Eimear Noone Lends Support For Raise The Roof
The “Raise the Roof” fundraising appeal (to defray the €50,000+ costs of renovating the roof of the Parochial hall), was successfully launched by Eimear Noone, the first woman composer in history to conduct the Oscar ceremony orchestra.
At a special public band recital in the town square she declared “ Noel Madden and his epic band of selfless, decent, kind and community-loving board members have achieved what might have been impossible for others - filling an historic building in Ballinasloe with life and music instead of condemning it to dereliction as is the fate of so many of our buildings in rural Ireland”.
“Having bought the building as the first permanent home for the town band for its 50 strong Youth Band members and those in the senior band (many of whom I played with as a kid,) they now need to reroof the thing! So, let's all buy a slate for 50 Euro and preserve the heritage of the band for future generation”, she continued.
Anyone wishing to support the appeal may purchase ‘slates’ from Band committee members. Slate purchasers will have their names recorded in the hall for posterity in appreciation of their community spirited generosity. Online purchases (or donations) may be made via the go-fund-me page on the bands revamped website www.ballinasloetownband.ie . Facebook members can follow the progress of the renovations and the appeal by liking the Town Band Facebook page. Enquiries to Martina 087 971 0496
Storm Ellen caused considerable damage to the funded renovations which were already under way. They were left devastated when 20% of the slates were dislodged and removed by the severe gusts of wind on the roof at the rear of the Parochial Hall. The freshly painted interior walls of the main hall will also have to be revisited due to water seepage from the slate loss on the roof. Areas of the recently installed ceilings will also require remedial attention.
Renovations continue at pace in the main hall and large rear annex. The ceilings were replaced and insulated, interior structure repainted, gas heating installed, and the whole building rewired. Two toilets were reinstalled, with one being wheelchair accessible.
They conducted weekly outdoor recitals in the town centre on Saturday afternoons throughout the summer. As the town and country limped out of lockdown, the musical interlude was helpful in lightening the gloom and raising the spirits in the town.
The residents of local and surrounding nursing home facilities were also delighted with the arrival of the band to their premises with weekly performances at Garbally View, St. Brendan’s CNU, Mill Race, Ballinderry, Aughrim, Ahascragh, Kiltormer, and Killimor keeping the band busy.
The Ballinasloe Youth band is now recruiting after a very successful first two years. Children from 2nd class onwards can enroll in the band. They will have the opportunity to learn instruments including flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drums and everything in between. The tutors have years of experience as performers and teachers and children will always receive a warm and encouraging welcome. The band is currently monitoring the situation with regards to covid-19 and will arrange start dates in the coming weeks. However, places are always limited so if you’d like more information about the Ballinasloe Youth Band, you can head to www.ballinasloetownband.ie/join where you can register your interest.
Gerry Devlin New Community Hearts Ambassador
Gerard Devlin, a cancer survivor and member of the East Galway Cancer Centre, is the newly nominated ambassador for the next three- five years for Ballinasloe Community Hearts.
He was chosen from nominations sent out to local organisations and he received the highest amount of approvals. He was selected back in March but owing to Covid-19, he was unable to be officially unveiled until recently. He received his Medallion and a trophy showing the hands of friendship to mark his selection. He also received €500 towards his chosen charity.
Gerry, a former AT Cross employee is known around town for his book writing, craft work and engagement with a variety of local organisations and runs a number of social media sites which reflect on byegone days !
“ I’m looking forward to making my own impact for charity and I believes this is the perfect time to do it. There is great kindness and generosity from the Irish community towards donating and I hope this pattern continues for the future” , states Gerry. He intends to continue to run events and help out in any way.
Community Hearts was founded in 2001 by Maureen Cahalan in order to support local charities. She was helped tremendously through different charities in overcoming her husband’s death and wanted to give back to them for all the help she received.
To raise money for these local charities, Maureen has held events such as a Fish and Chips night, walks, and a Christmas Market to help raise these funds. All money collected is spread out between two or three charities in the town.
