• There's a call on the Government for more accessible housing for people with disabilities.

    Independent Living Movement is making the call as the organisation's being launched today.

    It's also started campaigning for a Personal Assistance Service for people with disabilities.

  • Fianna Fail says a record high in outpatient waiting list marks a grim month for the overcrowding crisis in the country's hospitals.

    The party's new health spokesperson says 504,111 patients were left waiting for appointments, as hospital waiting lists continue to rise.

    Deputy Stephen Donnelly says that's the highest total ever recorded.

    With one in ten Irish people waiting for an appointment - Deputy Donnelly has accused the Government of a complete lack of urgency in tackling the problem.

  • It's a numbers game as the Taoiseach's Cabinet reshuffle moves towards a Dail vote on Tuesday.

    Overnight, the Government got a boost, when Independent TD Noel Grealish confirmed he'd back the Government in key votes - until Brexit is sorted.


    The Government's still not out of the woods - with every potential vote being counted.

    Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald says it's 'make your mind up time' for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael - saying the Confidence and Supply arrangement is a 'political con job' which has led to uncertainty at a crucial time for the country; with Brexit, housing and health in the balance.

    Yesterday the Taoiseach confirmed his reshuffle and a new junior ministry was announced for Independent TD Sean Canney, in a move to shore up the Government, and bring their number of Dail votes to just 2 shy of the vital 57.

    Then last night, Independent Noel Grealish confirmed he'd back the Government in key votes until Brexit is sorted - giving Michael Lowry a deciding vote to give the Government a majority - and making the prospect of an election before Christmas, less likely.



  • The gap between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail has narrowed in the latest opinion poll.

    Support for the main opposition party is up 4 points to 25 per cent in the Sunday Times/ Behaviour and Attitudes survey.

    Fine Gael is down two to 32 per cent.

    Sinn Féin also drop two per cent to 20 per cent.

    Labour is up two at 5.

    While Solidarity People Before Profit are up 2 to 3 per cent, with the Green Party up one also on 3 per cent.

    No change for The Independent Alliance on 4 with Independents and Others dropping 2 to 8 per cent voter support.

  • Government have today announced a €2 million euro investment  to upgrade the roof in GMIT.

    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring says this represents a major statement of intent by the Government in the Castlebar Campus.

    Today's announcement is part of the Government's multi-billion investment in education as part of Project Ireland 2040.

    Minister Ring says investment of this kind can only bode well for the future of the Mayo GMIT Campus.

  • Michael Ring

    The government has launched the National Planning Framework with 116 billion euro of investment announced.

    There's 22 billion for measures to tackle climate change as well as large investments in health, housing, education and transport.

    Project 2040 was formally approved by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers at a special Cabinet meeting in Sligo.

    This is a plan that aims to prepare the country for a population expansion of around one million people over the next 20 years. The plan also aims to have an extra 660,000 people at work.

    The Government announced four new funds totaling €4bn for "rural and urban growth, climate action and innovation".

    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring says some of the projects included are major improvements to the N4/N5 including on the Westport to Turlough section, the Ballaghadereen to Scramogue section and the extension of the motorway from Mullingar to Longford.

    A special Rural Regeneration Fund worth €1 billion nationally to be administered and will involve targeted investment in towns, villages and townlands in Mayo.  

    A significant investment package in Ireland West Airport Knock in recognition of its strategic importance as a major regional airport.

    An Urban Regeneration Fund which will see significant investment in rural towns with a population of over 10,000 such as Castlebar and Ballina as well as our major cities.

    €19.4 million to be invested in new sewerage schemes for Foxford, Charlestown and Killala.

    4 new consultants will be recruited at Mayo University Hospital as part of the national trauma care strategy.

    €3.5 million investment in GMIT Castlebar campus.

    New cycling and walking trails in Ballycroy as well as Major improvements to the Ceide Fields Visitor Experience.

  • The INMO says it remains available for talks with the Government in its dispute over staffing levels and pay.

    It's organising a national rally next Saturday and has announced extra strike dates on the 19th and 21st of this month.

    Nurses and midwives will also down tools next Tuesday and Thursday and on the 12th, 13th and 14th.

    INMO Deputy General Secretary David Hughes says they'll keep the pressure on the Government if no solution's found

  • The latest political opinion poll brings good news for Fine Gael.

    The Red C Sunday Business Post poll shows the Government party ahead on 33 percent with Fianna Fail 9 points behind on 24.

    Sinn Fein's up 2 points to 16 percent.

    Renua and Solidarity PBP are both up 1 to 2 percent.

    The Independent Alliance drop to just 1 percent with Independents overall on 11.

    Labour's unchanged on 6 percent - the Green Party and Social Democrats are unchanged on 2 percent.

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the amount of money being allocated to two private companies who deliver the Government's JobPath programme.

    JobPath is an initiative of the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection, and aims to assist long-term unemployed persons to secure fulltime employment.

    Following questions from Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, it emerged that the two private companies - Seetec and Turas Nua - have been paid almost €150 million euro in total since JobPath started.

