Mayo County Council

  • The €400,000 target for the community of Ballinrobe to raise, to build a new Town Hall – is well on track to be achieved, with 340,000 euro now secured under the voluntary fund raising Campaign to Rebuild Ballinrobe Town Hall.

    Michael Sweeney, chairperson of the Ballinrobe Town Hall committee says they are now just €60,000 short of the ambitious target set two years ago. Support for the project continues to come through from Ballinrobe people at home, around Ireland and abroad, he says, but support is still required with a price tag of 1.5 million euro on the project.

    Mayo County Council has committed to supporting the project and an application to LEADER has been submitted and the committee are hopeful that there will be a successful outcome in early autumn.

    The old Hall in Ballinrobe closed in 1996.

    The proposal is now to build a hall with a gross floor area of 1000m2. It will consist of an auditorium and main hall area with seating for over 400 people.

  • There were 109 reported incidents of dog-fouling from the Ice House to the Quay area of Ballina on one particular day last week.

    The issue was raised at yesterday’s Ballina Municipal District meeting by Crossmolina based Fianna Fail Cllr Michael Loftus.

    Cllr Loftus said there were 109 incidents reported to him on one day last week.

    He says it is not a problem unique to Ballina but it is a serious issue.

    There is a fine of up to €3,000 for incidents of dog-fouling and Mayo County Council has committed to enforcing this law very strictly.

  • More than a million euro in funding has been announced for 22 projects in Mayo under the Community Involvement Scheme.

     €23 million euro was announced nationally under the Programme for regional and local road projects.

    Applications were sought from local authorities for suitable schemes for inclusion and the response from local authorities was very positive, according to the Minister Shane Ross, with a large number of proposals received.

    The average community contribution proposed is about 19%. The community input can be either by way of a financial contribution or works.

    Paul Dolan is Senior Engineer with Mayo county council, speaking to Midwest News today he said  it is welcome funding for the county.

    The local authority had submitted 22 applications under this scheme and all 22 have been approved.

  • Gardaí are appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision in Strokestown, shortly before 8pm last night.

    The collision on the N5 at Bridge Street in the town involved a car and a pedestrian. The pedestrian, a man in his 70s, was pronounced dead at the scene. The female driver of the car was not injured.

    The man’s name has not yet been released.

    The N5 remains closed at Bridge street as a forensic examination is carried OUT.

     Diversions are in place via Four Mile House and Tulsk.

    Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Castlerea Garda Station on 094 9621630.

  • There is a need for Mayo county council to set aside up to 200,000 euro a year specifically to be used on the restoration of footpaths across the county.

    That’s the view of Ballina Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    He says that would mean that at least, 50,000 euro would be available annually for the restoration of footpaths in each Municipal District area.

    Councillor O’Hara believes the allocation could actually save money for Mayo county council, as it is likely that insurance compensation payments against the authority over people falling and injuring themselves on broken pavement would be reduced.

  • Ballina Councillors have called on Mayo County Council to ring-fence 4 million euro for the repair of footpaths across the county, from a dividends payment due to the authority.

    Irish Public Bodies is paying dividends to local authorities nationally and the windfall should be used for footpath repairs according to Killala based Fine Gael Councillor Jarlath Munnelly.

    He made the call at this week’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District and his motion received unanimous support from Councillors.

  • Irish Water, working in partnership with Mayo County Council, would like to remind customers supplied by the Ballycastle Public Water Supply that the Boil Water Notice that was issued on the supply on last Friday 12th October remains in place until further notice.

    The Boil Water Notice was issued on the advice of the Health Service Executive following the detection of cryptosporidium in the treated water coming from the plant after a routine test. 

    Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Mayo County Council have issued a Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by the Ballycastle Public Water Supply and the Corrower/Sea Road Group Water Scheme and Lisbrin Group Water Scheme to protect consumers following a recent drinking water quality test.

     The EPA has carried out a site audit and an action plan is being implemented by the Incident Management Team. Sampling and testing of the scheme is continuing. The results of the suite of tests will be reviewed collectively by all agencies involved before further action is determined at the next consultation with the HSE in a months’ time.

    There have been no reported cases of illness in the community. However customers are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption.

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    A Castlebar Councillor has called on Mayo County Council to take urgent action on the illegal parking of a number of caravans in an area at Cloonkeen, between Castlebar and Westport, and in other areas of the county town.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Al McDonnell raised the issue at a recent meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District, where he called on the council to act in relation to the unauthorised parking of caravans at the Cois Abhann housing estate and the N5 Business Park.

    Councillor McDonnell is particularly concerned about caravans parking at a site in Cloonkeen, where planning permission for a house was refused previously over traffic dangers.

    He says the parking of caravans and other vehicles at this location also poses a traffic danger.

  • The Castlebar Military Barracks will open to the public this Saturday afternoon for a free family festival.

    Cruinniu is Castlebar’s newest festival, and will feature music, exhibitions, workshops and talks.

    A wide range of food and entertainment will also be provided, and there’s an opportunity for people to see the inside of the military barracks, which closed in 2012 and learn about its history.

