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  • Irish: Baile na Mainistreach
Rathcoole - Newtownabbey.jpg
Overlooking the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey from Cavehill
Newtownabbey is located in Northern Ireland
Population 65,646 (2011 Census)
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT36, BT37
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
  • East Antrim
NI Assembly
  • East Antrim
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°40′24″N 05°54′49″W / 54.67333°N 5.91361°W / 54.67333; -5.91361Coordinates: 54°40′24″N 05°54′49″W / 54.67333°N 5.91361°W / 54.67333; -5.91361

Newtownabbey (from Irish: Baile na Mainistreach) is a large settlement north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Sometimes considered to be a suburb of Belfast, it is separated from the rest of the city by Cavehill and Fortwilliam golf course. At the 2011 Census, Metropolitan Newtownabbey Settlement had a population of 65,646, making it the third largest settlement in Northern Ireland. It is part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.


Newtownabbey was formed by the merging of seven villages; Carnmoney, Glengormley, Jordanstown, Monkstown, Whiteabbey, Whitehouse and Whitewell. It was formally brought into being on 1 April 1958. Before its inception the expanse fell under the jurisdiction of the Belfast Rural District Council.

The timeline of the local government authority is: Newtownabbey Urban District Council (1958–1973), Newtownabbey District Council (1973–1977), Newtownabbey Borough Council (1977–2015) and Antrim & Newtownabbey District Council (2015– ).

By the spring of 2015 Newtownabbey Borough Council will be officially merged with adjacent Antrim Council to form the new Antrim & Newtownabbey District Council under Local Government restructuring plans devised by the Northern Ireland Executive. This name is still to be confirmed.

The Troubles

For more information see The Troubles in Newtownabbey, which includes a list of incidents in Newtownabbey during The Troubles resulting in two or more deaths.


Cave Hill and Glengormley - - 1629199
The Glengormley area of Newtownabbey from Carnmoney Hill


Below is a list of townlands that are within Newtownabbey's urban area, alongside their likely etymologies.

  • Ballybought (from Irish: Baile Bocht, meaning "poor town")*Ballyduff (historically Ballymacelduffe; from Baile Mhic Giolla Dhuibh meaning "MacElduff's townland")*Ballygolan (historically Ballingowlan; from Baile an Ghabhláin or Baile Gobhláin meaning "townland of the fork")*Ballyhenry (from Baile Éinrí meaning "Henry's townland")*Ballyvesey (from Baile Feasoighe meaning "Vesey's townland")*Ballywonard (from Baile Mhuine Ard meaning "townland of the high thicket")*Carnmoney (from Carn Monaidh meaning "cairn of the bog")*Collinward (from Coll an Bháird meaning "the bard's hazel")*Cloughfern (historically Ballycurraghfarny; from Cruach Fearna meaning "stack of the alder" or Currach Fearnaí meaning "marsh of the place of alders")*Drumnadrough (from Druimainn Dorcha meaning "dark ridge" or Druim na gCruach meaning "ridge of the stacks"), where Merville Garden Village is located
  • Dunanney (from Dún Aine meaning "Aine's stronghold")*Glengormley (from Gleann Ghormlaithe meaning "blue-grey valley")*Jordanstown (historically Ballyjordan and Ballyjurdan)
  • Mallusk or Molusk (historically Moyvluske and Moyvliske; from Maigh Bhloisce meaning "Bloisce's plain")*Monkstown (historically Ballynamanagh; from Baile na Manach meaning "townland of the monks")
  • Whiteabbey
  • White House

* citation for derivations

The following housing estates have Irish-derived names, although they are not named after townlands:

  • Mossley (O.E. mos meaning "peat-bog" + O.E. leah meaning "clearing", gaelicized as Maslaí)
  • Rathcoole (likely from Ráth Cúile meaning "nook of the ringfort")

Electoral areas and wards

Until 2014 Newtownabbey operated under its own council comprising Ballyclare, Glengorley, Jordanstown, Carnmoney, Mallusk and Rathcoole. However, from 2014 it has operated as a larger Council after merging with Antrim to create Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. The current electoral ward and areas are:

  • Airport (1 DUP, 1 SDLP, 1 Sinn Féin, 2 UUP)

(Aldergrove, Clady, Crumlin, Mallusk, and Templepatrick)

  • Antrim (1 Alliance, 2 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 SDLP)

