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Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, is hosting a Heritage Day to celebrate the 100 years since the foundation of our school.
On Saturday March 9th, Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, in conjunction with the Heritage Officer, Galway County Council, is hosting a Heritage Day to celebrate the 100 years since the foundation of our school. The focus of this day is the contribution of women to society over the past one hundred years and the role of education in enabling women to do so.
Mairead Mc Guinness MEP will open the event. There will be two key note speakers. Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, granddaughter of Hannah and Francis Sheehy Skeffington and lecturer in Plant Ecology in NUIG will speak. Micheline has travelled extensively and given countless talks on her grandparents’ role in the Irish fight for Independence. Eithne Treanor, past student, who began her 25 year career in Journalism in the USA with ABC News and has since worked with Sky News, BBC World, Bloomberg and CNBC will give a presentation of Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles”. She now lives in Dubai where she runs a media and communications training consultancy.
The afternoon will feature a lively Discussion Forum featuring six past students who have forged interesting career paths. They will talk about their educational experiences in our school and where it has brought them in life. On the panel will be: Zoe Carol, Fashion Designer, Dr Caitriona Cormican, G.P. and Galway County footballer, Margaret Curley, currently the Series Producer of the Marian Finucane Show on RTE Radio 1, Anne Marie Hayes, Primary Teacher, Galway camogie player and TV Sports pundit with RTE 2 TV, Dr Aideen Ryan, Postdoctoral Researcher, NUIG and Anne Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Programme, NUIG
There will also be a section on the history of our school from its beginnings in 1919, told by present students with contributions from a Mercy Sister, Sr Loreto McLoughlin, who is herself a past pupil and who was actually taught by the foundress of the school.
There will be exhibitions and short presentations in various classrooms in the afternoon, including a re-creation of an old classroom. A series of short videos filmed by Transition Year students related to the history of our school will be shown. Recordings of interviews students made with past students and lots of photographic displays from former school days will be available to view also. We will have short video contributions from past students who are unable to be with us on the day such as Geraldine Lynagh, Virgin Media (TV3) and Amie Doherty, an established and award winning film and TV composer, arranger and conductor in Hollywood.
We will have the “Our Irish Women” exhibition on view on the day. This project was an initiative undertaken by The Museum of Country Life, Castlebar together with the Heritage Office, Galway Co Council and iCAN. As 2018 was the centenary of women voting for the first time the aim of the project was to highlight the achievements of women from various localities who have made a contribution to a local , national or international community in any aspect of life and who perhaps have never been recognised for their contribution. The exhibition had been on display in The Museum of Country Life, Turlough House, Castlebar during Oct and Nov 2018. It has been made available to us for March 9th courtesy of the Museum.
Our students will have a very active part in the day’s events. Our beautiful choir and trad group will provide wonderful musical interludes and we will have an exhibition of some of our students’ art work, creative pieces and project work. And much more besides.
This is a free event in Ardscoil Mhuire and open to the general public. Please register your interest in this event on Eventbrite. Registration will also take place at 9.30am on March 9th in the school. We look forward to welcoming our past and present students, staff, parents and interested members of the general public on the day.
