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Video of Loughrea, County Galway, Republic of Ireland

Loughrea; Irish: Baile Locha Riach, meaning "town of the grey lake" is a town in County Galway, Ireland. The town lies north of a range of wooded hills, the Slieve Aughty Mountains. The Town is also famous for its beautiful cathedral which dominates the town's skyline. The town expanded in recent years as it increasingly becomes a commuter town for the city of Galway.

Loughrea was traditionally a farming town that cut its industrial teeth with Tynagh Mines, 6 km (3.73 mi) to the east. Tynagh was for 15 years (1960–1975) the most important zinc and silver mine 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.

The Turoe stone in nearby Bullaun (8 km (4.97 mi) north) is perhaps the most important Celtic 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. The lake is a very important site for waterbirds. In winter, large numbers come in from continental Europe and leave in spring. In summer, a good number of waterbirds nest around the lake.

Notable people

Edward Martyn, First President of Sinn Féin and patron of the Arts. Patrick Deeley, poet and novelist, born 1953. Neev Kennedy, singer-songwriter, born 1990. Patrick J. Touhey (1865–1923), celebrated player of the uilleann pipes. Ciaran Fitzgerald Former Ireland and Lions rugby captain. Patrick Farrell, recipient of the Scott Medal, born 6 June 1909. Olive Loughnane, Silver Medalist In The 20k Walk In The World Athletics Championships Berlin, 2009. Peter Kelly (GAA), GAA President) 1847-1908. Shane Keena, singer-songwriter. Joe Burke (born 1939), accordion player. Seamus O'Kelly, playwright, c.1875 – 14 November 1918). Ultan Conlon, singer/songwriter, born 1980. David Kelly, A recognised footballer who has played for most noticeably Cheltenham Town FC.

Loughrea Town

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