Ballina

  • €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.

  • 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.

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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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

     

     

  • AIL Division 2C 
    Seapoint 23-39 Ballina

  • There was one Mayo restaurant included in the 2019 Georgina Campbell Awards, unveiled in Dublin yesterday.

    Jack Fenn's Courtyard Café at Belleek Castle, Ballina was named Café of the Year.

    Adare Manor was named the Best Hotel in Ireland, while the Business Hotel of the Year award went to the Marker Hotel in Dublin, and the Newcomer of the Year award went to The Foyle Hotel in Moville, Co Donegal, while a new, Spirit of the European Region of Gastronomy Award saw The Twelve Hotel in Barna, Beechlawn Organic Farm in Ballinasloe and Gannet Fishmongers in Galway City take the award jointly.

    Also in Galway, the Outstanding Guest Experience was deemed to be found at Tigh Congaile on Inis Meain - and the Street Food award went to the Misunderstood Heron in Killary Harbour.

    Hooked in Sligo won the Just Ask Restaurant of the Year award, while in Co Roscommon, the Natural Food Award was won by Drumanilra Farm Kitchen in Boyle.

     

  • Ballina-based Senator Michelle Mulherin is to meet shortly with the Transport Minister Shane Ross to push the case for a ring road around Ballina to ease the worsening traffic congestion, which she says is impacting on people driving into town from the Foxford road and Sligo road on a daily basis.

    A deputation from Mayo met with representatives of Transport Infrastructure Ireland last Monday to discuss plans for various road projects across the county.

    However, Ballina-based FF Councillor Annie May Reape told Midwest News that neither the N26 road project from Mount Falcon to Foxford, or the Ballina Orbital Route, are included in the National Framework Plan, therefore she claims there will be no progress on either road project for the next 5-10 years.

    However, Senator Mulherin says the Orbital Route, or ring road, is badly needed and she claims it could be delivered in different phases.

    She says the first section to be built should connect the Foxford road and Crossmolina road.

  • Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and Ballyhaunis train stations look set to be completely automated, with no staff at the stations processing tickets, from March of this year. That’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers.

    The deputy believes that this will impact negatively on many train users and she has written to Iarnrod Eireann to clarify its plans and is strongly opposing any such development.

    Deputy Chambers says that from March of this year, the ticket machines used by staff to sell train tickets in the stations will become obsolete and will not be replaced. Rail passengers will have to purchase tickets on line or at the self service ticket machines at the stations.

    In county Mayo she has been told that Westport train station is the only train station in the county that will get a new machine.

    If this happens she argues, than staff at the stations without a facility to sell tickets directly to customers, will become redundant and will be transferred to other locations.

    In a statement to Midwest News a spokesperson for Irish Rail says:

    We have stated previously and publically, including briefings of elected representatives, that we do plan to change the way we provide customer service, both on-board and in stations, to reflect changing customer requirements. 

    Traditional booking office ticket purchases today represent only 13% of total revenue, and are reducing – 87% of our revenue across all networks is now generated through ticket vending machines, online booking, and other automated channels.

    However, customers still want and require customer service assistance for their journey, particularly on board longer-distance services where many trains are currently driver-only.  This can result in people having customer service personnel available for the 5 minutes they are in the station, but not three hours they’re on the train.

    To meet this need, Iarnród Éireann is planning to improve its customer services to ensure more customers receive the support and service required as routine ticketing becomes more automated.

    This will mean:

    • An increase in on-board staffing, to provide on-board customer service officers on Intercity services, helping customers with boarding, seat reservations, and customer service information
    • Station staffing re-focused to provide customer service and assistance in the station area, with a mix of manned and self-service stations reflecting customer demand and usage patterns
    • Equipping on-board and station staff with enhanced information and support to assist customers

    On-board Customer Service Officer deployment has begun.  We do anticipate that there will be changes in stations during 2019, which will include stations with full ticket sales, some stations having customer service staff for customer assistance, with ticketing through automated channels, and some stations becoming unmanned.

    However, final details of these changes have not yet been confirmed including timescales, and we will engage with employees and our customers to outline these changes nationwide, including in Mayo.

    The changes in customer service will mean that customers will have continuous access to customer service support on Intercity services, including assistance for customers with mobility and sensory impairments; better service information; better delivery of seat reservations; and a deterrent to anti-social behaviour.

     

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    Gardai in Ballina are investigating a break-in to the community centre  in Moygownagh in which gardening equipment was stolen.

    The incident occurred sometime between 10pm on Wednesday evening and 7am yesterday (Thursday morning).

    3 Sthil strimmers were taken and a Sthil long reach hedgecutter.

    The gates to the community centre were locked overnight so Gardai say the thieves are likely to have had transport to carry out the break-in.

     They are appealing to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area between 10pm on Wednesday night into early  yesterday (Thursday) morning to contact Ballina garda station at 096 21422.

    Also gardai are asking if any householder is offered any such equipment for sale by door to door salespersons to immediately contact the gardai.

    The equipment is stamped.

  • Claremorris was last night named the best small town in Connacht/Ulster at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Towns, held in Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny.

    Claremorris picked up the overall award in the small town category, while Westport was a runner-up in the regional section.

    Ballina and Castlebar also represented Mayo at last night’s awards.

  • Independent Ballina councillor Seamus Weir says he is aware of a distraught 93 years old woman in a wheelchair, who is being refused payment of the grant, after having the work completed.

    At yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District Cllr Weir outlined a sad situation for the applicant involved in this case. An elderly disabled woman who had two doors changed in her home. He said she had been approved for the work by the local authority, however, when the job was completed it was not suitable for her needs and the contractor changed how the doors were hung.

     She paid him for his work, but when she sought re-imbursement, as approved, by Mayo county council for the works, and she was refused as the authority said she had altered the works that she had been approved for.

    Councillor Weir questioned the system being used by MCC in paying out housing adaptation grants. He said it seems unfair that the applicant has to pay out first before they are reimbursed and he called on the local authority to intervene in this case to resolve the situation.

  • A complete review of the traffic management system around Ballina town is required now, according Independent councillor Gerry Ginty.

    He says that while the town requires an orbital route to prevent traffic congestion, any such development is a long way off and in the meantime solutions must be found to reduce severe traffic congestion at busy times in the day.

    He raised the matter at the monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District, and his motion was supported by all councillors.

    Cllr Ginty believes that prolonged traffic congestion can be damaging to the town’s commercial business, and frustrating for local residents and tourists.

    He called for the re-adjustment of the traffic lights at the font on the Foxford / Crossmolina road and two way traffic to be re-introduced between the bridges as some of the measures that might address the problem.