They have in the past, run workshops for people who lost their jobs. The attendees were addressed by a guest speaker and then shown how to create a short and informative C.V. on one page. They were also retrained in how to sign up and do a successful interview which was all thanks to Bank of Ireland who gave them a room for three weeks and Tomas Gullane who gave them a room for six weeks.
“I love to take part with all aspects of the charity as I feel I am giving back to the community” states Maureen .
Gerard along with Maureen and treasurer Kathleen Treacy will try their best to help everyone out in the community. If they find an opening for an event or talk to help, they’ll do their best to facilitate it. If you have any queries, please contact Maureen.
Now that their holidays and city breaks are cancelled, their singing group remain silent and their Knitting and Art group are now confined to working at home behind closed doors, the athletic track has now become a place of refuge.
Research had shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimers disease. It helps to maintain healthy muscle and bone, improves balance and risk of falls.
Their members are very much in the “vulnerable” category and so to improve physical and mental wellbeing, some members continue to enjoy a daily walk on the track. They observe social distancing by walking in pairs on different lanes (keeping one lane apart). They chat while walking even though they may have to turn up the volume to hear each other.
Everyone is welcome who may feel lonely or isolated during this pandemic to join them at 10.30 for your daily walk. Afterwards, they don our masks, sanitise, give their name and contact number to staff and enjoy a friendly cuppa,(seated apart) in Gullane’s Hotel.
New members are always welcome. Enquiries to: Mgt. Brennan, Ph.090 964 2061 or Chris O’Flynn (PRO) Ph. 087 649 2466 or visit their website http://ballinasloeactiveretirement.blogspot.com/
A montage of pictures reminds us all of what fun and laughter we usually have in a typical year and what we hope we will be allowed do again.
Edward (Eamon) Conway originally from Co. Mayo, now living in Creagh, had on his bucket list of places to visit; the mighty “Angkor Wat” temple in Siem Reap in Cambodia. After visiting the vast beautiful country of Cambodia, he wanted to help this country get on its feet once more.
On one such trip, he was introduced to Mr. Sean Samnang. Mr. Samnang - the founder & president of Aspire Training & Education, which is a school and an orphanage for the poor, homeless and orphaned children in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. ASPIRE has 96 students who are learning with the aid of free education, they’re providing 24 hours care for 20 children.
He recognised the urgent need to help the many destitute and orphaned children in the country. This situation was brought about because Cambodia’s education and health care systems were completely destroyed during the Khmer Rouge Genocide and due to two decades long civil war.
The mission aims to give the children basic education. Then later to be transported to the bigger schools for further education. They provide three nutritious meals per day, protection, adequate healthcare and education for orphans or those living in extreme poverty. They receive lessons in Khmer, English, Computer skills, Art and Gardening.
Their ages range between 5-16 years old. It runs for 5 days (25 hours per week), from Monday to Friday, with a morning session from (8:30 am – 10:30 am) and afternoon session from (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm).
Previous to helping build this School, Edward (Eamon) had raised money for numerous Water Wells in the remote areas of Siem Reap, Cambodia as clean water is also a problem in this region.
To gather funds for the build he organised events such as a Table Quiz, which was enhanced by two Brazilian ladies Angie and Josi who wore their national costume and they certainly brightened up proceedings as “they went down a storm”. This was followed by “A Family Fun Run Day” held at the Fellowship Church here. A Coffee/Tea & Cake day, was held at Eamon’s house that was very well supported by all the area.
The last event arranged was a star-studded Concert in November 2019 with fabulous guests, such as the Cill Aodian Choir, Christina and John O’Flynn, Ukephoric Ukulele band. Hein Ensemble and the Concannon girls. This event was held in the local Town Hall, sadly a man that helped immensely, sadly passed away, namely Pat McGovern RIP.
As (Eamon) says “it’s not just my pet project, but it's also too many others who have helped in the advertising, donating, selling tickets and even the sponsorship of events. Lastly supporting the events with their presence”.
