Ballymena (bălēmēˈnə) [key], town (1991 pop. 28,166) and district, NE Northern Ireland, on the Braid River. Linen, woolen goods, synthetic fibers, carpets, and tobacco are produced in the town. According to tradition, St. Patrick worked as a herder at Slemish Mt., 5 mi (8.1 km) from Ballymena.

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