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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 (2011)
 • Urban 4,852
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC+1)
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. 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.[6] 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.[7]

McElhinney's Stores[edit]

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.[dubious ]

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.


  • Ballybofey is home to Finn Park where League of Ireland side Finn Harps play their home games.[8]
  • Seán MacCumhail Park is also located in Ballybofey, where the Donegal senior football team play most of their home games
  • Ballybofey is also home to the Finn Valley Rugby club, they beat letterkenny rugby twice in the ulster west domestic season 2015/2016 with an accumulated score of 135-0 and are the dominant force between the two clubs. The dragons also like to drink porter pints which were invented in memory of Adam Porter who likes his pints with deep heat.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures.". Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Online Historical Population Reports Website". Histpop. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – Census Home Page". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". 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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Donegal Direct". Donegal Direct. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Rowan, Prof. Alistair (1979). Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster. London: Penguin Books. p. 564. ISBN 0-300-09667-4. 
  8. ^ "Finn Harps". Finn Harps. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ballybofey station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2007. 

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