Other funds came through continued fundraising on Facebook, this proved to be hugely popular in getting the project off the ground. Lastly by private donations from people which were also received.
Mr. Samnang would like to say a big thank you to Edward (Eamon) Conway and all other subscribers for the huge amount of money – over €16,000 to build the three classroom School and is aptly named (The Irish School Building) for the children of Aspire in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
If you wish to get involved by volunteering at the School, you can either contact Mr. Sean Samnang directly at: www.aspirecambodia-edu.org or email Eamon at email@example.com
Donations are still urgently needed, to keep the School open, If you wish you can contact Edward (Eamon) Conway, for more details, contact him on his Mobile: 086 8972776. You can also click here to access the Go Fund Me page
This need for money is due to the pandemic, as the school has suffered badly. As no volunteers are going out to the school or to teach there, also to bring money out which is welcomed.
Its vitally important we keep this School open with funds during this time – THANK YOU
by Barry Lally
“Only the dead exist fully. The lives of the living are fragmentary, doubtful and subject to change; but the lives of the dead are complete, free from the sway of time, the all-but omnipotent lord of the world.”
With the approach of the longer nights our thoughts seem naturally to gravitate towards those who have gone before us into “that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns”. Ballinasloe’s Creagh Cemetery is an intriguing place where the dead probably far outnumber the living citizens of the town. It reflects, moreover, much of our local history. According to John the Evangelist, Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions”. The same is true of Creagh. Today I propose to visit all five “mansions” and should esteem it an honour were you to favour me with your company.
Very good. Then let us proceed. As we make our way through the main gate we find ourselves in an avenue flanked by yew trees, an evergreen species invariably found in cemeteries, chosen because of its famed longevity as a symbol of the Christian belief in everlasting life. Besides, its poisonous foliage would have deterred farmers from allowing their livestock to trespass.
A first right takes us from the main avenue into the Church of Ireland and Presbyterian burying ground. Creagh Cemetery largely occupies a slope that rises towards the south. This Protestant section is on a steeper gradient and overlooks the Catholic graveyard across the avenue. Both were laid out in the 1880s, but here the graves are sparser, bearing witness to the decline of a community whose members once dominated the commercial and professional life of the area. During the early1920s fifty per cent of the local Protestant population re-located to Britain and Northern Ireland, establishing a pattern of contraction that has continued ever since. Notables interred here include Rev. Dr. James Whigham, one of the town’s earliest Presbyterian ministers, who gave his name to the Whigham Hall at the rear of the church in Society Street, used for “hops” in the 1950s, as well as Musical Society rehearsals; Dr. William Rutherford, a popular medical man whose monument stands near the Brackernagh end of the Harris (Burma) Road; and Henry J. McClenaghan, proprietor of “The Western Star” newspaper. Notice the three obelisks over on the left, a monumental style not found elsewhere in Creagh.
We mount a step or two to bring us into the medieval graveyard shared by both Catholics and Protestants. Without disrespect to those reposing here, we can say that the scene confronting us would surely be dear to the heart of the maker of a horror film: scattered at random over the uneven ground, lichen-covered, rounded and shouldered tombstones lean drunkenly under the shadow of a ruined church. In the early 1970s it was rumoured to be the venue of nocturnal Satanic rites comprising, amongst other things, naked cavorting around a grave. Eighteen-century headstones abound, the most elaborate being the Staunton monument featuring the instruments of the Passion of Christ, now sadly overgrown with ivy. Members of the Trench family, later Earls of Clancarty, are buried here, including Power Le Poer Trench (1770 – 1839), Archbishop of Tuam. A railed tomb encloses the remains of the Reeves family of Reeves’s Lane (now Davitt’s Place) off Dunlo Street. Here, too, are the graves of Primitive Methodists, notably that of John Queale, a tanner. The Church of Ireland was no longer used for worship from 1793 when the predecessor of St. John’s was built on Knockadoon (now Church Hill). It served as a chapel of ease up to 1825 and has been in ruins since 1870.
