• There's a setback for the ambitious Velo Rail project planned for Kiltimagh.

    An Bord Pleanala has ruled that the plan by Mayo County Council to develop the old railway line into a tourist amenity with pedal-powered carriages is NOT exempt from planning permission.

    However, it also ruled that work which has already been done to facilitate the change of use of the railway line to a Velo Rail does not require planning permission.

    Government funding of over €300,000 from Minister Michael Ring's  Department of Rural and Community Development has been allocated towards the Velo Rail project, which is being developed by Kiltimagh IRD.

    It's based on similar projects in France, and Kiltimagh IRD believe it could attract 30,000 visitors per year.

    Work has been underway on the tourism project for the past two years, in terms of clearing and preparing the site along the old Claremorris to Collooney rail line.

    However, the Western Rail Trail Campaign wants to see the railway line between Athenry and Collooney developed as a greenway.

    The campaign, led by Brendan Quinn, referred the Velo Rail project in Kiltimagh to An Bord Pleanala.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Mr Quinn said that - despite having attracted almost half a million euro in Government funding - the velo rail project is now effectively back at the starting blocks, and must now be the subject of a planning process, which will allow local concerns to be addressed.

    Responding to An Bord Pleanala's ruling that the project is not exempt from planning permission, Mayo County Council said the decision gives clarity , and they're looking forward to advancing the project through the planning process as soon as is reasonably practicable.

    The council said they're pleased that the Board has confirmed that works completed to date on the project are exempted from planning.

  • An Post has confirmed a number of changes taking place at post offices across Co Mayo - as part of the transformation of the national post office network.

    This includes the opening of a new post office in Belmullet next Monday.


     A number of post offices are on the move across Co Mayo, as An Post continues its plan of closing some offices and moving them into nearby business premises.

    A new post office will open in Belmullet next Monday 25th February.

    The new office will be co-located in the Centra store on Main Street - a short distance from the old post office - and the postmaster is Joseph Cuffe - proprietor of the Centra store.

    On the same day, 5 postal staff in Belmullet, 3 in Glenamoy and one each in Geesala, Carrowteigue and Bangor Erris will relocate to Barnatra, where they will operate from a new mail hub for the area.

    An Post says this will not affect local mail services.

    Also, in the coming months, the post office in Swinford is to be located at Kennedy's Spar, while in Kiltimagh, the post office will co-locate with Londis on Main Street.

    And in Ballyhaunis, An Post has readvertised the contract to provide post office services.

    Midwest News understands a local business has turned down the opportunity, and it's now open for applications.

    The company says the Ballyhaunis Post Office will remain at its current location until that process is complete.

  • Blake Forkan from Killtimagh will attempt to make the final cut for the Underdogs team that will play All Ireland Champions, Dublin.

    Blake is originally from Killtimagh but now plays his football with St. Eunan's in Letterkenny. He will be hoping to hold on to the position of goalkeeper.

    Supermac's has announced that it will sponsor Underdogs on TG4.

    The GAA show returned to screens recently after a 10-year absence and the producers are on the lookout for the next big stars.

    Players are put through their paces on the show by 3 All Ireland winning players - Galway's Ray Silke, Kerry's Paul Galvin and Cork's Valerie Mulcahy.

    This series follows unknown players, as they are trained and mentored by the coaches before they face the All Ireland Champions, Dublin, in October.

    The previous series of Underdogs was responsible for launching many present inter-county stars and All-Ireland winners' careers including Kerry's Kieran Donaghy and Cork's Pearse O'Neill.

  • The speed limit on the main road between Kiltimagh and Bohola should immediately be raised to 100kmh. That's the view of Fianna Fail councillor John Caulfield. He claims the state is frequently using speed cameras  on the 80kmh good stretch of road and using it as a cash cow, imposing penalties on ordinary people driving to work, and he has described it as "shooting fish in a barrel".

    Cllr Caulfield raised the matter at this week's Claremorris Municipal District Meeting and he argued that tax payers money had been used to upgrade this road and now the same taxpayers end up getting speed fines for using it at a reasonable speed, considering the standard of the road.

  • Controversy has arisen over an allocation of €118,000 euro last December by Minister Michael Ring to a Kiltimagh tourism development project.

    The decision by the Minister for Rural & Community Affairs to allocate the funding to the Velo-Rail project, pioneered by Kiltimagh Tourism and IRD with support from Mayo County Council, was highlighted in the Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday at the weekend.

    The funding at the end of last year was a direct follow-on from an allocation of €180,000 by Minister Ring for the project under the 2016 Rural Recreation Scheme.

