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Derelict shop gets facelift after Charlie Bird doc

Mickey Hessions in Ballinrobe
A FRESH LICK This building (in red), known locally in Ballinrobe as ‘Mickey Hession’s’ was given a much needed coat of paint by Tidy Towns Chairman Tim O’Sulivan.

Dilapidated Ballinrobe building gets face lift after RTÉ documentary

Anton McNulty

When you feel something has to be done, sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. That is exactly what Tim O’Sullivan was thinking when he decided to paint a derelict building in Ballinrobe.
While most of the town was enjoying the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Mr O’Sullivan decided to spend Easter Saturday painting an old building at the top of High Street – known locally as ‘Mickey Hession’s’ shop. The Kerry native, who is chairman of the local Tidy Towns group, decided to do the job himself, without any payment. After many hours and many journeys up and down the ladder, he had brightened up one of the town’s dullest buildings.
The building featured prominently in the final scene of Charlie Bird’s recent documentary ‘Padraig Nally: After the Headlines’. The images of the building and others close to it (also in a state of disrepair) caused much anger in the south Mayo town, as residents felt they portrayed the town in a poor light. O’Sullivan old The Mayo News that the documentary was part of the reason for taking up the paintbrush.
“Charlie Bird has a lot to do with it, but I have been passing that shop for the past six years and my heart would sink every time.… I said to myself something has to be done. The building is owned by the Revenue, and it is in an appalling state. I knew they weren’t going to get their brushes out.
“I felt I would do it myself, it was not a Tidy Towns project, I did it off my own bat. I am from Kerry originally, but I married a Mayo woman and this is my home now and I’m proud of it. I want to continue to be proud of it and not be ashamed of the state of some of the buildings,” he explained.
The building is owned by the Revenue Commissioners and has been up for sale for some time. O’Sullivan explained that he painted this building because it belonged to the Revenue and stressed that he has no intention of painting private buildings. However, he hopes it might spur other owners to brighten up their buildings.
“There are some buildings that could do with a lick of paint. The paint only cost me €50 and it would not take too long to paint some of the buildings.
I hope it will encourage people in the town to start painting.… Sometimes you can’t just sit back and say you should do something and do nothing. Sometimes a bit of action needs to be taken,” he said.

Apartments sold

There was further good news for the aesthetics of Ballinrobe last week when Kevin Beirne Auctioneers announced the successful sale of 21 luxury apartments known as Bower’s View to a group of local investors.
While these apartments are of the highest quality, the new owners’ intend to give the building’s exterior ‘a cosmetic upgrade’.
Commenting on the sale, Kevin Beirne said he was delighted that the apartments were purchased by a local group of investors.

HAVE YOUR SAY email antonmcnulty@mayonews.ie with your comments

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