Video of Ballinasloe, County Galway, Republic of Ireland
The patron saint of Ballinasloe is Saint Grellan, whom tradition believes built
the first church in the area at Kilcloony. A local housing estate, a GAA club, the
branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, and formerly a school are named after him.
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 in Europe; 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.
The biggest local employers are Portiuncula and St. Brigid's hospitals.The Dubarry
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 had a factory in the town for many years as did electrical components company
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 and 2XM as well as
numerous Irish stations.
Ballinasloe itself harbours historically rich soccer, golf, and rugby clubs, whilst
also containing the Duggan Park Gaelic Athletic Association 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
(incorporating St Grellan's Gaelic football club and Ballinasloe Hurling Club) and
Ballinasloe Camogie Club. Ballinasloe also has a proud boxing tradition and has two
resident boxing clubs Emerald ABC and Ballinasloe and District.
Ballinasloe (Irish: Béal Átha na Sluaighe, meaning "ford mouth of the hosts") is
a town in the easternmost part of County Galway in Ireland.
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