Ballina

A BRIDGE AT LAST: Last week, Environment Minister Leo Varadkar, approved the publication of the Statutory Orders by Clare County Council for the construction of the Killaloe bypass, the Shannon ‘Bridge’ crossing and upgrading works on the existing regional road linking Ballina and Birdhill. Clare County Council will now be permitted to secure approval from An Bórd Pleanála for the Environmental Impact Statement and the associated compulsory purchase order, which, if successful, could see this scheme being approved and the land being purchased over the next two years. The long-awaited project will cost an estimated €40.6m. Public representatives in both Clare and North Tipperary regard this announcement as a major boost for tourism/employment.

A BRIDGE AT LAST: Last week, Environment Minister Leo Varadkar, approved the publication of the Statutory Orders by Clare County Council for the construction of the Killaloe bypass, the Shannon ‘Bridge’ crossing and upgrading works on the existing regional road linking Ballina and Birdhill. Clare County Council will now be permitted to secure approval from An Bórd Pleanála for the Environmental Impact Statement and the associated compulsory purchase order, which, if successful, could see this scheme being approved and the land being purchased over the next two years. The long-awaited project will cost an estimated €40.6m. Public representatives in both Clare and North Tipperary regard this announcement as a major boost for tourism/employment.

The total length of the new Shannon crossing is 890 metres and entails the construction of a roadway with two roundabout junctions and one T-junction. The span across the river will be 170 metres. This roadway has been designed for a basic six-metre wide carriageway, with the width increased where necessary to accommodate turning movements. Provision has also been made for a 2-metre wide cycle track on both sides of the road, over its full length. Three junctions are proposed along the route with a roundabout at each end and a T-junction on the Killaloe side. The deck of the new bridge will consist of four interior spans and two end spans.

OPENING OF WATERWAYS IRELAND PROJECT: On Thursday last, July 28th Jimmy Deenihan T.D. and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht paid his first official to the district, where he officially opened the new Waterways Ireland €2m moorings and walkway on the Shannon Navigation at Killaloe. Developed by Waterways Ireland and jointly funded by Fáilte Ireland, this project involved the installation of 775m moorings, the underpinning of the old canal wall, the installation of flood control gates and the completion of a looped walkway.

The new moorings provide space for approx. 30 vessels and will be card-reader operated, with water service bollards, as well as an upgraded boat pump-out service beside Killaloe library. During the summer season, boats will be able to use the new moorings for five consecutive days, free of charge and in winter may moor for a few months, free of charge.

Chief executive of Waterways Ireland, John Martin, has stated that this new development in Killaloe would encourage further economic activity in Killaloe-Ballina and indeed the wider Lough Derg area.

MINISTER AT LAKESIDE HOTEL: Following the opening of the new Waterways Ireland project, Minister Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. held a meeting with all local artists and groups involved in the ‘arts’ at the Lakeside Hotel. The meeting was very well attended and included the arts officer from North Tipperary and Clare and councillors Phyll Bugler and Ger Darcy. The minister stated that some of the excellent productions from the arts were not publicised enough. He also said that local volunteers should be assisted in arts festivals by festival coordinators who could now be employed through Fás/ Solas schemes. The importance of involving people in the Arts at a very young age was also stressed.

BRIAN BORÚ TRI CHALLENGE: This Saturday, August 6th is “Brian Ború Tri Challenge Day” at the Two-Mile-Gate, Killaloe. The first event of the day, - the Junior Splash and Dash- will take place at 12pm with swim and run events for ages up to 16 years. The National Series Sprint distance triathlon will start at 1pm and the Olympic Distance Triathlon will start at 1.40pm. It promises to be an action-packed day with five hundred athletes from all over Ireland competing across the two races, swimming, cycling and running their way to the finish line in Ireland’s Toughest Sprint Triathlon. The organising committee would like to invite all the local community to come out to the Two-Mile-Gate area and support this local event and all the athletes competing, and enjoy the thrills of triathlon racing.

This year the Brian Ború Tri Challenge committee has chosen Kincora Kids as the official charity for the event. Volunteers are invited to assist in the marshalling of the event to ensure that it is run as smoothly as possible. If you would like to volunteer please email your name and mobile number to volunteer@brianborutrichallenge.com. Volunteers will receive a free event t-shirt and meal ticket for the post-race meal at Flanagan’s in Ballina.

TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE: On this Saturday, to facilitate the cycle leg of the Brian Ború Triathlon, the L-4128 road from its junction with the R463 to Lackabranner to its junction with the R463 at Raheen at Raheen will be closed from 1pm to 5pm. This closure will affect the townlands of Ballyheefy, Ballyloughnane and Bealkelly. The alternative route during closure will be by the R463 Tuamgraney to Killaloe road.

SWIMMING SUCCESS: Donnacha McGeever of Derrycastle, Ballina, Following his recent success in the 1,500m Swim, local teenager, Donnacha Mc Geever, is now the new U. 15 Irish Champion. Donnacha is son of Charlie and Roisin, Derrycastle, Ballina. We congratulate him on his great victory.

ORCHESTRAL CONCERT: On Sunday, August 14th the Chamber Philharmonia Cologne will perform at St. Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe at 7.30pm. The programme will include works by Vivaldi, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Marcello, Bach, Handel and Rossini.

BALLINA JUVENILE GAA: Well done to the U10 girls who had a very enjoyable and successful day out at a recent blitz in Dundrum. The girls came out of a very strong group and played three matches, winning them all. Coaches and Camogie Club members were proud of the performance of the young ladies! Well done to Lucy McEvoy, Caitlin McEvoy, Sarah Gilmore, Emma Duggan, Leah Hunt, Devlin Staunton, Hazel McMahon, Katie Clarke, Emily Clarke, Sarah Lane, Isobel Farnan & Sarah McKeogh.

Congratulations to the Intermediate hurlers who continued their winning ways with a one-point victory over Shannon Rovers recently. It was a hard-fought win that earned the lads a place in the semi-final. Congratulations to all involved!