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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Mayo County > Ballina
Ballina (Irish: Béal an Átha or Béal Átha an Fheadha, lit. mouth of the ford) is the second largest town in County Mayo in Ireland. It lies at the mouth of the River Moy near Killala Bay, in the Moy valley and Parish of Kilmoremoy, with the Ox Mountain range to the east and the Nephin Beg Mountains to the west. The recorded population of Ballina's urban area is 10,409. Census 2006 figures released by the Central Statistics Office in September 2007 showed that Ballina had the highest rate of unemployment amongst large towns in the Republic of Ireland. Some 15.8% of Ballina's population was out of work when the 2006 census was taken.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica the first signs of settlement on the site of the town dates around 1375 an Augustinian friary was founded. Britannica refers to the "remains of an Augustinian friary, founded about 1375". Belleek, now part of the town, pre-dates the town’s formation, and can be dated back to the late 15th century, or early 16th century. Although, what is now known as Belleek Castle was built in 1831. Ballina was officially established as a town in 1723 by O'Hara, Lord Tyrawley.

Belleek Estate -
The Belleek estate once occupied lands from the Moy River to the modern-day Killala Road. This included part of the ‘Old French Road’ which General Humbert marched on from Killala, and beside part of which in the Killala Road-Belleek area was Belleek’s reservoir – presumably destroyed in the construction Coca-Cola’s ‘Ballina Beverages’ factory; the ‘Old French Road’ is now closed off at that point, with what amount to diversion road signs claiming Humbert marched where he did not.

Old Border -
Ballina is located on the west side of the Mayo-Sligo county border. Part of what is now the town was once (prior to the Local Government Act, 1898) part of County Sligo, with the border for the most part once being the River Moy, east of which was in Sligo, including Ardnaree, and Crockets Town (the Quay).

General Humbert and the French Landing - 1798
The Centenary memorial (the Humbert Monument) was dedicated on May 11, 1898 commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the French landing at Killala in support of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The monument was originally sculptured by a Dublin Craftsman but in recent years it has been restored locally. The figure on the monument is not Humbert but Mother Ireland. Maud Gonne, a famous Irish woman, unveiled the monument. At the event Maud Gonne famously poured water over another speaker's (an IRB member) head. The monumnet was moved to it's current location on Humbert Street in 1987, where is was re-dedicated by Maud Gonne's son, Seán MacBride.

Megalithic tomb -
The Dolmen of the Four Maols is located on 'Primrose Hill' behind Ballina's Railway Station. The Dolmen dates from c2,000 B.C. and is sometimes called locally the 'Table of the Giants'. Legend has it that The Dolmen is the burial place of the four Maols. The four Maols murdered Ceallach, a 7th century Bishop of Connacht and were hung at Ardnaree - the Hill of Executions. Tradition says that their bodies were buried under the Dolmen

Ballina Stephenites, is one of the local Gaelic Athletic Association club teams. The name also refers to the town’s Gaelic Athletic Association grounds,James Stephens Park, so named after the famous Fenian from Irish history.

Ballina Town FC is one of the town's soccer clubs, playing their home matches at Belleek Park.

In basketball, Team Loftus Recycling represent the town in Men's Division 1.

Ballina also has Mayo's only Gymnastics Training Centre, Nadia Gym

Ballina Golf Club is an 18 hole parkland golf course on the outskirts of the town on the Bonniconlon Road. Ballina Golf Club is set in a scenic location overlooking the Moy Valley. The course is a Par 71 course, 5933 metres long.

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In: Mayo
People: 10,056
Speak: English, Irish
Type: Market Town
GPS: -9.1667, 54.1167