Baile Shéamais Dhuibh

Market Street, Ballyjamesduff.

Location in Ireland

Coordinates: 53°51′51″N 7°12′20″W / 53.86422°N 7.205572°W / 53.86422; -7.205572Coordinates: 53°51′51″N 7°12′20″W / 53.86422°N 7.205572°W / 53.86422; -7.205572
Country Ireland
Province Ulster
County County Cavan
Elevation 104 m (341 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
  Total 2,568
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
  Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference N520906

Ballyjamesduff (Irish: Baile Shéamais Dhuibh, meaning "Town of Black James") is a small town with a population of 2,240 in County Cavan in Ireland, located on the R194 regional road. Formerly a market town and winner of the 1966 and 1967 Irish Tidy Towns Competition.[2]


The first mention of Ballyjamesduff is found in The Registry of Deeds,[3] Kings Inns, Henrietta Street, Dublin, Deed No.12-294-5122, drawn up on 12/5/1714.

On August 29 2016 a murder suicide took place close to the town in Oakdene. A family of 5 consisting of 3 young boys and a mother and father were all found dead approximately at 11:00am. At 10:45 am a person called to the house and contacted Garda Síochána to raise the alarm. The family were identified as the Hawe Family.[4][5][6][7]


Between census years 2002 and 2006 the population of Ballyjamesduff rose by 59.9% (ref. data from Central Statistics Office). A major factor in the increase has been immigration from outside Ireland. The 2006 census results showed that more than 25% of people in the town were from overseas.[8]


Anne Street.

Bus Éireann Route 187 serves Ballyjamesduff from Monday to Saturday. It provides transport to the neighbouring towns and villages of Oldcastle, Mountnugent, Virginia and Kells. There are four journeys both to and from Ballyjamesduff each weekday. The first journey of the day departs the town (for Kells) at 07:30. Subject to road safety the bus will stop to pick up and set down passengers at any safe point along the route.[9]

Notable places in Ballyjamesduff

"The Frolics"

The Percy French Hotel and Paddy Reilly Bar

Ballyjamesduff annually holds "The Frolics", an eight-night showcase of music and "comedy". The show was originally held in the nearby town Mountnugent where it was known as "The Mountnugent Frolics". The rights to the show were bought by the Ballyjamesduff Frolics Club in 1943, and the show was moved to Ballyjamesduff. In 1957, due to confusion, the event was renamed from "The Mountnugent Frolics" to "The Ballyjamesduff Frolics". One year, Terry Waite famously made a cameo appearance. He called Seamus O'Riley a cunt then smashed the bar up after someone said he looked like Adam Johnson. He is currently awaiting trial.

The show uses special sound recording equipment to measure crowd cheering levels during the entire run of the Frolics. The act that receives the highest cheer wins the "Silver Spuckle Award". This is an award named after Monsignor Sylvester Spuckle, who was a patron of the show. It is made of solid silver and is worth €4,000. A cash award of €1,000 is also given to the winner.

In 2000, a comedy routine featured one of the townsfolk dressed as Chairman Mao Zedong, with his eyes pinned with sellotape, working in a Chinese restaurant. His faux-Chinese voiced jokes about the local Town Diner restaurant led to the restaurant suing the organizers of the show for libel. The lawsuit was later settled out of court with the organisers being ordered to pay the restaurant a settlement.

In 2003, to celebrate the show's 60 years, the list of the highest cheered acts was revealed. The winners were "The Duodenums", a three-piece group playing a version of "Dueling Banjos" on their tracheas. This was a parody of a scene from the film National Lampoon's Animal House, where a character did the same with the William Tell Overture.

The 2007 Frolics was named the 'Non Stop Frolics' and ran from 16–25 November.

In song

Bronze figure of Percy French in the town square with words and music of "Come back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff".

It is famous for being in the Percy French song "Come back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff", which was written about a man from the area who acted as Jarvy (coach driver) for French and decided to emigrate to Scotland. It is said that he drove his horse and cart to Carrick-on-Shannon, parked the horse and cart outside the railway station and took the train to Dublin. Legend has it that the horse ran all across Ireland looking for Paddy, until Paddy Reilly was said to have returned. Paddy Reilly is now supposedly buried in St Joseph's graveyard, in the town of Ballyjamesduff.

The Pork Festival

This was an annual town festival started in 1994.[12] It celebrates all things pig-like. This is largely due to a nearby pork-rendering factory regularly supplying a large amount of pork for use in the town festival. The festival is one which celebrates the commercial value of the pig to the town. Highlights of the festival included:


See also


  1. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Tidy Towns of Ireland: Celebrating 50 years" (PDF). Tidy Towns. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. "PRAI - Property Registration Authority Ireland Home Page". Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  4. Brennan, Colin (2016-08-29). "Gardai treating deaths of 5 family members in Cavan as murder-suicide". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  5. "Anglo Celt - Gardaí investigate deaths of five members of one Ballyjamesduff family". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  6. "Schools pay tribute to Cavan family who died in suspected murder-suicide". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  7. "Murder-suicide suspected after Cavan family are found dead in house". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  8. Archived March 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Cavan County Museum". Cavan County Council. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  11. Ed Carty – Updated 22 January 2013 09:06 AM (2013-01-22). "Horse and pig DNA found in some supermarket burgers". Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  12. "Festivals In County Cavan - Ireland View - Ireland's Travel and Accommodation Guide". Ireland View. Retrieved 2014-05-28.

External links

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