A word of praise

Chairperson        Maire George – 087 2424934

Secretary             Anita Dowling  – 087 9118320

Treasurer            Eileen Murphy –  9159447





Teddy gets a rest in his seventies style pram at Siopa Glas


Pictured at Siopa Glas on 12th July are some of the volunteers Ciara Buckley,  Jacqueline Nolan, Breda Wray.  Our local shop in aid of Ballon tidy towns is going  very well. Great thanks is due to all members of the community who are donating quality items.  Thanks too to the dedicated volunteers.  We have space for more so if ypu have a.spare few hours once a week do come along.



Máire with TUS workers Paul Raleigh and Niall Smith with new bicycle rack at Ballon N.S.


Ballon Bike Week Nature Cycle hosted by Ballon Improvement Group

Saturday 23rd June and the fine weather deserted us.  However our third annual Bike Week Event was one of the best.

Young and old turned out and the event was enjoyed by all.  Thanks to all who came along.  The Teddy Bear picnic had to be held in the ballroom of Ballykealy Hotel.  A nature dance, nature colouring, find the hidden Teddies in the trees and party pieces by the children were among the fun items held.

Our local Guard Mick Egan provided all with yellow safety jackets.

Lets all hope that it will not be too long before we get cycle lanes through Ballon.

Assistance for this event was provided through Carlow County Council and the event was held as part of Bike week 2012.

Also of note is that Bicycle Stands are now in place at Ballon National school.


Our  Tús Workers  have made a big difference to the village since their arrival.
They played a big part in enabling the Siopa Glas to open.
We would like to thank Leader and each and everybody including our great local volunteers for all the excellent work.

Tús maith leat na hoibre!   This is certainly true in this case. Ar agaidh linn! Is feidir linn!

Thanks  to all who have given donations of Fashion Items, curios,brick-a-brack, furniture, plants etc.
Ballon school uniforms would be especially welcome during the next few weeks.


Some dreams do come true!    It happened  in Ballon at last Saturday the 26th June when the ‘Siopa Glas’ opened.

Marion Nolan cut the tape and said ‘”How delighted she was to see her former home and place of business now going to be used as a ‘Good as New” shop for good of all  the Community’.  The shop had a very busy first day.. The sun shone. The coffee, tea and home made cakes  were enjoyed  and we made some money for the Carlow, Kilkenny Homecare Team.

The aim of the’ Siopa Glas’ is to minimise waste and give a friendly service with opportunity to  get high quality clothes, furniture, household items,books and vintage items  at knock down prices.
All proceeds will go towards the enhancement of  Ballon Village.
All items for sale have been donated and it is a great opportunity to meet new friends through volunteering.
The shop will also  provide work experience opportunities.
The shop will open from ten in the morning until four pm on  Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Produce from the Ballon Organic Community Garden for sale.
A great new Community drop in centre for young and old.

So if you are looking for that special gift do drop in to see us at the’ Siopa Glas’
Browsers very welcome. Is Féidir linn!

Ballon Improvement Group would like to thank all who helped  to establish the ‘ Siopa Glas, Balana.

Máire George,  087 2424934


Today, under Mediterranean conditions, Siopa Glas opened its door to the public encompassing also a fund raising venture on behalf of Carlow/Kilkenny Homecare Team.

Shop Sign

The shop sign is an invitation to Mary Poppins (We have one in the village as a back up) to spread some magic powder over the village and the shop in fundraising activities for village enhancement.


Marian Nolan did the honours in cutting the ribbon………..


….with encouragement and support from  the many helpers.


The shop has an amazing variety of articles at a price to suit all pockets. This picture shows about a third of that on offer. All sales go to village enhancement pojects and there are many under way and in the pipeline.

There were refreshments galore, all home made, available in the lounge, kitchen and garden areas of the house.

A lot of people put and lot of effort into this project and volunteers have come forth to man? – woman the shop – in the months ahead. So if you need that something special for that someone special, Siopa Glas might be a first stop.

PS The much vaunted ‘time lapse’ photography didn’t vaunt. ‘Tis the camera man’s mistook!

This was a successful first run with encouraging revenue intake for the shop and the Homecare Team.



19/5/12 Siopa Glas poster competion winners


Wedensday evening work evenings all through May and June.
Ballon Improvement Group invite you to  pickup litter, clean, sweep, weed  all through the village each Wedensday evening from 7pm.  Of course feel free to pick up litter, clean, sweep and weed at any other time.
These Wedensday evening work nights will continue until the end of June.

