Over 800 people die by suicide on the island of Ireland each year. That is 800 families and communities devastated; 800 lives cut short. Cycle Against Suicide aims to affect change by beginning a conversation about mental health; spreading the message that ‘It’s OK not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’ into schools, businesses and communities throughout the island of Ireland.
This May, one of Ireland’s biggest charity cycle events, Cycle Against Suicide 2016, will pass through Ballinasloe. Organisers are encouraging locals to register for the cycle, www.cycleagainstsuicide.com/register , or volunteer to help out with the event, which will see up to 1,000 cyclists travel from Carrick-On-Shannon to Ballinasloe via Roscommon on Sunday 1st May.
During the Cycle, informative events will be hosted in various locations along the route. Here, speakers ranging from celebrities to mental health professionals will present at schools. A list of participating schools is available our website, www.cycleagainstsuicide.com. There are also updates on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Central to the success of Cycle Against Suicide is the Homestay Programme. People throughout our island welcome participants of the event into their homes. Hosts provide cyclists with a warm meal, a chance to freshen up, and a bed for the night. Feedback from Homestay hosts indicates that this experience has been extremely rewarding, as it allows hosts to lend support in a very tangible way.
Kitty and Jackie from Ennis, Homestay hosts in 2015, said “I heard about Cycle Against Suicide through the local Homestay Coordinator. Opening my door to total strangers was not something I had done in a long time. We hosted two lovely lads, and it was a joy to feed them and hear their tales. Before the evening meal was over, it felt like we were old friends opening up a conversation that was full of fun, and serious topics, in equal measure. The following day, we returned them to the group and said goodbye, feeling as though we were part of a movement of positivity, the like of which we hadn’t seen in ages. We have become familiar with the slogan ‘It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’. My husband and I are grateful for the chance to offer a little help.”
Cycle Against Suicide Local Homestay Coordinator, Jacinta Divilly said:
“There is still time for people to offer accommodation to participants for a night when the cycle passes through Ballinasloe. The number of cyclists registering for Cycle Against Suicide is increasing year on year. As a result, we need more accommodation for cyclists and crew. We are more than happy to avail of as many spare beds as possible. Of course, we’ll also need many volunteers to help make our time in Ballinasloe memorable. Whether it is sandwich-makers, road marshals, or simply, people standing at the side of the road to cheer on the cycle, we can all play our part in breaking the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland.”
If you would like to provide Homestay accommodation when Cycle Against Suicide visits Ballinasloe, please send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The local Homestay Coordinator for home stays is Jacinta Divilly, who can be contacted on 0872459138.
If you would like to volunteer with Cycle Against Suicide please e-mail email@example.com. For more information see www.cycleagainstsuicide.com, where you can also register for some, or all, of the 14 days of the Cycle Against Suicide 2016.
The Annual Clontuskert Abbey Easter Sunday Morning Open Air Dawn Mass will be held at 7:00 am on Sunday March 27th in the ruins of the Old Abbey at Abbeypark. All are welcome. It is located on the R355 Portumna rd. 6km from Ballinasloe.
The parish of Clontuskert is the oldest in the historic diocese of Clonfert. We are told that "South of and not far from the boundary of Kilclooney parish is the ruin of a monastery, the Augustinian Priory of Clontuskert. It was reputedly founded in the eighth century by Betan of Clontuskert, whose death is recorded in the Annals at AD 805AD."
For more information on Clontuskert Abbey click on this link
There will be a Health Awareness Interactive Meeting taking place in Padraig Pearses at 8pm on 21st March 2016 covering Drug, Alcohol and Gambling allied to positive mental health.
Speakers on the night include Liam Curley, Justin Campbell and Naill McNamee.
See poster below for further details.
This is an open and free meeting - all are welcome!
Easter Camp at Pearse's
For ages 5 to 11 this Easter Camp will be ran by some of Roscommon County Players! It's for ages 5 to 11 and is on from the 21st to 23rd March. The entire camp costs only €30 for 1 child and €55 for 2. Contact Tara Galvin on 087 7746349 for more information.
