Ballymoney (from Irish: Baile Monaidh, meaning "homestead on the peatland" [ˈbˠaːlˠaːˈmˠɔnˠɪ]) is a small town and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is currently served by the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. The civil parish of Ballymoney is situated in the historic baronies of Dunluce Upper and Kilconway in County Antrim, and the barony of North East Liberties of Coleraine in County Londonderry. It had a population of 10,393 people in the 2011 Census.
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 79.9 years and 84.8 years for females in years between 2010 and 2012. Conversely, it was revealed in 2013 that Ballymoney residents are more likely to die from heart disease than anywhere else in Northern Ireland.
The town hosts the Ballymoney Drama Festival, the oldest drama festival in Ireland, which was founded in 1933. The town also hosts the Ballymoney Show, which is one of the oldest agricultural shows in Northern Ireland and was founded in 1902.
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.
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.
Prior to the 2011 census Ballymoney was classified as a small town (i.e. with population between 4,500 and 10,000 people) by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). However since 2011 it can now be classified as a medium town (i.e. with a population between 10,000 and 18,000 people).:11
On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 10,402 people living in Ballymoney (4,354 households), accounting for 0.57% of the NI total. Of these:
- 19.75% were aged under 16 years and 16.91% were aged 65 and over;
- 52.84% of the usually resident population were female and 47.16% were male;
- 76.23% belong to or were brought up in a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' religion and 17.17% belong to or were brought up in the Catholic religion;
- 73.34% indicated that they had a British national identity, 28.11% had a Northern Irish national identity and 6.78% had an Irish national identity (respondents could indicate more than one national identity);
- 39 years was the average (median) age of the population;
- 32.05% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots and 4.01% had some knowledge of Irish (Gaelic).
On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 9,021 people living in Ballymoney. Of these:
- 22.6% were aged under 16 years and 17.8% 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.
Arts and Media
- J.B. Armour (1841–1928), cleric, educationalist and Home Rule activist.
- George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney (1737–1806) of Lissanoure, first British Ambassador to China in 1772.
- Thomas McKean (1734–1817), a prominent figure in the American Revolution, was the son of an emigrant from Ballymoney.
- Sir William Moore (1864–1944), Unionist politician and judge.
- William Robinson (1823–1912), Conservative Ontario politician.
- John Pinkerton (1845–1908), Home Ruler and Irish Parliamentary Party MP.
- John Robb, surgeon and former member of Seanad Éireann.
- Adrian Archibald (1969–), motor cycle racer.
- Stephen Carson (1980–), former Northern Ireland Under-21 international footballer, who plays for Coleraine in the IFA Premiership.
- Peter Chambers (1990–), rower; Silver medal in the men's lightweight four at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Karen Corr (1969–), pool and snooker player.
- Joey Dunlop (1952–2000), known as the "King of the Road", was five times World Motorcycle Champion with 24 Ulster Grand Prix wins, 13 North West 200 wins and 26 Isle of Man TT wins. He was killed while racing in Estonia in 2000. A statue of Dunlop stands in the town.
- Robert Dunlop (1960–2008), motor cycle racer, Joey Dunlop's brother; record holder for the most North West 200 wins (15).
- James Hopkins (1901–1943), professional footballer.
- Ken McArthur (1881–1960), 1912 Olympic Gold Medalist, men's marathon.
- Bridget McKeever (1983–), a field hockey player on the Irish national women's team.
- Jim Platt (1952–), former Middlesbrough and Northern Ireland goalkeeper.
- Damien Quinn (1980–), captain of the Antrim senior hurling team.
- Chris Turner (1987–), former Northern Ireland Under-21 international footballer, currently plays for Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland.
- Davy Tweed (1959–), rugby player, Unionist politician
- Ballymoney Nursery School
- Ballymoney Primary School
- Ballymoney Primary School, also known as Ballymoney Model, is situated at the top of the North Road and holds approximately 360 pupils each year. The school is within the Northern Eastern Education Library Board area.
- The school is one of the largest within Ballymoney, housing eleven classrooms running from P1 to P7. It also has a large dinner hall, assembly hall, and a computer room. The school has a library and a classroom for special needs children.
- Historically, Ballymoney Primary has been a predominately protestant school, but was scheduled to be integrated in September 2009 following a very narrow vote in favour of the idea.
- Ballymoney Primary's principal is Mr. G. McVeigh, while the vice principal is Mrs. Herron. And a new 2013 principal Mrs. Jamison
Garryduff primary school is for pupils aged 4–11, it is located on the Garryduff road approximately 3 miles out of Ballymoney it has got a new extension with a new multi-purpose hall and a new classroom. The current principal is Miss Tannahill.
- Landhead Primary School is a primary school for pupils aged 5 to 11 years, located on the Kilraughts Road, close to Ballymoney Rugby Club.
- In 2004 the Sunday Mirror reported on the school's cat "Tigger". The cat has since featured on local news and radio programmes.
Leaney Primary School is located near Ballymoney High School, on Intermediate Road, approximately 1 mile from the town centre. The school for children aged 4 to 11, is a part of the Eco-Schools programme which aims to raise pupils awareness of sustainable development issues. The current principal is Miss V Moorhouse.
- Lislagan Primary School is located about three miles from Ballymoney, in a rural location. It is a controlled school for girls and boys aged from 3 to 11. Enrollment has risen steadily over the last five years and currently stands at 94. It is within the North Eastern Education and Library Board area.
- St. Brigid's Primary School
The Ballymoney Chronicle was established in 1844. It is the largest selling weekly newspaper in the North Coast and the second largest weekly newspaper in Northern Ireland. 
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