St Teresas Special School, based in Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre, Creagh Road Ballinasloe is facing closure due to soaring insurance costs. The school caters for 21 students with special needs.
A petition has been set up asking Minister Joe McHugh TD and the Department of Education for additional resources to ensure St. Teresa’s Special School in Ballinasloe can remain open and meet the cost for this year’s insurance which is €26,317 and to ensure the future of St. Teresa’s Special School by bringing it under the State Claims Agency to resolve this issue and protect those most vulnerable in society.
Update From the school ( 15th May 2019).
I am pleased to give you a more hopeful update on behalf of Teresa’s Special School. Today we had some good news. The Department of Education have invited us to a meeting to discuss our insurance issues. We are hopeful that this meeting will lead to a resolution and therefore ,in good faith, we are deferring next Tuesday’s protest outside the Dáil. A positive outcome will mean that we can keep our school open long into the future.
We have been inundated with messages and phone calls offering practical support from our Unions, (impacat, Forsa), bus contractors (offering busses for the trip), fellow schools and the broader community. They have always been there when we needed them and they are standing by us once more.
We would like to thank our local Councillors and Council Candidates , TDs and MEPs/ MEP candidates who have helped us. They have made it a priority to come to the school in person to speak with the us at this difficult time and we appreciate this deeply. Outside of the school, TDs, Senators, and MEPs have met with us both locally and in the Dáil to ensure that our situation reaches all the way to the Oireachtas .These include
Eugene Murphy TD., Maria Walsh, Candidate for MEP, Cllr Aidan Donoghue, Denis Naughton TD, Anne Rabitte, TD MEP Candidate, Cllr Michael Connelly and Harriett Bruce. and all our local candidates. Ken Campbell is one of our parents and is actively involved since this issue arose. We are expecting a visit from Michael Fitzmuarice TD, and Jimmy MCClearn
Harriet Bruce organised a meeting for us with Bernard Durkin, T.D and Eugene Murphy, TD we also met with Senator David Norris who sent an email of support today.
We have had good support from Cllr Dermot Connolly who organised a meeting with Matt Carey MEP, Mike Kelly, Cllr Michael Finnerty, Mike Kelly, Jackie Cahill, TD
Aisling Dolan and Tim Broderick, all of who have made representations to the Minister for Education
We would like to thank Eugene Murphy TD, Bernard Durkin, TD for their kind advice and support. In particular, Anne Rabbitte who was organising the logistics for the now postponed visit to the Dáil next Tuesday.
We are extremely grateful to Denis Naughton, TD and Senator Maura Hopkins who have worked steadfastly to arrange this important meeting with the Senior Officials of the Department of Education as quickly as possible .
It has been heart warming to discover that so many TD’s, Senators and MEPS, not listed here, including some outside our constituency, continue to give their time and energy to plead our case to the Minister of Education.
Any forward movement would not be possible without all of this support. It has strengthened our resolve as we continue to educate and care for the children while fighting to keep our doors open.
At the end of the day, this is all about the pupils in our care and their families. We as a community are hopeful that this meeting will lead to a positive resolution, so that we can continue to focus on being the school that our pupils deserve and need, as is their right.
On behalf of the children, parents and staff of St. Teresa’s Special School
Free talk on weaning your baby and cookery demo in Ballinasloe College of Further Education Mon 20th May and Mon 27th May at 10 am
Free talk on weaning your baby and cookery demonstration
Advice from Dietitian/Nutritionist on moving your baby from milk to solids.
Followed by a Cookery Demonstration by a Tusla Chef.
Ballinasloe College of Further Education,
Talk on weaning by Gráinne Green
Monday 20th May 10.00am – 12.15 pm.
Cookery Demonstration by Delia Greally
Monday 27th May 10.00am – 12.30pm.
Both sessions are FREE, but you do need to register.
Contact Seán Regan on 087 2458794, or email email@example.com
Healthy Ireland Fund supported by the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Join us on Thursday 16th May at 6:30pm in the Office Space above the Library for the launch of the Grow Remote Chapter in Ballinasloe.
