Ballymahon is situated almost in the very central plain of Ireland, it’s the most southern town in the County of Longford. The N55 which serves North-South traffic passes through the town. The River Inny flows through Ballymahon and enters Lough Ree on the River Shannon 5 kilometres west of the town. The location of the town is idealy for manufacturing industries and distribution services as it is withen easy access of any part of Ireland. The buildings in the town are of late Georgian architecture, with two and three storey gabled houses, colour-washed and in rows of three and four. A special feature of the town is its wide main street.
Ballymahon derives its name from the Gaelic, Baile Mathúna, town of Mahon. Mahon was a Western chieftain who fought a famous battle in the vicinity of Ballymahon at Shrule (in Irish, Sruaith Fhuil, River of Blood). Mahon defeated O’Rourke of Leitrim at this battle and laid claim to the lands in the area. Hence the town of Mahon originated. Two main families, the Shuldham family of Moigh House and the King-Harmans of Newcastle developed the town in the mid-nineteenth century. The Newcastle house was originally established c1680. Robert Choppayne is credited with building the centre block.
During the 17th century, a Scotsman named Anthony Sheppard purchased the estate. Following Anthony’s death in 1725, his sister Frances became his heir. Frances Sheppard married Wentworth Harman and the estate remained the seat of the Harman family throughout the 18th century. Late in the 18th century the house was enlarged and altered by the addition of a single story east wing and a two-story west wing by Lawrence Harman-King Harman. The house remained in the family until Col. King-Harman’s death in 1949, when it was sold to the Holy Rosary Sisters. They, in turn, sold the building to Nicholas Kindersley.
The author Oliver Goldsmith was born in the nearby townland of Pallas. It was also the home of the 19th century patriotic poet John Keegan "Leo" Casey. Ballymahon also was the home of the writer Mary Flynn, author of the well-known children's book Cornelius Rabbit of Tang.
Things To Do & See in Ballymahon
The Inny Kayak Club is located further along the river from Inny Park. The club was established in 1988 by a local man and it has developed much over the last years. Longford County Council has created a safe and accessible launching point as well as a landing point down at Inny Park. The club has qualified instructors who teach seniors and juniors, young and old how to canoe.
Ballymahon has a host of beautiful walks for hikers or just leisurely strolls for the ambler. The Royal Canal near Ballymahon has 10 kilometres of landscaped walkways with scenic views such as at Mullavornia overlooking Lough Drum.
There are numerous cut stone bridges, old store house buildings and loughs to add to the pleasure. Rambling through the many forest trails in Newcastle Woods or by the banks of the Inny is a must for the keen walker.
Angling in Ballymahon
Ballymahon is ideally located to present the visiting angler with the very best game and coarse fishing in the Midlands. Local amenities include the River Inny (Trout, Pike, Perch, Bream, Roach, Chub and Hybrids), Lough Drum (Trench, Roach, and Pike), Lough Ree (Trout, Pike, Perch, Bream, Roach, etc) and the Royal Canal. However, Ballymahon can offer more than this. Situated in the heart of the Midlands, anglers are within a thirty minute drive of the very best angling that the Midlands can offer. To the west is the huge expanse of Lough Ree, which offers both excellent game and coarse fishing whilst the River Suck offers the same but with very differing environs. To the north is the world renowned hot spot by Lanesborough power station - this is probably the most prolific stretch of water in Europe for coarse fish. A little further upstream is the highly acclaimed game fishing at Tarmon Weir whilst further still brings you to Lough Forbes which is an excellent summer and winter venue and is known to produce huge Pike.
The Camlin Club are continuously restocking reaches of the Shannon and the Camlin River with Brown Trout and the old Longford reservoir with both Brown and rainbow Trout. Moving across to the North East are the well known fisheries of Lough Gowna and Lough Sheelin (coarse and game fishing respectively) and Lough Derravaragh and Lough Owel to the east are also very well known fisheries. Moving South and passing by the impressive coarse fishery of the Canal in Mullingar is the picturesque Lough Ennell renowned as an excellent game fishing lake. This area also has some stocked fisheries containing excellent Carp and Tench. Moving back towards Ballymahon there is a stocked Trout water at Mt Dalton Lough.
Center Parcs Longford Forest opened in July 2019. It is the sixth Center Parcs holiday village and a first for Ireland. Located on the outskirts of Ballymahon, its modern and comfortable accommodation, coupled with its luxurious Aqua Sana Spa and over 100 indoor and outdoor activities for young and old have made it Ireland's largest tourist attraction. See Center Parcs for details details and how to book.