Balla, County Mayo

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Balla
Balla
Town
Balla (irl).jpg
The round tower in Balla
Balla is located in Ireland
Balla
Balla
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°48′18″N 9°07′42″W / 53.805°N 9.1283°W / 53.805; -9.1283Coordinates: 53°48′18″N 9°07′42″W / 53.805°N 9.1283°W / 53.805; -9.1283
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Mayo
Elevation 118 m (387 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Urban 709
 • Rural 1,413
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference M257845

Balla (pronounced Bal) (Irish: Balla, meaning "wall"[1]), is a small town in County Mayo, Ireland on the N60 National secondary road, the main road between Castlebar and Claremorris. The economy of the village survives mainly on passing trade, from the busy N60 which carries over 7,000 vehicles through the village every day. Balla has only one street. It is notable for its round tower. It formerly was a significant shop and market centre. In recent decades it fell into decline and lost its railway station, but has enjoyed something of a revival as a residential area for people working in Castlebar.

In early times the village was known as 'Ros Dairbhreach', meaning 'The Height of the Oak Wood'. The continuing importance of the oak to the local community is reflected in the appropriately named "Dawn Oak 2000" project. At the beginning of the 21st century, 2000 oak trees were planted, creating a new wood in Balla's town park.

Name[edit]

According to Adrian Room in A Dictionary of Irish Placenames, the name refers to the Tobar Mhuire, known in English as the Blessed Well i.e. of the Blessed Virgin Mary) to the west of Balla. This was enclosed by a wall in the 7th Century, traditionally by St. Mo Chua.[2]

History[edit]

The founder of the local monastery appears to have been Mo Chua. Tradition has it that Saint Patrick himself had rested in Balla.

Pat Nally (1857 – 1891), an athlete and member of the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, was born in Rockstown House near Balla. The P.W. Nally monument, a Celtic Cross, was erected in Balla with the aid of a public subscription, and was unveiled in 1900 by Dr. Mark Ryan.[3]

William Hamilton Maxwell (1792 - 1850), a Church of Ireland rector in Balla, wrote Wild Sports of the West while resident there in the nineteenth century.[4]

Transport[edit]

Balla railway station opened on 17 December 1862, but closed to passenger traffic on 17 June 1963, finally closing altogether on 2 December 1974.[5]

Sport[edit]

  • Balla GAA is the village's main sports club.
  • Manulla FC is the local soccer club.

Annalistic references[edit]

See Annals of Inisfallen.

  • AI693.1Kl. Repose of Crónán of Balla, and of Udríne, bishop of Mag Bile. [AU 694].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Dictionary of Irish Place Names by Adrian Room, published by Appletree Press 1988
  2. ^ A Dictionary of Irish Place Names by Adrian Room published by Appletree Press 1988 page 19
  3. ^ The Heritage of Mayo 3rd Edition by Áine Ní Cheanáinn published by Western People 1988, page 56
  4. ^ The Heritage of Mayo 3rd Edition by Áine Ní Cheanáinn published by Western People 1988, page 56
  5. ^ "Balla station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-09.