A Ballinasloe woman channelled her own frustration at the lack of information available, to set up a website that helps find activities for all the family for the weekend.
Aoife Lally – daughter of Eamon and Phil Lally from Clontuskert, Ballinasloe – wants to provide a platform for event organisers to inform the public of their events.
BY KEN KELLY
Aoife now lives in Clonmel with her husband Barry O’Driscoll and children Ciara and Jack – and the idea of InspireMe.ie was born while she was on maternity leave.
She has had great support from her husband, parents and sister Maeve in launching the new website. She feels it will provide a badly-needed platform for event organisers and highlighted its advantages for families.
“At the weekends invariably we would end up going for an aimless spin in the car, only to find that a few miles down the road there was a family field day or festival,” she explains.
“The best day of last summer was as a result of a chance conversation with a friend about a three day eventing competition. We are not involved in the sport ourselves, and so it wouldn’t have been on our radar at all. We could just have easily missed it,” she adds.
“Another problem we often faced was, on days out with my sister-in-law, who has special needs and uses a wheelchair, we found it very difficult to research where we could go that would have accessible parking and facilities.
“I strongly believe that accessibility should be standard and those with special needs should be confident that if they are attending an event, the venue will cater for their requirements.
“Finally, from seeing charity events being organised over the years, I know how much work people can put into fundraisers and charity events, often giving up their own time voluntarily.
“My father has been involved with the Social Services in Ballinasloe for many years and they are constantly trying to raise funds for their services. No matter how much work goes into setting up fundraising events, they are only successful if people know when they are on,” she says.
Aoife, who attended St. Augustine’s NS in Clontuskert, where her father Eamon was principal, received her secondary education at Scoil Mhuire in Ballinasloe before studying for Optometry at DIT, Kevin St., Dublin.
After qualifying she worked for a year in London before moving to Clonmel.
“InspireMe.ie will allow people to find out what’s happening in any area of the country,” she says.
“It doesn’t respect county lines, so if you’re in Kinvara you won’t have to check another website to see what’s happening in Ballyvaughan. Anyone with a special interest, can sign up for alerts. If I am into Heritage and an event of this nature is listed I will be informed.
“Our big point of difference is that we are asking all organisers to provide information on the accessibility of their venues. We want to make sure that if you need a sensory friendly event you can find if with the click of a button. We have provided lots of information for event organiser about how to make their events accessible, and hope we can help in a small way to make Ireland a more inclusive place to live” adds Aoife.