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  • Describing illegal dumping as ‘economic and environmental treason’ the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Roscommon based, Denis Naughten has allocated €2 million this year for a targeted crackdown on illegal dumping black spots across the country. 

     Minister Naughten and the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring today launched the 2018 Anti-Illegal Dumping Initiative.

    Covert surveillance and smart technology including aerial imagery from drones and satellites as well as the installation of CCTV cameras and better enforcement and prosecution actions will form a central part of this year’s crackdown, confirmed Minister Naughten.  

    Ministers Naughten and Ring announced that applications are now open for Local Authorities and community groups to apply for funding under the 2018 Anti-Dumping Initiative with an increased funding allocation of €2 million euro for 2018.

     Applications for funding are being invited from Local Authorities and are focusing on unauthorised waste collectors and the sources of waste targeting unpermitted ‘man with a van’ operations advertising on-line and through leaflet drops; intelligence led days of action; household bulky waste initiatives such as mattress amnesties.

    The deadline for applications is Friday, 2nd March 2018 and further information on the 2018 anti-dumping initiative is available from the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities and from the Environment Section of each local authority.

  •  

    The Hayes High School marching band from Delware Ohio will be special guests at the third annual St Patrick Day parade in Lahardane

     The north Mayo village will host the band members in their homes for the occasion.

    It will be a weekend of celebrations in Lahardane, following the parade on Saturday March 17th, on Sunday , the 18th, the band will host a concert in the Church.

    Ray Lynn is one of the organizers of the parade and he’s been telling Midwest News more about the festivities.

  • There is good news for Galway on the jobs front with 75 new posts announced this morning.

    Quidel Corporation, which makes medical diagnostic equipment, is establishing a Business Centre in the city.

    The international company already employs approximately 1,200 people across the world.

    Quidel is currently recruiting professionals for its Galway operation in areas including Finance, Human Resources, Customer Service, and Technical Support.

  • The number of senior managers in the HSE has increased by 80pc in just six years, according to new figures released to Fianna Fáil.

    There are 1,329 staff members employed at Grade VIII or above, compared with 744 in 2012.

    The salary scale for a Grade VIII clerical worker begins at around €48,000.

    The deputy leader of Fianna Fáil Dara Calleary told Midwest News today that the recruitment crisis in front line staff clearly does not extend to management.

    He said the increase in managers had not led to improvements in service provision in the past six years.

    Last week the deputy highlighted that waiting list inpatient appointments nationally now stand close to one million .

     

  • The boil water notice on the Lough Talt public water supply has been  extended until further notice while the HSE continues to investigate illness in the community. That’s according to a statement today from Irish Water.

    The utility company says that working in partnership with Sligo County Council, it is advising customers supplied by the Lough Talt public water supply, that the boil water notice issued on the supply last February has been extended until further notice following a meeting with the HSE.


    The notice was issued due to detections of cryptosporidium in the water at the water treatment plant following routine compliance sampling. To date there have been 20 weeks of clear sampling on the scheme, however the HSE are investigating the cause of a number of cases of cryptosporidiosis in the water supply area during the period the Boil Water Notice has been in place.

    The HSE have indicated that the criteria for lifting this notice are zero detections of cryptosporidium in the water at the treatment plant together with a coinciding period of no reported illnesses in the community in the absence of a validated crypto barrier at the treatment plant.

    The next consultation to review this boil water notice between Irish Water, Sligo County Council and the HSE is scheduled for mid-September. In the meantime customers are urged to continue boiling water before consumption.

    Areas affected by the Boil Water Notice include the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bunnanaddan, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carroweden, Kilmacteige, Quarryfield and Coolaney.

    This boil notice also includes customers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme (GWS) in Co Sligo and the following areas in Co Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle, and the Moylough GWS.

    Over 435 customers in Bellaghy are receiving clean, secure water from the Charlestown supply and no longer need to boil water before consumption

    Householders are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption including the washing of teeth, making of ice and in the preparation of food that is not cooked. It is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice. 

     

  • Gardai  in Castlebar are investigating a break-in to a private house in Glenisland yesterday afternoon  in which a significant quantity of cash was taken.

    The burglars gained entry to the home by prising open a back window.

    A black Mazda 6 with a 09 G registration, was observed in the area.

    The car is described as a sporty looking vehicle with silver alloy wheels – the number plates are believed to be false.

