Supporting Local News


Ballinasloe snooker’s century break!

By Ken Kelly

For over one hundred years the games of billiards and snooker have been played in Ballinasloe with, at one stage, there were three different clubs providing the popular tables for cueists of all ages.

To mark the centenary of the sport in the town, the local Snooker Club celebrated the occasion with a special function in Gullane’s Hotel where the great legends and feats of the sport over the years were recalled.

A century ago, the British Legion Hut was built on the Fairgreen where veterans of World War 1 could meet up and socialise. Two billiard tables were installed and later two other venues provided similar facilities.

At the rear of the Town Hall, on the first floor, the Workmen’s Club had one table while at the front of the same building, a stairs brought you to the Social Club which had two tables and a card room.

There was intense rivalry between the three clubs as they vied for honours in the annual Inter-towns’ annual billiards’ competition which saw the neighbouring towns of Loughrea, Athenry, Gort and Banagher compete. Back in the fifties and sixties it was nearly impossible to get anyone to play a game of snooker – it was nearly all billiards.

CAPTION: Niall Clarke, Ballinasloe Credit Union; Adam O‘Connor, Secretary; Paul Keighery, Chairman; Barry O’Connor, Vice Chairman; Adrian Ahearn, BCU; John Carraig; David Gallagher, Treasurer; Ger Coughlan, and caretaker Keith Mc Donnell at the Ballinasloe Snooker Club 100 years anniversary gathering. Pic Gerry Stronge

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