BALLINASLOE TOWN TEAM: A progressive active committee promoting the development of Ballinasloe and its hinterlands to reach its potential. We are currently revitalizing the team and want to engage with our community. We believe in fostering a greater community spirit and build on the fantastic community work already going on. • Would you like to be part of our Town Team? • Have you any ideas, big or small, you would like to develop to enhance our community? If so please come and meet some of our members at our pop-up clinics. Drop it for a chat, share your ideas and discover how you can play a part in making our town an even better place to work and live.
LOCATION DATE TIMES
Credit Union Thursday 6th Feb 4 - 5.30 pm
Library Tuesday 11th Feb 4 - 6 pm
Brewery Lane Thursday 13th Feb 6 - 8 pm
Shearwater Sunday 16th Feb 7 - 9 pm
The Town Team is a voluntary group striving to carry out both short term and long term actions to ultimately improve & revitalize Ballinasloe and its hinterland under the umbrella of Ballinasloe Area Community Development Ltd.
By Liam Cosgrove
Caltra native June McCafferty, owner of Junes Holistic Therapy, has a passion for holistic health and she believes whole heartedly in its healing ability. She has opened a new Holistic Centre adjacent to her house in Pallas, Caltra, Ballinasloe. She is a qualified reflexologist and has a keen focus on women’s health through holistic care. Her family originates from the Ballinasloe area and she comes from a long line of psychiatric and general nurses.
Married to Daniel, they have two children. June is a qualified Montessori Teacher and she has worked with adults with an intellectual disability for the last 26 years. In 2006, she qualified as a reflexologist from the An Tan school of Reflexology in Meath. She has furthered her training at Obus School of Healing Therapies in Leixlip, by undertaking a number of courses. On the road to becoming qualified, she has gained lots of experience, in various therapies, the services she offers are holistic care to all with a main focus on women’s health. The treatments she offers are in reflexology, holistic massage, Indian head massage and Hopi ear candling. You can book by appointment only. She continues to train and update her skills on a regular basis as to give the best treatment possible. She is currently undertaking an Aromatherapy course.
Reflexology aims to stimulate the body’s own healing processes to keep it in homeostasis and maintain health and well-being. It reduces stress and induces deep relaxation and also helps regulate bodily functions such as digestive, endocrine, respiratory and excretory systems. It also aids in increasing energy levels. It assists in the elimination of toxins and balances the whole system. Reflexology instills a feeling of well-being and contentment. June’ s vision is always to offer a unique tailored package where one can experience total relaxation and stimulate one’s own wellbeing.
As a member of IRI (Irish Reflexology Institute) and Archti (Association of Registered Complementary Therapists of Ireland), her clients have the reassurance of knowing their therapist is a member of associations which pride themselves on their code of ethics and high standards of qualifications of their members. On the clients first visit, she normally would conduct a full personal consultation. This takes into consideration your past and present health and lifestyle. The consultation enables the treatment to be tailored to your specific needs. Client information is strictly confidential and all therapies are carried out in a soothing therapeutic setting. Her opening hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 9.30am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9.30am to 1pm. Her Holistic Centre is adjacent to her house in Pallas, Caltra. If you wish to make an appointment contact June at 086 408 8003 or message her on her facebook page. Vouchers are also available on request.
By Liam Cosgrove
Dawna Concannon is a woman of many talents and they are all just pieces of the puzzle that go to make her career. Starting in the Department of Justice she went on to work for Supt O’Grady here in town. Many will know her from the time she ‘did the books’ for some of the oldest business names locally – including McKeowns, Benny Grehan, Harneys Locksmiths and Declan Bannerton and she was with the Chamber of Commerce when talk first began about town enhancement.
Around the millennium, Dawna joined Galway Rural Development where her work brought her into contact with the longterm unemployed but it was the recession that called for a major change in her focus. ”I met so many older men who had lost their jobs in construction – small farmers who depended on off-farm work to supplement their income – especially those who were too old to emigrate, broken by the e m i g r a t i o n of their own children and left with a loss of self-esteem and no hope for their own future,” states Dawna. Dawna could offer them a listening ear but her belief that she needed more professional skills led her to study for a degree in Adult Guidance and Counselling from NUI Maynooth which she completed on a part-time basis. In 2017 she took her degree in psychotherapy and now began for her a new career or, one could say, she had found her true calling as she is now a full-time psychotherapist with her own practice called - Breatheasy Counselling.