    In what gardai believe may have been a related incident, a private house on the Castlebar road outside Newport was also broken into yesterday afternoon. In that case, nothing was taken but a back window of the house was smashed.

    Gardai say the car in question is associated with break-ins along the west coast, and its thought it is sometimes parked in the car parks of shopping centres, or hotels, or in underground carparks.

    Anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area yesterday or may know anything about the whereabouts  of the vehicle  is asked to contact  Castlebar Garda Station at (094) 90 22222.

  • The running track that was promised as part of the new swimming pool development at Lough Lannagh in Castlebar must be delivered. That’s the view of Independent Castlebar councillor, the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District, Michael Kilcoyne.

    Castlebar councillors recently had a tour of the new swimming pool which is due to open to the public in the next number of weeks.

    The Cathaoirleach has acknowledged that it is a state of the art facility, however, he told Midwest News today that running tracks were to be delivered adjacent to the swimming pool site, and the plan now appears to be shelved.

  • Gardai in Claremorris are appealing for anyone who may have been in the Scardaune area of Claremorris last Thursday afternoon and noticed anything suspicious to contact them.

    A man is reported as having exposed himself to a teenager as she was walking along the Scardaune to Ballyglass road.

    The incident happened at about 2.30pm on Thursday last, August 23rd.

    The man is described as having tight brown hair, aged between 30 and 50, and had got out of a silver saloon car with a 98 registration.

     Anyone with information is asked to contact Claremorris garda station on 094 9371222

  • Mayo County Council has deferred a decision on whether to lease a disused quarry near Claremorris to a Co. Kerry firm which specialises in the control and eradication of Japanese Knotweed.

    Residents of the Brookhill area, where the five-acre quarry is located, are firmly opposed, for environmental reasons, to the proposal to treat soil and stone contaminated with the invasive weed at the location.

    A major programme is underway nationally at the moment to eradicate Japanese Knotweed which can cause structural damage by cracking pavements and house foundations.

    The Japanese Knotweed Company, based in Killorglin, has made a formal proposal to Mayo County Council seeking a 15 year lease on the Brookhill quarry at €1,000 per acre per annum.

    Councillors who are members of Claremorris Municipal District had already voted unanimously not to to lease the quarry to the company due to environmental concerns at their Municipal meeting last week.

    The matter again came before the full meeting of the authority yesterday, and a number of concerned residents attended the public gallery to listen to the debate.

    It would appear that the company intends to hold an open day in Claremorris soon to outline in detail its proposals to residents and councillors, and other interested parties.

    While councillors  generally, accept the decision of the Municipal authority, in this case they acknowledged the Claremorris Municipal councillors’ views, but then agreed to defer the item, as distinct from either approving or rejecting it.

  • Deficiencies by both Shell and Gas Network Ireland have been identified by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) following an investigation into an incident last year where odourless gas was pumped into a gas network in Co Mayo.

    A computer system upgrade at the Bellanaboy Gas terminal site in north Mayo was the cause of the incident , that required 10,000 homes and business in Mayo and Galway to switch off their gas for three days last September.  

    The finding was made in a report published today by the CRU.

    The report says the problem arose following a computer system upgrade at the Bellanaboy site and procedures have been put in place to ensure it will not happen again.

    The system was shut down to facilitate the upgrade, and caused a different computer system to go into default mode.

    However, the procedures for the start-up process after the system upgrade on 21st September  2017 did not include a step requiring the operator to reset the odourant injection system to inject odourant.

    Shell EP Ireland identified that odourless gas had been injected in the gas network system at 2am, and by 7am the natural gas emergency plan was activated.

    All affected gas was directed back to the terminal and flared off to remove the non-odourised gas from the system.

    Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring called on the CRU to investigate the incident.

    The investigation also found some deficiencies on the part of Gas Networks Ireland.

    Enforcement actions were taken against both parties and the report concludes that deficiencies in operating procedures that led to the incident have been rectified.

  • Parents fear siblings will be split by a decision to limit enrolment numbers at multi- denominational schools.

    The Department of Education is restricting enrolment at five Educate Together schools to a half-stream limit, which means just 13 new pupils will be enrolled next September.

    The decision affects Educate Together schools in Castlebar, Tuam, Tramore, Trim and New Ross.

    Parents and teachers at the five schools affected have begun a campaign to have the decision reversed.

