The newly founded Ballinasloe Cricket Club have been gathering regularly and training for upcoming competitions on the town’s Fair Green, the same location where Ireland’s first Cricket Team gathered to practice nearly 200 years ago in 1825.
Postings of this event on the Life Social Media pages brought about remarks from local historian Steve Dolan who has researched and written extensively on Cricket in Galway and provoked Jane Leslie whose grandfather, Frank Kempster, who was from Ballinasloe, played on the Green as a young man in the 1870s and played for Ireland twice. His brother, Jack, also played and was one of the team’s best bowlers - underarm!
She like Steve and a great many others are thrilled to see cricket flourishing in town again.
The current Cricket Club has only been established in the past year, with members of the local Indian community to the fore - out of a love of the sport. The club trains every Tuesday afternoon in the Fair Green and sees about 40 players involved, although many members work in healthcare and cannot always make the time commitments.
The squad have been especially active lately, competing in the Connacht League against many worthy adversaries in Athlone and Galway. The Cricketers recently competed against Athlone in a hard ball competition but lost the game just short of 17 runs.
Ballinasloe was Ireland’s first ever Cricket club, being founded in 1825 under the patronage of Lord Dunlo made up of the gentry and professional classes. Their team trekked all the way to the city capital to Phoneix Park and defeated Dublin in 1828. The sport was played regularly on the Fair Green throughout the century, but gradually declined in the 1900s, among other Cricket clubs, following the infamous ban of ‘foreign’ games by the Gaelic Athletic Association.
The Cricket Club hope to fundraise for a better facility as the current grounds are not ideal for playing the sport with a hard ball. The Committee are considering options and locations for a suitable pitch . Such a ground will enable the Cricket players to play at a professional level, growing and strengthening the club in the Connacht league.
For the moment, the players continue to practice extensively for a variety of competitions this Summer season. The club are always looking for more sportsmen to join them to build the team, and anyone interested in joining can contact coach Shijo George at 089 4235926.
The Ballinasloe Traveller Women’s Group were overwhelmed with the community response to their first project, hosting a coffee morning and bake sale to fundraise for Pieta House. In total, the ladies raised €1239.22 for the charity which provides counselling and family support services for those who have been affected by suicide or self harm.
Established last year by members of Galway Rural Development, the Local Traveller Women’s Group have been active in the community, meeting twice a month.
The group produced a short film “Life on the Road", a production which celebrated traveller tradition, heritage and culture. Additionally, the ladies made an appearance at the Dublin International Film Festival for the premier of Mincéir to show their support to local traveller activist Nora Corcoran who featured in the documentary.
The coffee morning and bake sale was the first fundraising project organised by the ladies, based on an original proposal to have an open discussion with the community regarding suicide awareness. As well as fundraising for Pieta House, the occasion aimed to promote the “Hello, How are You?” campaign, encouraging people to engage in these discussions and ask the simple “how are you” question to those of us in distress.
The April event was packed, estimated that in total 160 people came to show their support. On offer were a sumptuous selection of baked treats and cakes by the organisers, along with a free raffle . The team in Ballinasloe were assisted by GRD members of Athenry and Tuam in managing the occasion.
The women raised a total of €1239.22, presented their cheque to Joe Burke of Pieta House going directly towards counselling and family supports provided by Pieta House.
Chairperson Helen Cawley was incredibly grateful for the community response and the donations especially from local businesses, sharing: “Thank god it was a huge success, Ballinasloe town - absolutely proud to be from it. The response that we got was brilliant.” Likewise Helen praised the Women’s Group for their incredible work delivering the event and their action in producing all the baked goods. Committee member Anne Marie Fallon was effusive in her praise stating “I want to thank the townspeople, the support they gave, was so generous . I couldn’t name them all”.
“Massive shout-out to the community of Ballinasloe, we’re absolutely overwhelmed with the response we had today” voiced Community Development Officer Karyn Gavin. Karyn particularly emphasised the modest aim of the event sharing: “Our message from today’s event is simple - just to say hello, be kind, and talk to people”.
The Ballinasloe Traveller Women’s Group are looking forward to organising new future events, with plenty more activities planned in the pipeline. The group are happy to welcome new members, who can be contacted at the GRD Offices on Dunlo Street or via Karyn Gavin at email@example.com and by phone at 087 6217917.
The Moore Scouts are going ten years strong, holding regular meetings and preparing for their various overnight outings local and abroad.
