The Town Team recently held a gala evening for their second ever Ballinasloe People of the Year Awards in the Shearwater Hotel with almost 500 guests and community organisations in attendance.
54 nominations for people and organisations were honoured, with each nominee receiving a certificate recognising their achievements. RTE Sports Journalist & Broadcaster Darren Frehill hosted the event, which was sponsored by the Credit Union, the Shearwater Hotel and KPW.
The Town Band under the baton of Noel Madden welcomed attendees with a fantastic symphony performance before everybody could move to the Plaza Suite for the event.
Seamus Duffy, the Chair of Ballinasloe Area Community Development (B.A.C.D.) opened proceedings welcoming everybody and updating the gathering on the Town Team’s projects, of the past 2 years - specifically mentioning the Zombie Walk that brought a sellout crowd of over 2,100. He also reminded the audience that while the Enterprise Centre was almost sold out again – the town has no capacity for new industry and he was pleased to announce that funding had been recently secured from the Credit Union to apply for full planning permission for a new advance modern light industrial factory on the IDA Business park to be shovel ready for new industrialists. He also mentioned that the group were in the process of hosting a seminar on the possible future uses of the old St. Bridgids Hospital complex. “Our next priority is the Festive gathering and Town illuminations and I thank all those associated with the staging of the evening and the awards especially the sponsors, whilst saluting all the nominees for their work in sustaining our community”.
Adrian Ahearne the Chair of the Credit Union spoke about how their Board and organisation were very much agreed to be supportive and acknowledging all the efforts of the many group and clubs that make up the fabric of our town and community. “ The Credit Union used to sponsor the old Mayoral awards some years back as we have been anchored in the needs of our local and we know and appreciate the efforts of volunteers , in a way that no other financial co – operative does . I want to thank the organisers and congratulate the nominees and winners this evening “ stated Adrian.
M.C. Darren Frehill of Lawrencetown then took to the stage, congratulating all nominees. “I was blown away, reading some of the nominations. It feels almost unfair to single out winners,” Darren mentioned his younger years growing up in the locality and how the sports clubs were a key aspect of his formation and how pleased he was to see so many people in their sporting attire at the event.
Nominees for all categories were introduced and awarded certificates of achievements by Adrian Ahearne. An interlude for food followed, during which the local music group Pleáracá performed. The break concluded with soprano Ciara Lawless, a sixth year student in Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone, performing some well known classics.
The category winners, were then announced as follows:
Arts, Cultural and Heritage Award – Lawrencetown Community Development-Heritage & Tidy Towns Focus Group
Business Community Spirit Award – Gullane’s Hotel
Social, Community & Civic Pride Award – Ballinasloe Social Services
Sports and Recreation Volunteer Award – John Donnelly (Cycling)
Sports and Recreation Individual Award – Heather Payne (Soccer)
Sports and Recreation Team Award – Ballinasloe Itosu-Kai Karatedo Ireland
Young Person’s Award – Julianna Green & Laura Frehill
Hall of Fame – Lifetime Achievement Award – Liam Kelly
Liam Kelly received the Hall of Fame award from Tom Quinn, the winner of the award in the inaugural event two years ago.
Jacinta Divilly, Co – Ordinator of the Town Team closed the evening, thanking the crowd for their support and congratulating the nominees, especially Liam for his lifetime achievement award. “I of course want to thank our sponsors for the evening. Thank you again to the Ballinasloe Credit Union, for sponsoring the Awards once again. Thank you to the Shearwater, who ensured a fantastic evening here tonight, feeding over 480 people supper in less than 30 minutes. And thank you as well to KPW, our new sponsors for the award,” Jacinta commented.
Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, got a few moments on stage to congratulate the nominees and winners. He specifically praised the young nominees and their talents. He also mentioned the Town Team’s projects, praising their continued efforts to make Ballinasloe a better place to live and work. “ between the Surmodics Investment, the e fibre project and the advance planning for new industry – the work of the Town Team is being responded to and supported by a listening and encouraging Government who will help those communities that are trying to help themselves “, noted the Minister.
A raffle ran during the evening, with all proceeds going towards the continued enhancement of the Christmas Lights & Illumination Festivities. The Tops prizes was a €500 travel voucher from Kellers Travel, which was won by Nora Flaherty.
Facing stiff competition from organisations all over Ireland, Accessibility Ballinasloe were shortlisted for the Charity Impact Awards (administered by The Wheel and supported by Medtronic).
This is a great opportunity to highlight the work Accessibility Ballinasloe are doing. All you need to do is a simple click and VOTE and EVERY vote counts! Go to http://www.charityimpactawards.ie/community and click "small" category, then choose the "shortlist" button and complete the vote for Accessibility Ballinasloe.
So what is Accessibility Ballinasloe all about? Have a read here.....
Tell us about the issue or issues this organisation is tackling and why it matters: Accessibility Ballinasloe (AB) was set up in April 2016 to develop Ballinasloe and its hinterland as an accessible, inclusive environment which welcomes and supports everyone to live an independent and healthy life regardless of age or disability. This group endeavours to create awareness around the challenges faced by people with disabilities. This is essential to enable everybody to participate in the community equally.
How does it go about tackling these issues?: AB works with all members of the community (individuals, clubs, community groups, organisations and statutory bodies) to identify collectively the needs, find solutions and create awareness around the issues and challenges faced by older people and people with disabilities in the community.
