Moy Valley Resources is a community initiative to help develop employment and social resources in the Ballina region.

Community action in Ballina, County Mayo aims to tackle some of the problems associated with unemployment and emigration in the town. Rather than accept the inevitability of unemployment and emigration, local businesses in Ballina have come together to help drive job creation in the town.

The local community here decided to do something about the situation.

The community has already raised £100,000 to fund a promotional company Moy Valley Resources, local businessman Seamus Quinn believes is the best thing to have ever happened to the town and the region. He explains that the town has been dependent upon politicians to do something about the growing problem of unemployment now local people have taken the problem into their own hands.

CEO of Billy Lewis says that the Ballina currently has 30% unemployment and around 36% emigration. Along with a fall in agricultural income to the region, the economic situation is bleak. Billy Lewis says that the community has reacted positively through the development of a self help programme which he believes will make a real difference.

A priority for Moy Valley Resources is to promote the region’s tourism potential. It is hoped to attract around ten thousand extra visitors to the area next year. Moy Valley Resources have started using the French Minitel system to help to promote and sell tourist attractions in the region. This a computer platform is used to promote accommodation to national and international visitors. The system has already proved to be a huge success with hoteliers, guesthouse and bed & breakfast owners in Donegal.

For just £5 a week, details of their accommodation and availability are stored on minitel’s central computer and are instantly available to tourists already in the country and to those who simply dial into the system from their living room telephones all over Europe.

Ballina based hotelier Kieran McCarthy is using Minitel to advertise heritage holidays at his 16th century Manor House Hotel at Belleek Castle. He believes that the new technology brings them into the modern age of tourism.

Projects Officer at the Department of Social Welfare Julia O’Neill commends the initiative and praises the local community in working with state agencies to address employment problems.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 September 1991. The reporter is Jim Fahy.