By Jack Treacy
Joseph Burke has been involved with Youth Work Ireland (YWI) for many years, being active in many different groups. Joseph has been involved in[projects such as the Get Lippy group, Comharla na nÓg and has made the step up through studying social care and undergoing student placement culminating with his recent election to the European Councils with the National Youth Work Ireland Board of Management. (NYWBM)
“The role of members of the Board of Directors is to ensure that Youth Work Ireland adheres to the highest standards of corporate governance. I look forward to my role of the Board and supporting the younger generation at a local, regional, and national level” states Joe.
Starting, Joseph found out about YWI many years ago in a time he felt very isolated and struggling to get out of the house. He was referred by his team to check out his local services and instantly became hooked partaking in many different groups.
Joseph stated: “I'm now on the highest board of management but I'll be looking through all the policies and making the big decisions nationally and YWI is a federation so it has about 21 members of Youth Services throughout the county. So I'll be one of the group that is responsible for governing all of them.”
There is a lot that Joseph can bring to the table in terms of his input for the NYWBM. He is urging to get back and support those who have struggled as a result of the multiple national lockdowns. A lot of work in the last 18 months has been online and virtual work but now Joseph is pushing for outdoor activities and meetings to aid those who feel isolated.
YWI Ballinasloe hope to follow these movements in increasing outdoor activity and hope to push for indoor meetings and securing funding for all the projects they have applied for.
An autumn programme will be released on their online on their Facebook page. August will allow for a well-deserved break but going into September kickstarts a new season. Re-branding to East Galway Youth Project (EGYP) the team will hold popular classes, lessons and activities including the popular Junior ‘FunAtics’ group aimed at pre-teens, The ‘Get Lippy’ committee targeted for those in their teens looking to push into leadership, and return of workshops including CV Building, Bike repair and maintenance and much more.
Volunteers do a lot of work for the organisation with a lot of one-on-one work being done, leadership training, counselling services and a whole variety of other services.
“My journey has been amazing and I have achieved so much and it hasn't even been 10 years since I started out. I have done everything with your local, your regional, and national youth groups even going on a European level as well but throughout this adventure, I would like to thank all the volunteers, family and anyone who has supported me throughout this journey. I think there is a lot more to come as I transform from a participant into a professional. Thank you everyone for all you've helped me with. My passion for youth work is what will drive me to do my best to develop the organisation I love so well, ” states Joe.
To find out what is on offer in your locality contact their Facebook Page below or email them at email@example.com or phone at: 087 7707775.
The club's annual Summer Soccer Camp has once again proved to be a huge attraction to the youth of the community and is now fully booked out, running until Friday, August 6.
SuperValu Ballinasloe has also come on board and is supplying, free of charge, sufficient hand sanitiser to cater for all participants for the week. The camp was cancelled last year and in 2019 the Ballinasloe Summer Camp was the most successful camp in Ireland and this year’s event looks set to be just as successful.
Former player Heather Payne recently joined up again with players at the Curragh Grounds for a training session and availed of the opportunity to present the club with one of her Irish International jerseys.
Coach Tony Coyne stated: “Ballinasloe Town are extremely proud of Heather's achievements on the International stage.”
They recently initiated another positive community event organising a scrap metal collection throughout the town. Scrap metal was dropped to the Curragh Grounds while members also called on request to collect items and collected any scrap metal dumped in the area.
It proved also to be an exceptionally good fundraiser and the scrap metal collection raised a total of €4,514.14 for the team while also contributing in a positive way to the local environment. The money was used to buy defibrillator, and housing space for the equipment.
The club recently organised and hosted at the Curragh Grounds five weekly Friday soccer sessions for the local Brothers of Charity Services; organised by Chairperson JoeB Kelly and personnel and the Brothers of Charity staff were on hand to assist with Ryan Burke for his valiant efforts each Friday.
Another successful weekly training session is the under-nines Soccer Academy whereby youth players receive top class coaching and an introduction to the sport. They recently concluded their season with a party evening, which was a fun-filled affair with refreshments/minerals/ice creams supplied by Town and bouncy castles/obstacle courses provided free of charge by Hillside Inflatables. The academy kits were sponsored by Bluebird Telco (Wayne Braithwaite), Gallagher Project Management (David Gallagher), Joes Bar (JoeB and Cáit Kelly) and the Shearwater Hotel.
