Mayo election candidate calls for music college in Ballina

Hugh Rouse, a Fine Gael local election candidate from Ballina, has fervently advocated for the establishment of a fully-fledged college of music in the west of Ireland.

In a letter addressed to Minister Simon Harris of Higher and Further Education, Rouse champions Ballina as the perfect location for this proposed institution.

Central to Rouse's argument is the recognition of the west of Ireland as the veritable mecca of traditional music, with Ballina positioned squarely amidst the rich landscape of musical heritage spanning counties such as Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, and Clare.

Despite this musical abundance, Rouse points out the glaring absence of tertiary education options for aspiring musicians within the region. Currently, talented music students are compelled to seek education far from home, in Dublin or beyond.

Rouse emphasises Ballina's unique attributes, likening its ambiance to that of a thriving university town. The town's scenic beauty, accentuated by the majestic River Moy and celebrated events like the All Ireland Fleadh Cheol, paints a compelling picture of an ideal locale for nurturing musical talent.

With a call to action, Rouse urges local organizations, Mayo County Council, and Oireachtas representatives to rally behind the proposal for a diploma and degree-awarding Music College in Ballina.

He believes that such an institution would not only serve the educational needs of aspiring musicians but also contribute significantly to the cultural and economic landscape of the west of Ireland.