Notes by Michael Martin
Saturday 15th December 2007
Many thanks for providing the facilities and refreshments for our AGM. The pastry on the mince pies was the best ever.
Thanks also for the other support you gave the Group during the year with meetings and, of course, Heritage Week.
Your support has been well publicised at all events.
Report on AGM dated 12/12/07
arising from AGM 2006
Chairman/Secretary's Report - Michael Martin
Carlow's Pride of Place
He also is not a great correspondent but he did help with clearing the entrance to the Lecky/Quaker graveyard through his foreman. He also sanctioned monetory support for a new flower bed project through the Dept. of Community & Enterprise
• Tree planting at the Carlow side flower bed, four cherry trees and six oak trees.
• Tree planting at Rathoe Cross together with a flower bed recently planted up with daffodils
• An extension to the wild flower garden on the Carlow side of the village.
• A new border/ flower bed outside the Community Centre
• A Heritage plaque for the Lecky/Quaker graveyard with generous sponsorship from The Chronicle and Kevin Doyle
• New planters and shrubs for the graveyard
• Supplied eight trees for The Oaks to replace the damaged ones. This was done through their committee. Two were donated by the Garden Centre and we bought the others in their half price sale.
Treasurer's Report - Eileen Murphy
The treasurer explained that the financial year covered 14 months and the income from the council included some allocated to last year and a special contribution for damage occured to the wild flower beds during road resurfacing. Finances are satisfatory at present.
Election of Officers for 2008
With the exception of the Web master none of these positions were filled. The chairman suggesed that his office would benefit from a change of person and the treasurer declined due to other pressures. It was left to consider for a meeting in early Spring.
Any other business
basket holders at the old graveyard
Anyway, there have
been some consistent workers, on and off the committee, who contributed
greatly. Off the committee we have:
The meeting finished
at about 21.30 hr
Notice of AGM and provisional Agenda to comittee members.
This is now arranged for Wednesday 12th December at 8pm expecting to finish at 10 pm at Ballykealey Manor Hotel.
1. Matters arising from AGM 2006 - details are on the web site http://www.ballonvillage.com/bigagm2006.htm
2. Chairman’s & Secretary’s report
3. Treasurer’s report
4. Election of Officers
5. Frequency of meetings for 2008
6. What to do with the flower basket holders at the old cemetery (Kathleen McGrath)
7. Fundraising idea for new estates
8. Further Heritage boards for Village features
9. Help with flowers at the bridge
10.Any other business
like to include the provision of some Christmas Lights for the village.
Should you wish to include any other topic please let me know ASAP.
of Payment of Grant from CCC
Letter from CCC re Pride of Place
Research on the Bull Tree
of Email sent to Jacky Byrne and other interested parties, namely BIG
committee, M. Dawson,
But, anyone can have an input.....
We are looking into the possibility of erecting an ‘historical notice’ at the Bull Tree similar to that recently added to the Lecky/Quaker graveyard.
I understand from Michael Dawson that you had done some research in the past and wonder if you will share the results with us.
We have an article on the web site by the late Wish Blanche in 2002 which is quite good and can be accessed through this link
I have given a copy of it to the two Maurice O’Neills looking for their input too.
We can extend this concept to other ‘Features’ in the village and if you have any thoughts on this please let me know.
We can, subsequently, have a master board in the village giving a plan lay out of all such boards adding an interest to the village for Residents and visitors.
I’m looking forward to any input from anyone which we can discuss at the next BIG meeting.
Tonight we sat with bated breath and 400 other hopefuls to see how we got on at the Pride of Place awards (as detailed below). We came third in the category of 500 to 1000 population coming behind Rathvilly and Clonegal - a good achievement considering the opposition. So €300 will be deposited in the Group's account towards next year's expenses. We got no mention for the Lecky Graveyard or the Web Site but the Church's Old Graveyard got a 'highly recommended' which was entered separately by Mick O'Toole, I'm told.
are Michael Martin, Máire George and Mick McGrath of BIG with
An Invitation - we have entered Floral Pride, Cemetery & Web Site - keep the fingers crossed.
