There has been much speculation around Ballina and its environs following the recent announcement that Ballina Lions Club had secured funding under the National Rural Development Programme for a major feasibility study for the Moy Estuary and its potential.
The area in question encompasses Killala, Enniscrone and the Quay area in Ballina and the local communities and other interested parties are being asked to get involved in the process.
Submissions are now being sought from the public and all stakeholders to get a comprehensive picture of what developments will be deemed feasible. In this regard, public consultation meetings will be held on a number of dates: Tuesday, July 30, Ocean Sands Hotel, Enniscrone; Thursday, August 1, Killala Community Centre, and Thursday, August 8 in Kennedy Glasgow House, The Quay, Ballina. All of these meetings will commence at 7pm.
The study, which will be carried out by a leading consultant in this field, Enda Cannon of First Western (Sligo ), will be charged with the task of identifying suitable and feasible developments that will generate economic and social benefits for the area. The NRDP is administered locally by IRD North Mayo West Sligo (Moy Valley Resources ).
This project marks a new departure by Ballina Lions Club who are anxious to stress they are acting merely as promoters, but will work in conjunction with all the other stakeholders, including Coillte, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Mayo County Council, Failte Ireland, Sligo County Council and local communities to deliver the study.
Consequently, submissions are being sought from all parties. Written submissions can be made to Enda Candon, First Western, Ardkeeran, Riverstown, Co. Sligo and online at [email protected]. People can also be kept up to date with developments via the Ballina Lions website, www.ballinalions.ie
Joe Doherty, president of Ballina Lions Club, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to facilitate this important project on behalf of local business, community interests and all other stakeholders”.
“The Moy Estuary and Quay area is an important area in terms of its industrial heritage and an area of high environmental and ecological importance. The aim of any development is to ensure that the natural resource that is the Moy Estuary is developed in a sustainable way to ensure it retains and returns value to the local community from a commercial, social and environmental perspective.
“With the growth of tourism in recent years and the remarkable success of the Wild Atlantic Way it is timely that this major study is taking place. It will place local organisations, Mayo County Council and other partners in a position to secure large funding to implement new projects through programmes such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.”
Ballina Lions Club extended thanks to Mr Brendan Mitchell, Crockets Quay Bistro, Ballina and Mr John McGowan, Coca Cola, Ballina for their generous financial support for the project and to Ann-Marie Flynn (Mayo North ), Mags Downey (Ballina Chamber of Commerce ) and Declan Turnbull (Head of Ballina Municipal District ) for their valuable assistance.