Achill

  • There’s good news this morning for the proposed Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point at Keem Bay in Achill.

    Fáilte Ireland is allocating €150,000 to Mayo County Council to begin the design phase of the discovery project.

    The council will contribute €50,000, which means an investment of €200,000 in progressing the discovery point, which will attract an increased number of visitors to Achill Island –that’s according to the Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring.

    The Discovery Point was announced three years ago, and will see the construction of a viewing platform over Keem Bay.

    The project is expected to cost over €4 million euro in total.

  • Irish Water is advising the public of a number of burst water mains in the region today.

    Repairs to a burst water main in Cashel, Achill is causing supply disruptions.

    It is expected that full supply should be restored by 5pm this evening.

    Repairs to a burst water main may cause supply disruptions to Bangor Erris, Keenagh, Bellacorick, Belmullet and surrounding areas today.

    A traffic management plan is also in place for the duration of these works.

    Works are scheduled to run until 3pm today.

    Also,repairs to a burst water main may cause supply disruptions to Ballyheane, Castlebar and surrounding areas.

    Works have an estimated completion time of 1pm today but supply may take up to three hours to fully return to all affected properties.

  • The Achill Dolphins are here to stay.

    It was revealed recently that the same family of dolphins have been following an Achill fishing boat for more than two years as the local crew went about their business in the waters off the coast.

    They were waiting for the boat every time it went to sea and would play around it until it returned to Purteen Harbour with its catch.

    However, fishermen can be very superstitious and the story remained untold until recently.

    The recent spell of bad weather meant that the fishing boat was tied up for two weeks and some experienced fishermen reckoned that the dolphins would no longer be present in the bay when fishing resumed, now that the secret was out.

    Nothing could be further from the truth! When the fishing boat returned to the water on Monday morning, the dolphins were in situ much to the delight of the local aquarium and its CEO, Terence Dever.

    “We’re very proud of the amazing waters we have around Achill and were overjoyed when news came through this morning that the dolphins are here to stay. They obviously know what hospitable people we are.

    “We have thousands of people coming to see the wonderful aquarium we have here and now we’ll be able to tell visitors about our resident dolphin family as well,” he added.

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    The Achill Half Marathon has been named the Best Half Marathon and Most Scenic Route by Run Ireland today.

    The national awards honour the various events that fall under the remit of Run Ireland each year and the Achill Half Marathon has scooped two awards in the scheme.

    Sean Molloy of Achill Tourism told Midwest Sport that it is a huge accolade for all involved.

    Best 5k: Darkness into Light
    Best 5 Mile/8k: Clontarf 5 Mile
    Best 10k: Womens Mini Marathon
    Best 10 Mile: Irish Runner 10 Mile
    Best Half Marathon: Achill Half Marathon
    Best Full Marathon: Dublin Marathon
    Best Ultra Marathon: Connemara 100
    Best Triathlon/Duathlon: Ironman 70.3 Dun Laoghaire
    Best OCR Event: Hell and Back
    Most Scenic Route: Achill Marathon  

  • Dingle might be famous for Fungi the dolphin, but Achill Island can now boast not one but two friendly dolphins.

    A local fisherman has revealed that the same two dolphins have followed his boat out to Achill Head every day for the past three years, and can be seen playing in the waters around his vessel.

    In recent days, the fisherman has told staff at the Achill Experience Aquarium & Visitor Centre about his friends in the dolphin family, and staff expect huge interest from the public in the coming weeks and months.

    Achill Aquarium is celebrating its second birthday today and has already welcomed some 40,000 visitors.

    On Saturday next, Minister Michael Ring will officially open phase two of the Aquarium and Visitor Centre.

  • A Mayo man has been appointed the new CEO of the Galway Chamber.

    Kenneth Deery, a native of Achill Island, has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Galway Chamber.

    Kenneth has almost 20 years experience in the retail banking sector, and most recently served as Regional Engagement Manager with AIB in Galway

    He also has a strong background in business and community development, innovation and tourism.

    He has led several business development delegations to the US, on behalf of the Achill local development organisation Comhlacht Forbatha Áitiúil Acla, and has been a board member of a number of organisations in the community and tourism sectors in Mayo and Galway.

    Mr Deery says he's delighted to the joining Galway Chamber, as it's an exciting time for Galway with considerable opportunities to be explored.

     

     

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    An Achill man has been jailed for two years for his role in an aggravated burglary, during which a husband and wife were tied up in their home and threatened with an imitation firearm.

