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Béal Átha Chomair
Ballycumber is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°19′35″N 7°41′08″W / 53.326509°N 7.6854524°W / 53.326509; -7.6854524Coordinates: 53°19′35″N 7°41′08″W / 53.326509°N 7.6854524°W / 53.326509; -7.6854524
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County Offaly
Population (2006)
 • Rural 688
Time zone UTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-1 (IST (WEST))

Ballycumber (Irish: Béal Átha Chomair, meaning "ford-mouth of (the) confluence")[1] is a village located where the R436 regional road crosses the River Brosna in County Offaly, Ireland. It is 5 km (3.1 mi) west of the town of Clara, on the western edge of Clara bog. According to the Census 2006, the district electoral division population for Ballycumber was 688 people. However, it is estimated that the population within the village boundary is approximately 260 people.

Ballycumber is located in the civil parish of Leamonaghan. The church in nearby Boher (dedicated to Saint Manchán of Lemanaghan, a local saint) was opened in 1861; before that there was a mud-walled church in the area which has left no trace.


1798 rebellion memorial on the roadside

The M6 motorway connecting Dublin and Galway is a ten-minute drive away. Bus Éireann runs an hourly schedule from Moate and Tullamore with buses going to Galway, Dublin, Waterford, and Belfast. Iarnód Éireann run a train from Dublin to Galway every half-hour from Clara train station. Ballycumber station opened on 1 March 1862 and closed on 17 June 1963.[2]


Boher National School is located beside Saint Manchan's Church in Boher, outside Ballycumber. It was founded by Saints Manchan and Ciaran, hence its name. The school has about 118 pupils and eight teachers. The old school house to the west of the church was turned into living quarters as the new school was built to the east of the church in 1989. The school has five classrooms, a gym, library, staff room, learning support room, resource room, office, and wheel-chair access. It also has a newly refurbished football pitch, basketball and association football courts, and a vegetable garden.


Ballycumber GAA pitch is located 2 miles (3.2 km) outside of the village with an adjoining community centre. Ballycumber have many titles to their name. Their colours are blue and saffron. There is a senior team, consisting of just Ballycumber players. However, the minor, Under-21, U-16, U-14, U-10 and U-8's team are joined with Tubber GAA to form Ballycumber/Tubber.

The senior team however has been relegated to senior B in 2016 after a positive 2015 winning the senior B title they are back down to the same level again.

Brosna Gaels is the local hurling team, made up of the parish of Leamonaghan, which includes Ballycumber, Doon and Pullough with permission players[clarification needed] from Tubber. Brosna Gaels field teams at all levels from Senior to Under-6. They gained Senior status following their 2009 Intermediate win.

Ballycumber also have an association football team, Ballycumber Rovers, which has won County Cups and numerous titles with previous managers.

Ballycumber in literature[edit]

The name of Ballycumber is defined in a jocular manner by writer Douglas Adams in The Meaning of Liff, as "BALLYCUMBER: (n) One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed."[3]

The play "Tales of Ballycumber" by Sebastian Barry was shown in Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 2009.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Béal Átha Chomair Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2014-04-24.
  2. ^ "Ballycumber station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  3. ^ "Bookcrossing FAQs". 
  4. ^ "Tales of Ballycumber". Abbey Theatre. Retrieved 2012-02-13.