Dunlo Hill On Track For New Housing
Dooley’s Bar and Grocery has been a prominent focal point pivoting the top of Dunlo St and Dunlo Hill where the row of Estate workers cottages ends at the junction to Aonach behind the mount.
This 1.8 acre site has been acquired by Galway County Council to develop into 19 residential Units to ease accomodation wating lists.
Councillors have been briefed by the -house consultants on final design, layout, look and feel of the new development as final plans are being drawn up for the Part 8 planning process due to commence over the summer months.
Cllr Dermot Connolly (SF) stated: “The design and architectural reports are still being looked at and I believe at the next municipal meeting there will be a final update and sign off on that. We have put our input into the design and have specified that the new units must maintain the familiar Georgian look of the town, resembling the 19th century style of the town centre and ensuring it keeps a traditional provincial town look.”
This development is anticipated to have 19 housing units , all council owned and managed with no voluntary housing co – operative involved or private sales. Priority for the new housing units will be given to those who struggle with mobility particularly those who are elderly, as the Dunlo Hill setting will provide easy and safe access to the town centre for residents.
Councillor Connolly added: “In the Ballinasloe Municipal District alone I would not be too far off in saying that there would be over 600 people on the waiting list for housing. Every day we are getting phone calls, emails, letters of enquiries from those on the housing list and their representative’s asking about when they will receive the suitable housing they need .”
“While there is no official timescale to the project. The Council is fully overseeing the project and they are looking at every method to ensure that this project is completed as efficiently, as cost effective and as quickly as possible. Once the designs come in and are approved we can move to give a proper timescale but I would be severely disappointed if there has not been significant works completed in the next 16 months.” concluded Cllr Connolly.
Surmodics, a leading medical device company based in the IDA Business Park , Ballinasloe, has recently received the "Zero Project Earth Day Award 2021" based on their sustainability journey with The City Bin Co.
Surmodics identified the need to increase recycling rates and their sustainability efforts, whilst reducing costs, and therefore kickstarted The Zero Project.
Prior to February of this year, the firm were using a number of 1100 litre bins for both general waste and recycling. The bins were many different colours and therefore caused confusion in terms of waste segregation, which resulted in low recycling rates. The site was producing enormous amounts of grass, which was being tended to by a tractor lawn mower, resulting in high carbon emissions.
Since February 2021, Surmodics kickstarted their sustainability journey with "The Zero Project" - the company's efforts been led by Conor Forde, Senior Facilities Engineer. The City Bin Co. installed Front End Loader (FEL) bins onsite. The type of waste generated by the plant is dry industrial and therefore a good fit for the FEL bins. The waste is removed and transported to a recycling depot where it is sorted and either reused or recycled, helping the company divert waste from landfill.
The team on the project replaced outdoor and indoor fluorescent lights with LED lights, resulting in a total carbon saving of 25.5 tonnes, and there is no longer any fluorescent gas or lamps waste to dispose of. They also introduced light sensors that control 95% of Surmodics’ lights, ensuring lights automatically switch off during quieter times, saving energy.
Surmodics have started working towards a paperless business by introducing an e-signatures, thereby creating a paperless accounts payment system. The firm has provided keep cups and re-usable water bottles for their employees, cutting down on unneeded waste.
An electric robot lawnmower, the Mobot, which does not waste grass and does not require fuel to cut the grass , was acquired In March - resulting in carbon savings of 0.6 tonnes for the site. Recently the City Bin Co. carried out a waste audit onsite and put a plan together to ensure segregation of waste.
For the remainder of 2021, Surmodics sustainability plan is to ensure that the Zero Project standard is maintained across the site. Environmental training and awareness initiatives for employees is key to implementing sustainability in the workplace and an important element to this is generating environmental ideas from colleagues in order to continue the Surmodics journey to sustainability.
Height of Health now has a new base on Dunlo Street (where Chris Daly’s Shoe store was) and are providing a wide dedicated range of natural vitamins and minerals, skin and haircare products, joint care, herbal teas, coffees, incenses, essential oils and much more. The store is open Monday to Saturday 10:00 -18:00 and aims to provide all health-related products.
The store is a partnership between local Kiltormer man Liam Salmon and Clare native Fergal McNamara. However, it is very much a family run business with Fergal’s wife Helen and daughter Sinead, both very much involved while Liam’s daughter Aileen is also a member of the team working in the store. Rounding off the team at Height of Health is Killimor born Nutritional Therapist - Anne Quirke. This is the third Height of Health store for Fergal who also runs a store in Ennis and one in Dundalk, where Aileen worked part-time while studying at Dundalk Institute of Technology. The McNamara family are also the team behind Ennis Health Store, with two successful stores operating in the Clare town for many years. The store has set out to cater to the needs of all ages in the locality.
