Infobox Irish Place
name = Ahascragh
gaeilge = Áth Eascrach

motto =

pin coords = left: 147px; top: 50px
north coord = 53.4
west coord = 8.3333
irish grid = M775386
area =
elevation =
province = Connacht
county = County Galway
town pop =
rural pop =
census yr =
web =

Ahascragh (irish place name|Áth Eascrach|Ford of the Esker) is a village in east Galway, Ireland. It is located convert|7|mi|km north-west of Ballinasloe on the Ahascragh/Bunowen River, a tributary of the River Suck.


The Patron saint of the village is Saint Cuan. His death is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters in 788 A.D. The Annals also mention the battle of Ahascragh in 1307 between the English forces and O'Kelly Chieftains. [Ireland West. http://www.irelandwest.ie/content.asp?id=37 Retrieved Feb. 22, 2007.]

Ahascragh had two Anglo-Irish seats of residence, located in Castlegar and Clonbrock, with respective period houses.In Castlegar sat the Mahon family. The Mahons were settled at Castlegar from the late 17th century. They intermarried on a number of occasions with members of the Browne family of Westport. In 1819 the head of the family became a baronet. In the 1830s, at the time of the first Ordnance Survey, Ross Mahon was the proprietor of several townlands in the parish of Ahascragh. The Mahon estate was one of the principal lessors in the parish of Grange, barony of Loughrea at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Mr. Charles Filgate acted as agent for this property. The Mahons also held extensive lands in the baronies of Clonmacnowen and Killian. In the 1870s the Castlegar estate amounted to over convert|8000|acre|km2 in county Galway as well as over convert|800|acre|km2 in the parish of Termonbarry, barony of Ballintober North, county Roscommon. In 1906 Sir William Mahon held over convert|1200|acre|km2 of untenanted land in the Ahascragh area. MacLochlainn writes that most of the estate was sold to the Land Commission in 1977. [Landedestates. http://landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/family-show.jsp?id=1159 Retrieved May. 25, 2008.] In 1979 the house was sold by the Mahons to John Horan, who advertised the house for sale again in 1988. There is still a house at this site. [Landedestates. http://landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/property-show.jsp?id=1035 Retrieved June. 21, 2008.]

In Clonbrock sat the Dillon family. Lord Clonbrock was listed as a resident proprietor in county Galway in 1824. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Lord Clonbrock was one of the principal lessors in the parishes of Ahascragh, Fohanagh, Killalaghtan and Killosolan in the barony of Kilconnell and Killoran in the barony of Longford. In the 1870s the Clonbrock estate in county Galway amounted to over convert|28000|acre|km2. Lands, house and demesne at Cahir, barony of Clonmacnowen, owned by James Dillon, were offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates court in July 1854. In 1906 Lord Clonbrock held over convert|2000|acre|km2 of untenanted land and the mansion house at Clonbrock. [Landedestates. http://landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/family-show.jsp?id=1043 Retrieved May. 29, 2008.]

Noted locals


Philip Treacy, OBE. Born and raised on Church Street, Philip has attained international success as the foremost milliner alive. He now lives in London, UK.


Mairtín Byrnes (RIP - 11th January 1995). An award winning and recorded Irish fiddle player playing in the East Galway style [irishfiddle. http://www.irishfiddle.com/article_on_styles3.html Retrieved May. 29, 2008.] , who is on the List of All-Ireland Fleadh Champions 1970.

Sean 'ac Donncha (RIP). An award winning and recorded Irish singer who was the Headmaster for many years in Ahascragh National (Primary) School. He lived outside the village with his wife Bríd and many children in Ervilla. His name in English was Sean McDonagh.


Eamon Gilmore. Born in the parish of Ahascragh, in the village of Caltra, Eamon is now the leader of the opposition Labour Party representing a Dublin constituency, having moved from early involvement with Official Sinn Féin.

Mary Harney. Born into a farming family in the Ahascragh locality, Mary went on to become the leader of the Progressive Democrats and a Government minister holding various portfolio's, including that of Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister).

