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Irish: Oileán Mhic Aodha
Near Browns Bay, Islandmagee - - 172680.jpg
Near Browns Bay, Islandmagee, in 2006
County County Antrim
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT40
Dialling code 028
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
List of places
Northern Ireland

Islandmagee (from Irish: Oileán Mhic Aodha, meaning "Magee’s island/peninsula")[1] is a peninsula and civil parish on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located between the towns of Larne and Carrickfergus. It is part of the Larne Borough Council area and is a sparsely populated rural community with a long history since the mesolithic period.

As part of an agricultural crop rotation programme of old beans were grown to supply nitrogen to the soil. "Bean Eaters" became a nickname for the people of Islandmagee.

It is the site of Northern Ireland's main power station Ballylumford and is the terminating point of the Scotland-Northern Ireland gas pipeline.


The name comes from Mac Aodha (Magee) a prominent Irish family in the area. An earlier Irish name was Rinn Seimhne (peninsula of (the district of) Seimhne) from an original tribal name.[1]

The Bissett family held the tenancy of the peninsula in Elizabeth I's reign, their rent being an annual offering of goshawks, birds which bred on the rugged white chalk cliffs nearby. It was the site of a witch trial in 1710 where eight women were convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to a year's imprisonment.


  • Islandmagee is the home of the Ballylumford Dolmen. Known locally as the "Druid's Altar", this megalithic monument could date to 2500 BC (The Early Bronze Age), or be the remains of an earlier Neolithic simple passage tomb dating to c. 4000 BC. It consists of four upright stones, with a heavy capstone and a fallenstone within the structure. This may have been put there to block the entrance to the tomb.[2]
  • Neolithic houses have been excavated at Ballyharry, on the Islandmagee peninsula.[3] Finds included Neolithic pottery, flint arrowheads, javelin heads, polished stone axe fragments and quernstones.[4]


  • Islandmagee F.C. plays in the Northern Amateur Football League.
  • Two golf clubs, Whitehead Golf Club (18 holes) and Larne Golf Club (9 holes) lie on the peninsula, as do two horseriding centres - Rocklyn stables and Islandmagee Riding Centre.
  • Fishing continues to be the most common sport practiced in the region.

Civil parish of Island Magee

The peninsula is part of the parish of Island Magee. The boundaries of the parish and the peninsula match.


The civil parish contains the following townlands:[5]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Island Magee". Place Names NI. Retrieved 4 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Ballylumford Dolmen". Discover Northern Ireland. Retrieved 5 December 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. O'Sullivan, Aidan & Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Investigations at Ballyharry Farm, Ballyharry, County Antrim�" (PDF). Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork. Retrieved 5 December 2009. replacement character in |title= at position 61 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Islandmagee". IreAtlas Townlands Database. Retrieved 4 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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