Ballinasloe has much going for it but needs to attract more investment and employment opportunities.
This was the sentiment expressed during a visit last Thursday to the area by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath. Deputy McGrath met with local business people, members of the Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre committee, and the local Fianna Fáil cumann during a visit organised by local Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy.
“Ballinasloe has suffered major economic setbacks in recent years, but there is a great community spirit in the town and there are real efforts being made at a local level to attract investment and enterprise,” Deputy Murphy said.
“Ballinasloe has in the region of €26 million worth of sports facilities, a strong schools base, fabulous new library and prime office space, so it could be an ideal commuter town based between Athlone and Galway, but it is needs more funding at local authority level and needs to continue to attract more investment.”
Deputy McGrath also visited the Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre in Creagh and met with members of Ballinasloe Area Community Development including Seamus Duffy, Colm Croffy, and Jacinta Divilly of the Town Team.
Mr Duffy outlined the efforts to create sustainable employment in the area and he noted that the enterprise centre had almost full occupancy rates at its Creagh base.
The meeting also heard that job opportunities were being created in Ballinasloe and reference was made to the success of Surmodics Medical Ltd at the IDA park, while it was noted that the IDA has an additional 17 acres of development land at its disposal.
Deputy McGrath addressed Fianna Fáil members and friends in Gullane’s Hotel on Thursday evening where he said that Ballinasloe has great potential as it has a low cost base and a great quality of life, and is centrally located between the larger urban centres of Athlone and Galway city.
Deputy McGrath said that balanced, sustainable development is vital for the regions and areas such as Ballinasloe in a bid to make them attractive places to live and work.