     The Velo-Rail project is being developed on a stretch of the old railway line that runs from Claremorris to Collooney.

    It’s planned to develop 12 kilometres of the track, mainly on the Claremorris side of Kiltimagh,  as well as a shorter stretch on the Swinford side. The last official trains ran on this line back in the 1970s.

    Velo-Rail is an outdoor recreational activity using small rail-mounted pedal-propelled vehicles to move along a disused railway line.

    The article in the Sunday newspapers states that Minister Ring allocated almost €120,000 to a project in his constituency -  despite warnings from civil servants that it could set “problematic precedents”.

    One official said the project appeared to have the least merit of four proposals that were seeking extra funding.

    The CEO of Kiltimagh IRD Joe Kelly says the Velo-Rail project, which should be completed later this year or early in 2019, will be a unique tourism attraction, and could bring up to 30,000 people to the area as well as creating local jobs.

    He says this is the first velo-rail project to be developed in Ireland or the UK, and has praised Minister Ring for recognising its potential benefits.


  • The cost to parents when school buildings are used as polling stations has been highlighted by a Kiltimagh mother to Mayo County Council.

    Aine Carr says she believes the local authority could find alternative venues in Kiltimagh on election days instead of the local primary school, forcing working parents to find childcare or take a day off work.

    She says she has no childcare available to her on days that the school closes for elections or referenda  and there are many parents in a similar situation.

    She suggests a number of suitable alternative venues in Kiltimagh including the Town Hall Theatre, Community Centre or Parish Centre

  • Four people were taken to hospital following a two-car collision on the main Bohola to Kiltimagh Road earlier today.

    The collision occurred around two miles the Kiltimagh side of Bohola.

    Four people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

    The road, which was reduced to one lane earlier, has now fully reopened.


  • Gardai in Claremorris are investigating the theft of a car from the Kiltimagh area in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    The Black Toyota Avensis was parked at a house on the Bohola road, Kiltimagh when it was taken some time after  1am.

    The vehicle’s registration is 02 G 7908.

    Anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or may have seen the car  is asked to contact Claremorris garda station at 094 9371222

  • Gardai have launched an appeal for information as the first anniversary of the death of Joe Deacy approaches.

    Joe, who was 21-years old, was found seriously injured in Gorthnasillagh, Swinford on Saturday August 12th last year by a passing cyclist.

    Mr Deacy, a native of St Alban’s in the UK, was transferred to Mayo University Hospital and then to Beaumont Hospital Dublin, where he died on August 13th.

    Gardai have established that Joe left Kiltimagh town at approximately 1.30am on August 12th.

    Gardai are again appealing to people from the local community who have seen Joe between 1.30am and 6.45am on Saturday August 12th 2017 to come forward to assist Gardai with any information.

    Crimestoppers is offering a substantial reward for information which may lead to the apprehension of the person or persons responsible for Joe’s death.

    Crimestoppers can be contacted on 1800 25 00 25, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or the incident room at Claremorris Garda Station on 094-93-72080.

    Superintendent Tom Calvey told Midwest News that they are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

  • There is increasing concern among passengers who regularly use Route 52 Bus Eireann service that connects Ballina to Galway city that the service is now under threat.

    People in the areas of Swinford and Kiltimagh look set to be directly affected but so too will patients from north Mayo trying to attend hospital appointments in Galway.

    Bus Eireann is remaining tight lipped over its plans for the route.

    Listeners to Midwest News first expressed concerns about the service two months ago, and Midwest News contacted Bus Eireann who responded at that time, stating that the route is under review.

    Following further concerns about its future expressed by Midwest News listeners this week, we again sought a response from Bus Eireann.

    The brief response again reads:

     Bus Éireann has received a revised licence for Route 52 from the National Transport Authority (NTA), which it is currently reviewing.

    The company is working with the NTA – who have responsibility for the public transport network – on other proposals, to ensure connectivity remains in place.

    We have asked Bus Eireann when the review will be completed and we are awaiting a response.

  • A Mayo DJ has won two national awards.

    Tommy Elliott from Kiltimagh scooped the Best Wedding DJ 2018 and Wedding Entertainer of the Year 2018 at the weekend.

    Tommy captured the Wedding Entertainer of the Year at the Wedding Journal Online Awards on Sunday evening in Dublin, while he was named Best Wedding DJ 2018 at the online awards on Monday.

