Ballina is a large town in north County Mayo in Ireland. It lies at the mouth of the River Moy near Killala Bay, in the Moy valley and Parish of Kilmoremoy, with the Ox Mountain range to the east and the Nephin Beg mountains to the west. The town occupies two Baronies; Tirawley on the west bank of the Moy River, and Tireragh on the east bank.
Ballina has a very lively entertainment scene with ample choice when it comes to eating out and hitting the town! A longstanding reputation for being a great place to eat out, Ballina has a wide verity of restaurants serving Irish, European and Asian cuisine.
With its diverse range and large number of traditional and contemporary style pubs, Ballina has something for everyone whether that’s traditional Irish music, live bands, DJ’s or somewhere quiet where you can have a relaxing chat. For those who wish to party into the early hours Ballina has a great selection of late bars and 2 nightclubs.
The Old Newman Institute building on Barrett Street is home to the Ballina Arts Centre, which is currently redeveloping the centre to incorporate a 240-seat auditorium, dance studio, studio rehearsal space, a second exhibition gallery and coffee shop/restaurant.
Fishing in Ballina
The Ballina Salmon Festival is a 10-day festival held annually in July in the town. The festival includes Heritage Day, where most of the centre of the town is closed to traffic and the streets fill with arts and craft stalls and demonstrations of transport from days gone by. The festival finale is a Mardi Gras followed by a fireworks display.The Salmon festival for 2010 shall take place between Friday the 2nd of July and Sun the 11th of July. Ballina’s location on the River Moy favours salmon fishing, and one of the best spots, the Ridge Pool, is situated in the heart of the town.
History of Ballina
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica the first signs of settlement on the site of the town dates from around 1375 when an Augustinian friary was founded. Belleek, now part of the town, pre-dates the town’s formation, and can be dated back to the late 15th century, or early 16th century. However, what is now known as Belleek Castle was built in 1831. Ballina was officially established as a town in 1723 by O’Hara, Lord Tyrawley. Belleek estate once occupied lands from the Moy River to the modern-day Killala Road.
The Dolmen of the Four Maols is located on ‘Primrose Hill’ behind Ballina’s Railway Station. The dolmen dates from 2,000 B.C. and is sometimes called locally the ‘Table of the Giants’. Legend has it that the dolmen is the burial place of the four Maols. The four Maols murdered Ceallach, a 7th century Bishop of Connacht and were hung at Ardnaree – the Hill of Executions. Tradition says that their bodies were buried under the dolmen.