M6 Motors in Ballinasloe featured in the Higher level Leaving Cert Business Studies paper last month, making it one of a few businesses in the country ever mentioned in the Leaving Cert.
Alan Naughton who set up the business in 2011, has seen the business grow year on year, with them now selling cars to every corner of the country. The original team of two has grown to 16 full-time staff with over 50 years of combined experience in the motor industry. Alan completed his leaving cert in 2006 in Garbally and went on to study Business in UL and completed his Honours degree in 2010.
Alan was jetting off to Malta for his wedding: “I got the news of the Leaving Cert paper on the day of the exam, one of the teachers called me just as the exam ended and I couldn't believe it. It’s very rare for the state exam papers feature a specific small business like ours. We received over 100 calls/texts/online messages on the day after the news broke.”
“Galway bay FM covered the story on radio on the day of our wedding so to say to say I was heading off on a high was an understatement. It’s great to get some national coverage for a business in Ballinasloe. I’d also like to say to students, the Leaving Cert certainly doesn’t define you or your future,” Alan concluded.
To find out more about M6 Motors outside of the Leaving Cert, visit - www.m6motors.ie
The inaugural Garbally College Parents Association Golf Classic was an incredibly tight competition with just six points separating first and eighth place. The winning team was from Connemara and scored 108 points. The team consisted of Colum O’Meara, Declan Grimes, Mike Keay and Dave McDermott. The second placed team: Mike Mislone, Thomas Finnerty, Mickie Moore, Dean Gurkan and the third placed team: Sean Brennan, Kevin Tunneffe, Bernard Donnellan, and Gerry Bullivan both finished on 106 points. In fourth place Colum Browne, Frank Canning, Paul McGinn, and David Canning ended their round with 105 points. The fourth team placed also finished fifth when they played a second round and finished with 104 points.
In sixth place Vincent Cleary, Brendan Cleary, Sean Gilligan, and Gerry Fitzgerald ended with a score of 103. The seventh placed team: Kevin Cuniffe, Declan Finnerty, Frank Donoghue, Bernard Donnellan and the eighth placed team: Stolley Caffery, Rita Moore, Maureen Doeplin and Rosie Finneray both ended the day with a score of 102 points.
The winning ladies team: Enda Jennings, Tracey Smyth, Mary Goode, and Aideen Beagun scored 103 points. There was also a nearest to the pin competition which was won by Carol McCarthy in the ladies’ competition and Kevin Curaiffe won the men’s competition.
The final competition held in late April, was the longest drive competition which was won by Mary Goode in the ladies and Emmett Mullen in the men’s. The proceeds raised all went towards the current and capital requirements of the young pupils.
The local community group ‘Ballinasloe Says No’ have again initiated third Court proceedings against Galway County Council’s decision to grant another waste facility permit for a waste transfer station at a site in Poolboy.
The first step in the process is to seek leave from the court to bring Judicial Review proceedings and this application is now before the High Court and will take place in October of this year.
Chairperson, Dr. Vincent Parsons stated: “We are committed on behalf of the people of Ballinasloe to fight for health, safety and to protect our unique environment. It is shocking that Galway County Council have decided to grant this permit despite the unsuitability of this site and associated risks, showing total disregard for our people and the surrounding area.”
The committee now require fundraising and they have organised a Golf classic taking place on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 September at Ballinasloe Golf Club. They are calling on everyone for their support on what promises to be a fun day out for all with lots of spot prizes! More information on how to take part will be posted closer to the event on their Facebook page @BallinasloeSaysNo
For its twelfth outing, Ballinasloe-based artist collective - Group 8 will hold the opening of its annual exhibition, ‘EIGHT’, for Culture Night this year.
The exhibition gets underway on Friday September 23, at 7pm, in Artisan Alley at the Town Hall Theatre. The exhibition will run all day Friday 23 and Saturday 24, and will feature writing, paintings, wood turning, textiles, photography, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture.
