Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championship
From Sunday the 22nd to Friday the 27th September 2019 the skies above Birr Castle Gardens, Co. Offaly will once again be filled with the beautiful sight of dozens of Hot Air Balloons - weather permitting A private event for hobby balloonists from all over the world and an amazing spectator sport for the public. 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 over 40 balloons and has been held in places like, Boyle, Co Roscommon; Kilkenny City; Waterford City; Athlone; Trim, Co Meath; Kells Co. Meath, Birr Co. Offaly, Killenkere, Co Cavan and Drumshambo Co. Leitrim. Balloonists from UK, USA, France, Holland, Belgium, Chile and Ireland are regular attendees for 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 depending on the wind for direction. This year, these balloonists will spend the last week in September in the Birr, Co.