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About Ballymena

Ballymena




Ballymena is a large town in County Antrim, and the eighth largest in Northern Ireland, and the seat of Ballymena Borough Council. Ballymena had an estimated population of 29,782 people in 2008.

The town is built on land given to the Adair family by King Charles I in 1626, on the basis that the town hold two annual fairs and a free Saturday market in perpetuity. As of 2012, the Saturday market still runs.

Ballymena is the hometown of notable actor Liam Neeson, who was awarded "Freedom of the Town" in 2013. It is a popular shopping hub within Northern Ireland and is home to Ballymena United F.C.

Ballymena incorporates an area of 632 km² and is home to large villages such as Galgorm, Ahoghill and Broughshane.

The town used to host Ireland’s largest one-day agricultural show at the Ballymena Showgrounds. The town center has many historic buildings. The Town Hall was built in 1924 on the site of the old Market House, and was refurbished in 2007 at a cost of roughly £20 million.








Ballymena
ScotsBellamaina, Bellamena
or Seiven Tours
Irishan Baile Meánach

 
Ballymena town hall.jpg
Ballymena town hall
Ballymena coa.JPG
Coat of arms
Ballymena is located in Northern Ireland
Ballymena
Ballymena
 Ballymena shown within Northern Ireland







Slemish Mountain



Ballymena is about 10 km (6 mi) from Slemish Mountain, the legendary first-known Irish home of  Saint Patrick. The mountain rises about 1,500 feet (460 metres) above the surrounding plain, and it is the central core of an extinct volcano, commonly known as a volcanic plug. According to legend, following Patrick's capture and being brought as a slave to Ireland, the young man worked as a shepherd at Slemish Mountain for about six years, from ages 16 through 22, for a man named Milchu (or Miluic).

It was during this time that Patrick turned to frequent prayer as his only consolation in his loneliness. In a vision he was encouraged to escape and return home. He did, became a Christian priest and returned to Ireland, allegedly to convert his old master. The legend tells that his true conversion occurred when he was on Slemish out in all weathers, communing with nature and praying continuously. As Patrick was not the first Christian bishop to visit Ireland, his ministry was confined to the North. Here he established churches and an episcopal system. One such church is thought to have been founded at the nearby site of Skerry Churchyard.

Slemish Mountain is open year-round, and on Saint Patrick's Day (17 March), large crowds hike to the top of the mountain as a pilgrimage. The 1.5-kilometre round walk to the summit and back takes approximately one hour in good weather. Excellent views can be had of the Antrim and Scottish coasts to the East. Ballymena town, Lough Neagh and the Sperrin Mountains are all normally visible to the West whilst the Bann Valley and the higher summits of the Antrim Hills can be seen to the North. The 180-metre climb is steep and rocky. The path can become very slippery in wet weather so tourists are advised to take care.

 




Education



Ballymena Academy 

Cambridge House Grammar School

St Louis Grammar School

Slemish College

Dunclug College

Ballee High School (Ballee Community High School )

St Patrick's College

Cullybackey High School

Northern Regional College

 

 

 


SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballymena


 

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