Programme of Events
9.30 am – 10.00 am Registration
10 am - 10.30 am Welcome address from Patricia Kilgallen
Official opening by Mairead McGuinness MEP
10.30 am Musical Interlude by Ardscoil Mhuire school choir
10.40 am “Echoes of the Past: The History of Ardscoil Mhuire” Written by Claire Dempsey and presented by our students
Sr Loreto McLoughlin “Scoil Mhuire to Ardscoil Mhuire, a short history”
11.00 am Musical Interlude by Ardscoil Mhuire school Trad Group
11.10 am “Fighting for the vote: Hanna and Francis Sheehy Skeffington’s activism in the early 20th century” by Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington
12.00 pm Musical Interlude by Ardscoil Mhuire school Choir
12.05 pm – 1.30 pm Walking tour of the various exhibitions on view in the school building and lunch
1.30 pm -3.00 pm Musical Interlude by Ardscoil Mhuire school Choir
Discussion panel with past students Zoe Carol Wong Margaret Curley Dr Caitriona Cormican Ann Marie Hayes, Dr Aideen Ryan, Ann Walsh
Moderated by Mary O’Rourke Former TD and Minister for Education
3.15 pm – 4.15 pm Musical Interlude by Ardscoil Mhuire Trad Group
“The Success Principles” a presentation by Eithne Treanor
Musical Interlude by Ardscoil Mhuire school choir
Our school choir and trad group are led by Caroline Jackson and accompanied by Lisa Loughnane. Our MCs are Aisling Doherty and Rachel Whyte our Student Council Presidents 2018-2019
For further information or to book a place at this event please contact Tina in Ardscoil Mhuire at 090 9642206
There will be a coffee morning and cake sale in Creagh National School to raise money for the 6th class Tanzanian project on Wednesday 13th March. All welcome! The Cake Sale and coffee morning is from 9:20 to 14.20 and all donations most welcome.
A chance to have a chat over a cupán tae and bring home some delicious goodies from the díolachán cáca (cake shop!) during Seachtain na Gaeilge
By Donogh Moore
ALL articles and Photos submitted should have the sender’s name, together with contact telephone no., email etc. in case of queries, before hitting return.
Articles should not be too long-winded and should contain plenty of local information such as “Mary Murphy, is the second eldest daughter of Martin and Ann Murphy, The Pines, Ballinasloe and was educated in Creagh NS before receiving her secondary education in Ard Scoil Mhuire, and later going to University in London etc.).”
Typical article large length of number of words should be 700 max.
Photos will only be published if they are of GOOD quality and contain ALL the names of the people in them.
As many of our readers left Ballinasloe several years ago, particularly overseas, they love to read about, or see photos of, people they knew or are related to. That is why it is so important to give the full Christian names and addresses in articles, photos etc. There is a huge demand for LIFE around the country and overseas.
All copy should be “read over” for spellings, punctuation and accuracy before being sent to printers.
No guarantees should be given that any articles or photos WILL be published. That is at the discretion of the Editor.
If your copy arrives prior to the official deadline as advised on the schedule; we will get the final text back to you for a review. If it arrives after, we won’t be able to facilitate with reviews.
As always, submissions are to be made to 'Ballinasloelife@hotmail.com'. We look forward to hearing from you!
by Donogh Moore
€54,087 is set to be provided to five projects locally under the Community Enhancement Programme. Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. announced recently that a number of projects around the country are set to receive grant aid, with five community projects in the locality set to benefit from this. Ballinasloe Rugby Club received €10,675 for a new 3G AstroTurf training facility and pitch. Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre, on Society Street, received €12,810 for building maintenance. The maintenance required for the theatre entail repairs to the ceiling of the front offices. Due to a water leak, the ceiling was damaged and is currently still leaking.
A portion will also be spent on refurbishing the bathroom facilities backstage. Ballinasloe Social Services, located in Brackernagh, received €14,602 for the development of their community services centre. This money is set to go towards the establishment of a new dining room in the centre, as well as refurbishing bathrooms off that. The idea originally came from staff, as they were having to use the facility’s day room as a makeshift dining room, but now they can finally separate the two.
Ballinasloe Tidy Towns received €1,000 for photography equipment, which is set to help their online and social media campaigns. Chairperson Tom Madden indicated that the new equipment will aid their biodiversity project, which first started in 2017. Not only that, but through their work with youth groups, it gives the volunteers a chance to get involved with hobbies such as bird watching, and the camera will prove useful in logging these sightings. Ballinasloe Cancer Support, found on Main Street, received €15,000 in order to refurbish the ground floor of the building, as well as to make the building wheelchair accessible. The centre, which was founded in 2010, aims to provide support to people and families dealing with cancer.
Director of Services, Maura Fahy, said that she was “delighted to hear” about the influx of grant aid. The money is set to go towards general refurbishment of the building, which includes the building of wheelchair accessible services, as well as the construction of an extension to the back of the building. “After previous fund-raising efforts, in which Coral Leisure Centre helped us greatly, we amassed nearly €6,000 in the space of a month.” It was the support centre’s first time since establishment nearly 10 years ago, that they’ve applied for government relief. Maura said: “Receiving this money was great, but hopefully we can reapply again in the future, and the next application will be met with the same empathy as the first.”
