Ballyhard (Leagan Gaeilge – Baile Árd) 

The townland of Ballyhard is situated 4.5 kilometres east of Glenamaddy Town, in north-east County Galway. The townland incorporates Moher and Ballyhard Village, referred to as Baile Beag. Baile Árd literally means high town derived from baile which translates as town and árd as highO’Donovan in the Field Names Books of the 1830s translates the townland name as the town of the gentle hill and gives other forms of the name as Baile heárd, Ballyhaard, Baile heaird, Bail’ Leith áird and Ballyard.

Distinctive Features:

  • Period House of architectural significance and three Burnt Mounds also called Fulachtaí Fia situated in the townland of Ballyhard registered with the National Monuments service are featured in the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey Database.
  • The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows that there were forty three houses in Ballyhard when the survey was conducted. Three clusters of houses comprising about twenty two in total and fitting the definition of a clachan village in layout are discernible in close proximity to one another in the south eastern portion of the townland. The most easterly cluster is called Moher. Moher is the anglicised form of the Irish word mothar meaning bushy place, or, tangled growth of brushwood. Fr. Conway translated mothar as a ruined castle. A cluster of about ten houses called Ballyhard (Baile Beag) was located a short distance to the north of the Glenamaddy to Roscommon road bordering on Sonnagh East. The remaining dwellings are strung out, mostly in groups of between four and seven houses, on either side of the Glenamaddy to Roscommon road.
  • Clondoyle National School which closed in 1973 was located in Ballyhard at the time of its closure.
  • ‘Mockey’s Hall’, also known as Ballyhard Hall opened in 1933

1656-58 Down Survey

The owner of Ballyhard townland at the time of the Down Survey is listed as James Eagan, a Catholic. The area of the townland is given as 144 acres, 108 of which is described as unprofitable land and 36 as plantation acres. The 36 profitable acres were 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 the following Catholic landholders in the townland of Ballyhard paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland) – Ryan, Montegue, Raftery (2), Armstrong (2), Donnahue, Kelly, Keaveny, Mulryan, McGuire, Donlan, Collins, Kearney and others whose names cannot be deciphered. Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.

1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: 

O’Donovan describes the townland as follows – “Nearly 1/2 of this townland is bog situated in the Eastern portion and at the South boundary. The road from Glanamadda to Creggs passes from N.W. to S.E. through the townland. Ballyhaard village is [Unable to read.] chains N. of the road having a bye road leading from it to the latter road probably the village situated on the N. and S. side of the road is called Ballyhaard. There is also a Killeen in the S.E. portion. The remainder of the land is tillage and pasture.” The National Monument Service Archaeological Map shows three Burnt Mounds, or, Fulachtaí Fia, in the south east of the townland.

1856 Griffith’s Valuation: 

The townland of Ballyhard is described as covering an area of 621 acres 0 rood and 36 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £145 4s 0d. There were 39 occupiers in the townland of Ballyhard at the time the survey was conducted – Collins (5), Raftery (5), Dowd (4), McGuire (4), Ryan (3), Kerlly (2), Holloran (2), Mulryan (2), Henry (2), McHale (2), Reilly, Garvey, Donnellan, Keenehan, Rush, Ward and Pettie. The landlord is given as Most Rev. J. McHale. (Catholic Archbishop of Tuam). 1840 and 1856 Ordnance Survey maps show clusters of houses in Moher in the south east of the townland.Adjoining Townlands: The following townlands share a border with Ballyhard – Cloonlara SouthCommon, Faartan (Parish of Ballynakill)Frass, Keeloges West (Parish of Ballynakill), Knockmascahill (Parish of Ballynakill), Sonnagh East and Sonnagh West.       

Census Records: 

Population and Household data for the townland of Ballyhard:

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.

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:-

Mockey‘s Hall

History of Clondoyle National School


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