The staff are well trained with extensive knowledge in the area of nutrition and years of experience working in health stores. They are well placed to guide you through all of the top name brands in natural health. In the nutritional supplement side, the store stocks top brands Macánta, Solgar, Mag365, and more. The store also has a wide range of natural and organic skincare. Eco-friendly cleaning products, herbal teas, gluten free foods, foods suitable for diabetics and a wide range of organic and whole foods can also be found.
Therapist Anne states: “The store has a wide range of health products; we hope that in the next few months we can invite people to come and explore the products that we have on display and if there is something in particular HEIGHT OF HEALTH OPENS that they are looking for that we will try our best to source it for them”. The Salmon name is synonymous with the community and Liam Salmon, cousin of Dermot (Main St, Department store) does not want to bring down the name: “A very important goal is customer relations. We wish in our next few months of operation that we can build up a strong customer base, provide healthy competition to other outlets and have high customer satisfaction rates gaining regulars that we can continue to proudly serve.” Liam exclaimed.
Height of Health provides another health space in the town that people can come and explore. Liam commented: “Ballinasloe has a great market for a dedicated health store, the town has other similar outlets but our store will be focusing solely on health-based products with an array of products that our customers can choose from.”
f you’d like to phone in an order for collection, simply give the shop a call on 087 4364344 or email them. Their opening offer is continuing right now too, which means that anyone who spends over €30 in the store will receive a free Macánta D3 product.
Development Company Reviews 21st Year Of Progress
The Board of Voluntary Directors, led by Chairman Seamus Duffy and Manager Lyn Donnelly and members of the company reviewed progress on their 21st year of activities by way of ZOOM last month.
Opening the meeting the Chair reminded those in attendance of the formation of BACD and it’s rationale again in encouraging job creation, enterprise and attracting investment and he thanked Manager Lyn, his co directors, and the different members of the working groups for their commitment, dedication and efforts to delivering a can do message in one of the most challenging of years in the Charitable Company’s short history.
In a wide ranging address Seamus reviewed some key issues as he saw them for the town, the community and agencies that are currently operating here.
He praised and thanked the longstanding funders – GRD Leader, the Dept of Business and Enterprise, The Dept of Rural and Community Affairs, Galway County Council and the new very welcome funder – the Just Transition Fund.
He also expressed huge thanks to the resilient business community who despite the big dig disruption and pandemic shut downs ; showed their support for the community efforts with their LIFE Magazine Advertising and their huge support for the New Xmas Lights Campaign.
“Tonight I also want to commend the work and generosity of one of founding partners – the Credit Union who since day one have been very supportive of all of our project needs and this year sponsored a significant sum towards the cost of the illuminations”.
Seamus detailed the nearly €60 million of current and anticipated State spending due into our community across some 6 Government Departments that he and the Board strongly believes needs a better degree of co – ordination or oversight to get maximum return for the tax payer funding but also for our town.
He explained that the Company had made a detailed submission to the new draft County Plan and in their own 10 year plan for the town would be seeking that an Interagency Task Force or Co – ordinating Group be charged with the monitoring of projects and delivery of elements of the spend and schemes that ought to be complimentary to each other.
“ We have a number of project groups examining short, medium and longterm objectives across three pillars and we will collate priority actions into a simple final plan to be launched we hope with agency and Government buy in – in September”, stated Seamus.
Manager Lyn Donnelly gave a very detailed presentation on the key elements that the Company worked on in the year under review. Her first point was between all the different project groups, there are now almost 200 volunteers giving significant hours towards the work of the company – “whether it is driving and delivering Magazines, preparing the Sustainable Town Applications or erecting and fundraising for the Xmas Lights – it’s hugely positive to working among so many positive community people” states Lyn.
The Enterprise Centre managed to remain at practical maximum occupancy for all of the year – with some 29 firms operating out of the old hospital building employing in total some 190 people.
The Pulse Club has remained active and is a key peer network for the younger entrepreneurs in the locality – using the lockdown for zoom seminar and sessions. Ballinasloe GROW REMOTE Club co – ordinated by Renate Kohlmann, saw a spike in numbers working remotely from home and lot of the research and support work they have done provided the underpinning of the Bank Chambers project.
