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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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One of Ireland’s oldest and most cherished fairs to kick off this weekend

In this article on, a spokesperson for Ballinasloe Fair and Festival previews this year’s event, which kicks off on Sunday, October 1st, 2023.

Get ready for an exciting extravaganza as the annual Ballinasloe Fair and Festival approaches, promising fun, culture, and community spirit.

Starting on October 1st, 2023, with horse sales continuing on the 2nd and 7th, this event is a time-honoured tradition that brings together locals and visitors alike.

Speaking at the launch, Cllr Declan Geraghty, chairman of the Ballinasloe Municipal District, said that the Ballinasloe Horse Fair is renowned for its historic significance in Ireland’s equestrian world.

It is a time when the town comes alive with the clip-clop of hooves and the bustle of buyers and sellers.

The fair dates back to the 17th century, making it one of the oldest and most cherished fairs in Ireland.

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It continues to be a hub for equestrians, showcasing magnificent horses, ponies, foals, and donkeys.

These sales are a testament to the deep connection between Ballinasloe and its equestrian legacy. They draw horse enthusiasts and traders from all over the world.

The fair is not only about horses; and to make the most of this vibrant time in Ballinasloe, the local festival committee has put together an array of festival activities that will take place from the 5th to the 8th.

The primary focus of the committee is to provide free outdoor entertainment for the community and visitors alike, creating a festival atmosphere that welcomes all to Ballinasloe.


Food, Fashion & Fun Night (October 5th): The festivities kick off in the Shearwater Hotel with an evening dedicated to culinary delights and fashion trends.

Local vendors and designers will showcase their talents, offering a fantastic blend of gastronomy and style.

Celebrity Chef Derry Clarke & Galway Bay FM’s Ollie Turner will headline the event.

On Friday, October 6th, the skies over Ballinasloe will light up with a breathtaking fireworks display, a visual spectacle that promises to leave spectators in awe.

The night will also feature a range of children’s entertainment, ensuring that families can enjoy the festivities together.

For music enthusiasts, the festival soundstage will come alive on Saturday 7th, with a diverse lineup of performers.

The crescendo of the music program will be an outdoor concert on the night of the 7th, featuring Spring Break, Ireland’s premier 80’s tribute band.


For those with a love for animals, the traditional sheep display on the 7th in the fair green and the dog show on Sunday 8th are must-see events.

It is an opportunity for proud pet owners to showcase their furry friends and for animal lovers to admire the bond between humans and their canine companions.

Adrenaline junkies are not left out either, as the motorbike stunt show revs into action.

The heart-pounding performances of talented stunt riders leave spectators on the edge of their seats, showcasing the thrill-seeking side of Ballinasloe.

And for those who appreciate the charm of the past, the vintage show is a delightful trip down memory lane.

Classic cars, antique tractors, and vintage memorabilia are on display, inviting nostalgia and a sense of wonder.

The festival will also include a thrilling fun fair that promises non-stop excitement.

Speaking at the launch, chairman of the Fair & Festival Committee, Mal Croffey, said the  primary focus of the Ballinasloe Festival Committee is to “create a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere that brings the community together”.

“The emphasis is on hosting free outdoor events that allow residents and visitors to connect and celebrate the town’s rich culture.”


None of this would be possible without the generous support of our main sponsors.

They include:

  • Ballinasloe Credit Union;
  • Galway County Council;
  • Supermacs;
  • Fox McFadden Fun Fair;
  • Gullanes Hotel;
  • Shearwater Hotel;
  • Ahascragh Distillery;
  • Dolans Centra;
  • Moycarn Lodge;
  • KPW print management;
  • The Bread Basket.
Free of charge

We are deeply indebted to them for their unwavering commitment to making the Ballinasloe Fair and Festival a success year after year.

Their contributions enable us to offer these events free of charge, ensuring that everyone can partake in the festivities.

As the 2023 Ballinasloe Fair and Festival approaches, excitement is building throughout the town and beyond.

It is a time to come together, appreciate our heritage, enjoy world-class entertainment, and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Mark your calendars for a week of celebration from October 1st to 8th, as Ballinasloe welcomes visitors and the returning diaspora with open arms, all thanks to the dedication of the festival committee and the generous support of our sponsors.

Do not miss this opportunity to be part of something truly special.

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