Ballinlough has seen huge investment in recent years, as the town benefited from investment in terms of both housing property and commercial enterprises. One of the big success stories of the town in recent years was the White House Hotel, which has proved a hub of activity in the west Roscommon town, creating employment and attracting conferences, meetings, reunions, as well as being a busy restaurant for those travelling along the Roscommon to Castlebar route and in particular travellers from Knock Airport. Michael McGreal, Chairperson of Enterprise Kiltullagh and a local county councillor, is well placed to assess 2007 in Ballinlough. He noted that public houses in the village have a friendly atmosphere and that a new Italian restaurant opened its doors in the town this year. Another new business was a new hairdressers which opened in one of the units developed by Enterprise Kiltullagh. DigiWest, a company part owned by Enterprise Kiltullagh, is overseeing the roll out of wireless broadband in the Ballinlough area. New customers are continuing to come on stream and the DigiWest network is the only broadband network available in the area. ‘Lake O’Flynn proved to be a very attractive destination for anglers in 2007. It fished very well and has been maintained throughout the year by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board,’ said Cllr. McGreal. He also noted that Michael Glaveys had mixed fortunes this year, but the year finished on a high note when the ladies minor team won the county championship recently. ‘The intermediate team reached the County Intermediate final and while there was great excitement, unfortunately the cup didn’t come to the west.’ ‘Glavey’s have in recent years put a lot of work into the underage teams and this year hosted the Féile competition in June and all of the visitors were very impressed at the Michael Glaveys sports complex which was the venue for the Féile celebrations. ‘Lough Harps also continued to put a lot of effort into underage football, with notable success in a number of competitions. A number of younger Lough Harps players represent the team on the Roscommon and District team.’ Ballinlough is one town that has certainly benefited from the Shannon Corridor Tax Designation Scheme. ‘Ballinlough is continuing to expand, and benefited greatly from the Shannon Corridor Tax Designation Scheme. Some properties are still available in the town,’ notes Cllr. McGreal. Three primary schools in the area, Carrick, Ballinlough, Granlahan are continuing to expand, with the appointment of extra teaching positions. The continued expansion of Knock Airport is proving beneficial for Ballinlough. ‘Connectivity’ is the new word of 2007 and that’s certainly the case for Ballinlough. Cllr. Michael McGreal is also looking forward to the development of both the Dublin to Westport rail line and the new Western Rail Corridor. ‘The services continue to improve and I am looking forward to extra and better services. I am looking forward to an extra train being provided on the Westport route this coming year and am also conscious of the fact that the Government has announced its intention to open up the Western Rail Corridor. Work is underway on the line to Claremorris and it is hoped that it will reach Claremorris within the proposed time frame of 2014 and when that’s opened up a person can go to Claremorris and take a train to Cork, and we hope eventually to Sligo.’ 2007 has seen progress on the commercial and property front in the town and the proximity to Knock Airport continues to prove important for the West Roscommon town. On the downside, employment opportunities in Ballinlough itself remain limited and most local people have to look well beyond the local hinterland for work. However, community life in the area is vibrant, with a range of initiatives underway to improve life in the locality in 2008 and beyond.