Ballina

Ballina, with a population of around 11,000, is a busy industrial and commercial center, and the second-largest town in Mayo after Castlebar. Built on the River Moy, it’s famous for trout and salmon fishing, as well as being the birthplace of Ireland's first female president (1990–97), Mary Robinson. The angling in the town and nearby Lough Conn attracts many visitors. One of the best spots, the Ridge Pool, is right in the town center, and can be reached by crossing the pedestrian Salmon Weir Bridge, a striking structure shaped like a fishing rod. While not conventionally pretty, the flat, windswept town's solid three- and four-story Victorian buildings house some charmingly old-fashioned pubs and shops.

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