The Ballinasloe Life Magazine continued to be published even in the height of the lockdown and did not charge the advertisers for the two editions involved . They increased the print run to 7000 copies per editions which means that 42,0000 magazines are printed and distributed annually. It achieved it’s milestone decade of publishing and looking back managed to retain over €500,000 of marketing and advertising spend locally. She thanked the Editorial and delivery team and advised the meeting that the viability and investing in the online look of the Magazine platform would have to prioritised over the coming months .She also warmly thanked Sinead Colleran our Website Co – Ordinator for the work she continues to undertake on Ballinasloe.ie.
She paid tribute the people on the Town Team under the stewardship of Anita Killeen who have ongoing projects like te Town Enhancement , the Sustainable Energy Town, The Business Networking Comedy Garden and of course the outstanding Christmas Lights Campaign – which gave everyone in the town a huge morale lift.
The Shop Local Online and Voucher Scheme launched in the summer of the Pandemic was a huge success and contributed in so many small outlets getting a trading bounce from the Xmas Retail season – with many local firms using them as Staff gifts.
She detailed the current funded projects in some detail and the route map for the company to keep all in motion to draw down maximum grant aid.
Auditor James Coyle of Coyle and Co gave a detailed audit presentation of the financial results showing certified income at €259,460 and Expenditure at €228,226 .Coyle and Co. were re- appointed Auditors.
The Chair and Manager detailed the priority actions for the current year ahead – Bank Chambers , Society St., Maintaining strong occupancy for the BEC, Finalising the delivery of the Shopfront Scheme, Finalising and Launching the 10 year Plan, Commissioning the Tourism and Heritage Feasibility Study, Establishing the Task Force, Resourcing the Town Team and it’s projects , Xmas Illuminations 2021 and attracting new investors to the locality.
The Directors for the next 12 months are Seamus Kelly (Credit Union), Dan Dowling (Creagh Community Development Council), Micheal Connolly (Galway County Council), Seamus Duffy (Membership), Valerie Dolan (Membership), Anita Killeen (Membership), Joe Lyons (Membership), Kevin Broderick (Membership), Pearse Keller (Membership), Marina Downey (Membership), Noel Madden (Co-opted), John McKenna (Co-opted), Brian King (Co-opted) Eoghan Kenny (Co-opted)
ShopBallinasloe.ie has been named winner of the Large Town category at the inaugural .IE Digital Town Awards.
ShopBallinasloe.ie has been named winner of the Large Town category at the inaugural .IE Digital Town Awards.
The result was announced on the 10th June, at a virtual ceremony attended by Minister Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
The .IE Digital Town Awards launched earlier this year by .IE and promotes awareness, knowledge and highlights the benefits and possibilities of digital and celebrates the digital achievements of local towns, big and small.
ShopBallinasloe.ie is a joint initiative between local businesses marketing agency Araya Business Support Services (Honoria Mitchell Black, Niamh Creaven Connaughton) and Kickstart Web Design (Joe Glennon, David Ansley).
Launched back in April 2020, ShopBallinasloe.ie was established to enable shoppers to connect with and purchase from their favourite local businesses in Ballinasloe. At the time, many doors were closed, and there were uncertain times ahead for many local businesses. In November 2020, the business expanded adding the Town Voucher just in time for Christmas. These vouchers have proved extremely popular with over €60,000 worth of vouchers purchased worldwide - making them the perfect gift for any occasion or ideal prizes for Raffles, Draws, Golf Classics and Table Quiz’s.
The team at ShopBallinasloe stated “the success would not have been possible without the outstanding team and collaborative efforts of many who has helped along the way; local businesses who embraced digital technology, online shoppers, local community, BACD, Ballinasloe Credit Union, Galway County Council. From the outset, we have received huge support from local groups and businesses and we’d like to praise the businesses who embraced our digital technology from the start. We would also like to congratulate the other winners and runner up who did tremendous work presenting other innovative digital initiatives for their town and community”.
.IE Corporate communications Manager Oonagh McCutchteon said, “The .IE Digital Town Awards want to recognise the good work and achievements of towns across Ireland who have utilised digital technologies to create new ways of doing things, promote innovation and to breathe new life into local communities.”
For more information on the Awards click here
By Damian Mac Con Uladh
When the Lady Kennaway arrived in Port Phillip (now Melbourne) on 6 December 1848, it would mark the beginning of a new life for 191 Irish orphan girls on board who hailed from counties Donegal, Cork, Leitrim, Louth, Mayo, Queen’s (Laois), Sligo and Tipperary as well as Galway.
