The group currently working towards the goal of rebuilding Ballinrobe Town Hall have held a number of significant meetings in recent weeks.
Among the individuals and groups they have met are An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny; Mayo County Manager, Peter Hynes; Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv; and representatives from South West Mayo Development Company, who disburse LEADER funding in this region.
“The purpose of all of these meetings was to gain a full understanding of what kind of public funding might be available for Ballinrobe Town Hall. The old hall was knocked in 1999 for safety reasons and we now want to restore it on the same site at the corner of Cornmarket and the Neale Road,” explained committee chairman Michael Sweeney.
“We are still in the process of creating final designs for our hall, and these will be influenced by the level of funding we feel we can get from public sources. We have a quantity surveyor working on costing at the moment.
“We were very happy with the genuine interest shown by the various public representatives we met. There seems to be a very real feeling that Ballinrobe needs and deserves a town hall and I think we will get good support for the project.
“An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was very supportive of the project and undertook to help us in every way he could. He gave us ample time to outline our plans at the meeting and left us in no doubt but that he thinks this is a very worthwhile project for Ballinrobe.
“We are also very grateful to Cllr Damien Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, and Cllr Patsy O’Brien, who have taken an active interest in the progress we are trying to make. They have attended our meetings and worked on our behalf at Mayo County Council level.
“We would also like to acknowledge that Norita Clesham from South West Mayo Development Company has been very supportive of the project, including attending a number of our meetings and being available to provide relevant information and astute guidance on an on-going basis.
“The reality is that public funding is not as readily available as was once the case. The reduction in LEADER funding for Co. Mayo is a significant factor. But we will be in there fighting our case as best we can.”
A prospectus has been printed for the purpose of outlining the project in broad details, with particular emphasis on the demonstrated local need. In this prospectus, internationally acclaimed figures Moya Doherty and Brendan Graham have endorsed the project.
The prospectus has already been circulated to key influencers at local, regional and national levels. Anyone who would like a copy can obtain one by calling to the following premises: Martin Murphy’s Newsagent, Main Street; Sli Nua Careers, Glebe Street; Walkin’s Gift Shop, Main Street.
It can be viewed online here.
Anyone interested in actively participating on this major project should contact chairman Michael Sweeney (087 2588 615) or secretary Siobhan O’Malley (087 207 2307).
Committee: Chairperson Michael Sweeney, Secretary Siobhan O’Malley, Treasurer Sean O’Connell, PRO Liam Horan, Rory O’Neill, Tony Walkin, Margot O’Shea, Michael Burke, Mary Jackson, Tim O’Sullivan, Gwen Costello, Des May, Sheena Duddy, Mike Finnerty, Emmet Humphreys, Cllr Damien Ryan, Cllr Patsy O’Brien