Mayo News

  • A €100m Brexit compensation fund for beef farmers has been secured. 


    Agreement on a €50m support package from the European Commission was agreed yesterday. It is understood the deal will see the Irish Government match this with €50m of State funding, to bring the total fund for beef farmers to €100m.

    The details of the scheme will have to be worked out with the various farming organisations.

    The funding package is based on an IFA submission to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and Commissioner Hogan that detailed losses of €101m by beef farmers.

    Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin told Midwest News this morning that she received confirmation of the funding from Commissioner Phil Hogan last night.

  • A €31 million project has been approved for an ambitious four-year floating offshore wind project in Belmullet. Subject to consenting, it is planned that a full-scale floating wind turbine be deployed for testing off the west coast of Ireland at a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) test site near Belmullet, Co. Mayo, by 2022. The project is led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) working in partnership with SEAI, SAIPEM and other organisations in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK.

    Funding for the project has been secured from Interreg North West Europe to accelerate the uptake of floating offshore wind. The project will demonstrate the survivability and cost-competitiveness of a floating offshore wind technology. It will also support the development of an active supply chain in the region which has some of the strongest wind and ocean resources in the world. The project is known as AFLOWT (Accelerating market uptake of Floating Offshore Wind Technology) and is the first project of its kind at such scale to draw on expertise from right across Europe.

    The news has been welcomed by Mayo County Council, as a statement says today that the local authority has worked tirelessly alongside the SEAI over the past three years to ensure this project received the green light and funding.

    CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Hynes says the council is delighted with this project and it places Mayo at the heart of the renewable energy industry and offers huge opportunities for the development of supply chain and supporting industries to develop and flourish in the county,

  • A 13-year-old boy who had been missing in the Carrowmore-Lacken area since Friday has been found safe and well.

    Jake Bagnell went missing at around 9.30am on Friday morning.

    Gardai confirmed to Midwest News this morning that Jake has been found safe and well.

    They thanked the hundreds of local volunteers who have helped in the search since Friday and say without their assistance they may not have located Jake so quickly.

  • 37 thousand nurses have taken to the picket line for the third day today - in a row over pay and conditions, including over 100 at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar.

    A further 25 thousand medical appointments are cancelled and the HSE says it's getting harder to reschedule as the industrial action continues.

    The Government shows no sign of budging in the dispute.

    Both sides last met 10 days ago in the Labour Court, but it decided they were too far apart to intervene.

  • Health services across the country will experience major disruption again this morning, as 37,000 nurses and midwives take to the picket line.

    A government offer of talks has been roundly rejected by their union, the INMO, as the discussions wouldn't address their pay claims.

    37,000 INMO nurses will walk off the job and onto the picket line for a second day from 8am over their dispute with the government on pay and staff shortages.

    A suggestion by Ministers Simon Harris and Paschal Donohue for talks on issues other than pay has been dismissed as "spin masquerading as substance" by the INMO. 

    Up to 50,000 people will be affected by the action.

    All outpatient appointments, surgeries and routine community nursing activities are cancelled.

    Local injury units, and nurse-led day centres for older people and those with disabilities are closed.

    The advice is to stay away from emergency departments. 

    The HSE's mental health services face disruption too, as the Psychiatric Nurses Association are extending an overtime ban tomorrow and Thursday in their own row over pay and working conditions.

    With unions and government entrenched in their views, it seems a breakthrough is a long way off.

    The Saolta University Health Care Group says today’s industrial action planned by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation will have a significant impact on patient services across all of their hospitals.

    The Saolta Group comprises of hospitals in this region including Mayo University Hospital.

    The industrial action is planned to take place at all public hospitals, healthcare facilities and community healthcare services from this morning 8am tomorrow morning.

    The Saolta Group say they are continuing to work with the INMO on arrangements for the day to ensure safe service provision; however scheduled services are cancelled.

    All Out Patient, Inpatient and Day Surgery appointments are cancelled and Roscommon University Hospital Injury Unit is also closed today.

    If a patient’s procedure is going ahead, the relevant hospital will be in contact directly with the patient to let them know.

     

  • The Achill Experience visitor attraction has been allocated €75,000 to fund a 60 square metre extension.

    The funding has been granted through the Dormant Accounts Fund in Minister Michael Ring’s Department.

