Thursday  07th - Sunday 10th Sept. 2023

Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland

Things to do


Ballinasloe Golf Club

Ballinasloe Golf Club is an 18-hole parkland course based in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands. The club was founded in 1894 making it one of Connacht's oldest golf clubs.

Bookings can be placed online via the Visitors section and for society or group bookings please contact the office.

The club runs a lotto in aid of course machinery & equipment. There is a monthly jackpot and a guaranteed payout if the jackpot isn't won. The lotto costs €8 per month and entry forms are available from the office.

Ballinasloe Golf Club are running a Festival of Golf from July 8th - 16th, 2022. Prizes throughout the week will total over €10,000! For bookings please contact the office on 0909642146.

Ballinasloe Golf Academy & Driving Range

Phone: 087 975 0364
Email: [email protected]

Lough Ree & Hodson Bay Cruise

“Where the Three Counties Meet”

Departing from Athlone Castle, this cruise travels upstream on the River Shannon to Lough Ree. During the sailing, there is live commentary on local history, the religious settlements on the islands and tales of Viking treasure. This is a boat trip that can be enjoyed by all ages and is suitable for any family occasion. Don a Viking helmet and prepare for battle or simply sit back with an Irish Coffee. Either way, you will enjoy the beauty of the Inland Waterways and witness everything Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has to offer.

Viking Mike

Known locally as “Viking Mike”, Michael McDonnell established Viking Tours in 1999 as a themed passenger vessel. As captain and proprietor, he has become an ambassador to all those visiting Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and today the business is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Midlands. Viking Mike is a well-versed seafarer also. He began his sailing journey at the age of fifteen, sailing off the West coast of Kerry on a fireball dingy, this being his sailing vessel of choice. Today, Michael is still an avid sailor and has crewed on many well-known Tall Ships which include the Asgard II, Jeanie Johnston and STS Lord Nelson.

Phone: 086 262 1136
Email: [email protected]

Aughrim Interpretive Centre

The Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre is located in the heart of Aughrim village (GPS: 53.3042° N, 8.3167° W) between Ballinasloe and Loughrea. It is just off the R446, and visitors should take exit 15 on the M6 if travelling on the Galway-Dublin Motorway.

Travel back in time at the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre and relive one of Europe’s most historic battles that changed the course of Irish history. Discover how three rival European Kings- William of Orange, James II, and Louis XIV- took hold of Ireland in their struggle for power with over 45,000 soldiers gathering at Aughrim in 1691, in what proved to be the defining battle of the Williamite War in Ireland. Learn about the Battle of Aughrim in relation to the other major event of the Williamite War such as the Battle of the Boyne, the sieges of Athlone and Limerick, and the Flight of the Wild Geese.

The Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre offers
  • an interactive exhibition and display of artefacts
  • Tea and coffee
  • WiFi
  • Toilet facilities
  • Free parking
  • Children’s playground
  • Self-guided tour of the battlefield, and guided tours on request.
Tours and Groups welcome!

Admission Prices
  • Adult: €5.00
  • Student /Senior: €4.00
  • Child under 12: €3.00
  • Family ( 2 adults + 3 children under 12): €12.00
Special rates for groups.

For information on the Battle of Aughrim see


The monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning "Meadow of the Sons of Nós", or perhaps, albeit less likely, Cluain Muccu Nóis "Meadow of the Pigs of Nós") is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone.

Clonmacnoise was founded in 544 by St. Ciarán, a young man from Rathcroghan, County Roscommon.[2] (Not to be confused or conflated with St. Ciarán of Saigir, patron of Osraige). Until the 9th century, it had close associations with the kings of Connacht. The strategic location the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe. From the ninth until the eleventh century it was allied with the kings of Meath. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here.

In the modern-day, the site stands as a preserved ruin under the management of the Office of Public Works. An interpretive centre and facilities for visitors have been built around the site, which is open to the public for a fee. The graveyard surrounding the site continues to be in use and religious services are held regularly on the site in a modern chapel.


The small village of Clonfert, only a short distance west of the River Shannon in County Galway, is home to a beautiful cathedral that boasts an elaborate, Romanesque doorway dating from 1200. The ecclesiastical history of the place dates back to the 6th century when St Brendan the Navigator founded a monastery and it is predictable there were about 3,000 monks living there. When he died, about 584, St Brendan's body was buried at Clonfert and the presence of his remains explains why such an ornate doorway was later created.

Note: The Church is locked but a key is available locally from the house at the right-hand side of the Cathedral.

