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.
By Liam Cosgrove
One of the oldest Law Firms in the town – based in Bridge St. Hutchinson Davidson has transferred from the Colbert Family Practice to Senior Solicitor Elaine Bannerton, recently. Elaine is as native as you can get, she was born in Portiuncula Hospital to parents Catherine & Tom Bannerton, as the oldest of six children. Her mother came from Funshinagh, Four Roads and her father from Banavane, Ahascragh. She grew up in Banavane, attended primary school in Kilglass National School and secondary school in Saint Cuan’s College, Castleblakeney. Like most finishing secondary school, she was very unsure as to what she wanted to do, so she took a year out and worked in Square D. She then went on to study at NUI Galway. Elaine worked in Insurance for a year after completing her studies and the entrance exams for the Law Society, while applying for traineeships. She moved to Dublin and completed her training to become a Solicitor. After qualifying, she stayed on with her training Solicitor, Orla Cummins and worked with her in Athlone for five years. Being a native of Ahascragh, only a few kilometers from the town and having married Trevor Kennedy, another village local, they decided to settle down there and have two young children, Noah and Laila. Having seen an advertisement for a Solicitor in the practice of Hutchinson Davidson, in 2015, she jumped at the opportunity and decided to apply for it, being on her doorstep, was lucky enough to secure the position.
Being from Ahascragh, a local to the area, it was lovely to get a position in my local town” states Elaine
In 2017, the Senior Solicitor left the practice and Elaine was offered the role. She took the job and was looking forward to the opportunity she was given. An opportunity arose to take over the practice recently and it was an easy opportunity for her to take. The practice is very well established, having been based in the town since the mid-1800s and there is a very loyal client base, to whom she has become very familiar with in her time with them. Norbert P. Colbert was a young Solicitor from Waterford who was hired by Eric Davidson (whose father was Hutchinson Davidson), in the fifties and he subsequently bought out the practice in 1959. Norbert was later joined in the business by his daughter Sharon (RIP) and sons David and Norbert Jnr. and continued practising under the name of Hutchinson Davidson Solicitors. Elaine Bannerton explained that at Hutchinson Davidson, they provide legal advice and services to people including Conveyancing (Residential & Commercial), Wills, Probate and Estate Planning, Litigation and Personal Injuries, Criminal Defence, Landlord and Tenant Law, Employment Law and Family Law.
She is very excited to see the Street Refurbishment programme being completed in the coming months. She can’t wait to see all the improvements these works will make in order to fully appreciate the enhancement it has made to the town. “Hopefully, it will entice lots of visitors to the town. It’ll be a huge boost for the local business-owners who have waited so long for these improvements” exclaims Elaine. They are located on Bridge Street, Ballinasloe and offer private on-site car parking. They’re open from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm on Fridays. However, appointments outside those hours can be facilitated, by arrangement. Their contact number is 090 964 2143.
by Colm Croffy
While working, she was training in Holistic Therapies on a part time basis before making the decision to open her own business in the area. This year she has been training in Reflexology while hoping to add this treatment, by the end of the year. She always had an interest in Holistic Therapies and would have had many treatments herself over the years, in a variety of therapies, sometimes in addition to medical care to try and improve overall health and wellbeing. From this, an interest in learning more about the therapies began, particularly massage as “it is one of her personal favourites as a treatment, as you can treat the whole body and it has so many benefits to your overall wellbeing” described Majella. “I feel Ballinasloe, has a huge catchment area for clients, with easy accessibility and has a great presence of holistic therapists, who offer a wide variety of different therapies, in the town and surrounding areas. This highlights the growing interest in holistic therapies to complement other medical treatments in certain cases or just in general to keep the body in balance and create an overall sense of health and wellbeing”.
Each treatment is 50-60 minutes in duration and costs €50. A Full Body Massage treatment is €75 for 1hr 30mins. Ear Candling without Lymphatic Drainage Facial Massage is also available at reduced rate of €30 for 30min treatment.
“For my treatments, I use mainly unfragranced, natural oil sourced from Ishka and natural oils and balms from Irish companies Flying Wild – Arno creates wonderful blends from natural ingredients which feel wonderful on the skin, with some scented with essential oils”, expalined Majella.
Treatments are suitable for most, as each treatment is tailored in order to provide the safest and most effective treatment, where suitable. The full body massage is a relaxing treatment which helps with muscle tension, pain and discomfort. Ear Candling is suitable for most, but has specific restrictions. Very relaxing treatment, suitable for helping with symptoms of tinnitus, sinus issues, earaches, headaches, snoring to name a few, does not claim to cure but may ease symptoms of the above. Her therapy room is located at Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre, Creagh. The therapy room is located around the back of the building with loads of parking spaces at the front. She deals with appointments only and is open from Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 7.30pm. To book an appointment with Majella, call her on 089 4406930 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more information on the treatments available, check out her Facebook page, Majella Comer- Holistic Therapies (see below)
by Liam Cosgrove
A Ballinasloe couple’s creative talents have seen their business boom over the past three years, forcing them to seek new premises and employ three extra people. Husband and wife duo, Eoin and Gina O’Neill, are the original founders of EG QUEST. Eoin is the son of Gerry and Joan O’Neill, originally from Dunlo Hill and was always creative, even drawing all over his bedroom walls, which didn’t impress his father Gerry ! Eoin worked in Athlone for many years as a graphic designer with his main role creating websites for different customers with different business ideas. Gina, moved with parents Valerie and the late Noel Murphy to the town at a young age from Dublin. She attended Ardscoil Mhuire for her secondary education and went onto complete her master’s degree in Business in AIT. She had previously worked with Eoin in Athlone as a marketing manager.
