Festive Table Quiz Thursday 7th December in The Loft

Ballina Salmon Festival is holding a festive table quiz this Thursday night December 7th at 9pm in the warm and cosy surroundings of The Loft Bar.

Quizmaster Terry McCole has put together a great array of fun questions including some festival-themed trivia and there will be a raffle on the night with some great prizes.

A big thank you to our local businesses and organisations for their support and generosity including the Ice House Hotel, Mark Forbes and Sons Butchers, Mark Forbes Jnr, Rory Quinn’s Jewellers, Corinne Beattie Photography, Flaunt Boutique, Ballina Chamber, Christy McLoughlin Pharmacy, Casey’s Londis, the Jackie Clarke Collection, Toymaster Ballina, Murphy’s Gala and the Irish Girl Guides.

Admission is €10 per person. We hope to see you and your team there for what should be a great evening of Ballina fun. q

Thérese Ní Láimhín crowned Ballina Salmon Festival Lady of the Moy 2017

The traditional pre-festival warm-up, the Lady of the Moy 2017 competition took place in The Great National Hotel, Ballina on Friday 30th June.

Traditionally the first event in the festival calendar, the large crowd in attendance was treated to a night of glitz, glamour and entertainment as local lady Thérese Ní Láimhín, representing The Station House Hotel claimed the crown on the night.

The Lady of the Moy will represent Ballina Salmon Festival during festival week as well as acting as an ambassador for the town throughout the year. Holding the title of Lady of the Moy is regarded as an honour for the winning lady that offers great opportunities for networking, development as well as many fun, memorable occasions throughout the year.

Proudly sponsored by Allure Hair and Beauty, this year the competition boasted 14 contestants in total, each representing a local business or group. The contest was judged by Allure owner Martha Galvin, high-profile blogger and influencer Kieran O’Malley (aka ‘The Galway Player’) and acclaimed TV make-up artist Hayley Coleman.  The wit of MC Ollie Turner of Galway Bay FM was a delight on the night as he guided them through their stint on stage. Most sang, danced or recited poetry for the crowd, showing once again the level of talent that exists in Ballina. Each girl also completed an individual interview with the judges.


Ballina Salmon Festival Lady of the Moy 2017 Judges and main event co=ordinators _opt
Ballina’s Salmon Festival’s Lady of the Moy 2017 co-ordinator Mary Moyles pictured with her team organisers Sinead McGowan and Jennifer Gorman with competion judges Martha Galvin and Kieran O’Malley. Absent from pic was fellow judge Hayley Coleman. (Picture: Henry Wills.)


Winner Thérese Ní Láimhín hails from Foxford, is a student in DCU, and has just finished her first year of studying primary school teaching. She is an accomplished musician, playing no fewer than four instruments, the piano, concertina, guitar and tin whistle. Indeed her performance at the Lady of the Moy  2017 contest consisted of Therese playing guitar a beautiful medley of songs in English and Irish. Therese is a pioneer and a proud Gaeilgóir, having grown up with the language at home.

 Thérese said: “I’m very excited about the week and year ahead, and can’t wait to meet everyone, and see how it all works! It’s an honour and a privilege to represent my town, and I feel it’s so important to be able to speak about your own home town and be involved in things that are going on, particularly from a tourism point of view. It’ll be lovely to look back on this in years to come and to be able to say I was a part of it, and I can’t wait.”


Ballina’s Bevy of Beauties”. Majestically representing Ballina at it’s Salmon Festival’s Lady of the Moy competition in the Great National Hotel were contestants standing from left, Isla Wall (The Ice House Hotel), Leah Walsh (Shaws), Amy Traynor (Nephin Rose), Catherine O’Boyle (The Merry Monk), Karen Hegarty (The Broken Jug), Mairead Hopkins (Empire Rooms), Tyra Marsh (Ruby Brown’s), Rebecca Mulhaire (Gúna Nua), and Katie O’Malley (Bella Beauty). Seated from left, Amy Moore (Bar Square), Overall winner Therese Ní’ Laimhin (The Station House Hotel), Gemma Ryan (Ballina Manor Hotel), Rebecca Langan (The Great National Hotel), and Michelle Kearns (Involve). (Picture Henry Wills.)



