Ballinamore is a small town in County Leitrim
County Leitrim
County Leitrim is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Leitrim. Leitrim County Council is the local authority for the county...

, Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, 19 km (11.8 mi) from the border with Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. It is located on the R202
R202 road
The R202 road is a regional road in Ireland linking Dromod in County Leitrim to Swanlinbar in County Cavan.En route it passes through Mohill and Ballinamore.The road is long.-References:* – Department of Transport...

 regional road
Regional road
A regional road in Ireland is a class of road not forming a major route , but nevertheless forming a link in the national route network. There are over 11,600 kilometres of regional roads. Regional roads are numbered with three digit route numbers, prefixed by "R" A regional road in Ireland is a...

 where it is joined by the R199 and R204. means "mouth of the big ford", and the town is so named because it was the main crossing point of the Yellow River, which flows past the town. This waterway become known as the Ballinamore-Ballyconnell canal, built to link the Rivers Erne
River Erne
The River Erne , in the northwest of Ireland, rises in Beaghy Lough, two miles south of Stradone in County Cavan and flows 64 miles through Lough Gowna, Lough Oughter and Upper and Lower Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, to the sea at Ballyshannon, County Donegal...

 and Shannon
River Shannon
The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland at . It divides the west of Ireland from the east and south . County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception...

 in the 1840s. It reopened as the Shannon-Erne Waterway
Shannon-Erne Waterway
The Shannon-Erne Waterway is a canal linking the River Shannon in the Republic of Ireland with the River Erne in Northern Ireland. Managed by Waterways Ireland, the canal is in length, has sixteen locks and runs from Leitrim village in County Leitrim to Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh...

 in 1994.


The history of Ballinamore has enabled it to grow through the centuries as a town with a large variety of trades and tradesmen. The first mention was under the plantation of Leitrim in 1621 when the Manor of Ballinamore was granted to Sir Fenton Parsons with 600 acres (2.4 km²) of arable land. By 1659 there were only 284 people in the parish. In the 18th century, settlers from County Down
County Down
-Cities:*Belfast *Newry -Large towns:*Dundonald*Newtownards*Bangor-Medium towns:...

 were dispossessed by landowners travelled to the west of Ireland looking for new habitats. They stopped in an area of land they found suitable notably for its location near the rivers Shannon and Erne. This was the origins of Ballinamore. These dispossessed people brought with them numerous skills such as blacksmith
A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal; that is, by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut...

s, tinsmith
A tinsmith, or tinner or tinker or tinplate worker, is a person who makes and repairs things made of light-coloured metal, particularly tinware...

s, skilled craftsmen and farmers. Between 1695 and 1750 there was a flourishing ironworks.

On 16 December 1983, Private Patrick Kelly was killed in Derrada Woods, Ballinamore, along with Garda
Garda Síochána
, more commonly referred to as the Gardaí , is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.- Terminology :...

 recruit Gary Sheehan. They were attempting to rescue a British businessman, Don Tidey, who had been kidnapped by the IRA.

In 1987, the IRA
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

 constructed the bomb used in the Remembrance Day bombing
Remembrance Day Bombing
The Remembrance Day bombing took place on 8 November 1987 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland...

 in Ballinamore.


Ballinamore railway station opened on 24 October 1887, but finally closed on 1 April 1959. It was part of the narrow gauge Cavan and Leitrim Railway
Cavan and Leitrim Railway
The Cavan & Leitrim Railway was a narrow-gauge railway in the counties of Leitrim and Cavan in the north-west of Ireland, which ran from 1887 until 1959.Unusually for Ireland, this 914mm -gauge line survived on coal traffic, from the mine at Arigna...

 and was the hub of the line, with the locomotive depot and works. It was the point where the line from Dromod
Dromod is a village in County Leitrim, Ireland. Dromod is a noted fishing village on Loughs Bofin and Boderg, which are threaded by the River Shannon....

 through Mohill
Mohill is a town in County Leitrim, Ireland. The town is located in the south of the county, north of the midlands of Ireland. The town of Carrick-on-Shannon is approximately 16 km away....

 and Ballinamore to Belturbet
Belturbet is a town in County Cavan, Ireland. It is from Cavan town from Dublin city. Belturbet lies on the N3 road. It is from the border with Northern Ireland between the counties of Cavan and Fermanagh and is south of Enniskillen.- History :...

 branched to Kiltubrid
Kiltubrid is a civil parish in the barony of Leitrim, County Leitrim, Ireland. The name of the parish translates as "the Church of the Well", a reference to the ancient church in the townland of the same name. This building was substantially demolished during Penal times. This remaining ruins...

, Drumshanbo
Drumshanbo is a small town situated in the heart of County Leitrim, Ireland. The town takes its name from the Irish, Druim-Sean-Bhoth or "Ridge of the old huts". Drumshanbo is surrounded by a scenic area of soft rolling hills, woodlands, lakes and the Sliabh an Iarainn and Arigna mountains...

 and Arigna
Arigna is a village in County Roscommon, Ireland. It is near Lough Allen , on a designated "scenic route" between Keadue and Sliabh an Iarainn .-Arigna coal mine:...


The Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal was opened in 1860 but was not a success and fell in to disrepair. It was restored in 1994 as the Shannon-Erne Waterway and now brings more tourists into the town.

Ballinamore Estate House

Elizabethan settlers located at first in County Sligo, from where they spread into Counties Mayo
County Mayo
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Mayo, which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 130,552...

, Roscommon
County Roscommon
County Roscommon is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the town of Roscommon. Roscommon County Council is the local authority for the county...

 and Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

. The Ballinamore branch were descended from the Ormsby of Comyn or Cummin in county Sligo.

Church of Ireland

This is the oldest building in Ballinamore and was built in the 1780s from the ruins of the local Roman Catholic Church (St Patrick's) demolished during the reformation and penal laws.

See also

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
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