First launched at Bristol in August fiesta 2004, the Bristol fiesta attracts a crowd of over half a million people over the week end and 120,000 people for the "night glow" on sat night, the night glow is done with only 24 of the 150 balloons at the event and clips of the event were showed on Sky News UK.

The Meath balloon first appeared in Ireland at the phoenix festival in Tullamore a picture of the balloon appeared in the local Tullamore news.

The balloons next main event was the Irish Hot Balloon Championships in Kells Co Meath which was being run by the Meath balloon pilot Joseph Leahy over this week the balloon appeared in

1 The Irish Times
2 The Sunday Independent
3 The Drogheda Independent
4 The Cavan Celt
5 The Meath Chronicle
6 The Meath Weekender

As well as being mentioned in an interview on RTE Morning Ireland radio program

One man balloon meet Oldcastle May

The balloon featured heavily on the nationwide program of 31 may and was an idea Joseph talked over with Michael Ryan to do a program linking the ballooning event to the tourist sites of north Meath the program ran for about 30 mins and covered Loughcrew cairns Loughcrew House and Gardens the Tower of Lloyd and Headfort House in Kells

Belfast Motor Show and a flight across Strangford Lough in the balloon to the Ards Peninsula

In June the balloon flew over the tall ships race in Waterford City which attracted a crowd of 450’000 visitors over the week-end

We tethered the balloon for 2 hours outside kinnitty castle for the big lunasa music festival on the 31 July.

Then on to the phoenix festival again in Tullamore

And back to the Bristol Fiesta where we once again got one of the prestigious slots in the night glow

We were back in the in the UK in Sept for a charity ballooning week-end for a children’s hospice flying from Wisbrough Green, West Sussex where large crowds attended and the media were interested in our balloon as the only foreign entrant at the event

The Irish National Championships were next this time in Cavan

And we finished the year with a flight out of Lough Key Forest Park over the Curlew Mountains

One man met Lough Allen Drumshambo, Co Leitrim

Week-end festival at Kilkenny Castle flying from in front of the castle with large crowds for all the evening launches all flights entailed us flying over the city at slow speed

Summer Fest Killarney flying was from the race course between the town and the lakes Killarney on summer week-ends is always packed with people but this week-end Kerry were playing cork in the Munster Final in Killarney


August we were back in Bristol for the fiesta this year we done 2 night glows on the Thursday and Saturday nights on the Thursday glow the Meath balloon featured on the ITV news program which was broadcast right across the UK

We also attended the Wisbrough Green charity event once more with lots of flight from the village green to large cheering crowds

The Irish balloon championships were held in Athlone, a lovely location with great flying and very friendly people. The Meath Balloon featured on the front of 2 local papers and inside another one.

The Meath Balloon fly’s at the Chateau D’Oex International Balloon Festival. The flying was stunning and the Meath balloon scored another first when it appeared in a large picture on the front page of the Irish Times. This is the first time a ballooning picture has appeared on the front page of an Irish National Newspaper.
Front Page Saturday, January 27th
Photograph by Brenda Fitzsimons
Over the 3 years we are flying the Meath balloon there have been many more flights all over the country again getting the name of Meath Heritage out there but they are to numerous to mention

We have a lot more exciting plans for the balloon over the next few years watch this space for details!!!

Copyright © 2007, Ballooning Ireland, All rights reserved.email : info@ballooningireland.ie
The Meath hot-air balloon, piloted by Joe Leahy and Alex Simpson, flying over the Chateau d'Oex Valley in the Swiss Alps during the 29th International Festival of Ballooning. It is the first time Irish balloons have participated in the event.
Photograph by Brenda Fitzsimons

Balloons rising form the mist over Trim Castle, Co Meath at the Hot Air Balloon Championships in 2002.

Front Page Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The Meath hotair balloon piloted by Joe Leahy and George Fordyce rising beside Le Temple De Chateau d'Oex, in the Chateau d'Oex valley in the Swiss Alps, during the 30th International Festival of Ballooning.
Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Photo gallery supplement, Monday 7 april 2008

The Meath hot Air balloon piloted Joe Leahy flying over paddy fields in Tissamaharama Hambantota 238km south of Colombo.

Hot Air Balloons during a night glow at Deberawewa School Hambantota Sri lanka during the festival of ballooning watched by over 100000 local people.

Night Lights
Floating along
Photographs : Brenda Fitzsimons