Ballinasloe is getting brand new Christmas Lights this year & we are encouraging everyone to buy local wherever possible, and support the local businesses that are currently open or by shopping on-line through ShopBallinasloe.ie.
Without our local businesses we won’t have a local town. To support the Christmas lights project, the Ballinasloe town team are running a Christmas raffle with 10 amazing prizes ( combined value over €5,000). Tickets can be bought in all local retailers or by visiting ShopBallinasloe.
Tickets are €5 each or 3 for €10, with all funds gong towards the running costs of the new Christmas lights. Please Support.
Sincere thanks to our sponsors for the following prizes:
Details of New Town Lights
The Lights are currently being installed and we be switched on Saturday 21st November 2020
1.1m Diameter Meridian Globes and String Lights will be installed on each lamppost in Dunlo Street, Main Street & Society Street. New cluster lights for the 10 trees in St Michaels Square, a new 10m high Christmas Tree and deers around the Horse monument along with a feature for the top of St Johns Church, a feature to be installed in Creagh and one in Brackernagh.
The Ballinasloe Town Team under the umbrella of BACD Ltd. (Ballinasloe Area Community Development Ltd.) have undertaken the Christmas Lights this year. After months of work by the subcommittee, funding for the purchase of new lights was secured from Galway Rural Development under the LEADER Programme, Ballinasloe Credit Union & Galway County Council under the Towns & Villages Programme.
As part of the stipulation of grant Aid there is a requirement for the community to contribute match funding for the installation, storage and maintenance of the lights for the next 5 years.
Ballinasloe Town Team/Christmas Lights Sub Committee
Anita Killeen, Ahmed Mukhtar, Aisling Dolan,Lyn Donnelly Carmel Greally, Claire Healy, Colm Croffy, Emma Moynihan, Jacinta Divilly, James Burke, Julie Sheridan, Liam Kenny, Renate Kohlman, Seamus Duffy, Shane McNeill, & Val Colleran
Hop on over to www.shopballinasloe.ie to order your vouchers today and give the gift of local to friends and family - just in time for Christmas!
The NEW ‘Town Voucher Ballinasloe’ makes the ideal gift, they can be used in all participating businesses and are not limited to any one store or business – giving shoppers greater choice when shopping throughout the town.
By choosing these vouchers you are making a difference that benefits our community.
New Officers and Committee For Soccer Club
The A.G.M. OF Ballinasloe Town A.F.C. was held recently at the new Clubhouse fully adhering to all relevant Covid-19 safety guidelines.
The Club Chairperson Joby Kelly in his address outlined how it had been a very challenging year due to the serious nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant impact that this had on curtailing the clubs sporting activity. Recognising, the seriousness of the Covid-19 situation, the club had early in the pandemic offered their premises to the H.S.E. He also congratulated the men's B team who won promotion to the first division and the on the field of play of the two adult teams and 15 youth teams throughout the season.
The following Club Officers and Committee were elected for the coming year are as follows:
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Barry O’Connor, Mickey Walsh, Michael Riddell, Raj Lyons, Bobby Burke, Darren Fallon, Shane Fallon, Simon Price, Breda Cleary.
Club Child Welfare Officer: Simon Price
All team managers are also automatically members of the Club Committee.
The club are recommencing sales of their 50/50 draw and strongly urge all members to make a serious effort to sell envelopes for every draw in order to get our club finances into a better financial position for the coming season. The fortnightly draw is held in the new clubhouse but will still be broadcast on Facebook Live. All money raised will be split 50/50 between the club and the draw winner. Contact anyone listed above about purchasing a ticket for the lotto or message their Facebook page.
The club are currently drawing down the €48,000 Sports Capital Programme Grant for the most recent phase of club development works which consist of the purchase of a new drive on mower to maintain the grass pitches and the upgrading of the club's main grass pitch floodlights to low energy. The mower has already been purchased and was in use while the upgrading of the grass pitch lights would commence shortly. Later this year the Club will commence work on an additional grant of €27,500 euros to upgrade the astro turf pitch floodlights and commence works on the upgrading of the perimeter fencing around the astro turf pitches.
Club member Heather Payne, former youth team player, returned to the Irish Squad after injury for the U.E.F.A. Women's European Championship 2021 Qualifier versus Germany. Heather returns to the squad having missed the wins over Greece and Montenegro. The Irish team are unbeaten thus far in the qualifying campaign which recommences following a postponement. Heather trained with the ladies' senior team last week at the Curragh Grounds where it all started off for her.
Club Chairperson Joby Kelly acknowledged the Credit Union “ On behalf of all connected with the Club I wish to thank the Credit Union for their very generous recent sponsorship of €3,000 to help cover the costs of the current stage of club development works. We wish to publicly acknowledge their members fantastic support now and over the years towards our ongoing development” stated Joby .
