Ballina

  • There's good news this evening for Ballina, as funding of €140,000 has been allocated under the Historic Towns Initiative to help protect the town's architectural heritage and boost its tourism profile.

    The funding has been allocated to Mayo County Council to repair ten buildings in the Pearse Street architectural conservation area - including the town's library and a number of privately-owned buildings.

    Ballina-based FG Senator Michelle Mulherin says repairs to historic shop fronts, sash windows and doors will ensure the longterm survival of these historic buildings.

  • €55,000 in LEADER funding has been approved for the Local Voices Music Trail in Ballina.

    Local Voices Music Trail is part of the acclaimed Other Voices Music Festival and will feature an exciting and diverse line-up of performers, musicians, bands and DJs, plying their wares across the venues of Ballina on September 28th and 29th.

    The funding will be provided by Minister Ring’s Department through the Mayo LEADER Local Action Group.

    22 new acts have been confirmed for free gigs throughout Ballina as part of the Local Voices Music Trail later this month.

    Local Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says the funding is a welcome boost.

  • There were 109 reported incidents of dog-fouling from the Ice House to the Quay area of Ballina on one particular day last week.

    The issue was raised at yesterday’s Ballina Municipal District meeting by Crossmolina based Fianna Fail Cllr Michael Loftus.

    Cllr Loftus said there were 109 incidents reported to him on one day last week.

    He says it is not a problem unique to Ballina but it is a serious issue.

    There is a fine of up to €3,000 for incidents of dog-fouling and Mayo County Council has committed to enforcing this law very strictly.

  • Additional funding of €29,500 has been allocated to Quay National School in Ballina.

    It follows a number of appeals by the school for the funding.

    Local Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says Quay NS was initially approved funding for two resource rooms and one additional classroom. However when the site was assessed by an engineer, it was discovered that a linkway was needed between the existing school building and the new extension and that would incur an extra cost.

    Quay NS was refused this additional funding initially and have been appealing that decision since.

    Senator Mulherin told Midwest News she was happy to be able to make representations on the school’s behalf.

  • An Post is to offer a new contract to Ardnaree Post Office in Ballina.

    There was concern expressed about the future of Ardnaree Post Office in recent weeks, as the current postmaster is to retire in March. An Post undertook a Public Consultation on the provision of post office services in Ardnaree.

    Today An Post has announced that Ardnaree Post Office will be offered a new post office contract. When a suitable candidate emerges the contract will be in place initially for two years.

    It comes after a local campaign to oppose any suggestion of closing the post office, which included a public meeting and march in Ballina recently.

  • Anyone hoping to spend a penney to use a public toilet in Ballina has a long wait.
    The Director of Services for MCC Tom Gilligan told councillors in the BMD area yesterday that a public toilet on a street in the town does not make economic sense, due to the cost of the facility and would not bring an extra tourist to Ballina.

    FG Cllr John O’Hara disagrees- and argued that it’s a basic facility for people doing their shopping in the town.

    He asked at least for signs to be erected at public buildings in the town indicating toilet facilities, if available.

    Afterwards Cllr O'Hara told Midwest News the response by the council is not good enough.

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    After recent concerns expressed by members of the public the organisers of the Ballina Salmon Festival have decided to cancel plans for a pig racing event during the week long festival. They released the following statement on the decision. 

    "In light of the number of complaints received about the proposed ‘Ardnaree Grand National’, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday 10 July, the Ballina Salmon Festival committee has decided to cancel the event.

    The event, a joint initiative between a number of Ardnaree-based businesses which included pig racing had received enthusiastic local support. However over the past 24 hours, the Ballina Salmon Festival Office received a number of complaints by phone and social media about the planned event, with concerned objectors raising concerns about potential animal cruelty.

    While the committee of Ballina Salmon Festival had carried out due diligence on the proposed event, and had been satisfied that neither the format of the racing itself, nor the conditions in which animals were housed or transported, constituted any level of cruelty to the pigs, it nevertheless acknowledges the worries of those concerned, and has decided to replace the event with a street party on the same date.