Group 8 is a non-profit, professional arts group whose aim is to foster awareness, imagination and co-operative learning between the artist and the community. The group was founded in 2009 when a number of artists saw a gap for a group of professional artists in the town, their view was to come together and create a cultural offering for the town. Every year they hold an annual exhibition where they showcase their work and gives people an opportunity to talk to the artists and writers regarding their practice.
The group has since expanded from its original cohort of eight members, and they are now comprised of nine visual artists and two writers. The group consists of Joyce Little – visual and multimedia artist; Tommy Campbell – sculptor and woodturner; Lily Kelly – visual artist; Grellan Ganly – visual artist; Úna Spain – visual artist; Nuala O’Connor – writer; Zara Little-Campbell – writer; John Soden – painter; Walter Coughlan – ceramicist; Fiona Ormsby – textile designer; and Fiona Moore – painter.
Members of the group have been busy of late designing awards for the winners at the recent Cathaoirleach Community Awards. Finalist winners on the night received a specially commissioned award designed and hand-crafted by Zara Little Campbell and Tommy Campbell, the wonderfully crafted awards were made using local bog oak, resin and Ballinasloe Limestone.
This year’s exhibition ‘EIGHT’ is the result of collaborative work the members undertook, taking inspiration from the figure 8 itself; from the idea of the number eight as representing infinity; and/or from working within the parameters of producing eight pieces of work. As always, each artist or writer was free to interpret the theme whatever way they chose. with a view to add to the cultural interest of the town.
All are welcome to attend over the exhibition over the two days, admission is free and there will be refreshments served. The group hosts other exhibitions, literary events, artist talks, readings, workshops, and book launches, you can keep up to date with all their latest events by checking their blog thegroup8.blogspot.com and their Facebook page @group8ballinasloe where they post regularly.
Ballinasloe student Dylan Donnelly recently won first place in a prestigious CPA national accounting competition .
Moore native Dylan, who is in his first year of a BA in Accounting at the Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone was up against first to final year accounting students as well as Masters students.
During the ten weeks of the competition, 17 colleges across Ireland and Northern Ireland took part. Each week a range of theory-based accounting questions were released to participants on Quitch. Participants could monitor their progress under their avatar name and see their score on a leader board along with the other participants.
Dylan was justifiably delighted with his achievement: “I feel very proud of myself for achieving this accolade, it was a great achievement for myself and for my college TUS. I only discovered afterwards that I was competing against other students who are in their final year of Master programmes. As I have just finished my first year of studies in BA Accounting I was honoured to have won the competition against my peers who are at such a high level in accounting.”
Trevor Prendergast, Head of Department, Accounting and Business Computing at TUS Athlone Campus said: “We are absolutely thrilled at Dylan’s achievement. We are delighted that Dylan availed of this opportunity with CPA Ireland and Quitch to showcase his accounting abilities on the national stage. On behalf of the lecturing team, I would like to say a massive congratulations to Dylan.”
A past pupil of Garbally Dylan added it’s where his love for the subject came about: “My time in Garbally was a big influence on me especially my accounting teacher Mr. Tom Burke who helped and encouraged me, as well as all the other teachers. They were always there to guide me; if I ever had any questions, they would do their best to help me 100%. My time at Garbally college has impacted my love for mathematics and accountancy quite significantly. I have learned so much from the teachers there, that they have inspired me to pursue a career in accountancy.”
“Hopefully, in 5 years, I will have graduated from TUS with my degree and be working as a trainee accountant with a well-regarded accounting firm. From this, I hope to further my career by getting my qualifications from an accounting body such as ACCA or ACA or CPA. When I complete this I hope to be a fully qualified chartered accountant, and hopefully move to Dublin. My dream would be to work with one of the big 4 accounting firms as this would be my end goal career-wise,” Dylan added.
“I would recommend anyone who has a love for numbers and problem solving to pursue a career in accountancy.. Accountancy is a trusted profession, and the salary is at a high end when you are fully qualified. This career is very flexible and there are excellent job opportunities for graduates,” Dylan concluded.
The Galway to Athlone Cycleway project team have confirmed the options selection report confirming the preferred Route Selection 5 corridor will issue shortly.
