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Ballina will get a €250,000 boost for RAPID prorgrammes following an annoucement this week by Minister for Community, Rural and Gaelacht affairs Éamon Ó Cuív. The funding is Ballina’s share in one-off funding announced for the five new towns which were given RAPID status this year. The towns will share in €1.25 million from the Dormant Accounts Fund. The funding will be drawn down over two years and will be used for stand alone projects such as playgrounds, improving disabled and community facilities, and enducation and environmental improvments.
Throughout January and February Ballina Arts Centre will present Jack B Yeats and the west of Ireland, a special exhibition of the artist’s works from Sligo and Mayo.
The elected members of Ballina Town Council and the management executive of the council welcomed the striking of their annual budget this week, which saw no increase in the commercial rate for business in the town. Fine Gael councillor Mark Winters told the meeting, “We’re coming off the back of a very hard year for everyone and we have bucked the trend in not increasing the rates on the business people in the town. Everyone worked very hard and long on this budget, the increased efficiencies we have seen and the value for money we have been getting reflects very well on the council management. We’ve only had to increase the rate one year in the last five. We’ve also now started to make a serious push for Ballina to become the destination of choice and our allocation towards the marketing of the town can only lead to good things for the future.”
A Ballina man was disqualified from driving at Ballina District Court this week after he was detected by gardaí driving with no lights on at night and was then arrested for drink driving.
If you have an interest in basketball in Ireland, then Kieran Shannon’s magnificent opus on the history of the game Hanging from the Rafters would have been on your Christmas wish list. The award winning journalist’s trawl back through the glory days of Irish basketball is a must read for any sports fan, not only those who are fans of basketball. In the book Shannon dedicates a chapter to the boys from Ballina and their triumphs and tragedies, concentrating on the glory days around the early 1990s.
Two school books which were illegally dumped led to a hefty fine for a mother after she appeared before Ballina District Court this week.
Independent Ballina town councillor Peter Clarke will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to represent the town at its St Patrick’s Day parade on March 13. He was proposed by Cllr Francis McAndrew and seconded by Mayor Mary Kelly. Independent councillor Gerry Ginty told the meeting: “As one who usually objects to these type of trips, I don’t to this one as there is only one person going and with Cllr Clarke out there promoting the Clarke Collection, it could have a major pay off in the long run to the town.”
Guided tour of Jack B Yeats and the West of Ireland at Ballina Arts Centre
The condition of the roads in the Ballina area after the recent cold spell led to a lengthy discussion at this week’s Ballina electoral area meeting. “The national roads inspector was in the area yesterday (Tuesday), to see the damage that has been caused,” senior engineer for Mayo County Council Noel Burke told the meeting. “We have asked him to allow us to be as flexible as possible with the local road grants that we have applied for. We hope they will let us be discretionary on where we spend the money rather than just rely on the list of priorities we sent up before the cold spell set in.”