    This investment will support the building of an extension to the front of the property which will contain a new enlarged entrance, retail space, rest area and cafe.

    Almost 70,000 visitors have enjoyed Achill Experince since it opened its doors in 2016.

    Minister Ring has been telling Midwest Radio that the aquarium and visitor centre is the feather in the cap of Achill.

  • The Achill Half Marathon and 10K attracts up to 1,200 participants annually. Keeping these runners hydrated required approximately 12,500 bottles of water at refreshment stations along the route. Keen to reduce the negative impact of large events on the environment, AchillTourism.com and the Achill Half Marathon committee teamed up with local secondary school, Colaiste Pobal Acla, for an alternative initiative to mark #climatestrike day. 

    The students competed in a 6k race, and rather than using single use plastic bottles, they were offered filtered water served in reusable cups

    With the help of Refill.ie, the reusable cups will be collected, steam cleaned and reused at other events around the country. Eliminating 12,500 plastic bottles from the Achill Half Marathon is just the start. The organisers hope that other events will follow suit and ultimately remove millions of bottles annually from such events.

    Earlier this year, the Achill Half Marathon was voted Ireland’s Most Scenic Route and the message from the students was that they want to do their utmost to look after it.

    This year’s race takes place on 6th July.

     

  • Achill Tourism is hosting its 4th Expo Achill this Easter Monday.

    The event is a showcase of all that Achill Island has to offer, from outdoor activities to the best in retail and design.

    There will also be a presence from the voluntary sector – the RNLI and Achill Island Coastguard.

    Everyone is welcome to attend the event and admission is free.

    The event takes place in Colaiste Acla in Dooega and runs from 12 noon to 4pm on Monday.

  • The Air Corps is en route to Ballycroy to deal with a gorse fire outbreak. That was confirmed by Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe, to Minister Michael Ring this afternoon.

    Minister Ring says he was notified by Cllr Gerry Coyle earlier today of a serious gorse fire in Ballycroy that required external assistance.

    Minister Ring spoke with Minister Kehoe and it has been confirmed that the Air Corps is en route to Ballycroy to deal with the fire and are due to arrive around 4.30pm. 

     

  • An Bord Pleanala has sought further information from Mayo County Council in relation to the proposed construction of a new bridge at Glenisland, on the main Castlebar to Belmullet road.

    Funding of 500,000 euro was granted in 2015 for the construction of a new bridge at Mucknagh/Kilgarriff in Glenisland and realignment works. However An Bord Pleanala has sought additional information on a number of occasions, with the latest request arriving on January 18th.

    Erris based Fine Gael Cllr Gerry Coyle says if the situation wasn’t so serious it would be amusing.

    He says he cannot understand why the planning authority cannot see the urgency in completing this project, given the safety concerns on that road.

  • The man who penned 'The Fields of Athenry' will today walk in the footsteps of Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

    Singer songwriter Pete St. John will join the annual Afri famine walk in County Mayo - which was lead by Desmond Tutu during a visit to Ireland in 1991.

    The famine walk enters its fourth decade this afternoon and Pete St. John's climate change song 'Waltzing on Borrowed Time' will be performed as part of the opening celebrations.

    Walkers are asked to gather at Louisburgh at midday for registration before the walk begins.

  • Anyone hoping to spend a penney to use a public toilet in Ballina has a long wait.
    The Director of Services for MCC Tom Gilligan told councillors in the BMD area yesterday that a public toilet on a street in the town does not make economic sense, due to the cost of the facility and would not bring an extra tourist to Ballina.

    FG Cllr John O’Hara disagrees- and argued that it’s a basic facility for people doing their shopping in the town.

    He asked at least for signs to be erected at public buildings in the town indicating toilet facilities, if available.

    Afterwards Cllr O'Hara told Midwest News the response by the council is not good enough.

  • Architects are to be appointed next month to design the Keem Bay Discovery Point in Achill.

    The project was announced in 2014 as one of the major discovery points along the Wild Atlantic Way, but concerns have been expressed about the lack of progress since.

    At last month's meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District, Achill-based Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McNamara expressed frustration at the slow progress on the Keem Bay project, which he says will attract huge numbers of visitors to the island's blue flag beach.

    He asked for a full report on the project, and at this week's meeting of the authority, a presentation was given on the timescale and work involved.