Event organiser Mary Moyles, manager of The Broken Jug said: “The Lady of the Moy gives these young women a fantastic opportunity and the confidence they gain from standing up in front of their town is wonderful. They are all so proud to represent their towns and their businesses. In our eyes they are all winners and young women our town can be proud of.”

The Lady of the Moy 2017 competition was proudly supported by a number of local businesses. Allure Hair and Beauty were the main sponsors, providing the main prize and hair and make-up services for the event. The event was also supported by hosts, The Great National Hotel Ballina, as well as Gúna Nua Boutique, Winter’s Jewellers, Mayo Crystal, John Rocha, Moy Chocolates and Blooms ‘n’ Things. Local hairdressers and beauticians also sponsored hairstyling and makeup for the night, once again demonstrating the sense of community for which Ballina Salmon Festival is so renowned.

Winner of third prize on the night was Karen Hegarty representing the Broken Jug and runner-up was Mairead Hopkins representing The Empire Rooms. Catherine O’Boyle of the Merry Monk was winner of the audience vote.  Guests were treated to a spectacular interval show by award-winning Sylvan Kelly School of Dance, who will also feature during the festival as part of the Celebration of Irish Music event taking place on Friday 14th July in the Military Quarter.

International Evening at Ballina Salmon Festival


Immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of 12 different countries, each showcasing their own music, dance, costumes and food on the streets of Ballina. This is International Evening at Ballina Salmon Festival!

At International Evening at Ballina Salmon Festival, transport yourself to a myriad of different countries – France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Italy and many, many more.

Watch out for the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Romeo and Juliet’s infamous Verona balcony and some Spanish matador magic. Marvel at the street performers and street theatre, dance and drumming. Soak in the evocative aromas of the continental cooking, smell the spices and the flavours of worlds far from here.

Use Ballina’s own local currency to avail of a taste of the country of your choice, and enjoy authentic music, song, dance and street theatre as you wander through the heart of the town.

Live Music at International Evening 

At the end of the evening make your way to the Military Quarter and enjoy an outdoor concert by lively Irish band Bog O’The Loughs.

An unforgettable evening in Ballina!


Admission: Free. Local currency available to purchase and spend at the Ballina Bureau de Change outlets on each of the main streets. 

Country and Western Night featuring Johnny Brady

Yee-ha! Don your stetsons and enjoy the fun at Country and Western Night at Ballina Salmon Festival on Thursday 13th July! 

Country music has taken Ireland by storm, and Ballina Salmon Festival will host its very own Country and Western Night on Thursday 13th July in the Military Quarter in the heart of town.


Johnny Brady LIVE on stage

Taking to the stage is none other than the great Johnny Brady, one of Ireland’s biggest country stars! One of the most distinctive voices in modern country music, Johnny is known for his powerful vocals, energetic performances and charismatic personality. He continues to push the boundaries in a new generation of Irish country music artists, and is famous for ‘turning it up a notch’, drawing on his many rock and pop influences, making him a man in demand on the festival circuit!

Johnny has recorded four albums to date, each one a true testament to his diversity as an artist, showcasing his passion for songwriting and his ability to resurrect old classic country songs and make them his own. He has toured extensively throughout Ireland & the UK over the past five years and has built a reputation for having one of the finest dance bands on the Irish country music scene.

This will be Johnny’s first time performing in Ballina’s newest venue, the Military Quarter with its unique, weatherproofing canopy cover and he is sure to give his newest single “It’s Hard to Lose Someone You Love” a whirl on the night.


Barbecue and games

With the barbecue sizzling throughout the evening and novelty games galore for children and adults alike, don your stetsons and line-dance along to the Military Quarter to enjoy a jive and sing along to your favourite country tunes. (Please note additional charges will apply for food and games.)


More information

Venue: The Military Quarter
Admission: €5
Tickets on sale now from Ballina Tourist Office and Pearse Street!



Country & Western Night is proudly sponsored by Specsavers Ballina and Moran’s Butcher and Deli.


Johnny Brady at Country And Western Night Ballina Salmon Festival

The Junior Literary Awards return to Ballina Salmon Festival!

Mayo and Ballina, in particular has much to be proud of in terms of local creative writing, and the Ballina Salmon Festival Junior Literary Awards have been revived this year to celebrate this talent, and to foster and encourage a love of writing among our young people – which ultimately contributes to a vibrant local literary culture.

