Ballyconneely (Irish: Baile Conaola, meaning "Conneelys' village") is a small ribbon development in west Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. Settlements are spread out north on the road to Clifden and south on the road to Roundstone. Every July, the Ballyconneely pony show attracts people from the surrounding county to exhibit livestock and enjoy the travelling funfair. This peninsula, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean between Clifden to the north and Roundstone to the south, is a quiet rural area. Its name is based on the old civil parish of Ballindoon, which in turn was named from the old fort or cashel on Doon Hill. The area is surrounded by beaches: the Coral Strand at Derrygimla; west and north to Knock, Mannin, Dunloughan and Truska; and east and south from Keeraunmore, Aillebrack, and Ballyconneely Bay to Calla, Dolan and Murvey. Some of these bathing spots provide bases for shore fishermen. Ballyconneely has three historic associations: In 1854, the first salmon farming operation in the United Kingdom was carried out on the Dohulla Fishery. In 1919, the first transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown ended two miles away in Derrygimla Bog, an unsuitable landing place which damaged the aircraft. The crash landing was near the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station built in 1905, which was used to send the first transatlantic wireless message, to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, in 1907. Ballyconneely breeds Connemara ponies, including some home and overseas champions. Legend has it that the breed originated when Arabian horses come ashore from a Spanish shipwreck near Slyne Head and bred with the small native pony. Attractions include a 27-hole golf links, and Roundstone Bog three miles to the east, an expanse of moor, lake and stream, containing wildlife and rare plants. The beaches have edible shellfish and molluscs accessible at low tide, including clams, cockles, mussels, razorfish, sea urchins, shrimp and scallops, and with local knowledge, the occasional lobster. Connemara Smokehouse and Visitor Centre is located at the Aillebrack fishing pier, a small harbour used by local fishermen and boat owners. Two shops, a post office, a community hall, and a local parish hall make up the village centre. Other businesses in the area include a hotel, a golf course with club house, guest-houses, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and holiday homes. Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has a holiday home in Doonloughan, close to the Connemara Golf Links.Wikipedia
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