Ballina residents are eagerly awaiting official confirmation that US President Joe Biden will visit his ancestral hometown during his planned trip to Ireland. The town is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year with a huge programme of cultural events planned. A formal invitation has already been extended to the President and First Lady Dr Jill Biden to visit Ballina, and a special letter of invitation is also expected to be issued to Mr Biden in person on St. Patrick’s Day by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, as part of his official invitation to the President to visit Ireland next month.
Chair of Ballina 2023 Steering Group, Cllr Jarlath Munnelly said: “This is a momentous year for Ballina and we are proud to showcase Ballina with our exciting events programme. To have President Biden return to the town join the celebrations would make it incredibly special.
We are poised and prepared to host the President here in North Mayo with a very special public event as part of Ballina 2023.”
Ballina is also the hometown of former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. Susan Heffernan, Project Manager, The Mary Robinson Centre said: “Ballina is in the unique position of being a town of two Presidents, and we are very fortunate that there’s a long and enduring friendship between former President Mary Robinson and US President Joe Biden. We recognise that it is an unmissable opportunity to have our Presidents – both proud Mayo people – here in Ballina together, and very much look forward to welcoming them.”
For more information on the Ballina 2023 programme of events, visit www.ballina2023.ie.
For further information, please contact:
Anne-Marie Flynn, Ballina 2023 Marketing Manager: email@example.com / +35387 9848459
Lisa Hallinan, Ballina 2023 Project Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org / +35386 08558509
Susan Heffernan, Project Manager, the Mary Robinson Centre: email@example.com / +35386 8093965
NOTES TO EDITOR
Ballina 2023 is a year-long celebration that will mark the 300th anniversary of the official founding of the town and will feature a series of public events throughout the year. The year provides an opportunity to the communities of the town to connect, and to celebrate Ballina and communicate a new narrative about the town and its people.
Planned events include the Shannon Medals GAA Tournament on March 25, the Mayo.ie Western People Women’s Mini Marathon and Mayo Day, both taking place in Ballina for the first time in April; an International Sustainability Assembly, the Connacht Fleadh, River Moy Festival and Macnas Community Parade in July, a Year of the French Festival in association with the French Embassy in August, and a live performance of Handel’s Messiah in November.
Ballina 2023 is funded by Mayo County Council and Ballina Municipal District and a number of other funding partners. It is supported by Ballina Chamber of Commerce, Mayo North Tourism, Moy Valley Resources IRD, Ballina Lions Club and Mayo North East SICAP.
The Ballina 2023 Steering Committee was formed within the Ballina Municipal District to oversee Ballina 2023 and is made up of representatives from Mayo County Council, Ballina Chamber of Commerce, Mayo North Tourism, Moy Valley Resources IRD, Ballina Lions Club and industry experts.