The couple are the proud parents of Jamie, Bella and Callum. Three years ago they set up their new business, operating out of a bedroom, producing personalised caricatures along with mugs, candles and prints for birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries etc. “The business really took off and ten months ago we had to look for bigger accommodation and take more people on” explained Eoin. They wanted to stay local, so they took space in the Enterprise Centre. “We didn’t even consider another location for our business” he added. The company provides gifts to customers in Ireland and worldwide. The idea, to start their own company, came about when Gina ordered a personalised gift for her friends from a website For some reason the order didn’t go through and by the time she realised, it was too late, as the party was that weekend. Eoin, being a graphic designer, decided to make her an engagement gift that she could bring with her to the party. It was a massive hit and the couple wanted to know where it came from. That simple chain of events sparked an idea in Eoin’s mind and the rest is history. Gina’s brother, Karl, was added to the team and later he was joined by Bonnie and Holly. Business continues to grow as they have just taken on 2 more staff members!
They offer their own personalised gifts, plus some handmade gifts from other Irish suppliers which they love to do. They’re really building up a reputation for personalised caricatures along with prints, mugs and candles would be best sellers. If you place your orders before 2pm, you will normally receive your order the very next day. They now have five successful websites both in Ireland and in the UK that ship all over the world. Initially Eoin & Gina started out with one website www.engagementgifts.ie, the goal was to create one website full of great quality gifts rather than trying to make a general occasion gift website. This allowed them to focus on one occasion and get it 100% right. Then when they mastered that website they moved onto the other websites.
First came www.weddinggift.ie then www.anniversarygifts.ie, they had the same strategy with those sites. The final task was to compile all the amazing gifts onto one website for a person looking for gifts for many different occasions, this was when – www.thegiftshop.ie was created. Their customers are based as far away as Australia and America who purchase for friends and family at home and for their enjoyment use as well with a base of 18-60 both male and female looking for that unique gift experience.
Their best advice to new businesses is “never give up, we tried so many things and ideas and failed over the years, but we never let that deter us or knock our confidence. We just kept trying and fortunately for us we found a gap in the market and have been really successful” stated Eoin.
They are located at the Enterprise Centre in Creagh and are open from Monday-Friday and can take a call at any time, ring them on 01 9038769. You can also check out their Facebook page thegiftshop.ie (below) for all their new products and discounts.
Visit www.thegiftshop.ie for a wide range of gifts to suit every occasion and every person
By Liam Cosgrove
Sean Magee, from the Deli Store in Dunlo St., was born in Portiuncula and lived in Athleague in Co. Roscommon during his younger days, where his father was a Garda. Sean attended Garbally College and studied Engineering for his third level education. He worked in Australia for many years before returning in 2000, to take over the business in Ballinasloe from his sister Carmel. He was excited to open up his store in the early 2000s. He described it as an up and coming town where loads of new, exciting factories were beginning to open up. He had done catering before and his background in it helped him in the decision towards buying the business off his sister Carmel.
The store benefits greatly from their takeaway service they offer. They operate as mainly a sandwich bar and coffee shop with a sit in service available also. There are loads of options available for any hungry customer. These range from filled baguettes, kesh and an assortment of pies. They specialise in large outdoor catering events and have catered for Aptar and St. Brigid’s throughout their time. They work alongside Portiuncula Hospital to help with catering. They also can cater for parties and large group gatherings such as twenty firsts, and indeed funerals For new businesses opening up or just trying to work in the town during this tough period Sean advises “Keep in there and stay at it during these difficult times. Talk to your bank managers in the town as they have been very understanding with me in the past. Do be honest with them, as they will try to do their best for you”.
He believes that the conclusion of the Town Enhancement works will help the town prosper again. “It looks well and a great job has been done”. He acknowledges that the works were in dire need before it began and many customers that come into the shop have been complimenting them. The main reason he is optimistic about the works is the ease it will bring on paid parking. This will attract a lot more people into the town, as he knows people who are located near Roscommon Town who shop in Ballinasloe instead due to the reliance of paid parking there. They recently opened up after being closed for three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has not taken a toll on customers’ footfall as he assures them that they are currently taking all measures that are required to make the store and staff as safe as possible. To contact the Deli Store, ring them on 090 9645058.
They are open from 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday. They’re located on Dunlo Street, next to Hubert Dolan’s Electrical Shop.
The Front Room are back in action after their little Covid break and looking forward to seeing you all soon. We have all the recommended safety procedures and guidelines in place to welcome you all back. Appointments are filling up very fast and we usually book up about 3 weeks in advance. Appointments can be made by calling the salon on 090 9646893 or through our online app.
The app called The Front Room Ballinasloe can be downloaded from your Appstore and you can make, change, choose your own appointments with ease and at any time of the day or night. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our wonderful clients who supported us through the lockdown and also our front line customers who kept us all safe and well. If you purchased a gift voucher or products online through our app or via the Shopballinasloe.ie website we are so grateful.
Your generosity and amazing local spirit has helped to keep our doors open. Please don’t forget to let us know on checkout if you are a front line worker. We have a little something for you!
If you have any news items about Ballinasloe, please use this link to contact us