  • U16 League Division 1 Cup Final 
    Castlebar Mitchels 3-10 
    Ballina Stephenites 0-07 

    Division 3 Cup Final 
    Kiltimagh 4-13
    Ballinrobe 2-11 

  • After two consecutive defeats Mayo Volleyball Club got back to winning ways with an impressive 3-0 victory over Garda Volleyball Club in Kiltimagh.

    The Gardai began with a flurry accruing a 4-1 lead. Once Mayo won the next score Jackie Prendergast accumulated 11 consecutive scores from setting. This forged the home side into an insurmountable lead. Despite spirited play for the visitors there was no looking back for Mayo as they won the set 25-16.

    Mayo maintained their composure in the second set despite a more competitive tussle as Orla Casby impressed again in defence and points from Eimear McNeive and Adriana Slovakova kept the home side in the lead throughout. Mayo won the set 25-18.

    Mayo started the third set slowly as the away side built a 5-1 lead. Despite leading much of the set Garda Volleyball club were out done in the end 25-22 thanks to some fierce but clinical hitting from Edel Nolan.

    This was a vital win for Mayo who end a poor new year streak and this victory puts them back in the top half of the table. 

    They are up next against Dalkey Devils in Kiltimagh on March 3rd.

    Mayo players who featured were: Alex Fleming, Cailín Meehan, Edel Nolan, Mikal O'Boyle, Paulina Balik Nowak, Eimear McNeive, Louise Day, Adriana Slovakova, Orla Casby, Jackie Prendergast.

    After the game Orla Casby said, It was a great win for us, we were fully in control of the game today. Finally after a few months of shuffling rotations and positions I think we’ve found our winning formula!

    The list of players on attached team photo is as follows:

    Back L-R: Alex Fleming, Cailín Meehan, Edel Nolan, Mikal O'Boyle, Paulina Balik Nowak, Eimear McNeive.

    Front L-R: Louise Day, Adriana Slovakova, Orla Casby,

  • Connacht U14 Cup Final 
    Kiltimagh/Knock Utd 1-2 Mervue Utd A

  • Irish Water says supplies are almost back to normal across Co Mayo, following increased demand during Storm Emma.

    However, there will be a partial restriction in Kiltimagh tonight, affecting about 50 houses, but full supply will be maintained in the town area.

    Irish Water says repair crews are working to fix three leaks on the network today, and it’s hoped a full service will be restored in the Kiltimagh area tomorrow.

    Meanwhile in Co Galway, restrictions will be in place again tonight in the areas of Williamstown, Moylough,  Eyrecourt, Laurencetown, Clonfert, Tír an Fhia, Carraroe, and Clonbur/ Cornamona.

    The restrictions are in place to allow reservoirs to replenish overnight, to ensure customers have a water supply during the day.

    In relation to Williamstown, Irish Water says leak repairs are still being undertaken, and high leakage on customers’ properties is being addressed.

    Supply will be rotated to customers in the area over the coming days, so customers will experience some loss of supply or intermittent disruptions.




  • Tonight (Wednesday) in Kiltimagh a public meeting will take place in the Community Centre at 8pm and everyone is invited to attend.

    The community of Kiltimagh has sought a public amenity park for some time, and has recently acquired a substantial piece of land in the town area and are keen to develop it.

    Local fund raising efforts will have to be undertaken and in conjunction with Mayo county council it is hoped to develop the site.

  • Renua Ireland has announced that Kiltimagh-based businessman Michael Farrington will contest the upcoming local elections in the Castlebar electoral area

    Mr Farrington - who unsuccessfully contested the 2016 general election in Mayo - says Castlebar, as the county town, needs to be promoted and developed to become an economic driver for all of Co Mayo.

  • THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND travel to Belfast to take on joint table toppers Northern Ireland in their penultimate outing of the season in the SAFIB Centenary Shield which takes place in Queens University tomorrow evening (April 18 at 6pm).

    O’Connor’s side have earned one point in their two outings to date with a share of the spoils away to Scotland which ended one apiece and then a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to England last Friday evening in Dalymount Park.

    However, the Republic of Ireland could take a share of the Shield if they are to win both their remaining games which will see them entertain Wales next Thursday evening (April 25 at 7pm) in Home Farm FC in the final game of the 2019 Shield schedule.

    The only change to the Republic of Ireland side will see Jack O’Connor of St. Louis CS, Kiltimagh in for Oatlands College grad Jake Ellis. Jack was capped against Scotland last month and will look forward to re-joining his team-mates for the penultimate test.

    Frankie Wilson’s side will enjoy their final game of the campaign at home with a win or a draw enough to seal the prestigious title. One which they last landed two season’s previous as they shared it with England. Northern Ireland were outright winners back in 2013 so they will look to replicate such successes tomorrow night in Queens.