While Dawna works with all age groups she has a particular affinity with young people as those she worked with in a voluntary role in Clontuskert’s Faith and Fun club will attest. ‘Cool’ is how they describe her. She even found time to do a course in youth ministry with the Redemptorists which she says gave her ‘a deeper insight into the diverse talents and needs of young people.’
Her time with Youth Work Ireland also took her on some foreign projects in Europe and she has worked with her counterparts in Finland, Switzerland, Greece, and Sweden, where she recalls being ‘eaten alive’ by mosquitoes while refereeing a hurling match! Dawna also works in schools, mainly with Transition Year and she has recently engaged with groups within Comhairle na nŌg. She works out of Galway Community Counselling, Ballybane and The Dancing Soul in Athlone as well as at Ballinasloe and Portumna. While a lot of her work takes her into the saddest parts of the human experience Dawna herself is positive, optimistic and full of empathy and good humour. To spend time with her and listen to her stories and reminiscences is in itself a tonic. Contact Dawna at Breatheasy Counselling 087 4198195 or send an email to email@example.com
Following a hectic and invigorating inaugural 12 months since formal inception - the Pulse Clubs held its first meeting of 2020 in Gullanes Hotel, and they have set out its outline plan for the next six months. Following a hectic and invigorating inaugural 12 months since formal inception - the Pulse Clubs held its first meeting of 2020 in Gullanes Hotel, and they have set out its outline plan for the next six months.
The Pulse Clubs mission is to provide a networking platform for both new entrepreneurs and developing businesses; in the locale and also to provide members a mentoring and support service via monthly presentations by seasoned executives as well as subsidised in-depth courses on key topics. On Wednesday February the 4th, Pulse members will either pitch or present to the other fellow members. Both AV Electrics (Raj Lyon Chohan) and Marie Lyons (Sky Blue Counselling) will get this opportunity on the night. This meeting will be held in Gullanes Hotel at 6.30pm.
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 4th. The event will be in conjunction with Galway LEO as part of Enterprise Week. There will be a number of guest speakers on the night. There will also be networking and a one on one mentoring session with LEO. This meeting will also be held in Gullanes from 6pm to 8pm.
The April meeting will be held on Tuesday the 7th. This will be a networking event for all members. The time and venue will be confirmed closer to the time. On Tuesday May the 5th, there will be interviews held for all members. Discussions will also be had on the night. Some new Pulse members will get the chance to present their new business, if they have not done so already, and what their learnings and challenges have been so far. The time and venue are yet to be confirmed.
For the June meeting on Tuesday the 2nd, there will be a fireside chat with a successful entrepreneur which will be available for members to attend. There will be a networking Summer barbeque for all members in July. Full details about these meetings will be available on www.thepulseclub.com and all social media or by contacting the Enterprise Centre on 090 964 6516.
Mairead Divilly, daughter of the late Willie and Anne Divilly of Dunlo St has been shortlisted for the 2ND Irish Women’s Awards 2020, in the Services to Accounting & Finance category. Her parents set up business in the late fifties, with a rented grocery store, prior to purchasing the current building and in turn opened the first town’s supermarket which has been in business for over 60 years. After attending St Joseph’s NS and Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, she had originally wanted to pursue a career in Music and Mathematics so she applied to UCD to undertake a B Mus degree but changed to a B Comm degree. Following this, she joined PWC under a three-year training contract to pursue a qualification as a Chartered Accountant. Since then she has been a partner in Mazars International accounting firm, which has over 500 staff in Ireland and operates in over 90 countries globally. She is specifically responsible for the Outsourcing and Compliance Division and expanded the services last year to Galway and Limerick.
Some of her favorite memories growing up in the area were marching in both the St Patrick’s Day and the October Fair parades as part of Mrs Gilligan’s band, playing the accordion. She also enjoyed being taught the clarinet first by John Gilligan and then Noel Madden in the Town Band. Her mother was very involved with the Salesians and for their annual dinner dance one year, she needed a band. She formed a band called Ceathra Rua. It consisted of herself, her brother, Seamus Feerick and Pat Geraghty who quickly got together to meet the demand.
Mairead has been a director of Skillnet Ireland for many years as a nominee of the Small Firms Association. Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency dedicated to workforce development and has been in existence for 20 years and it was a very special moment for her when she received a Special Contribution Award at their annual conference dinner last September.
