in County Mayo in the West of Ireland
We invite you to the West of Ireland and in particular to Balla for what we hope will be a special holiday experience. Balla is the geographical centre of County Mayo and its location provides a central base for anyone needing access to the rest of the county and indeed the West coast. Easily accessible by road, bus and rail, with its proximity to Knock International Airport, Balla is a peaceful and suitable stopping point for both inbound and outbound international travellers.
Population from Census
- 586 (2006)
- 443 (2002)
- 316 (1996)
Balla, set among parklands, hills and lakes offers you an opportunity to share in the living tradition of rural Ireland, combining the leisurely life of olden days with the comfort and amenities of modern times. The people are warm, friendly and extend a hospitality which must be experienced. Activities and Entertainment on offer include:
- Golf - enjoy the unique 18 hole par 3 course open all year round.
- Walking - a variety of trails and forest walks to suit the Sunday stroller or the experienced hiker.
- Fishing - Balla offers the fisherman access to a chain of lakes which have an abundance of salmon and trout as seldom found elsewhere in Ireland.
- Entertainment - In the evenings you can experience Ceilis, dances, discos and traditional Irish music sessions in the local pubs which give an opportunity to mix with the Irish on a social level and to experience the local lifestyle. An added attraction can be the distinctive sound of the local Pipe Band if you are lucky enough to catch them during your visit!
Balla Secondary School
Balla Secondary School was founded by the Sisters of St Louis in 1920 in the old 18th century house called Athavalley House, which had been the home of the landlord Lynch Bloss family. Originally a boarding school for girls only, the school became a co-educational school in 1978 under the control of the local community. The school stands on about 20 acres of land and has a population of 300 - 400 students with boys and girls in about equal numbers.
- The Blessed Well - a former place of pilgrimage and worship
- Round Tower
- Balla Bell at the local church
The town of Balla holds an important place in the history of the county and tradition has it that St Patrick himself rested in Balla. There also existed in the 5th Century the "Tochar Phadraig" which marked the route travelled by St Patrick from Croagh Patrick and which travels through places such as Ballintubber and Mayo Abbey. Today the "Tochar Phadraig" route has been revived and communities along this route are providing facilities which will help visitors explore this beautiful part of County Mayo.
Patrick W. Nally (1856-1891), after whom the Nally Stand in Croke Park is called, was born at Rockstown House, near Balla. He organised two national athletic events in Balla, which inter alia led to the establishment of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884. There is a Celtic Cross to his memory in the centre of the village.