Among the orphans were 13 girls from Ballinasloe Workhouse, ranging in age from 14 to 19. Two more girls from the workhouse would follow in February 1849 aboard the Inchinnan, which sailed to Syndey. The girls had been selected by the Poor Law Guardians – who managed the workhouse – to avail of the offer of free passage made by the authorities in Australia to address the gender imbalance in the new colony.
Ahead of the 175th anniversary of their arrival in Australia in 2023, a project has been launched on Facebook to trace the subsequent paths of these 15 girls, to find their descendants and to reconnect them with lost family in Ireland.
Called the Ballinasloe Orphan Girls Project it was started by Martin Curley, a professional genealogist based in Mountbellew, and local historian Damian Mac Con Uladh. Martin decided to trace after helping an Australian man descended from an orphan girl from Mountbellew Workhouse connect to long-lost cousins in Abbeyknockmoy in 2017.
Martin hopes his current project will gather as many of the girls’ descendants in Ballinasloe in 2023. “For the girls’ descendants, walking in the area where their ancestors grew up in and meeting kin folk is a huge experience – it helps bring the girls home again,” he says.
“With the advent of DNA testing and the emerging large database in east Galway, not alone could we try and find descendants but we could also reconnect them with lost family here in Galway and elsewhere in the diaspora,” he adds.
Martin is also the founder of the East Galway Genealogy & DNA page on Facebook, which has attracted over 3,100 members since it began in May last year. The page seeks to help its members in their genealogical research by encouraging them to share their DNA results from the various testing companies to a dedicated ancestor project centred on East Galway on the GEDmatch website.
“Sharing our DNA results will make it easier to reconnect the girls’ descendants once we find them to their long lost cousins,” Martin says.
Find out more by visiting Ballinasloe Orphan Girls Project on Facebook (see below). You can also connect with the East Galway Genealogy & DNA Group on Facebook
Parentchild+ have been operating in Ballinasloe for five years and since then have served over 70 families. The non-profit organization ran by the Early Learning Initiative are based in the Enterprise Centre. ParentChild+’s vision is that every child enters school ready to succeed because every parent has the knowledge and resources to build school readiness where it starts: in the home environment . There are five trained home visitors all committed to carrying out this vision for our locality.
The programme initially began in the US 50 years ago and since 2007 has established 11 ParentChild+ sites in Ireland. They are open to all families of toddlers aged 16 months to 42 months in the community with no requirements needed to get involved. Families involved receive two 30 minute weekly visits within the academic school year. In total 92 visits are arranged and with Covid-19 these visits are via video call or an outdoor visit. The programme will start up again in term time.
Debra Greenan Co – Ordinator stated: “For the moment we are to stay outdoors or on video call but we hope to be all fully vaccinated soon to bring our learning indoors.”
This is a fun learning opportunity for both parents and children. Families involved receive a selection of educational and developmentally appropriate books and toys to keep, creating a quality home learning environment for them to use at their own leisure.
Although there is no monetary cost involved, there is an expectation for the participation of parents in each session and to make use of the books and toys as often as they can between visits. As well as following on with the weekly activities with a goal of empowering the parents as they are their child’s first and best teacher.
Ballinasloe’s Trained Home Visitors include Debra Grennan, Regina Tyrell, Shauna Somers, Yvonne Dunne, and Seenas Ahammed Sebin all local to the area. These ladies model appropriate parent and child interactions, using a non-directive child-led approach. All are required to have at least a level five QQI with many attaining higher levels and all receive ongoing CPD. All practices are in line with the National Curriculum and Quality Frameworks for Early Years, Síolta and Aistear.
One of the Mums engaged with the Programme Diana Popescu, explains: “It has been an amazing journey for my son and me. We both learnt so much, my son is flying with his colours, numbers, he enjoys books so much. I would highly recommend any parent to have confidence and try this program as it is incredible. I cannot thank enough our home visitor Yvonne, she is great, so nice and Luca enjoyed every single visit. I am sad it is over and will value all that was given to us. THANK YOU!”
Due to increased demand, there has been a waiting period for up to one month to join the programme but for those looking for positive child interactions, increased children’s social-emotional development and to foster pre-literacy skills essential for school readiness please contact Coordinator Debra Grennan Keighery at (086) 060 6002 or email at DGreenan@ncirl.ie. You can visit https://www.parentchildplus.org/ or visit their Facebook page below:
It may be off-season but it’s all a go at Ballinasloe Rugby Football Club (BRFC) with several teams back training for fun and fitness. Although there will be no competitive fixtures for some time yet. Mini Summer Camps have been scheduled for late July with further updates coming soon. Overall, it is recognised that they have an important role to play in the physical and mental wellbeing of its members.
