's Gaelic football club and the Ballinasloe Hurling Club), Derrymullen Handball Club and Ballinasloe Camogie Club. The soccer club, Ballinasloe Town AFC, plays its games at The Curragh Grounds in the town.
Ballinasloe also has two resident boxing clubs. The facilities in the town include: a golf club, an athletics club, GAA grounds, tennis club, two swimming pools, 40x20 handball alley, rugby grounds, soccer grounds, driving range, and a running track.
Ballinasloe has two Catholic churches (St. Michael's Church and Our Lady of Lourdes Church) and one Evangelical Protestant church (St. John's Church).
In Ballinasloe there are four national schools (Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh, Creagh National School, Scoil an Chroí Naofa and St Teresa's Special School) and two secondary schools (Garbally College and Ardscoil Mhuire).
Ballinasloe has been twinned with Chalonnes-sur-Loire, in Maine-et-Loire, France, since 1988.
From the Annals of Lough Cé:
Connacht, formerly spelled Connaught, is one of the provinces of Ireland, in the west of Ireland. Until the ninth century it consisted of several independent major Gaelic kingdoms.
Galway is a city in the West of Ireland, in the province of Connacht. It is the county town of County Galway, which is named after it. It lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay, and is the sixth most populous city in Ireland, with a population at the 2016 Census of 79,934.
Oranmore is a town on the outskirts of the city of Galway in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland. It is also the name of the civil parish and Roman Catholic parish in which the town lies.
Tuam is a town in Ireland and the second-largest settlement in County Galway. It is west of the midlands of Ireland, about 35 km (22 mi) north of Galway city. Humans have lived in the area since the Bronze Age while the historic period dates from the 6th century. The town became increasingly important in the 11th and 12th centuries in political and religious aspects of Ireland. The market-based layout of the town and square indicates the importance of commerce.
Connacht Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland. Connacht competes in the Pro14 and the European Rugby Champions Cup. The team represents the IRFU Connacht Branch, which is one of four primary branches of the IRFU, and is responsible for rugby union throughout the geographical Irish province of Connacht.
Supermac's is an Irish fast food restaurant chain first opened in 1978. The first restaurant was located in Ballinasloe, the largest town in County Galway in the West of Ireland. As of 2019 the chain consists of a total of 118 restaurants spread throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. It operates a number of franchise outlets with many also privately owned. Supermac's serves an average of 320,000 customers per week and had annual revenues of €79.9 million and a profit of €7.4 million according to its 2013 closing report.
Loughrea is a town in County Galway, Ireland. The town lies to the north of a range of wooded hills, the Slieve Aughty Mountains, and the lake from which it takes its name. The town's cathedral, St Brendan's, dominates the town's skyline. The town has increased in population in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Although the town also serves as a commuter town for the city of Galway, it also remains an independent market town.
Patrick "Pat" McDonagh is the founder and owner of Supermac's, a major Irish fast food franchiser. He is a former school teacher, and now a multi-millionaire.
The Connacht Senior Cup is a knockout competition for Senior rugby union clubs in the Irish province of Connacht, under the auspices of The Connacht Branch IRFU. The Cup has been played for a total of 102 times, with twelve different cubs having won the trophy during that period.
University Hospital Galway is the main acute hospital in Galway, Ireland. It is managed by Saolta University Health Care Group.
The Connacht Senior Club Football Championship is an annual Gaelic football tournament played between senior clubs in Connacht, with one qualifying from each of the five individual county championships. The winners of the Connacht football championship qualify for the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship.
Raymond John "Ray" McLoughlin is a former Ireland international rugby union prop. McLoughlin had a long and successful career playing for several clubs at club level, and played for Connacht at provincial level. He was selected for two tests with the British Lions, and played for invitational tourists the Barbarians.
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 designated motorway and are still signed as N6. The motorway was officially completed and opened to traffic on 18 December 2009, and was the first city-to-city direct major inter-urban route to be completed in Ireland. The M6 and M4, which form the Galway-Dublin route, consist of a grade-separated 2+2 dual carriageway road with a top speed limit of 120 km/h. At approximately 144 km (90 mi), the M6 is the third longest motorway in the state and will be 159km.
The Connacht Senior League was an association football league featuring amateur, intermediate, and League of Ireland reserve teams affiliated to the Connacht Football Association. It was a third level league in the Republic of Ireland football league system. An earlier provincial league, the Western League, had been active, on and off, since the 1930s before the Connacht Football Association decided to establish a more permanent league. The CSL was active between 1981 and 2000. In 2013 discussions were held about relaunching the league.
The Ballinasloe Horse Fair is a horse fair which is held annually at Ballinasloe, the second largest town in County Galway, in the western part of Ireland. It is Europe's oldest and largest horse fair, dating back to the 18th century. The annual event attracts up to 80,000 visitors annually. This festival is one of the most important social and economic events in the life of the town. The town also hosts other horse and pony riding, show jumping and other equestrian activities throughout the year.
The Saolta University Health Care Group is one of the hospital groups established by the Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland.
Conor Finn is a rugby union player from Ireland. He most recently played professionally for the Irish provincial team Connacht Rugby in the Pro12. Finn plays both as a centre and on the wing.
The Dublin-Galway Greenway is a partially completed 'coast-to-coast' greenway and partial rail trail, in Ireland, funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, which will become the western section of EuroVelo EV2, a cycle route from Galway, Ireland, crossing Europe and ending in Moscow, Russia. The 276 km route was planned to be completed by 2020. It will be the fourth greenway in Ireland, after the Great Southern Trail, the Great Western Greenway and the Waterford Greenway.
The Connacht Junior Cup or Connaught Junior Cup is a cup competition organised by the Connacht Football Association for junior association football clubs. In the seasons when there has been no active Connacht Senior League or Connacht Senior Cup, this junior cup competition has effectively been the top level competition for non-League of Ireland clubs affiliated to the CFA. As a result, it is often simply just referred to as the Connacht Cup or Connaught Cup. The inaugural winners were Galway Town. The competition's most successful clubs have been Castlebar Celtic and Galway Bohemians who have been winners at least nine times each. Sligo Rovers, Longford Town, Galway Rovers and Mervue United were all winners before going on to join the League of Ireland.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland has had far-reaching consequences in the country that go beyond the spread of the disease itself and efforts to quarantine it, including political, educational and sporting implications.
The weather turned quite nasty for the 20 hours between the first evening and afternoon of the second, so much so that it became [a one night event]
The now annual Zombie Walk has also been cancelled due to the Pandemic
Media related to Ballinasloe at Wikimedia Commons
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Ballinasloe .|