Everyone loves a good story. Tell us about a case where the organisation has made a positive difference: AB conducted a Walkability Audit of Ballinasloe town centre in 2016, the recommendations of which now form part of Galway County Council's Town Enhancement Plan. AB has also lobbied for the installation of a wheelchair swing and picnic bench in a playground in the town and these have now been installed. AB has also lobbied for the installation of changing hoists in the Coral Leisure Centre and these will be installed before year end. AB was also involved in "Make Way" Day national campaign to create awareness around disability parking. In conjunction with Galway County Council, AB applied to the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for upgrade works to be done to pathways and line markings in the town and €100,000 has been approved
What has the overall impact of this work been?: Children with disabilities can now partake in day-to-day activities in a playground, They will also be able to partake in water activities in the Leisure Centre when the changing hoists are installed shortly. Improvements to pathways in the town will ensure that everyone in the community will be able to walk on our footpaths safely.
What makes this organisation special?: AB is a small group, consisting of 6 core members with diverse backgrounds, who have come together with a common purpose. The group members work in diverse areas within the community so witness at first hand the gaps that exist. The group is dynamic and totally focussed on achieving its goal. Because of its small size, action plans are put in place in response to identified needs and rapidly acted upon.
How can the public support this work?: ABs first fundraising event will take place this winter (table quiz) and local community's support will be sought. The public has responded AB's call to action to date with regard to events the group has organised This support can be seen in the photo uploaded in this application, which is of the Walkability Audit which was the positive response to AB's call to action for this project.
For the second year running Fittown Ballinasloe are on the winning team again and Ballinasloe is officially the Fittest Town in County Galway. This is great news for the town, and the winnings from both years will go towards their two key projects - Outdoor Sports Equipment installation (Sports capital application pending) and Recreational Trails Project
The Team has also been nominated for the upcoming People of the Year Awards which takes place next Thursday evening (9th November) in the Shearwater Hotel.
The annual Halloween Zombie Walk in Garbally Woods presented by the Ballinasloe Town Team promises to be another spooky, enjoyable event for all on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th of October.
Walks will take place at 5:30 (Sunday Only), 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30. Groups of 25 will be led by zombie guides, all past staff of Lady Clancarty's Household.
Tickets cost €5 plus a 55 cent booking fee and must be booked online. It is also recommended that children under the ages of 12 are accompanied by an adult.
You can book your tickets now at www.ballinasloetownhall.com or by clicking this link
Over 1 million euro has been allocated for community initiatives in Galway under the Town and Village Scheme.
The Scheme has allocated 20 milllion euro on towns and villages across the country this year.
Minister for Community Development Michael Ring approved the funding for 13 projects in Galway County.
€100,000 will be invested in Ballinasloe for footpath repaving and line marking.
Similarly, Loughrea will receive €100,000 for enhancements to the Loughrea Lake and an amenity area.
KPW Design & Print are looking for a Warehouse Operator with warehouse and forklift experience. Full Drivers Licence required. Please phone Larry Rohan on 087-3444216 for more details.
.Nominations for the Ballinasloe Town Team People of the Year awards are now open!
There are 8 different categories to be contested.
1. Arts, Culture and Heritage Award.
2. Sports and Recreation Volunteer Award.
3. Sports and Recreation Team Award.
4. Sports and Recreation Individual Award.
5. Young Person's Award.
6. Social, Community and Civic Special Recognition Award.
7. Business Community Spirit Award.
8. Hall of Fame Award (Lifetime Achievement Accolade)
For nomination forms and more information, visit http://www.ballinasloe.ie/people-of-the-year-awards-2017.ht…
Closing date for nominations is October the 12th.
The award ceremony will take place on November the 9th in the Shearwater Hotel with MC on the night Darren Frehill.
The Ballinasloe Town Team People of the Year awards are supported by Ballinasloe Credit Union. Kpw Print and The Shearwater Hotel.
The Autumn Learning for Life Roadshow Wednesday 4th October in The Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe from 10am to 1pm
Do you know someone in the Ballinasloe area who is unemployed and could do with a bit of encouragement to find a job or upskill? Galway Rural Development Company (GRD) will host The Autumn Learning for Life Roadshow providing information on free courses, local job opportunities as well as CV and job interview workshops Wednesday 4th Oct. in The Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe from 10am to 1pm. Get expert CV advice. Entry is free of charge to all. Training courses includes Safe Pass, Manual Handling, Catering, Security skills, Caring, Cookery, Craft, Construction, Computer skills plus lots more. Bring a friend. No booking needed. This Roadshow is aimed at people who are currently unemployed, home makers or carers. These events will provide information on free training opportunities available in County Galway.
Ballinasloe is getting the fastest broadband speeds available anywhere in the world according to Minister for Communications Denis Naughten.
The Minister and Galway/Roscommon TD today unveiled plans to bring a new state-of-the-art broadband network to rural Galway, Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal.
He says the open access fibre network will be a powerful draw to international tech companies looking to invest in Ireland.
The investment is a partnership between SSE and enet telecommunications company.
Managing Director of SSE Ireland Stephen Wheeler and Chairperson of enet David C. McCourt joined the Minister at Ballinasloe Library for the announcement. Minister Naughten says Ballinasloe’s fibre network should be online within 12 months and he insists that local broadband improvements are not limited to Ballinasloe.
Lyn Donnelly, Manager of Ballinasloe Area Community Development Ltd, said:
“enet-SSE’s roll-out of a high speed broadband network to include Ballinasloe is a welcome and huge boost for the area. It is something that we have campaigned strongly for over the last couple of years and will help grow our strong business community, allowing us to maximise our potential for job creation and inward investment in Ballinasloe. It will also provide a much-needed broadband network for those of us living here and we are all looking forward to working together with ENET-SSE on this exciting project.”
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