Ballyhaunis is the first town you come to in County Mayo as you travel west. It is a busy town, situated amidst a patchwork of green fields, lakes, wild bog and beautiful country lanes. Centrally positioned in the heart of Connaught and only 10km from Knock Marian Shrine and 25km from Ireland West Airport Knock.
Located on the intersection of the N60 and N83, Ballyhaunis has good transport links with daily bus connections to the four provinces and it is also served by the Dublin/Westport Irish Rail link.
There are good creche and pre-school facilities with a mix of private and community funded care available. Scoil Íosa is the town primary school, with two sections (Junior & Senior) and the long established Scoil Íosa Parent Association is a structure through which parents / guardians and Scoil Íosa can work together for the best possible education for their children. There are also a number of smaller primary schools in the area surrounding Ballyhaunis. The secondary school is a Community School, with over 550 pupils on roll with an anticipated increase of 180 pupils over the next seven years.
Ballyhaunis grew up around the Augustinian Friary, which is an exceptional building with a fascinating history. The Abbey was owned and ministered as a place of worship by the Augustinian Friars for several hundred years up to its closure in 2002 when the order withdrew from the town. Subsequently the entire Augustinian property, comprising the Abbey house, cemetery and fourteen acres of land, was handed over to a local trust. The Abbey Trust is now managed by The Abbey Partnership on behalf of the community. There are many other places of archaeological and historical interest, including ring and stone forts, megalithic tombs and holy wells, the site of an old castle and church and abbey sites.
Most of the employment in the town is provided by sizeable steel fabrication and food processing industries, supplying the Irish and overseas markets. Ballyhaunis also has construction, distribution, furniture manufacture and a large number of ancillary construction service providers. The remainder of employment is shared between retail, government, financial and professional services. Its central location has long made it an ideal centre of distribution for many businesses.
There are also approx 250 people employed in agriculture but mainly in a part-time capacity.
There are several Roman Catholic churches in the area, the largest of which is St Patrick's Church in the town and the Church of Ireland Parish Church is in nearby Ballinlough. Ballyhaunis is also home to the first purpose-built Mosque in Ireland.
Other buildings of interest in Ballyhaunis include St. Mary's Augustinian Friary (see history) and the Convent of Mercy.
For the walking/cycling enthusiast there is a network of country lanes around Ballyhaunis that will lead you into areas of great environmental importance. Walk along by the rolling green fields to the bog roads and see the wonderful flora and fauna of our rich countryside where birds can be seen in their natural habitat. The Annagh/Mannin valley, Knockbrack, Leow and Scrigg are prime examples of this type of area and are very close by Ballyhaunis.
The essence of Ballyhaunis is its friendly people who will take the time to stop and talk to you and make you feel welcome. There is fine accommodation to be found locally in Bed/Breakfasts, Guest Houses and self catering (rental) houses. Good wholesome cuisine is always available and varied entertainment from traditional Irish music and dance to cabaret and disco can be found in the town.
St. Patrick's Parish Church RC
Tel: ++ 353 (0) 94 963 0006
St. Mary's Augustinian Friary RC
Bernie Prendergast has produced the cartoons you find scattered round this website but her speciality is in Charcoal Portraits.
Occasionally she also works in pencil, pen and wash so if you like Bernie's cartoons.
Bernie is living in Tooreen a few miles from Ballyhaunis.