The green light has been given by Ballina councillors to allow the development of a Sensory Park at the Tom Ruane Park, Clare Street in Ballina.

A Part 8 Planning was approved by all councillors for the development at today’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District.

The project includes a Sensory Garden which will include hard and soft landscaping works, surface paving, planting, boundary treatments and associated site development works and services.

The project has already secured significant funding from the local community.

The funding efforts were spearheaded earlier this year by Mayo footballer Padraig O’Hora and the Flow Project group together with David O’Malley and the Ballina Clean Up group.

Padraig was in attendance online at today’s meeting and he said. "It's just great to have everyone on board for this project. I am grateful to everyone for the role they have played in its progression to date.

Cllr Seamus Weir took the opportunity to welcome Padraig to the meeting and congratulated him on the role he played as a Mayo footballer this year. The councillor condemned the abuse online that many Mayo players have had to endure in recent days and he said it is wrong.

Ballina Manager Declan Turnbull said the approval of the Part 8 planning today is a significant development in the delivery of the Sensory Park. He outlined the timeline on its delivery saying - once the final design is in place, a tender will go out for the works in October, a preferred tender should be secured by Christmas and it is hoped works will get underway by March next (2022) and completed by June of next year.