Retracing our steps, we cross into the Catholic cemetery, which presents an aspect in sharp contrast to the medieval one we have just left. Here the funerary monuments stand bolt upright in straight rows like soldiers on parade. Over to the left, just inside the main gate, we see Creagh’s most imposing Celtic cross marking the resting place of Matt Harris MP (1826 – 1890). Born in Roscommon Town, he spent most of his life as a building contractor in Ballinasloe. Though a major influence on the formation of the Irish Land League, at heart he was probably more a separatist than an agrarian reformer. In this general area we find also the grave of Eugene Watters (1919 – 1982), widely regarded as the most versatile creative writer in Irish to come from a non-Gealtacht background. His achievements await a fitting memorial in his native town. Down near the north-west corner a monument was erected in 1948 at the grave of a man described on the stone as the King of the Travellers. It has since disappeared, possibly removed by a rival claimant to the throne.
Next we visit the north graveyard used for Catholic burials since 1792. In appearance it is much like the medieval burying ground, though somehow the atmosphere strikes one as less sinister. Here we have the ruins of a Penal chapel dating from 1702, as well as the vestigial remains of a larger chapel from 1824. A Brabazon altar stone once stood inside the latter building and had originally been part of the Penal chapel. Its inscription read: “Pray for Mr. Anthony and Mrs. Catherine Brabazon who caused this altar to be erected April 2nd 1756”. For some reason it was removed from the cemetery and could be seen resting against the north wall of the 1933 Creagh Church up to at least the mid-1950s. Its present whereabouts are unknown. Buried here is Thomas Costello (1787 – 1831), Bishop of Clonfert, as well as Archdeacon Laurence Dillon who died in 1854 and had initiated the building of St. Michael’s Church. Amongst the laity reposing here are soldiers of various British Army regiments quartered up to around the time of the Crimean War (1854 – 1856) at a barracks on the site of the old Convent of Mercy National Schools in Society Street.
East of here we enter an area through a small iron gate in the wall. It resembles nothing so much as a meadow, though in fact it contains the bodies of some 800 Mental Hospital patients unclaimed by their relatives and buried here up to the 1960s. Those boulders and the cross that we see are recent additions. It is probably the most depressing section of Creagh Cemetery and a sad reflection on the attitude to psychiatric illness that was once prevalent. And so our visit ends as we make our way back towards the main gate. See how the rain has graciously held off thus far, and with a modicum of luck we may reach our homes dry-headed.
The fifth lay Principal to be appointed in Garbally College, succeeding Michael Hyland, Tom Blanche, Seamus O’Brien and Stephen Reilly, and incidentally the first past pupil lay Principal, is Tynagh native Paul Walsh. Hailing from a farming family in Flowerhill, Tynagh, Paul is the youngest of three sisters and three brothers. His earliest introduction to town was as a very small boy bringing horses to the Fair with his father and brothers, standing in the Fair Green all day and trying not to get kicked or walked on!
The young man who has a deep love of the outdoors with a lifetime passion for hillwalking and deerstalking finished his primary education in Killimor NS and was enrolled in Garbally College in 1980 as a first year boarder. “I can honestly say that my parents’ decision to send me to Garbally was the best decision they ever made for me. I received an excellent holistic Catholic education in very happy surroundings. I loved the hands-on learning experience of the practical subjects and the science subjects. I played a lot of sport and must have played hundreds, if not thousands, of games of handball in the alleys! As well as sport, I have very special memories of being involved in The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance and playing the guitar for the school choir” states Paul. From first year, he knew he wanted to be a secondary teacher.
His favourite subjects were woodwork, technical graphics and agricultural science and after Leaving Cert decided to study metalwork and engineering at the University of Limerick. “The late Michael Hyland, my agricultural science teacher who also had a passion for engineering, had a huge influence on me and indeed on lots of other students as well. He was such a knowledgeable and committed teacher who made the subject so interesting with his stories of bygone days. As students, we had the height of respect for him and fondly remember the day that he was introducing us to Dairying in agricultural science. He brought in lots of different cheeses and crackers and as hungry boys we definitely enjoyed that class leaving not a morsel uneaten” remembers Paul.
