Stayed at the wonderful, stately Banba House with a large group (9 adults) for an extended St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Ray was a perfect host, providing plenty of email help in advance of our visit, and always on call when we were there. He provided us with a lovely dinner on the day of our arrival, which was a very nice touch. He was able to help us with several inquiries over the course of our stay, by being available by phone, and in person (and very quickly in the latter case).
The house was huge, and lushly decorated. There is a great little kitchen for cooking meals for all (and cozy sitting room just adjacent), a nice big dining table in a lovely dining room, a cozy larger living room (with a fire place, which we made full use of!), and a selection of bedrooms upstairs and down. All beds were reported to be comfy, bedding was provided as were towels, and the two separate bathrooms were appreciated by our large group.
The Athenry location is great for exploring the countryside (rental/own car recommended for this), and city excursions into Galway, which is easily reached by train, car, or bus. Ray was very helpful with advice on train and bus times. Furthermore, Banba House was almost within sight of the local Athenry train station - not at all a problem noise-wise, and very convenient for transport. Our group arrived from and departed to Dublin from this station. An absolute breeze! Furthermore, the shops, restaurants and pubs of Athenry are easily reached on foot in just a few minutes.
During the course of a stay full of plus-points, the only (very minor) negatives were the fact that the house was a bit cold (and damp) - but this may be the nature of older Irish homes. However, the central heating and fireplace in the large living room helped somewhat with this. Also, there didn't appear to be a TV or DVD player, which may be wanted by some guests.
All in all, absolutely recommended for a genuine Irish getaway - especially for larger groups (5 or 6+ people - smaller groups may feel the place is a bit large). Enjoy this lovely home and the wonderful Irish hospitality!