Local girl Hannah Kelly (21 ) from Shannonbridge, Ballinasloe was crowned the 2010 Carlton Shearwater Hotel Queen of the Fair in a glittering ceremony last week.
Hannah who represented Melody’s at Moycan Lodge in the competition is currently a student studying in Dundalk IT for the four year degree in general nursing.
A popular choice, Hannah is the daughter of Mark and Brenda Kelly both of whom are from well known Ballinasloe families.
Adjudicators on the night were Kathleen Croffy from Ballinasloe October Fair and Festival; Elaine Whyte, a former Queen of the Fair; Michael Fitzsimons, Fáilte Ireland; and Michael Kearney founder and CEO of the Carlton Hotel Group. The event was compered by Galway Bay FM’s Ollie Turner.
The selection of the Carlton Shearwater Hotel Queen of the Fair traditionally marks the start of the countdown to the Ballinasloe October Fair and Festival. With just days to go organisers are anticipating crowds of 85,000 to visit the East Galway town over the nine day festival which will be officially opened by RTE personality, Paddy O’Gorman.
A comprehensive traffic management system is in place for the Fair which is the first major event in Ballinasloe since the opening of the new M6 motorway last December. Gardai are advising motorists to avoid Ballinasloe on Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October unless they are attending the Fair or have other business in the town.
The usual road closures will apply locally with Dunlo Street, Society Street, Main Street, and St Michael’s Square closed to traffic on Sunday October 3 and Monday Octobe 4. Sarsfield Road will also be closed to traffic on Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October from the Ash Tree Junction. Traffic coming from the Tuam and Ahascragh direction will be diverted through Nutfield Cross and on to the M6. There will be signs at the roundabouts leading off the M6 advising motorists who intend travelling into Ballinasloe of possible delays ahead.
Ballinasloe Fair and Festival will also operate a number of secure car parks for the convenience of visitors attending events at the Ballinasloe Horse Fair and Festival. Car parks are open on Sunday October 4 and Monday October 5 from 7am to 7pm.
Travelling from Dublin East on N6/M6 the nearest car parks are located at St Brigid’s Hospital, Athlone Road (access from N6 Dublin ), Nurses Home (opposite St Brigid’s Hospital ), Athlone Road, and St Michael’s car parks east and west.