Having spent six formative years in the school, the college is very much part of who he is. “I am very proud of my association with Garbally and I made friends for life among staff and students. We had our 25-year reunion in 2011 and classmates came back from all over the world. We are already planning another reunion for 2021!” he says. He graduated from U.L. with a degree in Engineering Technology and was fortunate to get a teaching job in Garbally in September 1990, initially teaching woodwork, technical graphics, science and technical drawing. In 1996 Bishop Kirby and the Board of Governors sanctioned the introduction of Metalwork and Engineering and he worked with the principal, Michael Hyland in equipping a room for the new subjects which have proved very popular.
He has held various leadership roles since 2000 and took over as programme co-ordinator in 2010 with responsibility for Transition Year (TY) and Leaving Cert Vocational Programme. The numbers taking TY have more than doubled since and lots of links in the local community through social action and work experience have been developed. The committed Educationalist completed a post graduate diploma in Leadership of Education in 2014 and a Master’s degree in School Leadership in Maynooth University in 2018 as well as serving two terms on Garbally’s Board of Management. He lives near Gort with his wife of 26 years, Mary Teresa. They have a daughter Hazel, a Speech and Language Therapist and a son Sean, who is a Veterinary Surgeon.
“I am extremely lucky to be a member of a very committed, dedicated and hard-working staff who go above and beyond the call of duty every day. We have a great sense of care and collegiality for each other and for our students and I look forward to leading this team to deliver the best education possible for all our students” explains Paul. Casting his eye back on his staff achievements - helping students achieve their full potential, whatever that might become, is a first but seeing his students receive national awards from the National Engineering Teachers’ Associations for results achieved in leaving cert projects and written papers, comes a close second. He sees the setting up of Microsoft Office 365 across the campus, as one of his greatest contributions; proving invaluable in allowing teaching and learning to continue during the Covid 19 lockdown.
He is looking forward to working with all involved in education in Garbally, Bishop Michael Duignan and the Board of Governors, the Board of Management, staff, students, parents and the wider community.
“Garbally College is a highly acclaimed diocesan secondary school which has a proud tradition of excellence in the academic, sporting and cultural fields, I am passionate and committed in continuing this in the future. I envisage that students leave here proud of having been in the college, as mature compassionate young men who have the skills necessary to become independent, critical thinkers, IT proficient, resilient enough to deal with the challenges of life and always willing to help others along the way” acclaims Paul. “I would like to thank Fr. Allman and the Board of Management, our staff, students, parents and local community groups for their continued support of Garbally. A special thank you to Bishop John Kirby who was president when I attended Garbally as a student, to my former Principals with whom I worked, especially Stephen Reilly for his continued encouragement and support. “Fidet et Fortitudine”, Faith and Fortitude is our motto - by working as a united school community we will have the Faith as well as the emotional and mental strength to respond with Courage in the face of new challenges” notes Paul.
To find out more about Garbally College visit www.garballycollege.com
Before joining Claddagh Watch, I had never volunteered. Like many, I had toyed with the idea over the years, but sadly, mostly for self-indulgent reasons. The ‘Oh, it will look great on my CV’ kind of reasons. In my mind, those who volunteered regularly and truly enjoyed it were exceptional people, born with a superior gift of kindness, empathy and morality. I believed that you had to be a more generous, almost a more Godly person, to do the amazing things I’ve witnessed volunteer groups do. On reflection, it is a strange thought, but I felt that I wasn’t good enough a human to volunteer and that others would be better suited to the task. That was until I was introduced to Claddagh Watch and my perception of volunteering changed completely
Claddagh Watch Patrol, which was founded by Arthur Carr and some dedicated people in 2019, sees volunteers patrolling the waterways and bridges of Galway City in an effort to prevent deaths by accident and suicide and to promote water safety
This organisation struck a chord with me as living in Galway City, I was aware of the many tragic accidents and suicides at the hands of the River Corrib. This included incidents with people from around the County including East Galway, I also knew that no measures were being put in place to help people who found themselves contemplating suicide along the river, or those who were at higher risk of an accident due to the proximity of the bars and nightclubs to the river’s edge. Having completed courses on suicide awareness and intervention previously, I felt that I had to put this knowledge to use. After many meetings and numerous training sessions, I went out on that very first patrol and so ended my fear of volunteering. Without a doubt, it was one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve ever had. I believe this is because of the extraordinary reaction of the community around us. Patrolling the bridges and waterways, we were overwhelmed by the amount of people, young and old, who came to us with their questions, their praise and thanks and their personal stories of how the river has affected their lives.
