Galway’s Great Read 2018 entitled Women of the West: Art, Citizenship & Literature will conclude its successful month of events with a special Gala night in Ballinasloe Library on Thursday 29th November at 6.30pm.
A wonderful evening of art, music, performance and discussion will entertain all present and bring this events programme to a close.
Guest speaker on the night is Martina Fitzgerald, Political Correspondant for RTE News & Current Affairs in Leinster House, author of the No.1 bestselling book “Madam Politician” and who, earlier this year was named as one of the most influential Irish journalists on Twitter.
Smashing Times, the innovative and creative Dublin theatre company will perform an evocative piece called Constance and her Friends written by their artistic director Mary Moynihan. Musical entertainment on the night will be provided by the well –known Galway Gospel Wedding group who will sing some rousing suffrage and civil rights songs throughout, while the group, Le Chéile will start the evening with melodic celtic and classical pieces.
During the Gala evening an art exhibition and commemorative booklet highlighting the suffrage movement and the many pioneering women from the West will be launched. The art exhibition, Canvass to Canvas draws inspiration from the stories, people and places of the suffrage movement. Some of the artworks are directly inspired by the series of talks held as part of the 2018 Great Read programme of events, while others are developed through the artists own area of interest stemming from this era. The exhibition celebrates the richness of events 100 years ago through the hands of artists living in our community today. The special commemorative booklet ‘Women of the West: Art, Citizenship & Literature’ is a free publication which highlights the lives of inspirational women associated with Galway and the West of Ireland who were not only activists but were also held in high regard in the fields of art, music and literature.
A Galway Public Libraries initiative, funded by Creative Ireland and Decade of Commemorations, Galway County Council & Galway City Council.
A feast of art, literature & entertainment in Ballinasloe Library 29th November @ 6.30
Event is free and refreshments will be served
All are welcome
Congratulations are in order to Kiltormer Nursing home who won the Nursing Home Social and Recreational Programme Award at the Nursing Home Ireland Care Awards 2018!
No easy feat - all the nursing homes in Ireland apply for these awards and then it's narrowed down to just 3 finalists. Sinead McCormack and Gordon Glynn were called up to Dublin for an interview with 2 judges from the NHI judging panel after they were shortlisted. They are beyond honoured and delighted to win this award for Kiltormer Nursing Home. It's great to see small nursing homes being recognised. In addition to this Award, last year they won an NHI award for the Community Initiative Award based on how they involve the community with the Home.
Goretti, Derek, Sinead and Gordan work alongside their wonderful team tirelessly to deliver on all the various activities they do inside and outside the Home. They are determined to make Kiltormer Nursing Home "A Home from Home".
Sinead has been employed with Kiltormer Nursing Home for the past 3 years and has 8 years’ experience as a Care Assistant. Sinead is the Activities Co Ordinator in the Nursing Home and is qualified as a Sonas Practitioner which she practises twice a week in the home. She is also qualified as the Manual/Patient Handling Instructor since 2015 and is a fire safety trainer. Sinead is very passionate about her job and loves to encourage all her residents to get involved on a daily basis as she sees what a positive affect these activities have on the residents.
Gordon is the manager/owner of the family run centre for the last 12 years. Gordon previously worked in banking for 10 years and finished up to help run the family business with his brother Derek. Gordon is very involved in the local community and encourages as much involvement as possible. Gordon is very hands on in the centre with the residents and activities. Gordon has opened a new mini pet-farm in the centre as an attraction to the residents/ families and the locals when they visit.
To find out more about Kiltormer Nursing Home visit their facebook page below:
By Evelyn Donellan
Back Row L-R: Members of Ballinasloe WW1 Heritage Group, Douglas Rafter, Oliver Donellan, Gerry Devlin, Brian Casey, Paula Kennedy, Ivan O'Grady, Aidan Darcy, Padraic Moran, Brendan Donelan and Frank Kelly. Front Row L-R: Ronan McGreevy who launched the book, Evelyn Donelan, Úna Kelly, Manager Europe Direct Library Ballinasloe, Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer Galway Co Council and Margaret Moran.
A week long military exhibition was held at Ballinasloe Library to mark the Centenary of the end of World War 1. The exhibition opened on Tuesday with visits from 80 pupils from Gael Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh and continued through the week with attendance of groups from Ard Scoil Mhuire, Attyrory NS, Clonfert NS and Clontuskert NS.
