Ballyhalbert History

Ballyhalbert Harbour    



The Grand Jury of the County Down passed, on Saturday, a presentment awarding a substantial contribution towards the sum necessary for the construction of a fishery pier at Ballyhalbert.  The expenditure is one which all who know anything of the wants of the inhabitants of that district, will consider highly proper and necessary.  As matters stood before the idea of the new pier was brought forward, the fishermen of Ballyhalbert were compelled to carry on their vocation under circumstances of exceptional hardship and danger, they being totally without defence from storms, unless in places miles from their own town. 

A genuine evidence of the practical interest taken by the Controller of her Majesty’s Household in the affairs of his constituents has been furnished by the manner in which, through his influence, large sums of money have been expended on the improvement and construction of harbours on the County Down coast.  His efforts have been generously supported by the Grand Jury of County Down, who have recognised the importance of doing all in their power to sustain and encourage the fishing industry in that portion of the county.

On Saturday a presentation for £1,400 was passed towards the erection of Ballyhalbert pier.  The Fishery Commissioners subscribe £5,250, and a supplementary amount is furnished by the promoters.  The herring fishery is extensively carried on on the coast of the Ards peninsula, and the hardy enterprise of the fishermen is worthy all the assistance which can be afforded from State funds, with due regard to proper legal restrictions.

Portavogie is one of the centres of the herring fishery on the coast, every year adds to its fishing fleet, yet its fishermen are left defenceless against storms, save by the precarious haven afforded in the lee of a rock.  Ballyhalbert has already been generously considered both by the Grand Jury and the Fisheries Commission.  Its grievance has been practically redressed, but Portavogie can with equal force advance a claim which, if circumstance permit, should demand careful attention. 

The fishermen of the County Down coast are not men who stand, hands in pockets, clamouring for State aid, but they do ask that their own honest enterprise and labour, carried on in danger and hardship – for the benefit of the community as well as that of themselves – should not be permitted to languish, when a reasonable contribution from the public funds would maintain it in a vigorous condition.


Taken from
Newtownards Chronicle – 25th July 1885



Ballyhalbert Harbour as it was some years ago