The club committee is very hopeful for a positive outcome to their Sports Capital Grant application which is due to be announced soon.
Through the grant, there are intentions to upgrade the perimeter fencing/ball retention netting and pitch surfaces of their two AstroTurf pitches which are widely used by members and the public. The total cost of these works is €106,000 and they have a little over the required five per cent of this cost so are hoping to secure the maximum grant of €100,000. Contact has been made with local TDs, Senators and Councillors to make strong representations on behalf of the club to secure this grant.
Meadow & Green has officially opened to some acclaim at the Ballinasloe Golf Club Clubhouse after a tender proceess and shortlisting. It is run by the a trio of Ashley Weily, Gary Rigney, and Head Chef Chris Christians.
Ashley was born and raised in locally his parents have a small nursery on the Aughrim Road ‘Wiley's nursery’. They produce their own plants and flowers giving inspiration to ‘Meadows & Green’.
Earlier in his career, he had also made quite the name for himself in restaurant management starting his career in Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara running the restaurant alongside Michelin star chef Olton Cook, from there he moved to Carton House running the clubhouse there as well as food and beverage in other various restaurants throughout the resort.
The Wineport was where Ashley met Chris and Gary and he took on a Deputy General Manager Role working there for two and a half years before securing a post from Trump’s Doonbeg, acting as Lodge Manager overseeing most of the restaurants in the resort. Ashley broke away from all that in hopes of completing his dream of successfully running his own restaurant.
Gary Rigney from Ferbane holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Leisure Management and spent six years working in the Wineport in Athlone. He had worked with Ashley for two years and was more than willing to start up Meadow & Green
Hailing originally from Johannesburg Chris is a well-renowned Chef with a goal of bringing his unique cuisine to Ireland and indeed the people of the locality.
Chris spoke of his imigration to Ireland where he sees more of chance of growth in this country and a place where he can cement his name as an expert in fine dining. Chris’s model of taking typical clubhouse foods and adding his restaurant twist to it has resulted in an eating experience that has not been experienced by Clubhouse users before.
M&G grow and produce their herbs for the restaurant here adding to the exquisite menu complementing it’s freshness. Their menu consists of a range of different options including Tasty Thai Chicken Salads, Crunchy Rainbow wraps, Porter Pot Pies, Burger Sliders and great seafood and dessert options that are going down well.
The restaurant operates Monday to Sunday with current hours of service being 1 pm to 9 pm. Currently, Meadows and Green are restricted by Outdoor dining in how much they can serve and the meals they can produce with the weather being a crucial factor.
“It has been really good for us these last few week anyways. We have only had one miserable enough day and we have a temporary little marquee there now to help with that. But once we go inside the hours will stay much the same and once, then we will start taking reservations as well,” explained Ashley.
Upon confirmation of indoor dining, there will be additions to the menu giving the M&G a more restaurant feel with the addition of more appetizers and desserts as well as the addition of a Sunday lunch menu.
M&G has enthused the idea of smaller parties up to 30, family dinners and get together and have extended an open invitation to reach out to them.
“I suppose the current times that we are living in, I think now more than ever people want to get out and about and we are happy to be able to facilitate that. It's not just for the golfers coming up here but a group of girlfriends gathering for cocktails, mum and their daughter coming up for coffee, or gathering of mums coming for coffee you must drop the kids to school, or you know it is endless. Whoever wants to come up to the club can come up and we are always happy to look after them ”, Ashley states.
You can get in touch with Meadow & Green on Instagram @meadowandgreenofficial or contact 090 9642126
Ballinasloe gets a facelift - "Our Streets will be looking very salubrious!", says David Keighrey.
By Jack Treacy
Town’s Painting Facelift
Following the funding of €200,000 from Galway County Council as part of the Business Facade Enhancement Scheme for the transformation of Ballinasloe’s streetscapes; the work is transforming drab streets into bright multi coloured fronts.
A variety of local painting contractors including David Keighery and his crew rollering and cleaning the town’s shopfronts brightening up the town.
A total of 79 businesses were successful in securing grant aid for their works through the Scheme.
Denis Naughten T.D. stated: “This funding will allow businesses to make a real difference to the appearance of the town and its potential to attract not just shoppers but also new businesses. The investment will help to encourage families and potential investors to choose our town rather than continuing to struggle daily in Dublin and will, in the long run, increase the rate base and income for the Council to invest in other local projects.”