Each group were introduced to the Roll of Honour in the History Room and were given a detailed history by Gerry Devlin of the journey of restoration and housing of the piece.
All of the school children and teachers enjoyed the military exhibition and the hands on experience with the uniforms and artefacts provided by the Irish Military War Museum, Gerard O’Meara, Anthony Merrigan of Athlone Historical Society and Loughrea History Group. Aidan Darcy was on hand to show the children the various memorabilia on display and to give talks on the many aspects of a soldier’s life. Talks were also given by Douglas Rafter and Renate Kohlmann. Children got the opportunity to wear uniforms and kit worn by the soldiers. Ivan O’Grady was on board to show how it was 100 years ago and had a hand embroidered tapestry stitched by his great grandfather, Michael Hillary, bearing the flags and names of the places he had served and also displaying two family photos. Ivan showed the death plaque issued to Michael Hillary’s family after his death.
On Tuesday evening a book entitled Ballinasloe & District Remembers 1914-1918 produced by Ballinasloe WW1 Heritage Group, was officially launched by well-known author and Irish Times Journalist, Ronan McGreevy. The evening began with a visit to the Roll of Honour on the ground floor then proceeded to the Church Gallery of the library for the military exhibition and launch.
Proceedings began with Private Niall Kelly who played the pipes as he made his way through the crowded room. MC Brian Casey introduced the guests, beginning with Jimmy Stone who sang Calling Down the Line followed by piper Pte Niall Kelly.
Killure man and local poet Michael Glynn, otherwise known as “The Man With the Cap” recited a poem, A Letter to the Front, which he had written especially for the book.
Brendan Smith of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway told us of the food and drink of front line troops, he showed some cameras and said that we would not have all the great photos of the time without these. He also spoke of the huge advances in electronic communications technology during the war years, the rise of popular music, the promotion of drugs by warring states, and other interesting subjects such as government secret surveillance and censorship, racism and healthcare.
Eamon O’Donohue recited the great poem “Exposure” by Wilfred Owen. Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer with Galway County Council spoke very highly of the group. She said that without the foresight of Douglas Rafter who realised the significance of the Roll of Honour and was instrumental in the restoration of same, we would not have the project completed and the publication of the book. She outlined her visits and meetings with the group and the steady progress they had made over the period of five years and beyond as they had the Roll of Honour restored, the research of those 88 names and the continued exploring of all others found during research. She complimented Gerry Devlin on the wonderfully designed cover of the book and all the members for their dedication and hard work to get it to publication.
Ronan McGreevy well known author and Irish Times Journalist launched the book and praised the group for one of the best local history books he had come across. He outlined that the number of people from the locality who went to war, would equate to all of the local Senior, Intermediate and Junior squads of players in hurling, football and the ladies GAA.
Brian Casey thanked all who attended and complimented all those involved in the project and book launch.
Sean Glennon from Fohenagh gave a most moving rendition of the song “Christmas 1915 in No Man’s Land” and finished off singing it in German.
Proceedings came to an end with members of Ballinasloe Town Band Martina Doherty, Evan Rafter and Damian Ó Neachtain playing The Last Post which was a very fitting close to the evening.
Many people brought along medals and memorabilia which belonged to their ancestors who served in The Great War. Ballinasloe native and artist Des O’Regan displayed a beautiful painting of Matt Maroney, he created especially for the centenary of the Armistice.
The restored Roll of Honour can be viewed in the History Room at Ballinasloe Library.The book entitled Ballinasloe & District Remembers 1914-1918 is available for sale locally in Salmon’s, Main Street, Ballinasloe and Kelly’s Shop, Brackernagh, Ballinasloe, Moran’s Shop, Shannonbridge, Charlie Byrne’s Bookstore, Galway and Kenny’s Bookstore, Liosban Industrial Estate, Galway where it can be purchased on line to send anywhere in the world shipping free at www.kennys.ie
Ballinasloe WW1 Heritage Group would like to thank everyone who attended their book launch, the teachers and pupils of the schools and members of the public who visited the exhibition. They also wish to thank all those who have supported them along the way, the sponsors, all who helped set up the military exhibition and those who took part in the line up to the official launch by Ronan McGreevy, including refreshments by Marina Downey, photographer Theo Hanley, videographer Paul Kelly and sound engineer Mike O’Brien. A sincere thank you to the manager of Europe Direct Library Ballinasloe, Úna Kelly and her staff Anne, Breege and Mark who were most welcoming and accommodating during research and throughout the exhibition and book launch.
