I saw the community Spirit was at a peak at Ballyalla Lake for the recent Clean-up Day. Residents and volunteer groups such as the Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group and Ennis Boy Scouts joined forces to tidy up this fantastic amenity in Ennis after a successful summer season.
I’m proud to be the Chairman of the Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group, formed in 2013 as a result of a public meeting with the aim of reviving Ballyalla Lake. Since then we have been the Volunteer group whose objective has been to work on the ground with others to make Ballyalla Lake more accessible, safer and a more attractive amenity for all the community. As a result, the Lake has earned Green Flag recognition for the last two years. The council, since 2013, have worked with landowners upstream to improve the lake’s water quality from a bathing perspective. In 2013 its then bathing water status was of “poor water quality”, but for the last three years, the Lake-water improved to a status of “good water quality” which means that swimmers are back again using the Lake. Members of the public can check the most recent results of the regular water quality testing which are posted on the public information board at the slipway located midway along the car-parking area.
Cillian Griffey a Ballyalla resident and Secretary of the working group outlines that, “There has been good support from some residents for the collaborative work completed by our group, Clare County Council and the Ennis community to restore the public amenity at the Lake while respecting the wildlife and environment. We are thankful for the support from the Ennis Boy Scouts and Ennis Tidy Towns for participating in the most recent of the monthly clean-up days in this 2018 summer season. This community spirit will help to restore Ballyalla Lake to its former glory.”
When the group formed, the lake had been removed from the list of Beaches in County Clare and facilities had fallen into disarray. Our members’ determination, campaigning and collaboration with the community means the lake is on its way to achieving its potential as a public Wildlife, Environment and Recreational Centre.
While the Lake has secured the Green Flag status and has become more widely used, the group will continue to lobby for further investment. Development in the lake area, such as restoring lifeguard services, public toilet facilities, playground items, and repairing the old pier, will allow more leisure activities with the ultimate aim of Ballyalla achieving Blue Flag status.