The new colour scheme was strategically evolved by the talented duo of Bríd Mulvihill Kelly and Helen Curtain to display the shopfronts in a way that stands out and catches the eye of passers-by. Galway County Council’s Areitect then signed off and approved the design and scheme for each premises. The Premises owner was free to use any paint manufacturer and was also free to select which supplier to leave the business with. Many of the local painting stockists – Colohans, Chadwick. Barretts. Kellers and indeed Hogartys all saw some added trade from the scheme.
Local Painter Decorator - David Keighery commented: “There are plenty of businesses giving us work around town, we have a number of them painted already, we are trying to get a variety of assorted colours going along the streets. It is great to see how such a nice lift to the town it is, people have been coming and they are commenting on the various colours and the distinct colour schemes that they have, and I think it will be a great attraction for visitors coming into the town as well.”
David added: “Local people will hopefully make a few quid out of it themselves. We are available for people who are not involved in the scheme, and we have done work for business owners over the years and hopefully when they see this lovely colour scheme going through the streets they will come and pick up their phone and ask us to give them a quote.”
David and his team are still available, although they have a few more jobs they will continue to bedeck the community in an array of colours. You can get in touch at 0872117269. By Autumn they have guaranteed that the new look town will be most eye catching and to quote of the town's most famous characters “Our Streets will be looking very salubrious “, according to Davey.
By Jack Treacy
The Club’s 50/50 Draw continues. Congratulations to June’s winner Paul Finnegan who scooped €96 from a total jackpot of €196, the month of July’s winner, Frank Kennedy who won €100 from a jackpot of €200.
With competitive games back up and running all the teams are training hard. For girls who wish to try Camogie or previously played and are considering returning, are most welcome.
Training takes place on the Club pitch in Ard Scoil Mhuire. The club training schedule for the teams are:
Tuesday: 18.00 – 19.00: Under sixes to U10s
Tuesday 19.00 – 20.00: U12s
Wednesday: 19.00 - 20.00: U14s to Juniors
The Club also runs a highly successful nursery training session on Saturday mornings, in conjunction with Ballinasloe GAA Club. This is for girls under six born in 2015/2016. This takes place in the GAA Club grounds behind SuperValu.
The U14 Camogie team were victorious recently in the Plate Final against Cappatagle on a score of 4- 09 to Cappatagle’s 1-00.
The U12’s team were runners up to Sylane their recent Connaught League missing out narrowly by two points .
Please contact any of their committee, coaches, or message their Facebook page to join the monthly draw which is their only and vital fundraising now. Contact: https://www.facebook.com/BallinasloeCamogie
By Jack Treacy
Stage five restrictions meant all band rehearsals were curtailed for many months. Band members were chomping at the bit to get back into live rehearsals and performing in public again. It was therefore appropriate that one of their recent rehearsals was in the open air on the Fair Green and that their first public appearance was at the Man and Horse statue in St. Michaels Square.
It was a delight to witness musical seeds bearing fruit, as the young musical talent that was sown in the Ballinasloe Town Junior Band Nursery blossomed in the July sunshine at their first summer recital. The group of eight musicians fitted in seamlessly and confidently with the senior members as they treated the passers-by to a varied collection of tunes ranging from, Harry Potter themes, to catchy Abba favourites. They had benefited from the nurturing tutelage of Junior Band Leader Keith Kelly and his team of mentors through online Zoom sessions and limited live rehearsal time.
Over the coming weeks, the Band intends to entertain the shopping public in the square, additionally, they hope to repeat the successes of last year by also giving outdoor recitals at the local Nursing Homes and Hospital bringing some much-needed live entertainment to the service users, residents, patients, and staff.
Work on the Hall has recommenced after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Internal fire doors were installed and three storage rooms within the building have been fireproofed. The front doors of the hall must now be replaced with a specially designed functioning fire door. It is anticipated that the works will be completed soon.
PRO Brian Derrane stated: “The band has been successful in receiving some grant aid to help with the renovations of the Hall and we are also extremely grateful to the local community who backed the Raise the Roof campaign by purchasing slates. We have been unable to raise any funds during the year to cover the annual maintenance and running costs due to the restrictions on activities. Ongoing annual fundraising will be needed to cover insurance, lighting, heating, instrument purchase and repair, and the purchase of sheet music as well as mortgage repayments. If you would like to support us, please contact any member of the Band. Send a message via our website or Facebook page.”
