Cruinniú na nÓg held a Traveller Traditions Art Exhibition in collaboration with the Galway Traveller Movement in the Study Centre recently, where children’s artwork was on display which celebrated traveller heritage. Traveller children aged 6–12 attended the exhibition and created many wonderful and colourful illustrations showcasing what traveller culture and identity meant to them.
The idea came around when traveller author Nora Corcoran acknowledged that there was very little literature for the younger generation about Traveller heritage and culture, and she wanted to have these topics explored in the children’s curriculum. Nora took it upon herself and decided she was going to compile a book which would be one in a series of colourful children’s books about Traveller Culture and Traditions aimed at the early years genre. Nora hopes to bring her project to fruition and get her book published for use as an educational resource for children in schools and libraries.
Nora Corcoran stated: “Thank you so much to everyone for attending our exhibition displaying artwork on Traveller Traditions. The need for more inclusive learning is pivotal to all young children on their educational journey and this is why I created the first book in a series about Traveller traditions and culture, that will show how diverse children's literature opens the minds of the reader to the positive realisation, that being from a different culture does not make one any less equal than their peers.”
Cllr. Evelyn Parsons who was also in attendance on the night added: “A clear love of colour was displayed in the children’s artwork. I would also like to see production of children’s colouring books reflecting traveller identity, heritage and culture- basic simple and valuable resources for children which help connect them to community and make sense of their world. I commend the great thematic & creative work done so far and welcome collaboration between other agencies in sourcing practical supports for this necessary project and in bringing it to fruition.”
Itosu-Kai Karatedo Ireland (IKKI), which was founded in Ballinasloe, are gearing up to head to Kolding, Denmark to compete in their International Federation karate tournament, hosted by the Denmark branch of Itosu-Ryu Karatedo International Federation (IKIF) under the auspices of the Japanese HQ, Yokohama, Japan.
There are 50 competitors travelling to compete this August, which is a great response from the clubs. The IKKI has it’s headquarters in the Emerald Ballroom, and the association consists of nine clubs. The IKKI has competed internationally since the early eighties and coaches have been working hard with the team all year and relish the team's prospects in Denmark.
The Team consists of both male & female competitors ranging in ages from the youngest in the under 8's category to the over 55’s categories and all age categories in between. Team manager Leo Mulvany stated: “These and other events that the IKKI take part in give a fantastic opportunity for all its members to represent Ireland on the mat against and with the best in the world.”
The club are always looking for new members to come and have a go at Karate, classes for beginners will commence on Wednesday, 7th September at 7pm. You can also call into the Emerald Ballroom any Monday or Wednesday to view a class or talk to an instructor. If you are interested in joining the club you can contact Sensei Leo Mulvany on (087) 415 9858 or email him at email@example.com. For more information on the IKKI Karate Association about venues and class times in your locality check out their website www.ikki.ie.
St. Augustine’s National School in Clontuskert have been named as the winning primary school in the SSE Airtricity and Microsoft Ireland Solar Schools Sustainability Competition.
Launched in 2020, the renewable energy programme enables schools to power classrooms using energy generated from their own roof, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint, and their energy costs. As part of the Schools Sustainability competition, schools from all over the country took part in a three-module course on renewable energy, sustainability, biodiversity, technology and innovation.
Following these modules, project submissions were made demonstrating the efforts of the schools to improve the environment. Clontuskert N.S took first place for its environmental efforts, which saw students install a bug hotel to increase biodiversity, install an environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant, successfully petition to change waste management symbols in Ireland and become the first school in Ireland to receive the Climate Action School of Excellence Award.
A prize-giving ceremony was held at the school recently where a sustainability grant of €2,500 from Microsoft Ireland was awarded to the school, with each participating student also receiving a computer Tablet worth €100.
Speaking on the day, Principal Kate Murray said: “The Solar for Schools Education Programme and Sustainability Project Competition have given Clontuskert students and staff the opportunity to become sustainability champions. Through the focused learning opportunities in the program, our community has collectively become climate changemakers and leaders. Using a growth mindset to focus on our own carbon footprint, along with renewable energy and conservation, empowered us to take action and make positive changes.”
Following the prize giving, Fergal Ahern, Head of Business Development, SSE Airtricity stated: “The students of St Augustine’s National School, Clontuskert have demonstrated great intent and passion for sustainability, showing us first-hand how sustainability and renewable energy can combine to help fight climate change while also benefitting their school and community on a daily basis.”
After a long-awaited break, Féile Cheoil Larry Reynolds returns this September for its ninth year of ceol, cultúr, and craic. The weekend was originally established to commemorate the life and music of local man, Larry Reynolds, and his contribution to traditional Irish music but since grown to celebrate and promote all things Irish music, arts, heritage, and culture.
Opening the weekend, Kerry accordion player, Danny O’Mahony, will deliver an up close and personal concert in Gibbons’ Pillar House, Society Street. Entry costs €15. A limited number of tickets are available on the festival’s website. The Friday night will also see the beginning of the weekend’s session trail. All musicians are welcome!