    Environmental consultants will be appointed later this month, as the site is in a designated area, and architects will then be appointed next month.

     

  • Around 200 customers are without electricity this afternoon in the Achill area.

    According to ESB Powercheck, 202 customers are without power, due to a fault.

    Power is out since around 2.30pm today and the estimated restoration time is 6.15pm this evening.

  • A Ballina area councillor is calling on the developers of the Oweninny windfarm in north Mayo to provide funding for a new pedestrian crossing at Ardnaree in Ballina.

    The current pedestrian crossing in Ardnaree is not working, according to local FG Councillor John O'Hara who claims drivers are ignoring the flashing lights, and he fears a serious accident will occur unless the crossing is replaced with a push-button pedestrian crossing.

    Councillor O'Hara says that, with the Oweninny windfarm developers using this road four night per week from midnight, they should finance the pedestrian crossing as a community gesture.

  • Ballyhaunis has been highly commended in the Connacht category at this year’s Iarnród Éireann Best Station Awards. Station Manager, Matthew Garrett as well Shane Hughes of Ballyhaunis Station were at Inchicore Works to pick up their certificate. Ballyhaunis was narrowly beaten to the top spot in the Connacht category by Sligo. 

    Speaking at the awards, Station Manager Matthew Garrett said ‘Although we are disappointed to miss out on the top spot, we are proud to have made it in the top three in Connacht this year. He also thanked all the staff at Ballyhaunis who keep the station in great order

    Voting was conducted through an online poll and voting at stations, with hundreds of votes cast for Ballyhaunis. Customers were asked to rate their station under the following criteria; Customer Information, Station Appearance and Staff Helpfulness with Ballyhaunis scoring highly in all categories. The votes were cast at the end of last year.

    The Iarnród Éireann Best Station Awards reward excellence in customer facilities, cleanliness, innovation and customer service in the country’s 144 railway stations.

  • A bench in memory of the late Corporal Fintan Heneghan will be unveiled in his native Ballinrobe on Friday March 15th ahead of the 30th anniversary of his death.

    Corporal Fintan Heneghan died alongside Private Mannix Armstrong and Private Thomas Walsh on March 21, 1989 while serving with the 64th Infantry Battalion of the United Nations’ Interim Force in the Lebanon.

    They were killed when a landmine detonated in the ‘Green Rooms’ area of Lebanon, on a track that was not frequently used by peacekeeping personnel there.

    Local Fianna Fail Cllr Damien Ryan confirmed at this week’s Claremorris Municipal District meeting that the bench would be unveiled on Friday week at 2.30pm during the special ceremony in the town, which will be attended by the Defence Forces and various dignitaries.

  • A very famous face made an appearance in the west yesterday.

    U2 frontman Bono was spotted in Roscommon and Achill over the course of the day.

    Pictures on social media show the singer at Keenan’s in Tarmonbarry and then later in the day, at Lourdie’s Pub in Dooagh in Achill.

    It is believed he was visiting the island for a birthday party.

     

  • A Fianna Fail local election candidate has called for a new seawall and defence system to be put in place on the Muing Road in Belmullet.

    Sean Carey has made the call after the road was left littered with seaweed and other debris again today, despite the fact that it was not stormy last night.

    Pictures posted by local Senator Keith Swanick show the road covered in seaweed, something that happens very often according to Mr Carey.

    He told Midwest News that the new seawall and flood defence system must be installed as quickly as possible to prevent a more dangerous situation occurring.

  • A Castlebar Councillor has asked the HSE why they haven’t made the public aware of an outbreak of the CPE superbug at Mayo University Hospital.

    Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the matter at the recent HSE Regional Health Forum meeting this week.

    Ann Cosgrove of the Saolta University Healthcare Group confirmed that through screening processes at Mayo University Hosptial, an increase in the numbers of cases of CPE has been identified.

    She said that all patients that were affected have been communicated with directly by their relevant Consultants.

    Communication has been sent internally throughout the hospital and management is currently working on more detailed information for the public on general issues relating to CPE.

    CPE is an antibiotic resistant organism and for most patients who carry CPE, it never causes any illness but lies harmlessly in the gut. However it can cause major issues in some patients with comprised immune systems.

    Cllr Kilcoyne says he cannot understand why the public haven’t been informed about these increased cases.