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Ballynure (from Irish Baile an Iúir, meaning 'homestead of the yews') is a village and civil parish near Ballyclare in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and had a population of 677 people in the 2001 Census.
The village was for decades effectively split in two by the A8 main road, which runs from Belfast to Larne. This situation was alleviated in 2015, with the opening of a bypass to the northwest of the village. A stream called the Ballynure Water runs through it and the houses are a mixture of old fashioned buildings and new estates. Christ Church, Church of Ireland is one of the old buildings of note in Ballynure.
- Ballynure was formerly served by the Ballymena and Larne Railway, a narrow gauge railway. Ballynure railway station opened on 24 August 1878, but finally closed on 1 October 1930.
Ballynure is classified as a massive village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with a population between 500 and 10,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2002) there were 677 people living in Ballynure. Of these:
- 22.3% were aged under 16 and 15.8% were aged 60 and over
- 48.2% of the population were male and 51.9% were female
- 0.1% were from a Catholic background and 99.9% were from a Protestant background
- 0.4% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
Places of interest
The Ballynure Elementary School for Primary Education (often known simply as Ballynure Primary School) is only school in the village and surrounding areas until Ballyclare. It is also one of six schools in Northern Ireland classed as "Elementary Schools". The School was founded in 1930.
The Ballynure Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in all Newtownabbey and second oldest in all Antrim.
The current blacksmiths in Ballynure (lying on the corner of The Old Larne Road) initially was a carpenters shop. During World War 2 it was used for storing brushes and after the war the building was used for the slaughter of pigs. When the original plans for the new A8 were to become effective the old blacksmith shop, which sat behind the carpenters shop, was demolished and James (Jim) Barr the blacksmith bought the original carpenters shop. At that time he had been given £50 disturbance money from the roads division. He replaced the roof which had originally been round. The building is still used by Jims son-in-law as a blacksmiths and agricultural engineers.
The Clements family, who lived at Clements Hill outside the village, were the ancestors of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Twain, who was author of works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was described by William Faulkner as 'the father of American literature.' His grandfather Samuel Clemens emigrated to America and Twain was born in Florida, Missouri, in November 1835. One of his ancestors, Henry Clements, was Mayor of Carrickfergus in 1696 and another is said to have fought for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne six years earlier.
In 2007 Ballynure started a fair, which is now known as the "Yearly Ballynure fair". Along with Ballyclares "May Fair" this fair is one of the very few yearly fairs in the U.K. where animals can be bought, although unlike the "May Fair" (which sells horses) the Ballynure Fair has only been known to sell cows.
In 2017 the village set up 'Ballynature Day' which is currently the largest nature convention in Northern Ireland
- James Whiteside McCay (1864–1930), Australian general during WWI, born in Ballynure