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Ballynary (Irish: Baile an Fharraigh, meaning "townland of the fodder") is the name of a townland on the eastern shore of Lough Arrow in the southern corner of County Sligo in Ireland. Ballynary was the ancestral seat of the O'Higgins family (or Ó hUigínn in Gaelic) for 700 years,[1] until they were forced off their lands in 1654 by Oliver Cromwell.[2] The Chief of the O'Higgins Clan today uses the courtesy title of The O'Higgins of Ballynary or Lord of Ballynary although his family have not lived there since the 17th century.

The townland of Ballynary contains just over 210 acres (85 ha) and bordered the townland of Ballindoon where the ruins of a Dominican Abbey, founded by the MacDonagh Clan, are located. Ballynary also contains O'Higgins Memorial Park which is dedicated to Ambrose O'Higgins, who was born in Ballynary in 1720/21 and who—emigrating to Spain to escape the discrimination against Irish Catholics in his time—eventually became the Viceroy of Peru, then part of the Spanish Empire. His son Bernardo O'Higgins became the first head of State of Chile.

The Chilean city of Vallenar was founded by Ambrose O'Higgins and named for his birthplace, the variant spelling having developed though usage by Spanish-speaking inhabitants. The name of Vallenar Bay in Alaska is derived from the Chilean name and thus indirectly from the Irish one.[3]


  1. ^ MacKenna, Carlos Juan. 1916. El Origen de don Ambrosio O’Higgins y sus primeros anos en América. Revista Chilen de Historia y Geographia, No. 21. pp. 126-150.
  2. ^ O’Rorke, T. (1889) “The History of Sligo Town and County Vol. II – Conclusion” (Dublin: Duffy & Company).
  3. ^ Place Names in Revillagigedo and Gravina Islands: Spanish and Irish heritage of Southeast Alaska

Coordinates: 54°04′55″N 8°19′23″W / 54.082°N 8.323°W / 54.082; -8.323