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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
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Mayo
Elevation 89 m (292 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 3,056
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference M498794

Ballyhaunis (Irish: Béal Átha hAmhnais, meaning "ford-mouth of strife")[1][2] 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.[2]

In the 2011 Census, Ballyhaunis had a population of 2,312. Non-Irish nationals make up 42% of its population,[3] which is much higher than the national average and is the highest of any town in Ireland.[4] Poles and Pakistanis make up the largest groups of immigrants.[3] Meanwhile, White Irish people make up 40% of the population.[5] There are two Catholic churches in the town, which is also home to Ireland's only purpose-built mosque outside Dublin. Farming, private business and industry are the main sources of employment.[6]

Ballyhaunis is within both the Roman Catholic and civil parishes of Annagh.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9][10]


The two original primary schools in the town, St. Mary's Boys' National School and St. Joseph's Girls' National School, were merged to form Scoil Íosa National School, a single co-educational school.[11] Three post-primary schools, St. Joseph's Convent Secondary School, Ballyhaunis Vocational School, and St. Patrick's College, were merged to form Ballyhaunis Community School which opened in September 1977.[12]



Ballyhaunis railway station is a station on the Dublin–Westport rail service. Passengers to or from Galway travel to Athlone and change trains. Passengers to or from Ballina and Foxford travel to Manulla Junction and change trains.[13]

The station opened on 1 October 1861[14] and its 150th anniversary was celebrated by a Ballyhaunis Railway Station-themed edition of the local Annagh Magazine in 2011.[9]

Twin towns[edit]

Ballyhaunis was twinned with the town of Guilers in Brittany in 1984.[15]




  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  2. ^ a b c A Very Short History of Ballyhaunis and District Annagh Magazine, 2008.
  3. ^ a b 2011 Census results: Ballyhaunis area profile
  4. ^ "The growth of intolerance". The Irish Times. 29 June 2013.
  5. ^ "‘Social cohesion’ of Ballyhaunis ‘under threat’". Mayo News. 1 December 2015.
  6. ^ Ballyhaunis Local Area Plan 2010–2016 Mayo County Council, 2010-02-08.
  7. ^ Parish of Ballyhaunis (Annagh)
  8. ^ Mayo Co Co - Protected Structures:
  9. ^ a b Annagh Magazine Ballyhaunis Life. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  10. ^ About Us Annagh Magazine. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  11. ^ Scoil Iosa Ballyhaunis Life. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  12. ^ School History Ballyhaunis Community School. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  13. ^ Irish Rail Printable Timetables
  14. ^ "Ballyhaunis station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  15. ^ Ballyhaunis-Guilers twinning – twenty years a-growing Western People, 2003-10-22.
  16. ^ Ballyhaunis emigrant ended up hero of Vietnam War Mayo Memorial Peace Park. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  17. ^ Dr Liam Harte University of Manchester. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  18. ^ Historic sites Mayo County Library. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  19. ^ Sgt Patrick Lyons - The Antiquarian Policeman The Royal Irish Constabulary Forum, 2010-03-15.
  20. ^ "An Antiquarian Craze - The Life, Times and Work in Archaeology of Patrick Lyons R.I.C. (1861-1954)" - Máire Lohan
  21. ^ Final Year Project by James McGarry Wins National Awards NUI Galway. Retrieved: 2011-12-07.
  22. ^ Royal Irish Academy of Music - Maria McGarry

External links[edit]