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Coordinates: Menlough (Irish: Mionlach) is a village in northeast County Galway in Ireland. Located 35 km from Galway, 27 km from Tuam, 30 km from Ballinasloe, and 20 km from Athenry, it forms part of the civil parish of Killascobe.
There are 4,651 people living in the Menlough ED and 10% (465) are Irish speakers.
Historically, Menlough was in the Barony of Hymany which was a stronghold of the O'Mannion clan. The ruins of an O'Mannion castle are located in the fields behind the grotto in the centre of the village. Another O'Mannion castle in the parish is better known as there are more extensive ruins. This second ruin is known as Garbally castle. It is visible to travellers from Galway to Menlough as they pass through Skehana (half parish of Menlough). Other notable historical monuments include the Catholic parish church of St Marys constructed in 1847..on land granted by the Ffrench family local landlords based in Monivea. Tradition has it that the roof, while under construction, was blown off during the night of the big wind in 1847. Beside and to the left as you face the church, what is now a private house was once an RIC barracks burnt down in 1922 during the war of Independence but later becoming a Garda Station. An old IRA monument, erected in the 90s stands in the centre of the village. It can be seen opposite Jordan's shop (formally McLoughlins) on Menlough Road.
During the War of Independence in 1922, a local landlord and large landholder WalterJoyce was shot dead in the parish of Menlough as he walked to Mass. No one was ever apprehended for the crime and the incident forms part of parish folklore. The irony was that the landlord Joyce considered himself more Irish than anyone and was a supporter of the cause and the whole Joyce clan had a history of helping the locals stretching back to before the famine. The ruins of Joyce's house are still visible in the townland of Corgary as are the fine walls built to protect his lands.
A parish with little visible change for many decades has been transformed in the last decade. A large number of new houses built all over the parish are a testament to the growing popularity of this rural location.
There is an expanding commuter population living here as is evidenced by a constant stream of commuters passing through this parish in the mornings and evenings. There are four pubs in the parish; two are located in Menlough village, one in the townland of Guilka and one in Skehana. There are also several shops and small supermarkets.
The parish has two National schools. The National schools are in Menlough village and at Garbally (next to the Castle). There were formerly four national schools, but Ballinruane closed in controversial circumstances in the early 2000s. This was one of the few times the parish made national headlines. Corgary also closed during Summer 2013. Students in Corgary have moved to other schools, including Menlough and Garbally.
- As with most Galway rural villages, parish life tends to revolve around the exploits of its Gaelic football and hurling teams. Menlough GAC has a long, vibrant and proud tradition of participation in the Galway football championship. The club has a number of County Championships to its name at various grades. The tradition is not continuous however. In the 1970s, the football club was denied the county championship, ostensibly for fielding an illegal player in their clear County Final victory. When the county board officials turned down an appeal against the fact that the player had been declared illegal, the decision was opposed in a forceful manner and, allegedly in consequence, the Menlough team was thrown out of the GAA for a couple of years. Football and hurling have been and remain an important focus of life for both young and old. The Football pitch is the focus of many parish activities and is located outside the village on the approaches from Galway City. The facility complete with clubhouse, dressing rooms and stand was developed in the early 1990s.
This is the only incident to compete with the Joyce incident for notoriety in parish folklore. Those events led to the foundation of the successful but now nostalgically defunct Doonwood Hammers soccer team. The parish eventually drifted back to its Gaelic football roots after serving out its ban. Hurling is popular in the half parish of Skehana. The Skehana hurling team continue to go from strength to strength and the fearsome phrase Up Skehana well known around Galway has its origins here.