Minister Michael Ring

  • A total of €216,000 has been allocated this morning for 11 recreational amenity projects across Co Mayo.

    The funding is being provided under Measure 1 of the 2018 Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure scheme, which provides grants of up to €20,000 for outdoor amenities such as greenways and walking trails.

    Five of the Mayo projects allocated funding are under the banner of South West Mayo Development Company, while Mayo North East had applied for funding for the other 6 successful projects.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says the funding will go towards improving local walks, trails and greenways.


  • There’s good news this morning for Glencastle National School, Bunnahowen as the Minister for Education has allocated 1.2 million euro to build a special needs unit at the Gaeltacht primary school.

    Minister Michael Ring has confirmed that the unding has been approved to build an extension at the school for an SNA unit.

  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has today approved a major investment package for digital services and facilities in public libraries in Mayo.

    The following libraries will receive investments in technology under this initiative.

    Library branch

































    This is part of an almost €8 million investment in libraries comprises of approximately €6 million from Minister Ring’s department and a further €2 million contribution from local authorities.

    Minister Ring has been telling Midwest Radio that this funding will transform our public library service in Mayo, with 14 libraries benefitting.

  • €320,000 in grant aid has been announced today for School and Community Safety supports in Mayo under the CLÁR programme

    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring , has announced details of €324,166 to be awarded to 9 projects for safety measures for schools and communities in Mayo under the 2018  programme which is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

    The following projects in Mayo will be supported:

    School/Community Group


    Project Description






    St. Brendan's College


    Carpark resurfacing and lights


    Scoil Náisiúnta Phádraig Naofa


    To facilitate set down area temporary parking area on school grounds; Extend/upgrade footpaths on approaches to school


    Attymass National School


    Construct & upgrade footpaths, carparking facilities and public lighting


    St. Peter & Paul National School


    Upgrade of parking and set-down area, and pedestrian access and safety at Straide National School


    St. Joseph's National School


    Traffic Calming Measures


    Glencorrib Kilroe Community Centre Ltd


    Upgrade of existing street lighting


    Ballyhaunis Community Preschool


    Resurface approach road and carpark


    Newport National School


    Create 10 new parking spaces, reconfigure busbays, upgrade road and line markings


    Mount Palmer National School

    Kincon, Ballina

    Resurface carpark and new road markings, provision of child safety signs


  • €50,000  euro has been sanctioned for  Scoil Náisiúnta Phádraig Naofa, (Louisburgh National School) Louisburgh under the  Clár Programme, Safety Measures. 
    The Minister for Rural and Community Development Minister Ring told Midwest News today he sanctioned the funding under the 2018 Clár Programme – safety measures for schools and communities.

    The funding approved for Scoil Náisiúnta Phádraig Naofa, will facilitate a set down area parking area on school grounds and extend/upgrade footpaths on approaches to school.

  • €247,500 which has been allocated to Mayo County Council for development and repair projects on harbours and slipways.  

    According to Minister Michael Ring the announcement is part of an overall €2.2 million Capital Investment Programme which will allow 13 Coastal Local Authorities to undertake and complete 52 development and repair projects on harbours and slipways.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News today that the package provides funding for maintenance and repair works in addition to supporting the ongoing development and enhancement of harbour facilities including some marine leisure developments.

    The details of the funding are as follows: 


    County Council


    WorksGrant aid approved

    Mayo County Council

    Achill (Green Pier)

    Repair to pier wall 22,500


    Killala Harbour

    Installation of new A to Ns on immediate approach channel to Killala Harour. Repair defective/undermined section of main pier. Remove silt from harbour area. Safety works 90,000


    Rathlackan Pier

    Emergency underpinning of existing pier end which is dangerously undermined. Further repairs and reconstruction of harbour deck and breakwater wall. Safety works to include ladders and edge rails. Construction of protective winch house 112,500


    Ballina Harbour

    Improvement/upgrade/ replacement of aids to navigation on approach channel along River Moy from Killala Bay to Ballina Harbour. Improvement/upgrade /replacement works to existing 150No. moorings as required 22,500


    Total Mayo


  • Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin, who lost her Dail seat in the last general election, topped the poll at the Fine Gael Selection Convention in Castlebar on Sunday night last.

    While party headquarters did not release the full details of the ballot, Midwest West News understands the Ballina based Senator was ahead by two votes after the first count.

    Senator Mulherin led the charge on Sunday night taking 256 votes

    Westport based, Minister Michael Ring was second, receiving 254 votes.

    While Castlebar based former Mayo footballer Alan Dillon received 193.

    South Mayo based councillor, Patsy O’Brien lost out in the 4 candidate contest with 140 votes.

    The party has decided to contest the 4- seater constituency of Mayo with a three candidate ticket.

    At present it holds two of the 4 seats. Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny remains a Dail deputy but declared some time ago that he will not be contesting the next time round, while the second seat is held by the Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring.

    It would be considered highly unlikely that Fine Gael could do any better than retain 2 seats in this constituency, however, as a 5 seater constituency back in 2011,  the party managed to secure 4 of the 5 places.

  • Clár funding of €242,000 has been approved this morning for ten first responder organisations in Co Mayo.

    Voluntary groups from across the county will benefit from the funding,which will help to fund ambulances, defibrillators and other equipment.