    The event gets underway at 12 noon tomorrow.

  • Claremorris Municipal District councillors are threatening to take “further action” if the executive of Mayo County Council fail to restore planning as an item on the next monthly meeting of the authority.

    The matter was raised yesterday by the Cathaoirleach of the district, Fine Gael Councillor Patsy O’Brien at the monthly meeting of the authority.

     

    The Cathaoirleach Patsy O’Brien called for planning  to be included on the October agenda of Claremorris Municipal meeting  and he received unanimous support from his fellow councillors.

    Earlier this year planning was removed from all municipal district meeting agendas in county Mayo, following a directive from the Minister that individual planning applications could not be discussed at local authority meetings.

    Municipal Districts in Mayo, had for many years discussed likely refusals to planning applications at their monthly meetings.

    At the July meeting of Mayo county council, Councillors sought independent legal advice on the removal of planning from agendas and a workshop to discuss the matter between council executive and elected Councillors.

    Councillors in Claremorris yesterday asked why a date for that workshop is not yet in place.

    Director of Services for the Claremorris Municipal District Liam Hanrahan told Councillors the authority is awaiting that independent legal advice. In the meantime he insisted planning will not be restored to municipal district meeting agendas.

    In response, Independent Councillor Richard Finn said if planning is not restored  - then Councillors will take further action on the matter.

    Cathaoirleach Patsy O’Brien outlined his determination to pursue this issue. 

  • Mayo County Council have this afternoon confirmed to Midwest news that they currently have Consultants working on a safety barrier design for the Foxford to Ballyvary Road on the N58.

    This is as a result of numerous concerns raised over a section of the roadway between Foxford and Straide since improvement works were carried out on it some time ago.

    During the course of the work, the road was raised and since then it has been extremely dangerous because of a deep drop on either side.

    This location did not previously have a safety barrier installed and the lack of a sufficient width of roadside verge has resulted in it not being possible to install a standard barrier in this case.

    Mayo County Council say their consultants in conjunction with TII are testing various barrier options to find a solution which is in accordance with the relevant specification and a further trial is due to be undertaken in the coming week.

    Once a barrier design has been passed and approved a contractor will then be procured and the barrier installed.

    The issue has been raised on a number of occasions by Councillor Neil Cruise who again raised the matter on Midwest Radio this week.

  • Mayo county council has 100,000 euro set aside in the event that the Pope does visit Knock this year.

    That was confirmed by council management at the Claremorris Municipal District earlier this week.

    Ballyhaunis based councillor John Cribben had asked if the authority was prepared for such an occasion.

    He was told that the monies and planning was in place.

  • Councillor Jarleth Munnelly has accused the Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes, of effectively blackmailing elected councillors  by the withholding of GMA funds to local voluntary groups.

    The Ballina based Fine Gael councillor made the statement at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District.

    Ballina councillors  have called for an immediate meeting with the Chief Executive  over the delay in the out of GMA  (General Municipal Allocation) monies, that is the monies that a range of voluntary organisations across the county receive annually from the local authority.

    It appears that the monies are being withheld, because the anticipated funding that the local authority budgeted for, from car parking charges, is short 400,000 euro.

    There were angry contributions from most councillors on the withholding of the funds at yesterday’s meeting. Director of Services for Mayo County Council Tom Gilligan stated and restated throughout the debate that the monies are being withheld while a process is underway to see how the 400,000 euro shortfall from Pay and Display car parking charges that were agreed by councillors in the budget can now be resolved.

    Councillors said that a number of organisations in Ballina are dependent on receiving the GMA contribution at this time of the year, like the 20,000 euro that Ballina Salmon Festival has been promised, monies to Ballina Arts Centre, funding to Tidy Towns, residents associations, the chamber and so on.Without the money, a variety of festival committees will be hit, they claimed.

    Cllr Munnelly told Midwest News today that he believes that Mr Hynes is effectively blackmailing councillors over the matter.

    400,000 euro is less than .003 percent of the overall county council budget in Mayo for 2018, according to Fianna Fail councillor Michael Smith. He insists that he wants in writing from the Director of Services – where it’s stated, that if monies anticipated are not secured through parking charges then that funding must be withheld to voluntary groups under GMA.

    In a brief statement from Mayo County Council today it says that the CEO Peter Hynes is at meetings outside of the County today but added he is always available to meet councillors and will meet the councillors of the Ballina Municipal District on this matter

  •  A regulator needs to be appointed by government to allow elected councillors to challenge or appeal any directive from a Minister, that’s the view of Swinford based Fianna Fail councillor Michael Smyth.

    The councillor was speaking at yesterday’s special meeting of Mayo county council that was called by elected councillors to reinstate planning as an item on the agenda of each Municipal District, as was the case until last year, when a directive from the Planning Minister Eoghan Murphy banned any planning discussions at council meetings.

    Councillors adjourned yesterday meeting and are now seeking independent legal advice on whether or not they can continue to make observations about planning at meetings of the authority.