Originally formed in 2013, the 5th Roscommon Moore Scouts are a volunteer group that cater to young people to develop their life and survival skills. The club currently has roughly 40 boys and girls divided amongst three sections including Beavers for ages 6 to 8, Cubs between 9 and 11, and Scouts from 12 to 15. Additionally, the Moore Scouts have a number of late-teens in Ventures ( 16 – 18 ) who meet occasionally for events.
The Scout groups meet every Tuesday at the Moore Community Centre between 18:00 to 21:00 to play a variety of games, develop their team building, and progress on their life skills and badges. Some of the many badges and skills a Beaver, Cub or Scout will build upon include Backwoods, which focus on outdoor survival activities, and Pioneering, focusing on the importance of knots when building wooden spars structures.
Additionally, the club enjoys many outdoor activities for their weekends including hikes of nearby walking trails, overnight camps, and the occasional kayaking activity. Only recently, the Scouts stayed overnight in the Loughrea Youth Centre, learning a great deal about the medieval town during their visit.
The youth folks are constantly building on their climate awareness, with the Cubs helping Padraig Kilduff and the Moore Tidy Towns plant trees in the locality and would later join the Beavers to create Scarecrows with Beechlawn Organic Farm for their Environment badge. The non-profit group also hold regular fundraisers, recently duelling with Moore United FC in a lip-sync battle for a full night of entertainment for the community.
Next up is a group camp which will welcome all their ages groups to join them in Portlick Campsite (Co . Westmeath) in June. Following this the Scouts and Leaders will be venturing to Wales for a grand international trip in July/August. Included in the itinerary for the visit are Whitewater Rafting, a tour of Anfield stadium and jumping on the world’s fastest zip line at Zip World Velocity 2.
Affiliated to Scouting Ireland youngsters joining can (should they choose) progress up the accredited stages Beaver, Cub, Scout, Venturer, Rover and eventually Leader.
For parents interested in having their youngsters join the Moore Scouts, you can contact them via their Facebook page to discuss fees and registrations. The club are always looking for Volunteers to act as leaders for their weekly meetings and outdoor occasions and can be contacted by the same means or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ballinasloe and District Soroptimist Club held their Annual General Meeting in Gullane’s Hotel reflecting on past activities, and forward plans for year ahead.
The Presidential Chain of Office was handed over by outgoing President Marirose Cullinane to Jane Enright Moony who is now taking her position on the committee. In addition, Mary Courtney has been appointed as Secretary for the Club.
Past President Jane Rothwell made a presentation on what issues and activities are current and next for the Soroptimists. The focus this year is tackling domestic abuse and will be targeted in their upcoming activities and fundraisers.
The Branch were invited to the launch of the Go Purple Day to help raise Domestic Abuse awareness. The Go Purple Day is a joint initiative led by An Garda Síochána, together with domestic abuse services across Ireland, raising awareness of supports and services available to people who experience domestic abuse and violence and reducing the stigma for those who require support.
The Soroptimists joined the Ballinasloe Lions Club, Cathaoirleach Cllr Dr. Evelyn Parsons and the local gardaí at their station in town to commemorate the day, all dressed in purple signifying strength, peace, love and independence.
The AGM also resolved to encourage a focus on wellbeing for their membership. The Soroptimists will be holding many activities this season, - hosting a barbeque fundraiser on Wednesday June 14 for Women’s Aid. Their barbeque held late last year was a resounding success, and the ladies hope to follow it up with tickets available to members soon.
The annual Public Speaking Competition was another great success, with two girls Aoife Hynes and Amy McDonagh going forward to the Regional Finals held in Ennis. For the 2023/24 year, the Soroptimists in Ballinasloe are set to host the next Regional Finals of the competition just after their local competitions in October/September.
The Soroptimist committee are looking forward to another year of helping women through enablement, empowerment and education. They are always looking for new members so if you are interested in joining the organisation they can be contacted by PRO Maria Finnegan at 087 2883907.
H53 Coffee is being opened by Derek Frehill a native of Creagh his wife Lisa and Rob Nolan originally from Tipperary who is married to Sandra from Kiltormer and they have been living in Creagh for ten years.
The lads are great friends and have worked together on numerous projects including training hurling teams and running premier GAA Stats in recent years. Being ambitious they had always talked about opening a business together and when what was formerly Sean Connolly’s butchers became available, they felt it would be a great location to open a Coffee Shop. On speaking with family and friends the feedback was extremely positive so H53 Coffee was born.
They aim to provide the many residents of Creagh, the wider Ballinasloe area and those working locally with somewhere to enjoy a coffee and sample a unique but tasty breakfast and lunch menu while also having the option to takeaway.
