Talk:Ballymena

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townland or town?[edit]

The normal translation of An Baile Meánach is 'the middle town', whereas here it is translated as 'townland' with a link that gives no literal translation of the Irish. I am throwing this out there before changing it. Cripipper (talk) 14:11, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Press mention[edit]

This was bound to happen. It appears that the article has some rather slanted content, which resulted on a radio show doing a story on it (as described below), and the issue is now spreading. The article on the Belfast Telegraph seems slightly vindictive, but it'd be a good idea for everyone who knows the place to go through this article. --Kizor 14:03, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

I just took out the bit about housing estates. It's here if someone who knows more wants to re-word it less sarcastically if it's worth keeping at all.
"It is famous for having two of Europe's best kept housing estates. Overseas visitors are urged to visit the green and gentle pastures of the Doury Road and Ballykeel."

As regards the bit about housing estates, this is completely spurious. Ballykeel and the Doury Road are the two most economically deprived areas of the town and have won no such rewards. The crime rate is significantly higher in these areas than the rest of the town and the Doury Road is centre of much of the town's drug trade.

The article also mentions (on the heroin problem)
"This is largely due to the pervasive influence in the town of unionist paramilitary groups who raise most of their funds through the heroin trade."
which needs a source if it's going to stay. I've left it for now. --Cherry blossom tree 22:39, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Per the Belfast Telegraph's article, I think the mayor of Ballymena should first consider learning something about Wikipedia before launching into a superficial criticism of it, and secondly understand there's a difference between seeking the truth and "stirring up trouble". (And, needless to say, the editor of Britannica, cited by the article, is anything but an independent expert as he has a direct financial stake in denigrating and delegitimizing Wikipedia.) QuartierLatin 1968 16:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
In his defense, most of the lines probably read to him by the reporter were instances of vandalism, which was created to stir trouble. lots of issues | leave me a message 16:18, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that's probably a fair point. QuartierLatin 1968 16:56, 28 July 2005 (UTC)


I believe Dr Paisley was NOT born in Ballymena. I think he was born in Armagh.

Heroin problem[edit]

I am removing the 8% of population may be heroin addicts as this is at best rediculous. that would equate to over 2400 addicts which I can find no evidence for what-so-ever. According to the Examiner article at worst the percentage would be 3.4%. since we dont know the origin of that claim and its age I suggest we remove the line entirely until a more up to date figure is discovered. (Ciaranjordan 16:18, 3 August 2007 (UTC))


Does Ballymena really have the worst heroin problem? Are there figures to back this up or is it just anecdotal? --Garethhamilton 16:59, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

A quick google search regarding the heroin problem threw up these two articles from the Guardian: [1] [2]. The first article gives a figure of around 1000 heroin addicts. The best figures I can find [3] suggest a total population of 58,500, meaning that about one in every 59, or about 1.7% of the population has a habit. If someone can find comparable figures for other towns then post them here.

dunno about the worst but it's very very bad

Today on Talk Back, which is normally one of BBC Radio Ulster's better programs in my opinion, there was actually a story on this very article. The show's presenter – Ruth something or other standing in for David Dunseith – read only a couple lines from the intro section (re heroin and green pastures), called up the local DUP MLA and asked what he thought about them. To his credit, the MLA didn't deny there was a heroin problem or even the role of paramilitaries, although they did both seem to find "green pastures" an odd way of referring to a housing estate. And then Ruth suggested that "patriotic Ballymena residents" visit the site to change the article. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting media mention, but really quite slanted – Ruth seemed to be labouring under a number of wrong impressions about Wikipedia, and actually told people to come in here and push a point of view. (See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.) Kind of surprising that this hasn't happened yet. But in the meantime, if we could get a source (and some figures?) for the "worst heroin problem" mention, it would be helpful and enlightening. QuartierLatin 1968 19:12, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Clearly things like this are all relative, however various reports that I personally have heard in the past have attributed a significant heroin problem in BM to returning ex-forces from England. Both sets of paramilitaries have in general avoided H, so it's a personal P2P issue that has affected Bm more than most places in NI. Apparently... 220.238.244.222 16:26, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Removed those contentious lines[edit]

"Ballymena is described by some as being at the heart of Northern Ireland's equivalent of the Bible Belt. It is also believed to have the worst per capita heroin problem in Europe. Half of the registered heroin addicts in Northern Ireland are in the town.[4] This is largely due to the pervasive influence in the town of loyalist paramilitary groups who raise most of their funds through the heroin trade."

All these claims need to be developed, referenced, and then restored. lots of issues | leave me a message 06:39, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure this was the best approach, Issues. The 'when in doubt, delete' policy seems to encourage Bowdlerizing and discourage boldness. Here's what I've found so far by way of reference – I think the Guardian and Irish Examiner articles are most apropos. (Needless to say, we don't have to establish reasonable doubt – just establish that these perceptions exist.) QuartierLatin 1968 17:36, 25 July 2005 (UTC) Viz:

Wow you did a great job citing. I'm wondering if we should create a notes section that backs up each claim in depth quoting half a dozen sources in some cases? lots of issues | leave me a message 00:12, 26 July 2005 (UTC)


You get the ball rolling, everyone else will cheer you along.

Lapsed Pacifist 08:04, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I've removed the reference to Lloyalists. The Guardian article quotes an RUC officer who states the paramilitaries steer clear of heroin. I've left the links so people can come to their own conclusions. Stu ’Bout ye! 11:11, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, an unnamed "RUC Officer" - obviously a neutral source of info on the drug-antics of leylist paramilitaries LOL --feline1 11:30, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Town Hall[edit]

Where did this figure of £2m come from??? I believe than the total project came to over £16m! Anybody confirm this? Jimmy1109 (talk) 00:20, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Can anyone confirm the claim on religious background?[edit]

"99.9%" of the people from Ballymena have a Catholic background? Anyone who's ever been there can obviously tell that is complete nonsense. It is a mainly Protestant town. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.242.147.199 (talk) 22:18, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Probably vandalism that has been undone. Peter James (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Demography[edit]

The website used as a source appears to be broken - selecting any options via drop-down menus or using "build your own tables" leads to an empty table. Peter James (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)