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins welcomed the allocations: “Support for these projects will provide a great boost for the locality. It is so important that we continue to support the work of volunteers who are so giving of their time in order to further develop our community.” All of the groups still have to fundraise a considerable amount of match funding to draw down their grant aid as typically under the terms of the letter of offer – promoters own matching finances can range from 45% to 65%. For more information regarding the Community Enhancement Programme and how to apply, see the Department of Community and Rural Development’s official website at: drcd.gov.ie
People from the town and the surrounding areas gathered in Gullane’s Hotel, Main Street recently, for a huge fundraiser concert for local photographer Jackie Dolan. Jackie has been taking photos in the town for the last eighteen years, and since 2010 launched and ran her own photography studios and store in Society Street’s J&S Photos, capturing most of the notable events over the years. However, in May 2018, Jackie suffered a minimal brain bleed and as a result lost her balance and fell down the stairs.
She was immediately transported by ambulance to Galway University Hospital, where the doctors worked frantically to access her injuries, and from there began the lengthy process to repair her broken body. She damaged her spine in the fall and is now currently confined to a wheelchair. Not only did people come from the local area to show their support on the night, but the event also drew supporters from abroad, including Jackie’s own sister, Angie, who flew in from the United States where she resides but was instrumental in putting the road to recovery fundraising campaign in place.
At the start of the Dublin City Ramblers concert, Angie made a brief address of welcome and gratitude – singling out especially Jackie's son Paul and his wife Fiona, Jackie's daughter Michelle Doyle, (Angie's) uncle Austin, uncle Matty and aunt Kathleen, neighbour Seán Fletcher, Tomás Gullane and family for the use of their premises and in particular to Sean Ward and the Ward Family. All the proceeds from the night went towards Jackie’s ‘Road to Recovery’, which included sales on the door, as well as several raffles that took place. People in attendance were treated to a night of music and culture, with the added benefit of donating to a good cause.
Four young dancers from the World Championship Irish Dancers group in Clare gave a lively display of Irish set dancing, which marked the beginning of the evening’s affairs. Jackie herself made a short appearance via a pre-recorded video, as sadly she couldn’t be there on the night. Jackie in a deeply moving clip, thanked everyone in attendance, and gave special thanks to her family & friends for organising it. Speaking about what happened to her, she didn’t dwell too long on the details of her accident and recovery, but rather focused on an uplifting and powerful message. She told her friends and wellwishers “I want to walk again."
The Dublin City Ramblers, entertained the large audience with their upbeat and lively renditions of many famous songs, as well as taking a few requests from the crowd too. Not only that, but local man Johnny Johnston, accompanied by other local musicians, troubadors and entertainers hosted a trad session out in the front bar into the wee hours. The total raised on the night was in the order of €21,000 and coupled with the online campaign of some €10,000 means the team behind Jackie’s road to recovery is 60% towards its funding target. If you would like to find out more or make a donation to the crowdfunding campaign set up for Jackie’s ‘Road to Recovery’, the details can be found on GoFundMe, at: Jackie Dolan’s Journey – Road to Recovery
By Donogh Moore
Society Travel recently hit a notable milestone, when they celebrated twenty years in business. The local agency was founded by Geraldine Dolan, daughter of Brian and Freda Dolan (née Headd) of Carrowreagh, Taughmaconnell.
First opening its doors to the public in December 1998, they specialise in a wide range of trips; from camping packages to a variety of continental destinations, to the more intimate honeymoons. They also organise the annual Clonfert Diocesan Pilgrimage, which sees a mixture of invalids, elderly pilgrims and volunteers depart for Lourdes for a week. This year’s pilgrimage takes place from the 15 – 20 August.
