Lisa Hallinan, project manager of Ballina 2023, Ann Marie McGing, acting arts officer with MCC, Paul Cunningham, director of Ballina Arts Centre, and Sean Walsh, artistic director of Offaly Arts Centre, pictured at the opening of the RHA West exhibition in Ballina Civic Offices. Photo: John O'Grady

Prestigious RHA West exhibition opens in north Mayo

A large crowd attended the launch of the RHA West exhibition on Saturday evening last in the Municipal Gallery at Ballina Civic Offices.

Presented by Ballina 2023 in partnership with Ballina Arts Centre, the prestigious exhibition was launched by the chief executive of Mayo County Council, Kevin Kelly.

Celebrating 300 years of Ballina and 200 years of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts, the exhibition also marks the first time the entire membership of the RHA has shown together in the west of Ireland, and includes 44 works by artists such as Mick O’Dea (PPRHA), Aideen Barry (ARHA), Donald Teskey (RHA) and Alice Maher (RHA).

Speaking on the night, director of the RHA, Patrick T. Murphy, spoke about the growing influence of north Mayo on visual artists in Ireland, with five members of the RHA currently based in the county.

The president of the RHA, Mick O’Dea, who resides in Portacloy, spoke of his experiences of living as an artist in north Mayo.

Meanwhile, Ballina 2023 project manager Lisa Hallinan paid tribute to Mayo Arts Service, who continue to be at the forefront of cultural development in Ireland, consistently delivering nationally leading arts programmes.

Entertainment on the evening was provided by the young musicians of Music Generation Mayo’s Harp Ensemble.

RHA West will run until Friday, October 20, in the Municipal Gallery at Ballina Civic Offices. The opening hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday (and also Saturdays, September 16 and 30), with a special opening from 4 to 7 p.m. on Culture Night (Friday, September 22). For more information, see or