"Look Good, Feel Good Event" - Shearwater Hotel with Style Queen Zoe Chohan and Award-winning make-up artist Audrey O'Connor
The talented and award winning MUA Audrey O Connor, and Fashion Buyer and style queen Zoe Chohan will be hosting ‘The Look Good Feel Good Event’ on 31st August from 4pm in the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe.
From wardrobe essentials, fashion trends, to that ultimate beauty look, we will have you all styled and glammed for the season ahead. With some finger food and goodie bags thrown into the mix, it’s the ultimate ladies night out you don’t want to miss!
To buy your tickets please click here
M6 Motors, based in Kilgarave have announced the arrival of a new member of management at their car sales business in Ballinasloe. As they approach the anniversary of their 8th year in business, Eanna Ryan has come on board as a member of their management team. Eanna has a wealth of experience in the industry, having spent years working with various different companies, such as BMW, Ford and Volvo.
With a new premises due to be built this year alongside the arrival of Eanna, M6 Motors hope to grow the business long into the future. M6 Motors’ new forecourt and commercial offices will be built at their current site, located at Dolans Circle K Service Station at Kilgarve The automobile enterprise currently has over one hundred different quality used cars now in stock. “With the level of growth we have been experiencing over the last few years, and a team of twelve people now employed full time at M6 Motors, we hope to grow the business to new heights, especially with Eanna Ryan now on board as General Manager" stated founder and owner of M6 Motors, Alan Naughton.
By Donogh Moore
A longstanding business in the town, Western Postform Limited, has begun the process of relocating. The furniture manufacturer is leaving its current location in Brackernagh, and has begun to build, across from the Poolboy Industrial Estate. The business was established back in 1979, and while primarily a manufacturer of bespoke fitted furniture and washroom systems, over the years it has now grown to be one of the country’s leading suppliers to the educational, healthcare, pharmaceutical, hospitality and commercial sectors.
The business was established originally by John Hurley, although within a year of its creation, it was bought by Michael O’Grady and Seamus Shinners. Nowadays, the company is run by Alan O’Grady, husband to Olivia and father to Saoirse, Simon and Madison. Alan, who’s from Gort, has been with Western Postform Ltd for 25 years, when he first took up a post there in 1994. At present, the firm employs around fifty people, with forty of those based in the factory in the town, and another ten fitters on the road travelling around the country each day.
There are currently six members of staff who have given over thirty years’ service with another fifteen members having contributed over twenty years of service in the manufacturers. With nearly forty years’ experience in working with architects, designers, contractors and clients, Western Postform Limited have earned a reputation for delivering a quality product, within various time constraints and under budget. From the small one off projects, to the typical large scale industrial and commercial project they have dealt with in the past, the business has the experience, capabilities and flexibility to handle all requirements. With their extensive knowledge of all aspects of a project from start to finish, including design, manufacture and fitting, Western Postform Limited are well placed to deliver most clients’ proposals from initial concept to finished project.
The business is set to move into their new 40,000 square foot facility located in Pollboy in March of next year. Managing Director Alan O’Grady said: “Due to the current levels of output we have going on, we have simply outgrown our current location on the Galway Road, and so we have had to look at a new green field site. However, we are remaining in the town, as it is well-positioned for access to most of the country. This is a huge investment for both Western Postform Ltd as well as Ballinasloe, and we will be investing nearly €5 million in this project.”
The main contractors for this new build are Fitzgibbons Contractors, from Ennis. O’Neill O’Malley, hailing from Galway, are the architects involved in the project, alongside Tobin’s Engineering. In an effort to account for renewable energy, the business is planning to install an extraction, filtration and storage system with an automatic feed to a biomass boiler, which will in turn generate all the heat required for the factory. Alongside this, all of the lighting will be LED. At this stage, up to thirty staff will be employed throughout the construction phase. The business is selling mostly to the commercial sector, with projects ranging from the fit out of hotels, schools, student developments, and hospitals, to the likes of having a few large housing projects on their books too. For more information, see WPF Ltd’s Facebook Page at: ‘Western Postform Limited’, or check out www.westernpostform.ie
Ballinasloe Barn Dance - 23rd August - hosted by Ballinasloe Rugby Club and Ballinasloe Musical Society
A huge night of entertainment in this joint venture between Ballinasloe RFC & Ballinasloe Musical Society. Starting @ 8PM with a barbecue, followed by a night of rip-roaring music and dancing with live band.
Venue Ballinasloe Rugby Club
Compulsory Dress Code Cowboy or Cowgirl
Call 087 3663937 for more information
Over 18's only
By Donogh Moore
Willie & Anne Divilly started their business life in Ballinasloe in 1955, when they opened a grocery store in a rented shop in Dunlo Street. Anne Geraghty was a Ballinasloe native, sister of well-known Councillor Patsy Geraghty, and their other sister Margaret was a talented local seamstress. Willie and Anne were 11 years in the rented shop, when the opportunity arose to purchase O’Connor’s Bar and Grocery across the road in Dunlo Street. They opened the first supermarket in Ballinasloe, and joined the Niland group trading as VG for many years before becoming independent and trading as Divillys.
