The town of Ballinasloe occupies a location on the N6 Motorway, linking Dublin and Galway, and is one of the principal gateways to the West. The town owes its origin location as a crossing point on the River Suck, a tributary of the Shannon, on the borders of counties Galway and Roscommon. It is the largest town in County Galway after Galway city and has a population of almost 6,000 with 8,000 more residing in surrounding areas.
The town’s name has derived from the ford of the River Suck near the old Norman castle at River Street, which became a meeting place for Connacht tribesmen, chiefs and warriors of Breifne and Meath. The ford became known as ‘Beal Atha na Sluaigheadh’ meaning the ‘mouth of the ford of hosting’.
Every October, Ballinasloe is host to one of Europe’s oldest and largest Horse Fairs, dating back to the 1700’s. This annual event attracts up to 100,000 visitors from all over the world, with many returning to the town year after year. This festival is one of the most important social and economic events in the life of the town. Ballinasloe is steeped in history, and has been lauded for the architectural character of its fine streetscapes.
Historical landmarks around Ballinsloe include:
- Battle of Aughrim
- Killure Castle
- Kilconnell Friary
- Ballydonnellan Castle
Ballinasloe is a prosperous and developing town and is the main commercial/industrial centre for East Galway. Check Out our See and Do page
for more information on things to do around Ballinasloe.