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Béal Átha Póirin
The R665 through Ballyporeen, once part of the main Dublin - Cork coach road.
The R665 through Ballyporeen, once part of the main Dublin - Cork coach road.
Ballyporeen is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°16′12″N 8°06′00″W / 52.26994°N 8.10001°W / 52.26994; -8.10001Coordinates: 52°16′12″N 8°06′00″W / 52.26994°N 8.10001°W / 52.26994; -8.10001
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Tipperary
Dáil Éireann Tipperary South
Elevation 82 m (269 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 304
Dialing code 0 52, +000 353 (0)52
Irish Grid Reference R930132

Ballyporeen (Irish: Béal Átha Póirín) is a village in County Tipperary, Ireland. The national census of 2006 recorded the population of Ballyporeen at 304 with an additional 573 in its rural hinterland.[1]


It lies in the Galtee-Vee Valley with the Galtee Mountains to the north and the Knockmealdowns to the south. The River Duag which is a tributary of the Suir runs through the village. It is located on the R665 regional road. The nearest large towns are Mitchelstown and Cahir, which are 12 kilometers and 21 kilometers respectively.

The village is approximately 11 kilometers from Junction 12 of the M8 Motorway.


During the week it is served five times a day in each direction by Bus Éireann route 245 linking it to Clonmel, Mitchelstown, Fermoy and Cork. At the weekend there are three buses each way.


The origins of the name are not definitively understood. The most accepted Irish translation is the "Ford Mouth of the Round Stones".[2] Those stones may have been river deposits or dye stones left there by inhabitants from a cloth dyeing process.

Another theory is the original name got corrupted and ambiguated over time; a 1618 document referred to "Bealanporan",[3] this and possible previous forms would alter its meaning. One respected historian believed 'Powers-town' was the correct translation of its origins.[4] An Anglo-Norman family called Power did have connections with the area.


The birth of Ballyporeen as a nucleated settlement is unknown. Up until the 18th Century, Carrigvisteal (approx 1.5 km north of the village) was the main settlement node in the area.

Ballyporeen's subsequent growth may put down to a number of factors. In the 1700s the village was on the main coach road between Cork and Dublin,[5] this would have led to passing trade and the opportunity for providing boarding houses and inns for travellers. There was also a mill at lower Main Street, this was known as Kingston's Mills and would have provided employment opportunities. It was operational until at least 1811.[6]

The biggest single factor for the development and expansion of the village, was the involvement of the Earls of Kingston, the main landlord in the area. They owned the market rights on the estate and by 1810[7] (at the latest), large open air markets were held in the village three times a year. The fact the mill also bore their name indicates they were also probably influential in its creation.

Robert the 2nd Earl is most likely responsible for the village's planned street design, he initiated an ambitious building programme across the estate in the late 1700s.[8] Ground rents were kept low in the village to attract shopkeepers and tradespeople. The first edition Ordnance Survey maps (circa 1840) show the basic layout of the village as it is today encompassing the wide straight main street.

Lewis' survey of 1837[9] notes the village as being located in the barony of Iffa and Offa West and reported that there were 113 houses and 513 inhabitants.


A large crowd of citizens of Ballyporeen, Ireland listen to United States President Ronald Reagan speaking in 1984.

Ballyporeen is best known for being the ancestral home of United States President Ronald Reagan. His great-grandfather, Michael Regan (who changed later the spelling of his name), was baptised in the village in 1829[10] and lived there until his emigration to London not later than 1851[10] and ultimately the United States in 1857.[10] President Reagan visited the village on 3 June 1984 and delivered a speech to its residents, during which he discussed his ancestry and what he called the "Irish-American tradition".

There was some opposition to Reagan's visit to Ireland. Authorities kept approximately 600 protesters behind barriers on the outskirts of the village on that day, they were not permitted inside until the presidential party had departed.[11] The main focus of the protesters was toward the Reagan administration's foreign policy, in particular its support of the Contras in Nicaragua.

Ballyporeen was previously home to The Ronald Reagan Pub. While the building still stands, the pub closed in 2004 and the following year its fittings and external signage were transferred to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.[12][13]

Pat O'Brien, an American actor who gained Hollywood fame in the 1930s also had ancestral connections to the area.[14]

Ballyporeen is home to the singer/songwriter Gemma Hayes whose hits include Hanging Around from her debut album Night on my Side which was released to critical acclaim and was nominated for the 2002 Mercury Music Prize.


Soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, racquetball and handball are all represented by clubs in the area.

Skeheenarinky is a rural neighbouring community of Ballyporeen. Both communities co-operate in areas including the Gaelic Athletic Association. The G.A.A. club represents and gets its members from both localities. The football team play under the name Ballyporeen GAA and currently compete at intermediate level while the hurling team play under the name Skeheenarinky and currently compete at junior level. Their common home ground is in Ballyporeen where there is access to modern dressing room and flood lighting facilities,

Historically the club has played under various names including Templetenny Rangers [15] and Western Rangers[16] plus also as the Brian Borus; a team made up of members from Ballyporeen and Clogheen.Ballyporeen Football Club took part in the fourth series of the RTÉ reality television show; Celebrity Bainisteoir which was broadcast in Autumn 2011. Model Gillian Quinn was the club's celebrity mentor.

Ballyporeen Football Titles.

  • County Intermediate Champions 1992, 2013.
  • South Intermediate Champions 1988, 1992, 2007, 2013.
  • County Junior Football A Champions 1987.
  • South Junior Football A Champions 1928, 1969, 1970, 1985, 1987.
  • South Junior Football B Champions 1991, 1994, 2002, 2004.
  • County U21 Football B Champions 1990, 2011.
  • South U21 Football B Champions 1990, 1997, 2004, 2011.
  • County U21 Football C Champions 2001.
  • South U21 Football C Champions 2001.
  • South Minor Football A Champions 1966.
  • County Minor Football B Champions 2011.
  • County Minor Football C Champions 2006.
  • South Minor Football C Champions 2005, 2006.
  • County Minor Football B Champions 1986 (as Brian Borus)

Skeheenarinky Hurling Titles.

