300 Years and going strong! To find out what's on - visit our what's on page and filter "Event Type" by Horse Fair
"As Chairperson of Ballinasloe Fair and Festival it is my honour and privilege to extend a Cead Mile Failte to each and everyone of our friends, National and International visitors who have travelled to join with us in celebrating a truly historic event, the 300th year of Europe’s Oldest International Horse Fair and Festival.
Our hardworking Voluntary Committee in conjunction with Galway Co Council, Ballinasloe Municipal Authority, ISPCA, Civil Defence and An Garda Siochana, have worked tirelessly to ensure visitors have an enjoyable & memorable visit to Ballinasloe.
We are custodians of this unique event, described by President, Michael D Higgins as “The Community of the Horse” in his opening address in 2018. It is our duty to maintain this economic driver for Ballinasloe, its hinterland and horse breeders throughout Ireland. In the same address he hoped that UNESCO would recognize its significance, something which we are currently working on as committee. Without doubt it is the Jewel in the Crown of the Heritage of Ballinasloe.
We are truly grateful to Mr. Liam Hanrahan, Director of Services and his team at Galway Co Co, to Cllr Evelyn Parsons and members of the Ballinasloe Municipal Authority for their support.
We could not have put together such an extensive programme of events, without the continued financial support from our sponsors, to them we extend our deepest appreciation and ask that you support them. Also this year we welcome the additional funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gealtacht, Sport and Media and Galway County Council.
The Great October Fair, which officially began in 1722, is so synonymous with Ballinasloe and such a significant event for the horse industry, Let’s all work together to support, improve, strengthen and guarantee it into the future.
On behalf of Ballinasloe Fair & Festival Committee we encourage people to come out and support the great programme of events to mark the 300th year celebrations."
Chairperson Ballinasloe Fair & Festival Committee
Sincere thanks to all our sponsors!
Come along for a night of food and fashion at the Shearwater Hotel on Thursday 6th October. Doors open at 7pm.
Rachel Allen will deight the audience with a special Cookery Demo with complimentary local gin!
Make your way down to St. Michael's Square on Sunday 9th October with your pooches! The Dog Show is always great fun and just in case you think your dog isn't up to standard? Well think again - because there's even a category for a dog in fancy dress!
Sponsored by The Bread Basket, Restaurant and Bakery in St Michael's Square
Congratulations to Melissa Glynn who was selected as the 2022 Queen of the Fair on 23rd September in Gullane's Hotel!
Congratulations to our new festival Queen Melissa Glynn. We hope you enjoy the next few weeks and create memories that last a lifetime. To your fellow contestants, Chloe, Maria, Rebecca, Anna, Megan Karen & Tierna you all showed on the night you are a credit to your families and the local clubs and business’s you represented, without you there would be no show so thanks very much for taking part you all contributed to a great night. Clubs & business represented included: Shearwater hotel, Ballinasloe Soccer Club, John Burke Aughrim, Ballinasloe Rugby Club, Greens Hardware Ahascragh, Irish Celtic Healing, Gullanes Hotel & Clare’s Flowers.
Thanks to our main sponsor Gullanes Hotel & associate sponsors Dubarry, Frank Owens So amazing, Anna Victoria Mulcahy Simona Reinyte Photography & Cahalan Jewellers
All at Balinasloe Fair and Festival Committee
Cruinniú na nÓg held a Traveller Traditions Art Exhibition in collaboration with the Galway Traveller Movement in the Study Centre recently, where children’s artwork was on display which celebrated traveller heritage. Traveller children aged 6–12 attended the exhibition and created many wonderful and colourful illustrations showcasing what traveller culture and identity meant to them.
The idea came around when traveller author Nora Corcoran acknowledged that there was very little literature for the younger generation about Traveller heritage and culture, and she wanted to have these topics explored in the children’s curriculum. Nora took it upon herself and decided she was going to compile a book which would be one in a series of colourful children’s books about Traveller Culture and Traditions aimed at the early years genre. Nora hopes to bring her project to fruition and get her book published for use as an educational resource for children in schools and libraries.
Nora Corcoran stated: “Thank you so much to everyone for attending our exhibition displaying artwork on Traveller Traditions. The need for more inclusive learning is pivotal to all young children on their educational journey and this is why I created the first book in a series about Traveller traditions and culture, that will show how diverse children's literature opens the minds of the reader to the positive realisation, that being from a different culture does not make one any less equal than their peers.”
