Ballinastack (Leagan Gaeilge – Baile na Staice):

The townland of Ballinastack is situated four kilometres north of Glenamaddy Town in north-east County Galway. There are different opinions as to the origin of the townland name. Baile is the Irish for town and staic means a stake, or, post. John O’Donovan translates the townland name in the Field Name Books in the 1830s as the “town of the stakes”. On the other hand, Fr. Conway in his “Historical Notes on the Parish of Glenamaddy” (c.1920) translated the townland name as “The village of the stacks of hay, corn etc.”, stáca being the Irish word which describes a stack, or, rick of straw, hay etc. The townland residents favour Fr. Conway’s interpretation. Other forms of the townland name are Baile na Staic and Ballynastack.

Distinctive Features:

  • The townland of Ballinastack has two Ringforts, a Megalithic Tomb and a Children’s Burial Ground registered with the National Monuments Service and featured in the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey Database. 
  • Ballinastack Turlough located in the south east portion of the townland.
  • The1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows a School House in a field close to the Glenamaddy to Castlerea road. However, a school didn’t continue at this location as according to local historian, Anthony Ward, Stonetown School was in operation in 1846 two hundred metres further south along the Glenamaddy to Castlerea road in the townland of Stonetown. (Glenamaddy Arts and Historical Society Journal Vol 2 1993).
  • O’Donovan mentions in the Field Name Books that a village called Ballinastack Village, resembling a traditional clachan, comprising a cluster of twenty four houses was located along a side road perpendicular to the Kilnalag to Glanamadda’ road. The 1840 map show ten additional houses located at intervals directly east of the village.
  • A popular dancehall called Ballinastack Hall operated in the townland between 1929 and 1952. The Ernie Barber band which at the time was the biggest band in Ireland played in the hall. Christmas Night was the biggest dance of the year.
  • An active Drama Group rehearsed plays in “Cooneys” rambling house and following successful stagings in “Ballinastack Hall” the Group performed to popular acclaim in Glenamaddy Town Hall, Williamstown Town Hall, Flanagan’s in Ballymoe and in the Cummer Ballroom on the Tuam to Galway road.
  • A tributary of the Suck River flows eastward in the northern portion of the townland.

1656-1858 Down Survey: 

The owner of Ballinastack townland at the time of the Down Survey is listed as the Protestant Archbishop of Tuam. The Protestant Archbishop had been granted vast tracts of land across numerous townlands, primarily in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. John Parker, a Royalist imprisoned by the Cromwellian authorities, was appointed Protestant Archbishop of Tuam following the restoration and went on to become Primate of Ireland. He was succeeded some years layer by John Vesey. The land belonging to Protestants who did not support the Royalist cause against Cromwell were not forfeited.

1823 – 1838  Tithe Applotment Books:  

Surviving documentation of the Tithe Applotment Books is in poor condition making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to decipher the names of landholders. In so far as it can be ascertained Pat Kine, Catholic occupier of an agricultural holding in Ballinastack, paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland). Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.

1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: 

O’Donovan describes Ballinastack village as follows – “There are 3 portions of bog situated in the N. corner and at the East and South boundary of this townland. There is a village named after the townland. There is a Danish Fort 5 ½ chains N. N.W. of the village and a second fort in the S.E. portion. The remainder of the land is tillage and pasture.”

1856 Griffith’s Valuation: 1856 Griffith’s Valuation: 

The townland covered an area of 294 acres 1 rood and 16 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined came to £105 12s 0d. 15 householders are listed as occupiers in the townland of Ballinastack at the time the survey was conducted – Flanagan (4), Donnellan (2), Collins (2), Reilly, Kenny, Burke, Mannion, Morgan, Brady and Kaddigan. The landlord’s name is given as Patrick Reilly.

Adjoining Townlands: 

The following townlands share a border with Ballinastack – ArdeevinBallinapeaka,  ClassaghroeClooncon EastCloonmindaCornacoyntia and Stonepark

Census Records: 

Population and Household data for the townland of Ballinastack:

Glenamaddy and the Irish Folklore Collections:

The article posted on this website under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab provides an overview of the folklore material submitted by Glenamaddy parishioners to the National Folklore Commission, now known as the Irish Folklore Collections. It also explains the background to the 1937 Schools’ Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol) project which has good representation from a parish perspective.

The Irish Folklore Collections housed in the Folklore Department of University College Dublin contain a treasure trove of folklore material, some of which is accessible online. Both the Main Manuscript Collection and the Schools’ Collection contain a considerable number of submissions from collectors and informants who resided in the parish of Glenamaddy. The quick reference directories featured in the ‘Parish > Townlands’ section of this website complement the user-friendly search features of the dú website and are helpful in tracking Schools’ Collection submissions associated with townlands. Submissions are categorised under – School, Teacher, Language, Volume Number, Page Number, Collector, Collector’s Townland, Informant and Informant’s Townland. Where applicable, Schools’ Collection directories showing online townland-related submissions appear at the end of the following townland posts on this website – BallinapeakaBallinastackBarnaBoyounagh_More (Middletown),_BushtownCashelClassaghroeCloonacross,  Clooncon_EastClooncon_WestCloonkeenCultiafadda,  Eskeromullacaun (Esker), FelimsparkGlenamaddyGortaganny, Gortnagier,  KiltullaghKnockauns,  Lisheenaheltia,  LoughparkMeelick, Scotland, Shannagh_More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Schools’ Collection Townland-Related Quick Reference Directory:

Parish folklore submissions contained in the Schools’ Collection are also accessible online via the following links:-

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 –

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2 – 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School –

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1 –

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2 – 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1 –   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2 – 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National School – 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National School –    

Glenamaddy submissions which form part of the Main Manuscript Collection are not posted online but may be examined in the reading room of the Folklore Department in U.C.D., Belfield, Dublin 4. Typed versions of some of the parish contributions contained in the Main Manuscript Collection are published under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab on this website.   

Quick Reference Directory of Glenamaddy folklore submissions in the Main Manuscript Collection:-

Author: Pat Keaveny

For related townland website posts click on the following links:-

Ballinastack Dolmen & Children’s Burial Ground

Ballinastack Dancehall


Townlands in County Galway

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder

Historical Notes on the Parish of Glenamaddy. Fr Walter Conway

Glenamaddy Map and Gossiping Guide

Glenamaddy Arts and Historical Society Journal. Vol 2. 1993