The new chairperson of Ballinrobe Community Development Council has called on the people of the town to pull together to ensure that it continues to thrive into the future and remains a good place for children to grow up in and a place in which people can grow old happily and with dignity.
Addressing the AGM of the CDC last week in Crannmór, the newly-elected chairperson, Pat Duffy — a native of Aughagower but living in Ballinrobe for the last 11 years — said he believes Ballinrobe is a wonderful town that already has a lot going for it. “We don’t need much,” he said. “Ballinrobe is a great place to live in as it is, and there is not a lot more needed, but what is needed, we need to fight for together, as a community.” He added that this year in particular, in light of the Local Elections, he and his committee would be putting a lot of pressure on the local councillors to answer questions in relation to projects for the town and to deliver on commitments made.
“The councillors are the ones with the power and we will be looking to them more than ever this year to deliver for us,” he said, noting that two of the three councillors for the Ballinrobe area — Patsy O’Brien and Damian Ryan — were present at the AGM.
Earlier, outgoing chairperson Denise Horan had called on the people of the town to rally in support of the work of the CDC and of the people involved in it. She said an organisation like the CDC was badly needed in the town four years ago when it was set up by David Hall and Cllr Patsy O’Brien – and it was needed even more in the current climate.
“If the people of Ballinrobe do not pull together now, in the midst of the most challenging time most of us have ever faced, then we will come out the other end of this recession in a pretty abysmal state. Of that we can be sure. Survival is the name of the game at the moment, and that applies to communities as much as it applies to businesses. Changed times call for changed attitudes, and the attitude of the Ballinrobe people as we attempt to face down this crisis should be a positive, can-do one, one that has at its heart a spirit of co-operation and unity. If Ballinrobe does not help itself at this time, then no help will be forthcoming, and we will be left to flounder,” she said, before thanking her fellow officers and committee members for their support throughout the year and wishing the incoming committee the best of luck for the year ahead.
In her secretary’s report, Sinéad Stagg detailed the highlights of the CDC’s work in the past year, pointing in particular to the establishment of five new sub-committees, the revival of the Queen of the Lakes festival, the setting up of a new Tidy Towns committee, the running of a successful St Patrick’s Day parade and of a Lithuanian Day later in the year, and the compilation of a walking map.
Ms Stagg also referred to some of the other matters in which the CDC had been involved during the year, such as campaigning against the closure of the local courthouse, the formulation of submissions to the electoral boundary commission and to the Draft Traveller Accommodation Plan, and working with the Town Hall committee to help further that badly-needed project, among other things.
Outgoing treasurer Pat Duffy gave an account of the CDC’s financial transactions during the year, and presented a balance sheet of same to those in attendance.
The following officers and committee members were elected: Chairperson – Pat Duffy; secretary – Gavin Wallace; treasurer – Deirdre Biggins; PRO – Siobhán Costello; vice chairperson – Martin Joyce; assistant secretary – Mary Coyne; committee – Sinéad Stagg, Denise Horan, Patsy O’Brien, Rose Griffin, Maureen Harrington, John Paddy Burke, Richard Burke, David Hall, Sinéad Tiernan, Adrian Walsh, and Tom Tiernan.