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Location address: United Kingdom, Ballymoney
Number of texts: 1
The River Bann (Irish: an Bhanna, likely from an bhan-abha, meaning “the white river”) is the longest river in Northern Ireland, the total length being 80 miles (129 km). The river winds its way from the south east corner of Northern Ireland to the north west coast, pausing in the middle to widen into the enormous Lough Neagh. According to C.Michael Hogan, the Bann River Valley is a settlement area for some of the first human arrivals in Ireland after the most recent glacial retreat. The river has played an important part in the industrialisation of the north of Ireland, especially in the linen industry. Today salmon and eel fisheries are the most important economic features of the river. The river is often used as a dividing line between the eastern and western areas of Northern Ireland, often labelled the “Bann divide”. Towns, councils and businesses “west of the Bann” are often seen as having less investment and government spending than those to the east. It is also seen as a religious, economic and political divide, with Catholics and Irish nationalists being in the majority to the west, and Ulster Protestants and unionists in the majority to the east; and with the financial and industrial capital of Greater Belfast to the east with the west of the Bann being more agricultural and rural.