Ballinasloe is still very close to her heart and she tries to get back to visit regularly as the family business is in the town. She believes the town has changed over the years, losing significant employers such as AT Cross, Square D and St Brigid’s She believes that by attracting more investment into the town to improve employment opportunities will help sustain the local community. She also welcomes the new look of the town streets but there are many premises which need to be incentivised to re-open and /or upgrade to put vibrancy back into life in the town centre. Her advice to leaving cert students is that the workplace is ever changing due to technological advances, globalisation, new ways of working, changing consumer demands and an array of competitive forces which are combining to disrupt the workplace to an extent that is unprecedented. “They’re different technologies performing ever more complex tasks that were once thought to be the sole domain of humans. Some jobs are disappearing entirely, but new technologies are also unlocking immense pent-up potential within businesses, bringing with it new jobs, many of which never existed previously. The very nature of employment itself is being redefined, with the rise of the gig economy, portfolio careers, virtual and remote working, and extended working lives” explains Mairead.
Come along to the Community meeting about the Galway 2020 Opening Ceremony taking place in Ballinasloe on 5th February.
Tuesday 7pm, 7th January 2020, Ballinasloe Library
The Pulse Club in conjunction with Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre (BACD) hosted a very successful business networking event on Thursday, 5 December at the Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe.
The event saw many businesses coming together to showcase their products and services to all in attendance. The evening was a great launch pad to step beyond regular networks and create new synergies, collaborations and promising friendships within the community. Exhibitors expressed delight in being part of the positive movement happening in Ballinasloe.
Special guest speakers, Sean Gallagher and Eleanor McEvoy of TV’s Dragons Den along with local businessman Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s entertained the room with their inspiring stories on their own journeys of entrepreneurship.
Sean Gallagher stated, “it’s all about coming together - working together to grow your business by collaborating with others. It takes optimism and self-belief - belief in your own idea”.
“Change is something we must stop fearing, accept change as the new normal and you will never fear change again," was the advice from Eleanor McEvoy. Eleanor shared her challenges and key takeaways from starting to selling her various businesses.
Pat McDonagh shared his inspiring story of how an idea can grow and flourish with the right combination of skillset and mindset. Pat also expressed how wonderful it was to see so many new start-ups in Ballinasloe. “If you’re waiting for someone else to do it for you it will never happen”, says Pat.
The evening was facilitated by Brian King who highlighted all the great progress and business momentum taking place around the town – with a great foundation and scope for more to come.
The evening concluded with questions and answers from the audience, where business enthusiasts took the opportunity to question and gain valuable insights from our speakers that they could take away and apply to their own business.
The event would not have been possible without the continued support of our local
Without our sponsors, events like ‘Vision For Growth’ are just not possible.
Parting words from Sean Gallagher was to “stay focused and take the risks, be courageous, demand more and make Ballinasloe the place it’s capable of becoming”.
About The Pulse Club
The Pulse Club was officially launched on the 8th January 2019 and is an initiative of the Ballinasloe Area Community Development. The Club is a resource for entrepreneurs from all business types offering mentoring, support and local network in the town centre of Ballinasloe. As part of The Pulse Club you will have access to a wide variety of targeted workshops. Becoming a member means you will have access to mentoring from experienced professionals to help you grow and succeed in your business by objectively supporting and advising you.
B’sloe Panto are busy putting their own twist on another classic fairy tale, with their 11th annual production of “Rapunzel” set to run in the Town Hall Theatre. This year’s cast features an assortment of Panto staples along with a number of new faces. Following her brilliant performance as Princess Jasmine in last year’s show, Zara Campbell, a 6th year student in Ardscoil Mhuire, is taking on the role of the lass with the luscious locks - Rapunzel. Emma Greally plays the wicked Gothel. She is assisted in her shenanigans by Buboe, played by Panto first timer Tom Cahill. Mike O’Reilly and Kayleigh Holohan take on the roles of Rapunzel’s parents. This is Kayleigh’s first time taking on a principal role in the Panto having been a member of the chorus for a number of previous productions.
Other members of the royal court include Harold, the court jester; and Dame Trott, the King’s cook, played by Panto regulars Pat Vaughan and Louise McEvoy respectively. Gothel enlists the help of two thieves, Quinn and Doyle, played by Ciarán Smyth and Enda McGrath, in her evil quest to take over the kingdom. Aiden Shortall, another Panto newbie, takes on the role of Crevice, the leader of a group of ruffians, who make Rapunzel’s life very difficult. The rest of the rowdy bunch is made up of kids who have taken part in the Panto chorus groups for many years including Koby Campbell, Donal Byrnes, Patrick Hanrahan, Clodagh Dooley, Poppy Farrell, Lily Kearns and Aoife Shortall. Narrating the entire tale, and trying her best to help when she can, is the Fairy, played by 1st year Ardscoil Mhuire student Abaigh Hardiman. Abaigh is no stranger to the Panto stage having taken part since she was six years old and who filled in as So-Shy in a number of last year’s shows.