  • County Junior Hurling A Champions 2014.
  • South Junior Hurling A Champions 1981, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000.
  • South U21 Hurling C Champions 2004.
  • County Minor Hurling C Champions 2004.
  • County Juvenile Hurling Champions 2014.
  • South Minor Hurling C Champions 2004, 2008.
  • South Minor B Champions 2011
  • South U21 Hurling B Champions 2012, 2013.

Ballyporeen's first Handball court was built in 1908 and the club was formed the following year, in its history producing 21 All-Ireland Champions and numerous County and Provincial Champions. Con “Shine” Moloney (1906-1963) and Paddy Ormonde brought the first Senior All Ireland Hardball Doubles Handball Championship to Ballyporeen in 1929 and again in 1931.[17] In 1930 Tommy Moloney (1908-1943) and Ned O'Gorman won the All Ireland Junior Hardball Doubles Handball Championship for Ballyporeen.[18] Eddie Corbett from Ballyporeen has won the United Sports Panel Award for Handball in 1987, 1993 and 1994 and shared it with John O'Donoghue in 1990 and 1991. Today Ballyporeen Handball & Racquetball Club has one glass backwalled 40 X 20 court and one 60 X 30 court.

Ballyporeen Handball Titles.

World Champions

  • Eddie Corbett - World doubles champion, 40/20 open 1994.
  • Billy McCarthy - World doubles champion, 40/20 masters 'B' 1994.
  • Pat Ryan - World singles champion, 40/20 golden masters 'B' 2012.
  • Jason English - World doubles champion, 40/20, 15 & Under 2012.

United States Champion

  • Eddie Corbett- USHA singles champion, 40/20 open 1993.

All Ireland Champions

  • Paddy Ormonde, Con "Shine" Maloney, Ned O'Gorman, Tommy Maloney, Paddy Hickey, Tom Breedy, Dermot Wall, Paddy Macken, Jimmy Walsh, Billy McCarthy, Michael Kennelly, Eddie Corbett, Joe English, Pat Ryan, Frank O'Brien, Michael Meaney, John Corbett, Aidan Supple, Paddy Supple, Michael John Meaney, Darragh Lyons, Anthony Crotty, Jason Cahill, Jason English, Ceallach Hennessy, Micky Maher, Tiernan O'Brien, Adrian English, John Ryan, Jack Coughlan, Adam English, Darragh Flynn, Riann Hennessy, Aidan O'Donovan and Christy English.


Templetenny Grave Yard.

The Catholic and Anglican parishes were historically known as Templetenny.[9]

The Catholic Church and clergy based in Ballyporeen service both communities of Ballyporeen and Skeheenarinky which are in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. The church is called 'The Church of the Assumption' and was opened in 1828.[4]

The local Church of Ireland parish has been amalgamated into the wider Clonmel Union of Parishes. St Matthews; a 50-seater church which stood at the top of Main Street was dismantled c.1911.[19]

There is a ruin of an ancient church at Templetenny approximately 4 km east of the present village of Ballyporeen.The site itself has Christian monastic origins and dates to at least 750 AD when St. Finnchadh was recorded as being abbot.[4]

Cultural references[edit]

Ballyporeen is mentioned in the Counting Crows song "Washington Square" off their album Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Irish census 2006
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., A Dictionary of British Place-Names, Oxford University Press (2003)
  3. ^ Unpublished Geraldine Documents The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland Fourth Series, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1871)
  4. ^ a b c Journal of the Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, volume II (1896)
  5. ^ Taylor and Skinner, Maps of the Roads of Ireland (Dublin, 1778)
  6. ^ Scott, Walter Sir; The Edinburgh Annual Register, Volume 2, Part 2 (1811)
  7. ^ Carlisle, Nicholas, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1810)
  8. ^ Power, Bill; White Knights, Dark Earls: The Rise and Fall of an Anglo-Irish Dynasty. pub. Collins (2000)
  9. ^ a b Lewis, Samuel; A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837).
  10. ^ a b c R. Andrew Pierce. "Notes on the Irish Ancestry of President Ronald Reagan". Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Quinn, Michael (4 June 1984). "Secret Service Move in to Stop Protests". The Irish Independent (Dublin). 
  12. ^ O'Driscoll, Seán (1 October 2005). "Raising the Bar:Interior of Ballyporeen Pub booked for Reagan Library in California". The Irish Times (Dublin). 
  13. ^ Duggan, Barry (11 April 2011). "Village hit by Reagan zeal recalls 'massive success'". Irish Independent (Dublin). 
  14. ^ Ronald Reagan. "Remarks in New York, New York at the 84th Annual Dinner of the Irish American History Society". Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Bassett, George Henry, The Book of Tipperary; Bassett's Directory, Dublin (1889)
  16. ^ Irish Tourism Report (1942),Available at the Tipperary Local Studies library, Thurles
  17. ^ Murphy,Sean [Ed]. 1884-1984 A History of Handball in Munster. Munster Handball Council; Pallaskenny ( 1984). Page 179
  18. ^ Murphy,Sean [Ed]. 1884-1984 A History of Handball in Munster. Munster Handball Council; Pallaskenny ( 1984). Page 179
  19. ^ The Churches and Plate of the Church of Ireland in the Dioceses of Cashel, Emly, Waterford & Lismore David J. Butler The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Vol. 134 (2004)

External links[edit]