After many years working in the travel trade and much encouragement from friends, family and most importantly her two brothers, Gerry and Pat, she set out on her own. “I decided I wanted to build something from scratch. I have enjoyed every moment of it, the sense of accomplishment I cannot describe. It’s the best thing I have done and it would not have been possible without the support of our customers who are with us since we first opened our door on that crisp December morning with my great friend Patricia Hynes (née Dervin) with me that morning” recalls Geraldine. Society Travel deals with specialist groups for all destinations, and for larger, more comprehensive trips, these companies will arrange everything from accommodation to visas. While the general consensus is that booking holidays online is always a better option, there is a difference between both methods.
Travel agents operate with bonded companies, who offer security both locally and abroad, should something beyond your control go awry. They also need to remain up to date with the constantly changing laws and regulations regarding travel and insurance, so they can offer advice and guidance to prospective customers with any query they may have. While booking a holiday online is fine for a quick and direct trip, when it comes to more than one flight, holiday-goers often turn to travel agents due to many issues arising, such as varying passport validity issues, visa restrictions and minimum connection layovers at foreign airports.
Whilst they have had staff come and go over the years all in all with a very low attrition rate. Glenn Burke, who is highly respected and sought-after by all their customers, due to his level of knowledge ranging from cruises to ski trips. Bridie Dolan works in the accounts section of the business, after working in an accountant’s office for many years. Yvonne Garvey and Anna Guider cover sales and admin respectively, as well as dealing with potential visa issues, after having worked in local outlets for many years before joining. Her memories of the opening days of the firm are tinged with sadness as her founding employee Patricia, who was such a fun loving person to work with, passed away tragically in an accident in Nov. 2004.
When they opened in 1998, they got many cards and good luck wishes, but one that stands out most in Geraldine’s head to this day was a note written on a slip of paper, (as he had no money to buy the card) was from her 8-year-old son Brian: “Best of Luck Mam, Hope it works out, Probably the best Travel Agent in the World”
"We would just like to extend, from the bottom of our hearts, a massive Thank You to everyone we have done business with over the years, especially our loyal customers for your continuous support. Without you, all this would not be possible. Here’s to another twenty of getting you going places!” exclaims Geraldine. For more information and regular updates from Society Travel, you can visit their Facebook Page or pop into the shop.
ConTempo Quartet Concert
Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association, the Galway Music Residency with its resident artists ConTempo Quartet, artist Finbar McHugh and Ballinasloe Library present Connecting the Dots, an intergenerational project connecting primary school children with the older generations through Sound, Music and Art.
The first part of this project will take place with a concert on Tuesday 12th February in the Church Gallery, Ballinasloe Library at 1.00pm. All are very welcome to attend!
Author Stella O'Malley will be visiting Ballinasloe Library on Tuesday 12th February for a talk on the subject of 'Bully-Proof Kids', her hugely successful guide for parents. The event will take place 6.30pm in the Church Gallery space, as part of the Healthy Ireland at Your Library initiative. For those who can't make it, multiple copies of her books are available to borrow at the library desk.
At 8pm On 20th March GIY (Grow it Yourself) Ballinasloe are hosting a demonstration with Stephen March on how to do apple tree grafting. You are welcome to bring along a 10-12 inch section of your favourite apple tree, but the club will have plenty to practice on.
The cost is €10 if you want an actual grafted apple tree to take home afterwards (first come first served) and €5 if you just want to learn the technique.
March is apparently the ideal time to do grafting, but you need to gather your grafts and root stock now and keep them until March. So if you want a particular tree, you need to collect 10-12 inch branch of new growth (not growth that had apples on it, something that grew fresh since April 2018). Choose from the sunny side of the donor tree and choose an un-diseased clean branch. Cut the branch cleanly with a sharp secateurs. Take the branch and wrap it in damp newspaper, put the branch(s) in moist peat in a tall pot buried up to the tip and keep them in a cool place out of direct sunlight. You can’t use branches that have already filled with sap – so you'd need to pick them now.
You will also need some damp newspaper to wrap your grafted on root stock in to bring home afterwards.
Feel free to invite anybody you know who would be interested. Email Aidan Clifford for more info.
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