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Updated 05/16/2013


The Famous Ballymote

Ballymote (Irish: Baile an Mhóta) is a growing market town in south County Sligo, Ireland. It is a historic town, with Ballymote Castle (shown above), built by Richard de Burgh, dating from 1300.   

The Book of Ballymote named for the parish of Ballymote, was written in 1390 or 1391.   It was produced by the scribes Solam Ó Droma, Robertus Mac Sithigh and Magnus Ó Duibgennain, on commission by Tonnaltagh McDonagh, in the possession of whose clan the manuscript remained until 1522, when it was purchased by Aed Óg O'Donnell, prince of Tír Conaill, for 140 milch cows. In 1620 it was given to Trinity College, Dublin, but was subsequently stolen from the library, and only returned to the Royal Irish Academy upon its foundation in 1785 by Chevalier O'Gorman who allegedly purchased it from a millwright's widow in Drogheda for 20 pounds.