Focus on Ballaghaderreen’s future

16-page pull-out supplement in this weeks paper

Tentative but optimistic soundings on the prospects for the development of Ballaghaderreen have been voiced this week by local politicians and community leaders.

As the Roscommon People newspaper launches a pro-Ballaghaderreen campaign in today’s edition and also across our social media platforms, prominent community figures have outlined their views on the local library saga, plans to develop a new Greenway locally, and the general economic prospects for the town.

Ballaghaderreen Library has been closed for over two years, with public frustration growing.

Roscommon County Council carried out a technical assessment of the library which concluded that a mechanical and electrical consultant would need to be appointed to oversee required works.

The Council published a tender on June 13th seeking the services of a mechanical and electrical consultant. Monday last (June 27th) was the closing date for receipt of submissions.

Now local Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane is leading calls for these works to be fast-tracked. However, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys told Deputy Kerrane that progress on the library works – and the timeline for completing same – are “a matter for Roscommon County Council”.

The Minister said that works are due to commence in the fourth quarter of the year but that the Council will initiate this project earlier “if at all possible”.

Striking a positive note was Fine Gael councillor Liam Callaghan who said that while the improvement works at the library will take some time to complete, he has been assured that the new-look facility will be “one of the most modern in the country”.

Cllr. Callaghan agreed that many locals are frustrated with the delay but he feels the enhanced service will benefit everybody in the long-term. He confirmed that he will continue to seek extra mobile library visits in the interim.

Meanwhile, Deputy Kerrane says the IDA has agreed to visit Ballaghaderreen to explore any possible opportunities for creating jobs in the town. This follows a meeting the TD had with the agency in May.

In other news in the area, the Roscommon chairperson of the proposed RosSligo Greenway says the project has received an extremely positive response from landowners and other key stakeholders in recent weeks.

Eoin Madden says local support for the Greenway, which has been described as a possible game-changer for the region, is crucial in order to secure Government support for a feasibility study later this year.

Meanwhile, Ballaghaderreen Town Team Chairperson, Willie Murphy says the town’s Public Realm Enhancement Project, due to be completed in 2023, will breathe new life and purpose into the town.

“There’s a major project ongoing at the moment in Ballaghaderreen and that’s the Public Realm Enhancement which is all about reimaging the town. It’s a very worthwhile project. Ballaghaderreen needs repurposing and it needs a new image both for the people living and working in the town currently and to attract new businesses, new people, and tourism”.