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Béal Átha hAmhnais
Ballyhaunis Friary
Ballyhaunis Friary
Ballyhaunis is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°46′00″N 8°46′00″W / 53.7667°N 8.7667°W / 53.7667; -8.7667Coordinates: 53°46′00″N 8°46′00″W / 53.7667°N 8.7667°W / 53.7667; -8.7667
CountyCounty Mayo
Elevation89 m (292 ft)
Population (2016)[1]
 • Total2,366
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceM498794

Ballyhaunis (Irish: Béal Átha hAmhnais, meaning "ford-mouth of strife")[2][3] is a town in County Mayo, Ireland. It is at the crossroads of the N60 and N83 National secondary roads and on the railway line linking Dublin to Westport and Ballina.

It is thought that the town grew up around St Mary's Augustinian Friary (popularly referred to as "the Abbey"), which was founded in 1348, according to local tradition. The town and its hinterland is steeped in history and contains many megalithic monuments.[3]

According to the 2011 Census, Ballyhaunis had a population of 2,312. Non-Irish nationals made up 42% of the population,[4][5] which is much higher than the national average of and is the highest of any town in Ireland.[6] Poles and Pakistanis make up the largest groups of immigrants.[4] Meanwhile, White Irish people make up 40% of the population.[7] There are two Catholic churches in the town and it is also home to Ireland's first purpose-built mosque, the first mosque in Ireland outside Dublin. Farming, private business and industry are the main sources of employment.[8]

Ballyhaunis is within both the Roman Catholic and civil parishes of Annagh.[9]

War of Independence[edit]

On 2 August 1920, during the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ambushed a British Army lorry on the Claremorris road from Ballyhaunis, seizing weapons and ammunition. A high cross marks the spot of the ambush. On 1 April 1921, Sean Corcoran, O/C of the IRA's East Mayo Brigade, was shot dead by British soldiers after a short gunfight at Crossard crossroads (6 km north of Ballyhaunis). A high cross marks the spot where Corcoran died. Later that same day, a member of the British Black and Tans was killed by a sniper. In retaliation, the Black and Tans executed Michael Coen, a man who was later believed not to have taken part in fighting of any kind. A monument to Coen was placed on the Cloonfad/Galway road from Ballyhaunis.

Protected buildings[edit]

According to Mayo County Council, four buildings in the town are protected under Part IV of the Planning and Development Act 2000.[10] These include:

  • St Patrick's Parish Church (RC).
  • The former St Joseph's Convent.
  • St. Mary's Augustinian Friary.
  • The Ulster Bank.


  • Midwest Radio is based at Ballyhaunis. It is a local radio station for Counties Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim.
  • It has also a dedicated internet radio, Midwest Irish Radio.
  • Annagh Magazine is an annual publication that appears each December containing material of local interest. It was established by Ballyhaunis Junior Chamber in 1977 and named after the local parish. The first edition was published at Christmas 1978. It includes articles about local events over the past year as well as contributions covering Ballyhaunis history and culture. The 2011 edition contained 184 pages and cost €10. All back issues are digitized and available online at no cost from the magazine's website.[11][12]


The town has a single primary school and secondary school, the co-educational primary school was formed by the merging of the towns original two primary schools, St. Marys Boy's National School and St. Joseph's Girls' National School to form Scoil Iosa National School.[13] Ballyhaunis Community School, as was the case with a lot of community schools, was based on the merging of three schools that previously existed independently, St. Joseph's Convent Secondary School, Ballyhaunis Vocational School, and St. Patrick's College, the school first opened in September 1977.[14]



The town has access to Ballyhaunis railway station, a station on the Dublin–Galway rail service. The station opened on 1 October 1861 and its 150th anniversary was celebrated by a Ballyhaunis Railway Station-themed edition of the local Annagh Magazine in 2011.[11][15]

Twin towns[edit]

Ballyhaunis is twinned with



  • Charles Dillon, 12th Viscount Dillon, buried in the Friary with many of his ancestors. The Dillon family were Normans who developed the town from the 1200s.
  • Patrick Gallagher — Vietnam war hero.[17]
  • Frank Greally — Athlete, sports commentator, founding editor of Irish Runner Magazine.
  • Liam Harte — Author and university lecturer.[18]
  • John Heavey — Bishop of Cairns, Queensland, Australia, (1941–1948).[19]
  • Jim HigginsMember of the European Parliament.
  • Keith Higgins — Full back on the senior Mayo football team.
  • Anthony Jordan — Author and biographer.
  • Walter "Fulgentius" Jordan — Augustinian friar murdered by Cromwellian soldiers in 1649.[3]
  • Patrick Lyons — Antiquarian, Honorary Member of Royal Society of Antiquarians of Ireland.[20][21]
  • James McGarry — Biomedical engineering award winner.[22]
  • Maria McGarry — Classical Pianist.[23]
  • Bill Naughton — Playwright; wrote Alfie (1963), the basis of two film adaptations.
  • Matt Perry - Former England Rugby Union Fullback his Grandmother is from the town.
  • Jean Butler - Irish Dancer and of Riverdance Fame her Mother Josephine is from the town.
  • Tupele Dorgu - Former Coronation Street Actress born to a Ballyhaunis Grandmother.
  • Mark Sutton - Philanthropist, Storyteller, Businessman.
  • Sean Gildea - Internationally renowned events manager and socialite.
  • Shane Healy - Lead singer of The Gleeks (13th place in Our School's Got Talent 2010). [24]


  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Ballyhaunis". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Placenames Database of Ireland". (in Irish). Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  3. ^ a b c "A Very Short History of Ballyhaunis and District" (PDF). Annagh Magazine. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "2011 Census Results: Ballyhaunis Area" (PDF). CSO Census. 2011.
  6. ^ "The growth of intolerance". The Irish Times. 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ "‘Social cohesion’ of Ballyhaunis ‘under threat’". Mayo News. 1 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Ballyhaunis Local Area Plan 2010-2016 accessed through Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  9. ^ "Parish of Ballyhaunis". Archdiocese of Tuam. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  10. ^ Mayo Co Co - Protected Structures:
  11. ^ a b Annagh Magazine Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Ballyhaunis Life. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  12. ^ About Us Annagh Magazine. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  13. ^ Scoil Iosa Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Ballyhaunis Life. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  14. ^ School History Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Ballyhaunis Community School. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  15. ^ "Ballyhaunis station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  16. ^ Ballyhaunis-Guilers twinning – twenty years a-growing Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Western People, 2003-10-22.
  17. ^ Ballyhaunis emigrant ended up hero of Vietnam War Mayo Memorial Peace Park. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  18. ^ Dr Liam Harte University of Manchester. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  19. ^ Historic sites Mayo County Library. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  20. ^ Sgt Patrick Lyons - The Antiquarian Policeman The Royal Irish Constabulary Forum, 2010-03-15.
  21. ^ "An Antiquarian Craze - The Life, Times and Work in Archaeology of Patrick Lyons R.I.C. (1861-1954)" - Máire Lohan
  22. ^ Final Year Project by James McGarry Wins National Awards Archived 9 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. NUI Galway. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  23. ^ Royal Irish Academy of Music - Maria McGarry
  24. ^ Shauna Morrison (2010-11-14), Our Schools Got Talent - Gleeks, retrieved 2017-08-31

External links[edit]