During the evening Tracy Keogh, co-founder of Grow Remote will be there to share how and why the network started up, we will have Gary Mullin from Shopify among other practitioners who are currently working remotely to talk about what they do and we will show you job listings and give examples of what type of roles are currently open and could be available to you or to people in the area.
Our goal is to support you on the journey to work remotely in Ballinasloe, by partnering with companies, state partners, community and employees and to work together to build a bank of remote workers in the area.
We look forward to seeing you on the evening !
CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS (FREE) ON EVENTBRITE
The Grow Remote Team
Live drama of a very high order returns to TheShearwater Hotel Ballinasloe on April 9th, 10th and 11th of April, when The Dunlo Players present Conor McPherson's The Seafarer.
This play, which premiered at London's National Theatre, was nominated for an Olivier Award as Best Play. The Broadway production was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play.
Set in north County Dublin it tells the story of four hard drinking friends, and a strange visitor who joins them on Christmas Eve for a game of poker.
Sharky, now on the dry, returns from Clare, where he worked as a chauffeur, to care for his blind brother, Richard. Richard's house is a drop in centre for every "misunderstood " heavy drinking, married men in the Howth area. Among them is Ivan, an almost permanent guest, who has lost his glasses. Next Nicky, who is living with Sharky's wife and children. This does not make him Sharky's favourite visitor.
The final character is Mr. Lockhart, who arrives with Nicky for the annual game of poker and booze-up. Lockhart is an immortal character from Sharky's past, and he raises the poker stakes to eternal consequences, he is playing to win Sharky's soul.
The play is a comedy, very entertaining and enjoyable. The cast is very strong and have left no stone unturned in preparing this production by John Boland.
Cast - in order of appearance ;
James Sharky Harkin - Brendan Boland
Richard Harkin - David Hardiman
Ivan Curry - Dean Flanagan
Nicky Giblin - Barry Healy
Mr. Lockhart - Declan Kelly
Limited Tickets available on the door each night!
Local scout members recently attended and passed their Basic Life Support and CPR first aid course, which was delivered at Moore Hall by the members of Education Training Quality Assurance Solutions, and attended by fifteen scouts, aged between twelve and sixteen.
This is a substantial qualification for people so young. These scout members are now qualified in CPR (both Adult and Paediatric), Defibrillator Use (both Adult and Paediatric), and can deal with Choking, Stroke, Seizures, Burns, Bleeding, Convulsions, Shock and Anaphylaxis.
The scout members have also attained their Stage 6 Emergencies Badge. The journey to achieving this badge began back when the group first joined the scouts, starting as a Beaver or a Cub. As well as undertaking lifesaving badges, the scouts have also worked in conjunction with Ballinasloe Tidy Towns in the past, having cleaned up the local Marina as part of National Spring Week for the last two years.
The Scouts meet every Monday night in Moore Hall. Their youth members are from 12 to 16, and after that they progress on to be venture scouts. The Moore Scouts will also be holding a ‘duck race’ on Easter Monday, on the River Suck. The funds raised from this event will go towards the cost of the Scouts’ annual trip over to Scotland, which
will take place in July.
Connect the Dots, an initiative run by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture in conjunction with The Galway Music Residency are running a workshop with Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh and Ballinasloe Active Retirement on how painting reacts to sound and more.
For more info, check out the website: https://galway2020.ie/en/projects/connecting-the-dots
By Donogh Moore
Katie Dillon represented not only Ballinasloe, but the country when she competed in the Special Olympics which took place in Abu Dhabi this year and saw competitors from countries all around the world stake their claim in being the best in their sport. Katie, daughter of Mary and Billy, grew up in Aughrim alongside her brother Justyn and her sister Ciara.
After attending St. Catherine’s National School and Woodford, Katie went on to complete various VEC courses, travelling independently to Galway four days a week, to attend programmes such as a Brothers of Charity drama/art group called 'The Blue Teapot' and the 'Arts Alive' course.
However, she is obviously talented in sport, to have been selected to represent Ireland for the second time this year in shot put and walking, with the first being in the European Special Olympic Games in Antwerp 2014, where she participated in boccee and won a silver medal for the country.