To find out more about Ballinasloe World War 1 Heritage Group, visit their facebook page below:
This year many Ballinasloe businesses have joined forces to offer incredible deals for Black Friday for their customers on 23rd November, so check out the offers below to see what bargains can be had in Ballinasloe.
We are going through the big dig - where our Town’s 19th Century under-street infrastructure is being replaced with mains, sewers and utilities fit for a 21st Century town. We have been anticipating disruption and in fairness to the authorities and to the contractors - it is being kept to a minimum; however we need all of those locally who use our town as their primary retail and service centre not to forget the businesses affected.
As a Town Team we are investing in doing our first ever Black Friday promotional / marketing flyer which is being distributed to over 13,000 homes in the Ballinasloe Postal District area.
Everyone advertising here is presenting a special offer for Black Friday Weekend 23rd of November and we are reminding you of the over 1,400 FREE Car parking spaces in the town centre. Diversion signs are in place on all the approach roads and all businesses remain open as per usual.
In the run up to the busiest retailing four weeks of the year - we are seriously reminding you to try and support the local businesses who for the other 11 months of the year provide us with much needed jobs, a varied and interesting town centre as well as much needed support to various Clubs and Societies in the community.
Yes we can all shop on line or with the huge multiples but it we want a vibrant and bustling town centre we have to keep ringing their tills.
Thanks from the Town Team:
Val Colleran, Colm Croffy, Jacinta Divilly, Lyn Donnelly, Andrea Duffy, Seamus Duffy, Tara Flynn, Carmel Grealy, Paula Harley, Anita Killeen, Mike O’Brien, Pádraig Ó Ceithearnaigh & Ger Tully.
Hosted by the Town Team, the Christmas Festival & Turning on of the Lights Ceremony will kick off at 5pm on Sunday 25th November in St Michael's Square with live music and entertainment on the Gig Rig !from the local National Schools, (Newtown National School, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Creagh), Scoil an Chroí Naofa, Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh and the Ballinasloe Town Band.
MC for the evening will be Wishee Washee from Aladdin who will be joined by the cast and crew from this years panto. Mulled Wine will be served from the Christmas tree with Hot Chocolate for the kids. The Ballinasloe & District Vintage Club tractors will illuminate the streets again with their festive tractors before the Main Man Santa Claus will be escorted into the town by the local Fire brigade to turn the lights in the town and to light up our European Christmas Tree.
So wrap up warm and come along and to what will be a fun family day out!
Saturday 17th will be a great day at Ballinasloe RFC. At 4.45pm Ballinasloe Rugby Club Senior men's side play host to Corrib RFC in the next round of the league. With the squad improving with every game this promises to deliver a great clash.
This match will be closely followed by the Autumn international between Ireland and the All Blacks at the Aviva. This game will be shown live in the clubhouse with full bar and finger food. All are welcome.
Then on Sunday 18th November all eyes will be on Beibhinn Parsons as she is set to make her International debut against the US - at 16 Beibhinn will be the youngest player to win an Ireland cap in a test match if she makes an appearance. Kick off is at 1pm in Donnybrook.
For more information about Ballinasloe Rugby Club, visit their facebook page.
Auditions for Sister Act The Musical will be taking place next Sunday 18th November at 6:30pm in Gullanes Hotel, Ballinasloe. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your audition pack!
West Coast Casting are looking for extras for new feature film called ‘Finky’ which will be shot over the next two months – all in the Ballinasloe area.
The producers are looking for 250 to 300 people of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicity – particularly those who think they have a special skill or talent.
All are welcome to apply to become part of the Carnival of Chaos’ psychotic symphony.
Mairead Campbell of West Coast Casting described it as ‘the craziest script I’ve ever read’.
It is completely open for anyone to apply regardless of whether you have any previous acting experience or not – but you should mention in your application if you do.
Extras may end up as part of the Carnival of Chaos or just sitting in a café, dancing in a club or walking down the street – and there are also a small number of positions available for children.
The movie tells the story of Micí Phincí Ó Foghlú (whose nickname is ‘Finky’) a musician and puppeteer from the West of Ireland who is recruited by a violent and avant-garde circus and experiences the darker side of life. Micí Phincí will be played by Dara Devaney, who is best known for his roles in ‘An Klondike’ (2015), ‘An Bronntanas’ (2014) and ‘School Run’ (2008).
