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St Kieran's NS


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Ballyboy

History

The History of Ballyboy

Ballyboy is situated in the ancient territory of Firceall, an area of land about 25 miles long, stretching from Durrow in the easr to Birr and in the west to Firceall. One of the 13 sub-kingdoms in the kingdom of Meath consisted of 3 Baronies, Eglish, Ballycowan and Ballyboy. The Barony of Ballyboy consisted of two ancient parishes Ballyboy and Killoughey with each parish containing acout 30 townlands.

Ballyboy "Baile Atha Buidhe" meaning the town of the yellow Ford, grew on high ground above the shallow crossing point on the silver river. Tradition tells us that St. Brigid founded a convent on the site known as Abbeyrath and in 1175 AD the Normans of Meath under Hugh Delacy built a strong hold there.


The crossing point on the silver river was the only main road through Firceall between the Slieve Blooms and the bog of Allen. Ballyboy was the main stopping point for travellers on this road and was an important town 200 years ago with its Merchants, Millers, Bakers and Tanners.

Ballyboy also had a hotel, a flour-mill, a flax-mill and even a hatters factory. Ballyboy held 2 fairs each year. In the 17th century the town minted its own coins.

St Brigids Convent

Around the year 500 Ballyboy's most famous visitor came along the road. This was none other than Ireland's most popular Saint, Mary of the Gael, St. Brigid herself. Ballyboy is proud of the fact that St. Brigid founded a convent in their town beside the mound still known as Abbeyrath.

Old people maintain that it was the very first convent she founded in Ireland. Tradition says that the parish church, St. Mary's of Ballyboy dates from about the coming of St. Brigid also.


The Jackson's Mill

The Jackson family owned the mill thats why it was given the name the Jackson's mill. The mill was used for making flour and for grinding corn. It was also used for cutting timber. The mill was powered by a big wheel called called the mill wheel. The water flowed through a race and turned the wheel and thats how the mill worked.

By James Kilmartin

Facts about Ballyboy

  • In the year 500 AD St. Brigid founded a convent.
  • In the year 1601 Hugh O' Neill passed through Ballyboy on his way to Kinsale.
  • In the year 1815 the present church was built with the loan of 900.
  • In the year 1820 the school was built .
  • In the year 1847 the Famine victims were interred in the Famine plot opposite Dan and Molly's pub.
  • In the year 1954 the hall was built.
  • In the year 1961 the new school was built.

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