Balla McKenny


Balla McKenny


County Clare-born Michael Kenny arrived in 1842 from Van Diemen’s Land where he reportedly walked from Hobart to Launceston with a double-barrelled gun over his shoulder. He married the Morphett Vale-based widow and mother of four Brigid Purtle from Kerry, and with his brother set to work reaping, fencing and threshing. Michael Kenny was a keen sportsman and won a silver cup when his horse Faugh-a-balla (Ir. Fág an Bealach ‘clear the way’) won the first Wheatsheaf Cup. There was no cup at the time, but Michael insisted on one and it took two years to come from England. The Kennys (four sons and a daughter) finally ended up in Colton on a wheat and sheep property they named Balla Mckenny (Ir. baile home). They exported wheat from Port Kenny.



Dymphna Lonergan

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Michael Kenny, “Balla McKenny,” Irish Place Names in Australia, accessed July 16, 2018,