Similar to other sports, players will be required to submit health declarations beforetraining/activities. While hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing will feature strongly amongst other measures to minimise risk to players, coaches, and volunteers. The committee and coaches are working hard to ensure the Club is prepared to welcome you all back for the 2021 rugby season.
Fundraising through its 50/50 fundraiser continues with ever-increasing members. The community’s continued support has been greatly appreciated. It is easy to enter by setting up a five euro per month standing order to the club or by paying a once-off €60 that will guarantee inclusion in the draw for 12 months. More details can be found on their Facebook page or from any committee member.
A very popular clothing collection was held to raise much needed funds, not only for the teams but also for a local worthy charity, Ballinasloe Lions Club. The collection is ongoing so keep an eye out on social media for further collection dates.. All money raised will help fund ongoing and future projects including pitch lighting, entrance safety enhancements, car park drainage to include tarmac and lighting, dressing room completion and other facility enhancements.
Some former and current players have also been shining provincially, nationally and internationally of late. Béibhínn Parsons has continued to feature strongly with the Irish Women’s squad in this year’s Six Nations competition with several tries to her name and some memorable performances. Colm Reilly has signed a professional contract with Connacht Rugby. BRFC offer their heartiest congratulations to Méabh Deely and Aoibheann Reilly who have been selected in the Irish Women’s Sevens squad for the International Rugby Sevens tournament at St George’s Park.
To get in touch with Ballinasloe RFC with their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BallinasloeRFC or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Head over to Ballinasloe Town Teams Instagram Page so you can vote for your favourite photo out of the five photo competition finalists!
We had a difficult time choosing them but we would like to say a huge well done to them and to everyone who entered! They are now all going for gold to win the coveted €100 @shopballinasloe.ie voucher! All you have to do is pick a favourite!
Voting couldn’t be easier - all 5 images are posts on our Instagram page – just like and comment under your favourite photo and that’ll count as two votes! Better still – follow our page and that’s an extra vote! Voting closes on Friday 4th June at midnight!
Keep snapping and keep sharing images from our beautiful town! #ballinasloe #ballinasloetownteam
Ballinasloe Town AFC (BTAFC) has been very active over recent weeks with the recent success of the 70 Mile for 70 Years Challenge raising €7,452.34 for St. Teresa’s Children Ward leaving the club with a balance of €17,598.82.
A €600 donation was also made to Brothers of Charity after a tremendous effort by Patrick Staunton. With the return of training for both senior teams and underage and competition returning in early June, a positive start is hoped for quarter three of 2021 with all guidelines being adhered to.
Chairperson Joby Kelly states: “We were absolutely thrilled to support the Children’s Ward in our home Town and also to see at first hand the great Community spirit that our Club event has promoted”.
The Committee have decided to run this Community Challenge on an annual basis and the Committee will select a different local organisation or charity to benefit each year from 30% of the overall profits.
The Committee also paid tribute to local Tidy Towns activist Eric Naughten for the outstanding work he is doing in recycling bottles and cans and in general clean-ups of the local area. Joby and Club Secretary Wayne Braithwaite recently made a presentation to Eric for his voluntary time and effort and as an acknowledgement have planted an appreciation tree (Magnolia) for Eric at the Curragh Grounds.
Development Co-Ordinator Johnny Walsh (who is also Treasurer of Tidy Towns) ,stated: “Eric has been an inspiration to the Ballinasloe General Public for his outstanding Tidy Towns work and the practical way he is addressing local clean-ups and recycling.”
Former BTAFC player Oisín Duffy made his first-team start of the Season for Athlone Town in April and has retained his place on the starting line up since. The club is extremely proud of Oisín. His dad Mark, has been a prominent and active Ballinasloe Town Committee member for several years and has been very involved in the managerial team for the senior squad for the past few seasons.
Former Player Heather Payne is now very much an established player with the Irish Senior Ladies International Soccer Team. In the recent International vs Belgium Heather was selected as the Carlsberg 'Player of the Game'.
Club members were extremely busy collecting scrap metal from households throughout the community as well as scrap metal items that would have been dumped throughout the local area. This is doubling up as the Club’s fundraising venture and contribution to cleaning up the local area also does our bit for the environment. After the community scrap collection drive, a general litter collection clean up in the general vicinity of the club grounds was done.
BTAFC is delighted to be back with our underage training sessions and Anyone interested should contact any committee member for details or check out their facebook page below:
If you have you any news - email us!