Port of Ballina
Coordinates: 54°07′00″N 9°10′00″W / 54.1167°N 9.1667°W / 54.1167; -9.1667
Ballina (Irish: Béal an Átha or Béal Átha an Fheadha, lit. mouth of the ford) is a large town in north Co 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 town occupies two Baronies; Tirawley on the west bank of the Moy River, and Tireragh on the east bank.
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. Unlike neighbouring towns such as Castlebar and Sligo, it is claimed that Ballina suffered from a lack of government investment for many years because it was not effectively represented in Dail Eireann.
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica the first signs of settlement on the site of the town dates from around 1375 when an Augustinian friary was founded. 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. However, 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.
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 of Coca-Cola’s ‘Ballina Beverages’ factory; the ‘Old French Road’ is now closed off at that point, with what amounts to diversion road signs claiming Humbert marched where he did not.
Ballina is located on the west side of the County Mayo - County Sligo 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 Ardnare], and Crockets Town (the Quay).
Port of Ballina, River Moy Harbour Commission, The Quay, Ballina, Co. Mayo. Tel: 096 21208.