Ballon Community Garden located in front of Ballon school will be open each Wedensday evening  from 7pm Volunteers welcome.

Swap Shop
A swap shop for plants and seeds will operate at the Community Garden   So if anybody has young vegetable plants or seeds to swap please bring them along.

Siopa Glas 
Ballon Improvement Group’s  shop of all pre- owned good quality items will open on Saturday the 19th May
at Main St. in Ballon.
Donations of bric a brack, good quality used chothes and garden items including plants will be very welcome.  Please bring along any  Wedensday evening or leave into Eileen at the Old School in Ballon.
We are still looking for more  volunteers to run the shop so please leave your contact number into Eileen or contact
Breda at 087 7820211.

Tus Workers
Under a special scheme via Leader  we have two new Tus Workers for the Village. Tus Workers will not be replacing the Fas workers but will undertake differents tasks and are very welcome.

25/4/12 Green Shop

See flyer here Siopa Glas Poster



Last night BIG held its first mass litter pick-up. A musical pick-up. The first of its kind. Who wil bea them for imagination?

Don’t leave it to the few though. Everyone should give a hand however small.

BiG  sets  the pace  Lets do it !

Bernie and Máire get the gig going


Spring clean night on Ballon Hill  April 2012




BIG get support from the school 2012 gardening group


Some of the new gardeners with Máire George, Breda Wray and Bernie Mullins.

The school Gardening Club planted potatoes, onion sets, parsley and lettuce during the Gardín Orgánach cheardlainn
yesterday 27th March.   The club will earth up the potatoes as soon as the first shoots appear.  Potato day at the school will be just before the summer holidays.


Tomorrow is World Water Day.

It’s very important.

Click here to get some ideas


AGM of Ballon Improvement Group Wed. 29th Feb 2012

BIG meeting was well attended.  The same Committee was returned for another year.

The year 2011 was a very busy one.  Highlights were St. Patricks Day Parade, Completion of a Landscape Plan for Ballon, Winning all Ireland award with Glór na nGael. Sucess with the new Organic Garden at Ballon National School.  Our motto for the future is   Is Feidir Linn!


Go raibh síocháin na Nollag agus Bliain Nua faoi shéan’s faoi shonas ort ‘s ar do mhuintir.

May the peace of Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year be with you and yours

Go mbeirimid uile beo ar an am seo aris.

May we all be here this time again:   Seanfhocal.

Thanks to all who helped in any way with Ballon Improvement Group, Ballon Tidy Village, Glór Bhalana.

We had a wonderful 2011.


Yesterday BIG hosted its 3rd annual Christmas Fair as a fund raising activity for village enhancement. They had Santa with lots of gifts, Prancer with plenty of licks, Wise owls, Penguins, Elves and Santa’s helpers. Santa was led through the hall by the KHA childrens choir accompanied by John and Colm.

The Choir – linked to YouTube – and some of the shoppers



Sean O’Brien world cup super rugby star pictured here with the KHA choir at Ballon National School.

Excitment was at fever pitch on Thursday morning  1st December when word spread around the school that Sean O’ Brien was coming to launch the 2011 Ballon Christmas Fair. It was just fantastic when Sean arrived bang on two o clock.  Ballon Improvement Group would never have imagined in their wildest dreams that they would have a Rugby star of such high renoun arrive to launch their Christmas Fair.


Breda Wray, Sean O’Brien, Máire George, Barbara Jordan , Bernie Mullins

The fair this time will have many new attractions which includes an OWL display, Kitty’s vintage tea party, make up and massage opportunities. So come along any time on Sunday the 11th December from twelve to five pm  and taste  some of the many local artisan foods. Many beautiful local crafts will be on display and for sale. The school KHA group will have a huge bric- a- brack stall and will also have the special Christmas cards created by the pupils. Proceeds go to the KHA mission and to Vincent de Paul.


Highlight of the Fair will be the arrival of Santa at 2.30pm. Reindeer Dancer will be along as well and the KHA School Choir and Carlow Wren Boys will lead Santa in a parade around the Fair. So boys and girls come along and meet Santa, Dancer,and the Owls and have your picture taken and have a special memento to take home with you. Ballon Improvement group and Ballon National School would like to extend their special thanks to Sean O Brien for coming along to launch the 2011 Christmas Fair.  He truly is a huge local hero. Go néirí an bhothair linn go léir!


