Some interesting information on Ballyara extracted from the Ordnance Suvery Memoirs in 1836.
"Ballyara Abbey and Clergy
In the year 1796 the Irish Defenders were encamped in the 2 adjoining forts of the townland of Rue, until Captain Courtney and his company dispersed them, who was then quartered in Tubbercurry. The principal commander or captain of the Defenders was shot and buried in the old abbey of Ballyara, parish of Achonry. On that day there was a friar from Rome in the graveyard; he stated that it was exactly 900 years since the abbey and castle of Ballyara, Bellclare and Castle Rock was built.
In the year 1834 several large and most powerful skulls was dug up in the garden of James Golden, townland of Ballyara and parish of Achonry. In former days there had been a battle fought there, and the giant which is buried in the townland of Rathscanlin, parish of Achonry, was killed at that battle."
Also, the following interesting story which I heard concerning the graveyard is that there is a famous horse buried there which won a big race in England back in the 1800's and that there is actually a monument to the horse in the graveyard with the inscription "The Pride of Ballyara" !!