The inhabitants of Birr remain steadfast in their certainty that being slightly closer to the capital than the nearby town of Ballinasloe, justifies their jaundiced view of their near neighbour.
“You have to remember Birr is a heritage town,” pensioner Mary Minihan sniffed, “whereas Ballinasloe is only a halting site”.
“It’s a bigger town, right enough is Ballinasloe,” said local publican Tadhg O’Reilly, “and they have a hospital too but Ballinasloe is 151 kilometres from Dublin whereas Birr is only 139…
O’Reilly flatly denied that he or any other member of the Birr Chamber of Commerce had ever disparaged their neighbour in the course of an application for increased financial support from the Heritage Council.
“Specifically,” he insisted, “we never said it was a wild west shithole full of inbred lawlessness that didn’t deserve the funding it gets for the annual day long fist fight that is otherwise known as, The Ballinasloe Horse Fair“.