Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara suggested at this weeks Ballina Electoral Area Committee meeting that Ballina should look to link up with Sligo County Council to work on tourism initiatives in areas that straddle both counties, such as from the Quay in Ballina to Enniscrone and from the Windy Gap area in Bonniconlon to Lough Talt.
Cllr O’Hara said this was an untapped area that should be explored and would be of massive benefit to both counties in attracting tourists to the areas. “I think we’re missing out on a golden opportunity here, there are so many beautiful areas in this small area that is shared between the two counties, and if we sold it together would be a major benefit to both. There’s lots of beauty spots there that could be exploited more,” he said.
Cllr Gerry Ginty said: “I agree completely, I’ve said for many years that we share more in common with people in the south and west Sligo than in other areas in Mayo. We have a very strong link with people there. But the drive for this sort of thing has to come from the people involved in the tourist industry, they’re the ones who need to push it. You have to only look at Westport, it’s the people in the tourist industry who drive a lot of their promotion.”
Méara of Ballina Town Council Johnny O’Malley agreed with the suggestion saying: “There is work going on in this area from those involved in the tourist industry in the town, which is under way and there has been interest shown by people in other nearby towns to get involved to push the area as a whole rather than just as a town.”