BALLINTOY VILLAGE

Ballintoy Harbour Ballintoy Church and Bengore Head

One story tells of  members of the family getting possession of a portion of their Ballintoy property by foul mean, having murdered the rightful owner on a hill near Knocksoghey.  The victim's name is said to have been Maelderig or 'Red Chief' and his people where afterwards known as Reid's on the Antrim coast, a name closely linked to Ballintoy and the coast of Kintyre in Scotland. The castle and the old church that stood on the site of the present day church were lay siege to during the 1641 rebellion when local Presbyterians took refuge inside.  The local priest Father MacGlaime was said to have asked that water be allowed in each day for the women and children hold up in the tower and it was agreed. Each day he  would take buckets of water down to the church where they were hauled up the top of the tower. The unsuspecting force around the church did not know that oatmeal was placed below the water line. After a week of laying siege to the church and with no sign of starvation from within, they began to wonder how these people could survive. The garrison in the castle were able to hold at bay the attackers until relief arrived and those laying siege retreated to Ballycastle, when the truth of what Father MacGlaime had done came out, he was subsequently murdered by people who had took part in laying the siege. One of those inside was a Thomas Boyd of Lisconnan who later made a disposition before Oliver Cromwell's commissioners which is still to be seen in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.

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