The Land of Towey Heritage

     Ballaghaderreen (Irish: Bealach an Doirín) is a town in County Roscommon, Ireland.  Irish meaning of the town name is “The Way (Bealach) of the Little Oak (Doirín).” Ballaghaderreen was located in County Mayo until 1898, when it was transferred to County Roscommon by the Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898. Hence, most Toweys emigrated from Co. Mayo with their genealogical records thereat.
     Ballaghaderreen is located 115 miles (185 km) east of Dublin via the N4 road to Longford then the N5 road.  It is located in northwest Co. Roscommon close to Co. Mayo and Co. Sligo.
     Townlands surrounding Ballaghaderreen, together with Towey 1901 census data, may be viewed at 1901 Census and Coach Route Map.
     Why not go to Google Earth and search for Ballaghaderreen, Ireland? Zoom in for a closer view then use Street View to peek at Ballaghaderreen streets and various shops.

Ballaghaderreen Cathedral
This is the cathedral church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin St Nathy CathedralMary and St Nathy. Ballaghaderreen is the see town of the small Catholic Diocese of Achonry which comprises parts of Counties Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo.
     The Patron saint is St. Nathy and secondary Patroness is St. Attracta. The Cathedral was built in the 1850s.
     In 1860 St Nathy’s Cathedral was dedicated as the cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Achonry.

Kilcolman Cemetery – Old and New
Go North on R293.  The old cemetery is on the right side and the new X Kilcolman Cemetarycemetery on the left. A list of buried remains at Kilcolman old cemetery is available at Under Ireland, click More then Mayo then Kilcolman Old Cemetery.  The list is made from old grave markers; therefore, most very old remains are not listed. (Note: Under Ireland, clicking Roscommon gives a different cemetery list.)


Four Altars
Further north on R293 is the Four Altars, built presumably during the V Four Altarsearly 18th Century, when British rule disallowed Catholics to worship in church. Priests said Mass at the one altar that offered his best protection from wind and rain. It was up on a hill where the people could see when English soldiers were coming to arrest  them.

Priests Rock
Looking down from Bockagh Hill (227 meters high) is the townland of Attiantaggart and Priests Rock where Mass was said during the same era of British rule as the Four Altars.

Ballaghaderreen Railway Station
The railway station was at end of the Kilfree to Ballaghaderreen spur off BU Ballaghaderreen Railway c1900sthe Dublin to Sligo Line. After delays, it operated from November 1874 to February 1973; however temporary closures occurred January to March 1876 and January to May 1947.


History of Ballaghaderreen
To learn more about the history of Ballaghaderreen, check your library, or for the following:
     Maire McDonnell-Garvey, Mid-Connacht – The Ancient Territory of Sliabh Lugha, Drumlin Publications, Nure, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, 1995
     Liam Swords, A Dominant Church, The Columba Press, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, 2004.

Web Sites of Interest

Ballaghaderreen Areas of Interest
Market Square
Dillon Home – now occupied by Western Development Commission and town library
Old Monica Duff Building – famous grocery shop then department store
Durkin’s – Hotel, Bar, Restaurant
Fiddlers Elbow – Bar, Restaurant

Via Cathedral Street
Old Hydro Power Plant – first electric power in 1906
Edwardian Pillar Box – old gatekeeper house to a military barracks
Meet You Here Coffee House – restaurant in old gatekeeper house
St Nathy’s College –
St Nathy’s Cathedral – Built 1829, commissioned 1855, tower added 1912

Via Market Street
Shambles (Old Market Yard) –
Old Graveyard – c.1820. Closed. Now Garden of Remembrance w/ Virgin Mary statue
Strickland Family Tombs – Charles Strickland was land agent for absentee landlord, Lord Dillon
The Fairgreen
Tower House – former rent collector’s office

Main Street
Morelli Restaurant and Takeaway
Mill Chimney – c.1860.  Used for old saw mill
Court House

Via Pound Street
Bellview House
Oldest Town House (1793)
The Plots and Town Well
Kilcolman Cemetery – Old and New
Ruins of Kilcolman Church

Via Station Road
Ballaghaderreen Railway Ticket Office, closed 1963

Via Barrack Street
Old Cooperative Creamery – Set up 1898 by farmers themselves
Dillon & Partridge Family Tombs

Via Convent Road
St Mary’s Convent – Built 1876, occupied by Sisters of Charity
Castlemore Flax Mill Ruins
Castlemore Castle

Bockagh Hill Side Trip — tallest hill in Co. Roscommon
Start on Pound Street, take first left after St Nathys Cathedral
It’s Boherbee Road that, after 2 km, becomes Bockagh Road, 3.5 km, up the hill
Summit is 227 km (745 feet).  Look back to Ballaghaderreen

Regional Areas of Interest
West – Start N5 West
Brusna – School, Church, Brusna Inn (which Toweys attended)
Turlough – Round Tower and Cruciform Church Ruins
Turlough – Park National Museum of Country Life
Straide – Michael Davitt Museum, Church, Cemetary
Foxford – Woollen Mills, Admiral Brown Museum
Killasser – Hennigans Heritage Centre  (if time allows)

Southwest  Start R293 South then R325 West
Kilmovee – Ogham Stone and Holy Well
Urlaur – Urlaur Abbey (at Urlaur Lough)
Knock – Catholic Apparition Shrine
Ballintubber – Abbey, Celtic Cultural Center
Kiltimagh – Old Railway Museum

North  Start R293 North
Kilcolman – Old & New Cemetery
Edmondstown – Bishops House
Four Altars
Carrowntemple Cemetery with Celtic engraved stones
Monasteraden Cemetary
Gurteen – Coleman Heritage Centre and local traditional music
Boyle – Abbey and King House
Boyle – St Joseph’s Church, Newgrange style
Lough Key Park
Carrick on Shannon (Shannon River)
Carrontemple – cemetery with Celtic stones

East  Start N5 East
Frenchpark – Douglas Hyde Interpretive Centre
Cloonshanville Abbey
Tulsk – Rathcroghan Prehistoic Monument
Tulsk – Cruachan Visitor Centre
Strokestown – Famine Museum
Keenagh – Corlea Trackway Centre
Ardagh – Ardagh Heritage Centre