Ballygar Tidy Towns
In January 2014, the committee of Ballygar Tidy Towns discussed the possibility of purchasing the Courthouse. A public meeting was called in late January. Following great support from the people in attendance, the decision was made to purchase the building. The intention was to establish a base for Tidy Towns activities and to create a centre for community endeavours. Renovation works commenced in July 2014.
The volunteers of Ballygar Tidy Towns researched the history of the building with the help of local people who remembered when it served as a courthouse. A design was proposed which took into account the original plan of the building and the integrity of its heritage. The original gallery space was reconstructed with a stairs for access. The building has been insulated to the highest specification and energy efficient lighting and heating have also been installed. The high ceiling was restored and the original floorboards were sanded down to reveal the beautiful timber. New windows, more in keeping with the style of the building, were fitted. A new kitchen and toilet facilities were also installed. Funds were raised for the renovation project through local fundraising. Grants were awarded from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (S.E.A.I.) and Galway County Council. The Tidy Towns volunteers worked tirelessly from July to December 2014 to see the project through to its completion. The building now serves as a Tidy Towns base and a centre for community endeavours.
The inaugural event in the new Courthouse was a Christmas Market held in December 2014. Since then the facilities have been used by Ballygar Bridge Club, Ballygar Silver Threads, the local Legion of Mary, Cloonkeen Art Farm and Ballygar Parish Choir. Ballygar Tidy Towns have also hosted Culture Nights, historical talks, concerts, art exhibitions and a whole variety of lectures and events.
Our Vision for the Future
The National Tidy Towns movement inspires voluntary effort in towns and villages across Ireland. The work of hundreds of Tidy Towns committees and thousands of volunteers not only improves the environment in which we live, but also helps to enrich community relations and build pride in our communities. Aligned with this national vision, the aspiration of Ballygar Tidy Towns for the Courthouse is to offer a centre that will serve to strengthen community relations. Ballygar Tidy Towns will continue to welcome people involved in all community endeavours.