Béal Átha hAmhnais
|Elevation||89 m (292 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-1 (IST (WEST))|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Ballyhaunis (Irish: Béal Átha hAmhnais, meaning "ford-mouth of strife") is a town in County Mayo, Ireland. It is at the crossroads of the N60 and N83 National secondary roads and on the railway line linking Dublin to Westport and Ballina.
It is thought that the town grew up around St Mary's Augustinian Friary (popularly referred to as "the Abbey"), which was founded in 1348, according to local tradition. The town and its hinterland contain a number of megalithic monuments.
According to the 2011 Census, Ballyhaunis had a population of 2,312. Non-Irish nationals made up 42% of the population, which is much higher than the national average of and is the highest of any town in Ireland. Poles and Pakistanis make up the largest groups of immigrants. Meanwhile, White Irish people make up 40% of the population. There are two Roman Catholic churches in the town, and it is also home to Ireland's first purpose-built mosque, the first mosque in Ireland outside Dublin. Farming, private business and industry are the main sources of employment.
Ballyhaunis is within both the Roman Catholic and civil parishes of Annagh.
War of Independence
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On 2 August 1920, during the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ambushed a British Army lorry on the Claremorris road from Ballyhaunis, seizing weapons and ammunition. A high cross marks the spot of the ambush. On 1 April 1921, Sean Corcoran, O/C of the IRA's East Mayo Brigade, was shot dead by British soldiers after a short gunfight at Crossard crossroads (6 km north of Ballyhaunis). A high cross marks the spot where Corcoran died. Later that same day, a member of the British Black and Tans was killed by a sniper. In retaliation, the Black and Tans executed Michael Coen, a man who was later believed not to have taken part in fighting of any kind. A monument to Coen was placed on the Cloonfad/Galway road from Ballyhaunis.
In 1999, Ballyhaunis was one of several locations in the European Union selected to trial a local currency project, known as the ROMA, designed to develop the local economy and ease the transition to the euro.
- St Patrick's Parish Church (RC).
- The former St Joseph's Convent.
- St. Mary's Augustinian Friary.
- The Ulster Bank.
Midwest Radio is based at Ballyhaunis, and is a local radio station for Counties Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim. Ballyhaunis also has a dedicated internet radio station, Midwest Irish Radio.
Annagh Magazine is an annual publication that appears each December, containing material of local interest. It was established by Ballyhaunis Junior Chamber in 1977, and named after the local parish. The first edition was published at Christmas 1978. It includes articles about local events over the past year, as well as contributions covering Ballyhaunis history and culture.
The town has a single primary school and secondary school; the co-educational primary school was formed by the merging of the town's original two primary schools, St. Mary's Boys' National School and St. Joseph's Girls' National School, to form Scoil Iosa National School. Ballyhaunis Community School, as was the case with a lot of community schools, was based on the merging of three schools that previously existed independently, St. Joseph's Convent Secondary School, Ballyhaunis Vocational School, and St. Patrick's College; the school first opened in September 1977.
The town has access to Ballyhaunis railway station, a station on the Dublin–Westport rail service. The station opened on 1 October 1861, and its 150th anniversary was celebrated by a Ballyhaunis Railway Station-themed edition of the local Annagh Magazine in 2011.
Ballyhaunis GAA is the main sporting team in the town, fielding teams in both Gaelic football and hurling. Other sports played in Ballyhaunis include rugby, boxing, cricket, and soccer, and the town has three GAA pitches, two football pitches, two rugby pitches, a football astro pitch, a football and basketball court and a cricket training pitch.
Ballyhaunis is twinned with
- Charles Dillon – buried in the Friary with many of his ancestors. The Dillon family were Normans who developed the town from the 1200s.
- Seán Flanagan – Gaelic footballer, politician and government Minister.
- Jim Higgins – Senator, TD and Member of the European Parliament.
- Keith Higgins – full back on the senior Mayo football team.
- Anthony Jordan – author and biographer.
- Bill Naughton – playwright; wrote Alfie (1963), the basis of two film adaptations.
- "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Ballyhaunis". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- "Placenames Database of Ireland". Logainm.ie (in Irish). Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "A Very Short History of Ballyhaunis and District" (PDF). Annagh Magazine. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "2011 Census Results: Ballyhaunis Area" (PDF). CSO Census. 2011.
- "The growth of intolerance". The Irish Times. 29 June 2013.
- "‘Social cohesion’ of Ballyhaunis ‘under threat’". Mayo News. 1 December 2015.
- "Ballyhaunis Local Area Plan 2010-2016 accessed through Wayback Machine" (PDF). www.mayococo.ie. 8 February 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "Parish of Ballyhaunis". Archdiocese of Tuam. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- Bance, Michael (19 July 1999). "Community Currency In Action". RTÉ. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
- Mayo Co Co - Protected Structures: http://www.mayococo.ie/en/Services/Heritage/BuiltHeritage/ProtectedStructures/
- Annagh Magazine Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Ballyhaunis Life. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
- About Us Annagh Magazine. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
- Scoil Iosa Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Ballyhaunis Life. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
- School History Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Ballyhaunis Community School. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
- "Ballyhaunis station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- Ballyhaunis-Guilers twinning – twenty years a-growing Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Western People, 2003-10-22.
- Ballyhaunis entry at the Mayo Ireland website.
- Annagh Magazine — Local community, cultural, and historical magazine.
- Ballyhaunis Chamber — Local business representative organisation.
- Ballyhaunis Community Website
- Irish Rail Ballyhaunis Station Website
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