The winners of the Christmas Window Display have been announced! Ballinasloe Life went live on Facebook, with Lyn Donnelly announcing the three best-placed windows.
From there, we went Facebook Live again to present Keller's with their prize - €300 worth of vouchers from local businesses - and to draw the winner from the entry-draw!
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Aoife Grier who has been selected to win a vouchers for stores in Ballinasloe!
Thank you so much to the participating shops and to everybody who voted. We hope you enjoy the Christmassy-vibe the decorations create and enjoy your Christmas!
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.
Almost 150 people congregated in Gullanes Hotel, Ballinasloe on Thursday evening last Nov 26th. Engineers Ireland West Region hosted the event on the Revised Standard for Agricultural Vehicles.
The event was coordinated by John Paul Butler & David O’Brien who are both committee members of Engineers Ireland in the West Region. Justin Martin who is Vehicle Standards Engineer with the Road Safety Authority delivered a well-received presentation.
The presentation outlined the changes to the legislation which will come into force from Jan 1st 2016. The presentation was followed by questions and answers and refreshments were served during the networking session.
The event was attended by huge number of stakeholders which included engineers, manufacturers, maintenance personnel, owners & operators who had travelled from all over Ireland. Engineers Ireland West Region regularly hold events throughout Galway, Mayo & Roscommon with an up to date list available on their website: www.engineersireland.ie
The Cathaoirleach's Awards, previously the County Mayors Awards, will take place this November
There are 12 categories in total covering a wide range of community and voluntary activity such as sport, promoting the heritage of our county, social inclusion activities and the environment. Two new categories relating to the Irish language introduced last year will return. One recognises the work that groups are doing in the Gaeltacht to promote the language and the other relates to the non Gaeltacht area of the County. Also making a return is the Community Economic Initiative Award. Recognising Galway's effort to become an 'Age Friendly' County, the Age Friendly Award returns this year. The popular Arts & Culture Award is expected to be hotly contested this year. The winners will be presented at a ceremony with a commissioned Cathaoirleach's Community Award and a prize to the value of €500.
Nomination forms are on www.galway.ie/cathaoirleachawards. For information contact the Community & Enterprise office on 091-509521 or email@example.com. Closing date is 4pm on Friday 30 October.
- See more at: http://www.galwayindependent.com/news/topics/articles/2015/10/21/4107792-final-call-for-nominations/#sthash.sR0ep7X1.dpuf
Due to a high demand in requests, the Town Team have agreed to EXTEND the deadline of submissions for the People of the Year Awards until Wednesday, October 14th at 10am.
Under the umbrella of BACD Ltd a “Town Team” has been formulised in conjunction People and Places Ltd in the UK. The Town Team is made up of a spectrum of volunteers across the business and community sectors covering Ballinasloe and its full hinterland.
Following publication of the Town Benchmarking Report, the town team are striving to carry out both short-term and long-term actions to ultimately improve & revitalize Ballinasloe and its hinterland. These awards are one of the projects being carried out under the bench marking process, with the aim to acknowledge the tremendous amount of voluntary work carried out in Ballinasloe which forms the backbone of our community.
In Association with Ballinasloe Credit Union
Supported by Shearwater Hotel & Ballinasloe Town Team
Town Team Mission Statement
“Our vision is to revitalize the town and its hinterland, enabling it to achieve its true potential, by creating awareness of all the positive assets we currently have in the townland and identifying new initiatives that will enhance and expand on what we already have.
To encourage positive suggestions and interaction from all local sporting, cultural, voluntary, agricultural, educational and retail groups, along with local, regional and national agencies by progressing ideas and actions together and working in co-operation with one another.
We will prioritise attainable objectives that will rejuvenate our town and help it achieve its true potential, making Ballinasloe a better place in which we live and rear our children - and foster a friendly competitive sustainable town to do business in and visit”
Many voluntary groups and individuals make invaluable contributions to our community. Our wish is that such people are formally recognised so that we can publicly acknowledge their efforts and achievements. It is also our wish to honour very special and talented individuals or groups who have achieved excellence and represented our community nationally or internationally.
Thank you to our Main Sponsor Ballinasloe Credit Union. The event is also being supported by the Shearwater Hotel and the town team.
The 2015 People of the Year Awards will acknowledge outstanding people and organisations who, through their commitment to participating in community and voluntary activities, have had a positive and significant impact on the quality of life of their communities in Ballinasloe.
