From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
The Western People 10 Sep 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
13, Sep 2003 - 12:19

Proud day for headline-setting Banada
Banada, near Tubbercurry, celebrated a day of achievement and remembrance on Sunday with a number of landmark events organised by the local Development Agency. At the graveyard plaques were unveiled to those who lie in unmarked graves by former SDLP leader John Hume. Also unveiled were a memorial to the Augustinian Priors who had a long association with the area, and a memorial to Tadgh Dall O hUiginn, 16th century blind poet and scholar. Prayers for the dead were recited by Bishop Thomas Flynn of Achonry, Fr Pat Codd, Rev Doris Clements and Canon Christy McLoughlin.

Banada certainly did a fine job on this very pleasant memorial park beside the River Moy which consists of gravel paths and landscaped shrubbery at the bridge in Banada. It takes a lot of work and effort to put something like this in place in a small rural location like Banada. The thing that struck me about this item, however, was a serious bit of bad timing from the PR point of view. This week the national press was full of a major fish-kill that seemed to have occurred in the River Moy at Banada on the very Sunday that the plaque was being unveiled and the riverside park officially opened by John Hume. Over 3000 fish were found dead in the Banada region by fisheries board officers according to the Irish Times on Wednesday – up from 1500 reported on Tuesday so it was a major kill and particularly so when it happened in such an important river.

Architectural award for Castlebar
Castlebar Town Council and architect Gerry Mitchell of Mitchell and Associates were recepients of Royal Institue of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) awards for the Market Square Project in Castlebar at a ceremony held recently. The prestigeous awards were accepted by the Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr. Aiden Crowley and Mr. Gerry Mitchell. The Market Square redevelopment was undertaken by Castlebar Town Council in an attempt to regenerate the surrounding townscape to create a higher quality of enclosure to the space as part of an overall environmental makeover of the centre of Castlebar. The remodelling of the Market Square has brought the heart back into Castlebar. The design creates two distinct mini plans, one civic and the other social. The surface of the new square is mainly granite paving with the minimum of intervention. The northern mini-plaza is designed as a setting for a sculpture piece by Colm Brennan, but also functions as a sunny sitting area for pedestrians. The southern plaza is designed for more civil functions, It contains facilities for performance and its well designed street furniture provide an opportunity for welcome respite from the busy town centre.

I like the Market Square. More and more it is being used as a meeting place – a kind of Clery’s Clock for Castlebar. Youngsters use it to hang out and to skateboard on – nice smooth surfaces. Particularly when compared with what was there before it is wonderful – jumbled car parking spaces and miscellaneous tents marketing car boot style stuff at the weekend. Now we have an elegant focal point. The summer music performances on the Square too proved very enjoyable – a nice acoustic reverb from the buildings surrounding the square.


© Copyright 2003 by Castlebar - County Mayo -