Ball, Margaret (1515?–1584?), recusant and martyr, was born in Corballis in the barony of Skreen, Co. Meath, daughter of Nicholas Bermingham and his wife Katherine, daughter of Richard de la Hide of Drogheda, a descendant of Edward I. She married (1530) Bartholomew Ball, a prominent Dublin merchant and alderman, with whom she is reported to have had twenty children, five of whom survived into adulthood. Both the Ball and Bermingham families were staunch supporters of the catholic faith. Left a widow c.1568, she received a jointure of sixty acres at Balligalle. Her home became a centre of refuge for catholic clergy and a place of religious instruction for young people. She also established links with other notable Dublin recusant families and their servants.
Her standing in Dublin for a time gave her a degree of protection, though her home was raided periodically. During one of these raids in the late 1570s she and the priest who was saying mass in her house were arrested and taken to prison. Owing to aristocratic influence she was later released, and the confiscated vestments and chalices were replaced. After the conversion of her son Walter (qv) to protestantism, she had leading catholic clergymen try to dissuade him. Their efforts proved unsuccessful, and in the critical year of 1580, after the Nugent conspiracy and Baltinglass rebellion, Walter – by then the mayor of Dublin and a member of the court of high commission – had her rearrested. Lying on a wooden hurdle because of her infirmity, she was drawn through the streets to Dublin castle, where she was imprisoned. She remained there until her death c.1584. She is buried alongside members of her family in St Audeon's church, and was beatified in 1992.