    Northern Ireland are level with England in the group table at the moment as they have secured seven points in three games. The Northern outfit had slender 1-0 victories over Scotland and Wales and a goalless draw with England early this month.

    There are some notable changes to the Northern Ireland side which will see Josh Largo-Ellis (St. Michael’s Enniskillen), Malachy Smith (Breda Academy), Jack Bradley (St Joseph’s Boys’ Derry) and Trai Hume (NIFL Academy) returning to the squad following their absence against England.

    Sean Og Gallagher (Trinity College Belfast) the versatile midfielder has retained his position in the team following his involvement against England.

    The likes of Callum McVeigh (Down High School) and Ethan Wynne (Bangor Academy), who scored the goal in the 1-0 win away to Wales will miss out for the Republic of Ireland clash.

    As this is a must win for the visitors, it should ensure a testing environment for Wilson’s charges in Belfast.


    REPUBLIC OF IRELAND | David Odumosu (O’Fiaich College, Dundalk), Keith Carter (Colaiste Choilm Swords), Josh Honohan (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Daragh Ellison(St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Corey McBride (Carndonagh Community School), Niall O’Keeffe (De La Salle College, Waterford), Matthew O’Reilly (Midleton CBS), Colin Kelly (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Brandon Bermingham (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Jack Doherty (Carndonagh Community School), Adam Lynch (Summerhill College), Ross Tierney (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall), Jamie Cleary (Drimnagh Castle CBS), James Clarke (Boyne Community School, Trim), Lee McLaughlin (Carndonagh Community School), Reece Murphy (Wexford CBS), Dónal Higgins (Yeats College, Galway), Jack O’Connor(St. Louis Community School)

    MANAGEMENT | William O’CONNOR, Head Coach (Balbriggan Community College),  John McSHANE, Assistant Coach (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Ollie HORGAN, Performance Analyst (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor FOLEY, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Derek O’BRIEN, Equipment Manager (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Michael McGLYNN(Physio), Dr. Aidan O’COLMAIN (Team Doctor).


    NORTHERN IRELAND | Ruadhan McKenna (Rathmore Grammar), Paul McLaughlin (Christian Brothers Belfast), Jamie Glover (Ashfield Boys’ High), Josh Largo-Ellis (St Michael’s Enniskillen), Malachy Smith (Breda Academy), Ruari O’Hare (St. Patrick’s Downpatrick), Patrick Burns CAPT. (St Malachy’s Belfast), Lewis McGarvey (St. Malachy’s Belfast), Andrew Whiteside (Coleraine GS), Jack Bradley (St. Joseph’s Boys’ Derry), Trai Hume (NIFL Academy), Sean Og Gallagher (Trinity College Belfast), Jake Corbett (SERC Lisburn), Liam Hassin (Larne High), Sam Robb (Fivemiletown College),  Ryan Carmichael (St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon), Calvin McCurry (De La Salle Belfast), Callum Ferris (NIFL Academy).

    MANAGEMENT| Frankie Wilson (Manager), Simon Nicks (Coach), Linda Fettus (Physio)



    MD1 | Thursday, March 7 | Northern Ireland 1-0 Scotland | Crusaders FC | Kick Off 3pm

    MD2 | Friday, March 8 | England 0-1 Wales | Slough Town FC | Kick Off 7pm

    MD3 | Thursday, March 14 | Wales 0-1Northern Ireland | Aberystwyth Town FC | Kick Off 7pm

    MD4 | Friday, March 22 | Scotland 0-2 England | Inveririe Loco FC | Kick Off 7pm

    MD5 | Thursday, March 28 | Scotland 1-1 Republic of Ireland | Ayr United FC | Kick Off 7pm

    MD6 | Friday, April 5 | England 0-0 Northern Ireland | Redditch United FC | Kick Off 7pm

    MD7 | Thursday, April 11 | Wales 1-2 Scotland | Cefn Druids FC | Kick Off 7pm

    MD8 | Friday, April 12 | Republic of Ireland 0-2 England | Dalymount Park | Kick Off 7pm


  • It was a tough opening game for the Ireland Under 18 women’s team this evening as they lost out to Poland 44-64 in their first group game of the FIBA Under 18 Women’s European Championship Division A.

