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A Day in the Life of Pallas Karting

Who would’ve thought that Europe’s Largest Karting Centre had such humble beginnings? Twenty years ago, no one would’ve thought that the farm would become a famous activity centre for stag groups, hen groups, families, friends, classmates, and colleagues.

We interviewed the man behind that transformation to find out about how they got into the karting business and more.

What made you decide to start Pallas Karting?

Pallas Karting is located in Tynagh, Co. Galway and 20 years ago, farming was the way of life. We had a 40 acre farm with cows and sheep. One trip to England changed all of that. That trip made me realise that there must be more to life than farming. So, when I returned, we all decided to forfeit the cows, sheep, and grass for karts and tarmac.

Some said it was mad (Most people really). Mad because farming was “the thing” back then and that was all they knew.

In Tynagh, the “if you build it they will come” mentality was used and that’s what we did. After all, our location was perfect as we are only an hour from Galway, Limerick, Ennis, and Athlone.

Our dream did not start and end with building a karting centre. We wanted Pallas Karting to become Europe’s Largest Karting Centre and we achieved that dream in 1998.

We get asked a lot, “Why aren’t ye closer to closer?” Two things, we are where we are and if we were nearer Galway, there would be probably no track and where the track was, there would houses on it from the great Celtic Tiger.

Now, if you go anywhere and mention karting in Ireland, you will hear the name of Pallas Karting. So, from hosting cows and sheep, we now host All Ireland Karting Championships, drifting events, rally events, corporate and school days and so many stag and hen parties you could not count.

Describe a typical day in the life of Pallas Karting?

Manic – racing always. The day is full with signing in, briefing, togging out, maintenance, and trophy presentations. Most importantly, the day is full of lots of smiling faces and happy customers.

We are open 7 days a week, nearly 360 days a year, so there is always something going on, something to be done, and someone to look after. Things don’t just happen for you. You have to get out there and do it or get it.

What has been your best achievement?

Lots of achievements really, finally becoming Europe’s Largest Karting Centre in 1998 is a big achievement. The pride of holding the All Ireland Karting Finals at Pallas Karting every year since 1998 is another. We have come a long way from humble beginnings which we never forget.

Then, more recently, in 2013 the opening of Pallas Paintball, Galway’s first and only Paintball site can be considered our most recent achievement.

What activities do you offer at Pallas Karting?

In addition to our famous (and) Europe’s Largest Karting Circuit, we also have our 500m family track which is as large as most tracks in the country, if not bigger. Anyone can race at Pallas Karting from the age of 10 years old.

Since 2013, we have introduced Paintballing to our portfolio, Galway’s only Paintball field, which obviously also makes us the best when it comes to paintballing in Galway. We pride ourselves on having a top class paintball as well as karting facility. No point in having one great and not the other. So, we strive to make all our events top class.

On top of all this, you can bring your Race Kart or Rally Car to Pallas Karting for testing from Monday to Friday nearly all year round. Drifting events are also held at Pallas Karting, so if it has an engine and four wheels, there is surely an event for you. Or, you can go paintballing.

What is your hobby or pastime?

The usual rugby, football, and racing on anything with four wheels. I enjoy wearing lyric based t-shirts, free sarcasm, and listening to good loud music (Dinosaur Jr. and Kasabian), mad moody music (The Cure and The Smiths), and husky crooners (Tom Waits and Nick Cave).

Oh… and we still do a little farming to keep us off the psychiatrists’ couch.

Coffee or Ice-Cream?

It has to be Ice-Cream!!!

PALLAS KARTINGhttp://pallaskarting.com/

A Day in the Life of Lough Gara

Lough Gara offers the perfect location for country pursuits like horse riding clay pigeon shooting, falconry, boating trips, and archery in County Sligo. Run by a husband and wife duo, Adrien and Jimmy Kneale, a lot of stag and hen groups have had memorable moments in Lough Gara.

As a popular activity centre for stags and hens, we sought to know more about the place and the power couple behind Lough Gara Riding Stables.

What made you decide to start Lough Gara?

We started Lough Gara Stables & Country pursuits to give people a chance to experience traditional country pursuits in our peaceful tranquil location. We wanted to give people a chance to escape the rat race for a couple of hours and enjoy some friendly competition with their friends.

Describe a typical day in the life of Lough Gara.

Typical Saturday: We Start with feeding horses, hawks and pets from pets’ barn. We get horses in, cleaned and tacked up for their day of work. Clay pigeon traps are stacked.  Shotguns are checked and oiled. Air rifles are sighted in to make sure they are accurate. Archery targets are erected. Hawks are caught from cages and put on bow perches for ease of handling and flying.

Then, groups arrive throughout the day. They move between Three clay shooting stands, archery stand and Air Rifle stand, All stands have enthusiastic instructors and are roofed.

The hens are usually found horse riding in the roofed arena, in the Pet’s barn, or out experiencing a hawk or eagle owl flying to their gloved hand, hens will also try their hand at archery and Air rifle shooting, there is plenty to do for the ladies in the group that don’t want to ride.

Stags are usually found clay shooting, Air rifle shooting and Archery, some will also be interested in some falconry. Everyone mingles over a coffee in the large clubroom or in the gazebo overlooking the lake. When last group leaves Horses are untacked, fed and put to bed, Hawks are fed and put in cages, guns are oiled and put in gun cabinet and we collapse with a large glass of wine.

What is your favourite activity in Lough Gara?

Adrien’s favourite is horse riding. Jimmy’s favourite is shooting.

What has been your best achievement?

Jimmy won a silver medal for Ireland in Skeet shooting (clay pigeon) in the world championships in2009. Adrien trained dressage horse, Balaseyr Royal, which competed in Olympics with Richard Davidson.

What is your hobby/past-time?

Jimmy : Clay pigeon shooting   Adrien : Dressage

Coffee or Ice-Cream?

Jimmy : Coffee  Adrien : Ice-cream

LOUGH GARA RIDING STABLES – http://www.loughgararidingstables.com/

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