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Ballymahon

Ballymahon on the River Inny is a town in the southern part of County Longford, Ireland. It is located at the junction of the N55 National secondary road and the R392 regional road. Ballymahon derives its name from Gaelic Baile Mathuna Town of Mahon. Mahon (Mathgamain mac Cennétig) was a southern chieftain, the elder brother of Brian Boru, who in 960 fought a battle in the vicinity of Ballymahon at Shrule, in Irish Sruaith Fhuil, River of Blood. Mahon defeated O'Rourke of Cavan at this Battle and laid claim to lands in the area. Hence the town of Mahon originated. Mahon may also relate to a sub chieftain of the O'Farrells who established control over Co. Longford in the 1400s. In comparison to other towns and villages in Co. Longford, Ballymahon is a young town. The earliest documentary evidence was in the year 1578. The map of the 'Down Survy' 1654 by Sir William Petty shows Ballymahon as a group of houses situated at the southern end of the present town, on the right bank of the Inny River. Two main families, the Shuldham family of Moigh House and the King-Harmans of Newcastle House developed the town in the mid-nineteenth century. The buildings in the town are of late Georgian architecture, with two and three storey gabled houses, colour-washed and in rows of three and four. A special feature of the town is its wide main street. During the period 1788-1853 the RC Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise resided in the town and the parish church served as a Pro-Cathedral until St. Mel's Cathedral was built in Longford.
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