Ballina 2023: Taking Stock, by Cllr Jarlath Munnelly
A birthday celebration is a big event. It’s the one special day in the year that’s about you. It is also an opportunity to take stock; what has happened since my last birthday, or this time next year, what am I going to be doing?
Even people who aren’t fans of birthdays will probably admit that it’s a day that causes you to reflect, look at your life and think about what you have, what you have achieved, or what you are going to do in the future.
Perhaps it should be the same for a town?
Ballina is celebrating an important birthday in 2023 – 300 years since the formal establishment of the town by Lord Tyrawley. And just like many people do on their birthdays, 2023 will be an opportunity for all of the community of Ballina Town to celebrate, reflect, and to think about where the town wants to be.
When the proposal to celebrate this 300th anniversary was raised at a meeting of the Ballina Municipal District in 2019, it received the enthusiastic support of both councillors and council management. Hopefully this will be the response right across the community in the months until 2023.
In 1993, Mayo celebrated ‘Mayo 5000’. I don’t think anyone took that to literally mean this county was founded in 3007 BC! Similarly, it’s a well established fact that there was a settlement in Ballina long before 1723. Therefore this birthday, well, it’s really just a good excuse, a date in time.
All that really matters is that every part of the community is afforded an opportunity to come together, honour the towns proud history, and dream about a future for Ballina that everyone can share.
Cllr Jarlath Munnelly
Chairman, Ballina 2023