Check this link. www.greenhome.ie . It has loads of information on waste minimisation. Ballon Improvement Group recommends that members of our Community follow the guidelines in this web site and so minimise the waste that has to go to landfill. ps.   20 marks in Waste Minimisation section for TT.

22/11/11 – Tree Planting

Here are some ideas for tree planting for posterity. Grow your own Trees

21/10/11 –  A Troika of success

Carlow County Council Pride of Place, Floral Pride and Litter League awards for 2011 were announced last night the 20th Oct. Three awards came to our area. dscf2007 Ballon Village got first place and a Cheque for €800 in the  500 – 1000 population  category. In the Litter League, Maple Lawn took first place and a €400 prize in the small estate section. dscf2006 Ballon N.S. scooped the second place award and €300 in the School Section. Given that the standard of planting, decoration, and general appearances of all  areas entered in the competition has risen so much Ballon can be very proud of  achievements in 2011. The continuation of good team work, by our volunteers and fas workers, is vital for our programme for the future.  Thanks is due to all our committee, sponsors, helpers and web guy.  2011 has been a great year for Ballon and the village church, private houses, buildings and businesses never looked so well. The interior of the Graveyard on the Bunclody road has been manicured to the last.  Well done and thanks to all who helped in and around the Village. Is Féidir linn  –    Our aim for next year will be to win the overall prize in Carlow Pride of Place competition.


Pumpkin fun in the Community garden

12/10/11 – Novel Bird Feeders

Coconut Shell Bird Feeders

7/10/11 – New school garden group

Ballon School Gardening Club commenced activities for the school year 2011-12 today Friday  the seventh of October. This is the first time that Ballon Improvement Group were able to start work at this time of the year in the Community/School  Garden. It is simply fantastic to have the amenity and to be able to share the experience of planting, weeding, sowing and to sow the seeds for future generations. Anybody who would like to volunteer some time to help would be most welcome. Just contact any Ballon Improvement member or come along to our next meeting which will be on Wednesday the 26th Oct in the old school at 8pm. Jamie Hutton, John Jacob, Orla Kenny, Ava Whelan,Sarah Cummims, Sarah Bermingham, Anna Tracey, Aoife Lawlor, Raena Maye, Áine Kennedy.


Tidy Towns Adjudication report for Ballon

The report is very complimentary yet the marks gained, 5 in all, don’t appear to reflect the great improvements made since last year. With an overall mark of 260 out of 400 it shows there is a long way to go to reach the winner’s mark of 310. The higher up the ladder you are the harder it is to get to the next rung. However, it is a great result and we are pleased with it. The Carlow Category B  pecking order is as show.. Clonegal……………305 Rathvilly…………….283 Myshall……………..282 Ballon ……………..260 Tinryland…………..246 Fenagh……………240 Kildavin……………235 Ballinabranna……228 Old Leighlin………228 There is a one mark increase for Overall Development, Landscaping and Wildlife & natural amenities. And a two mark increase for waste minimisation. The remaining six categories stayed the same.


The second fund-raising summer BBQ was held yesterday in the school grounds. There was a good turn out for the occasion and some of the supporters are shown in the gallery below. Congratulations has to be given to the variety and quality of the food – great taste, great value. The music and song and dance got the feet a’dancing and the hands a’clapping. More coverage on this later.


Heritage Day in Ballon


Village plan, BBQ and National Heritage Week all in this flyer Landscape Plan Press Release etc


A fund raising Céilí was held in the Community Centre last night. Ceili

Peter O’Neill (Feár an Ti), Jackie Nolan, Eileen Murphy, Tight ó Murchú

Maire George (BIG Chairperson)

Tight cycled to the Céilí from Monasterevan,Co. Kildare.

It is a long time since anybody came that distance by bicycle to a dance in Ballon ! Báil ó Dhia ar an obair, an róthaiocht agus an damhsa.