Recently the Junior members of the Ballinasloe Town Band took part in a cross-culture exchange with members from two Schools from Kuching City in Borneo, Malaysia. The Malaysian students are educated through English which meant that members on both sides of the world were able to communicate, learn about each other, and play games.
The exchange was organized and hosted by Malaysian director Wilson Matthew, who has worked with BTB youth director Keith Kelly on projects in the past. As well as musical performances, both Irish and Malaysian members presented history and information about their bands and their hometown. They finished the day off with some games and fun.
At Finnegan's Corner
By Barry Lally
To survive personally or in business for a hundred years is no mean achievement. Centenaries, however, are not just occasions for self-congratulation. They prompt us to reflect on the past and how it has moulded us into what we have become. This is particularly evident in the current spate of national centenary commemorations which has given impetus to much scholarly work on the events leading up to the foundation of the state and the turbulent years that followed.
We can only speculate on the specific reasons that induced the directors of the Munster and Leinster Bank to establish a branch at what is now Topman Barbers in Society Street at the foot of Church Hill in 1919. Obviously they calculated that the venture would prove successful, a judgement call that time has validated by the fact that on a November morning in 2019 the contemporary staff and a selection of customers were gathered together at Finnegan’s Corner to celebrate a century of profitable trading both in Society Street and in the purpose-built premises to which the bank transferred its services in 1928. Subsequently the bank emerged in a new incarnation as Allied Irish Banks in 1966 following amalgamation with the Provincial Bank of Ireland and the Royal Bank of Ireland.
Although Ballinasloe was the major transport centre for the province of Connacht in the 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as the westernmost terminus of the Grand Canal since 1828, there were no permanent banking facilities in the town before 1835. In that year both the Bank of Ireland and the National Bank of Ireland set up branches here. Prior to that the Galway City banks operated temporary offices on fair days. This was an arrangement that apparently continued to some extent well into the last century. According to Michael McCullagh, the Hibernian Bank had a pop-up branch at his mother’s Society Street home up to the 1930s.The Bank of Ireland conducted its business from a succession of premises in Main Street before finding its present home in the former townhouse of the Earl of Clancarty in 1870, while the National Bank was located in what is now Gibbons’s public house. In the 1840s it moved to a building opposite the Emerald Bar.
Known at “The Irish House” because of its policy of stocking only clothing of Irish manufacture, Finnegan’s drapery store occupied a site at the junction of Dunlo Street and Society Street. I can lay claim to a tenuous connection with the business inasmuch as an aunt of mine had a short-lived career as a trainee assistant in its millinery department. She proved too honest to be an effective saleswoman since she refused to assure prospective lady customers that the hats they selected suited them when she sincerely believed they didn’t. Finnegan’s ceased trading in the 1920s and the premises were demolished to make way for the present building. Nonetheless, the name Finnegan’s Corner survived and still has a place in the colloquial vocabulary of some the town’s older residents. The Corner, specifically the Dunlo Street side, had long been the favoured rendezvous of the unemployed and unemployable, who continued to frequent it under its new owners. Schoolmasters were wont to predict a grim future “propping up the wall at Finnegan’s Corner” for pupils whose application to their studies left much to be desired. However, not everyone there was a corner boy: it was also a meeting place for disabled war veterans who spent their days reminiscing and watching the world go by. In the words of Oliver Goldsmith, many an old soldier “Wept o’er his wounds and tales of sorrow done, / Shouldered his crutch and showed how fields were won.” In the recently-identified aerial photograph of the town dating from 1955 two solitary figures of one-legged men on crutches can be picked out. They are standing in front of a long dark line on the stonework of the bank that had been polished over the years by innumerable trouser-seats. Time inevitably took its toll of old soldiers such as these, and even the corner boys have deserted the spot since the erection of kerb-side railings some while back.
