Ballinlough ('Baile an Locha', meaning 'the town of the lake') is a small town in county Roscommon, situated close to the borders of both counties Mayo and Galway. Straddling the N60, Roscommon to Castlebar road, Ballinlough is located between Ballyhaunis and Castlerea. The town is is 30km from Ireland West Airport Knock and 22km from Knock Shrine.
Nestling amidst beautiful rugged scenery, the Ballinlough area is a haven for anglers, with Lake O'Flynn, 1.6kms north of the town, providing a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists alike.
The 300 acre rich limestone lake, which is the source of the River Suck, is noted in particular for brown trout fishing. On the southern shore of the lake there is good public access with a boat harbour, pier and spacious car park. Lake O'Flynn is part of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board's 'Midland Fisheries Group' of managed waters and anglers require a fishing permit to fish here. Fishing permits can be purchased from local agents.
There are a number of other fishing lakes and rivers in close proximity to Ballinlough. Other outdoor attractions include a choice of golf courses, walkways, hiking trails and a series of looped walks in nearby Cloonfad.
The town of Ballinlough and its hinterland have produced a number of noteworthy and famous people in the annals of Irish history.
Michael Glavey, whom the local GAA club is named after, was born in Clooncan, five miles from Ballinlough, on October 20th, 1883. Following in his father's footsteps, Michael became a tailor. He was an excellent athlete who won many Connacht titles during his sporting years, but his greatest passion was the GAA, and he was a distinguished footballer for his local club. Michael became a member of the Ballinlough Volunteers, one of nine Companies of the 1st Castlerea Battalion of the South Roscommon IRA Brigade, where he reached the rank of Lieutenant. On Sept 14th, 1920, Michael lost his life alongside two other IRA Volunteers, during an ambush at the RIC Barracks in Ballinlough. During his all too short life, Michael Glavey became synonymous not only with Gaelic games, athletics and culture, but particularly with the fight for Irish freedom in his native county.
Ballinlough was the birthplace of Count Andrew O'Reilly (1742-1832), who became an Austrian soldier and rose to prominence as a military commander in the service of the Austrian Empire. He fought in many famous wars including The Seven Years War, The War of the Bavarian Succession, Austro-Turkish War, French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. In 1784 he married Barbara Gräfin von Sweerts und Sporck (1760–1834) from a Bohemian noble family. He was ennobled in 1787, becoming Andreas Graf O'Reilly von Ballinlough. During the war against Turkey in 1790, he was elevated to Oberst - equivalent to Colonel - and took command of the Modena Chevau-léger Regiment, which he led at the Siege of Belgrade in late 1789. O'Reilly left the army in January 1810, being promoted to General der Kavallerie upon retirement. He died at Vienna on 5 July 1832, only one month away from his 90th birthday.
The late Lieutenant-General Dermot Earley, (Feb 1948 - June 2010), originally from the area, was a revered Irish army officer and illustrious sportsman. He played Gaelic football with his local clubs Michael Glavey's and Sarsfield's and was a revered member of the Roscommon senior inter-county team from 1965 until 1985.