To get in contact with the soccer club, message their Facebook page Ballinasloe Town AFC.
ComicCon Virtual Fest For Library
Everyone in the library, was disappointed to cancel their inaugural ComicCon which was due to happen in April. Artists, illustrators, animators, a seller's alley, a retro games area, a Cosplay competition, games trucks and food trucks were all good to go for what was hoped would be the best ComicCon in the West. The great news is that they’re undefeated and it will now happen in 2021 and are super-excited to announce to be hosting a virtual event ‘ComicCon@Home’ on November 14 to introduce artists and to give you an idea of what’s coming up.
Featured guests are:
Closing dates for competition entries is November 7. The Winner will be announced on the library's social media pages on ComicCon@Home day on November 14.
This event is free, all you need is a couch and a screen. Cosplay costume is optional. Email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them in.
The libraries national delivery system is back running at full capacity so users can request books online from anywhere in Ireland and have them delivered for collection. Due to current guidelines, they do have some restrictions that hopefully will be lifted in time.
Currently they operate a browse and collect service, where up to ten patrons can pop in at one time with a 20-minute limit. There’s also two internet PCs with printing facilities for self-use available and an accessible bathroom.
There’s also a contact and collect / delivery service for patrons who can't visit the library. Check out their online catalogue to see if there is anything you fancy from their collection or contact them and tell them your favourite types of book. They’ll put together a book bag with a bunch of selections for you and make it available for a friend to collect.
They’re hoping to roll out a delivery service for the winter so contact them if you would like to be included.
As per government guidelines face coverings are now mandatory in the library. Opening hours for the next while are Tuesday – Saturday 11-1 & 2-5.
Stay tuned to their Facebook and Instagram accounts for competitions, story-times and flower arranging demos.
M6 Motors Continues To Expand Business
M6 motors are doubling in size as they’re adding a new site alongside their current one. The new site will include a new showroom and offices and a new forecourt with space for up to 100 cars on display. This venue will be for sales only and the old building (next door) will be used solely as a service centre, after-sales and valet & prep centre.
Located in Kilgarve, Creagh next to Dolan’s Service Station, they bring a combination of unbeatable value and innovative vehicle sourcing to the used car market. They opened their doors in 2011, during some tough years in the industry, with the business growing year on year. They now sell cars to every corner of the country.
The Enterprise was founded by Alan Naughton after completing a BA in Business Studies at the University of Limerick. The original team of two has now grown to 16 permanent employees and one part time with over 50 years combined experience in the motor industry while also having a full workshop and qualified mechanics for car preparation and an after sales service.
The new building has been in the pipeline since 2016, with a growing team and a huge turnover of stock, the new space will fulfill all requirements. It will have five offices and an indoor display area with three cars on display within the showroom
“July and August 2020 were the busiest two months we have experienced in nine years of business with almost 300 cars sold. The used car market is looking very strong for the coming months as customers now see the excellent value in used cars especially in imports” states Alan.
Although, they sell cars to every county in Ireland and have people travel from places like Cork and Kerry on a weekly basis to do business in Ballinasloe, they have been encouraged that more and more people in the town’s hinterland are supporting local by keeping their business within the town as they can see the advantage of getting a good deal locally and a good after-sales service on their doorstep.
Alan believes that used car sales are at an all-time high as some people look to upgrade their car instead of going travelling or on a foreign holiday for example.
They have noticed that their online business model really helped them during the Covid period. Selling online has always been a big part of their business but during the Covid pandemic, the majority of their car sales were via their website www.m6motors.ie
All retail cars come with a warranty and an excellent after-sales service while also offering finance at very competitive rates.
Alan’s last piece of advice is “when buying a car, try to always stick to a reputable dealership so you can buy a car in the peace of mind that you are getting a good car at a fair price”.
They’re open six days a week Monday-Friday 8:30am-6pm and Saturday 8:30am – 4pm. However, viewings outside these times can be made by appointment.
Contact Eanna on 085 862 2534 or Alan on 085 236 6247. Emails can be sent to email@example.com.
By Liam Cosgrove
Anna Ward Supports “Tomorrow For Tomás”
Anna, eldest daughter of John and Mairan – the duo behind Kariba's, reached out at the end of her summer and cut her hair for a very worthy and special cause!
Anna is 11 years old from Creagh, currently in 6th class in Creagh NS and is looking forward to moving to Ardscoil Mhuire next year. She is an athletic girl and is involved in many clubs across the town such as the swimming and athletics club, a member of the U12 football team and is a member of the In-Step Dancing School.
