IBA Activities

50th Anniversary Dinner - Dublin Ballooning Club

The inaugural meeting of the Dublin Ballooning Club took place in Wynn's Hotel on the 14th of June 1968 following the appearance of following advertisement in the three Dublin daily newspapers.

The Irish Ballooning Association held a 50th Anniversary Dinner to commemorate the foundation of the club in Wynn’s Hotel on 14th June 2018.

David Synnott and Mike Alexander two of the founding members were in attendance and recalled some of their early exploits much to the entertainment of those present.

Tom McCormack, who has been involved in ballooning since 1977 and who along with Manus Hingerty arranged the event, gave a short introduction recalling his early flying experiences with past members David Synnott, Mike Alexander and Noel Lewis (deceased) whose wife Merle was present.

The following good wishes were received from ballooning friends overseas.

“Cameron Balloons, Bristol would like to send congratulations and best wishes  to all our Irish ballooning friends on your 50th anniversary celebrations. Over the years many of us here (past and present) have enjoyed participating in balloon meetings around your beautiful country, especially the annual Irish Championships. We love flying there, the warm welcome we always receive and not forgetting the “craic” of course! Hope you have a great evening and looking forward to the next 50 years!

Julia Dalby, Cameron Balloons, Bristol


Good luck to Dublin Ballooning Club celebrating their 50th anniversary and many thanks to all the club members who went out of their way to help me get my balloon license, 

Robin Mercer


Tom, I will be with you this evening in Spirit. A GREAT Hello to all from Vermont. It would be Great if you or someone wrote or could steer one to the early History of Hot Air ballooning in Ireland. All the best, Brian Boland since 1970 my 1st Irish Balloon trip in 1977.

Brian Boland, Vermont, USA


Hello everyone, Piggy Dowlen here. Wow, 50 years since the formation of the DBC. That is quite a significant anniversary.

Firstly, many, many, congratulations on this achievement; very much something to celebrate, so I hope you have all had a good evening so far.

My first experience of the DBC came at the first Irish meet I attended back in 1985 at the Newcastle.

That year, I flew Buckshot 7 times. Each retrieve that year, necessitated the use of a tractor to extract us from wet and muddy fields. At the end of the event, I was awarded a small prize, a dinky tractor with a grab system. I still have it.

Noel Lewis ran the meet in those years. He rightly thought I had enjoyed myself. So much so, that to encourage me to return, he also gave me a much prized DBC tie.  It worked.  I have returned every year since, not missing one, and have had many similar tractor retrieves. Your Club tie is a treasured possession and I wear it only at Irish meet survivor’s dinners.

Despite it only being worn on just 33 occasions, it does boast some interesting stains and smells. Guinness, egg and a splattering of different potato dishes and white sauces. I have cleaned it up a bit, but each one brings back some very happy memories.; Ireland for me is the most fun place to fly in the World. You are all so lucky to live in such a wonderful country with such beautiful scenery and so kind and generous people.

I could go on and on with many stories, but I am sure Tom needs to get on with other good wishes, so that’s all from me now.

Love to you all, and see you in September in Birr, for further fun and frolics and probably yet more tractor retrieves and stains.

Piggy D. Bennett Balloon Team, UK