Ballon Improvement Group 2019

/Ballon Improvement Group 2019
Ballon Improvement Group 2019 2019-08-11T10:09:51+01:00

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Chairperson : Máire George.

Secretary: Bernie Mullins

Treasurer: Eileen Murphy


A short video of Ballon in Bloom


Robbie Maher, deploying his stonework skills, undoes the vandalism on the laneway by giving the community a novel marker for the Graveyard tree.



BIG has delayed the grass cutting in some areas to help the bees and other pollinators to an early food source. The bonus is that more wild flowers are in bloom, some rarely seen.

BIG Has linked to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan to grow more pollinator friendly flowers and plants; and will be insecticide free.

Below is the start of recording “Wild Ballon” as seen through Maire’s lens and will be added to as the seasons change. If you have other pictures then email to


Ballon’s second ‘Go Green Expo’ took place on Friday May 3rd. by Maire George

Ballon established this festival to raise awareness amongst ourselves about the issues surrounding climate change.  The ‘ Go Green Expo’  was divided up into six modules.

The show opened with a ‘Junk Kouture’ fashion extravaganza showcasing creativity of the children and their parents by using only items normally confined to the bins.  There was also a competition for the best hat with a bumble or butterfly theme. Una Murphy was production Manager and Paul Cummins stage and sound Engineer.

Éanna Ní Lamhna is an Irish biologist, environmental consultant, radio and television presenter, author and educator. She is one of the best-known public figures in Ireland  in the area of nature and the environment.  It was a pleasure to welcome Éanna to Ballon.

 Pollination, Pollinators, Wild Flowers, Native Trees  and much more provided the basis of the wonderful workshops.   Fantastic insight was attained on all of the Biodiversity that is all around us.  Most of the nature activities took place in the School wildlife habitat.

The day was a busy one as all the different workshops and activities progressed in  orderly fashion.

Betty Kehoe of Stop Food Waste explained how to set up and manage  a simple compost system and gave very useful tips on how to  save on Food Waste.   All got loads of ideas for outdoor activities and also how to grow your own vegetables.

Tom Malone of Malone’s Fruit Farm brought along strawberry and raspberry plants.  Everyone got to hear how to plant and look after the fruit.  Pumpkin Seeds were sown  and the pots and given to the children to take home and nourish.  Idea here, is for the children to bring along their Pumpkins, to the annual competition at the Carlow Farmers Market next October

The  Drumming experience  was a very popular feature of the day and Tom Duffy was kept extremely busy.  Eco friendly too!

The  yummy Eco BBQ was held from twelve thirty and a huge feature was that there was little or no waste.

 Ballon’s  ‘Swift’ project was the subject for the very informative workshops hosted  by local wildlife expert Padraig Webb.  Six Swift bird  boxes have been installed on the gable end of the Childcare building sited on the walkway between the Old School and the Church.  Swifts are a protected species and very much in decline in Ireland. This  project has been created to encourage the Swifts that arrive from foreign countries to Ballon  at this time of the year to use our boxes , multiply, and keep returning every year.

Thanks to all who helped throughout the day. Thanks to Carlow County Council for sponsoring the event.   At this year’s’ Go Green Expo’ the sun shone and we hope to continue in our efforts to combat Climate Change in our own local way.


Go Green Expo

Its not often you can say “that’s a load of junk” and be complimentary. But as these pictures show you can. Full marks to the students of Ballon NS, their teachers and parents for being so creative in the Junk Kouture display held in in the school today. All part of the Go Green Expo.


Spring Clean on BunclodyRoad

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Maire George, John Murphy, Mary Jordan , Bernie Mullins, Breda Wray, Eileen Murphy


Historic Town of Ballon brings local history to life in Ireland’s Ancient East

As part of the Town and Village programme operated by Carlow County Council a heritage and tree trail of Ballon Village was launched last Thursday night in the Old School House, Ballon, one of eleven heritage sites featured along the trails. The local community organisation, Ballon Improvement Group has uncovered interesting and lesser known stories from the area’s history for the visitor to enjoy, with content being displayed through interpretative storytelling panels featuring photography and maps, along with heritage plaques and way finding directional signage.

Commenting on the initiative Máire George, Chairperson of Ballon Improvement Group stated “we are very grateful to the Town and Village programme for this opportunity to interpret and present the fascinating history of Ballon in a dedicated heritage trail. As a community we are also committed to preserving our local environment and presenting the rich bio-diversity around the village. The Town and Village programme has facilitated high quality signage for each of our twelve stops along the Ballon Native Tree Trail. These initiatives allow us to encourage visitors to nearby Altamont Gardens and the cluster of other great attractions in the local area to stop and spend some time in the village”.  

The heritage and tree trails feature 23 interpretative plaques which present a concise synopsis of each attraction and native tree while three large storytelling panels present a map of the main heritage sites, locations for the tree trail in the village and the story of the Lecky family graveyard in Ballykealy. Decorative directional poles and finger signs direct visitors between each site.

Chairperson of Carlow Tourism Cllr. John Murphy noted “the rich storytelling aspects associated with Ireland’s Ancient East will be brought to life with the development of this heritage and tree trail of Ballon. At the heart of Irish tourism are local communities and areas whose history and heritage is of great interest to both domestic and overseas travellers. These trails present real storytelling gems from that of Ballon Hill to the visit of the legendary parliamentarian Charles Stewart Parnell to Ballon for the 1891 Carlow By-Election and the fascinating history of the nearby Lecky family of Ballykealy House at their family burial ground. Carlow Tourism in conjunction with Carlow County Council and Ballon Improvement Group was delighted to work on this exciting project which adds to the richness of the visitor’s experience while in the area with a message which reinforces the importance and understanding of the new tourism brand for the region, Ireland’s Ancient East”.

Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive with Carlow County Council said “government policy indicates that the greatest potential tourism offering over the next ten years is within local communities. The Town and Village programme provides an ideal foundation for communities to develop quality tourism experiences that meet and, ideally exceed the needs and expectations of our visitors. To date Carlow County Council has facilitated a total investment of €2.7 million across 28 different projects, with tourism an important element of each”.


Speech at the National Biodiversity Conference by the President