“The name H53 came from one of our many discussions around the kitchen table but we all agreed on and with H53 being the eircode for the Ballinasloe area, we felt it was fitting as for us to flourish as a business we will rely on the support from the people in the ‘H53’ catchment area”, explains Derek.
With seating for roughly 16 people, opening hours to start will be 8am – 4pm Monday – Saturday and 9am -1pm on a Sunday but like all new businesses this is subject to change based on customer's response and feedback.
“Our menus will be fluid to start with but will include acai bowls, smoothies, homemade sausage rolls, soup, gourmet sandwiches along with a range of delicious bakes provided locally by “Baked by Triona”. We look forward to adding to this as we get to know our customers more “ states Derek.
They are building a really good team in H53 with local people and hopefully this will grow in the coming months.
Starting with a slow launch on the June Bank Holiday weekend, the entrepreneurs hope to get the main things right first and get a feel for what our customers would like to see from the facility and add to their menus organically.
Both Derek and Rob are looking forward to providing something that they feel the area is missing and that people can enjoy coming into H53 Coffee to catch up with friends, bring their children for a treat, meet other locals and most importantly providing great coffee, food and service.
“We would like to thank our friends and family for their help and support in setting up H53 Coffee and we would also to thank everyone that has wished us well it has been overwhelming. It’s clear to see the people of Creagh and Ballinasloe really want two local lads to do well”, remarks Derek.
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Hospitality and Community Development Group Representatives and members of Ballinasloe MDC and Athlone MDC and Roscommon MDC attended this year’s National Suck Valley conference themed around “Inspiring Rural Creativity”.
The two-day event delivered an exciting line-up of guest speakers, along with live performances showcasing the talent found in the rural Irish midlands.
With the success of the inaugural Suck Valley Conference last year focusing on rural regeneration in the post pandemic, the follow-up event was organized by Chairperson of Suck Valley Way Cllr Anthony Waldron, with support from Roscommon Leader and Roscommon County Council. The event served to highlight the potential of Roscommon and East Galway to promote the region for regeneration and rural creativity.
It proved another welcome bridging point between Senior area leaders and Councilors to build on their agreed agenda of work that started in Gullanes Hotel in Spring with inaugural joint meetings of the Councilors and Officials from South Roscommon and East Galway.
Gleeson’s Townhouse, Market Square was the venue for day one with guest speakers including Cllr Waldron, Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council Shane Tiernan, President of the Association of Irish Local Government Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick, ‘Join Our Boys Trust’ Founder Paula Naughton and Senator Tom Clonan. The first sessions had a particular emphasis on the performing arts focusing on recognition and funding for music therapy for those with disabilities.
The Abbey Hotel, on day two was kicked off by Galway Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher and Cllr Anthony Waldron, with an open discussion following regarding Youth Participation in Rural Areas. Irish playwright, novelist and columnist Michael Harding was spoke about the concept of “Belonging” to a region. Other discussions on the day included examining Rural Tourism, the diminishing role of the county council, and protecting rural landscape and community.
Among the representatives of Ballinasloe in attendance included Cathaoirleach Cllr Dr. Evelyn Parsons, Counsellor Declan Geraghty and Tidy Towns Heritage Officer Padraig Lyons.
Cllr Parsons was delighted to attend the conference sharing: “Stimulating content and contributions over two days from excellent speakers. Well done to independent colleague Cllr Anthony Waldron for his diligent work in organising this National Conference and keeping a focus on rural regeneration, especially around the Suck Valley Way in Roscommon East Galway.
Padraig Lyons commented on the unique prospects of developing the Suck Valley region stating he was “Delighted to see the first citizens of Galway and Roscommon sitting side by side fully supporting these new co - operation developments.”
Cllr Waldron thanked all the contributors to the conference concluding: “We work closely with our friends over in County Galway at the Ballinasloe Municipal District, and Athlone and Roscommon Municipal District in developing the tourism and the enterprise in the totality of our inter county region”.
Another busy few months at the Ballinasloe Gold Club commenced with a wonderful win from Isaac Oliver in the Munster Boys U16 Amateur Open in Newcastle West GC.
The upcoming golfer was met with fierce competition nationwide on the Newcastle West grounds but managed to persevere on the day. Oliver scored a gross of -1 under par on the day and a grand total of 70 points.