(means God bless the work, the dance and the cycle)

Watch a YouTube clip here


Butterfly spotting one – open and print it from this link  Butterflies One Butterfly spotting two- open and print it from this link  Butterflies Two BIG Newsletter – open and print it from this link Newsletter Issue 3, July 2011

29/6/11 – An Focal Moltach

img_8368 Card by Margaret Lalor

28/6/11 – School/BIG Community garden

Today the proof of the pudding was in the eating. BIG brought the cooker and the kids brought their appetites. Maidin ag piocadh agus ithe na Prataí blasta orgánacha.


See the fun cycle  on YouTube


List of Garden produce in Community/School garden


Link to National Heritage Week Event in Ballon

26/5/11 – Garda Garden

Yesterday evening some members planted patches of wild flower seeds in the recently prepared garden attached to the  Garda station. BIG is pleased with the support shown by the garda in getting this mini jungle into a workable state for future projects and it does enhance the garda station which is an architectural gem in granite stone. There is one more identical station in the country. seeds1 seeds2

18/5/11 – Flower Competition Form

Ballon in Bloom 2011

5/5/11 – Update

Our BIG meeting went very well last night4/5/11.  Large attendance.

We finalised plans for the” Dawn Chorus” event,  Maidin le na heininí le muintir na háite agus éanna ní Lamhna ó “Mooney Goes Wild” Final names for the event are being taken to-day and tomorrow. Eary bird breakfast to be booked at the “Forge”. All we need now is a good dry morning. The event is to be on Radio one live from Altamont so if you cannot be there in person and have access to a radio from 4.30 ar maidin Dé Domhnaigh an 8ú lá de Bealtainne is feidin leat bí linn!!!!  It is going to be majical do not miss it. Our motto:   IS FEIDIR LINN   (WE CAN) BIG Newsletter Issue 2

15/4/11 Community/School Garden – See also http://www.giyireland.com

The garden is making great progress and at it’s new site can be seen when walking by. As much as possible is made from recycled materials and all is organic. The children are showing great interest and helping to maintain it under supervision.


Ballon National School through BIG learn a few steps for tomorrow’s parade.

11/3/11 – Ballon Organic Community Garden

Ballon Organic Community Garden /  Gairdín Phobal Orgánach Bhalána Our Organic Community Garden is moving to the school grounds. We are really very excited about this and having the community garden so accessible to all will be fantastic. Anybody interested in helping out over the spring and summer months contact the web site or  any of the Ballon Improvement Group members. It will be a community Garden and BIG would welcome any ideas or suggestions for the coming season.

4/3/11 – Balána Seachtain Na Gaeilge 2011

Seachtain na Gaeilge Poster Balana

3/3/11 – Balána, Co. Cheatharlach.Seachtain na Gaeilge:

Balána, Co. Cheatharlach.Seachtain na Gaeilge: Tá clár iontach leaghadh amach againn do i Seachtain na Gaeilge 2011 anseo i mBalána.  Arís beidh eolas ar gach rud a bheidh ar siúl ar an suíomh idirlín.

Ag tosnú ar an 9ú Lá Dé  Máirt de Mhí na Márta beidh Ranganna Gaeilge do dhaoine Fásta.  .

Chomórtas cártaí dhátheangach sa scoil Peadar agus Pól.  Beidh  taispeántais na cartaí faoi lán shoe lTrí an samhraidh. Beidh coipeanna de na cartáí le diol sna siopaí aitiúla. Satharn an 12 Márta. Ag 11.00 Ceardlinn Camánaíochta ag Faiche na gCoileach Comhrac. 12ú ag 3.30pm Lainseáil Glór na nGael Bhalána do 2011 Trátnóna  Caife.   Fáilte roimh gach éinne.

Lá le Padraig

Séipéal Peadar agus Pól Aifreann as Gaeilge leis an sagart paróiste an tAthair Breandain Ó hOibeard ag a 11.00 . Beidh ár chór ag cannadh chuid de’n aifreann a chum Seán O Riada. Beidh cúpán tae/cáife le soláiste le fail san Ionad Phároiste ina diadh an Aifreann. Beidh alán Gaeilge le chlosaint  anseo agus spraoí na Féile ann.Beidh fáilte roimh cách. An Mórshiúl ag 4.00pm Beidh Mórshiúl againn i mBalána ag 4.00. Beidh deis ag daoine duais a bhaint amach má usáideanna siad Gaeilge. Soláistí san Sean Scoil  I ndiadh an Paráid.  Beidh óiche mór Gaelach chois tine ag tosnú ansin. Beidh an spraoí go dtí deanach le seiteanna, damsha fíor ceilí, damhsa ar an sean nós, aráiniocht traidisiúnta, ceol, craic, scéalaíocht.