    A longer and more physical Polish side took the reins of the game early on, and in the blistering hot conditions, the Irish were slow to settle, ending a tough first quarter with just six points on the board to Poland’s 19.
    A much improved second quarter followed as the Irish began to find their rhythm with Dayna Finn, Maeve Ó Séaghdha and Katie Williamson all finishing off well-worked scores for the Irish. At the other end, some fantastic defence from the girls in green helped to keep the threat of Poland’s Natalia Klimek in check, but the Polish still led the way at half time, 17-28.

    A big push in the third helped Williamson and Bronagh Power-Cassidy find their way through the Polish defence, but Poland began to punish Ireland under the boards, picking up some big offensive rebounds, with Martyna Leszczynska increasing her personal tally to 10 points to edge them ahead 29-43 going into the last.

    Ireland continued to hold their own in the fourth, and showed exactly what they are made of with big scores from Dayna Finn, Power-Cassidy and Williamson. However, despite getting the lead back to nine points, Poland’s size and physicality helped to see them home in the end, as they held on down the stretch to run out 20-point winners.

    Speaking afterwards, Ireland Under 18 head coach Patrick O’Neill stated: “We had a tough second half, we were down 11 at half time after doing a lot of things right defensively, we outrebounded them in the first half – in fact in the entire game – but we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds in that third quarter and that hurt us. There are a lot of positives though, we did a great job defensively, and while we lapsed a bit in the third, there’s a lot of positives to take from it ahead of Russia tomorrow."

    Ireland take on Russia tomorrow in their second game of the group stages.

     IRELAND: Annaliese Murphy (3), Bronagh Power Cassidy (11), Dayna Finn (9), Enya Maguire, Ella McCloskey (4), Eve Nealon, Katie Williamson (8), Lynn Tunnah, Maeve Ó Séaghdha (5), Maeve Phelan, Niamh Masterson, Nicole Clancy (4).


  • A verdict of misadventure was returned by a jury at an inquest today into the death of a 61-year-old building contractor who was killed instantly when his car collided with an articulated lorry on the Swinford bypass in February of last year.

    The man who died was Francis (Frank) Walsh, Treenlaur, Kiltimagh. His son, Mark, who was in the passenger seat, was badly injured but has since recovered.

    The impact occurred at Carrowbaun, Swinford, close to Applegreen, as Mr. Walsh was exiting from the Kiltimagh/Swinford road onto the N5.

    The truck involved in the impact was owned by Donovan Transport.

    Driven by Eugene Casey, Cloonloo, Boyle, it was travelling westwards on the N5 to pick up a loaded container at Baxter Healthcare, Castlebar. 

    Mr. Casey, in a statement read to today’s inquest, explained that he sounded his horn to warn the driver to stop as he came onto the N5 but the car driver kept coming.

    He said there was nothing he could do to avoid and impact and he was in pure shock afterwards.

    Other drivers on the N5 corroborated the lorry driver’s evidence that the car appeared not to stop at the junction but kept going.

    Sergeant Gabriel McLoughlin, PSV Inspector for Mayo, carried out an examination of the crash vehicles.

    Sergeant McLoughlin said it was not possible to calculate the speed of the car at the time of the collision.

    Also, it was not possible to determine whether the car braked prior to the collision.

    Both vehicles were in a roadworthy condition and the road was good.

    Garda Michael Mullaney of the Garda Traffic Corps, Castlebar, examined the digital tachograph unit of the lorry.

    He said that at the time of the fatal collision Eugene Casey was fully compliant with the driver’s hours regulations as well as the EU Working Time directive.

    Dr. Fadel Bennani, who carried out a post mortem examination, gave the cause of death as multiple fatal injuries including skull fracture with subarachnoid haemorrhage and multiple rib fracture sustained in a road traffic accident.

    The level of blood alcohol was determined at 377mg%

    Coroner O’Connor noted the blood alcohol level of the deceased was five times the legal limit.

    After a short period of deliberation, the inquest jury returned a verdict of misadventure.

    Sympathising with the Walsh family, the coroner said he had known the deceased well.

     “I knew him personally. He was a lovable man and ran a very good business.

     “He will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him”.

     Tom Walsh, solicitor (for the Walsh family) thanked the emergency services, gardai and particularly members of the public who attended at the scene in a bid to help both accident victims.

     Sergeant David Tiernan, on behalf of An Garda Siochana, and the foreman of the inquest jury joined in the expressions of sympathy.

     Finally, Coroner O’Connor mentioned what he described as an increasing trend - the practice of motorists coasting from minor roads onto national primary routes such as the N17 and the N5 without stopping.

     The practice had been the cause of serious accidents particularly on the N17 between Charlestown and Ballindine, the coroner stated.