On the Saturday morning, traditional music workshops will take place in Scoil an Chroí Naofa, Society Street. Workshops are offered in flute, button accordion, fiddle, banjo, and bodhrán, with tutors Céin Sweeney, Danny O’Mahony, Dylan Carlos, George McAdam, and Martin Gavin respectively.
The Larry Reynolds All-Ireland Under 18 fiddle competition returns on Saturday the 10th of September. The Larry Reynolds Perpetual Trophy, as well as a monetary prize, is awarded to first place. The competition takes place at 3 pm in Scoil an Chroí Naofa, Society Street.
The schools’ art competition will return this year with medals awarded on the Saturday of the festival. More information is available from participating schools. This year also sees the launch of our first photography competition, where visitors to the festival are encouraged to send in their best photo of the weekend.
As in previous years, an interactive display of traditional crafters will take place from 11 am Saturday in St. Michael’s Square. There will also be a historical walk of Ballinasloe leaving at 12 pm from the Ballinasloe Library, Society Street. The session trail will continue throughout Saturday in participating pubs around the town.
Sunday begins with a remembrance mass in St. Michael’s Church at 12 pm followed by more music sessions around the town. The weekend céilí will start at 3 pm in Gullane’s Hotel, Main Street with music provided by Uí Bhriain Céilí Band, all the way from County Kerry!
The very popular singers’ circle will kick off at 3 pm in Clarke’s Dunlo Tavern, led by the legendary Johnny Johnston and Eleanor Shanley. The festival will come to a close at 6 pm Sunday evening with a final Slán Abhaile session in The Pillar House.
Keep an eye on the social media channels and website for more information over the next two months. “The festival would like to thank all our sponsors, supporters, and friends over the last nine years. We look forward to seeing you all in September, All musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers, hand clappers, and foot stompers are welcome! ”, states Festival Chair Bernie Feeney.
Back row (L-R) Emma Keane, Lorraine Canavan, Roisin Coleman, Lisa O'Neill, Callie Moir, Siobhan Carey, Niamh Kelly, Shauna Mitchell, Rhona Black, Alan Murphy, Michelle Kelly Front Row (L-R) Rachel Mannion (Vice Captain), Cliodhna Ni Annluain, Aisling Brannely, Eilish Kerr, Niamh Prendergast (Captain, Niamh Loughnane, Olivia Walsh, Sinead Kennedy. Missing from the photo are Xiege Kennedy, Ellen Curran, Emma Mitchell, Neola O'Neill and members of the backroom team: Kevin Keane, Stephen Kerr, Enda Kelly, and John Mitchell.
The Camogie Junior Ladies side won the 2022 Connacht Ventilation Supplies Junior B 12 Aside League Final.
In tough warm weather conditions, they came out on top in what was a close fought tight match against a strong Oranmore Maree Camogie Club winning by four points on a score of 3.11 to 3.7. The last time Béal Átha na Slua won the competition was 24 years ago in 1998! So it was great to see that almost quarter of century gap bridged.
Club Chairperson Niamh Prendergast said “Days like these don’t come out of nowhere. Plenty of hard work goes on behind the scenes. Well done to the panel , along with the management team of Alan Murphy and Michelle Kelly for this Victory.”
For any girls looking to try out training for the under six, eight and ten ages - groups will be Tuesdays at 6:30pm. Under 12 is Tuesday s at 7:30pm. Under 14 training is Wednesdays at 5:30pm. The training takes place at Ard Scoil Mhuire school pitch.
Helmets and hurls can be provided for complete beginners . For further information check out the Cumann Camógaíochta Béal Átha na Slua Facebook page or indeed contact chairperson Niamh Prendergast on (086) 267 7397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Popular writer and craftsman Gerry Devlin will be holding an Art Exhibition during the Ballinasloe Fair this year.
Featuring memorable photos from the fair down through the years, right back to the very first year of the Carnival or Festival in 1958 and folders including the Kings and Queens from every fair. The open exhibition will run from September 14 to October 16 in the library.
Gerry’s very popular publication ‘Ballinasloe Did Ya Know’ is back on shelves across the town once again. The book which brings the reader on a journey back through time to see how life was in the town years ago, has been reprinted and is available in Salmon’s, Gullane’s, Kariba’s and all the other usual outlets at a price of €12.
Gerry has also helped organise a table quiz which will take place in Gullane’s on the Thursday 6th of Oct for Ballinasloe Community Hearts.
Just a summary snapshot of the key points from the homecoming speeches at Ballinasloe Fairgreen on Monday last. Well done to the organisers, the Fair & Festival and all the voluntary stewards from Ballinasloe GAA Club who helped make the homecoming such a success.
A keen waterway's enthusiast based in Banagher never took the plunge to chug his craft off the Shannon at Shannonbridge and up the Suck Callows to our town’s Marina as he was advised by River gossip “ Not to”.