Tomás is a 10 year old from Corofin with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, his Dad Shane is was raised in the Pines , Portnick ( was a barman for John in his years in Main St.) and his Grandand is John Mc Loughlin – a retired psychiatric nurse and former Credit Union dedicated Board member. Born 26 weeks early, he and his twin arrived unexpectedly into the world. Sadly, his brother Seán passed away after 30 days.
Tomás is a bright, chatty boy but has no independent movement. As Tomás will require life-long supports and very costly equipment, his parents, Ann-Marie and Shane began a fundraising group called Tomorrow for Tomás. Fundraising events from last year were put towards the purchase of a Powered Wheelchair costing €20,000.
Tomorrow for Tomás aims to raise funds so that the family home can be adapted for Tomás’ living and care needs, as well as ensuring safe and easy access about the house and garden on his new wheels! This requires Disability Access Survey of the house and installing of an accessible washroom & toilet, accessible furniture for meal times installation of specially adapted switch devices, adapting doors and entrances for wheelchair access. The estimated cost of the above is €30,000. As well as practical needs, Tomás requires on-going multi-disciplinary and medical care which is extremely costly.
In late September, Anna had the team at Utopia Hair Salon in Society Street sponsor the cutting of 14 inches off of her hair in aid of raising funds for Tomás. She donated her hair to the Rapunzel Foundation which is for real hair wigs for children in need.
Donations can still be made at the restaurant or on www.idonate.ie/annaward. Check out Tomás’ Facebook page ‘Tomorrow for Tomás’ (below) for more information, videos and photos. Anna has raised over €1,800 online already so far and the closing date for donations is October 30.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October 2020. It is a month where all women and men (although breast cancer is rare in men, it can still occur) are encouraged to learn how to self-check for any changes in their breasts. A campaign will be run from the centre, encouraging the importance of self-checking and to get all changes checked by your GP, who can refer on to the relative people, should there be a concern.
September 20 marked World Gynaecological Oncology Day 2020 and at the centre, they have a very clear message to "Make This Campaign A Really Great One". The whole aim was to make people aware that cancer does not discriminate and there is a video available on their Facebook page, that was shot at the centre with some of the clients and volunteers.
As most are aware the 16th of March, with a heavy heart, the Centre team had to drastically change how to provide their services due to the Covid restrictions that were put in place. However, despite these restrictions, they have continued to provide the majority of the services to cancer patients and their families. Having learned to adapt and learn new skills in order to do so, whilst following all official guidelines issued by the HSE.
The following services will be continued to run. Transport to and from patient's radiotherapy sessions in Galway. Social distancing is being adhered to and masks are worn at all times by patients and driver. Support groups have all held their meetings through zoom calls which has worked very effectively.
The number of counsellors has increased in order to meet the demand for counselling from their clients. Mental health has really been affected by the restrictions. Counselling was being carried out through zoom/telephone calls but now face to face counselling is available whilst adhering to current government guidelines on social distancing etc.
A 24-hour telephone line has been operating throughout the pandemic and will always continue to do so. A sanitising system has been purchased and is being used to sanitize all rooms and the radiotherapy bus. They’re positioned at all entrance points to the centre and clients are asked to use them. A computerised contact tracing system has been set up by Seamus Daly. All clients are asked the relevant questions upon arrival to the centre.
To keep up to date with the EGM cancer centre, ring them on (090) 964 2088 or check out their Facebook page below
The rugby club is well and truly back in action for the 20/21 season. Each team including players, coaches and parents underwent a detailed induction presentation to make them aware of their obligations with regard to Covid-19 prevention & control. They were also made aware of the trojan work being done behind the scenes at the club, spearheaded by the Covid Committee.
The return to play protocols are being diligently implemented at the club including clear Covid signage, social distancing, strict hand sanitising procedures, sanitisation of all equipment used, player health declarations, contact tracing measures and more. Every protocol is done in line with HSE, NEPHET and IRFU advice.
The annual Michael Fitzpatrick Memorial golf classic was held in the golf club in early September 4. Normally held in June but delayed, like everything else, by restrictions in place over the summer. This vital fundraiser helps support the club during the off season and pay for the preparations for the season ahead. With close to 60 teams taking part and generous support from already hard-pressed local businesses, it proved to be one of the best years in the events history.
The following are the prize winners :
The 50/50 Half the Pot fundraiser still continues. One jackpot, one winner guaranteed every month. To join the draw please contact any of the coaches or committee.
Recently, the club saw the launch of a new website, www.ballinasloerfc.ie. Commissioned by the club and developed by local web design company Kick Start Web Design, under the guidance of committee members Matt Carey & Pearse Keller. It will be an integral part of their membership and registration system which has changed from a manual, paper-based format to an electronic system in conjunction with Rugby connect, IRFU & Connacht Rugby.
