Balla Tidy Towns
Balla is a great place to live and to visit. Our community spirit and our resilience sets us apart. The following gives an insight into the creativity, cooperation and commitment of our people
over the years as well as their eagerness to fight back when challenges arise.
In early times Balla was known as 'Ros Dairbhreach', - 'The Oak Wood’ and the importance of the oak to the local community is reflected in the "Dawn Oak 2000" project when 2000 oak trees were planted by the community at the beginning of this millennium, creating a new wood in Balla Town Park. The Balla Town Park which was given in trust to the people of Balla dates back to 1929 and comprises 190 acres of forests, woods and parklands. It is now the home of our local GAA Club and our unique 18-Hole Par 3 Golf Course. Balla Town Parks planted 5000 native trees under the NeighbourWood Scheme in 2018, and this wood now incorporates inspiring forest walks as well as a fairy village and picnic areas.
Farming has always been the backbone of the community in Balla. In the 1960s small scale pig farming was an important enterprise and a Cooperative Pig Fattening Station was developed by the community to provide access to a reliable market for farmers. Western Farming Development Co-Op Society Ltd opened in 1969 in Balla and has recently opened a modern state-of-the-art store catering for farmers, builders and everyone else in the community. Fair Days in Balla can be traced back to 1699 and during the 1800s they were among the largest in the county for cattle and sheep. When it became apparent that Fairs were coming to an end, Balla Cooperative Mart was founded in 1972 by a group of local farmers with the help of shareholders from all over the area. Balla Mart was taken over by NCF Coop in 1990 and currently Aurivo Co-op Mart Balla is one of the top marts in the country.
Balla Community Resource Development (CRD) Ltd. is a development company established by the community in 1996 with a vision of “A sustainable community, based on a spirit of trust, where everybody can feel valued and supported”. A development fund of £250,000 was established and the first project was to build a Community Resource Centre with the help of South West Mayo Leader, Mayo County Council and FÁS. It is now used by all sections of the community including Parent & Toddler Group, Active Retired Association, Youth Clubs, and many more groups and organisations in Balla as well as a venue for Community Days. Balla CRD It is now the focal point of our community and initiates and leads many Community Projects. We developed a Statement of Strategy and Business Plan last year which sets out our vision, objectives, goals and plans for the future.
Balla Tidy Towns are very active resulting in an improvement in our performance every year and we have increased our marks in The Tidy Towns Competition by 35 points In the last 3 years and also won a Regional Sustainability Award