Fr. John Heenan was probably the only Ballinasloe-born priest to later serve as a member of the parochial clergy in his native town. Following a brilliant academic career, in the 1890s he was appointed President of St. Michael’s Seminary, a boys’ secondary school in Bridge Street and a forerunner of Garbally College. However, a difference with Bishop Healy over his avowed political views resulted in his demotion as curate to a series of rural parishes, leading ultimately to his return to Ballinasloe in 1915 but without a restoration of status. Noted for his ready wit and scatological sense of humour, his health suffered a decline as rheumatoid arthritis gradually impaired the use of his limbs.
Local author Eugene Watters referred to him in an Irish-language newspaper article from 1975 entitled “Béaloideas na Galltachta”. I make bold to translate the relevant passage: “The See of Clonfert became vacant in 1923 when the incumbent, Bishop O’Doherty, was moved to Galway. Everyone was speculating – who would be the next bishop? One evening a group of men, Willie Rourke the baker, John Smith of the shoe shop, and Nicholas O’Carroll the editor of the ‘Democrat’, were chatting at Finnegan’s Corner when who should come hobbling down the street towards them, bent over his stick, but Fr. John!
"We were just talking, Father,’ said Smith, winking at his companions, ‘about the new bishop. And do you know what I said? Damn it, I said, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the Pope made Father John a bishop!’
“John cast a rheumy eye on the company over the arthritic hand clutching the shawl beneath his chin. ‘Smith’, said he, ‘Rourke, O’Carroll, listen to me. If it should ever happen that the Holy Father in his wisdom were to elevate your humble servant to the bishopric of Clonfert, Amen, Amen, I say unto you, it’s not my episcopal ring I’d present to ye fellas to kiss!"
New Tennis Courts Ready For Play
by Jack Treacy
The first phase of Ballinasloe Tennis Club’s new development above the running track in Brackernagh is finally due to open!
This first phase cost was over €80,000, €28,000 of which was funded by a Sports Capital Grant, memberships, extensive fundraising, as well as generous donations from councillor Dr Evelyn Parsons and Cllr Tim Broderick, Ballinasloe Credit Union and more local organisations and individuals. The club have still required a loan of over €20,000 to be be drawn down and repaid.
There has been a great deal of interest in tennis in recent months with many new members joining and new activities added. The latest to be introduced is Cardio Tennis, which has generated so much interest that two sessions have been held most nights and may need to be extended to three sessions.
As the club currently has only two courts at their new site, activities will be spread over the new site and their temporary home at Ard Scoil Mhuire. There are now scheduled activities seven days a week:
Club members can also play anytime outside these sessions, subject to availability. Fresh players of all standards can attend a free introductory session or join the club for the extremely reasonable fees of only €30 for adults, €20 for Juniors and €50 for Families
The club is currently fundraising for their short fall in funds. Their EuroMillions Lottery syndicate begins in August and there are still some tickets available for only €30 for four entries in every EuroMillions Plus draw for a full year! The club also ran Wimbledon Sweepstakes and continue to explore other fundraising options and would be delighted to hear from any individuals or organisations that may be able to help in any way.
PRO Garry Zancanaro stated: “Sports Capital funding has been applied for the next phase of the development, a third court and artificial surfaces and lights for all three courts. Subject to this further grant, the next phase will be completed next year.”
For further information click here or go the end of this news item or email the club or call: Garry 085 1124197, Joe 087 2521424, Louise 087 1353751 or Sarah 087 6800598 (Junior queries)
Ballinasloe Golf Club Junior Member Niall Conneely is crowned Boys 11 Irish Open Champion
Massive Congratulations to Ballinasloe Golf Club Junior Member Niall Conneely who was crowned Boys 11 Irish Open Champion on 8th July 2021 at Mount Wolseley.
Niall shot a 75 in his first round on Tuesday to hold the over night lead and followed it up with a successive 75 for a two stroke victory.
As a result, Niall is now invited to the prestigious European Championships in Scotland and the World Championships in Pinhurst USA in 2022.
Well done Niall and dad/caddie Mark for all the successful work you have put in to date!
We are extremely proud of you - from all at Ballinasloe Golf Club
By Renate Kohlman
Meet others working remotely, connect and build out the remote working community in our area.
Is your company moving to remote first or hybrid? Do you need some support or advice as an Employer or Employee?
To find out about Remote Working & Training Ballinasloe and the Hinterland, you are invited to attend the local chapter meeting on 13th July from 12 noon to 1pm.
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Please share for others in Ballinasloe/the area interested in working remotely or who would like to connect with other remote workers.
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