Heritage Week - letter from Dermot Mulligan.
If anyone has ideas on a follow up to this letter please let me know.
Email to BIG people - AGM 2007
It’ll soon be time to have our AGM.
Last year it was in September but it might be better to wait until all the bills and paid for and grants received before we do this.
If you have any payments due please give you receipts to Eileen.
If you have any specific items for the agenda, or you wish to make a motion, please let me know so that I can add it to the agenda.
Should we appoint officers at the AGM? Or wait until we have our first meeting next year?
I won’t be going forward for Chairman for next year, although, when around, I will continue to do my chores and look after insurance, grants, correspondence etc.
The time has come
for a new helmsman as this one is getting stale and also wants to do a
bit of travelling next year.
Hard copies given to: Mick & Kathleen McGrath, Billy Nolan, David Brennan, Mary Jordan.
Copy to web site.
Forthcoming Community Art & Craft Exhibition
Thank you letter to Ballykealey Manor Hotel
Heritage Week 2007
Many thanks for your support and sponsorship of Heritage week for the third year running.
There was a good attendance, about 75 people, and the refreshments, layout of the ballroom, sound and screen facilities added a lot to the event.
Thank you too for the meal voucher for the draw. Hope Morris won this and plans to have a family treat.
Letter from Leader
Castle Ard Homes Ltd - Laragh Beg development
The centre of this development has been revised considerably and the plan is as shown below. I'm not sure still that all the trees along the road are to be retained and it looks like only half of them on the plan. The roadside parking has been discarded and an extra access road provided opposite the Credit Union.
Letter from Planning Dept. concerning Ballon Hill
Public meeting for Carlow County Development Plan
Yesterday a public information session was held in the community centre to discuss the plan. It was attended by about ten locals and the council representative was assistant planning officer Maureen Daly. We had attended being under the impression that the meeting was specifically about Ballon and the land use rezoning but it was about the bigger picture. It was about a development plan for 2009 - 2015 for the town and county. There was an excellent four page handout being a guide to having your say and all submissions have to be with the Director of Services by 3rd August, 2007.
NB There was not a lot of respose to this for a pubic meeting by the deadline of the 3/8/07 and a meeting wasn't called
Should we have a public meeting based on the main headings in the Guide and put forward a consensus view to the director? Fill in the poll and let us know. Only one vote per computer allowed.
is the current status of the land rezoning for Ballon?
said that she would contact the group through me and I'll advise through
this web site and local newsletter.
Email to Bagenalstown Engineer - Ray Wickham
lane is very dangerous to traffic and pedestrians due to it being a single
carriageway and its many blind bends. Traffic seems oblivious to this,
particularly the delivery lorries to the hotel and hotel visitors.
Martin - BIG
Email to Pat Connolly - Tullow Engineer
Repairs to road surface outside Kavangh's pub at chapel lane
I response to our email dated 22/5/07, thanks for arranging for the road repairs as requested.
Martin - BIG
Application to Leader for future funding
How would you like to see the Leader programme assisting you in County Carlow from 2007 – 2013
Hill – an archaeological survey.
The development plan for Ballon, put forward by C.C.C, has rezoned part of Ballon Hill for mixed development. In our submission to them we have asked that a proper archaeological survey be carried out to determine the potential of the site. There has been no formal reply. But over the last eight years there has been development of parts of the hill with no reference to archaeological work being carried out that we can find.
Can Leader help us to get a survey carried out, maybe as a joint effort with the council and the Heritage Trust?
Garda Station – a unique building
Letter to Director of Services
Archaeological Survey for Ballon Hill
We last wrote to you on this topic on the 16th January, 2007 but have received no comment concerning this survey.
Please let us know if you intend to carry out the survey before giving final approval for future land use.
