Mountbellew or Mountbellew Bridge (historically Creggaun, from Irish: an Creagán, meaning "the rocky place") is a town in County Galway, Ireland. It lies mostly within the townland of Treanrevagh (Trian Riabhach) on the N63 national primary road.
The town consists of many shops and small businesses. There are four schools located in the town, St. Mary's National School, Colaiste an Chreagain, Holy Rossary college and the Franciscan Brothers Agricultural College.
There are many historic and scenic points throughout the town which include: The Bellew Estate and woodlands, a small lake, the old forge and the Catholic Church. The Bellew estate was once the home of the Grattan-Bellew family, famous Galway parliamentarians during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their demesne is now a delightful wooded area of forest walks and picnic areas, filled with interesting historical items. The village bridge also contains a rare milestone inserted in the middle of its parapet.
The Franciscan Brothers came to Mountbellew from Milltown, Dublin, in 1818. The Bellew family invited them and gave them resources of land and a house to get established. The Brothers ran a free primary school until 1884. In 1875 they opened a secondary school (boarding) and in 1898 a special Department in the school was set up to prepare students for Teacher Training Colleges.
The Brothers changed from Secondary education to Agricultural Education in 1904 and the Franciscan Brothers’ Agricultural College was founded. This was the first Agricultural College in Ireland. The Department of Agriculture supported the college right from the start. In 1986, the college partnered with a predecessor of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), in 1986. This cooperation between the two colleges resulted in the setting up of what is now known as the Higher Certificate in Business Studies (Agribusiness).
Mountbellew has many sporting societies. Mountbellew Moylough GAA club plays both hurling and Gaelic football. The club colours are black and amber and play in Mountbellew/Moylough GAA grounds. The senior football team have won four Galway Senior Football Championships, 1964, 1965, 1974, 1986.
The River Shiven is nearby, which provides some excellent fly fishing for brown trout. The town also has a fine 18-hole golf course, set amongst some beautifully wooded scenery.
Mountbellew is also home to the Malthouse Players, a small but very active drama group. The Malthouse Players typically stage two productions each year and partake annually in national competitions. The group on two occasions won the All-Ireland one-act drama finals.
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