Ballintubber Abbey.

€11 million RRDF funding for two Mayo projects

TWO projects in Mayo have secured combined funding of over €11 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), Minister of State Alan Dillon has confirmed.

The successful projects are Ballyhaunis Community Vision project and Ballintubber Abbey Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre.

Minister Dillon announced that Ballintubber Abbey Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre has been allocated €5,842,678, with Ballyhaunis Community Vision project to receive €5,285,070.

Said Minister Dillon: “In the case of Ballyhaunis Community Vision, this project will adapt a derelict convent primary school building and it grounds within Ballyhaunis town centre to provide a public library, enterprise hub and a public park with pedestrian links to the main business and retail core of the town.

“The project for Ballintubber Abbey aims to transform the derelict ruins of the 800-year-old East Wing of the abbey into a state-of-the-art three-story culture and heritage visitor centre. This exciting development will serve to educate, engage, and inspire visitors, showcasing the remarkable historical, cultural, and spiritual legacy of Ballintubber Abbey, often referred to as the 'abbey that refused to die'.”

Drawing from the design report published by Mayo County Council in relation to the redevelopment of the old convent primary school in Ballyhaunis.

He continued: “Working closely with Mayo County Council, Minister Humphreys and organisations like the Ballintubber Abbey Trust and Ballyhaunis Chamber we have been able to secure this significant funding. This is a testament to the power of community-led initiative and the impact they can have on rural regeneration and development.

“Councillor Cyril Burke has been in constant contact with me in relation to Ballintubber Abbey project and I also want to acknowledge Deputy Michael Ring’s support. Equally, outgoing Councillor John Cribben worked tirelessly to support the Ballyhaunis regeneration project along with local election candidate Alma Gallagher.

“These initiatives are not just about physical transformation, they are about revitalising community spirit and local pride. I am delighted to see these two wonderful projects receiving this level of backing and funding.

“As a minister for Mayo, I am committed to ensuring that projects that are promised for County Mayo, are delivered for County Mayo. I look forward to seeing these two projects in all their glory when the works are completed.”

Welcoming the allocations, Deputy Michael Ring said: “This is wonderful news for Ballintubber Abbey and the surrounding Ballintubber area and hinterland. I have no doubt that in the years to come, it will prove to have been a very worthwhile project. I expect it will receive a lot of visitors and locals alike.”

He was, he added, delighted to also support the community enterprise hub for Ballyhaunis all the way along.

“I have no doubt in my mind that once it is completed it will have major benefits for Ballyhaunis and help to regenerate Ballyhaunis.”