Ballymore (Irish: An Baile Mór, meaning “big town”) is a village situated at the very heart of Ireland. An abbey is said to have been founded here in the year 700 ; but the only religious establishment of which there are any authentic records was a monastery founded by the De Lacy family in 1218, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, for Premonstratensian canons and Benedictine nuns, who occupied distinct portions of the same building. Henry VIII made the church of this monastery the cathedral church for the diocese of Meath. Near the town are the remains of an ancient castle, said to have belonged to the De Lacy family; the only portion standing is a round tower, about 20 feet in height.
The historic Hill of Uisneach is nearby.
Ballymore is located in the centre of Ireland on the R390 only 12 miles from either Mullingar or Athlone and only 58 miles from Dublin and the main airport.
Ballymore has an excellent primary school, Pre-school, church, shop, pubs, garage and food outlet. Many sporting organisations like the GAA and Pitch & Putt, and a thriving Community Centre provide excellent facilities and Lough Sewdy is the heart of the village.
Lough Sewdy is one of Westmeath’s smaller and lesser-known lakes, yet it and its surroundings have an interesting history. The name was rendered ‘Loch Seimhdidhe’ in the Annals of the Four Masters; ‘Loch Seimhdile’ in the locality in the pre-Famine period; and ‘Lough Sewdy’ by John O’Donovan (Ordnance Survey name book, 1837).
In one of his letters, written from Ballymore in 1837, O’Donovan insisted that the lake should be called ‘Lough Sewdy’, being ‘so famous a name’. Despite this, the name used on the six-inch map of 1838 was ‘Lough Sunderlin’. The near-by village was often called ‘Ballymore-Lough Sewdy’ or ‘the great town of Lough Sewdy’.