    The schools were informed they would be allowed a half-stream intake when they were granted permission to set up.

    This was because they are situated in locations with low population growth, but have a demand for diversity.

    Educate Together described the affected schools as "thriving" with growing waiting lists. It said the move would require them to turn away children and families.

    It said the department's decision contradicts why the schools opened and flies in the face of Government claims that the Irish education system supports parental choice.

    A statement from the Department of Education said Educate Together had been aware that the five schools would begin as half stream schools with an intake of 13 pupils.

    It added: "This arrangement has been reflected in the department's engagement with the patron of the schools, Educate Together, and was reiterated in correspondence and communications with the schools concerned.

    A case has been submitted by Educate Together to the Department of Education to further expand these schools and this is currently under consideration, according to the Dept statement.

    Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has called on the Education Minister to abolish the 13 pupil limit. The Department’s current position to limit enrolment to a half stream from September has led to an outcry from parents in Castlebar, she claims, who want to send their children to a multi-denominational school.

    The deputy says the Department sanctioned the opening of the school, but now appears to be attempting to stifle its success by imposing enrolment restrictions.  Demand for places in Educate Together schools is high and the Minister should be embracing their popularity and increasing places to give parents a range of educational options.

    She raised this issue at a meeting of the Fianna Fáil front bench yesterday and says Fianna Fáil is now  calling on Minister Bruton to ensure that these schools are given the resources to offer the full allocation of class places, and not be stymied by a flawed government policy. 

  • Fianna Fáil has announced a major re-shuffle of its front bench.

    Micheál Martin has appointed Ballina based deputy  Dara Calleary as the deputy leader of the party, a position which had been vacant for years.

    Barry Cowen has been moved to Public Expenditure, with Darragh O'Brien taking the Housing brief.

    Stephen Donnelly has been appointed Health Spokesperson while Billy Kelleher moves to the jobs portfolio.

    Castlebar’s Lisa Chambers is the new spokesperson on Brexit, Niall Collins moves to Foreign Affairs, while Jack Chambers will join the front bench as Spokesperson on Defence.

     

  • Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers says women both sides of the border should have equal access to abortion services.

    The Health Minister Simon Harris has said that women in the North will be able to access abortion services here.

    Speaking in Belfast yesterday Simon Harris says services will be available to all women on the island of Ireland once the legislation is introduced.

    Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion remains illegal in the north unless the women's life is at risk or there is a serious danger to her mental or physical health.

    Deputy Chambers insists there should be equal access to abortion services north and south.

     

  • Deputy Eugene Murphy has made a fresh appeal to the CEO of Roscommon County Council to reopen Castlerea fire station as soon as possible following a narrow escape for a Castlerea couple when a fire broke out in a shed at the rear of their home recently.

    The Fianna Fail TD for Roscommon/Galway told Midwest News today that he has received numerous calls and queries from frustrated members of the public in the Castlerea area who are growing increasingly concerned about the lack of a fire service.

    The deputy says he has been informed by the County Manager, Eugene Cummins that a number of people are about to commence training for the service and will be designated to the Castlerea area and having discussed the matter recently with the county manager, he says he is  hopeful that the fire service could re-open in Castlerea by the end of the year or early 2019.

  •  

    The Design team for the €8 million Medical Rehabilitation Unit being planned at Roscommon Hospital is set to be appointed very shortly, according to Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan.

    The Senator says that the announcement of the successful design team for the 20-bed capital project is now imminent.

    The tender process to select a project design team commenced in August 2017 and prospective contractors sent their tenders back on December 27th last. Unfortunately, he says, there appeared to be unwelcome delays in moving this process along; however, he raised the matter directly with Junior Health Minister Jim Daly in June and, since then, the HSE has refocussed its efforts in getting the team in place.

    The facility based at Roscommon University Hospital will operate as a satellite centre under the auspices of the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dun Laoghaire.

  • A fire occurred in a shed behind a family home in Castlerea in the early hours of this morning.

    The Ballaghaderreen fire brigade attended the scene, at around 5am and the blaze was brought under control.

    One person was taken from the scene to the hospital in what was described as a precautionary measure.

    The fire did not spread to the house but was quite intense with a significant quantity of turf stored in the shed.

  • Stephen Rochford has resigned as manager of the Mayo Senior football team.

    He confirmed in a statement yesterday evening that he was stepping down.