Cllr. Evelyn Parsons who was also in attendance on the night added: “A clear love of colour was displayed in the children’s artwork. I would also like to see production of children’s colouring books reflecting traveller identity, heritage and culture- basic simple and valuable resources for children which help connect them to community and make sense of their world. I commend the great thematic & creative work done so far and welcome collaboration between other agencies in sourcing practical supports for this necessary project and in bringing it to fruition.”
Itosu-Kai Karatedo Ireland (IKKI), which was founded in Ballinasloe, are gearing up to head to Kolding, Denmark to compete in their International Federation karate tournament, hosted by the Denmark branch of Itosu-Ryu Karatedo International Federation (IKIF) under the auspices of the Japanese HQ, Yokohama, Japan.
There are 50 competitors travelling to compete this August, which is a great response from the clubs. The IKKI has it’s headquarters in the Emerald Ballroom, and the association consists of nine clubs. The IKKI has competed internationally since the early eighties and coaches have been working hard with the team all year and relish the team's prospects in Denmark.
The Team consists of both male & female competitors ranging in ages from the youngest in the under 8's category to the over 55’s categories and all age categories in between. Team manager Leo Mulvany stated: “These and other events that the IKKI take part in give a fantastic opportunity for all its members to represent Ireland on the mat against and with the best in the world.”
The club are always looking for new members to come and have a go at Karate, classes for beginners will commence on Wednesday, 7th September at 7pm. You can also call into the Emerald Ballroom any Monday or Wednesday to view a class or talk to an instructor. If you are interested in joining the club you can contact Sensei Leo Mulvany on (087) 415 9858 or email him at email@example.com. For more information on the IKKI Karate Association about venues and class times in your locality check out their website www.ikki.ie.
St. Augustine’s National School in Clontuskert have been named as the winning primary school in the SSE Airtricity and Microsoft Ireland Solar Schools Sustainability Competition.
Launched in 2020, the renewable energy programme enables schools to power classrooms using energy generated from their own roof, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint, and their energy costs. As part of the Schools Sustainability competition, schools from all over the country took part in a three-module course on renewable energy, sustainability, biodiversity, technology and innovation.
Following these modules, project submissions were made demonstrating the efforts of the schools to improve the environment. Clontuskert N.S took first place for its environmental efforts, which saw students install a bug hotel to increase biodiversity, install an environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant, successfully petition to change waste management symbols in Ireland and become the first school in Ireland to receive the Climate Action School of Excellence Award.
A prize-giving ceremony was held at the school recently where a sustainability grant of €2,500 from Microsoft Ireland was awarded to the school, with each participating student also receiving a computer Tablet worth €100.
Speaking on the day, Principal Kate Murray said: “The Solar for Schools Education Programme and Sustainability Project Competition have given Clontuskert students and staff the opportunity to become sustainability champions. Through the focused learning opportunities in the program, our community has collectively become climate changemakers and leaders. Using a growth mindset to focus on our own carbon footprint, along with renewable energy and conservation, empowered us to take action and make positive changes.”
Following the prize giving, Fergal Ahern, Head of Business Development, SSE Airtricity stated: “The students of St Augustine’s National School, Clontuskert have demonstrated great intent and passion for sustainability, showing us first-hand how sustainability and renewable energy can combine to help fight climate change while also benefitting their school and community on a daily basis.”
After a long-awaited break, Féile Cheoil Larry Reynolds returns this September for its ninth year of ceol, cultúr, and craic. The weekend was originally established to commemorate the life and music of local man, Larry Reynolds, and his contribution to traditional Irish music but since grown to celebrate and promote all things Irish music, arts, heritage, and culture.
Opening the weekend, Kerry accordion player, Danny O’Mahony, will deliver an up close and personal concert in Gibbons’ Pillar House, Society Street. Entry costs €15. A limited number of tickets are available on the festival’s website. The Friday night will also see the beginning of the weekend’s session trail. All musicians are welcome!
On the Saturday morning, traditional music workshops will take place in Scoil an Chroí Naofa, Society Street. Workshops are offered in flute, button accordion, fiddle, banjo, and bodhrán, with tutors Céin Sweeney, Danny O’Mahony, Dylan Carlos, George McAdam, and Martin Gavin respectively.
