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Ballinasloe County Galway Ireland
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Ballinasloe  

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Including Ahascragh, Aughrim, Eyrecourt, Lawrencetown, Woodford
 
Ballinasloe
occupies a strategic location on the N6 National Primary route linking Dublin and Galway and is one of the principal gateways to the West. The town owes its origins to its location as a crossing point on the River Suck, a tributary of the Shannon, on the boarders of Counties Galway and Roscommon. It is the largest town in County Galway after Galway City, and its hinterland extends up to twelve miles from the town boundary into County Galway, and up to six miles into County Roscommon. The population of the town is almost 6,000 with a further 8,000 residing in the environs.

 
Ballinasloe County Galway Ireland Ballinasloe Horse fair County Galway Ireland
 
Ballinasloe is steeped in history, and has been lauded for the architectural character of its fine streetscapes. This planned layout of the town in the 19th Century consisting of wide streets, a market square, fair green, show grounds and town hall can be attributed to William Trench, who was conferred with the Earldom of Clancarty at this time. The town can trace its roots back even further with the existence of three ringforts in the town and two possible Crannog sites dating back to the 1st century. Three Medieval Tower Houses are located within the Urban District as does a well preserved Early medieval parish Church at Templepoilin Pollboy, built in about the 9th Century by the Augustinian Monks of Clontuskert.
 
Ballinasloe Horse Fair

The Ballinasloe Horse Fair (above right) has its origins in "The Gathering of the Hostings" dating back to the High Kings of Tara. Its formal charter was granted by King George to the Second Earl of Clancarty in 1722. King George I granted permission for the local landlords to have a livestock fair in the town's green (oval). By the mid 1800's up to 4,000 horses were exhibited. Many of the horses were purchased for use on European battlefields. Today, over 80,000 horse lovers visit Ballinasloe during the week long festivities, pumping 3 million euro into the local economy. During the fair, the usually quiet town of Ballinasloe, is transformed into a sea of cars, trucks, trailers, horse floats and people.
 
Ballymore Castle
Ballymore Castle in Lawrencetown (below right) was originally a Madden tower house of the 15th century, to which a house was added in 1620 and much altered since. Ballymore Castle was built by John Lawrence in year 1585. on the land he acquired through his marriage to the daughter of O'Madden. It was damaged in subsequent wars and repaired by his son, Walter, in 1620. John Lawrence Jnr. was dispossessed by Cromwell in 1641. he having espoused the royalist cause in the war of that time. By this marriage he acquired a vast territory in the Barony of Longford, County of Galway, his descendants still hold undisputed possession of the Mortuary Chapel, connection with the Cathedral Church of Clonfert, wherein the hereditary Lords of Longford have interred their dead for many hundred years before the days of Elizabeth.
 
Clonfert Cathedral near Ballinasloe County Galway Ireland Ballymore Castle Laurencetown Ballinasloe County Galway Ireland

Saint Brendan's Cathedral Clonfert
The Cathedral (above left) itself stands in the grounds of the monastery founded by St. Brendan in the 6th century. It flourished for many centuries, even through times of great invasions by the Danes who frequently sailed up the River Shannon from Limerick and attacked it. It was burnt down in 1016, 1164, and again in 1179. The monastery and most of the church were destroyed in 1541, and the monastery was not rebuilt after this final assault on it. As practically nothing now remains to testify to the fame of this place but the tiny Cathedral, it is difficult for the visitor today to imagine that Clonfert, which is really just a townland, was once a city and celebrated for its school. There were over 3,000 monks in this place at one time. To quote from one historian: "In the sixteenth century the College of St Brendan flourished in Clonfert. There were as many as three thousand students there at one time. It is mentioned in a State paper in the reign of Queen Elizabeth that before Trinity College, Dublin was founded, it was proposed to found the University at Clonfert as it was at that time celebrated as a seat of learning and, being in the centre of Ireland, a convenient place for Irish students; but the proposition was rejected and Dublin obtained the Charter."
 

 

 
Towns & Localities in County Galway

 Aran Islands | Athenry | Ballinasloe | Ballygar | Barna | Carna | Carraroe | Claregalway | Clarinbridge | Clifden | Clonbur | Corofin
Connemara | Corrandulla | Dunmore | Galway City | Glenamaddy | Gort | Headford | Kinvara | Leenane | Loughrea | Milltown | Monivea
 Mountbellew | Moycullen | Oranmore | Oughterard | Portumna | Renvyle | Salthill | Spiddal | Tuam | Turloughmore | Williamstown
 

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