    Chairman of Ballina Salmon Festival Billy Lewis said: “While we were more than satisfied that the welfare of the animals involved was paramount at all times, we do acknowledge the sincerity of the concerns raised by members of our community and local animal charities.  As a community festival we are grateful that people took the time to make their feelings known to us, and in light of their concerns, after consulting with our volunteer event leaders, we have decided to cancel the event.

    Ballina Salmon Festival has always been a family-friendly celebration, and our aim has never been to upset or offend people, but to deliver events that people enjoy.”

    Ballina Salmon Festival depends entirely on volunteers and on local support to design and deliver its programme of events. It is a first and foremost a family-friendly festival, which includes over 70 events designed to entertain and delight adults and children of all ages.

    The festival committee would now like to invite everyone, including those who took time to contact the festival to raise concerns, along to the Ardnaree Street Party on Tuesday, July 10th from 8pm, for some live music, street entertainment and delicious food.  The party will be family-friendly and entirely animal free, save for the famous ‘pig on a spit’ which has featured at the festival for many years. There are sure to be lots of surprises on the night, and more than likely, some more twists in the tale."

     

  • The number of homeless people in Co Mayo is continuing to rise, and 2018 could see an increase of 40% on last year.

    In the first ten months of this year, 224 people presented as homeless to Mayo County Council - including 173 adults and 51 children.

    The figures were revealed at a recent meeting of Mayo County Council's Strategic Policy Committee on Housing.

    Cathaoirleach of the Housing SPC Councillor Gerry Ginty says this is a direct result of a lack of social housing being built in Mayo and across the country in recent years.

    He's appealing to the public not to oppose plans for social housing developments - citing an example in Ballina where Mayo Co Co is planning to build a 54-unit social housing development at a site on the Foxford Road, but Councillor Ginty says there's considerable opposition to the plan from existing residents in the area and a number of councillors.

    Councillor Ginty says there are currently over 2,000 people on the housing list in Co Mayo, and every effort should be made to give people a roof over their heads.

  • A Ballina councillor is calling for speed ramps to be installed in the Bohernasup area to slow down traffic.

    Since the opening of the new Lidl store in Bohernasup, Councillor John O'Hara says there's a significant increase in traffic in the area, and locals are complaining of the speed of traffic through the residential area.

  • A Ballina area councillor is calling on the developers of the Oweninny windfarm in north Mayo to provide funding for a new pedestrian crossing at Ardnaree in Ballina.

    The current pedestrian crossing in Ardnaree is not working, according to local FG Councillor John O'Hara who claims drivers are ignoring the flashing lights, and he fears a serious accident will occur unless the crossing is replaced with a push-button pedestrian crossing.

    Councillor O'Hara says that, with the Oweninny windfarm developers using this road four night per week from midnight, they should finance the pedestrian crossing as a community gesture.

  • There is a need for Mayo county council to set aside up to 200,000 euro a year specifically to be used on the restoration of footpaths across the county.

    That’s the view of Ballina Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    He says that would mean that at least, 50,000 euro would be available annually for the restoration of footpaths in each Municipal District area.

    Councillor O’Hara believes the allocation could actually save money for Mayo county council, as it is likely that insurance compensation payments against the authority over people falling and injuring themselves on broken pavement would be reduced.

  • A Ballina Councillor is calling for senior officials of Mayo County Council to carry out an enquiry into why public monies were used to install at footpath on the Behy Road, which was a condition of planning for a developer in the area.

    Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty says it's wrong that tens of thousands of euro of council money are being spent on a footpath, which should be provided by the private developer.

    In the region of €80,000 is being budgeted for the footpath, but the funding has run out.

    At this week's meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, Councillor Ginty says another €30,000 was allocated for the footpath, as part of a list of roads and footpaths receiving funding this year, but he says that's now on hold until further enquiries are carried out.

    Councillor Ginty told Midwest News that questions need to be asked about this use of public funds, when the footpath should have been installed by a developer.

