Ballincollig is a satellite town
Satellite town
A satellite town or satellite city is a concept in urban planning that refers essentially to smaller metropolitan areas which are located somewhat near to, but are mostly independent of, larger metropolitan areas.-Characteristics:...

 in County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork 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,...

, approximately 9 km west of Cork city
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

. It is located beside the River Lee
River Lee (Ireland)
The Lee is a river in Ireland. It rises in the Shehy Mountains on the western border of County Cork and flows eastwards through Cork City, where it splits in two for a short distance, creating an island on which Cork's city centre is built, and empties into the Celtic Sea at Cork Harbour on the...

 on the R608 regional road. In 2006 the population of Ballincollig DED was 16,308. The nearest towns include: Ballinora, Ovens, Killumney
Killumney or Killumny is a small village near Ovens and Ballincollig in County Cork, Ireland.There is a newsagent's shop, a pub and a co-op store in the village. The Cork-Macroom Railway used to run through Kilumney. The N22 national primary road links Kilumney to Cork City...

, Inniscarra, Blarney
Blarney is a town and townland in County Cork, Ireland. It lies north-west of Cork and is famed as the site of Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone.-Tourism:Blarney town is a major tourist attraction in County Cork...

 (home of the Blarney Stone
Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney, about from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab . The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446...

), and Tower
Tower, County Cork
Tower is a burgeoning village located in County Cork, Ireland, situated approximately 10 km northwest of the city of Cork. In the 2002 Census, the population was 3,032, having grown a dramatic 116.3% since the 1991 Census...

. It is located beyond the Green Belt from the Cork city suburbs of Bishopstown
Bishopstown is a southwestern suburb of Cork, Ireland with a population of 24,136 people. Baile an Easpaig, anglicised Bishopstown, consists of two townlands which are Ballineaspigmore and Ballineaspigbeg...

 and Wilton.


The Barrett family (after whom the barony which contains Ballincollig is named) built Ballincollig Castle
Ballincollig Castle
Ballincollig Castle is a Norman castle to the south of the town of Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland built after the Norman invasion of Ireland. In its prime, the castle was inhabited by the Barretts, who had control of the local area. The castle still stands today, albeit heavily damaged...

 during the reign of Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

. The castle was taken from Andrew Barrett by rebels in 1641, but they were expelled by English Parliamentary forces under Murrough O'Brien Earl Inchiquinn
Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin
Murrough McDermod O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin and 6th Baron Inchiquin , was known as Murchadh na dTóiteán ....

, in 1645. It was garrisoned for James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 in 1689, during the Williamite war in Ireland
Williamite war in Ireland
The Williamite War in Ireland—also called the Jacobite War in Ireland, the Williamite-Jacobite War in Ireland and in Irish as Cogadh an Dá Rí —was a conflict between Catholic King James II and Protestant King William of Orange over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, then remained unoccupied after his defeat, and fell into decay.

The Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills
Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills
Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills was one of three Royal gunpowder mills that manufactured gunpowder for the British Government. Located in Ballincollig near Cork city in Ireland, the powder mills were originally opened in 1794 as a private enterprise, before being taken over by the British...

 were opened in 1794 by Charles Henry Leslie, a prominent Cork businessman. Eleven years later, the mills were bought by the British, who were preparing for war with Napoleon
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, and the barracks were built to protect the supply of gunpowder. In 1837, the mill employed several hundred workers, and by 1880, Ballincollig was one of the largest industrial establishments in Cork, with the mill employing many men and boys from the area.

With the closure of the Gunpowder Mills in the early 1900s, Ballincollig became little more than a small village on the road from Cork city to the larger market town of Macroom. The 3rd Royal Munster Fusiliers (Reserve) Battalion
Royal Munster Fusiliers (Reserves)
The Royal Munster Fusiliers held the 'home' Depot for their three Reserve Battalions at Ballymullen Barracks, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, where since 1881 most of the regiment’s recruits enlisted in peacetime and received their first training before being assigned to regular battalions...

 were stationed there during the Great War. Other Regiments stationed in the Barracks before it was decommissioned were 1st Field Artillery Regiment and 8th Field Artillery Regiment (FCÁ
FCA may refer to:In economics:* False Claims Act, United States federal law* Fellow of Chartered Accountants, senior member of the largest Canadian accountancy body for chartered accountants and auditors....

). The recently decommissioned Murphy Barracks was a major source of employment. In the 1970s, Ballincollig developed as much more of a satellite town, with many housing developments constructed around the old village, and housing people who worked in Cork city or its suburbs. This expansion continued through the late 80s and 90s. Consequently the town's population has risen dramatically, particularly with the westward expansion of the town.


Two Catholic churches are located in the town. The modern 'Church of Christ Our Light' (designed by a local architectural firm) is located on the west side of the town, while the old 'Church of St Mary and St John
Church of St Mary and St John
The Church of St Mary and St John is the oldest of two Roman Catholic churches in the town of Ballincollig, Ireland. The church was built in the 1860s, funded by donations from the local people of the time, and officially opened on 28 October 1866. The church is in the Neo-Gothic style, combined...

