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Bealach Féich
Balor Arts Centre
Balor Arts Centre
Ballybofey is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°48′00″N 7°47′24″W / 54.8°N 7.790°W / 54.8; -7.790Coordinates: 54°48′00″N 7°47′24″W / 54.8°N 7.790°W / 54.8; -7.790
Country Ireland
Province Ulster
County County Donegal
Elevation 30 m (100 ft)
Population (2016)[1]
 • Urban 4,852
Time zone WET (UTC±0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (UTC+1)
Eircode routing key F93
Telephone area code +353(0)74
Irish Grid Reference H194946
McElhinney's Department Store

Ballybofey (/ˌbælbəˈf/; Irish: Bealach Féich, meaning "Fiach's pass") is a town located on the south bank of the River Finn, County Donegal, Ireland. Together with the smaller town of Stranorlar on the north side of the River Finn, the towns form the Twin Towns of Ballybofey-Stranorlar. Ballybofey-Stranorlar, a census town, had a population of 4,852 in the 2016.[1]

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.[7] 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.

'The Matrimony Tree' sculpture


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.[8]

Balor Arts Centre[edit]

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.




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Ballybofey-Stranorlar". Census 2016. CSO. 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures". Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Online Historical Population Reports Website". Histpop. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – Census Home Page". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "Pre-famine". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  6. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  7. ^ "Donegal Direct". Donegal Direct. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Rowan, Prof. Alistair (1979). Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster. London: Penguin Books. p. 564. ISBN 0-300-09667-4. 
  9. ^ "Finn Harps website". Finn Harps F.C. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ballybofey station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2007. 

External links[edit]