|Irish: Baile Coinnleora|
Ballykinler shown within Northern Ireland
|Population||348 (2001 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Ballykinler or Ballykinlar (from Irish Baile Coinnleora, meaning "townland of the candelabrum") is a village and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies 12 kilometres south west of Downpatrick, in the parish of Tyrella and Dundrum. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 348 people. It is within the Down District Council area.
It is a linear settlement running parallel to the Irish Sea coast and bordered by an army camp to the west and south west. It is a residential village with a high level of community facilities and a good bus service.The village is within the Lecale Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The surrounding landscape consists of low drumlins and marshes.
Places of interest
- Ballykinlar is the site of a major British Army base.
- The Four Roads Inn is a popular pub/bar in Ballykinlar and has regular live music performances, discos and quizzes. Bingo every Sunday night in the lounge 7pm. Free minibus transport to and from Ballykinlar village. Lounge available for private parties, anniversaries and charity events.
- Ballykinlar is a place of great natural beauty and many walkers and hikers who wish to observe the coastline of County Down undertake the convenient Ballykinlar to Killough walk which passes the Blue Flag beach at Tyrella.
Internment at Ballykinlar
The sprawling site of the army base was pressed into service as an internment camp during the Irish War of Independence in 1919. After the Partition of Ireland, the new Government of Northern Ireland continued to use the base for internment. There appear to have been attempts by those incarcerated to maintain a normal social structure within the confines of the camp and evidence exists of an orchestra and some examples of typical prisoner art are still available for viewing in museum collections in Ireland, including examples of humorous cartoons.
A former IRA prisoner, Louis J. Walsh (a native of County Londonderry and later a judge in County Donegal), published a book in 1921 about his experiences in various institutions in Northern Ireland including a chapter about his time in Ballykinlar Camp which describes, amongst other things, having to march for three miles, handcuffed and carrying luggage, only to be placed in bare huts with nothing to sleep in except damp straw. He continues in a second chapter to describe how the prisoners set up their own 'Council' which then began to negotiate with the military authorities for better food and conditions within the camp. "The camp regime was notoriously brutal - prisoners were shot dead for minor infractions, such as standing too close to the barbed wire fence that kept them penned in (the camp magazine was titled Barbed Wire)." Ballykinlar internment camp housed over 2,000 men from the thirty-two counties of Ireland and was the first mass internment camp in Ireland during the Irish War of Independence. After peace was declared in 1921 the internees were released but it does appear that their ordeal did not necessarily end after leaving as evidence exists that a train carrying released prisoners from Ballykinlar was attacked at Thurles, County Tipperary, injuring three Sinn Féin passengers and several members of the crowd.
In World War I the 36th Ulster Division formed from the Ulster Volunteers did much of its training at Ballykinlar. A journalist of the time waxed lyrical about the location describing it as a "camp situated in the centre of picturesque country, with the mountains of Mourne forming an imposing background. On the edge of the camping ground, and within easy walking distance of the tents, is an arm of Dundrum Bay, and here the men will have swimming and bathing drills. Within sight of the camp is the beautifully situated demesne of Tyrella."
In World War II the camp continued to be a military training establishment and the North Irish Horse record moving there to take over Valentine Tanks and convert to an armoured regiment. Troops from the United States, including those from the 1st Armored Division also trained at Ballykinlar.
As peace has returned to Northern Ireland the British troops based there were withdrawn from the streets with the ending of Operation Banner and are now Garrison troops. In 2008 it was announced that the 2nd Battalion of The Rifles based at Ballykinlar would be deployed to Kosovo to "combat fresh violence between ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs." 
Sandes Home, the civilian charity which provides leisure and restaurant facilities in some bases, has had a presence at Ballykinlar Camp for over 100 years. In 1974 the premises at Ballykinlar were destroyed by an IRA bomb but the building was subsequently rebuilt and continues to offer services. In early 2009 a car bomb was found close to the base, which was thought to have been abandoned by dissident republicans.
In 1974 a 300 lb Provisional Irish Republican Army van bomb killed two British Army soldiers, injured many others and destroyed some buildings on the base. For more information, see: The Troubles in Ballykinler.
- Ballykinlar Halt railway station was opened in March 1915, but was finally closed on 16 January 1950.
- An irregular bus service runs between Downpatrick and Ballykinlar. Not very dependable.
- Ballykinlar has three sports pitches, including two excellent changing facilities. It also has many successful football teams, U13's, U15's, U17's and a second and first team.
- Ballykinlar also has a Gaelic Football team called Baile Choinnleora (which is Irish for Ballykinlar), founded in 1932.
- List of villages in Northern Ireland
- List of civil parishes in County Down
- Placenames NI
- "Ballykinlar-Killough". Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- "Ballykinlar Collection". Your Place and Mine - BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- "Internment in Northern Ireland 1922-1961". Internment (by John McGuffin, 1973). Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- Liam O'Duibhir, Prisoners of War - Ballykinlar Internment Camp 1920-1921, (2013), Mercier Press. ISBN 978 1 78117 0410
- "Freed Prisoners Train is Bombed". New York Times (10 December 1921). 1921-12-10. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- Down County Museum
- "War Diaries for the North Irish Horse". North Irish Horse website. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- "The Americans". Second World War NI. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- "GIs Return to Down". Your Place and Mine - BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- Ryder 191
- "Troops in Ulster to combat Kosovo violence". Yorkshire Post (30 April 2008). Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- "Abandoned Car Bomb". BBC News (31 January 2009). 2009-01-31. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
- "Ballykinlar Halt". Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- Ballykinlar Co Down
- Big Lottery Fund - Ballykinlar
- Prisoners of War - Ballykinlar Internment Camp 1920-1921, Liam O'Duibhir 2013 ISBN 978 1 78117 0410
- The Ulster Defence Regiment: An Instrument of Peace?, Chris Ryder 1991 ISBN 0-413-64800-1
- Drumaroad History
- Ballykinler Catholic Church
- BFBS radio in Ballykinler on 107.5 fm