When her husband passed away in 1984, Anne, with the support of her four children Mairead, Dominic, Aine and Regina, continued to run the business. In response to the advent of home drinking, the family took the decision to change to trading as an independent Off Licence. In 2009, they joined the Carryout Group and the business continued to prosper with the support of many loyal customers.
The Carryout Franchise is owned by The Barry Group from Cork and has over 100 stores nationwide. They provide a pricing structure to help compete with the multiples, and have an excellent marketing service and nationwide presence. Celebrating the shop’s 10 year anniversary will be Carryout Brand Ambassador Brent Pope, who will be in store on Thursday 15th August from 5pm to 7pm, with lots of specials on the day.
Nowadays, the business is run by Regina Divilly, who is ably assisted by Michael Keighery and June Hurley, as well as Kathy Walsh. Regina took over the running of the shop when her mother passed away in 2004. She said: “I was part of the ‘Yes Equality Ballinasloe’ team who campaigned for and secured a Yes Vote for Marriage Equality in the area in 2015. I came out as gay to the community during the campaign and they offered me nothing but support throughout that emotional time”.
"Ballinasloe has gone through very tough times, losing three major factories and a hospital. The Celtic Tiger passed the town on its way to the cities. However, we’ve managed to recover and its asset is its huge community spirit. I am proud to call myself a local woman and I love my town.”
Over the years the Divilly family had many loyal customers and generations of townspeople have walked through the doors. Regina continued: “My mother’s mantra to us was 'keep the door open', and the door has stayed open now for 64 years!”
The Divillys have had great staff down through the years, but none so loyal as Michael Keighery, who has been with the family business since he left school. Michael was a great support to Anne, after the death of her husband and to Regina since Anne passed away in 2004. Regina believes that Ballinasloe has huge potential, “It’s in the centre of Ireland and has great road and rail links. It’s a great place to live and bring up children. The town has great schools, sporting facilities, cultural and community groups” states Regina.
The business is open from Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 10pm, and Sunday 12.30 to 10pm. They offer a huge range of Beers, Ciders, Wines and Spirits, and specialise in International and craft Beers and high end Wines. For more information, as well as online competitions, find them on Facebook at: Carryout Ballinasloe.
By Donogh Moore
A new transport-educational service has been set up in the town recently, in the form of Pro-Drive Ireland. James Folan, originally from Newbridge, Co. Kildare, moved to Balliansloe over three years ago, after stints spent both in the UK and Galway City working in various jobs in the transport industry. After spending two years in Galway, he relocated to Ballinasloe as he felt the town would be an ideal location to set up a business of his own, due to its far-reaching rail and road network, as well as other services the town had to offer.
After spending some time settling into the area, James quickly made friends and connections across the town. “All of these people that I met had a passion and loved to speak about the local community and its history, which I hadn’t seen the likes of in a long time. It was truly welcoming, to be part of a community that really loved their town.” It was then that James heard of the new group establishing itself, to help both budding entrepreneurs and established businesses as they encountered different issues in their day-to-day transactions.
“The Pulse Club offered a place where people, all at different stages of their business careers, could meet up and chat to like-minded individuals, whether it be to discuss issues they’ve faced or ask each other about different techniques. At the time of my joining, the idea for a company that I had was just that – an idea. I, like many others, was reluctant to take that first big step, to give up a full-time, paying job, and set up a company in my specific area of expertise.
“At one of the meetings, I spoke up and explained my situation to the group. All of the other members, who ranged from being employed, self-employed or company owners, told me to follow my idea and “go for it! What have you got to lose?” Without the help, support and guidance of not only the leaders, but also the members of the Pulse Club, my business would still be a thought in my head. I feel that now I have a lot of information that I can share with other members on the intricacies of starting their own businesses.”
Some three months on, Pro-Drive Ireland is trading on a full-time basis, and since its beginning three new staff members have joined James to meet the demands. The business is an education service, that offers drivers of trucks and buses periodic training as set out by the RSA, which allows them to continue driving professionally and safely through yearly in-class training. They also offer other services such as Manual Handling training, Safepass training, Forklift training, CPC Case Studies and Driver ETB training.. Training is delivered through a variety of venues in the midlands including The Creggan Court Hotel and tailormade to suit the needs of the trainee. They are currently seeking suitable premises locally. To avail of any of the above services, or for more information, please visit Pro-DriveIreland.ie, or find them on Facebook.
Originally hailing from New Ross, Co. Wexford, Marie Lyons has recently set up her own counselling practice in the town. Marie is the daughter of the late James Cullen, former business owner and the late Maureen (nee Lyons), who hailed from Portumna, Co. Galway, and is sister to Brendan, who currently resides as an accountant in Attyrory, Creagh, and the late Seán.
Although at first pursuing a nursing career following her training in Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin, Marie came to Ballinasloe in 1988, has one daughter Tracy, and began working in Square D Company, where she remained until its closure in January 2003. From there, she held periods of work in Whyte’s Nursing Home, Garbally View and finally St. Brigid’s Hospital. After her brother Seán took his own life, Marie took some time out of work to deal with the tragedy, which had a devastating impact on her life. She obtained a diploma in Drugs Counselling & Intervention Skills, and went on to work in residential addiction treatment Centres and community based organisations throughout Ireland, before returning to education in 2017, where she was awarded an Honours Degree in Counselling & Addiction Studies from the Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences.
