The Origin of the Fair

Over a hundred years ago Hely Dutton recorded that it was then generally believed that the Ballinasloe fair grew up as a result of the provision trade at the port of Galway in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. At that time the trans-ocean sailing ships made for the nearest port to replenish their supplies of salted beef and Galway became very prosperous. Ballinasloe provided a convenient centure for the purchase and sale of cattle from Leinster and North Connaught for this trade. The claim made in the Clancarty Memoir that this fair was established by the Trenchesby Royal Patent in the early 18th century is not substantiated. No record of such a patent can now be found.

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