Committee Member John Donnellan stated “It is never easy to take a major title down South”. “Well done from the Fred Daly Team, Team Management and everyone at Ballinasloe Golf Club. Your continual hard work and commitment has brought this success. All at the club are delighted for you. “ The committee also congratulated Charlie Mooney who finished with a brilliant second place finish in the Connacht Boys Amateur Open in Ballinrobe GC.
Several Hole in Ones have been recorded in the months past, setting pace for the Summer ahead. Senior Captain Andy Fenton had a miraculous achievement landing his Hole in One at the 8th on their Wednesday Senior competition, hit across 185 yards and fighting against a 20 yard breeze. Just before, Fergus Finneran recorded an ace with his 5 iron at the 17th hole on the local course, and earlier Dr. Vincent Parsons hit his own on the 3rd, with some eye-witnesses speculating it was a no bounce, slam dunk.
A new Captain's Prize and Order of Merit prizes were awarded to the Juniors recently. The golfers competed for Tom Cafferkys delayed captains prize, with Niall Conneely seeing the first-place title and Issac Oliver the gross title. Among the standings for the Order of Merit 2022 was juvenile Eamonn Tully and junior Liam Tully in first, juvenile Senan O’ Hara and Martin Tully in second, and Junior Evan McKeon in third.
Various new competitions and series are underway for the golfers, with the club’s ladies, mens and juniors making steady progress in the Inter-club competitions. The Ladies Get in Golf series is seeing good attendance with participants enjoying lessons from Mark Staunton, which is to be followed by on course practise.
Many events are on the horizon including further 9 and dine occasions, the Festival of Golf from June 12 to 18 June, along with Ballinasloe hosting the Connacht U16 Boys Open championship on July 17 and the Connacht Inter-Club Finals on July 22 and 23.
For anyone hoping to get involved with activities for this season or you can contact their office at 090 9642126 or by email at email@example.com.
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The season is now well underway, the pitches are drying up, getting firmer and the many Ballinasloe GAA teams are busy with their league campaigns and hectic training schedules.
The past few months were busy for the club, especially for their U15 female footballers who were crowned Féile Div 3 County Champions. The squad, comprising of 23 players, travelled to Menlough for the first round of their competition. The girls played three group games with a strong start besting Naomh Mhuire, a close loss against Menlough, and a great closer game defeating Tuam Cortoon.
The girls were through to the semis the following day in Oranmore, pairing against St Furseys for a thrilling game. The young players dug deep during extra time and pulled through, earning a fantastic win that sent them to the final.
The U15s squad only had a short rest before being brought back onto the pitch for their rematch against Menlough for the championship title. After a frantic first half, falling behind at a four point deficit 12 minutes in, the girls composed themselves and powered through, earning a final score of 2.04 to 0.07. By the final whistle, the girls were flat on their feet, but the energy rush from winning a féile final soon had them jumping in a victorious frenzy.
Club PRO Damien Clarke praised the team voicing: “Needless to say the club is very proud of them and wish them all the best in the next round of the competition.” The team will go on to represent Ballinasloe GAA in the regional finals in July.
Clubs activities are being set this Summer with their annual CUL Camp is happening July 10 to 14, joint with their hurling and football teams. Tickets for their weekly Club Lotto Jackpot are also available at €2.00, drawn every Friday evening and now standing at a massive €10,000. Bookings for the CUL Camp and Lotto tickets can be made at ballinasloe.gaa.ie.
Fixtures for both hurling and football are published on the Ballinasloe GAA social media or by SMS updates at the request of Damien Clarke at 086 170424.
Ballinasloe GAA is always open to new members, boys and girls, with training programmes in hurling and football from Under 6s up to minor or senior grades. It's never too late to start, and for further information or enquiries you can contact Club Secretary Stephen Kerr at 087 2312273.
Supported by the IWAI, River Suck branch.
Friday June 9th Venue, 2.30 - 4.00 pm - Ballinasloe Library
Society St, Townparks, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Meet the EcoShowboat team and screening of the film The River Shiven.
Saturday 10th June, 2.30 am - 5 pm - Ballinasloe Harbour
Ballinasloe, County Galway
Launch of the Mayfly Musical Sustainable Energy Artwork and Meet the Invertebrates family workshop.
The Eco Showboat Mayfly - a vibrantly coloured solar powered boat touring Ireland's inland waterways for 2 years - will be moored in Ballinasloe Harbour from June 8th to 11th 2023. Join artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly for two fascinating events spread over two days.
