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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Survive & Thrive Free 5 week workshop for men who have survived cancer is taking place every Thursday 7.30-10pm from the 5th of November to the 3rd of December in the Shearwater Hotel.
This Survive & Thrive Course from the Marie Keating Foundation includes advice from experts on coping with emotions, managing stress & fatigue, changing nutritional needs, physical activity and mindfulness.
Speakers include Dr. Paul Donnellan, Tony Keavey, Vicki Costello, Marie Murphy, Dr Mary Rogan and Paul Gillen.
The course is free and open to men who have survived any type of cancer.
Registration is essential and can be done online here: www.mariekeating.ie
Phone: 01 6283728
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 Moore History Group present the Premiere of Mathers of Falty By Ballinasoe born Author /Producer Xandra Kilduff in Moore Hall on Friday the 27th of November,also 28th and 29th at 8.pm.
The play based on the saga of the Mather's family of Falty House and covers the years 1852 to 1920 ,and features the famous cattle drives of Clonburren of 1916 .
With.a cast of over over 30 from a cross community company drawn from the History group,the Moore Drama group ,The Red Salamander Theatre Company ,the I.C.A ,Vintage group with local choirs and musicians and several of the cast playing the parts of their ancestors who lived through this era,the project is now in full rehearsal .
A free family event with a difference is to be held in Ballinasloe next Friday and Saturday, September 18th and 19th. St Brigid’s Heritage Group is inviting everybody to join them as they are transported back in time to Ireland 1915. Local actors will re-create the atmosphere of the period and answer any queries you have about this fascinating period in history.
The event begins with a Culture Night Concert on Friday at 7.30pm featuring Club Damhsa an Sean Nós, Béal Ātha na Sluaighe, members of Blossom Harp Ensemble, All-Ireland champion dancers the Behan sisters and local musicians including Liam Loughrey, Alan Coulihan, Johnny Johnston, Seamus Feerick and introducing singer Ciara Lawless
There will also be an exhibition of news from the local papers and photographs from the period around 1915. A quick browse through these sources show that Ballinasloe people were fond of dancing , barely a week passing without some group organizing a dance in the Town Hall or the Wigan Hall. There’s all the news on marriages and deaths as well as a running commentary on the war which seems to grow nearer as the year goes on with reports of deaths at the front, intense recruiting and a growing possibility of conscription.
On Saturday activities will start with a 12 noon camógie match between Pearses, South Roscommon the holders, and Ballinasloe Camógie for The Ada English Cup.
The afternoon programme from 2pm to 6pm offers a children’s corner, puppet show, vintage display, World War 1 Exhibition, a society wedding, local characters and important visitors, political movements, music, dancing and street ballads. There will be a prize for the best period costume, a family fun quiz and the event wraps up with the Gullanes Session on Saturday night from 9pm.
For more information and to keep updated please like their facebook page below.
Little Mark Dolan and his Wish To Walk campaign received a huge boost this weekend when All Ireland finalists Padraic and Cathal Mannion from the local Ahascragh club dropped into to see Mark and pledge their support to his cause. The two brothers, who have celebrity status in these parts as hurling fever grabs the County, took Mark to the local GAA pitch and posed for photos. They also signed a hurley to be used at an auction in the village to help raise funds for Mark's life-changing surgery.
In just two weeks time Mark, along with his parents Fidelma and Kevin Dolan, will board a plane to St Loius, Missouri in the USA where they will attend a clinic ran by DR TS Park, a neurosurgeon, who specialises in Mark's condition and has performed numerous SDR surgeries on Irish children over the years. The family will have to stay in St Louis for up to five weeks whilst Mark undergoes surgery. The first surgery will take place just three days after their arrival and will last for six hours which will be distressing for the little three year old boy and parents alike.
Having got through the surgery the next 72 hours for Mark is critical in order for the surgery to be successful. During this period his parents, working in shifts, will have to keep Mark lying still on his back with total restriction of movement which will be severe on all parties. Having got over this critical period brave Mark will more than likely proceed to a second surgery to have the muscles in his legs loosened again. Following on from this the family will spend four further weeks in intensive physio programmes to prepare Mark for the long journey home.
Meanwhile back home Marks Wish to Walk campaign and its hard-working committee are still busy raising funds to cover the enormous costs of Mark's Journey.