    That breaks down to €3,718 for each candidate referred to them that makes it successfully through the scheme.

    The Mayo Senator is questioning whether this represents value for taxpayer's money, and says many of the participants have complaints about the scheme itself.

  • More than 90 percent of a two year government Action Plan for Rural Development has been completed, according to the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring.

    The Action plan was launched in January of last year (2017) and contains 277 actions aimed at supporting the economic and social progress of rural Ireland.

    The actions outlined in the plan, are to be delivered across government and state agencies between 2017 and 2019.

    The second Progress Report on the plan has been published today and states that 254 of the 277 actions outlined are either completed , or are substantially advanced, representing a 93 % implementation rate.

  • Fine Gael would still top the poll in a general election.

    A Sunday Independent / Kantar Millward Brown poll taken between the 18th and 30th of April, gives the party 34 percent of the vote, ahead of Fianna Fail on 27 and Sinn Fein on 22.

    Labour and the Independent Alliance are both on 5 percent, The Greens on 3 percent, non-aligned Independents on 2, and Solidarity/People Before Profit on 1.

  • A new poll out this weekend shows satisfaction with the Government has dipped, with nearly half the people polled, unhappy with its performance.

    The Sunday Independent Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll shows the Taoiseach's own popularity has also taken a hit and Fine Gael is suffering too.

  • A second report into the Cervical Check controversy could take more time to complete.

    It's looking into the standards at laboratories used for cervical screening by Cervical Check.

    The Irish Independent reports the latest Scally report may be delayed due to the breadth and complexity of issues involved.

    The opposition have been calling on the Government to publish the report as soon as possible.

  • gerry murray

    The Government’s National Development Plan and National Planning Framework are expected to be published next week.

    Ministers are still negotiating with the Finance Minister Paschal Donohue ahead of the publication of the 115 billion euro development plan, which will outline capital development plans over the coming years.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry Murray is calling on Fianna Fail to use their veto to ensure that rural Ireland gets its fair share of infrastructure under the plan – with funding for Knock Airport, the Western Rail Corridor and rural broadband among other projects.

  • Sinn Féin is to seek independent legal advice on whether the Government’s National Planning Framework (NPF) announced on Friday last in Sligo, needs to be voted on in the Oireachtas. That’s according to today’s Irish Times.

    The strategy aims to manage an anticipated population growth of one million people over the next 20 years, and it was launched with an accompanying 10-year infrastructural plan. However, Opposition parties have raised questions over the legal basis for the implementation of the framework.

    Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said the Taoiseach and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy had sought to mislead the Dáil on the matter. He says an independent legal opinion is required and confirmed  he will be asking the Oireachtas committee on housing to seek such advice.

    The Government has insisted the framework will automatically be placed on a statutory footing when the Planning and the Development Bill, which is in the Seanad, is signed into law.

    Fianna Fáil’s housing spokesman Barry Cowen said the Government was seeking to undermine legitimate questions being posed by members of the Opposition about the framework.

    He said linking the framework to the National Development Plan, which provides funding for capital projects, was an attempt to conflate the two issues.

    Project Ireland 2040 was unveiled with a lot of hype and stage show by the government in Sligo IT on Friday last.

    It’s a document of almost 300 pages and comes with a commitment to invest 116 billion euro across a range of planning and development  programmes. It includes a one billion rural regeneration fund, a 2 billion urban regeneration fund – but does not reveal much detail on how either fund will work.

    Sligo has been designated as a regional centre for the northwest in the plan while with Athlone as the same designation for the midlands.

    In housing, the Government’s aim is to build an average of 25,000 to 30,000 new homes a year. It also says 112,000 social homes will be built by 2027.

    It includes a vision of transport needs over the next twenty years, population growth, climate change and controls.

    On the health front, among the items included is a 25 percent increase in hospital beds, the building of three new elective hospitals including one in Galway.

    A number of the projects outlined in the plan are already underway, some are new, but it will take some time to see if the plans become a reality.

  • The government’s Strategic Communications Unit is “a propaganda unit” that needs to be abolished, according to Sligo based Fianna deputy Marc McSharry.

    In the Dail yesterday the unit’s future was debated under a Sinn Fein’s Private Motion calling for its disbandment.

    The motion received cross party support on the floor of the house from opposition deputies. The vote on the motion takes place tomorrow (Thursday).

    However, Leo Varadkar has urged the Dail to await the outcome of a review of the Strategic Communications Unit.

    Deputy McSharry has been telling Midwest Radio News today why he believes the unit should be disbanded and the 5 million euro per year cost of it, redirected to investment in western counties.

  • Tuam Home Survivors' Network, representing survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home and their families have today urged the Government to begin collecting their DNA samples immediately. 

    This work, they say, should proceed in a way that will be of greatest benefit to the greatest number of survivors, victims and families.  For this to be achieved, as much information as possible should be obtained from each sample of human remains. 

    The Networks insists that there is a certain urgency to this process given age profile and health status of the survivors and their families.  

    Results from what they describe as an “ageing and in, some cases, frail membership” should be banked to eliminate any delay in returning human remains to identifiable relatives for dignified burials.