There were people who questioned the need for our patrols but once we explained our goal of preventing accidents and suicides, they quickly congratulated us on our efforts. Others who were enjoying their night out and moving from pub to pub, even made time to bring us tea and coffee as a sign of gratitude. The support, we as volunteers receive each night, is truly something special and that support has only continued to grow with time. It has become my small way of contributing to the society I live in, and the appreciation of people in Galway rings loud and clear. One of the reasons I have found it easy to continue volunteering with Claddagh Watch is the support network you meet in the group itself. Joining a volunteering group is a fantastic way to meet new people and build your own support base. Everyone is focused and committed to the same cause and you have to work together to keep each other and those around you safe.
While walking along the waterways and keeping an eye out for those who are vulnerable, I have met many other volunteers from different backgrounds, who each have a unique story and motivation for joining Claddagh Watch. It is a great way to make new friends and I also think it has a positive effect on self-esteem. Putting yourself out there and trying something new can definitely help improve your confidence and I would highly recommend volunteering to anyone who feels shy or nervous. I definitely find it to be an energizing escape from the normalcy of day to day life. Volunteering has also given me the opportunity to experience a greater purpose in life. In our modern society, it can be difficult not to fall into the materialistic ideology that is portrayed on our social media platforms each day. We are constantly connected to content that promotes the idea that the more things you own and the more money you have, the better and happier your life will be.
I can wholeheartedly say that there is more to this life than social media and the things you own. Volunteering instils a sense of purpose, a feeling of fulfilment unlike anything I have experienced before. Making the effort to help others certainly gives you a positive mindset, so at the end of the day, you are not only helping someone else in need but you are also helping yourself. I also think it is so important to try and do one good thing for someone else as often as possible. Every day we are bombarded with distressing news stories from around the world, so for me volunteering presents a tangible and proactive way of doing something to make the world a better place. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference to someone in need!
All these lovely reasons aside, the main reason I volunteer is because I want to make a difference to the sad and frightening situation our city finds itself in. When the news of yet another suicide or accidental death blackened my social media feed in the past, I always felt the same wave of emotions. Anger, upset, shock, turmoil and then the question of ‘why?’. Why that person? Why that river? Why was no one there to help? Some people looked to the government and council for explanation. Thanks to Claddagh Watch Patrol and the wonderful people who have dedicated their free time to this cause, I can say that we are here to try and help. Each week, strangers come together with the goal of making our city that little bit safer and each week, we make a difference.
People are now more aware than ever of the dangers the river poses and I hope that it will also create a greater awareness of mental health and the struggles people may be facing. You never know whose life you may potentially save by just asking ‘are you okay?’. Finally, if you have never volunteered before, then please, now is the time to give it a try. Helping others and making life a little easier for someone else, has the potential to greatly improve your own life too.
Check out - Volunteer Galway 091 581727 or Claddagh Watch Patrol 087 9933097
by Colm Croffy
The new CEO of Ballinasloe Credit Union is Grainne Murphy, a native of Galway City, a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a member of the LIA holding certificates in Credit Union Risk & Compliance as well as the Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA). She began her accountancy career as a trainee with Duffy & Company in Dominick Street, Galway. The principal of the firm, Cormac Duffy, was very active in the formation of Credit Unions in Galway in the early years and the firm served as auditors to the Credit Union, where Grainne has been a member since the 1980’s.