It will outline the benefits and advantages of the Route 5 corridor from Athlone to Shannonbridge via Ballinasloe to Portumna, Gort, Kinvara, Oranmore and Galway. And so many communities outside of the main route are also looking at regional cycleway options to connect with the national route. The Cycleway to Ballinasloe will come from Kylemore along the towpath of the Grand Canal and potentially under the motorway bridge, beside the lock and through the village of Poolboy following the Grand Canal to arrive in Ballinasloe at the Marina.
This option 5 selection report brings Phase 2 to an end and the project team are already working on Phase 3 of preliminary design and environmental evaluations. Public Liaison Officers are engaging with landowners to finalise the precise route and hope to have an initial update in roughly 3 months time. The officers are committed to work with the farmers and landowners to identify a route that minimises any impacts on farming activities.
Senator Aisling Dolan stated “There is a lot of anticipation for the Galway to Athlone cycleway coming into Ballinasloe and a phenomenal level of support through submissions and petitions at each stage of the consultation. Families will now have places to walk & cycle off-road and it will bring so many opportunities for our town. We can see the construction of the cycleway bridge across the Shannon in Athlone at the Radisson Hotel – bringing it one step closer into the West.”
“Phase 3 will take roughly 18 months with detailed environmental assessments on the route and an application to be prepared for submission to An Bord Pléanala in early 2024 with construction anticipated in 2025. This is a priority national cycleway project – even international as people can cycle to Dublin & all the way to Moscow under the Eurovélo route.” Senator Dolan concluded.
The 2022 edition of Ireland's oldest horse fair takes place on Sunday 2nd , Monday 3rd & Saturday 8th. Visitors have been coming to town for centuries its legacy is known worldwide, it is a traditional Irish Horse Fair that which has remained steadfast in its origins into the 21st century. The way horses will be sold on the green in 2022 remains as it was centuries ago, which is what makes the event so unique.
The hosting of the horse fair on the green, market stalls in the town centre & the funfair is the responsibility of the local municipal authority, the local festival committee has absolutely no remit whatsoever with any of these activities. As they have done so for centuries equine enthusiasts, local, national & international horse traders come to Ballinasloe for a fair regardless of any festival activities.
The primary focus of the festival committee is to provide the community with a memorable & enjoyable experience while the horse fair takes place and to give the town a festival type atmosphere with free entertainment.
This includes the pageantry of crowning a festival queen, music, and street entertainment on the festival sound stage, inviting celebrities / dignitaries to officially open the fair, host a heritage evening to illustrate the history of this great event, fireworks & family entertainment, children’s art. bakery & craft competitions, festival dog show, vintage display, motorcycle stunt show much much more.
The voluntary festival committee has no direct source of income and are indebted to the many sponsors and contributors, without their support there would be no festival. Committee meetings are held every Monday evening in Gullane’s Hotel in the 10 weeks lead up to the fair and if you would like to get involved, please contact the festival secretary @ 0872071869.
Volunteers are always welcome to give a hand and share ideas that could be used to enhance the festival element .
To find out more visit the website: http://ballinasloeoctoberfair.com
Xin Gin has won another prestigious International Award, picking up a gold medal at The Gin Masters 2022. The Gin Masters received over 513 entries from 244 different companies around the world. To receive a gold medal is a wonderful achievement for a new Irish Gin within a very competitive category and less than a year since its release.
The announcement follows recent wins for Xin Gin at the World Gin Awards, International Wine and Spirits Competition and The Gin Guide Awards where it was named “Best in Ireland”.
Michelle McAllister, Xin Gin’s creator said “I am delighted that Xin Gin continues to be recognised in such prestigious International competitions. The feedback on the design and taste of Xin Gin has been incredible from both judging panels and our customers. We’re looking forward to sharing our creation with fellow gin drinkers across Ireland and the world.”
Located in the heart of Ahascragh , the mill complex has remained derelict for the past 70 years. Now, the McAllisters are giving the building a new lease of life. The distillery will be an eco-distillery, powered by renewable energy with a drive to be carbon neutral
Xin Gin is available all good regional stockists. You can also taste Xin Gin is bars across Galway and beyond.