There are so many people making a difference in our community this is an opportunity to formally recognise their achievements under the format of People of the Year Awards. We encourage you to please put their names forward for an Award.
What are the People of the Year Awards?
The Awards recognise and celebrate the voluntary work that individuals, groups, organisations & schools contribute to their community. There are 7 Award categories in total. We are now seeking nominations for each Award category.
What are the 7 Categories?
1. Social and Community Support Award
This category covers a broad spectrum of activity from voluntary groups and individuals who work with specific groups such as people with disabilities, the elderly and people less fortunate that others. This award acknowledges those who contribute significantly to the fabric of our community.
2. Arts, Cultural and Heritage Award
This category recognises the contribution of individuals, schools and groups to the continuing development of the Arts, Culture & Heritage in Ballinasloe. It covers a wide range of activities and events that contribute to the enhancement of the quality of life in Ballinasloe.
3. Sports and Recreation Award
This category recognises individuals or groups in Ballinasloe who give their time voluntarily to support and encourage participation in sport and other recreation activities. This Award also includes specific sports teams and individuals who have excelled in their chosen sport and represented their town with distinction. Sports and Recreation is important in creating a healthier lifestyle for the whole community.
4. Young Person’s Award
This category recognises the contribution that young people make in our community, through their work within different community groups. It also acknowledges the achievements of individuals or groups who proudly represent Ballinasloe in sporting, cultural or community events. (Age Limit 18 or under).
5. Civic Pride Award
This category recognises voluntary individuals, resident associations and other groups in Ballinasloe that have shown a sense of civic pride within their community by undertaking a wide range of activities in their local area that has made a difference and who continue to work towards making Ballinasloe a better place to live.
6. Community Group Special Recognition Award
This category recognises voluntary groups and individuals that have made a special contribution to life in Ballinasloe and hinterland through the works which they have undertaken which may be deemed to go above and beyond the normal call of duty. It may be in respect of ongoing work, or specific project that has made a significant impact on their community and its people.
7. Hall of Fame Award
This category recognises individuals from Ballinasloe whom have achieved excellence and are successful in the field of either sporting, professional, business, entrepreneurial or artistic endeavours.
How do I Nominate?
1.There is one nomination form for all categories. Click HERE to download it a .pdf version. For a version in MS Word, click HERE.
2. You state which category you are making the nomination on the form.
3. You can make a nomination by downloading the nomination form, completing it and emailing or posting it back.
4. Read the questions carefully. Section A is information regarding the group or person being nominated. Section B is information regarding the persons making the nomination. Each nomination requires a proposer and a seconder to validate the nomination
5. You may submit extra information. The assessment will be based on the information provided on the form and any extra information given.
6. Closing date for receipt of nomination forms is 10am Wedesday 14th October 2015.
What Happens then?
1. The Awards will be independently assessed after the closing date and winners will be chosen.
2. All Shortlisted nominees will be invited to The People of the Year Awards Ceremony on the evening of the 12th of November 2015 where the winners will be announced and presented with their Awards.
What is the Prize?
All Shortlisted Nominees from each Category will be presented with a Scroll of Achievement and each category winner will be presented with a specially commissioned prestigious Award.
Are there any Conditions?
The following conditions apply:
1. The People of the Year Awards will be held on Thursday, 12th of November 2015 in The Shearwater Hotel. The nominees must be present on the night where the winners will be announced.
2. Groups and individuals may nominate themselves.
3. Nominations will only be considered on the official nomination form and received by the closing date on Wednesday October 14th 2015.
4. Nomination forms to be either submitted typed on the downloaded form and emailed to the email address given, or posted/dropped in to Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre.
5. For queries please contact:
Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre
Tel: 090 9646516
Deadline for receipt of Nominations is 10am Wednesday October 14th 2015
The search for the Fair & festival Queen of the Fair 2015 is on! All local clubs, pubs, organisations and businesses are invited to nominate a candidate over 18 years of age to take part in the competition in September sponsored by Gullane's Hotel.
The successful girl will be an ambassador for the town and have the opportunity to meet and greet all nationalities during the year. The selection of the 2015 Queen of the Fair will take place in Gullane's Hotel on September 19th.
Further information from Mary: 0872071869; Kathleen 0851028685.
Download an Application Form
For more information on the Ballinasloe October Fair please visit their website or go to the Facebook page below:
Check out this video created by a student for a school project ;-)
By Ken Kelly
The school year in St. Augustine’s NS in Clontuskert finished with several accolades being showered on the teachers and the 38 pupils.