Grainne now lives in Clarinbridge with her husband and two children. Prior to taking up this role, she was Chief Financial Officer with First Choice Credit Union, Castlebar for 5 years. It was a natural next step for her to take on the challenge of the CEO role, which to date has been really rewarding and enjoyable. “The sense of community here is strong and the team in the Credit Union are dedicated and friendly. The shorter daily commute is also a welcome bonus!” exclaims Grainne. Working in a financial co-operative where ethics and social responsibility are not just aspirational is of key importance to her. “These values permeate everything we do. Members always come first and their needs are front and centre in our decision making. I look forward to working with my team to deliver on the goals and objectives of the Credit Union, building long lasting connections with the local community and continuing to make a positive difference in our member’s lives” she states.
As an essential service, their focus throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been to continue to facilities service to members. During the period of lockdown they operated on reduced hours/ days but since July they are back to the full 6 day week service. They have also improved their technological ability, ensuring they remain agile enough to adapt quickly to change. In addition, they are developing their online offerings to provide alternative forms of contact and service delivery in the future. For members protection they have also installed safety screens at the counter and have more signage and a queue management system in place.
“We have also rolled out two new lending products (business & personal) specifically designed to support members who may be experiencing difficulty at this time. So, I would encourage those members who may be experiencing financial difficulties or who anticipate that they may be facing into such difficulties in the coming months, to come and talk to us. We are here to help” offers Grainne. Joining your local Credit union is the one of the best financial decisions anyone can make. Their philosophy is based around supporting the needs of their members. One of the many benefits provided to members is loan protection insurance, the premium for this insurance is paid by the Credit Union. If you are an eligible member this means that you can borrow from your credit union in the full confidence that your dependents will not be obliged to repay the outstanding loan balance in the event of your death (There are some associated terms and conditions and members should enquire to see if they are eligible when making their loan application). Grainne believes “In this way we are different to every other financial institution in Ireland. We are driven by a desire to work for our members benefit and provide financial services in our local communities.
To join, just call to our office in Main Street with valid photo identification and proof of address. New members (young and old) are always welcome. It is a decision you will not regret”! Since August last year she is pleased to see the transformation that has taken place in the town centre. ”There is no doubt that a construction project of this nature can be a disruptor to the economic life of any town, however I do believe that once completed it will have a lasting positive effect on business locally” she says. The Credit Union are currently focused on investing in their people, improving their technological ability and ensuring they remain agile enough to adapt quickly to persistent change.
Grainne notes how “Traditionally all of our business was done at the counter and while one of the key differences of the Credit Union movement is our personal service, we have to redefine, through the application of technology, what that means for our next generation of members. Community remains central to our philosophy and working to improve our members’ financial wellbeing will always be a core objective.” Looking to the future the provision of financial services on a fair and equitable basis is core to the ethos of the movement. “Therefore, investing in Business Model Development and meeting the ongoing demands of operating in a highly regulated environment while maintaining our core operating principals is of key importance. We will continue to advocate for Credit Unions to ensure that we remain a vibrant part of the financial services landscape in Ireland” states Grainne after a hectic first year at post.
Clúid Housing have recently built 17 new homes for the elderly in Dunlo, to the rear of the Aldi Store. The houses are expected to be occupied over the next few weeks. Clúid Housing is an award winning, not-for-profit charity providing over 7,560 affordable, high quality homes to people in housing need. These houses are easily accessible and ideal for someone 65+.
The homes are designed with fully accessible bathrooms, level access showers and level access thresholds. There’s parking available for both residents and visitors also. These new homes are part of their dedicated age-friendly housing service Clann. They’re built following the principles of universal design and aim to provide housing where individuals can remain living independently in their own home for as long as possible. All housing allocations will be made in conjunction with the Local Authority, which in this case is Galway County Council. They’ll nominate prospective residents based on their allocations process and will be determined both by need and length of time on the local authority housing list. These houses aren’t given out on a first come, first served basis. Consideration is normally given by the best fit also and an individual’s accessibility and mobility needs. If you apply to get one of these houses, all allocations will come from the County Council as Clann does not operate a waiting list.