Ann Heneghan has been announced as the new Connacht Rugby President. Ann has held many roles in Connacht Rugby down through the years which she fulfilled admirably as she will in her new role. Her election saw history being made which saw her become the first woman to hold a Presidential role in any of the provinces. Ann is the sister of Mary Carey, Creagh & sister in law to Matt Carey, former club President and current finance guru. To keep up to date with the rugby club, check out their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new Holistic Therapy Practice has opened at the Enterprise and Technology Centre, Creagh managed by Poolboy native Valerie Dolan.
Valerie grew up on the family farm and came third in a family of seven. After school, she worked mainly in IT with financial accounting software and was self-taught until she later received a diploma in web design and development and programming. She also worked in retailing and had her own business for seven years.
She located in the top floor of the Enterprise Centre since August as an integrative health care practitioner combining therapies with a holistic approach caring for a person’s self regulation and independent well-being which addresses the clients mind, body, emotion and energy/vitality. A plan is created, unique to the client’s circumstances and individual needs.
Her interest stemmed from her own experience and struggles overcoming the diagnosis of an autoimmune illness (Crohn’s disease), related chronic pain and back pain. She has always had an interest in body’s own healing ability and always had a hobby studied and experienced self-development.
“My desire to help people who may be experiencing similar personal health challenges or those witnessing or observing a family member, friend or colleague that maybe facing similar challenges and the emotional mental and physical obstacles that need to be overcome to experience a more fulfilled and wholesome life, has been a huge motivation for me “ , explains Valerie.
She offers a combination of treatments such as Kinesiology, Body Code, Emotion Code, (EFT) Emotional Freedom Technique, Energy balancing, Personal & Life Coaching which she is qualified to the highest level in all. She is currently completing a degree in psychotherapy.
Clients can expect a clear step by step approach to create a self-care plan. They identify triggers that are having a large impact on the pain and disease that is being manifested in the body and address the stress, anxiety and fears around the diagnosis and use tools and techniques to empower the client to manage, overcome and allow the persons own ability to heal, awaken. The body and mind’s intelligence knows then how to release the obstacles to experiencing optimum health and wellbeing.
She offers many combined treatments as one does not fit all. Treatments are based on time and starts at half an hour at €50. Most clients will usually need one and a half hour treatment to begin with which is €120.
For more information, check out her website page: www.valeriedolan.com. You can contact her on 087 645 8979 or by email on email@example.com.
When asked about her office opening in the town, Clare Kerrane TD replied with “I made a commitment to the people of Ballinasloe in the election that if elected, I would open an office in the town. It was never an option not to have an office to serve the people of Ballinasloe and East Galway. I was always conscious of the fact that I am not from Ballinasloe and so, I was adamant I would have somewhere for people to go if they need help or assistance – my office is there for them and their families, if and when they need it”.
She was looking for a premise in the town for some time after the election and of course, Covid made the search even more difficult. As it turned out, local party member and former Councillor and businessman Mícheál Breathnach, decided he would not be continuing with his business on Bridge Street and so, it worked out well for her to take it over.
Unfortunately, the office has taken longer to renovate than she would have liked and of course, Covid had an impact on getting work done. The place had to be stripped out completely, followed by painting and electrics. They put in a partition for privacy for when she is meeting constituents and they also had to put in flooring in part of the office. Everything she could source locally was used. “I also had great help from party members and friends locally and it was a great team effort and I am very proud of it” stated Claire.
Like most constituency offices, there’ll be one staff member employed in the office. She intends to be as flexible as possible when it comes to meeting constituents. The Dáil sits every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and plans to spend every Monday in Ballinasloe and every Friday in the Ballaghaderreen office. She will be available to meet constituents all day on Mondays and of course, when the Dáil is in recess, there’ll be more availability in both Ballinasloe and also in other parts of East Galway.
Clare is the party spokesperson on Social Protection and Rural Development and has launched a campaign on Household Debt and as part of that, an online survey (which people can find a link to on her Facebook page) to get this issue on the agenda. Since Covid hit, household debt has increased – workers and families are under pressure like never before with rents, mortgage repayments, bills coupled with a loss of income for many. I have also been busy raising the threat to EU Regional funding for the West of Ireland and has produced policy on issues affecting Lone Parents, Carers, Jobseekers and Older People.
When it comes to the town specifically, she believes the next two months must be about supporting businesses as they re-open while Covid continues as well as supporting organisations and key services in ensuring that as many as possible can keep their doors open. We also need to ensure that Portiuncula Hospital is well resourced as the pressure of Covid continues into the Winter months.
The office can be contacted anytime on 090 964 4901 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The office will be open 9am to 5pm for clinics by appointment with her every Monday (and later if needed), 9am to 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 9am to 1pm on Fridays.
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