The Awards, which were a feature of the festival in the past and are being revived this year by committee members Ger Hogan and Lizann Gorman will focus initially on primary school writers. Inspired by the success of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), this award is billed as the HaHoLit (Half Hour Literary) Award, where children are challenged to set aside just half an hour to create a short story or poem in English or Irish.

The awards have been kindly sponsored by Paul Brennan, Solicitor (main sponsor), Eason Ballina, Creative Writing Mayo and An Teanga Bheo School of Irish, Ballina.


Ballina Salmon Festival Junior Literary Award Sponsors


Who can enter? 

The Junior Literary Awards are open to children under 13 years and the categories include both short story and poetry.

Awards will be made in both English and Gaeilge.



  • Short Story (Max 1000 words)
  • Irish Short Story (Max 1000 words)
  • Poetry
  • Irish poetry


How to enter

Entry forms can be downloaded here or collected from the Ballina Salmon Festival office.

Entries are to be submitted to the Ballina Salmon Festival Office on Pearse Street by Saturday 1st July, and shortlisting will take place the following week. The successful shortlist will be published on the Festival Website and local media outlets, and parents/guardians will be contacted directly.

The cost of entry is €2, or €5 for three entries.

Click here to download the Ballina Salmon Festival Junior Literary Awards Entry Form


Prize-giving Night

A prize-giving ceremony will take place in Ballina Arts Centre at 7pm on Thursday 6th July. Winners will have the opportunity to present their work in front of an audience.



The judges this year are local writer Helen Falconer for short fiction, poet Terry McDonagh for poetry and Orla Ní Slaic of An Teanga Bheo for all Irish entries.



There will be a number of prizes awarded on the night including:

  • A workshop in An Teanga Bheo School of Irish
  • A voucher for a winning school for entry to Tumble Jungle
  • A Workshop in Creative Writing Pass, E
  • Easons Book Vouchers and
  • The winning title of the Junior Bard of Ballina.

Winning entries will be published on the Ballina Salmon Festival website. We look forward to reading your entries!


Junior Literary Awards Ballina Salmon Festival

Pictured with local children is main sponsor Paul Brennan Solicitor accompanied by Ballina Salmon Festival PRO, Anne-Marie Flynn and event organisers Ger (Faith) Hogan and Lizann Gorman. 



Junior Literary Awards Ballina Salmon Festival

The Lady of the Moy at Ballina Salmon Festival

The annual Lady of the Moy competition takes place in The Great National Hotel, Ballina on 30th June 2017 at 8pm.

The Lady of the Moy competition is a real highlight of the lead-in to Ballina Salmon Festival each year, and this year’s event will be no exception. Guests are promised a thoroughly entertaining night out, filled with music, glitz and glamour as 13 beautiful ladies from the North-West region vie for the prestigious title of Lady of the Moy.

The role of the winner is to represent Ballina Salmon Festival during festival week, and act as an ambassador for the town of Ballina throughout the following year – a great honour for the winning lady!

Master of Ceremonies once again on the night is Ollie Turner of Galway Bay FM. The event attracts in excess of 400 guests annually with entertainment, great prizes and fun all night. There will be a Best Dressed Lady and Best Escort prize on the night. So don your glad rags, come along and enjoy a great night out at Ballina Salmon Festival.


Tickets priced at €10 are available at the door on the night.

Follow all the action on the event’s Facebook page

Lady of the Moy Sponsors

The 2017 competition is proudly supported and sponsored by the following local businesses:

Allure Hair and Beauty Ballina logo Lady of the Moy sponsors

Allure Hair and Beauty – main sponsor

Broken Jug Ballina logo sponsors of Ballina Salmon Festival

The Broken Jug – main sponsor

Blooms & Things Florists

Winters Jewellers

John Rocha

Guna Nua Boutique

Mayo Crystal

Moy Chocolates

Watch our young musical talent on stage daily at The Core Stage!


The Core is delighted to announce The Core Stage at Ballina Salmon Festival 2017.  Over the duration of the festival, there will be daily concerts in the town centre,  featuring talented members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes.  The stage, which is generously sponsored by Sligo Retail Park will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo, as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.