Rónán Mullen. A university panel member of Seanad Éireann, Ronan sits as an independent politician. Politically he is a religious conservative, has acted as spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Dublin and is a member of the Board of Directors of CEIST (Catholic Education Irish Schools Trust) Ltd. He is a cousin of Michael Mullen, a Fine Gael member of Galway County Council representing the Ballinasloe electoral area (which includes Ahascragh).


Still a small village, it has a thriving local commercial community. It has a booming pub industry and the "craic agus ceol" is go hiontach.

There are five pubs:

Katie Daly's [prop Jimmy & Katie Daly] This was formally Michael and May Carr's (both passed away, RIP) until 1976 and prior to that was Carroll's. It was originally built as a thatched cottage.

Cahill's [prop Der & Liz Cahill] This was formally run by Tommy (RIP) and Mary Cahill (RIP - 6th July 2008), whose son and his wife are now the proprietors.

Courcy's [prop Brian & Angela DeCourcy] This was formally Charlie and Cathline (RIP) Blundell's.

Cathlines [prop Cathline McCormack] This was formally Leo (RIP) and Concepta O'Donnell's and before that Frankie and Ethel Leonard's (now living just outside the village) and before that was Sean and Maura Sweeney's (now retired in the village).

Clinton's [prop Una Clinton] The pub was operated with her late husband Mattie (RIP).

There are two undertakers: James Daly, whose funeral home is located on Church Street, developed on what was Somer's shop, and Frank Leonard, whose funeral home is now a residential property.

There is one auctioneer: James Daly.

There are many hairdressers, including Patricia Smith, Kitty Crehan, and Treasa.

There is one large supplier of general goods. This is owned and run by Kevin Greene. There is a Londis top shop and a Mace convenience store. There is bingo every second weekend in the parish hall and monthly ceilies are other highlights.

It was recently described as the safest village in Ireland in an article published in "The Irish Daily Mail" (April 2008).


The National (Primary) School in Ahascragh was built in 19nn. For many years until the mid 1980's the school was led by Sean (RIP) and Bríd McDonagh.


Bunowen River, Co Galway

Open Season: March 1st - September 30th

Species: Wild Brown Trout averaging nearly convert|1|lb|abbr=on

Size Limit: 10 inches

Daily Bag Limit: 6 trout

Angling Methods: Trout fishing only, artificial fly, spinning and worms only. Above Ahascragh Bridge fly only, Bank fishing only

Access: Access is good at road bridges

Facilities: Open Bank - with some stiles and footbridges.

Permission To Fish: This fishery is part of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board's 'Midland Fisheries Group' of controlled waters and anglers require a fishing permit (ticket charge) to fish here. See weblink for map of catchments in the Midland Fisheries group of waters which are covered by a fishing permit. Rates for 2007 are Adult Annual €35.00; Pensioner Annual €18.00;. Juvenile Annual €12.00 Juvenile 1 Day €2.00 Day Permit €10.00 Visitors 21 Day: €18.00. You can purchase a fishing permit online using your credit card or laser card. [shannon-fishery-board. http://www.shannon-fishery-board.ie/guides/game/bunowen-river.htm Retrieved May. 29, 2008.]

Popular culture

RTÉ's award winning show "Don't Feed the Gondolas" presented by Sean Moncrieff, satirised small village Ireland at the end of each show, choosing Ahascragh and the fictional "Head of the Parish Co-mit-tea" Monica Loolly as its instrument. The following footnotes will bring you to a site playing a Monica Loolly call and secondly pictures from the show. [youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T9fF7VOq-Q&feature=related Retrieved May. 29, 2008.] [redbrick.dcu. http://www.redbrick.dcu.ie/~magluby/dftg/pictures.shtml?page=pictures Retrieved May. 29, 2008.] So brilliantly executed was this that nobody believed this village in the 'west of Ireland' existed. A regular passing trade of amazed viewers began to visit, sampling the wares of the village.

External links

* [http://www.irelandwest.ie/content.asp?id=37 Ahascragh at Ireland West]
* [http://www.meonstoke.org/images/Ahascragh/Ahascraghindex.htm Pictures of the village and some of its residents]


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