' is located near the centre of the town, on Station Road.

The Bible Baptist Church meets in the Westgate Foundation on the west end of town. The church is associated with the Cork Bible Institute and other Gospel ministries.

Other religious groups including Hindus, Sikhs, and Greek Orthodox also have services at various locations in Ballincollig.


The amenities located in Ballincollig include a library, a multiplex cinema, playgrounds, shopping centres and a large park. The recreational park, Ballincollig Regional Park, includes a former Gunpowder Mill and measures approximately 130 acres in size containing 52 structures in varying stages of decay surviving from the gunpowder manufacturing process. The site is approximately 2.4 kilometres in length and the River Lee runs the entire northern length of the site. The site contains a system of canals used during the manufacturing process connecting all the process areas in a single flat system without locks. The canals are fed from the River Lee at the western end of the site. The park contains soccer pitches, a rugby pitch, walkways, a skateboard facility, and free-to-use outdoor fitness equipment - the latter installed on the park's western end in November 2011.
Ballincollig is home to several crèches, four primary schools, and two secondary schools. More recently a children's activity centre has been established with a synthetic skating rink, Supernova, which offers skating on a plastic surface. The Oriel Hotel and Leisure Centre offers facilities including a swimming pool, gym and related classes.

The two secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s in Ballincollig are Coláiste Choilm
Colaiste Choilm
Coláiste Choilm is a mixed secondary school in Ballincollig, Co. Cork, Ireland. The school was founded in 1987 to meet demand for second-level education in the rapidly growing satellite town of Ballincollig...

 and Ballincollig Community School (B.C.S) which are located near the two opposite ends of the town. B.C.S is located in West Ballincollig and is next to the 'Church of Christ Our Light' and Scoil Barra (primary school). Coláiste Choilm
Colaiste Choilm
Coláiste Choilm is a mixed secondary school in Ballincollig, Co. Cork, Ireland. The school was founded in 1987 to meet demand for second-level education in the rapidly growing satellite town of Ballincollig...

 is located in East Ballincollig and is near a doctor's practice and the main town of Ballincollig. Scoil Eoin and Scoil Mhuire (primary schools) are located near St Mary's and St John's church.

Places of interest

The Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills
Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills
Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills was one of three Royal gunpowder mills that manufactured gunpowder for the British Government. Located in Ballincollig near Cork city in Ireland, the powder mills were originally opened in 1794 as a private enterprise, before being taken over by the British...

 along with its visitor centre / museum is to be found on the north side of the town. Some buildings in the Gunpowder Mills are now in disrepair but the area is still open to walkers.

The grave of Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher
William Rory Gallagher, ; 2 March 1948  – 14 June 1995, was an Irish blues-rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland, and raised in Cork, Gallagher recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste...

 is located at St Oliver's Cemetery, on the Model Farm Road, just outside Ballincollig. His headstone is a replica of an award he received in 1972 for International Guitarist of The Year.

Transport & communications

As a satellite town of Cork, public transport links to the town are relatively frequent. A bypass road around the town was opened in September 2004, and reduced journey times from Cork to Killarney
Killarney is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is located north of the MacGillicuddy Reeks, on the northeastern shore of the Lough Lein/Leane which are part of Killarney National Park. The town and its surrounding region are home to St...

 on the N22 and reduced traffic volumes through the town centre.

There was a rail line running from Station House (at the south end of Station Road) to Cork, that has been unused for decades. Local politicians have voiced plans to build a light railway system to service the growing needs of the town. Ballincollig railway station was opened on 12 May 1866, closed to passenger traffic on 1 July 1935, closed to goods traffic on 10 March 1947 and finally closed altogether on 1 December 1953.

The nearest airport is Cork Airport.

Clubs & sport

Active sports clubs in the town include: Ballincollig Athletic Club, Ballincollig Basketball Club, Ballincollig GAA Club
Ballincollig GAA
Ballincollig GAA is a Gaelic football and hurling club based in the town of Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland. The club is affiliated with the Cork GAA board and plays in the Muskerry divisional competitions...

, Belvedere Hockey Club, Ballincollig Soccer Club, Ballincollig RFC
Ballincollig RFC
Ballincollig RFC is a rugby union club based in the town of Ballincollig, in County Cork. The club was founded in 1978, and home games have been played at Tanner Park since the 1993 season....

 and a Muay Thai club.

Ballincollig is home to the 49th Cork Scout group which meet at the scout centre behind St Mary and St Johns church. The group has been in operation since the 1970s has several Beaver, Macaoimh (Cub) and Scout troop meetings.

See also

  • Metropolitan Cork
    Metropolitan Cork
    Metropolitan Cork is an unofficial term which refers to the city of Cork, Ireland, its suburbs and the satellite towns that surround it. The term was used in the Cork Area Strategic Plan to refer to the area whose labour and property market is shared with the city...

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
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