BALLYNAHAGLISH, a parish, in the barony of TYRAWLEY, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 21/2 miles (S. by E.) from Ballina; containing 5103 inhabitants. This place derived its name, signifying in the Irish language "the Town of the Church," from an ancient abbey or religious establishment, of which there are some slight remains, though nothing of its history is recorded. The parish is situated on the west bank of the river Moy, which is navigable here and is celebrated for its salmon; and comprises 11,559 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act and valued at £4620 per annum. The system of agriculture is improved; there is a very extensive tract of bog, of which a great portion is reclaimable, also abundance of limestone, sandstone, and granite quarried for building and for mending the roads. The gentlemen's seats are Mount Falcon, that of J. F. Knox, Esq., on the demesne of which is a good race-course; and Rehins, of W.
Atkinson, Esq. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Killala, and is part of the union of Ardagh; the rectory is impropriate in the vicars choral of the cathedral of Christ-Church, Dublin. The tithes amount to £300, payable in moieties to the impropriators and the vicar.
The church is in ruins. The glebe comprises 15 acres; there is no glebe-house. In the R. C. divisions it is the head of a union or district, called Backs, which comprises also the parish of Kilbelfad, and contains two chapels, one in each parish; that of Ballynahaglish is not yet completed. There is an ancient burial-ground in the townland of Ballynahaglish, and another at Killeen, which is unconsecrated and is appropriated to the interment of infants dying before baptism. There are two schools, situated respectively at Mount Falcon and Lisaniska, under the National Board, the former aided by an annual donation from J. F. Knox, Esq.; two schools under the Baptist Society, and one at Rehins Lodge, supported by Mrs. Atkinson and her daughters.
In these are about 230 boys and 130 girls: there is also a hedge school of about 20 boys and 20 girls. There are the remains of an ancient castle called Castle-Mac Andrew, also several cromlechs and numerous encampments, in the parish; and at Gortnaderra is a curious cave.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.