Ballina, Roserk Abbey, Moyne Abbey

The only point of picturesque attraction between Sligo and Ballina, is the small town of Balisedare, four miles on the road. A very fine stream dashes in rapids past the town, and a narrow and beautiful bay here indents the shore just at their outlet. The remainder of the road is only interesting for its fine sea-views.

Ballina, County Mayo

Ballina, County Mayo

The town of BALLINA is pleasantly situated on the banks of the Moy, which runs through the centre of the town, separating the counties of Mayo and Sligo. The town nearly forms the head of the estuary, which juts in from Killala Bay. The part of the town on the Sligo bank of the river is properly called Aeduaree, but is generally included in Ballina. From the excellent fishing the Moy affords, and its proximity to Loch Conn, Ballina is the resort of many anglers daring the summer-season. The Moy is said to be second only to the Bann for its salmon.

Roserk Abbey

Roserk Abbey

By a drive toward Killala, upon the old road leading from Ballina to that place, the traveller finds, at a few miles distance, the ruins of ROSERK ABBEY, romantically situated among the chain of hills which stretches for several miles below Ballina, on the river Moy.

Abbey of Moyne

Abbey of Moyne

Two miles further on, lie the better preserved ruins of the once magnificent ABBEY OF MOYNE, erected in 1461. Even these, however, are fast "toppling to their fall." The Abbey of Moyne lies in a sequestered pastoral district on the banks of the Bay of Killala, and the convent was supplied by a small rill, which, dipping into the granular limestone, rises again under the abbey. The more prominent associations of the country between Ballina and Killala, are those connected with the famous expedition of the French, under General Humbert, in the Irish Rebellion. Humbert landed at Killala, "with a thousand and thirty private soldiers and seventy officers, from three frigates, two of fifty-four, and one of thirty-eight guns, which had sailed from Rochelle on the 4th of the same month. The intention was to laud in the county of Donegal, but they were frustrated by contrary winds. The garrison of Killala, consisting of only fifty men (of whom thirty were yeomen, the rest fencible soldiers of the Prince of Wales's regiment), after a vain attempt to oppose the entrance of the French vanguard, fled with precipitation, leaving two of their number dead and their two officers prisoners, together with nineteen privates.

To compensate as far as possible, by the vigour of his operations, for the smallness of his numbers, seems to have been the great object of the French general. He sent, on the next morning, toward Ballina, a detachment, which, retreating from some picquet guards or reconnoitring parties of loyalists, led them to a bridge, under which lay concealed a sergeant's guard of French soldiers. By a volley from these, a clergyman who had volunteered on the occasion, and two carabineers were wounded, the first mortally. This clergyman was the Rev. George Fortescue, rector of Ballina. The French, advancing to this town, took possession of it in the night; the garrison retreating to Foxford, leaving one prisoner, a yeoman, in the hands of the enemy." From Ballina, Humbert pushed on to Castlebar, where he obtained a victory over the royalist troops, but he was arrested in his further progress by Lord Cornwallis, who, in a battle at Ballinamuck, completely destroyed or took prisoners the whole French force.

END OF CHAPTER VIII.


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