After winning both a silver and a gold medal at the National Games held in Dublin in June 2018, Katie was selected to represent her country in the World Olympic Games in Abu Dhabi, alongside over 7,000 fellow Olympians from 170 participating countries, including 90 other Irish athletes. She competed in the 400m walk, as well as the shotput in the largest sporting and humanitarian event of the year.
Katie has had a huge network of support around her throughout her life. Her family, friends and schoolmates have all been valuable sources of aid and assistance over the years. None more so than the Mountbellew Tigers, however. The club is a Special Olympics athletics club, of which she has been a member of since 1999.
Having had a massive interest in sport all her life, she never ignored other activities to focus on just one, and she has participated in a myriad of different sports over the years, such as horse-riding, swimming, basketball and golfing. In recent years however, Katie has decided to focus on the shotput event, as well as walking.
Katie has met many famous athletes in recent year, such as professional rugby players and Ireland internationals Devin
Toner, Cian Healy and Rob Kearney. Not only that, but she also met Joe Canning recently at the Ploughing Championships.
None of these athletes have inspired her as much as her peers competing in the Special Olympics. These athletes, alongside her own family, have been her sources of inspiration in competing.
Her parents, Mary and Billy, her brother Justyn, her sister Ciara and her partner Shane all made the journey over to Abu Dhabi towatch Katie represent Ireland. Before setting off for the United Arab Emirates, Katie held a very successful coffee morning in Gullane’s Hotel which raised funds in aid of the Special Olympics. To help with this, local schools also
held non-uniform days, as well as various breakfast mornings. In all, Katie raised over €3,000 for the Special Olympics with the help and generosity of the local community.
By Donogh Moore
Good Food Friday will take place from 2 to 5pm on April 19th at Beechlawn Organic Farm, Ballinasloe. The day will kick off with an extensive farm walk led by the founder and co-owner of the renowned Organic Farm, Padraig Fahy. His co-lead on the day will be the well-known and respected forager, Edward Blaine. Edward has years of experience in foraging, and since moving from the U.K to Co. Clare has set up his own artisan food business. Between these two experienced guides this FREE walk is set to full of information, fun and one of the highlights of the day, and there is no registration – just turn up at the Farm main gate.
Next up will be internationally respected chef, restaurant owner and Irish Times columnist J.P. McMahon, who will give a demonstration to attendees on fermentation. With fermentation becoming increasingly popular in recent times, it is sure to be of great interest to guests, and J.P. will be using local seasonal veg and foraged items in this demonstration. A Raffle will also take place on the day, with the prize being a giant Easter Egg Hamper. This raffle is in aid of Jackie Dolan’s ‘Road to Recovery’. As the event is taking place at Easter, there will be events on specially for the children, such as an Easter Egg Hunt, as well as Face Painting. Refreshments will be available onsite throughout the day.
Beechlawn Organic Farm is a family-owned business that Padraig Fahy and Úna Ní Bhroin founded in 2002, and is currently run from their farm at Beechlawn. Last year they were successfully ahead of the pack to win a highly acclaimed Bord Bia Award for Innovation, for the launch of their bio bags. Beechlawn are now a leading force in the retail sector in the fight to eradicate plastic packaging in the area of fresh fruit and veg. Their first batch of compostable labels will be delivered in mid-April making the whole bio bag veg pack completely compostable.
They are also expecting compostable cling wrap for some of the veg packs that are in trays and by the end of 2019 their target is to have all prepacks in compostable packaging. In order for veg to be clearly traced and certified as organic it is required to be separated from chemically grown veg, thus causing the packaging problems which are being currently being encountered but they are focussing on tackling that this year. The business was awarded both the McKenna Guide 2018 and the Georgina Campbell Award last year, which further proves that the farm’s growth is gaining huge industry recognition. Local stockists are Eurospar in the Square and O’Connors Foodhall in Brackernagh.
