BALEEK, or BELLEEK, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BALEEK, or BELLEEK, a parish, partly in the baronies of UPPER and LOWER FEWS, and partly in that of LOWER ORIOR, county of ARMAGH, and province of ULSTER, 6 miles (S. E.) from Market-Hill; containing 3396 inhabitants, of which number, 129 are in the village. In the reign of Elizabeth an English garrison was stationed at this place; but it was besieged and taken by O'Donnell, of Tyrconnell, who put every individual to the sword. The village is situated on the road from Newry to Newtown-Hamilton, and contains about 20 houses. The parish was constituted in 1826, by the separation of twelve townlands, comprising 5509 statute acres, from the parish of Loughgilly, of which eight pay tithes to the perpetual curate, and four to the rector of Loughgilly. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Armagh, and in the patronage of the Rector of Loughgilly: the tithes amount to £331. 3., of which £179. 3. is payable to the curate, and the remainder to the patron. The church, built in 1827, is a plain small edifice in the ancient style, with a lofty square tower. There is no glebe-house: the glebe comprises 20 acres in the townland of Lisnalee. In the R. C. divisions the parish is one of three forming the union or district of Loughgilly, and contains a chapel. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians. Two schools afford instruction to about 160 boys and 110 girls; and there are also two hedge schools, in which are about 50 children, and three Sunday schools.

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