Anyone who has spent time in Ireland knows that town names beginning with “bally” are ten a penny and can often be confusing when navigating maps on an Irish road trip.

Obviously, far more curious than most, one man took on the mission to find out just how many towns in Ireland are Ballys and the results are amazing.

Donal Casey, whose Twitter bio reads “Urban Planning, GIS, Cartography,” took to the social media platform to share a map he has created pinpointing every single place in Ireland with “bally” in its name.

On Reddit Casey wrote:

“I put this together as I was curious as to how many 'Bally' townlands are in Ireland. The answer is 5,182. If anyone would like to see any other variations of townland names etc. just let me know and I'll do a few more.”

We think you’ll agree the map is just amazing:

Every 'Bally' in #Ireland

— Dónal Casey (@Pearoid) December 30, 2018

By looking at this map one might think that the Irish should have come up with more original place names but a little look into the etymology of “bally” explains just why this map appears so crowded

Bally in Irish can mean but homestead or settlement and also pass or passage. Essentially it is derived from the Gaelic phrase “baile na” meaning “place of.” So, for example, Ballyjamesduff, in Cavan, is literally the place of James Duff.

Do you or any of your family or friends come from a town with “Bally” in its name? You most likely do, according to this map! Why not share the love.

* Originally published in Dec 2018.

Travel facebook
Traveling to Ireland

Are you planning a vacation in Ireland? Looking for advice or want to share some great memories? Join our Irish travel Facebook group.