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Military Barracks, Ballina, Co Mayo

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  • Military Barracks, Ballina, Co Mayo

    I saw this mentioned in the Irish Times and I thought it might interest a few here. The Town Council have just advertised for developers, but this article gives the background. Good to see a piece of military heritage being restored.

    New plan to transform Ballina’s town centre
    The Western People, 7 March 2007

    AN elaborate and exciting plan to develop the old Market Square in Ballina into a continental style plaza and to restore the adjoining 1798 military barracks buildings as a town centre amenity area, were unveiled last week.

    The extensive military barracks, which was taken over by General Humbert’s forces when they entered the town in 1798, are largely intact, and it is now planned to restore these buildings and to open up this area as part of the new town square.

    The ambitious plans for an extensive area of the town centre, incorporating the Market Square, and a big area between the Square and Pearse Street, were disclosed at an oral hearing into objections to Compulsory Purchase Orders made by Ballina Town Council on the properties in question.

    Ballina Town Council already owns extensive property in the area and Senior Executive Officer and Town Manager, Paul Benson said that any redevelopment of the Market Square in isolation to that of the former military barracks property would be considered piecemeal and shortsighted and would most likely limit future access and site redevelopment options for the former barracks property.

    The barracks property was described as the remains of an 18th century army barracks, including a fine five bay two story facade, built in about 1740. The barracks were designed in a classical 18th century double quadrangle, extending from Market Square to the officers’ section on Pearse Street.

    Mr Benson said the acquisition of the property was pivotal to the development of the Market Square as the land and buildings occupied a key area fronting the Market Square and possible pedestrian links to Pearse Street and Tone street.

    A Council report said that the complicated land ownership and title issues generally pertaining to the subject CPO lands, diminished the potential for urban renewal and re-development of the area and as such was not conducive to orderly and sustainable development.

    If the CPO is approved a new pedestrian public right of way will be constructed to link Pearse Street, Tone Street and the Market Square while it is also planned to restore and reconstruct much of the old military barracks buildings and to create what will be a unique heritage area in the town centre.

    The Compulsory Purchase Order related to six owners and a total of nine different properties. A decision on the oral hearing into the objecftins will be given in about three months.
    http://archives.tcm.ie/westernpeople...story35906.asp
    Last edited by Viking; 17 April 2008, 13:32. Reason: Spelling
    "Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm willing to yield my place to these best generals and I'll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper"
    Gen. Robert E. Lee

  • #2
    Glad to see any building with a military heritage connection being saved, regardless of British or Irish period heritage.

    Not to put a downer on this but the Military Barracks in Ballina saw very little military use over the years, both pre-1798 and post 1798.

    I have found some reference to it in my research for the book I am working on.

    In the few surviving period Maps of the town its not even marked in.

    It hardly rated a full company, and seldom that, when British Army Regiments rotated through Mayo, using Castlebar as headquarters,

    detachments were sent out to, Westport, Newport, Ballina, Foxford, Swinford, and Ballinrobe.

    And it might have seen a little use by the North Mayo Militia Regiment in the 1800's.

    There is also record of troops being Billeted upon the local civil population during this time as well.

    (The South Mayo Militia, later the South Mayo Rifles,

    were based in Westport, but mainly used Castlebar Infantry Barracks for their Summer Camps),

    later the N.M.M. were ordered to use Castlebar for their camps, much to the annoyance of

    the local Ballina shopkeepers as this deprived them of a major source if income.

    Thanks for posting the information though.

    Connaught Stranger

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    • #3
      No problem. Thanks for your information!
      "Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm willing to yield my place to these best generals and I'll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper"
      Gen. Robert E. Lee

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      • #4
        A few of the Mayo guys mentioned this last summer - according to them down the years buildings had been built around the original barracks and the existence of the remains of the barracks was not known about until they starting planning the redevelopment of the place. Thats the story anyway, not sure if its a tall tale.

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        • #5
          Ballina Barracks

          http://www.mayococo.ie/en/Planning/D...le,1957,en.pdf

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