Campaign chairman Seamus Concannon explained to the Irish Independent that the campaign and the good will of the local people were determined to fund as much of the enormous costs of Mark's journey which in all will total close to €120,000. He pointed out that Mark's journey was a long one which started just under a year ago with the three times weekly visit to the clinic in Limerick which has so far cost the family €15,000. He also explained that when Mark steps off the plane from Missouri he faces a further two years care in the clinic in Limerick which is vital to his recovery and this will cost a further €30,000. €65,000 approx will go towards the surgery and flights,and accommodation and extras make up the balance.
The chairman added that the campaign to date had exceeded all expectations and that after five weeks that just under €80,000 had been raised. This as been achieved by a small but vibrant community coming together as one and reaching out to its friends and colleagues further afield. Donations have been received from as little as two euro from the Facebook Challenge to up to €10,000 for a fundraiser by a family cousin Mary Anderson Gorman who shaved her long golden hair in a pub in her native Ferbane.
All sort of events have been held locally, such as waxathons, Church gate collections, bog walks, quiz nights, raffles, auctions, tea parties, car washes, dances, pony races and the lists goes as as the general public go all out to fulfil Mark's dream. The generosity and sacrifices people have made have overwhelmed his parents, and this campaign only highlights what a wonderful Nation we are when it comes to a worthy cause. His parents and committee along with local parish priest Fr Kevin Reynolds are holding a special Mass of GRATITUDE AND HOPE on Tuesday 15th September at 8pm in St Cuan’s Church Ahascragh just before the family leave for the USA to pray for little Marks safe journey and for the family to show Gratitude to the hundreds and indeed thousands of people who have joined in this campaign.
Who knows, next Monday 7th the Mannion brothers, accompanied by a certain Mr Liam McCarthy, may call in to Ahascragh once again and join in on MARK'S WISH TO WALK!
Mark's journey has been a long one - to read more about it you can download his story so far here
And for further updates or to see how you can help please like and visit Mark's Wish to Walk Facebook Page
Completely new for Ballinasloe in Autumn 2015 will be the Strengthening Families Programme (SFP); a family skills based programme which aims to improve parenting, family functioning and communication, and to prevent anti-social behaviours in teenagers, families and communities. The Ballinasloe programme is part of the roll-out of SFP in County Galway, following successful programmes in Connemara, Galway City and Tuam.
Some of the families who engage with the programme find themselves struggling due to a range of issues, such as mental health, challenging economic circumstances, history of domestic abuse, addictions, low school retention, to name a few. A number of key local agencies locally, including WRDTF, GRETB, GRD, An Garda Siochana, Department Of Education, GTM, Youth Work Ireland, and Empowerment Plus will be involved in running the programme, which is supported in terms of core running costs by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul through the Maureen O Connell Fund.
The programme offers incentives to teens and their parents to participate and engage with the programme. Gift vouchers and spot prizes donated by local businesses that appeal to families of teens aged 12 – 16 have been very effective on other programmes in rewarding families’ engagement and highlighting fun activities that families can do together in their local area.
If you or your business would like to support the programme, please contact Jennie Swannock on 085 1685693 or email jennieswannock@eplus for further information. Any donation, no matter how small, is very much appreciated.
If you have teenagers aged 12-16 and you might be interested in participating in the programme for 14 weeks to learn new family skills, please contact Rachel Browne on 086 0273098.
We wish them all the best with the programme,
By Ciara Beresford
The U11 Rugby Team from Ballinasloe represented Galway county at the Community Games National Finals. These exceptionally talented players won Gold for the second year in a row, a number of these players were also on the U11 Gold medal team in 2014. This was a magnificent achievement for these young players at National level.
Huge Congratulations to everyone involved,
Following from the “Ballinasloe Town Benchmarking Report” published earlier this year, the town team are hosting a Business Networking Barbeque in Maud Millars on Friday 10th July from 6.00-7.30pm . The cost will be €10 per person which includes food and either a pint of beer or a glass of wine.
The main purpose of the event is to bring the businesses in the area together to generate ideas for inclusion in the Town Action Plan and to discuss promotion and cross-marketing of existing businesses in the area.
All businesses in the area are more than welcome to attend, so please feel free to forward to anyone you think may be interested. If you require any further information, contact Lyn in Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre.
Full details of the town benchmarking report are available here
Also if you have not already done so please submit your business details here for inclusion in the business directory for the area.
Look forward to seeing you then.
On behalf of the town team.
Jacinta Divilly, Val Colleran, Colm Croffy, Lyn Donnelly, Aidan Donoghue, Seamus Duffy, Tara Galvin, Paula Harley, Carmel Grealy, Kate Murray, Mike O’Brien, Pádraig Ó Ceithearnaigh& Ger Tully.
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