We know that several councillors and other bodies have also expressed their concerns and they too will be looking for your decision.
Heritage Week Registration
Our two speakers are John Behan, Rathoe and John Smyth, Ballon
Litter Free Status
We received a payment into our account today for 200 Euro from CCC for maintaining our litter free status over the last year.
from James Lakes (Environmental Patrol Officer)
Email to Pat Connolly, Tullow Engineer, CCC
Michael Martin BIG
Email to John McDarby, Community & Enterprise,CCC
Is there any chance of getting a few of these for the village?
We’ve seen them in other villages and they might serve as a reminder to our numerous litter bugs.
We have involved the school, 5th & 6th class on a litter campaign through prose, verse or painting.
We are providing three plaques for the best entries. Possibly a certificate for all entrants.
The school are having a fete on Friday the 15th June and we will announce the winners then.
Would someone from the council be available? Say James Lakes, for a photo opportunity.
Thank you letter to Kevin Doyle
Doyle Carpentry & Building
Many thanks to you and your dad for making such a good job of the notice.
Many more thanks for your offer to sponsor this for the village at no cost to BIG.
It’s this level of support that overrides the down side of voluntary work and gives us the energy to continue with our efforts.
Notice for the Lecky and Quaker Graveyards - Click here
this forum we have obtained better cover at a reduced rate for our Public
Liability, Property & Products liability. The insurer is Royal &
Sun Alliance with BHP acting as the agents. The premium is 240 Euro, a
saving of over 100 Euro for the year and guaranteed for two years.
Members of BIG can take this first Aid Course for free
Entry form for Carlow's Pride of Place
Email from a Ballon person living in Italy
Lorraine has forwarded some information from the Irish Planning Institute. In brief...
5.4 As a principle, new housing in rural areas should not be situated in close proximity to existing roads and should not front existing roads. They should generally be situated well back from the road and screened by existing and proposed new planting. The new rural housing should be designed to fit within the landscape, similar in form to the more traditional farmstead in the past that was achieved with great success in Ireland.
....but there's lots more. Get the full contents by clicking here.
Some observations about drawing approval
Having spent a lot of my working life giving drawing approval for the construction of pressure vessels I'm puzzled at the procedure adopted for this development. It appears to me that the architect and the builders were not aware of the section relating to the retention of the pavement on the N80.
The weakness lies, in my opinion, in the procedure of granting approval.
The procedure we used was as follows:
Contact with Architects
Architect, Kevin Duffy, confirmed that our copy of "The Notice" was the same as theirs and the section concerning the retention of the pavement at the N80 still stood.
Contact with Shane Cousins
Shane had no copy of the Notification and suggested contacting the Architects, GMA Architects, to see if they have a copy.
Email to Eamon Brophy
Thanks for seeing Maura and I the other day.
We called to the site
office yesterday and they had a different drawing for the site, No C1002
dated the 11/1/06.
You can send it by email to me at
Michael Martin BIG
Visit to the site office
On the 3rd May Máire and I visited the site office to see what their views were following our visit to the planning office. The drawing they were working to was different to the copy made available to us yesterday. This one, C1001 and dated 11/1/06, showed that the site now had 36 houses/shops instead of 32. One thing remained the same and that was the provision of in-line street parking and removal of the mature trees. There was no "Notification of Final Grant" so we couldn't check the conditions relative to the drawing. We were given the site engineer's phone number, Shane Cousins, but the line was too bad to make a conversation. Will try again later today and try to get a copy of the Notification.
Visit to the planning office
On the 2nd May 2007 Máire George and Michael Martin met with Eamon Brophy of the planning office to gather a few facts about the development 04/762.
Eamon gave a helpful and generous amount of his time to review the files with us.
In essence the current plans do show the replacement of the pavement on the N80 by in-line street parking and the removal of the mature trees up to the start of the public open space.
However, in the notification of Final Grant, Paragraph 3(111) is states that ‘….the footpath along the N80 shall be retained…..’.
