BALLISAKEERY, a parish, in the barony of TYRAWLEY, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 2½ miles (S. E.) from Killala; containing 5730 inhabitants.
This parish, which is situated on the river Moy, and on the mail coach road from Ballina to Killala, comprises 11,281 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4705 per annum. The lands are principally under tillage; the system of agriculture is very much improved, and there is little waste land but what is very deep and irreclaimable bog, of which there are very large tracts. Limestone is found in some parts of the parish. There are several gentlemen's seats, of which the principal are Reserk, the residence of Cowen Green, Esq.; Broadlands Park, of P. C. Howley, Esq; Netley Park, of H. W. Knox, Esq.; Ballybrooney, of J. Perkins, Esq; and Farrow, of T. Waldron, Esq.
The river Moy, which is celebrated for the abundance and quality of its salmon, is navigable on the border of the parish, and forms the pool of Ballisakeery, which is accessible to vessels of small burden. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Killala, to which the vicarage of Rathrea was united by act of council in 1807, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is appropriate to the deanery and archdeaconry of Killala. The tithes amount to £368. 11. 8½., of which £175. 7. 8½. is paid to the impropriators, and the remainder to the vicar; the entire tithes of the benefice amount to £273. 4.
The church is a neat plain edifice, erected by a loan of £1025 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1810; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £131 for its repair. The glebe-house, a handsome residence, was built by aid of a gift of 400 and a loan of £400 from the same Board, in 1820: the glebe comprises 29 acres. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; a chapel is now in process of erection in the village of Cooncal, and will be completed in a short time. There are places of worship for Presbyterians, Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists.
There are five public schools, of which a female school is supported by the Misses Knox, of Rappa, and in which about 200 boys and 200 girls are taught; also two hedge schools, in which are about 100 boys and 30 girls. There are some remains of the ancient abbey of Rosserick or Reserk, near the river Moy, founded by one of the sept of Joyce, for friars of the Franciscan order; they consist of the ruins of the church and a burial-ground; in the centre of the gable end is a square tower, and in the monastery is a closet of hewn stone for two confessors.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.