Micí Phincí is originally from Ballinasloe, which is why most of the filming will take place in the town.
“The town fits the story really well,” said Mairead. “We don’t need to shoot anywhere else, because Ballinasloe caters to the story, as it is a town with hotels, cafés, clubs and all we need.
“It’s a great spot; it has everything,” she added.
The casting team are also looking for bands, rockers, anyone that can play a musical instrument to help bring this crazy and exciting story to life.
As well as general extras, West Coast Casting are also looking for more specific things such as people who are fluent in Irish; people who have Scottish accents – and a one-armed male. Specific casting updates such as these are available on the West Coast Casting Facebook page. And all extras will be paid daily for their work.
The film comes from Galway-based award-winning Abú Media, and is developed and funded through the new Cine4 initiative.
The Cine4 initiative was set up to encourage strong storytelling, visual flair and high production values appropriate for the big screen through Irish – although a small part of ‘Finky’ is in English. That said, you do not have to be fluent in Irish to apply to be an extra.
‘Finky’ is directed by Dathaí Keane and written by himself and Diarmuid de Faoite. It is produced by Eileen Seoighe and Pierce Boyce.
Anyone interested in getting involved and becoming an extra should email a recent photo and contact details to email@example.com
A unique networking event will take place in Ballinasloe Library next week (14th November from 9am to 12:30pm) for established small businesses across the region who want to find out more about the financial options and other supports available to them.
The event is free but Registration is required, see link below for full details
By Colm Croffy
Well done to all Ballinasloe World War One Heritage Group - Book available at Salmons Department Store. Would make a brilliant Christmas gift for anyone with Ballinasloe connections.
A truly historic evening this week in the old Library Chapel which used to stand poignantly enough in Soldiers Row (where the British Militia were quartered, Waterloo Barracks; until Clancarty gave the site to the Sisters of Mercy) for the launch of Ballinasloe Remembers. It was one of the most eerie of evenings. For 100 years our town and its community was not comfortable fully with acknowledging; never mind commemorating the fallen of World War One.
615 men (one for every page of the book) from our town and district went to Flanders Field and Sulva Bay and Gallipoli and Mesopotamia; while some 140 plus never made it back.
The Irish Times writer Ronan McGreevey outlined how if you took all of the Senior, Intermediate and Junior squads of players in hurling, football and the ladies GAA - that's the number of families that were involved!
Pipers from our current defence forces, trumpeters from the Town Band, readings, presentations and speeches peppered a short and well produced book launch. A huge crowd of locals from all political shades and none all were closeted in a tight squeeze to re-engage with our clumsy past. Many had personal family memorabilia - medals, letters, bits of uniforms, death pennies from their Grandparents' generation - almost relieved that this stuff could be taken out from the attic safely.
For a town that had a huge role as a key recruiting post for the Connacht Rangers since the Napoleonic times - our young men from over 200 years back have turned to soldiery. For some it was the call or cause, adventure; for others it was the FAS scheme of its time - a means of putting food on the table for wife and kids back home.
For all those gathered (and the school kids earlier that day to see the exhibits) - the grey haired men and women present are the last living link to the generation who thought they were helping Redmond's aim of securing Home Rule. They remembered the hushed stories of a lost brother, cousin or the neglected part of an grand-uncle's career before he came home to farm or work.
Some extraordinary stories were told - a man wrote home in Summer of 1916, that the German troops were slagging them across the Trenches - poking fun that they were Belgium fighting with the British, while in Dublin at Easter, the Sherwood Foresters were shooting at their countrymen and killing them in droves. The family, a relative told me, "burned" the letter.
Sad to think of all the young lads who would have passed by the convent en route to the train station - for their train to barracks, port and battlefield especially the folks who never made it back to an Ireland that was very hostile to those that did.
Poem by Francis Ledwidge
The silence of maternal hills
Is round me in my evening dreams;
And round me music-making rills
And mingling waves of pastoral streams.
Whatever way I turn I find
The path is old unto me still.
The hills of home are in my mind,
And there I wander as I will.
Well done and huge thanks are due to: Douglas Rafter, Evelyn Donellan, Damian Mac Con Uladh, Brian Casey, Declan Kelly, Gerry Devlin and Frank Kelly. They have done the men, their families and us all a huge service. Buy the book - ideal Xmas present - available in Salmons Department Store
If you have you any news - email us!