Patrick William Nally was born in Rockstown House in Balla on 17th March, 1855. Patrick W was a great athlete and won many competitions in the surrounding areas such as Swinford, Castlebar, Ballinrobe. He also particapated in competitions in Galway and Roscommon where he met Maurice Davin, another famous athlete. They both desired to set up a National Athletic Council. Up to this only athletes who came from families who had financial standing were allowed to compete. In 1879 in his fathers estate in Balla, he set up The National Athletic Sports of Mayo with Charles Stewart Parnell. Later that year he met Cusack in the Phoenix Park and they discussed setting up a National Body to promote Gaelic games. Cusack stated in a letter to the “United Irishman” in 1889,that P W Nally had done more to influence him in the setting up of the GAA than any other man. The Nally stand that was in Croke Park was called after P W Nally. This stand was dismantled in croke park and sold to Carrickmore GAA Club in Co Tyrone. Carrickmore GAA re-built the Nally stand in their grounds in 2007. Many members of Balla GAA club attended the re-opening of the Nally Stand.
Photo copyright of © M Ruane 2010