Station Road, Ballycarry, an old photo showing its Victorian style houses on right. Ballycarry is classified as a Small Village or Hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 500 and 1,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 981 people living in Ballycarry.
Scene: Station Road, general view
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- Read about Ballycarry below
Ballycarry, County Antrim
Ballycarry (Irish: Baile Caraidh, Ulster Scots: Braid Islann) is a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is situated midway between Larne and Carrickfergus overlooking Islandmagee. It is within the Larne Borough Council area. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 981 people.
The town is home to Ballycarry Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1613, Ballycarry is the oldest congregation in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The present church building dates from 1830. Ballycarry Community Association organises the Broadisland Gathering community festival held each year and last in September 2005.
James Orr, known as the Bard of Ballycarry, was the foremost of the Ulster Weaver Poets, and was writing contemporaneously with Robert Burns. He was one of many Ulster Presbyterians who fled to America after taking part in the ill-fated United Irish Rising in 1798. He returned to Ballycarry under an amnesty and died in the village in 1816. An imposing monument to Orr, erected by local Freemasons in 1831, is sited in the adjacent Templecorran cemetery.
The late Michelin Star chef Robbie Millar was from Ballycarry.
- Ballycarry Primary School
Ballycarry is classified as a Small Village or Hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 500 and 1,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 981 people living in Ballycarry. Of these:
23.1 were aged under 16 years and 15.1 were aged 60 and over
50.2 of the population were male and 49.9 were female
2.9 were from a Catholicbackground and 92.3 were from a Protestant background
3.8 of people aged 16-74 were unemployed
It is one of the larger villages in the Moyle area providing primary education, convenience shopping, a bank and Post Office, and a range of community facilities. The village was dominated by public sector housing for many years, but in the late 1980s early 1990s a new housing development (Fernmount Park) was built. Recently new developments have been built throughout the village. The new housing development called The Ferns (just above Fernmount Park) boasts around 40 houses and is nearly finished. In late 2005 a new development began at the side of the River Bush and town housing is currently being built throughout the village.
The commercial and community life of the village has been greatly enhanced by a community regeneration project at the junction of Main Street and Drones Road. The Tilley Molloy Project, implemented under the International Fund for Ireland’s Community Regeneration and Improvement Special Programme (CRISP), was undertaken by Armoy Community Development Association and completed in 2000. This redevelopment of a key derelict site at the entrance to the village provided four shop units, four apartments, community care facilities and public toilets. The physical environment of the village has been further enhanced by a new Riverside Park developed by the District Council, and an environmental improvement scheme on Main Street carried out as part of the CRISP project.
Places of interest
A picturesque Presbyterian Church sits on the edge of the village. The church’s striking spire, with a Viking ship weathervane on top, has been described as ’a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower’.
There are the remains of a round tower on the edge of the village. An early monastery is said to have been founded at Armoy about AD460 by Saint Olcan, a disciple of Saint Patrick. The only trace of an early monastery is the stump of the Round Tower which stands in the grounds of St. Patrick's Parish Church. The tower is about 11 m high and has three storeys.
The River Bush once flowed directly north to the sea at Ballycastle, however, after the last glacial event in Northern Ireland deposited the Armoy Moraine (on which the church and round tower sit) the river was deflected to the west and it now reaches the sea via Bushmills and Port Ballantrae.
John Armoy Knox, journalist, was born on August 10 1851 at Armoy, the son of Thomas and Jane McBride Knox. His father and his uncle owned the Armoy Flax and Grain Mills. He emigrated to the United States in 1871 and settled in Austin, Texas working as a journalist, before editing newspapers in New York and Atlanta. He was also a playwright and author. He died suddenly in New York on December 18, 1906.
Olcan(Cloot) McFetridge was a famous Antrim hurler. He received an all-star award in 1989 and recently won a Sports Council Merit and Sunday Life Award in August 2005