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 email@example.com. 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!
On Monday 31st August, Bistro 18 on Dunlo Street opened their doors to the public!
They are open daily 8am to 6pm serving Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Late Lunch, Fresh Bakes & Takeaways
Chef Chris, Tara, Chef Phil, Tori, Annie & Aoife will be there at all times to look after you.
All dietary needs catered for.
You may phone ahead on 0909644867.
Don't forget to visit their Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/bistroeighteen/ and check in when you visit!
As you may be aware consultation is currently underway for the Athlone to Galway Cycleway and is open for submissions. It is imperative that as the local community we actively show our support for this project, as the route is not yet determined and every location between Athlone and Galway will be advocating for the greenway to pass their doors!
Below is a sample submission below and I’d ask you to copy and paste and insert your own details ( also please feel free to add amend any details you feel relevant) and email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. For full details see www.galwaytoathlonecycleway.com Deadline is the 7th September. ( Note all text in bold must be amended to your own personal information/details. )
Also if you haven’t already done so, please sign & share the uplift campaign https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/ballinasloe-must-be-on-the-athlone-galway-greenway-route
See here a sample (just change parts in bold)
To: Galway – Athlone Cycle Way Project Team
I JOHN SMITH , SHOP OWNER, and resident of CREAGH BALLINASLOE wish to fully pledge my support of the Galway to Athlone Cycle Way.
I fully support the project, any proposed route for this project must go through Ballinasloe , the town has so much to offer and to enhance the greenway for the end user as briefly outlined below.
What Ballinasloe as a destination has to offer the Cycleway
Ballinasloe is easily accessible, as it occupies a strategic location adjacent to the M6 motorway and is serviced by railway linking Dublin and Galway with daily public transport services to Galway, Athlone and Dublin along with a rural transport Local Link service.
Ballinasloe boasts 3 hotels , B&B’s & Short term rental for visitors to offer overnight stays, with multiple restaurants, coffee shops playgrounds,pubs, music venues , convenience shops, medical/recreational services, hairdressers/barbers, and discount stores including large multinational stores. The town also has a wealth of sporting facilities including a leisure centre , Golf Course, running track, horse riding & Gaa stadium. The town provides higher order important services such as Portiuncula Hospital, one of the largest general and maternity hospitals within the country.
As one of the larger hubs located in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Ballinasloe is the only town that can offer visitors direct access to a national walking route, the Shannon Navigation system & a national cycle way. Location on the Beara Breifne Way, access to the Shannon navigation system via the River Suck with the 25 berth public marina, along with access to the Dublin- Galway greenway will provide Ballinasloe with a Unique Selling point. Ballinasloe is the only point along the route that can offer this to users of the greenway
Other Distinct natural amenities Ballinasloe has to offer include angling on the River Suck, Walkways and trails through unique boglands, Garbally College & Grounds , rich heritage & ecclesiastical trails
Ballinasloe has suffered massively with Job losses over the past 20-25 years, with the loss of major employers including At Cross, Square D & the mental health hospital. Over the past number of months further hits have been taken with the imminent loss of Aptar & the phasing out of the peat extraction and peat-based energy generation in the area. The provision of Greenway through the town, will revitalise the area by generating footfall and creating spin off enterprises but most importantly it will allow the underutilised facilities and resources in the town be expanded and grown.
Support of the local community groups/community members/Businesses
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