  • The number of outdoor staff now employed by Mayo county Council is at a critical level, and if additional staff are not hired, than Charlestown based councillor Gerry Murray, claims he is fearful that health and safety issues will arise.

    The Cathaoirleach of the Claremorris Municipal District, raised his concerns at the monthly meeting of the authority.

    Cllr Murray said that over the past decade, 250 outdoor staff in the county have retired and have not been replaced by the local authority, and called for an immediate recruitment of additional staff to ensure that essential works can be carried out.

     He and other councillors pointed out that they had allocated funding for a range of outdoor jobs to be carried out, promised constituents that these works would be carried out, only to find there is no one available to carry out the work – and they as cllrs they were taking the wrath of the public on these jobs.

    Council official Liam Hanrahan strongly refuted any suggestion by the Cathaoirleach that there were health and safety issues arining due to the shortage of staff numbers. He insisted that a health and safety risk assessment is prepared before any job is undertaken and if there is inadequate staff or equipment on the day, the job is not carried out.

    He admitted that staffing levels had fallen but said recruitment is now underway and added that despite the lifting by the government of the embargo on recruitment, nonetheless staff numbers in the local authority are capped.

    Cathaoirleach Murray says his concerns remain the same.

  • The Offices of Mayo County Council remain closed today in line with the Red Alert issued yesterday and the ongoing orange alert in place currently. Offices will reopen on Monday morning at 9am.Essential services from our Winter Maintenance crews continue to remain in place in addition to any Staff supporting our response to this severe weather event.  

    The emergency contact numbers for the areas of the Local Authority are outlined below.  Ongoing communications in relation to gritting will continue to be posted across all Mayo County Council Social Media.

     

    Mayo County Council encourage the public to continue to adhere to advice been given for this severe weather event.  We encourage drivers to always exercise caution when driving in poor weather conditions. Be Winter-ready, be prepared, stay safe.

     

     

    Ballina:                                                     096 76159

    Ballinrobe:                                               087 9940183

    Belmullet:                                                087 6579348

    Castlebar:                                                094 9034706

    Claremorris:                                            086 0450200

    Westport (South):                                  087 6474150

    Westport (Newport & North):            087 6540206

    Swinford links to Ballina out of hours

     

     

  • A five member delegation from Mayo county council is in the US since last Saturday for the St Patrick Day Festivities.

    The group led by the Cathaoirleach Richard Finn, is joined by councillors Annie Mae Reape, Michael Holmes and Gerry Coyle together with Director of Services for Mayo County Council,Peter Duggan.

    They arrived in New York for the presentation of the Mayo Association Person of the year gala event in Queens.

    Yesterday morning (Sunday) they headed to Philadelphia to take part in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade.

    They are travelling to Rhode Island today and will stay until Wednesday as they meet with business interests working with local employment offices  under the Ireland West International Trade Centre initiative.

    On Thursday they travel to Boston to meet the Mayo Association there and other business interests.

    On Friday they return to New York to march in the be in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in the city.

  • Gardai in Belmullet are advising motorists that due to extensive flooding along the R312 Belmullet to Castlebar road at Keenagh the road is now impassable.
    Mayo County Council has been informed of the problem.

     

  • The former Estoria Cinema building located in Ballina town, should be made a protected structure . That was the joint motion put forward by Independent councillors Gerry Ginty and Seamus Weir at this week’s Ballina Municipal District meeting, held in the Community Centre in Bonniconlon.

    The building owned by Mayo County Council, is leased at present to Ballina Men's Shed group.

    The councillors say the structure is of significance as a piece of art deco architecture, it also is part of the town’s social history and in addition, the Men’s Shed Group are keen to restore the structure.

    In response the Manager of Ballina Municipal District Marie Crowley explained to the councillors that there are financial implications to listing a building in this way. She said any work on a protected structure building is restricted and tends to be costly.

  • Irish Water, working in partnership with Mayo County Council, is replacing ageing water mains in Ballina to improve security of supply, improve water quality and reduce high levels of leakage.

    The works involve the replacement of approximately 1700 metres of old problematic water mains with high density polyethylene (plastic) pipe material.

    This contract is being carried out by Farran’s Construction Limited. Works are due to commence in mid-September and will take approximately 16 weeks to complete. Once complete, customers will benefit from a more consistent water supply due to the reduction in instances of bursts and leaks.

    The section of works will take place between Circular Road, Pound Street, Killala Road and Libadore. The works will also involve laying new water service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customers’ water supply. Where the existing service connections on the public side are lead these will be replaced as part of this improvement work.

    Areas of work will be limited to short sections to minimise impact on customers. The works may involve some short-term water shut offs and the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned water shut offs.

    Traffic management will be in place during this time. Local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times. Irish Water understands that this type of work can be inconvenient and works crews will make every effort to minimise any disruption these necessary works cause.

    Residents and businesses in the areas to benefit from the planned improvements have been notified and customers can phone Irish Water on Callsave 1850 278 278if they have any questions about the project.