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Ballyjamesduff County Cavan.


(Black James' townland) or
(Béal atha a’ seiscinn duibh)
The mouth of the ford of the black marsh.

The town of Ballyjamesduff probably grew up as a coaching stop on the Old Dublin road, around 1820 the route of the road was changed bypassing the town. Today Ballyjamesduff is famous for its Pork Festival which takes place each year, pigs are roasted on open air spits, there is a true carnival atmosphere, you will find craft demonstrations including farriers, coopers, saddlers, wood turners and weavers. There is also a traditional pig fair, watch the farmers wheel and deal, spit on their hand and slap the others to clinch the deal.

In the mid 1800's a young engineer Percy French (1854-1920) was appointed inspector of drains in County Cavan, French had a bent for poetry and songwriting one of his songs was to make Ballyjamesduff famous, while in the town he employed a man Paddy Reilly to drive him about, apparently Paddy emigrated to Scotland and French wrote the song 'Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff' it seems Paddy did indeed come back some years later and lived out the rest of his life and died in the town. You can read the words of the song here.

Ballyjamesduff is the home of Cavan County Museum, which chronicles much of Cavan's heritage, history and culture, it is located in a former convent built in the early 1880's for the Poor Clare's. Within the museum is a craft shop offering various craft products from the area.

It was from Derrylea in the vicinity of Ballyjamesduff that Marcus Daly (1840-1900) emigrated to America, Marcus was destined to become one of the richest men in a America at the time of his death. He made his fortune in mining becoming known as 'The Copper King of Montana'

Fishing is well catered for around Ballyjamesduff, two lakes Nadrageel and Lackan are stock with coarse fish and good sport is to be had, boats are available on the lakes.