(Antrim Centre, Fountain Hill, Greystone, Springfarm, Steeple, and Stiles)

  • Ballyclare (3 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 TUV)

(Ballyclare East, Ballyclare West, Ballynure, Ballyrobert, and Doagh)

  • Dunsilly (2 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SDLP 1 Sinn Féin)

(Cranfield, Parkgate, Randalstown, Shilvodan, and Toome)

  • Glengormley Urban (1 Alliance, 3 DUP, 2 UUP, 1 Sinn Féin)

(Ballyhenry, Burnthill, Carnmoney, Collinbridge, Glebe, Glengormley, and Hightown)

  • Macedon (1 Alliance, 4 DUP, 1 UUP)

(Abbey, Carnmoney Hill, O'Neill, Rathcoole, Valley, and Whitehouse)

  • Three Mile Water (1 Alliance, 3 DUP, 2 UUP)

(Ballyduff, Fairview, Jordanstown, Monkstown, Mossley, and Rostulla)


On census day (27 March 2011) there were 65,646 people living in Newtownabbey. Of these:

  • 20.26% were aged under 16 years and 15.51% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.02% of the population were male and 51.98% were female
  • 27.69% were from a Catholic background and 62.21% were from a Protestant or other Christian backgrounds
  • 6.40% had some knowledge of the Irish language and 6.98% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots.



Northern Ireland Railways runs trains serving three railway stations: Mossley West railway station on the Belfast–Derry railway line and Jordanstown railway station and Whiteabbey railway station on the Belfast–Larne railway line.

Connecting trains run on the Belfast-Derry railway line from Mossley West, "Northbound" to: Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine (for the branch to University (Coleraine), Dhu Varren and Portrush), Castlerock, Bellarena, Londonderry. And "Southbound" to Yorkgate, Belfast Central (change for Belfast-Bangor railway line and the Enterprise), Botanic, City Hospital, Belfast Great Victoria Street and onwards.

Whilst the Belfast-Larne railway line serving Whiteabbey and Jordanstown and connects with other stations including the principal stations of Carrickfergus, Whitehead, Larne Town and Larne Harbour, heading "Northbound". And heading "Southbound" the same stations as listed above apply.


Bus services are provided by Metro.


Newtownabbey is linked to the M2 motorway (which passes through it) and the M5 motorway (which begins at its southeastern edge).

Twin towns

Newtownabbey is twinned with:

Newtownabbey has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:


Higher-level education
  • University of Ulster at Jordanstown (UUJ)
  • Northern Regional College (NRC)
Secondary-level education
  • Ballyclare High School
  • Belfast High School
  • Edmund Rice College
  • Glengormley High School
  • Ballyclare Secondary School
Primary-level education


There are several association football clubs in Newtownabbey, including several amateur clubs which field teams in the Northern Amateur Football League: 18th Newtownabbey Old Boys F.C., Mossley F.C., Nortel F.C., Rathfern Rangers F.C., and Ulster University at Jordanstown F.C.. Rathcoole F.C. plays in the Ballymena & Provincial Football League. As of 2020, Belfast Deaf United Football Club played in the Down Area Winter Football League.

Local Gaelic games clubs include St Enda's GAC (based near Glengormley) and Greencastle Wolfe Tones GAC (based at Greencastle). Both participate in competitions organised by the Antrim County Board.

Hockey teams based in Newtownabbey include East Antrim Hockey Club, Mossley Hockey Club, and Owls Hockey Club. There are also a number of rugby clubs, an amateur boxing club (Glengormley Amateur Boxing Club), and several cricket teams. These include the Academy and Cliftonville Cricket Clubs (the latter participating in the NCU Senior League).

Notable people

See also: :Category:People from Newtownabbey
  • Stephen Boyd (4 July 1931 - 2 June 1977), Golden Globe-winning actor, was born in Glengormley.
  • Bobby Sands (9 March 1954 - 5 May 1981), Provisional Irish Republican Army member and hunger striker.
  • James Brown (born 1968), Elvis impersonator, lives in Newtownabbey.
  • Ronan Bennett (born 1956), novelist and screenwriter, grew up in Newtownabbey.
  • James Fenton (1931 – 2021), Ulster Scots poet.
  • Dean McCullough, British radio personality.
  • Leah McFall (born 1 July 1986), singer-songwriter, was born in Newtownabbey.
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