▪ IrelandIrish Béal an Áthaurban district, County Mayo, Ireland, on the River Moy. The town, the largest in Mayo, has a modern Roman Catholic cathedral and the remains of an Augustinian friary founded about 1375. Salmon and trout fishing nearby are notable. Hand tools, drills, and medical products are manufactured there. Pop. (2006) 10,056.town and port, north coastal New South Wales, Australia, at the mouth of the Richmond River. Founded (1842–43) as the shipping outlet for the river valley, it was significantly affected by a gold rush in 1860. Proclaimed a town in 1856 and a municipality in 1883, Ballina was an important timber port by the 1880s but declined when forestry waned. It now functions as an outport for Lismore, 20 miles (30 km) upstream, and as a base for a large fishing fleet, as well as a service centre for an agricultural district (dairy produce, sugarcane, and tropical fruit). Industries include fish and fruit canneries and shipyards. The origin of the name is uncertain; the most commonly suggested derivations are Aboriginal place-names referring to a bloody conflict or to nearby oyster beds. Ballina is at the junction of the Bruxner and Pacific highways, about 500 miles (805 km), by road, northeast of Sydney. Pop. (2001) 36,626.
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