The Head of Microsoft Ireland and Microsoft Corporation, Dr. Kevin Marshall, praised the school for becoming the first in Ireland to create Chekhov eBooks in Irish and congratulated the principal Kate Murray on being awarded the inaugural Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator Fellow Award for the Republic of Ireland.
In an open schools’ competition, St. Augustine's came out on top from 24 local schools who were invited to submit a history and presentation on World War 1 by the organising Heritage Group.
They won the plaudits of the three judges and staged their presentation at an open night in Gullane’s Hotel. To round off a hectic year’s activities, the Clontuskert school hosted thirty students and teachers from France, Spain and England, culminating in a Community celebration night in the school hall, where the local students performed a concert to celebrate the two year partnership of the Comenius project. At a “Red Letter Day” in the school, Microsoft’s Dr. Kevin Marshall said St. Augustine’s had “led the way in primary school one to one technology integration in Ireland” while TD and former school principal, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said she was “blown away by the wonderful, innovative work of the pupils and I congratulate St. Augustine’s on being a school of excellence.”
Microsoft had presented each student with a Surface Device, which is a hybrid tablet with keyboard and pen that gives the pupils an outlet to write, code and create. As part of the celebrations the children presented their work on Chekhov Story author and the Literacy for Life Initiative. They are now the first school in Ireland to create Chekhov eBooks in Irish while Principal Kate Murray is one of twelve Expert Educators from around the world who have worked and designed new models of learning that better prepare learners for life in the 21st century.
In a separate function, there was “standing room only” in the school hall where teachers and students from schools in the UK, France and Spain were entertained to mark the end of a two year Comenius project. In recent years students and teachers from the Clontuskert school traveled to each of the above countries to learn more about their cultures and education. The visitors were also treated to a walking tour of Ballinasloe town as well as visiting places of historical interest in the locality. Under the guidance of principal Kate Murray, fellow teachers Emil Scott, Nicola Egan and Colette Baynes are basking in the glory of the school’s unique successes during the last year. And rightly so!
Don't forget to follow St Augustine's School by visiting their very active blog!
Final Score: Ballinasloe 10 – Westport 7
Ballinasloe Rugby Club PRO, Liam Courtney has the full match report!
‘The Ballinasloe Junior Rugby team put in a huge second half performance to pull off a well deserved victory over former Junior Cup holders Westport at Tuam RFC grounds on Friday evening, April 17.
Originally fixed for Crowley Park, the late transfer to Tuam would have inconvenienced followers from both sides, however, those who made it to the well turned out north Galway venue were treated to a most entertaining and keenly contested game of rugby.
Westport would have entered the fray as the bookies favourites, following their recent historic win in the aforementioned Junior Cup. A question mark hung over Ballinasloe’s match sharpness due to a lack of game time in recent weeks but as it turned out, Noel Mannion and Kevin Tierney had their charges well primed for this contest.
Ballinasloe showed early eagerness and looked like the more purposeful side in the opening exchanges of the game, shading the territory and possession stakes. Their No.8, Kevin Gavin was posing a threat by taking the ball forward and breaking the gain line before Westport could re-group and cut off any developing danger.
They had an opportunity to take the lead after 13 minutes, but Ross Keller pulled his penalty kick to the left of the posts.
Minute’s later Westport flanker, Chris Ryan, brought play deep into the Ballinasloe half for the first time and there followed some smart passing by the Bulls backs to create a try for Kevin Corcoran – converted by Sean Tobin.
Keller was wide with a second kick at goal as an improving Westport pack was beginning to dominate in the scrum. It was third time lucky for Keller when he landed a penalty in the 34th minute after Westport were penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck.
As the Mayo side drove forward with menace they could have extended their lead before the break but Tobin was off target with a kick at goal. Leading 7-3 at half time, Westport looked as if their improving play in the later stages of the first period would see them home.
Both sides were prepared to play cagey rugby on the turnover, with little adventure to excite the followers in the stand. However, this was short lived, as Ballinasloe began to take the Bulls by the horns (no pun intended of course!) and upped their intensity.
Westport’s Conor Hastings carried the brunt for too many penalties conceded by his team and was yellow carded in the 54th minute. Cue now for Ballinasloe to introduce their talisman John Hayes from the bench and the hope for impact was about to be realised.
The winners were now playing with renewed spirit and brought grit and determination to their game that was not quite present earlier on. They drove forward like men possessed, playing much of the game inside the Westport 22. Westport were in a real dog fight and the question was: could they keep their try line intact?
