• A Heatwave Safety Reminder from Mayo County Council

    We are delighted to welcome the sunshine and the visitors that follow it to our wonderful county. The increase in tourism numbers can be felt in all parts of the county and we welcome everyone staying here enjoying the holiday weather in the many places of interest and beauty throughout our county.

    The highly anticipated sunrays are both a delight to enjoy, but also to be respected. We would like to remind everyone to be mindful of the Met Eireann Yellow Weather Warning in place until 9pm Friday and to consider the following:

    As temperatures reach between 24C and 27C today, tomorrow and Wednesday, we remind householders, farmers and businesses to avoid un-necessary use of water to prevent any weather-related shortages, if any water leaks are noticed by the public they should be reported to Irish Water on 1850 278 278 or their local Group Water Scheme.

    People are also being warned to take extra care in the water after ten deaths by drowning in Ireland in the last month, according Irish Water Safety.

    Mayo County Council urges people to take the appropriate steps to stay sage in water:

    • Inexperienced swimmers should swim within their depth
    • Swim in designated swimming areas, especially where there is a life guard on duty
    • No matter what you are doing wear a life jacket
    • Keep paddling pools supervised at all times.

    The hot temperatures can also bring difficulties whilst driving, with sun glare a difficult driving issue Mayo County Council Road Safety Office offers the following advice:

    Keep your windshield clean: the particles on a dirty windshield intensify the glare as opposed to blocking it.

    One of the most dangerous attributes of sunrise/sunset glare is that it comes up so suddenly. Keep your eyes focused farther down the road and be aware when you are turning into the sun.

    Adjust your speed when driving into the sun and understand that other drivers may also slow down significantly, or even stop suddenly.

    Keep a set of polarized sunglasses within easy reach in the car.

    Use headlights – even during very bright days, having headlights on can help you be more visible to other drivers

    The Road Safety Office would also like to remind people to look after their animals and never leave dogs unattended in vehicles during the hot weather.

    Another heatwave related safety issue is forest and gorse fires. Mayo County Council Fire Department warns people not to light fires that also includes camp fires and bonfires, either intentionally or accidentally, due to the extremely dry weather.

    We would finally like to remind people to Mind Your Neighbours, drop in to visit any elderly or vulnerable neighbours to check on whether they might require some assistance or just a friendly visit during this heat spell.

    For further information please contact Aoife KellyThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 094 906 4547

    visit www.mayo.ie/ @mayodotie

  • 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.

  • While it might be too soon to say farmers are in a crisis situation due to the current dry spell of weather, they are certainly in a very difficult position.

    That’s according to Irish Farmers Journal News Correspondent Hannah Quinn Mulligan.

    The current dry conditions look set to continue into next week, with no rain forecast for at least another five days.

    Experts are warning farmers to take action now to help reduce issues further down the line.

    As grass growth is slow because of the heat, many farmers are feeding animals the first cut of silage and supplementing with meal.

    This may have a knock-on effect later in the year and fodder stocks.

  • If you're worried about your garden and plants over the next few days as the temperatures continue to soar and the hose pipe ban comes into force, there's only one man to turn to for advice. Check out these top tips from Paraic Horkan of Horkan's Garden Centre

    "Remember this is fantastic gardening weather ideal for adding instant colour from Roses - Hydrangeas - Petunias, scented stocks and summer patio plants which will flower from now until early winter and it's also ideal weather for controlling garden weeds and giving your garden a good tidy up!

    What to do in your Garden in Hot (Hot!) Weather

    In a hose ban Watering in the Garden.

    1. Water - Water - Water​ - it's kind of obvious but sometimes we waste so much time and water by OVERWATERING PLANTS ​ in Hot weather.

    My Tip: Water the soil not the plant - When watering pots and containers or plants in the garden soil - Water the compost or soil heavily and then Leave alone for several days - THERE IS NO NEED TO BE WATERING EVERY EVENING / DAY.

    2. Water plants in the cool of the evening - Less water evaporation and plants have time to absorb the water before the heat of the following day.