Marie, like many other new business owners, is a member of the Pulse Club. “It is a great asset to the town for excellent networking and mentoring service and workshops on how to start your own business, managing finance etc. There have been many guest speakers which were all very informative, including presentations by entrepreneurs above the Library on the first Tuesday of every month. Personally, I felt very welcome when I first joined the group, and have been supported by fellow members. It is a very positive group which gave me the initiative to start up my own business” added Marie.
Marie Lyons’ Personal Counselling and Addiction Therapy offers the following therapy services:
The ‘Town Enhancement Scheme’ or ‘Big Dig’ that has been taking place in the town has reached its halfway mark recently. The works, by SIAC Construction and Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers, began their first phase of three at the beginning of the year, and have since reached near completion of that initial phase, with just Main Street left to be worked on.
Phase One works consisted of mostly underground workings around the town centre. This included the laying of sewers, water mains, ducts and all associated connections and fittings. These works were carried out on Society Street, resulting in a full road closure for a number of months, as well as St. Michael’s Square and Dunlo Street, where works are just finishing up on the lower portion of the street. On Dunlo Street, existing paths have been removed, with ducting being installed, as well as new kerbing, paving, street furniture being installed and services being put under ground. The main road will be resurfaced and new pavements are a real overture of how the new streetscape will.unfold for the next few decades. Once this section of the works is completed, works will continue towards Hayden's Hotel under a similar road closure. Works are scheduled to be completed in Dunlo Street by mid-September.
There is no plan to have works contrinuing during Fair week. Post Fair the refurbishments will continue at Central junction and then onto Main Street. These works are scheduled to be completed by January 2020. Once completed, the upgrading works will then proceed in Society Street again, starting at the Central junction and working out towards the Courthouse. As well as that, works have commenced to install a combined sewer from an existing manhole at the Civic building to an existing manhole at the Shearwater Hotel, located beside the R446.
Phase 2 of the scheme involves the works outside the town centre area. Throughout this phase, the contractor will continue working during the consolidation period for the town centre area, and works are sufficiently separated so that all works areas can be progressed at the same time. Due to this, no road closures are envisaged in this time. These works will take place by Sarsfield Drive, Bridge Street Outer, Church Street, Hymany Park, Creagh and St. Joseph’s Place.
Finally, Phase 3 works entail the completion of street enhancement works, involving laying of kerbs, footpaths, parking bays, road reinstatement, installation of new bins, benches, cycle stands, railings removal of existing lighting columns and overhead lines, installation of new lighting columns and lamps and planting of trees.
The works on Main Street are set to take place from September 2019 to January 2020, and Society Street’s works will take place from January 2020 to April 2020. The end goal of the ‘Town Enhancement Scheme’ is to have a 21st century town that’s attractive not only to its residents, but to customers from all over the hinterland. These works will lead to a more pedestrian friendly environment in the town centre, and alongside a traffic calming scheme, as well as a more welcoming streetscape hopefully creating a positive experience for visitors.
For more information on the Big Dig, keep posted to the Ballinasloe Life Facebook page, or visit ‘www.ballinasloetownenhancement.ie’ for further details.
By Donogh Moore
The Ballinasloe District Municipal Council held their first two meetings of their five year tenure recently. To begin, the new Cathaoirleach and Leas-Cathaoirleach for the coming year were elected, in the form of poll-topper Councillor Tim Broderick, and first-time Councillor Aishling Dolan.
The scale of the housing crisis within the area was fully exposed with the tabling of a report showing 485 families on the housing waiting list with a further 285 in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). The housing agency O’Colohan & Co, who are keen to partner with Galway County Council on a pilot scheme for a housing alliance in the area, (which hasn’t been done outside of major urban zones before), presented to the councillors. The agency completed a similar scheme in Ardmore, Co. Waterford recently.
It was unanimously agreed that this scheme may provide an opportunity for the town to start building, with a mockup of three different types of accommodation being shown. Affordable housing would make up around 60% of the proposed building, with both affordable rental accommodation and social housing taking up around 20% each. Given the new larger size of the district in terms of scale and sprawl over which the council presides, it was resolved that one council meeting would be held outside of the town every six months. There was broad agreement shown at this proposal, with councillors agreeing that more effort needed to be shown to the communities in the far reaches of the district. However, the decision is now referred by bye law to a corporate policy group, who will then decide whether these two moves a year, would be feasible.
As is always the case post elections councillors nominated by their colleague to various different committees and bodies with responsibilities:
Finally, the Municipal District Council put its weight of support behind the town's application to Minister Ring’s Department for ‘Rural Regeneration’ scheme, despite having been denied support three times already. The scheme application this year is a joint application by the local authority, in conjunction with the Ballinasloe Area Community Development team.
Cathaoirleach Tim Broderick said that the grant aid for much needed investment in enterprise and rural economy was a “huge opportunity”, and that it was “imperative that we get our slice of this”.
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