St Patrick's Day Parade Details
Plans well underway in Ballinasloe for their annual St.Patrick’s Day Parade
The Ballinasloe St.Patrick’s Day Parade will assemble at the Fairgreen car park, at 1.30p.m on Thursday 17th March and will begin at 2p.m. sharp.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Celebrating 1916 to 2016”. There will be lots of fun outdoor activities and street entertainment for spectators to enjoy on the day, including performances from local musicians and dancers on the gig rig in St. Michaels square.
Participants may choose from five categories including education, culture, sport, voluntary and commercial. There will be valuable cash prizes to be won in each category.
The organisers are appealing to the local business community to assist with sponsoring the cost of the parade. We acknowledge the support we have received from the Ballinasloe Vintners, who are this year’s main sponsors.
We encourage the local schools, sports clubs voluntary organisations and businesses to come along on the day and join in our parade and make it a lively day of commemoration and celebration. It also affords an opportunity to showcase the positives in our community
On Sunday May 1st , Cycle Against Suicide will break overnight in Ballinasloe. They will be looking to find homestays for up to 300 cyclists. Can you give a bed, a warm meal and an opportunity to freshen up to a cyclist? This unique initiative has been hugely successful over the past number of years and facilitates a conversation around mental health in homes – with and between families. It also provides an opportunity for local people to lend their support in a very tangible way to Cycle Against Suicide without necessarily having to get on a bike.
Let's paint Ballinasloe and surrounding areas orange!
Let's bring the message that It's OK not to feel OK ; and it's absolutely OK to ask for help into our community.
Message the facebook page below if you're interested in taking part or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kilconnel easter egg hunt!
The Ardscoil Mhuire’s Parents’ Council are holding a Fashion and Beauty show in the Shearwater Hotel this Thursday 10th March! Local celebrities like Joe and Ollie Canning will be walking the runway with teachers and students, modelling clothes from boutiques in Ballinasloe, Athlone and Portumna. The recent entrants to the Junk Kouture competition will add a splash of “garbage chic” to the evening, sporting ensembles made entirely from recycled waste. There will also be beauty, jewellery and accessory stands on display in the foyer where the talented Ardscoil Mhuire trad. group will provide the entertainment. Tickets cost €10 for adults and €5 for students.
Make sure to attend this fun and exciting event!
This year’s BEST Competition has attracted a total of 121 entries from the four schools participating – Scoil Mhuire and Garbally College, Ballinasloe, Holy Rosary Mountbellew, and Presentation College Headford.
The 13 finalists who made it through the initial stage of the competition in November battled it out again in the most recent stage of the competition, in the hope of winning the annual entrepreneurial competition and of course claiming the top prize of €1,000 for the winning project or group.
The Dragon’s Den stage of the competition took place at Western Automation on February 25th and was the final chance for the 13 finalists to impress the judges with their projects. The students presented detailed proposals on their projects to a panel of judges including John Power, Carmel Dooley, Gerry Kelly and Pat Ward.
According to John Power, a judge on this year’s panel, ‘’the 13 local projects impressed all of the judges with both quality and preparation’’.
The judges have had a number of meetings since February 25th to select the winners, due to be revealed at the awards night on March 9th in the Shearwater Hotel.
The awards ceremony will commence at 8.00pm sharp and the public are invited to attend in support of the talented youth.
The 13 finalists who will have their projects on display in the Shearwater hotel from 6.00 pm are:
The aim of BEST is to promote an entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of Ballinasloe youth and is proudly sponsored by Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre and Ballinasloe Credit Union and is also supported by Bank of Ireland Headford and Rothwell Staunton Auctioneers.
For further information contact Lyn Donnelly in Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre on 0909646516.
Ballinasloe native Colm McLoughlin and founder and Executive Chairman of Dubai Duty free was interviewed on Countrywide recently. Countrywide spent a week in Dubai and caught up with Colm. To hear his full interview visit this link: http://bit.ly/21Dd0Ol
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