    3. Recycle water -​ kitchen water that contains washing up liquid or liquid soaps is ideal to use on both edible and flowering plants - if anything the soap will wash any greenfly or bugs away and the water is perfect for plants - you can also use water on plants that has been used to boil Potatoes & Veg ( make sure it is cool) it's full of plant nutrients from the veg & potatoes.

    4. Use a Automatic irrigation system if you have lots of hanging baskets and window boxes - This device comes on at night - releases a small amount of water to the hanging basket compost for 5 minutes and then stops - it only releases a small amount of water each night and keeps your baskets blooming all summer ( used in all the fantastic hanging baskets displays in pubs etc)

    5. Apply a 3 inch layer of bark mulch or mushroom compost or peat to conserve moisture in the soil and help keep the suns rays from hitting directly onto your soil. Mulch helps to stop the soil moisture from evaporating lawns

    • 1. Don't mow your Lawn too tightly - it's tempting to do so but closely mowed grass exposes the soil to the direct sunlight - leave it two inches. long at the moment.
    • 2. Don't water your Lawn - Your grass may go brown but when rain arrives it will re grow and green up again. Lawn seed comes from africa and asia so it can put up with hot dry spells.
    • 3. Don't sow new Lawns at the moment - You can certainly get the soil weed free and tilled and ready for sowing the seed BUT don't sow the lawn seed until rain is promised - WAIT until rain is promised - dew at night is not enough at the moment.

    Hanging Baskets - Window boxes.

    1. When planting hanging baskets and containers use Water retentive gel ( same ingredient that's used in disposable nappies to absorb liquids) Water retentive gel absorbs water like a storage unit and releases this water back to plants as the compost begins to dry

    2. Use a gardena automatic watering system for hanging baskets, window boxes and in greenhouses and tunnels - it only gives a small amount of water directly onto the compost or soil - this helps to eliminates water wastage and directly applies a small measured amount of water to the plants / compost

    3. Water plants in the cool of the evening - Less water evaporation and plants have time to absorb the water before the heat of the following day.

    4. Recycle water - use water on plants that has been used to boil Potatoes & Veg ( make sure it is cool) it's full of plant nutrients from the veg & potatoes or use kitchen sink water or bath water

    5. Use ice cubes of recycled water - Ice cubes will release water slowly and controlled in hanging baskets or patio containers and water - perfect in containers as a slow released water source.

    Tomatoes - Potatoes - Veg garden.

    Plants that bear fruit or produce tubers like Tomatoes & Potatoes need regular watering and - feeding - i recommend you water heavily with recycled kitchen / bathroom water and then leave for a couple of days before re watering. Feed with tomato feed every ten days.


    Call Paraic on Landline 094 9026997 - Mobile 0876779704 

  • Irish Water says a hosepipe ban could be extended to more areas around the country.

    The ban is kicking in in the Greater Dublin Area on Monday to conserve water and ensure city supplies are safe.

    Non-essential use of water is banned until the end of July as an emergency drought measure.

    Anyone caught breaking the water conservation order could be prosecuted or face a 125 euro fine.

  • Inland and western counties are experiencing the best of today's weather.

    Temperatures in many areas could reach 30 or 31 degrees, with similar temperatures forecast again tomorrow across Connacht.

    A number of water schemes across the country are in a critical situation as the heatwave continues, with night-time restrictions imposed on the Ballyconneely Water Treatment Plant and on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands - water supplies in these areas are restricted between 11pm and 7am.

    Across the region, reservoir levels have dropped and there's also extra demand on the system as people are using more water.

    Irish Water is appealing to people across Connacht to conserve water during this hot spell.

    They say demand has increased in particular in the Westport area and on the Lough Mask supply, and people should refrain from washing cars or leaving taps running, and report any leaks to Irish Water.

  • The heatwave has claimed its first victim, after a peregrine falcon got stuck in melted tar on a road in Sligo.

    Sligo Fire Brigade managed to free the bird, but it later died despite the best efforts of a local vet and wildlife experts.

    Lothar Muschketat from the Eagles Flying wildlife sanctuary in Ballymote says it was a difficult task for all involved.