  • Ballina Fringe Festival will take place from July 6th until 15th running alongside Ballina’s famous Salmon Festival.

    Ballina and North Mayo have a proud heritage in the arts, and it’s rugged wild Atlantic landscape has inspired countless artists through the years.

    The inaugural Ballina Fringe Festival has a focus on how North Mayo, its landscape and heritage have set foundations for ambitious and creative arts in many media.

    Full festival details are available on www.ballinafringefestival.ie

  • Gardai in Ballina seized a significant quantity of cannabis yesterday.

    It followed a traffic checkpoint in the Slí Eachtra area of the town, and a follow-up search of a house in the Ballina area by local uniformed Gardai and members of the divisional drugs unit.

    Cannabis worth over €1,000 was seized, along with drugs paraphernalia and a sum of cash.

    One person was arrested, questioned, and later released with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    This is part of a major crackdown on drugs in the north Mayo region, which also saw cocaine being discovered in the Ross area of Killala on Saturday 16th March.

    In a planned operation by the Divisional Drugs Unit, two people were stopped and searched and a significant quantity of cocaine was recovered.

    Gardai say a file is being prepared for the DPP.

  • A 10-year old Ballina girl will be taking part in one of the most-watched TV programmes of the year next weekend.

    10-year old Alison McGrath from Ballina is one of the children chosen to take part in The Late Late Toy Show, which will be aired on Friday week 30th November on RTE One at 9.35 pm.

     

     


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    A Mayo man has lost his appeal against his 5 year jail sentence for dangerous driving causing death.

    40 year old Declan Moran of Carrentrilla, Ballina had been drinking when he performed an illegal u-turn and killed oncoming motorcyclist Martin Wynne.

    It happened on the N26 at Ballinahaglish, Ballina in May 2016.

    Declan Moran fled the scene on foot and was arrested a few hours later and was found to be over the drink driving limit.

    The Court of Appeal said the 5 year sentence was entirely appropriate, given the accused has a previous conviction for drink-driving.

     

     

     

     

  • A Mayo man was seriously injured after being hit by a bus in Budapest last weekend.

    32-year old Michael Cuffe from Ballina travelled to the Hungarian capital last Friday with three friends for a weekend away, but just hours after he arrived he was struck by a bus.

    The Irish Independent reports that Michael suffered a number of  injuries, including broken bones in his neck and back, a broken collarbone and a triple leg fracture.

    His family are now fundraising to help bring Michael home for treatment.

    It’s understood a radiologist travelling on the bus gave him CPR and stabilised him until an ambulance arrived.

    Michael’s sister Naomi told the Independent that he will have to travel home on a spinal board, and as no commercial airline accommodates spinal boards, he will need an air ambulance.

    The family have set up a GoFundMe page to try and meet the costs of getting Michael back to Ireland.

    The GoFundMe page has raised more than €13,000 in less than 24 hours and Naomi said her family are blown away by people's generosity.

    For further details, or to make a donation, you can go online to www.gofundme.com/flymichaelcuffehome

     

  • Ballina has today been named Ireland's Best kept Large Town for 2018.

    The 32-county Best Kept Towns competition has been running since 1985, and the awards are being presented in Belfast this afternoon.

    Ballina has beaten off competition from Armagh and Monaghan to be crowned Ireland's Best Kept Large Town.

     Chairman of Ballina Tidy Towns Jim Friel has collected the award at the Harbour Commissions Office in Belfast.

     

     

  • A Ballina-based photographer has won an international sports photography award.

    David Farrell won the award at the Federation of European Professional Photographers 2019 awards, announced in Austria, for a black & white image entitled "Battling for the Sliothar".

    The photo was taken during the Connacht Intermediate Hurling Championship final between Mayo side Tooreen and Ballinderreen of Galway.

    The picture won a Merit award in the Single Images category of the prestigious competition, which attracted 2,400 entries from photographers across Europe.

    David Farrell was the only Irish photographer to win in the Sports category of the competition.

     

     

  • AIL Division 2C 
    Ballina 45-28 Bangor