Ballinasloe , Co. Galway

Ballinasloe is worth visiting on any Ireland tours.

Ballinasloe is the main town in East Galway , important as a crossing point of the River Suck since 1124 when Turlough O’Conor , King of Connacht , built a castle here – the remains that can be seen today date mainly from the 14th century.

The large horse fair , which takes place in the last week of September or the first in October and lasts for eight days. The largest of the ancient fairs left in the country, drawing horse dealers from all over Ireland and England , it gives a fascinating glimpse into a way of life that is slowly disappearing. The bartering is very much a game , though a serious one. Generally , both parties know the value of the horse in question but enjoythe bartering ritual anyway , with its possibilities of outdoing an opponent. The logic seems to be that if you’re not up to the bartering , you don’t deserve the right price for the animal.

Have a wee look if you are passing through on any tours of Ireland. Its great “craic” !! A real hidden gem of an experience !!