On Friday June 9th join the team at Ballinasloe Library to hear about their journey and enjoy a screening of a short film about a little known but important river in East Galway. This is the story of the River Shiven, a Blue Dot river, as it makes its way from Cloonshivna to Muckanagh near Ballygar where it meets the River Suck. Blue Dot waters are our best quality waters, with the highest ecological quality and a greater diversity of species that are sensitive to pollution. The film is produced by the Artfarm Collective, a Non Profit Voluntary Arts & Ecology Group based in North County Galway.
On Saturday June 10th the team are at Ballinasloe Harbour to launch the new musical Mayfly art installation, hot off the press and never experienced by the public before. Working with Nicholas Ward, an engineer from UL, using sensors and arduino boards, the artists have turned Mayfly into a sound artwork, emitting resonant sounds reminiscent of Tibetan singing bowls to respond to the energy outputs from solar and wind sources, giving people a better understanding of the power that is generated from both sources.
And right through the afternoon fresh water ecologist Rachel O’Malley introduces you to some of the little creatures that live in our waterways. These fascinating and endearing little creatures—the Caddisfly, the Mayfly Nymph and many others—are indispensable for the health of our waterways as well as important indicators of water quality.
Anne Cleary, one of the founder's of the Eco Showboat project said:
"We are very grateful to Ballinasloe Library and the new River Suck branch of the IWAI for welcoming us so warmly to Ballinasloe. The Eco Showboat aims to bring people together around ecology in a way that is enjoyable and fun, combining climate science with art to give people engaging moments where we can imagine solutions to the climate crisis together. The Ballinasloe Community has really bent over backwards to help us realise this vision in County Galway."
The Eco Showboat Journey to the East is a five month arts expedition from Askeaton to Dublin aboard the solar powered Mayfly, flagship of the Eco Showboat project. Brain child of artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly, the project is supported by the Arts Council, SFI, Creative Ireland, Waterways Ireland, and LAWPRO (full list of partners here).
Local Women’s Rugby superstar Beibhinn Parsons is on track to make history, becoming our town’s first Olympian at the Paris Olympics in summer 2024 when she and the Irish Women Seven’s Squad sealed an Olympic qualification after defeating Fiji 10-5 at the France Sevens in Toulouse recently.
As a Creagh NS student, Beibhinn started her career playing for the Ballinasloe RFC's Mixed Under-11s, being only one of two girls to play for the team. The prodigy athlete then led her team at Ardscoil Mhuire to glory with an All-Ireland Girls Sevens title and at the young age of 16 was the youngest player, male or female, to make her international debut for the Irish Rugby Football Union. Beibhinn played wing for Connaught with Blackrock College RFC, and followed with her current involvement in the Irish Women Sevens team.
She is now preparing with her team in anticipation for the Rugby Sevens Competition next year, taking place at the Stade de France in Paris.
Beibhinn found that, throughout her years in the sport, her teammates acted as her main sources of inspiration, including her Ballinasloe Seven’s colleague Aoibheann Reilly. Furthermore, throughout her upcoming years, the senior girls she trained with helped inspire her love and passion for the game.
Prior to the latest World series, she and her teammates trained extensively at the IRFU high performance center. She is apparently “living on cloud nine” following their victory, with this triumph bringing her one step closer to living her childhood dream of being an Olympian.
Naturally the team’s primary goal is to come home with the gold medal, therefore they have returned to training as they always have at the IRFU performance center. The team will continue practicing throughout the year along with participating in some friendlies, with the Australian Women’s team set to arrive for some play-offs by the end of the Summer.
For the moment, Beibhinn hopes to keep things simple, with nothing much changing in her day-to-day life. Although the prospect of being an Olympian is a personal dream of hers, the humble athlete will only accept the prestigious title after the big competition next year.
Along with her Rugby career, Beibhinn tries to keep up her studies at Dublin City University. Currently she is engaged in her first year in Communications, finding radio and podcasting to be very interesting. The undergraduate studied Biomedical Science for two years but felt it was too demanding to maintain both her intensive studies in medicine and her professional career in Rugby. “This year has been very difficult”, reported Beibhinn, “but the University has been very helpful and understanding for my unique circumstances”.
One of her primary reasons for staying motivated and perusing the sport is the idea of her acting as an idol for young girls in the locality and beyond. “Just the thought of being a role model for them brings me joy” Parsons shared. Beibhinn was only recently appointed as the Ambassador for Coral Leisure, being an ideal representative for the sports company brand spanning nine locations nationwide.
Next up for the Sevens team is their three-week Euros tournament, along with their Hamburg Championship Series taking place this June. For the moment, it is back to routine for Beibhinn, training as she always has and representing Women’s Rugby at home and abroad.
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