Ballintubber Abbey. Photo: Tourism Ireland

Progress on two key Mayo regeneration investments

Mayo TD Alan Dillon has expressed his delight at the progress made on two significant regeneration projects in Ballyhaunis and Ballintubber.

Both projects have been submitted by Mayo County Council to the Department of Rural and Community Development for evaluation and assessment for future funding under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF).

He elaborated: “These projects were successful in previous calls back in 2019 and 2020, demonstrating their importance to their respective areas.

"We eagerly await the evaluation process in the coming months.

“I am thrilled to see the advancements in the Ballyhaunis Community Vision project and the Ballintubber Abbey Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre project.

"These initiatives are not just about physical transformation, they are about revitalizing community spirit and local pride."

The Ballyhaunis Community Vision project has recently been given planning permission.

This project involves redevelopment of a former convent school to provide a new community hub and the creation of a new public plaza adjoining the hub, including an outdoor recreational facilities including play areas and an open air amphitheatre.

Deputy Dillon continued: “The Ballintubber Abbey Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre project, includes the development of a new visitor centre will be a beacon of culture and heritage, shining a light on the rich history of Ballintubber and its Abbey.

"The new three-story building will feature an exhibition space, galleries, and interactive technology to present the history of Ballintubber and its Abbey within the context of Christianity’s evolution."

However, Deputy Dillon also expressed his concern and frustration over the slow progress during the design, procurement and planning stages.

“The local community in Ballyhaunis and Ballintubber have voiced their frustration over the slow progress of these projects.

"These delays has led to increased costs due to construction inflation and the rising prices of building materials. These challenges have added a layer of complexity to already ambitious projects."

Despite these challenges, Deputy Alan Dillon remains optimistic.

“It is encouraging to note that a new application has been submitted to account for these additional costs in respect to Ballintubber Abbey.

"I express my gratitude to the Mayo County Council for their diligent work in submitting a new RRDF application to the Department alongside Ballyhaunis. This application is crucial in supporting the Ballintubber Abbey Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre project."

In closing, Deputy Dillon reiterated his commitment to both these projects.

“I am keenly looking forward to the progression of these projects. I will exert considerable pressure on my colleague Minister Heather Humphreys to back both of these projects, which will bring significant positive changes to our county.”