Planning for Ballina 2023 gets underway

Planning for Ballina 2023 gets underway

Year-long series of events to celebrate anniversary of formal establishment of Ballina and deliver a legacy

2023 may feel like a lifetime away, especially from lockdown, but already, plans are motion in Ballina to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the formal establishment of the town in 1723. Ballina will celebrate this milestone through an ambitious and exciting year-long programme of collaborative events and activities in 2023 that will aim to foster civic pride, promote community engagement, honour the past and celebrate the present.  The people of Ballina to are invited to log onto and submit their own ideas for events and celebrations throughout the year.

The initiative is being launched today with a video on social media featuring some well-known Ballina faces. To get the ball rolling on planning, an initial steering group has been established with representatives from Mayo County Council, Moy Valley Resources IRD, Ballina Chamber of Commerce, Mayo North Tourism and Ballina Lions Club, with the aim of facilitating and empowering citizens of the town to get involved, and take an active role in putting together the year’s programme of events.

Chair of the steering group, Jarlath Munnelly said: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity for Ballina to plan an unforgettable year of celebration and fun, with openness, equality, inclusivity and diversity at the core.  It offers everyone in the town an opportunity to contribute and participate to enjoy a major milestone in the town’s history, and all input is very welcome.”

Ballina 2023 also offers an opportunity to develop a clear vision for Ballina, with public consultation and input, and a bringing together of all existing plans, research and studies related to the town – economic, social, and cultural – to create a single, cohesive plan. This will chart a future for the town that everyone can contribute to, benefit from, and unite behind, leaving the legacy of a platform for further growth.

Mags Downey Martin, Ballina Chamber of Commerce states: “This is one of the biggest things to happen to Ballina in the past fifty years. We are a town that has hosted two Fleadh Cheoils and numerous big festivals, welcomed Other Voices series, hosted international summer schools and celebrated two Presidents, this is the daddy of them all. To celebrate the official birth of our town for any towns folk is an honour and a privalge, and as David Brady states ‘This is about You and this is about Ballina’ so we are asking everyone to get involved.”

Organisers of existing events are urged to participate and add their events to the Ballina 2023 calendar, and all groups are invited to consider staging an event of their own that can be included in the programme of events. The Ballina 2023 celebrations could also coincide with the proposed return of The Gathering tourism initiative, ten years after the national diaspora-focused year of celebrations kicked off an unprecedented expansion of the tourism sector.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved and helping out in the areas of event planning, community engagement, marketing and PR, fundraising, governance and the creation of a town vision is invited to register their interest by emailing [email protected].

How you can get involved

  • Log onto and join the mailing list to receive updates
  • Complete the short survey about what you would like to see happening in Ballina in 2023
  • Follow Ballina 2023 on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Register to volunteer with Ballina 2023 by emailing [email protected].
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