    The court heard that 20-year old Declan Maxwell and another man, who is now deceased, invaded the house and demanded money because they claimed the couple's teenage son owed a drug debt.

    Maxwell, who was then 16-years-old, and the other man ordered the couple to hand over their bank cards and write down their PIN details.

    These were then passed to a third person outside the home who used them to take €440 cash from an ATM.

    The couple were then tied up with rope cut from the clothes line before the invaders made off with an Xbox, Wii console, Samsung Galaxy phone, a wifi router and runners, all valued around €1,000.

    Declan Maxwell, with an address at Rossfield Park, Fettercairn, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at Stannaway Avenue, Crumlin, Dublin, on December 7, 2013.

    The father-of-one is originally from Achill Island, Co. Mayo and has one previous minor conviction for possessing drugs.

    The court heard that Maxwell  was stopped by gardai the following day for a random drugs search, when he confessed to the aggravated burglary. The court heard was carrying a bag containing some of the items that had been taken from the house.

    Judge Martin Nolan said Maxwell participated voluntarily in the home invasion, which he described as a “reprehensible crime”.

    The judge imposed a five year sentence with three suspended and ordered that Maxwell undergo 18 month probation service supervision post release.

  • Achill Tourism is hosting its 4th Expo Achill this Easter Monday.

    The event is a showcase of all that Achill Island has to offer, from outdoor activities to the best in retail and design.

    There will also be a presence from the voluntary sector – the RNLI and Achill Island Coastguard.

    Everyone is welcome to attend the event and admission is free.

    The event takes place in Colaiste Acla in Dooega and runs from 12 noon to 4pm on Monday.

  • Architects are to be appointed next month to design the Keem Bay Discovery Point in Achill.

    The project was announced in 2014 as one of the major discovery points along the Wild Atlantic Way, but concerns have been expressed about the lack of progress since.

    At last month's meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District, Achill-based Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McNamara expressed frustration at the slow progress on the Keem Bay project, which he says will attract huge numbers of visitors to the island's blue flag beach.

    He asked for a full report on the project, and at this week's meeting of the authority, a presentation was given on the timescale and work involved.

    Environmental consultants will be appointed later this month, as the site is in a designated area, and architects will then be appointed next month.

     

  • Around 200 customers are without electricity this afternoon in the Achill area.

    According to ESB Powercheck, 202 customers are without power, due to a fault.

    Power is out since around 2.30pm today and the estimated restoration time is 6.15pm this evening.

  • Mayo Junior Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta 
    Semi-Finals
    Ballycastle 4-06 Tourmakeady 1-09
    Cill Chomain 2-05 Achill 1-04 

  • The recent heat wave and calm seas has allowed a group of rocks known as Bills Rock, situated 11Km south of Achill Island to be filmed. The cameras caught the magnificent rocky island outcrop from the air for the first time and were also able to go through a double sea arch and record it.

    Few visitors ever go out to the Rock which can be seen on the horizon from Achill Island. And of those that do, even fewer have sailed under the arches as the sea, tide and wind have to be just right to allow it to be done. The unusual weather system that Ireland has experienced over the past two weeks has allowed this to happen and we now can show this magnificent location in all its beauty.

    The rocks are an important habitat for wildlife and hosts colonies of puffins (7.1% of the total Irish population), storm petrels, kittiwakes, guillemots and other gulls. A large number of seals also live on the islands. It is now a designated SPA (Special Protection Area).

    It gets its name from an unusual source, a Danish sea captain by the name of Mathias De Bille. He was the captain of a Danish Navy frigate called the Bornholm that departed from Copenhagen on 14th December 1781. As the ship rounded Ireland’s north coast on 17th January 1782 a hurricane blew up and drove the Bornholm south along the west coast of Ireland. With its foremast and bowsprit gone the frigate was virtually uncontrollable and but for a tremendous feat of seamanship would have been lost at these rocks and under the treacherous cliffs of Clare Island. Somehow De Bille guided his ship to the relatively calm waters of Melcombe Bay near Newport in Co. Mayo. The weary captain had lost several of his crew during the storm and was horrified to discover that the remaining crew members were now stricken by malignant fever. De Bille also caught the fever himself and was befriended by a local merchant, John McLoughlin, who treated him in his own home. De Bille died there on St. Patrick’s Day 1782. He was buried in Newport with full military honours.

