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Gaelic: Baile an Mhóta
County Sligo
Ballymote Castle - - 1480337.jpg
Ballymote Castle
Grid reference: G662150
Location: 54°5’23"N, 8°31’0"W
Population: 1,539  (2011)
Post town: Ballymote
Postcode: F56
Local Government
Council: Sligo

Ballymote is a market town in southern County Sligo. Its name is from the Irish Baile an Mhóta, meaning 'town of the motte/mound'.

It is a historic town, with Ballymote Castle, the last and the mightiest of the Norman castles in Connaught.[1] This castle, dating from 1300, was built by Richard de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster. It also has a Market House, a three-bay, two-story building currently used by the South County Sligo Community Mental health service of the Health Service Executive.


Commemorative sculpture of Brother Walfrid

Ballymote lies on R293, R295 and R296 regional roads, and on the main Dublin to Sligo railway line. Ballymote railway station opened on 3 December 1862.[2]


In addition to the normal services of a small town Ballymote features factories and a small business park on the R296 Road to Tobercurry. There is a livestock mart[3] and a recent venture of a microbrewery.[4] The wider area is mainly Livestock farming, with a significant number commuting to Sligo town for work.


A number of sports are played in the town, including Gaelic football at Corran park, association football at Brother Walfrid Memorial park and athletics at the track around Corran Park. Numerous other sports are played, particularly at under-age level. Golf is played at a nine-hole course on the outskirts of the town.[5]

Heritage and Culture

The Ballymote Heritage Group was founded on 30 May 1984. At the bank holiday at the beginning of August they organise a heritage weekend with a variety of events and an annual publication, The Corran Herald.[6][7]

The Irish Raptor Research Centre near Templehouse Lough was originally set up for research purposes but since 2003 demonstrates the fun and educational Eagles Flying Show as well.[8]

September 11 memorial

Ireland's National Monument to Fighting 69th in Ballymote

The Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg unveiled Ireland's national monument to the 69th Infantry Regiment (aka The Fighting 69th) and Michael Corcoran in Ballymote on 22 August 2006. At the foot of the monument is a piece of steel from the World Trade Center in New York, which was attacked on September 11, 2001. The steel was donated by the family of a local man who died in the attack.


Lord Edward Street, Ballymote.

Some well-known people from Ballymote and the surrounding areas include:

  • Michael Corcoran, brigadier general of the 69th Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War
  • Paddy Killoran 1903-1965, one of the finest exponents of the South Sligo Style of Fiddle playing was born near Ballymote.[9]
  • Francis Taaffe, 3rd Earl of Carlingford, who rose to the rank of field marshal in the Austrian Army, was born here in 1639
  • Brother Walfrid, the founder of Glasgow Celtic Football Club

Annalistic references

From the Annals of the Four Masters:

  • M1300.3.The castle of Ath-Cliath-an-Chorainn (i.e. of Ballymote) was commenced by the Earl.
  • M1317.5.The castle of Ath-cliath an Chorainn (i.e. of Ballymote) was demolished.


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Ballymote)