After four editions since the new year we say thanks to the man from Knocknacroghery - Robbie Gately who is heading off to sunny Portugal on Erasmus and hope that as he views Ballinasloe and his posting from the rear-view mirror – most of his memories will be good ones.
Huge welcome then for 20 year old Oisin White, Journalism and digital communications student at the University of Limerick, hailing from Quigley’s Point in north Co. Donegal. He pretends to be a quiet shy lad as an only boy but really does enjoy having the craic with others – as the man that has come the farthest on the island to the posting – 4 hours nearly a trip home, he has taken to his role as Reporter with gusto.
A keen soccer player in his teenage years, with some coaching under his belt – he is now more of a fan than participant but likes the sport of badminton in his spare time and an odd visit to the driving range!
We wish them both well!
Nearly 10 years after it’s formal closure St. Brigid’s Hospital Complex – a listed Monument and hallmark entry façade on the Eastern approaches to town continues to crumble under the apparent indifference of the State.
BACD approached the HSE and Dept of Health nearly 10 years ago and were crudely told it would no be parcelled off but would all go as a block site – provided the State agencies had no requirement for it.
A Full day Seminar on the Re - Imagining of St. Brigid’s under the Patronage of the then Minister Naughton was held in Summer 2018 with representatives of all the state agencies – a report was commissioned, agreed and circulated.
Various private buyers and consortia were met and many meetings were held with County Council, HSE, Dept of Health all agreeing in principle that they all wished the site to be developed.
Thirty six months after the Respite Hotel Group last met with the principals there has been frustratingly no progress and the private investors are both frustrated and puzzled as to why their proposals to buy and maintain the fabric of the iconic buildings and campus have met with such official indifference.
Cllr Dr. Eveyln Parsons is calling on the HSE to prioritize the appointment of a St Brigids Project Team to urgently move on development.
Cllr Parsons motion passed at a Regional Health Forum recently on St Brigids Hospital Campus“ to make the HSE prioritize the appointment of a St Brigid’s Project Team to formulate a Plan for the re-use, disposal and/or development of this state owned property including consideration of Multi-Agency Involvement and/or Public Private Partnerships taking cognizance of the cultural, visual, protected status and heritage sensitivities of some buildings and the central importance of St Brigid Hospital’s history and legacy in the psychiatric, medico-social and economic lives of people throughout the West of Ireland over the past two centuries. “ . She is also adamant that the HSE must now regularly report regularly to the forum on the disposal.
Breda Crehan Roche Community Healthcare West HSE, confirmed in reply to the motion that the HSE has been approached by a private developer, the Respite Hotel Group, with regards to its development and that the HSE themselves have no plans to re-use or develop it but are in the process of moving the Maintenance department off-site in the next few months. When the Estates department decamps from St Brigid’s Campus it will be listed for sale on the State Register following Dept of Public Expenditure and Refrom procedures.
This will open full possibilities of acquisition for development. Cllr Parsons called on the HSE for IDA to be consulted also with regard to acquiring lands to the east of the Taughmaconnell road for future Industrial use and expansion close to the existing IDA Business Park, which is separate to the main campus and derelict hospital buildings.
The Respite Hotel Group are a consortium which promotes the design and development of bespoke retirement, healthcare and wellness facilities . Directors Sean Ruane and Maureen Lynch of the stated: “Our Vision is to create a multi-purpose Campus focused on the health and wellness needs of older people, providing independent and assisted living accommodation as well as respite programs and services promoting positive mental health and well-being. Yet we continue to be frustrated with the lack of clarity and co-operation from the HSE.”
The group proposed a full redevelopment of the existing premises including a new Retirement Village, a Wellness Retreat Hotel, Housing for Dementia and Alzheimer patients, a hostel for visitors, and other amenities including a museum on the history of the complex, a café, pharmacy, a small shop, Chapel, Green Space for outdoor exercise and a Leisure Complex. The project which was provisionally due to be finished by 2028 , can’t even get to the starting blocks!
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