Irish National Hot Air Ballooning Championships

Loughrea Galway 2017

Welcome to the website for the 47th Irish Hot Air Balloon Championships.

The Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championship is usually referred to as 'The Irish Meet'. It is the longest running National ballooning event in the world. The first event was held in 1971 at Newcastle House in Ballymahon, Co Longford and was attended by a handful of balloons. The event now attracts up 40 balloons and has been held in Boyle, Co Roscommon; Kilkenny; Waterford; Athlone; Trim, Co Meath; Kells Co. Meath, Killenkere, Co Cavan and Drumshambo Co. Leitrim

Balloonists from UK, USA, France, Holland, Belgium, Chile and Ireland are regular attendees to the event which is an invitation only event. The event, the biggest of its kind in Ireland, is a huge spectacle with these huge ancient aircraft flying totally dependant on the wind for direction.

Following hugely successful “meets” last year and in 2014 the international balloonists will , for the first time will fly over the Galway countryside. The Loughrea Spa Hotel will be the headquarters for the event with the teams staying in the hotel and various hotels close by. Loughrea will be the base for the balloon launch locations, which happen every morning and evening subject to flyable conditions. Other locations for Launching being considered are, The Bishops Palace, Galway Airport, Loughrea Golf club and The Galway Plaza.

In addition to the launches, the balloonists hope to provide another spectacular Night Glow where they inflate at night to the sound of music in the dark

Some of the balloon teams are planning to visit some of the local schools to demonstrate the balloons to the pupils.

Click here for a video of the Mass launch, in Belline Piltown, County Kilkenny
Click here for a video of the Mass launch from The Peoples Park, Waterford City
Click here for a video of the Nightglow, Waterford City