The Larry Reynolds All-Ireland Under 18 fiddle competition returns on Saturday the 10th of September. The Larry Reynolds Perpetual Trophy, as well as a monetary prize, is awarded to first place. The competition takes place at 3 pm in Scoil an Chroí Naofa, Society Street.
The schools’ art competition will return this year with medals awarded on the Saturday of the festival. More information is available from participating schools. This year also sees the launch of our first photography competition, where visitors to the festival are encouraged to send in their best photo of the weekend.
As in previous years, an interactive display of traditional crafters will take place from 11 am Saturday in St. Michael’s Square. There will also be a historical walk of Ballinasloe leaving at 12 pm from the Ballinasloe Library, Society Street. The session trail will continue throughout Saturday in participating pubs around the town.
Sunday begins with a remembrance mass in St. Michael’s Church at 12 pm followed by more music sessions around the town. The weekend céilí will start at 3 pm in Gullane’s Hotel, Main Street with music provided by Uí Bhriain Céilí Band, all the way from County Kerry!
The very popular singers’ circle will kick off at 3 pm in Clarke’s Dunlo Tavern, led by the legendary Johnny Johnston and Eleanor Shanley. The festival will come to a close at 6 pm Sunday evening with a final Slán Abhaile session in The Pillar House.
Keep an eye on the social media channels and website for more information over the next two months. “The festival would like to thank all our sponsors, supporters, and friends over the last nine years. We look forward to seeing you all in September, All musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers, hand clappers, and foot stompers are welcome! ”, states Festival Chair Bernie Feeney.
Back row (L-R) Emma Keane, Lorraine Canavan, Roisin Coleman, Lisa O'Neill, Callie Moir, Siobhan Carey, Niamh Kelly, Shauna Mitchell, Rhona Black, Alan Murphy, Michelle Kelly Front Row (L-R) Rachel Mannion (Vice Captain), Cliodhna Ni Annluain, Aisling Brannely, Eilish Kerr, Niamh Prendergast (Captain, Niamh Loughnane, Olivia Walsh, Sinead Kennedy. Missing from the photo are Xiege Kennedy, Ellen Curran, Emma Mitchell, Neola O'Neill and members of the backroom team: Kevin Keane, Stephen Kerr, Enda Kelly, and John Mitchell.
The Camogie Junior Ladies side won the 2022 Connacht Ventilation Supplies Junior B 12 Aside League Final.
In tough warm weather conditions, they came out on top in what was a close fought tight match against a strong Oranmore Maree Camogie Club winning by four points on a score of 3.11 to 3.7. The last time Béal Átha na Slua won the competition was 24 years ago in 1998! So it was great to see that almost quarter of century gap bridged.
Club Chairperson Niamh Prendergast said “Days like these don’t come out of nowhere. Plenty of hard work goes on behind the scenes. Well done to the panel , along with the management team of Alan Murphy and Michelle Kelly for this Victory.”
For any girls looking to try out training for the under six, eight and ten ages - groups will be Tuesdays at 6:30pm. Under 12 is Tuesday s at 7:30pm. Under 14 training is Wednesdays at 5:30pm. The training takes place at Ard Scoil Mhuire school pitch.
Helmets and hurls can be provided for complete beginners . For further information check out the Cumann Camógaíochta Béal Átha na Slua Facebook page or indeed contact chairperson Niamh Prendergast on (086) 267 7397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Popular writer and craftsman Gerry Devlin will be holding an Art Exhibition during the Ballinasloe Fair this year.
Featuring memorable photos from the fair down through the years, right back to the very first year of the Carnival or Festival in 1958 and folders including the Kings and Queens from every fair. The open exhibition will run from September 14 to October 16 in the library.
Gerry’s very popular publication ‘Ballinasloe Did Ya Know’ is back on shelves across the town once again. The book which brings the reader on a journey back through time to see how life was in the town years ago, has been reprinted and is available in Salmon’s, Gullane’s, Kariba’s and all the other usual outlets at a price of €12.
Gerry has also helped organise a table quiz which will take place in Gullane’s on the Thursday 6th of Oct for Ballinasloe Community Hearts.
If you have you any news - email us!