After their Good Food Friday event, the next big day in the farm’s calendar is the annual gardening festival, BLOOM, which takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Beechlawn Organic Farm will host a stand to display their variety of products on a national stage under the Bord Bia Banner of excellence. They will also hold a harvest fair on Sunday Sept 15th this year. For more info, or to purchase a home delivery veg box check out their webshop or phone the office on 090 9646713. (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm).
by Donogh Moore
-Colourful Things, a new craft shop and marketplace, has opened recently on Dunlo Street. The owner, Cherry Mullins, is a Clare native originally, but is no stranger to the town of Ballinasloe. Since marrying her husband Aidan and moving to Kilconnell, Cherry has successfully held two separate Christmas Pop-Up shops on Society Street. Colourful Things offers crafters a marketplace, where they can sell, advertise, and promote their own work at a very low cost.
At present, the shop has over ten local Galway makers, with more enquiries coming in from around the country. Not only does the shop offer itself as a marketplace for other vendors, but they also give workshops on the Dunlo Street premises. There are currently workshops available on a variety of topics, such as knitting, crochet, stained glass techniques, jewellery making, applications and demonstrations of a myriad of body creams and lip balms. When the weather improves in the coming summer months, Cherry intends to offer workshops on crafting willow baskets, as well as garden art.
Colourful Things is also offering other local crafters the use of their facilities if they wish to give classes in their own chosen fields. After the success of her and her husband Aidan’s shop and garden in Kilconnell, as well as the aforementioned Christmas Pop-Ups in the town, the pair decided to take the plunge and open a retail and craft shop in Ballinasloe on a permanent basis. They pride themselves in being able to offer a selling space for local handmade goods, and believe their shop complements not only the other retailers on Dunlo Street, but in the town as a whole. She believes that the various local retailers have brightened the town, and brought it back to life.
In the future, Cherry is hoping to expand her business, and believes the town offers her the capacity to do so. She believes her time spent in craft markets, tearooms and retail shops over the years have offered her a vast amount of experience when it comes to knowing what consumers want from a craft and retail shop. That, paired with the availability of on-street parking, and access to a wide network of other colourful businesses in the town makes Cherry hopeful for the future.
For the time being, she hopes that local customers will come in and browse the varied collection that Colourful Things has to offer, as well as using the facilities for their own artistry. To contact Colourful things, call Cherry on (086) 192 1923, or find them on Facebook at: Colourful Things Gift Shop. The store is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am to 5pm.
A new physiotherapy business has recently established a base in the Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre, on the Creagh Road. Action Physio, under the guidance of Keith Fox, aims to service the town’s needs when it comes to physiotherapy, sports therapy and the like. Action Physio opened a physiotherapy clinic in Athlone in back in 2006.
Keith Fox, who qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist back in 2000 from Liverpool University, saw to the opening of the first clinic. Keith is currently working for Irish Rugby, and more specifically the Senior Men’s National Team, a post he has held for the last seven years. He has enjoyed many successes in this time, including being part of a team responsible for winning three Six Nations titles, as well as one Triple Crown win, and one Grand Slam win.
Keith was born in the local Portiuncula Hospital and has lived in Athlone for the majority of his life. The business decided to expand to the area of Ballinasloe, with a team of three Chartered Physiotherapists to help cater for their patient population in the area. The migrating team includes Keith Fox, Fergal O’Reilly and David Kelly. Many of the business’ patients are from the town and its local surrounding area, and so they felt the move was necessary and that it would make travelling for physiotherapy easier and more accessible for anyone from that area. The local Enterprise Centre offered an attractive home for their new venture in the area due to its close proximity to both the town and the nearby motorway.
The team at Action Physio offer treatments and therapy for a variety of issues and ailments, such as
The business also spotted a potential market for their services, as the town is home to a multitude of sporting clubs and organisations, and having a business that can offer sports-related physiotherapy is a great addition and service to the local sporting community.
To book an appointment with Action Physio Ballinasloe, call (090) 649 4903, or email the team at here. For those seeking more information about the business and their opening times, visit their Facebook page, at: Action Physio or alternatively, visit their website at: www.actionphysio.ie.
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