Rent is suited to each customer and isn’t fixed. It is charged in line with the Local Authority differential rent scheme and is based on the individual’s income. A part time Scheme Manager will be working on site, their role will be to support residents to live alone, link residents to relevant community supports and manage any tenancy related matters. The concept of universal design is followed on all Clann developments. Clann schemes aims to promote independent living, as such accessibility is central to their design and operation. However, they’re no lifts of any kind at these houses.
Photovoltaic Panels are provided generating on the spot free electricity to residents. PV panels, also known as solar panels, capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. The most typical PV panel system is the grid-connected system, which as its name indicates, is connected to the national grid. They generate electrical power instead of heat. The site was purchased from the local diocese of the Catholic Church. These homes cost €216,000 each to construct. If you wish to get in contact with a member of staff from Clúid, call 01 7072088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Liam Cosgrove
“I am very happy with the decision to base the company in Ireland, as I think Ireland is very well positioned to operate in the global market. Being a scientist and complementary medicine practitioner, my initial aim was to help people to become the healthiest and happiest version of themselves and first and foremost I want the company to follow this vision” Suraya Diaz
A new Manufacturing and Holistic Complementary Medical Practice has been established just north of town in Ballinamore Bridge by Bio-chemist and therapist Suraya Diaz. Growing up in Lisbon, Suraya’s parents always encouraged her to follow her path and interests. She was raised in a family where home remedies, made from herbs and natural ingredients, were always the preferred medicine of choice. She developed an interest from a young age in nature and its power to heal. She has always been fascinated by science and health, in particular the interplay between cellular and molecular pathways and the molecular mechanisms involved in diseases directed her academic career towards medical scientifical research. Suraya completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Biochemistry, followed by a Master’s degree in Clinical Microbiology, including a PHD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from University College of London.
She moved to Exeter where she started working as a research associate in EU project partnership in the biochemistry department at Exeter University. She worked in projects involving bacteria biofilm formation and the molecular structure determination of virulence-related protein complexes. After completing various projects in Exeter University, she began to think about starting her own company. As a scientist she also had the opportunity to work in different research institutions in the Netherlands, France, Brazil and Germany and to publish several scientific articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and book chapters in technical books. Her experience in the fusion of conventional and alternative medicine has placed her in the ideal position to design and tailor premium quality products while complementing it with consultancy in all these areas.
Starting her own company has been a challenging journey. “I am very happy with the decision to base the company in Ireland, as I think Ireland is very well positioned to operate in the global market. Being a scientist and complementary medicine practitioner, my initial aim was to help people to become the healthiest and happiest version of themselves and first and foremost I want the company to follow this vision” stated Suraya. The company now offers a full range from health testing services along with the manufacture of organic certified products in eco-packaging to promote good health and reduce the risks of disease while contributing to a sustainable planet. The products range include herbal remedies, herbal teas, probiotic drinks, food products and a 100% organic certified and toxins free hand sanitiser. Additionally, they’re also in preparation to launch a premium line of organic certified cosmetics in eco-packaging for all ages and a specialised anti-aging line for men and women.
All products are Guaranteed Irish, vegan, gluten free, organic certified and have been reviewed, approved and registered under Health Products Regulatory Agency (HPRA) and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). An online shop www.drsurayadiaz.com is available on amazon. The company also supplies many shop outlets throughout Ireland and beyond, some businesses in the local area include Jorena’s Health & Gift Shop and shopballinasloe.ie.
“I am very pleased to have Ballinasloe as a base for our company because of its privileged location in the heart of Ireland with a great access to the motorway to promote easy transportation for goods and raw materials. Along with easy access for employees, clients and potential business collaborators” remarked Suraya.
The store is located in Gate Lodge, Castle French, Ballinamore Bridge, Ballinasloe, H53DH67. To get in contact with her, ring 091 804998 or email email@example.com. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm.
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