The official launch of Ballina 2023 took place on Friday in the Walled Garden at the Jackie Clarke Collection on Pearse Street in the town.
In 2023, Ballina will mark 300 years since its formal establishment by O’Hara, Lord Tyrawley with a year-long series of collaborative events and activities created for the community by the community to celebrate the town and to create a legacy that lasts long into the future.
The steering group of Ballina 2023, who have members from various stakeholders around the town, will also be hoping to garner some international interest in Ballina with the hopes of welcoming home the diaspora of the area, as well as those with ancestry in the north Mayo region, throughout the course of the year.
The Chairman of Ballina 2023, Cllr Jarlath Munnelly told the Western People the steering group is hoping to make 2023 more than just a year of celebrations.
“There’s a huge opportunity here to celebrate the past of the town and also, looking forwards, leave a significant legacy. This is about celebrating a 300-year history but it is also about engaging with the community and using a lot of community development to make sure people engage with this and get involved.”
“It will be important to have a year of events that are enjoyable and memorable and well-attended but also have significant takeaways outside of the events that happen. We can enhance civic pride and the love of place that people from Ballina and those looking from the outside in have if we showcase the town’s fantastic attributes in a new light or through a fresh perspective.”
The official Ballina 2023 logo was unveiled alongside the slogan for the event; “A year of celebration. A lifelong connection.”
Cathaoirleach of the Ballina Municipal District, Cllr Annie May Reape declared Ballina 2023 live and a video called ‘The Calling’, which showcases the spirit and surrounds of Ballina was played to attendees and shared around the world on social media.