Tidy Towns - Ballinafad Sligo

Village: Ballinafad
County: Sligo
Region: Connacht
Last Year of Entry: 2008

Organisation Name: Ballinafad Tidy Towns Association

Contact Name: Ann O Hara

Consultant/professional Advise - Frank Donaldson, Donaldson Tourism & Heritage Consultancy. Sean Scott, Environmental Scientist.

Consultant Report - Submitted May 2008- Outline Tidy Towns 3 Year plan 2008 -2010 prepared by Frank Donaldson.

Address: Ballinafad, Co. Sligo.

Phone: 071-9666976

Mobile: 0861682113

Email: a_gohara@eircom.net, ballinafadtidytowns@gmail.com, seanmartinscott@gmail.com,

Web: ballinafad.com

Our Efforts

Ballinafad tidy towns committee are entering for the second year in the National Tidy Towns competition process. The community have made a huge effort and have achieved and in some cases surpassed the targets as set out in last years 3 year rolling plan. The tidy towns process has helped to stimulate pride in the village of Ballinafad once again. The highlight of our achievements in 2009 was to prepare the village for the first ever Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Ballinafad village, attracting in excess of 3000 people and raising €13,184 for charity.

Ballinafad tidy towns has developed its own web site, ballinafad.com . This service is under continuous development so as to cater for the needs of all interests in the village.

The community has made huge strides in restoring the Village Amenity area. Further works are planned in 2009 and 2010 to enhance this wonderful open space. We have also been successful in completing the basketball/football court which is widely used by the community.

A number of major village clean ups have taken place attracting large numbers of volunteers each time. Our approach so far in 2009 has been to advertise all such clean ups in the local area and to develop 5-6 teams (up to 6 people per team) to work on certain aspects of the village. Because the village amenity area was in such a poor state in 2008, the majority of time was spent in this area. The back is broken on this project and we are now anxious to move all aspects of the village in tandem, hence the team approach.

The group are continuing with works to improve the look of the Anglers Rest. The building was in a very dangerous state and was being accessed by local young children, as they do. Therefore the works carried out here have had the twofold effect of safeguarding our local children and greatly improving the appearance of the building.

The community overall have worked hard in the last year and have achieved a number of major milestones. The village is very much enhanced as a result of the tidy towns process and we are continuing to plan improvements for the future.


The committee

The committee meets on a regular basis, usually once a month. The meetings are no longer than one hour and are used to discuss progress on action items from the last meeting and develop further action items to be completed before the next meeting. Prior to the St. Patrick’s day parade we met on a fortnightly basis in order to prepare and organise cleanups in the village for this event. The village community is quite small and a number of activists are also on other Village committees including Parish Council, Church finance committee, GAA club committee, Soccer club. This does have its advantage in that any elements of the tidy towns programme, if impacted, will be considered by these committees. Progress in 2009 will be reviewed, using this report and application an ongoing basis.

We have great support

All sections of Sligo County Council as follows, Environment, Community and Enterprise, Water Services, Heritage office, and the local Area Office.
National Parks and Wildlife
The Mayfly Inn.
The Parish Pastoral Council,
Joe Simon Builders Provider
Community of Lough Arrow Social Project (CLASP),
Arrow Community Enterprises (A.C.E.),
Ballinafad Post Office
Ballinafad Youth Group
Simon community (in relation to one particular case)
North West Regional Fisheries Board
OSD Omniscience Design Ltd.
Active Age Group

Our Festivals

We had an extremely successful first ever Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, attracting over 3,000 people and raising €13,184.07 for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. There were 45 floats most of which were local (families and local groups). The colour and imagination in all of the floats was excellent. We provided free entertainment for the children, including a DJ, face-painting, bouncy castles, wheel-barrow races, egg & spoon races etc. We also catered for the older generation through the provision of 3 different well known and locally respected Irish Music acts. The day gave a great sense of pride to all the community, especially given these tough times, financially. The older generation were particularly proud of this achievement. A photo DVD of the event have been included with this application.

We are considering a festival for the Bank Holiday weekend in August. We intend to repeat the Saint Patrick’s day event in 2010.