Ballinasloe were like wolves at the door, continuing to bark. First Ross Keller and then J.J.Carey came close to breaching the Bulls defence. Conal Gormley made two searing bursts and still Liam Scahill and his colleagues held out. But the winner’s persistence paid off in the 69th minute when Hayes, with assistance from his pack, eventually barged over for the all important try.
Keller, now with his dander up, landed the conversion and Ballinasloe had nudged 10-7 ahead. One felt it was going to be the winning score as it never looked like being a high scoring game on the evening. Westport had one last bite of the cherry and put together a driving haul that started in their own half and made its way menacingly into Ballinasloe territory. A tense moment for players, management and spectators, but the winners held their nerve and discipline and turned the ball over – and the Cawley Cup was on its way to Graigueawoneen. Hard earned but oh so thoroughly deserved!
A. Mannion, D. Burke, C. Gormley, R. Cullinan, D. Freeman, R. Keller, M. Tierney, J.J. Carey, A.O’Hara, T. Dolan, M. Harrigan, K. Headd (capt), A. Loughrey, K. Gavin, R. Wakefield.
Subs: G. Donnellan, N. Staunton, H. Reynolds, J. Hayes, R. Sheppard,
Other Rugby News!
Congratulations to the Ballinasloe U14’s on capturing the Connacht Cup recently! They put in a big second half performance to overcome a strong Sligo side, finishing with an impressive score of 19-0. It was their second game in four days, having won the semi final on Wednesday April 15 .
U14 Connacht Cup Final
This Ballinasloe team secured its back-to-back Connacht Cup Title with a great victory over Buccaneers in the U14 final in the Sports ground on Sunday April 19 – following their victory over Sligo in last season’s U13 Connacht Cup.
In glorious albeit windy conditions, Ballinasloe started the game on the front foot, however, as in their victory over Corinthians in the semi-finals, they failed to take advantage of early pressure and soon found themselves on the back foot against a very physical and well drilled Buccaneers team.
Ódhran Dooley was an essential presence in defence, leading his pack superbly in repelling attack after attack. Meanwhile, James Carry had an excellent first half, relieving pressure on the team with some brilliant ball carrying and with the help of the excellent Jason Cunningham denying the Buccaneers of a try.
In the second half, Ballinasloe were on the offensive from the start, the forwards retained possession brilliantly to allow the backs to spread the ball out wide with Shane Jennings touching down in the corner.
Missing the conversion, Ballinasloe led 5-0 and they never looked back, continuing to pile pressure on the opposing team. The line-out was turned on its head as a result of putting massive pressure on the Buccaneers, forcing mistakes and stealing the ball with the excellent Ódhran Dooley, Oisin McCormack, Fergus Finneran, Luke Dunne and Paddy Grehan leading the way along with Jamie, Seamie and James who all carried well.
Cian Treacy, wearing number 10 for the local side played to the conditions superbly, increasing pressure and showcasing his great kicking skills throughout the match.
With 12 minutes to go, Ballinasloe deservedly scored their 2nd try – with Treacy picking out his winger Sean Horkan, sending him an excellent 40 metre cross field kick. Sean caught the ball 35 metres out and without breaking stride stepped inside his opposing number and finished brilliantly in the corner, despite best efforts of the Buccaneers fullback.
Treacy added an additional two scores to the scoreboard, extending his team’s lead to 12-0. As a result of a great team effort, Shane Jennings scored his 2nd try of the day, which again was brilliantly converted by Treacy to extend the lead to 19-0.
The celebrations at the final whistle were well deserved and displayed just how much this meant to the team, coaches and supporters.
The Ballinasloe Captain for the day, Cormac Finn stepped up to receive the Cup with his team-mates around him – the joy on their faces further proof of how much the win meant to them as a group.
According to management, ‘This team are a talented group with some exceptional individuals. It would be too easy to say this is why they win games, as there is much more to them than that. They train the way they play – with total commitment. They put in the hard yards with the pyramids, shuttle runs, the 5 minute runs (which tend to be 7 minute runs) and hail, rain or snow they are out there on the training field putting in a great effort. This bunch of lads put in a massive effort week in week out throughout the season, supported by their parents and again this season they received their rewards for the massive effort that they have put in.’
The management team would like to thank parents for their continued support.
– Tom, Gearóid & Derek
By Tom, Gearoid and Derek
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