Ballingeary is the largest population centre in Uibhlaoire, but for all that is still a small village. It is a gaeltacht village in the west of Uibhlaoire parish, County Cork on the River Laoi, the name translates as 'ford at the mouth of the Gearagh', although there is little sign of The Gearagh this far up river now. However Gearagh still exists at the eastern end of the parish at Toons Bridge. The village also marks the Western end of Loch Allua, actually a string of small lakes on the river Laoi reaching downstream to Inchigeelagh.
The area around the village is teeming with prehistoric sites, mostly dating from the Bronze age when this area would seem to have been very prosperous. There are also ringforts and a crannóg from later eras and some small Medieval relics. Of unknown, but probably later date, we have a number of Clapper Bridges. There is reason to believe that one of the latter must be at least 200 years old as the adjacent road bridge is that age and there would be no need for a clapper bridge if a road bridge was already available.
Ballingeary also preserves a huge cooking pot, originally used to prepare soup for victims during the Great Famine, of 1847-51, in nearby Coolmountain House. After many years lost, the pot turned up being used as an outdoor hot tub for a family near Bantry. It was kindly donated to the Uibh Laoire Historical Society by Mr. Les Carter and set up in its present location, under a shelter, by Luc Racine, a local bespoke furniture maker. The shelter echos the crook oak construction of medieval cottages.
Colaiste na Mumhan now sited in the centre of the village was founded in 1904 to educate teachers hoping to teach in Irish. It was the first of such colleges set up in Ireland. Originally it was sited in a building opposite the present village shop, but moved into purpose built premises, An Halla, in 1914. Later operations were transferred to the present building and the purpose of the college changed to teaching school children Irish. Students now come to summer schools here from all around Ireland and a few from even further afield.