Over the past number of weeks the business people, voluntary groups, and clubs of Ballyhaunis have gathered together to form Ballyhaunis/GoBallyhaunis. Like every other rural town which has been affected by the economic downturn and the scars that it has left behind, the organising committee is eager to promote all that is good about Ballyhaunis. The first step was to create an umbrella brand under which they could organise themselves. They have done this with a very simple variation of the name Ballyhaunis incorporating the town colours red and black and a heart.
The grouping immediately arranged via social media to promote the Ballyhaunis brand and in the process support each other in business, sport, and voluntary causes. There has been an enormously positive uptake in the town to the project and there is a new found sense of identity. The group has more than 50 businesses and town groupings row in behind the brand and participated by having pictures taken supporting the project. The brand has been seen in Times Square, New York, at Sydney Harbour Bridge, and at the World Cup of Racing in Dubai. Irish TV has been to town to film the project in operation. Members of the Ballyhaunis diaspora in America have reached out and we are expecting the project to be mentioned in an interview with a Ballyhaunis ex-pat in The New York Times shortly.
The collaboration of business experience, entrepreneurship, and positive enthusiasm among the people of the town is proving infectious. Already local businesses have seen an improvement in mood and willingness for local people to keep their business local and help their own community.
As part of the plan for Ballyhaunis it was decided that the town needed a collective spring clean.The Ballyhaunis Tidy Town Committee has been fundamental to maintaining the town’s cleanliness. The new group felt the need to brighten up the derelict buildings in the town centre and to encourage all property owners to revamp their property. This is not something unique to Ballyhaunis but the approach they have taken is unique. The group approached Fleetwood Paints to co-sponsor the Operation Transformation. They outlined to it that the group had earmarked as many as 30 buildings that were in need of repainting in the town centre. Fleetwood kindly agreed to provide a significant supply of paint to assist in the project. The town sports clubs, scouts, and students from Ballyhaunis Community School will provide the willing painters. Local businesses as well as property owners will provide the funding for the materials in conjunction with Fleetwood Paints. Major Equipment from the town is supporting the health and safety of the project, and Cashels Engineering will be providing power washers made in Ballyhaunis for the clean-up.
The project will be launched on Mayo Day, tomorrow, April 30 at the Square in Ballyhaunis as the first Operation Transformation for an entire town. Fleetwood will join in the launch, and Mayo County Council as part of the Mayo Day programme will also be assisting. For further details contact : John Higgins, (086 ) 829 2603 or [email protected]; Donal Byrne, (087 ) 115 2295 or [email protected]; or Evan O’Dwyer (086 ) 8242724 or [email protected]. You can also keep in check with the progress on Twitter by following @goballyhaunis or find it on Facebook.