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."

     

  • 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 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.

     

     

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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.

  • 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.

  • A Mayo Senator is calling on Mayo County Council management to provide an interim payment to the Friends of Leigue cemetery committee in Ballina to carry out improvement works ahead of the annual Cemetery Mass this Sunday.

    The voluntary committee is responsible for maintaining the historic cemetery, but have expressed concern in recent days that the cemetery is becoming overgrown with weeds due to the ongoing delay by Mayo County Council is paying out this year's GMA funding - the general municipal allocation is given annually to a number of committees and organisations across the county's four Municipal Districts, with €20,000 provided each year to the Friends of Leigue Cemetery, but has not yet been paid out for 2018.

    Ballina-based FG Senator Michelle Mulherin says it's not good enough, and she's calling on the Council's Chief Executive Peter Hynes to make an interim payment to the Friends of Leigue cemetery committee, so that grass-cutting and other works can take place ahead of next Sunday's Cemetery Mass....

  • A Ballina councillor is calling for crash barriers to be erected on a number of roads in the greater Ballina area, amid concerns that motorists who go off the road could enter rivers or streams.

    The issue was raised at a recent meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, where Councillor John O’Hara called for barriers to be installed at locations on the Bonniconlon road, Bofield Road, Tubbercurry Road and at Church Road.

    Speaking with Midwest Radio Councillor O’Hara said safety has to be the number one priority, and a number of incidents in recent months have highlighted the need for such barriers.

  • Business people in Ballina believe their business from the Sligo side, is being adversely affected because of a closure since last Monday of the main Sligo to Ballina road, between Corballa and Dromore West. That’s according to Ballina Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    The road will remain closed to traffic until the 24th June, as Sligo county council is carrying out resurfacing work.

    Councillor O’Hara says he cannot understand why the works cannot be carried out, closing off just one half of the road and using traffic lights, rather than closing off the entire road for such an extended period.

    He told Midwest News today that the diversions in place are discouraging people coming into Ballina to do their business.

  • A temporary Portaloo has been installed at the Quay area in Ballina, for boat owners and those enjoying the facility over the Summer.

    Ballina-based FG Councillor John O'Hara had asked Mayo County Council to install temporary toilet facilities at The Quay for the Summer months, and says he's now glad this facility has been provided.

  • A temporary Portaloo has been installed at the Quay area in Ballina, for boat owners and those enjoying the facility over the Summer.

    Ballina-based FG Councillor John O'Hara had asked Mayo County Council to install temporary toilet facilities at The Quay for the Summer months, and says he's now glad this facility has been provided.

  • The death has taken place of former Bishop of Elphin Christopher Jones.

    Bishop Jones was 82 and died at his home in Sligo yesterday.

    His successor in the Diocese of Elphin Bishop Kevin Doran said in a statement that the death of Bishop Christy is like the loss of a grandparent.

    Bishop Jones was a native of Rathcroghan in Co Roscommon and was born on March 3rd 1936.

    He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1962 and spent the first three years of his priesthood at St Muredach’s College in Ballina.

    Following that he spent the rest of his ministry in Co Sligo and became Bishop of Elphin in 1994.

    He retired in 2014.

    In a statement Archbishop Eamon Martin said Bishop Christy was a man for others and was very committed throughout his lifetime to person-centred social services.

     

  • Leigue graveyard, located just off the Killala road in Ballina is one of the country’s largest cemeteries, located on a 15 acre site.

    The maintenance and up keep of the graveyard, which is owned and the responsibility of Mayo county council, has over the years become very dependent on a group of volunteers, “Friends of Leigue Cemetery”.

    Friends of Leigue Cemetery are one of many voluntary groups across the county that depend on GMA funds annually, that’s monies set aside by Councillors for local voluntary groups. This year the paying out of that money in Mayo is on hold, as the CEO OF Mayo County Council Peter Hynes, has explained that there is in excess of a  400,000 euro shortfall on the revenue that was earmarked to be collected through car parking charges in the 2018 budget agreed by Councillors.

    Friends of Leigue Cemetery are due €20,000 this year under the GMA  fund, but to date have not seen any money.

    The delay in the funding means the cemetery that had been well maintained is again facing wilderness, as briars and high grass begin to take over once again.

  • Fianna Fáil has announced a major re-shuffle of its front bench.

    Micheál Martin has appointed Ballina based deputy  Dara Calleary as the deputy leader of the party, a position which had been vacant for years.

    Barry Cowen has been moved to Public Expenditure, with Darragh O'Brien taking the Housing brief.

    Stephen Donnelly has been appointed Health Spokesperson while Billy Kelleher moves to the jobs portfolio.

    Castlebar’s Lisa Chambers is the new spokesperson on Brexit, Niall Collins moves to Foreign Affairs, while Jack Chambers will join the front bench as Spokesperson on Defence.

     

  • An examination will take place today at the scene of a light aircraft crash in County Mayo.

    It happened just after 6 o' clock yesterday evening.

    A man in his fifties, the pilot, died after the plane came down in a field outside Ballina.

    He was the only person in the aircraft at the time.

    A team from the Air Accident Investigation Unit are expected at the scene between Ballina and Bonniconlon today.