Bonniconlon, County Mayo
Bonniconlon, officially Bunnyconnellan (Irish: Muine Chonalláin), is a village in the barony of Gallen in east County Mayo, Ireland. The village is on the R294 regional road to the east of Ballina, County Mayo, and close to the Ox Mountains.
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Bonniconlon was located in County Sligo when the Sligo border went as far as one shore of the Moy in Ballina. It is located in Mayo since the border was changed back to the Ox Mountains Windy Gap. The Howley family originated in Bonniconlon and were Catholic land agents, known for building Belleek Castle in Ballina. Though the local population is relatively small, it is a vibrant community which each year organizes the largest agricultural show west of the River Shannon. The Bonniconlon Agricultural Show attracts large numbers of visitors to the area. A recent development of 48 houses and one-off housing between the village and Ballina has boosted population numbers in the village.
The village has an old church, a Gaelic Athletic Association hall and playing pitch, a town hall, three pubs, three shops and a graveyard. Judges Bar & Shop in Bonniconlon is a location in the small film Black Velvet. The old school house which was used for local meetings and events was located between the newer school and the church. The roof still had bullet marks left by the black and tans during their local rampages. The rosary priest, Father Peyton (1909 - 1992) was an altar boy in the local church. The Fr. Peyton Centre was built in his honour and is located in Attymass near Bonniconlon.
The local church is older than the cathedral in Ballina. Bonniconlon (or Kilgarvan) parish is in the Achonry Diocese which crosses into Sligo. The local Bofield Ceili Band, one of the most renowned bands of its genre, sometimes plays at the local church, displaying its versatility to suit the solemnity of the occasion as required. There is a monument to the O'Dowda family in the village for their work during the famine. It is located close to the church and was paid for by the local people. Famine walks are also available from Bonniconlon.
Bonniconlon is really the sum of two townlands, Bonniconlon East and Bonniconlon West. A townland is the lowest governance structure in Ireland. Many emigrants from Ireland, however, often record the townland subdivision as their home. In the case of Bonniconlon East, for example, townland subdivisions are Glenree and Templetigan. Templetigan was the home of the famous Kelly family. Michael Kelly was the president of the Bonniconlon Farm Show, one of the largest such shows in all of County Mayo that is still conducted annually to this day. Many of the Kelly family emigrated to America to Pennsylvania and Ohio but several still return to Templetigan to visit and maintain their family connections. Another descendant of the Templetigan Kellys was the late Jackie Gleeson, a National Teacher, who spent his life educating the young and volunteering his time in support of education and his Catholic faith. Bonniconlon West is really the main part of the village Bonniconlon, including the 3 shops,2 pubs,a post office, the school, pitch, graveyard, town hall, two estates(Cois na hAbhann and Lough Conn Heights) and several different houses.