This year’s production team is made up of some very talented individuals. Ria Purcell, who has been involved with Panto for a number of years now will be choreographing the entire cast of “Rapunzel”. Ria is a very experienced performer and choreographer having worked as a professional singer and dancer in Greece for 10 years before moving home in 2016 to set up her own dance academy, Milkshake Dance & Performance Academy. She has been very busy since the end of September rehearsing several dances with over 180 kids and young people. The accomplished Louise McEvoy, who has directed numerous plays, musicals and pantomimes all over the midlands, takes the helm as director for this year’s show. And last but not least the production crew is rounded off by the extremely talented musical direction of John Roe who is delighted to be working with the Panto cast and crew once again.
The show runs from December 9th to 15th, nightly at 7.30pm with two fancy dress matinees on Saturday and Sunday (December 14th and 15th respectively) at 2.30pm, where both children and adults alike are invited to come in outfits, fit for the Panto stage with prizes for the best dressed! Tickets are available online and from the Panto booking office at J&S Photos on Society Street, drop in or call 090 963 1566 to get yours. They will also be available on the door; however pre-booking is advised.
Originally born and reared in Strokestown, author Eoghan Egan worked in Athlone while his wife worked in Porticuncula. They both love the countryside, so they decided to move to Ballydangan, halfway between both towns. Over the years they've changed jobs, but Ballydangan still remains home.
is new novel, “Hiding in Plain Sight” is being published this January. High art and low morals collide when graduate Sharona Waters discovers a multi-million euro art scam in play. She delves in, unwittingly putting herself on a direct trajectory with danger as the killer accelerates his murder spree. When Sharona gets drawn into the killer’s orbit, she peels away his public persona and exposes the psychopath underneath. Suddenly, the small town has no hiding place.
Eoghan’s work has previously been shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Short Story Prize and Listowel’s 2019 Bryan McMahon Short Story Award Competition. In March 2019, Eoghan won the Litopia’s prestigious Pop-Up Submission. He graduated as a computer programmer but quickly found his way into sales. His forte is managing field-based sales teams and customer service - listening gives him lots of ideas for writing plot lines, and he uses driving time to think out storylines and airports to sometimes observe human behaviour. He is also a graduate of Maynooth University’s Creative Writing Curriculum, and Curtis Brown’s Edit & Pitch Your Novel Course, Eoghan divides his time between Roscommon, Dublin and Southern Italy.
While he hasn’t transitioned into the author role on a full time basis yet, Eoghan’s aim is to become a full-time writer. “As lifestyles change, so do people's careers. The days of acquiring a permanent and pensionable position and staying until retirement, are long gone. As we live and work longer, many people are having success in two, three or more different careers throughout their working life.” He has always written short stories and began writing novels ten years ago. “Once my writing garnered attention and won some awards, I knew it was a journey I had to take and complete. (The journey took seven years... much longer than I'd expected)" he muses.
About his writing, he said: “Wherever I am, I write. Every day. Usually early mornings, but frequently late at night. It might be a hundred words or a thousand, or just the bare bones of an idea... sometimes a casual conversation can trigger inspiration. I'll make a note and write up a rough draft later” states Eoghan. “The real writing begins in Ballydangan. All my notes / ideas are taken back there each weekend and turned into a readable format. My library is there. My study... my quiet time. Ballydangan is the only place I can really concentrate, focus and write, surrounded by my books”, explains Eoghan.
This year’s annual exhibition of Gables Art Group features around 100 artworks and highlights the talents of the locals, providing an ideal opportunity for members to show and sell their work. So if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for someone special or a little treat for yourself then why not pop along - it is on display in the Church Gallery of the Ballinasloe Library and running until 1pm on Saturday, 7th December.
The exhibition has a wide range of acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings on show all by local artists. The 29 years old Art Group continues to encourage and support over 40 artists in all mediums in the classes run by Jackie Eastwood and Maura Warde. The classes, which are very social and fun, provide a friendly and welcoming environment to develop the creative flair whether as a beginner or more experienced painter.
Chairperson and long-time member of Gables, Geraldine Kelly said: “This year’s Gables exhibition is no exception in highlighting the fantastic work of our artists. We hope as many people will take the time to come along and see the artwork which is very encouraging for our members. We look forward to a busy and creative 2020”.
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