    Achill Tourism has recently launched The Achill Maritime Trail, a series of 19 story boards that are placed at various locations around the island and tell many stories of Achill’s long history with the sea. As well as the story of how Bills Rock got its name, the trail highlights tales of Grace O’Malley, ancient ship wrecks, the basking shark fishing industry and many more tales of triumph and tragedy. The video has shot on 27th June 2018 and features views that have never been seen before. It was filmed by Sean Molloy who travelled there with 2 local experienced local fishermen Gerry Hassett and Martin Kane.

     

     

    Check out Achill Tourism for more wonderful images and events in the area.

  • There is a major water outage on Achill Island today due to a burst pipe.

    The Water mains burst affecting Cashel and the Upper Achill area.

    Council Crews are working on fixing the problem and hope to have water restored later tonight or by the latest tomorrow morning.

  • A contractor has been appointed for the Tonragee Scheme in Achill for five new houses.

    This news has been welcomed by local Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McNamara who says more council housing sites should be looked at rural areas like Achill.

    Cllr. McNamara says there is currently 40 people on the housing list in Achill and this number should be tackled.

  • Minister Creed needs to immediately review the situation where commonage farmers in Achill are having their payments delayed because of a fire that occurred on the mountain on the island last summer.

    Achill based Fianna Fail councillor Paul McNamara made the appeal at the monthly meeting of Mayo county council  this week attended by Minister of State John Paul Phelan.

    He described the impact on farmers having their payments held up or withdrawn, when a fire occurs on commonage that is open and accessible to the general public.

    In one case on Achill there is a 17,000 acres of unfenced commonage held by more than 500 shareholders and with about 200 active farmers and these farmers are told that if there is 20 percent burning of the commonage then all their payments will be withheld.

    But he argued, those farmers cannot be responsible for what they simply can’t control.

  • Former double National Rally champion Declan Boyle took a comfortable victory in the opening round of this year’s Triton Showers series by bringing his Ford Fiesta home 37 seconds clear of the nearest opposition in the Achill Island Hotel-Connacht Print and Signs Mayo Stages Rally yesterday.

    The Donegal driver and his new Monaghan partner James O’Reilly led from the opening stage and were never headed all day, with Josh Moffett and Keith Moriarty taking runner up position ahead of Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan in yet another Fiesta, just over a minute farther back.

    Two more ex-title holders were out of luck, with Donagh Kelly recovering to tenth place at the end after a disastrous puncture, while Roy White slid off the road on the first stage and was completely out of contention by the time he could restart. Adrian Wray won the Group N Production class, with Jason Black and Jack McKenna the Junior winners.

     

  • The family of an Achill native who went missing in Holland are reported to have hired a Dutch crime investigator to help them solve the mystery of his disappearance according to the Irish Sun.

    James Patrick Grealis went missing from Breda in Holland in October 2008 after leaving a guesthouse in Breda to look for work.

    His family do not believe the 24-year-old carpenter left the country deliberately or broke off contact deliberately.

    James Patrick had been living and working in Holland since April 2007, however on October 17th of 2008 he was laid off from his job in Eindhoven and travelled to Breda to look for work.

    He knew the town well, as he had previously lived and worked there. But on October 23rd of that year he checked out of a hostel in Breda and has not been seen since.

    JP’s sister Helen told the Irish Sun that they have never given up the hope they will find him.

    The Grealis family said that they had been given little help from the Dutch police.

    Anyone with any information can contact the Facebook page set up to try and find JP.

     

  • An Achill based Councillor has voiced his frustration with the delay in delivering the Wild Atlantic Way Signature Discovery for Keem Bay.

    It was confirmed at yesterday’s Monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District that the authority have yet to tender for a design team for the project.

    The project may now have to go through a planning process.

    The first announcement for the Keem Bay Discovery Point on Achill Island was made over four years ago and Fianna Fail’s Paul McNamara says we are no further on from it.

    Cllr. McNamara says these projects are taking far too long to deliver and if proper infrastructure isn’t going to be put in along the Wild Atlantic Way the area is going to be left behind.

  • Funding of €31,320 has been approved to Scian Mara Teo in Achill under the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme for the expansion of oyster production.

    Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed today announced the award of €4,863,643 in grants to 26 seafood enterprises and 3 research institutions in 11 different counties under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the seafood sector.

    Minister Michael Ring says he is pleased this funding has been approved which is a total investment of €78,300 in Sciana Mara Teo.

  • Funding totalling over €91,000 has been announced for seafood businesses in Co Mayo, under the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund Operational Programme.

    Two allocations, totalling almost €62,000, goes to Carr & Sons Seafood based at Croghan , Killala with over €30,000 for the development of a new oyster farm in Achill.