Ballymoney is a small town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 9,021 people in the 2001 Census. It is currently served by Ballymoney Borough Council.

The town hosts the Ballymoney Drama Festival, the oldest drama festival in Ireland, which was founded in 1933.

Ballymoney has expanded in recent years and a lot of new houses have been built. This is primarily as a result of high house prices in the Coleraine/Portstewart/Portrush 'Triangle' areas shifting first-time buyers to the less expensive Ballymoney area. Ballymoney is located on the main road between Coleraine and Ballymena, with good road and rail connections to the main cities in Northern Ireland, Belfast and Derry.

The Ballymoney area has the highest life expectancy of any area in Northern Ireland, with the average male life expectancy at birth being 78.0 years and 82.6 years for females.


The Council is dominated by the Democratic Unionist Party. Sinn Féin is the second largest party with the Ulster Unionist Party, SDLP and an independent making up the rest.


The Troubles

For more information see The Troubles in Ballymoney, which includes a list of incidents in Ballymoney during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities.


Ballymoney is classified as a Small Town by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 4,500 and 10,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 9,021 people living in Ballymoney. Of these:

  • 22.6% were aged under 16 years and 19.8% were aged 60 and over
  • 47.3% of the population were male and 52.7% were female
  • 17.3% were from a Catholic background and 79.8% were from a Protestant background
  • 3.9% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service

Buildings of note

Ballymoney is one of the oldest towns in Ireland with many buildings of historic note in the town centre.

  • An old church tower dating from 1637 is the town’s oldest surviving building.
  • Another striking feature is the town clock and Masonic hall, built in 1775 by the 6th Earl and 2nd Marquis of Antrim. The hall was used as a market house, courthouse, town hall and school.
  • The town hall was erected in 1866.


  • One of Ballymoney's most famous residents was Joey Dunlop, known as the "King of the Road". Joey Dunlop, MBE, OBE was five time World Motorcycle Champion with twenty-four Ulster Grand Prix wins, thirteen North West 200 wins and twenty-six Isle of Man TT wins. Joey was tragically killed while racing in Estonia during 2000. A statue in memory of Dunlop stands in the town.
  • Robert Dunlop, Joey Dunlop's Brother & Record holder for the most North West 200's - he won 15. He died on Thursday 15th May 2008 at the North West 200 2nd Practice.
  • William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, was born in Ohio, the descendant of a farmer from Conagher, near Ballymoney. He was proud of his ancestry and addressed one of the national Scots-Irish Congresses held in the late 19th century. His second term as President was cut short by an assassin's bullet.
  • Thomas McKean, son of an emigrant from Ballymoney. Signer of the American Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War officer, drafter of original Delaware state constitution, "President" (later called Governor) of Delaware, Governor of Pennsylvania, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
  • Bridget McKeever, a field hockey player of the Irish National Women's Team, was born in Ballymoney.
  • John Pinkerton, Home Ruler and Irish Parliamentary Party MP.
  • Jimmy Young, a successful comedian, was born in Ballymoney.
  • Kenneth McArthur, 1912 Olympic Gold Medalist, men's marathon.
  • Samuel Robinson (1865-1958), emigrated to USA and became a multi-millionaire by founding Acme Market.
  • George Shiels (1881-1949), Popular playwright of early 20th century.
  • George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney (1737-1806) of Lissanoure. First British Ambassador to China in 1772.
  • Rev. Dr. Peter B. Thompson- Served as an American pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in 1997.
  • Stephen Carson- Former Northern Ireland Under-21 international Footballer, who plays for Coleraine in the IFA Premiership





Town twinning


See also

External links

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