Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Galway.
ContentBALLINDOON, a parish, in the barony of BALLINAHINCH, county of GALWAY, and province of CONNAUGHT, 6 miles (S. W.) from Clifden; containing 4943 inhabitants.
This parish is situated on the Connemara or western coast, and within its limits are the bays of Mannin and Bunowen, Slyne Head, and the islands of Innisdanrow, Innisdoogan, Innisinan, Lyin, Carrigaroon, Doonglass, Immul, Duck, Horse, Islannora, and Fox.
In the famine that prevailed on this part of the coast, in 1831, the inhabitants were reduced to extreme want and destitution, and but for the timely aid of the London Relief Committee, it would have been, in the words of the parish priest, "a desert and uninhabited country."
The manufacture of kelp was formerly carried on to a very great extent, and was a source of lucrative employment, till the alteration in the duties took place, since which time it has been altogether discontinued. At present agriculture and fishing are the chief occupations of the inhabitants, of whom almost all have portions of land; the females make a red flannel for domestic use, and many are employed in knitting woollen stockings, which are celebrated as the Connemara hose, but the price is so low as scarcely to repay their labour, they being unable to earn more than three half pence daily.
In Bunowen bay a vessel may ride in moderate weather; the entrance is on either side of a rock called Carrigascoilty. From Ross point, on the main land, to Islannora a range of rocks extends to Slyne Head, which is situated in latitude 53° 24' 30" (N.), and longitude 10°7' 40" (W.), and runs off to the westward in five or six small islets, the outermost of which is Island Immul, which has deep water close in shore: there are two sounds among these isles that may be passed with boats. On this point the commissioners for improving the port of Dublin have erected a lighthouse. Rounding Slyne Head are Mannin bay and the harbour of Ardbear or Clifden.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Tuam, and forms part of the union of Ballynakill : the tithes amount to £40.
In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is included in the union or district of Clifden ; the chapel is a neat building.
There are four pay schools, situated respectively at Errislannin, Ballindoon, Aillebrack, and Ballyconnelly, in which are about 250 children.