About The Core and Music Generation Mayo

Music Generation Mayo It is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

The Core Stage at Ballina Salmon Festival group playing music


Music Generation Mayo’s latest programme ‘The Core‘, a creative space for budding young musicians opened its doors in Ballina Arts Centre in November 2016 and has been a bustling hive of musical activity since. With over 30 (and counting!) active members from across the county using the rehearsal facility, taking part in camps, industry workshops, regular performance opportunities such as monthly open mics, Facebook Live events and musical showcases it is a great place for young people to express themselves and work on developing their music.

For more information, contact PhilipCassidy@msletb.ie or call 087-7485954

Non-members of The Core can also apply to perform on the Festival Stage by logging onto thecoremayo.com/events.



The Core Stage at Ballina Salmon Festival is kindly sponsored by Sligo Retail Park.

Boxing Skills Fun and Games at Ballina Salmon Festival


Run by North West Fitness Academy, this fun energetic class uses games to teach basic boxing skills to children aged 6+.

Booking essential for Boxing Skills Fun and Games at Ballina Salmon Festival!




  • 11:30am – 12:30pm

Fee per child:

  • €2 (non-refundable)

Booking essential: 

  • Classes MUST be booked in advance by calling  the Ballina Salmon Festival Office on +353 (0)96 79814.
  • Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Two children max per booking.
  • Strict limit of 20 children per class.



About North West Fitness Academy 

North West Fitness Academy Boxing Skills Fun and Games at Ballina Salmon FestivalNorth West Fitness Academy (also known as North West Boxing Academy) has been in business since 2014 and works in schools in the Mayo area.

They also run Adult Fitness Classes from their base in Crossmolina, ranging from Body-Weight, Kettlebells, TRX and lots more.

Follow North West Fitness Academy on Facebook

Reeling In The Years Workshops at The Jackie Clarke Collection

Learn about the Ballina Salmon Festival in years gone by at this fabulous Reeling In The Years Workshops at The Jackie Clarke Collection.

Each child attending this creative workshop will walk away with a lovely story about the Ballina Salmon Festival, having created their very own newspaper front page, using images and articles taken from our the Jackie Clarke Collection’s newspaper collection over the past 53 years.

The workshop is being run by the Jackie Clarke Collection through their community and education departments and children will create their newspaper – “The Clarke Chronicle” – using images and articles taken from our WP newspaper collection for the last 53 years (Ballina Salmon Festival is of course 53 years old!)

Date and times:

Tuesday 11th July

  • 12pm – 1pm
  • 2pm – 3pm


  • The Jackie Clarke Collection, Pearse Street

Fee per child (ages 6-12):

  • €2 (non-refundable)

Booking essential: 

  • Classes MUST be booked in advance by calling  the Ballina Salmon Festival Office on +353 (0)96 79814.
  • Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Two children max per booking.
  • Strict limit of 25 children per class.

Visit the Jackie Clarke Collection website

Bring your bear for a day out at the terrific Teddy Bear’s Picnic!


If you go down to the woods today – you’re in for a BIG SURPRISE at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Ballina Salmon Festival!

On Sunday 16th July from 2-5pm, round off an incredible week with one of Ballina Salmon Festival’s best-loved events in our beautiful Tom Ruane Town Park on the banks of the river.

Tom Ruane Park was recently – and deservedly highlighted in the Irish Times as one of the 50 Best Playgrounds in Ireland!

With inflatable fun, children’s entertainment, sweets and treats, games, competitions, the Festival Train, and of course a prize for the best-dressed teddy, this is a day not to be missed not just for the children, but the adults too!

Admission: €2 per child



The Teddy Bear’s Picnic is kindly sponsored this year by Legacy Clothing and Nikki’s Barbers – many thanks to both businesses for their generous support of this event.




Nikki's Barbers logo_opt






A Celebration of Life through Irish Music, Song and Dance with special guests FLAT OUT

The popularity of Irish Music, Song and Dance in the North Mayo Area will be brought to the fore in this year’s Ballina Salmon Festival on Friday 14th July at 7:30pm in the Military Quarter, Ballina. For the first time in its history, the festival will feature a Traditional Music, Song and Dance evening.

Artists from all over North Mayo will showcase their amazing talents as we celebrate life through Irish Music, Song and Dance.  The evening of Friday 14th July promises to be a hand clapping, foot tapping event and we look forward to seeing you all there.