Derek Crawley took to Facebook to share his adventure on the River Suck and his post received numerous likes, shares and further positive comment from Boating enthusiasts, visitors and interested parties. A summary of his narrative is printed with his permission here:
“Don't go to Ballinasloe,” Is what they said to me. I have a boat and it is based in Banagher and over the years with even rental boats I never ventured up the river Suck. The reason, people put me off doing so was with comments like, you won't make it under the bridge, or there is nothing to see or do when you get to town”.
In fantastic sunshine, I decided to go to Ballinasloe via the River Suck to stay over on Friday night. We set off at 4:30pm with a plan to make the Poolboy lock around 7:30 -8pm. We got there at 7:45pm and the lock keeper was gone. I looked at the IWAI web site and it said it is open to 8:30pm weekdays. We called the number, no answer.
A fisherman on the bank made a phone call and within two minutes, the lock keeper came and without hesitation or moaning let us through. He did tell us that the times had changed and that there were notices, but I am not really on social platforms a lot to benefit from those updates. A nice guy, and a nice fisherman that went out of their way for which we are very thankful for.
The keeper told us that it might be a bit late to get food by the time we got to the Marina and suggested giving Brewery Lane Pub a call, they were good and so we did. The girl who answered was asked if we could book dinner for three people, but she explained that the Kitchen was closing, as it was now nearly 8:50pm. We said that “we were coming up the river and know we are a bit late”.
TThere was a slight silence and then she said “she would keep the kitchen open and ask the chef to stay’. I consider myself lucky to be a well-travelled person and I am struggling to remember a place in Ireland or abroad with people that have been as accommodating.
We had a great night in Ballinasloe, food was fantastic, service was excellent and to top it off there was entertainment downstairs in the Brewery Lane Pub. What was to be a respectful early night went on until 1am.
Next morning, we walked up to the town (which is stunning during the day) and found a lovely little café to have breakfast which was nice, and the staff were too. We went to the market, had a look around, chatted with the local vendors who were all nice to visitors and had a great time.
"I think it's important to acknowledge and say thanks when someone, some group or a town makes such an effort. People are always quick to complain I find, but never take the time to just recognise effort and you can see it when you go to Ballinasloe, how clean it is, how nice the people are, it has it all.
"Do go to Ballinasloe, is what I have already said to people, and I will be back to stay over and enjoy it again.” stated Derek Crawley.
It’s always nice to get a good review about our town Coyne responded with ‘Lock keeper Rory is a lovely guy and so helpful. It’s a lesson to you to not listen to other people and have your own adventure.’ Elizabeth Powell originally from Ballinasloe but now living in the UK echoed those views with her own comment “What lovely comments about Ballinasloe. A fresh pair of eyes and a lovely perspective.”
Ballinasloe Library recently launched its new outdoor musical instruments which are situated in the library courtyard and are currently accessible to groups and classes by booking in advance. The instruments were acquired through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
“Making music can give children a means to express themselves and their creativity; just listening to music can reduce stress, while creating music has the added benefit of expression and involvement, which focuses attention. They have a range of benefits for children including developing their physical movement, communication, and self-esteem. The social element of playing with other people improves their social and emotional skills,” explained Library Assistant Abbie McGowan.
The outdoor instruments are suitable for all age ranges and mobilities; the instruments are upright and free-standing so that they can be used by wheelchair users, anyone who uses a walking aid, or anyone who may be living with cognitive or physical impairments. Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from music - the instruments are available for elderly citizens, particularly those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The Library’s Summer Stars Reading Programme is also in full swing with children of all ages invited to take part. The programme which is free of charge runs from now until the end of August and it encourages children to read as many books as they can in that period. Each child who signs up is given a bag containing assorted bookmarks and wristbands, and they will also receive a reading card which will be held at the library. For each book they read, they receive a stamp on their reading card, and all participants are invited to the presentation on September 24 where there will be two times for attendees to choose from, one at 11am-12pm, and 3-4pm in the library to collect their certificate of completion.
The library’s opening hours remain from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 - 1:00 PM and 2:00pm and 5:00pm. If you have any questions on how to get involved in any of the activities, or what events are coming up you can email the library on email@example.com and follow their Facebook and Twitter pages @EDBallinasloe for updates.
Father Niall Foley Parish Priest of Mullagh and Killoran recently celebrated 50 Years of Priesthood at a special ceremony in Mullagh community centre.
Fr Niall joined the priesthood in 1972 , serving on the teaching staff and as Vice Principal of Garbally College before his appointment as Parish Priest of Mullagh and Killoran since 2010. Many of Fr. Foley’s friends, family, familiar faces and parishioners attended on the night where a presentation of a plaque was made by Bishop Michael Duignan to the highly respected priest. On the Clonfert Diocese Social Media posting, many people commented to pass on their heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Fr Niall.
Bishop Michael stated: “What joy to join the Parishioners of Mullagh and Killoran to celebrate Fr Niall's fifty years of dedicated service as a priest. We give thanks for his ministry and ask God to bless him into the future. Sincere thanks to all who organised such a wonderful faith filled evening of celebration. Ad multos annos Father Niall!”
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