We were advised that our next step could be to write to planning office indicating this proposed breach of planning and/or talk to the developers directly.
The developers cannot stray beyond the boundary line of the site either as the other side belongs to the council.
We also enquired about the trees and it appears that any tree over ten years old needs approval before uprooting or cutting down.
Obviously, we will write to the council.
Email to Eamon Brophy, CCC Planning Dept.
You might have seen from the Nationalist or our village web site that there is a lot of concern and consternation about aspects of this development which only came to our attention last week.
We would like to meet you to discuss the areas of concern and see if there is any way of overcoming the problems.
Ballon Improvement Group
Last night there was a good response to the poll - is this thanks to the articles in The Nationalist? - and there were seven "Yes" replies. So I checked up the location, by using the IP address, of the computers that registered "Yes". Five were from Cork and one each from Dublin and Waterford. This raises some interesting questions. I bet you can think of some interesting answers!! Seven of the Yes votes came from the same IP address 84 203 226 178 located in Waterford. This isn't supposed to be possible. Have any Computer Gurus out there any explanation for this?
There is a free web service for getting this information, try
Google provide a free service for looking at web statistics - its brilliant - and if you have time take a good look here - you'll be as surprised as I was.
you haven't got the time this is a mini result for the pages looked at
yesterday, Wednesday 25th April
What planning initiative is there in CCC? - what drives it?
Have a close look at this picture taken before the development opposite Londis Top Shop.
It is a lovely rural setting, pleasing to the eye and the senses of tranquility.
The corn field is now a building site with very high density building. A very strong lobby from the village objected to this at the planning consultation stages but apart from a bit of juggling here and there we still have a very high density builing site completely out of character with the village and so unnecessary.
Some months ago word came round that the trees would be removed. I visited the site, spoke to the foreman who showed me the site plans and who confirmed that the trees were not at risk.
Rumours got stronger and I visted the site again and saw that the site map had been altered with coloured inks along the boundary fence seen in the picture above. The site engineer was very open and helpful and took me to where the trees are in the picture. And this is what is planned...... hold your breath.....it's hard to believe.
The trees and beech hedge are to be removed up to around the third lamp post. The site is to be extended beyond the boundary fence to the main road. Two of the lamp posts are to be removed with the ESB cables put underground (no harm in that) and now for the extra surprise..... take another deep breath......
The pavement as show is to be removed and IN LINE STREET PARKING IS TO BE PROVIDED FOR THE ROW OF HOUSES NEXT TO THE ROAD. It's not the 1st of April - that's gone. This is the N80 and it carries a lot of traffic. There have been several accidents just at this very corner where drivers have left the road at this sharp bend. Would you buy a house here and park your car here? and let the kids out to get into your house?
benefitting from this planning fiasco? The site developers, yes, they
must be very content.
I have spoken to one of the directors in the council to see if we can arrange a meeting with the director of planning. The director concerned is to ask to see the report of the roads dept. relative to this development, to view their comments and get back to me.
In brief we have two serious issues here. The first has to be the big safety issue. The second has to be the total disregard of the aesthetic appearance of the village.
You can only vote once
Litter Action League Awards
night the Council hosted the launch of Carlow's Pride of Place to a packed
audience of about 180 people from all over the county who take 'Pride
in Their Place'. Four of BIG's people were there to learn that our 'Litter
Free Status' had been retained for the fourth year in a row and to be
rewarded with a cheque for 200 Euro towards village enhancement.
Email to Bernie O'Brien
Invitation to Carlow's Pride of Place
Reply from Bernie O'Brien to the Email below.
Drove around Ballon last night and it was a pleasure. The village looks great from one end to the other
Wonderful to read on your website all the good work being carried out by the community – great to see the excellent civic spirit and pride
Margaret Nolan is not wasting any time and has started work on Slí na Sláinte Route. She has discussed with me this morning and I have advised her Council has some funding provided for new routes in the current year and should be able to assist – Brendan Morrissey is Council’s link. Process is that the community contacts the Irish Heart Foundation and Council give some assistance with funding and signage erection. Obviously we will need to run this by the Elected Members. Margaret is now going to follow up with the Irish Heart Foundation etc.