2/3/11  – Glór Bhalána seachtain na Gaeilge

Seachtain na Gaeilge Poster

28/2/11 – Féile na Gaeilge

Féile na Gaeilge 2011

18/2/11 – Waste Minimisation

Let us all try harder this year and think before we buy, make the best use of leftovers and if possible turn the waste into compost.

The compost then can be used to grow your own vegetable and fruit. Ballon Improvement Group hope to have a community Garden again in 2011.  We are awaiting the final permission for use of the Ballon Garda Station Garden.

We take this opportunity to thank Paul Kavanagh for use of his Garden in 2010.

See all the info. in this link Foodwaste presentation 2011

17/2/11 Snowdrop week in Altamont


Some BIG members with guests enjoy the snowdrops in Altamont Gardens


BALLON WINS GLÓR na nGAEL NATIONAL AWARD There’s a cheque for €1,500 winging its way to Ballon Improvement Group after the village scooped the prize for ‘best new entry’ in the Glòr na nGael national competition for the promotion of the Irish language. Those who enjoy the cùpla focail and have attended the many events organised by Glòr Bhalàna since its foundation less than a year ago will be delighted that Glòr Bhalana has been awarded the prize for the best new entry 2010 following tough scrutiny by judges from Glòr na nGael headquarters back in November. The competition was judged on how the Group had promoted the use of Gaeilge over the last year. The Awards Ceremony will be held in Carlton House, Maynooth on 16 April. Glòr Bhalàna, which is a sub-committee of Ballon Improvement Group, was founded and supported by local people interested in speaking and hearing spoken Irish in the area. Over the past year many events and activities have been organised including coffee mornings/maidin caife, card making competitions/comortas cartai, ranganna gaeilge, Irish Classes, Aifreann as Gaeilge, óicheanta traidisiùnta, Mòrshiul Là Le Padraig, Nuachlitir Bhalàna, agus Cèili Mòr sa Scoil Naomh Peadar agus Pòl. Information on all Glòr activities is posted on the village website www.ballonvillage.com. Responding to this very exciting win Maire George, chairperson of Glòr Bhàlana said that it was an incredible achievement for Ballon in such a short space of time. She added that the prizemoney will be used to do further work to promote spoken Irish in the locality. Mìle buichas to all those who facilitated the promotion of the language and supported our events, she concluded. This award is the second National Award won by the Group in 2010 having already won ‘Can It’ in The National Tidy Towns Competition.

5/2/11 – Bhí an Mhaidin Caife Gaelach  go hálainn.


Seachtain na bPlúiríní Sneachta i nGairdíní Altamont


14/1/11 Dog poo and litter

Carlow County Council have kindly swept all the grit needed for the recent bad weather off the footpaths in Ballon.  Now it has come to many peoples notice that more and more dog dirt is being deposited on our footpaths.  The dog walkers are not acting responsibly.

This might not apply to all the Ballon people who exercise their canine friends up and down our footpaths. Others have to daily use these footpaths. Please clear up the mess your dog can leave on our footpaths. We are taking part in the forthcoming Litter League and would like to remind everyone to do their bit around Ballon.  If you see any litter ie.  papers, coffee cups, cans, bottles,  cigerette butts, etc please pick them up. We ask people not to throw litter of any kind around.  We thanks all the residents in Ballon for keeping the front of their premises litter free.  Maith agaibh go leir.


9/1/11 – Continue our War on Litterers kids (and adults)




Eanair January Look after the birds.  This is a hard winter for them.

1/1/11 –  A Happy New Year to all our Viewers

31/12/10 – Brush up on the Gaeilge

Phrase: Let’s go outside to listen to the New Year bells Irish: gabhmaid amach chun éisteacht le chloiginí na h-athbhliana Pronunciation: goh-muidh ah-mokh khun aysh-thokhth leh khlig-een-ee nah hah-vleen-ah Phrase: May we be alive at this time next year Irish: Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís Pronunciation: go merr-ih-meedh bee-oh err on om shioh ah-reesh Phrase: A prosperous New Year to you (singular/plural) Irish: Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit/dhíbh Pronunciation: ah-vleen fwee wash-eh gwich/yeev