Event line-up

This evening is set to be a mini-festival of traditional Irish music and the line-up is as follows:

  • Bofield Céilí Band/ Gort na mBó CCE 
  • Sylvan Kelly School of Dance
  • Scoil Rince Ui Chinneide
  • Nolan/Bailey School of Irish Dancing
  • Tommy Stenson Sean-Nós Dancer
  • Maureen Lawlor Centre Stage Vocal Academy
  • Atlantic Rhythm and Moffatt School of Irish Dancing
  • Friday Night Traditional Group
  • Flat Out



€5 at the gate on the night.


About the Artists


Bofield Musicians

In a small townland in the parish of Bonniconlon, many years ago, a group of 5 traditional musicians became known as the Bofield Band.  Decades later the group now have 100 musicians between the ages of 8 and 80, playing a variety of instruments.

They continue to promote traditional music, song and dance with traditional sessions and group music classes throughout the year.

No strangers to All Ireland competitions, the group will ensure an evening of foot-tapping lively Irish Traditional Music.


Sylvan Kelly School of Irish Dance

The Sylvan Kelly School of Irish Dancing provides classes in solo, team and show dancing.  They have won numerous World, All Ireland and International titles in both solo and team categories.   Having produced their own sell out shows in the Ballina Arts Centre, they pride themselves on also offering non competitive avenues in Irish Dancing.  Past students of the school are currently starring in top Irish Dance shows such as Riverdance and Lord of The Dance.

The school has performed on national television including The Late Late Toy Show and have also won TG4’s talent show An Jig Gig.  The aim of the school is to instil a love of Irish traditional music and dance culture into their students.


Scoil Rince Ui Chinneide

Scoil Rince Uí Chinnéide was established in January 2016. The Irish Dancing School is run by Tara Kennedy in Ballina. Tara began dancing at the age of four with Mrs. Pat Jackson Rowe and danced at many competitions in both Solo and Team events.

Tara began her teaching career with the Sylvan Kelly School and gained her TCRG (teaching qualification) in 2011. Tara runs classes in Ballina and Enniscrone teaching from the age of 3 and also has an adult class. Tara also teaches in many national schools in the local area. Please contact Tara on 085-7043458 for any information.
Nolan/Bailey School of Irish Dancing

Ballina is home to these champion dancers who have won many titles including Connacht, All Ireland, Great Britain, All Scotland & World Championships over the last number of years.

The Nolan/Bailey School is taught by Des Bailey and Cheryl Nolan who have worldwide theatrical experience, having toured with Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.



Tommy Stenson

Tommy started Sean Nos Dancing in 2011.  Since then he has performed with many highly acclaimed musicians including Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan.  He has appeared in numerous RTE and TG4 productions including Nationwide and An Jig Gig.

Tommy has performed nationwide and this year toured Lithuania for St. Patrick’s Celebrations with the Irish Embassy.  This year Tommy took a year out and has spent his time teaching in schools and local towns.



Maureen Lawlor – Centre Stage Vocal Academy

Formerly known as Lawlor School of Song, this school encourages and develops vocal technique.

This school also boasts a Musical Theatre Chorus called “Stage Heroes Academy” in which singing, dancing and acting culminates in an end-of-term musical.

Individual lessons and children’s choir are also on the curriculum.



Atlantic Rhythm Productions & Moffatt School of Irish Dancing

Atlantic Rhythm Productions is an amalgamation of local talented award winning young musicians and world champion dancers from the Moffatt School of Dancing.  The group has gone from strength to strength since its formation in 2013.  The group performs at home and abroad and has recently appeared on the Late Late Toy Show.




Friday Night Traditional Group

A love of Traditional Irish Music brought this group together a number of years ago.  The group meets up every Friday night in various locations to play Traditional Irish Music and sing Ballads. Their easy listening style attracts audiences from far and wide and audience participation is encouraged.  It’s an absolute must to watch this group in action as they portray Irish Traditional Music at its best.


Flat Out

Flat Out are a four piece, up and coming, group from the town of Ballina, Co. Mayo in the West of Ireland. They formed their group in 2013 and are made up of family and friends.

They are a lively multi-genre group performing various types of music. Their sound can be described as a mixture of Folk, Trad, Pop with a hint of New World thrown in for good measure. With Traditional Irish instruments including the Irish harp, accordion, fiddle, bodhrán, flute and tin-whistle, Flat Out have created their own unique sound. They play a mix of their own original material along with reworked cover songs not to be missed.