    Following Mayo's early exit from this year's championship, he had indicated that he would be staying on.

    However, three members of his management team - Donie Buckley, Tony McEntee and  Peter Burke - did step down.

    Over the weekend it emerged that Stephen had planned to bring in former Mayo player Peter Ford, who had previously managed Galway and Sligo, and Shane Conway into his new management team.

    It is understood that at a meeting of the Mayo County Board's Executive committee on Sunday, members didn't endorse Rochford's new management team.

    At about 6pm yesterday Stephen issued his statement.

    "After a meeting of the Mayo GAA Board's Executive Committee last night (Sun) , held to discuss the management team I had assembled to manage Mayo senior men's team in 2019, the board issued a statement saying they wished to meet the management team and me about our structure and plans.

    "It was apparent from what transpired at that meeting that the desired level of support for me as manager was not forthcoming from the Executive Committee. This disappoints me greatly.

    "Accordingly, I see no value in meeting with the officers of the board and I am resigning my position as Mayo manager. I thank all those who supported me during the past three years, two of which saw Mayo come so close to winning the All-Ireland title.

    "Like all Mayo people, I enjoyed the good days when the team won and suffered the disappointments when the results didn't go our way. It was a great privilege to manage the Mayo team.

    "The 2018 season was a disappointing one for all involved, and for our supporters. However, I had every confidence that our new backroom team had the capacity to build on the progress of previous years and drive the team on in 2019.

    "In particular, I thank the players, backroom team, spouses and partners, family members, our team sponsors Intersport  Elverys, the county board, the clubs and the Mayo supporters worldwide who turned out in huge numbers to support us during the three years and who lent financial backing to the team.

    "A special word of thanks to my wife, Laura, and our children, and both our families, for their support and forbearance at all times.

    "I wish all who will wear the Mayo jersey in 2019 and beyond every success and I look forward to supporting the footballing fortunes of the county."

     Speaking to Newstalk last night about the manager’s decision to step down, former Mayo midfielder David Brady said Stephen owed nothing to Mayo football.

  • More than 300 candles will float down the river Moy in Foxford tonight in a ceremony called “candles to the sea” as part of the annual Foxford Riverfest which gets underway at 7.30pm this evening.

    The ceremony commemorates deceased loved ones, with the names of the dead attached to candles and the poignant event has become a highlight of the Foxford Riverfest.

    The fireworks display tomorrow evening (Sat) along the river at the Admiral Brown promenade, just below the Foxford Woollen Mills, is another highlight of a festival that is centred around the town’s river – The Moy.

    The festival will be officially opened this evening by the Parish Priest of Foxford Fr Padraig Costello and Canon Andrea Wills, and the Foxford Brass Band will be performing.

    Tomorrow, Saturday is a fun filled family day with a variety of interesting and varied events for young and old.

     

  • The community of Clare Island is stunned and saddened by the death of a 13 year old boy in a car collision on the island at the weekend.

     The youth has been named as Morgan Pinder of Gurteen, Clare Island.

    He is survived by his parents Tom and Maureen and his brothers.

    His funeral Mass takes place this afternoon in the Church of the Sacred Heart on Clare Island.

    He will be laid to rest after 1pm funeral Mass.

    The school boy died instantly around 1am on Sunday morning when the car he was driving struck a ditch near his home .

    Fr John Kenny is the adminstrator on the island, this morning he told Midwest News about the deep sense of shock and sadness in the close-knit community on the death of Morgan.

     The teenager was one of seven students on the island that had completed their primary education in the island school this year and was about to begin secondary school on the mainland from September.

    He described Morgan as a lovely, popular boy.

  • A national yellow weather alert has been issued for wet and windy weather with a risk of downpours. The warning comes into effect this evening at 5pm until 6am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

    Gusts of up to 110km/h are expected in coastal areas. Further build ups of snow are likely in north Connacht and west Ulster.

    Met Éireann says many areas will be mostly dry this morning with some wintry showers and sunny spells.

    Gardai are advising road users to take due caution this morning, as roads are described as hazardous across the region.

    Outbreaks of rain will develop along the Atlantic coast by the evening as winds will strengthen. Temperatures will be between 4-7 degrees.

    Snow and sleet are forecast for tonight before thundery downpours and heavy rain arrives.

    The cold weather will remain through tomorrow as scattered wintry showers continue with some sunny spells.