Our new Welcome signs at the North & South Entrances to Balrothery were officially unveiled today and we asked some of the Baronesses’ of Balrothery to do the honors. The sign at the Northern entrance was unveiled by Esther Andrews, Joy Donnelly, Bridie Holland & Betty Gaffney, all whom reside within 100m of the sign and whom have arranged and attended many community meetings and events and indeed remain doing so today. Joys late husband Jimmy Donnelly was also a man who devoted much of his time to helping Balrothery and he deserves a mention here.
The sign at the Southern Entrance was unveiled by Mary McCormack as it was Marys late husband, John McCormack who was one of the first people to recognise the uniqueness of Balrothery’s Heritage, and especially the uniqueness of Balrothery’s name, ‘Baile an Ridire’ or ‘Town of the Knight’ and he made others aware that this was something to be showcased and promoted and not hidden away or forgotten.
We trust both Jimmy Donnelly & John McCormack would have approved of the new signs.
The future is unknown, but history and heritage is known and the stories should be told and these signs we hope will ignite discussion about Balrothery’s history and heritage, how the Barony of Balrothery dated back to 1343 and covered an area stretching west to Ashbourne, north to Swords and south to Gormanston, effectively the area known today as Fingal and of how the ‘Barony of Balrothery’ is still referred to in modern day land registry maps. Also, these signs are not only to provide a welcome for tourists but they are there to give a welcome home for everyone living in Balrothery.
There has been a visual change happening in Balrothery over the last 18months. Pat Hickey started it by clearing off the overgrown embankment which fronted the Heritage Centre and this was the catalyst for change, people recognized what a difference it made, momentum grew, more people got involved and we began to plan step-by-step how Balrothery could be made better, the people are always the best asset of a place but people need to work together, row in the same direction in order to effectively renew the aesthetics or appearance of a place, whether that be planting new flowers & shrubs or changing the built environment. Any proposals should be well thought out and well planned and a consensus of agreement reached before proceeding. The local Authority also have to be consulted and have the same desire to bring about positive change. Most importantly, although many volunteer their time, very few materials come free and so the ability for a local Community Association to bring about visual change to a village is dependent on funding being provided. So in order to try and acquire funding , Balrothery Community Association partnered with Fingal County Council and applied for funding under the 2016 Town & Village Scheme ran by the Department of Heritage Arts, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs under Minister Heather Humphries. Our application was successful and we were allocated €100,000 which was made up of €50,000 for stone walls, €30,000 for new paths in Glebe Park and €20,000 for new adult exercise equipment. Local Businesses also contributed to the improvements by purchasing the new picnic tables and seats on the greens. Weekly litter picks and a number of strimathons all combined to bring about a tidier & better presented Balrothery. Indeed, the new stone walls help to give an identity to Balrothery, a sense of place, the intention was not to try and contrast the old styles or use modern contemporary materials and detailing, the intention was to build walls today that would complement and respect the old stone church and walls and we feel this has been achieved.
Now that the first impression of Balrothery has been enhanced, it is now necessary to look within the Village and address the issues of circulation for pedestrians and especially for those with children and wheelchair users. At least one pedestrian crossing is needed, new footpaths are needed and existing kerbs need to be dished to bring Balrothery up to modern day standards and indeed modern day regulations regarding universal access & pedestrian safety. Balrothery Community Association is currently compiling a list of works that we feel are necessary within the Village and we intend to present these to Fingal County Council at our next Deputation meeting. We would invite anyone who wishes to add in works you feel are necessary to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include them on our list.
Velo Club Balrothery is a local cycling club established in 2015 by Dr. Conor McGrane and some fellow local cyclists from Balrothery and Surrounding Areas. The club has an active membership of over 30 cyclists. The club caters for racing and recreational cyclists. We hope to run some races and local events for the community in the near future. For experienced cyclists there is a training spin which leaves form the gates of Balrothery National School on Saturdays Mornings at 8.30am. There are smaller groups who depart usually earlier which would suit less experienced riders. There are also spins run on Sundays but usually during the winter months.