Galway City

History of Galway The walled city in 1651 (North is to the left). The River Corrib is in the foreground, crossed by what is now "O’Briens Bridge", leading to Mainguard Street.Dún Gaillimhe ("Fort at the Mouth (bottom) of the Gaillimh") was constructed in 1124, by the King of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156). A settlement grew around it. During the Norman invasion of Connacht in the 1230s, Dún Gaillimhe was captured by Richard Mor de Burgh, who had led the invasion. As the de Burghs eventually became Gaelicised, the merchants of the town, the Tribes of Galway, pushed for greater control over the walled city.

This led to their gaining complete control over the city and to the granting of mayoral status by the English crown in December 1484. Galway endured difficult relations with its Irish neighbours. A notice over the west gate of the city, completed in 1562 by Mayor Thomas Óge Martyn, stated: "From the Ferocious O'Flahertys may God protect us". A by-law forbade the native Irish (as opposed to Galway's Hiberno-Norman citizens) unrestricted access into Galway, saying "neither O’ nor Mac shall strutte nor swagger through the streets of Galway" without permission.

During the Middle Ages, Galway was ruled by an oligarchy of fourteen[6] merchant families (twelve who claimed to be of Norman origin and two of Irish origin). These were the "Tribes of Galway". The city thrived on international trade, and in the Middle Ages, it was the principal Irish port for trade with Spain and France. The most famous reminder of those days is ceann an bhalla ("the end of the wall"), now known as the Spanish Arch, constructed during the mayoralty of Wylliam Martin (1519–20). In 1477 Christopher Columbus visited Galway, possibly stopping off on a voyage to Iceland or the Faroe Islands. Seven or eight years later, he noted in the margin of his copy of Imago Mundi:

Men of Cathay have come from the west. [Of this] we have seen many signs. And especially in Galway in Ireland, a man and a woman, of extraordinary appearance, have come to land on two tree trunks [or timbers? or a boat made of such?]

The most likely explanation for these bodies is that they were Inuit swept eastward by the North Atlantic Current.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Galway remained loyal to the English crown for the most part, even during the Gaelic resurgence, perhaps for reasons of survival. However, by 1642 the city had allied itself with the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. During the resulting Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Cromwellian forces captured the city after a nine-month siege. At the end of the 17th century, the city supported the Jacobites in the Williamite war in Ireland and was captured by the Williamites after a very short siege not long after the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. The great families of Galway were ruined. The city suffered further under the potato famines of 1845–1852, and it did not fully recover until the period of strong economic growth of the late 20th century (see Celtic Tiger).

For more information on Galway see


Visit Athlone for drinks, foods, adventure, boat trips and music. Visit Sean's Bar one of the oldest bars in the country. Welcome to Sean's Bar Ireland's Oldest Pub Situated in the Heart of Ireland, Sean's Bar plays host to visitors from all around the world. Whether absorbing the history, listening to music, visiting with friends and family or simply enjoying the perfect pint, the appeal is equally strong for everyone. Listed in both “25 of the Most Incredible Bars in the World” and “50 Bars to Blow Your Mind” by Lonely Planet, a visit to Sean’s is a must! find out more about why Sean's Bar is not only the oldest but one of the best-loved pubs in the world.

When you walk into Sean's Bar in Athlone, the oldest pub in Ireland, you join the uncountable number of visitors who have been stopping here for a drink, a chat and maybe a bit of music for more than a thousand years and we have the distinctions to support it. No wonder, Sean's Bar is located in the very heart of Ireland, on the banks of the beautiful River Shannon at its intersection with the Esker Riada - the ancient route carved by glaciers that allowed travellers safe passage across the bog for thousands of years. You can find us just next to Athlone Castle, a 12th century Norman Castle whose residents may have frequented the pub! Just as popular today as it ever was, Sean's Bar is a must-see destination for people from every country in the world. Whether by boat, car, bus or train, people from every nation have come to "have one" in Sean's Bar. Walking into the pub, you'll know right away you've arrived someplace unique. From the sawdust on the floor to the old-style open turf fireplace and the musicians playing in the corner, some things about Sean's Bar have changed very little over the centuries.

For more information on Athlone see

About Larry

About Larry Reynolds

Larry Reynolds was a renowned Fiddle player from Ahascragh, Ballinasloe who emigrated to Boston over sixty years ago...Read more ›

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Festival Brochure

Festival Brochure

The 9th Féile Cheoil Larry Reynolds Festival brochure is now available to download. 2022 promises to be the best one yet!.. Download Brochure ›