Hope to meet you all on the 18th
Email to Bernie O'Brien following the meeting.
Last night we had an informal open meeting of BIG and it is summarised here
One of the requests was for Spring Clean road sweep throughout the village.The through traffic creates a lot roadside grit and debris.
Can this be organised through Community and Enterprise?
If not will you tell me who best to contact? The village is divided between Tullow and Bagenalstown.
Last night's Open Meeting
night's informal meeting attracted the following committee members:
job list as posted was accepted but there are still areas where there
are no volunteers.
Smyth will make the Heritage week presentation along with another speaker.
Ballykealey Manor Hotel will again provide the room and refreshments as
Michael will write to the Council to ask if a road sweeper can be provided for a village Spring Clean.
The chairman thanked all in attendance for their interest and contribution and to those that work through the village throughout the year without attending meetings. Also thanks to Máire and Elizabeth for the refreshments.
will be no collective meetings now until the AGM in September. Smaller
meetings will be arranged for specific projects.
Email to Ray Wickham - Bagenalstown Engineer
Thanks for arranging
for the fallen trees to be removed Ray.
Email to Pat Connolly - Tullow Engineer
I spoke to Pat today and he invited me to send in the work list as attached.
There are just four jobs we would like to see tackled in the village Pat.
• The provision
of bollards opposite Nolan’s Garage.
We did discuss this last year and you were to go ahead but precedence was given to laying tarmac at the Community Centre.
• Road repairs
at the bottom of Ballon Hill
A section of the road
was not resurfaced between Kavanagh’s and McAssey’s.
• Road repairs outside of the Community Centre
The surface here is
in a bad way and when the present building work is completed
• Double yellow lines
Heavy Lorries are
driving on the pavement when visiting the shop.
Letter to The Chronicle Team
Contribution to the Graveyard Notice
Thank you and the Chronicle Team for your generous donation of €250 towards this notice.
It is currently with Kevin Doyle who is to make a frame and who said that they would start on it this week.
I’ve also showed the Bagenalstown Foreman the trees that need clearing and he has been in touch with the land owner. Penny has approved of the wording and the Council have agreed to displaying the Notice.
Once these two issues have been sorted out then we will be ready to hang it and take a picture of its launch.
It’s a quality product and of benefit to our heritage values in the area.
to Tullow Engineers Office
Lecky & Quaker Graveyards
Ray, I’ve sent you a couple of emails concerning jobs in the village but received no replies.
We have a project ready to launch at the old graveyards but need your help in making a safe access due to some fallen tree.
Can I meet with you or your foreman in the village to show what is required?
by BIG for Grant Aid
Bulletin. from Community & Enterprise, CCC
8th February, 2007
Email to Ray Wickham - Bagenalstown Senior Engineer
Lecky & Quaker Graveyards
Good afternoon Ray,
Michael Martin for
Ballon Improvement Group
22nd January, 2007
Ballon Village Draft Land Reuse
This plan, sent by letter dated 11/1/07, has been extensively revised and copies are available from the council offices. Also available from the Computer Centre at normal photcopy rates. Deadline for submission is 12th February.
8th January, 2007
The litter league starts to-day so encourage yourself and others to get involved.
Just before Christmas
we got some extra trees planted.
We have launched our fundraising DVD Slide Show of a Journey in pictures in Ballon through 2006. It's entertaining and good value. Please encourage sales by recommending it to your friends if you agree.
Separate from BIG, but of general interest to the community, I submitted my views to the council concerning the Local Ara Plan. I got a phone call last week from the council advising that they would not proceed with the inner ring road but would wait and go ahead with the main By Pass. Also, they would look at making extra land available for the National School and the graveyard.