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# shots fired
9 reasons why Ballina is way, way better than Castlebar
The battle of Mayo’s biggest towns.

RESIDENTS OF MAYO’s county town Castlebar and the neighbouring Ballina know that the two towns have always had a friendly(ish) rivalry with each other.

castlebal Wikimedia Wikimedia

It is time to take a stand and finally prove which one is the true county town.

Ballina may be the underdog, and it may often be overlooked when it comes to amenities and Big Shops, but it is better. We will show you.

Ballina should be the county town, basically

It’s the Gretchen Wieners of Mayo. Ballina is just as cute as Castlebar, just as smart as Castlebar, people totally like Ballina just as much (if not more) than Castlebar.

Ballina’s cinema is fancier than Castlebar’s

cinemas Google Maps / Castlebar.ie Google Maps / Castlebar.ie / Castlebar.ie

Yes, there were dark years when Ballina was in between cinemas and everyone had to hoof it up to Mayo Movie World in Castlebar – but Ballina came back, and it came back stronger.

We must concede that we still envy Castlebar’s bowling alley and amusements. But…

Ballina has a Good Penneys

ballinapenneys Google Maps Google Maps

Spacious, brighter, nicer clothes than the one in Castlebar. (But still not as good as the stuff you can get in Dublin or Galway. What gives?)

Ballina’s museum is cooler than Castlebar’s

nationalproclamation Facebook / Jackie Clarke Collection Facebook / Jackie Clarke Collection / Jackie Clarke Collection

The Jackie Clarke Collection has an original Proclamation of Independence from 1916. Beat THAT, turnip jack-o-lantern at the Museum of Country Life.

Ballina has the Salmon Festival

salmon Facebook / Ballina Salmon Festival Mayo Facebook / Ballina Salmon Festival Mayo / Ballina Salmon Festival Mayo

OK, so the main entertainment in the town only happens once a year, but it’s still better than anything the Royal Theatre puts out. Oh yes. We’re going there.

Castlebar may have McDonald’s, but Ballina has TWO Supermacses

Garlic cheese chips > Big Mac.

Ballina people have to suffer the wilds of Manulla Junction, so they’re a tougher bunch

All change at....#manullajunction

A post shared by Shane Barry (@shanembarry) on

Even Bear Grylls would have a hard time surviving the eternally misty, chilly conditions (no matter what the weather’s like elsewhere) when changing trains at Manulla.

But Ballina folk? They’ve built up a tolerance. They’re hardy. Castlebar people, with their cosy train going all the way to the place it’s supposed to take them, could never.

Ballina can pretend it has nothing to do with Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny resignation PA Wire / Niall Carson PA Wire / Niall Carson / Niall Carson

Enda Kenny is from Castlebar. Anytime someone gives off about him, Ballina people can be like:

giphy Giphy Giphy

Ballina may not have fancy tennis courts and a TK Maxx, but it has CHARACTER

Buckets of it. Ballina wins.

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More: 14 memories of Longnecks Nightclub any Ballina person will recognise>

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