Balor Arts Centre
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC+1)|
|Irish Grid Reference||H194946|
Ballybofey (//; Irish: Bealach Féich, meaning "Fiach's pass") is a town located on the south bank of the River Finn, County Donegal, Ireland. Along with the smaller town of Stranorlar on the north side of the River Finn, Ballybofey makes up the Twin Towns.
The town grew rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries. Ballybofey also plays host to the Twin Towns Festival which takes place annually. The centrepiece of the festival is a parade on the Sunday. The last of these took place on 19 August 2007. There are no schools or churches in the town of Ballybofey itself, with all these amenities lying either across the bridge in Stranorlar or outside the town limits. This is due to laws during plantation times when certain Catholic buildings were not allowed within a specified range of Protestant towns, in this case Stranorlar, though Stranorlar now has both a Roman Catholic and a Church of Ireland church.
Just a few miles west of Ballybofey, on the main road to Fintown (the R252), is the Glenmore Estate, located at Welchtown. The estate formerly included Glenmore Lodge, a country house that stood on the opposite, southern bank of the River Finn, very near Glenmore Bridge. The house was originally built in the Georgian-style in the mid-to-late-18th-century. It was re-worked for Sir William Styles in the neo-Tudor-style in the early 20th-century. The house was demolished in the 1990s. The private estate is now famous for its fishing and hunting.
McElhinney's Stores, the North-West's biggest department store has recently undergone a complete internal revamp, with the addition of a new €6.5 million extension Dublin's leading retailing giants…Brown Thomas, Clery's and Arnotts.
From humble beginnings in a small shop in Glenfin Street (now O'Connor's Bakery), McElhinney's has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the area's biggest employers – and its main draw – attracting a steady flow of customers from Northern Ireland and indeed, from every part of the world.
Balor Arts Centre
The Balor Arts Centre is a state of the art theatre complex, based in the heart of Ballybofey. The main auditorium holds 300 seats, incorporating 56 seats in the balcony and additional 100 seats at front of house when required.
The Butt Drama Circle celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, having started out in the Butt Hall in 1959. The BDC is basically an amateur drama club which has expanded its remit considerably. Apart from its own amateur drama productions, and participating in regional and national drama festivals, it has for over 25 years hosted drama festivals for both primary and second level schools.
- Ballybofey is home to Finn Park where League of Ireland side Finn Harps play their home games.
- Seán MacCumhail Park is also located in Ballybofey, where the Donegal senior football team play most of their home games.
- Conal Gallen, singer and comedian
- Ernan McMullin, philosopher
- John Dunleavy, footballer
- Jimmy Kelly, footballer
- Jason Quigley, amateur boxing star
- Gerald Porter, darts player
- Isaac Butt MP was born a short distance west of Ballybofey in Glenfin. The Isaac Butt Memorial Hall is named after him.
- Postman Michael Gallagher also hails from Glenfin.
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- Rowan, Prof. Alistair (1979). Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster. London: Penguin Books. p. 564. ISBN 0-300-09667-4.
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- "Ballybofey station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2007.
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