    St John’s Ambulance Mayo Division will receive €50,000, Order of Malta Ambulance Corps €50,000 for Knock Parish, Irish Red Cross Mayo €50,000 for an ambulance for Claremorris and hinterland, River Moy Search and Rescue €32,180, Grainne Uaile Sub Aqua Club €22,000, Mayo Mountain Rescue Team €16,000, Irish Community Rapid Response, Mayo €11,851, Shrule Community Defibrillator Group €4,834, Meelickmore Community Development Fund €3,200 and Claremorris South Responder Community Group €1,500.

    Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News this morning it is welcome funding for the groups involved.



  • 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.


  • 57 percent of the electorate in Mayo voted Yes on Friday to remove the Eighth Amendment from our constitution.

    In the run up to the vote, during the eight week Referendum campaign the Fine Gael deputies in the county were less than forthcoming on whether they were for or against its repeal. Both Minister Michael Ring and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to indicate how they would be voting.

    However, the Fianna Fail deputies in Mayo were clear on where they stood on the issue, Lisa Chambers was saying Yes and deputy Dara Calleary was saying No on Friday last.

    Today Deputy Calleary told Midwest News that he remains opposed to abortion but says as a democrat he will vote for the legislation to allow it.

    Throughout the referendum campaign Midwest News sought the views of the Fine Gael deputies on the repeal issue, but we only succeeded in getting any response on Tuesday last.

    A spokesperson for the former Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Tuesday that Deputy Kenny had not taken part in any interviews on the abortion debate, and was unlikely to do so before Friday. The spokesperson did not indicate Mr Kenny’s position on the referendum.

    On the same day in response to Midwest News, Minister Michael Ring said he was a member of the Dail which had facilitated putting the referendum on the Eighth Amendment before the people of Ireland. He pointed out that the Government has published draft legislation in relation to abortion, but insisted it is the people of Ireland that will make the decision in Friday’s referendum.

    Minister Ring said that, if the No vote won, then nothing would change. If people decide to vote Yes to repeal the Eighth amendment,  it will then be up to the Government and the Oireachtas to introduce legislation, and stated that he would make his views known then.

    Midwest News asked Minister Ring this morning how he will be voting on the legislation. He said he will be attending the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) - where the matter will be discussed and he will speak on the matter after that.

    The Fianna deputies in Mayo were very clear on how they would vote on Friday last.  Lisa Chambers was a definite Yes, and her colleague Dara Calleary was saying No.

    Lisa Chambers told Midwest News on Saturday that she hoped the legislation on abortion will be introduced as soon as possible in the wake of the clear mandate from the electorate.

  • With the vote to decide on repealing or retaining the Eighth Amendment  now only days away, Mayo voters have still not heard the views of either Minister Michael Ring, or former Taoiseach Enda Kenny on their intentions in Friday’s ballot.

    Both Fine Gael TDS are remaining tightlipped in the debate, despite repeated questions on the subject from Midwest News, we have failed to get a response from either deputy.

    The two Fianna Fail deputies in the county have clearly stated how they will be voting.

    Deputy Dara Calleary will be voting No, while Lisa Chambers is saying Yes.

  • Funding of almost €150,000 has been confirmed for playgrounds in Newport and Ballntubber under the LEADER programme.

    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has confirmed €74,984 for the development of a community playground in Ballintubber and €74,979 for the upgrade and expansion of Newport playground.

    The upgrade work on Newport playground will include the works to cater for children with disabilities and wheelchair users.

  • 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.

  • Grants have been allocated to schools offering Computer Science and Physical Education as Leaving Cert Subjects.

    104 post -primary schools will offer the courses for the first time from September.

    St Mary’s Secondary School in Ballina is offering Physical education for Leaving Cert this September, while Rice College in Westport is offering Leaving Cert Computer Science.

    Minister Michael Ring says the introduction of the new Leaving Certificate subjects is part of efforts to ensure the education system keeps pace with the changing society and needs of the economy.

    40 Schools will offer Computer Science as a subject in the first phase of its introduction from September

    While 64 will take part in the first phase of the introduction of Physical Education.

    The 104 schools have been allocated a total of four hundred and fifty thousand euro in grants.

  • Improvements at two sections of the N59 Westport to Mulranny road are being unveiled this afternoon.

    Minister Michael Ring has officially opened the N59 Rossow Bends Road Project- which involved the realignment of a 1.8 km section to remove a bad bend at a cost of over €6 million.

    The Minister also turned the sod on the N59 Kilmeena Road realignment scheme which involves the upgrade of 2.6 km of road, and the construction of 1km of cycleway, to tie into the recently completed section at Rossow.

    Minister Ring says these are two key sections of the €55 million N59 Westport to Mulranny Improvement Scheme.










  • The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has announced further details on the extension of mandatory electronic identification to all sheep.

    Since his announcement  last May of mandatory electronic identification to all sheep, he says his dept  has engaged with stakeholders in relation to the practical concerns raised in introducing the new system and has made some adaptations.

     Minister Creed says the new requirements will now be introduced in two stages as follows:

    With effect from 1st October 2018, all National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) approved tag suppliers will only sell two tag types:

    single electronic slaughter tags (for animals less than 12 months for lambs moving directly from the farm of birth to slaughter), and electronic tag sets (for all other sheep movements). 

    With effect from 1 June 2019 all sheep moving off a holding must be identified electronically, requiring either a single electronic slaughter tag, where lambs less than 12 months of age are moved directly from the birth holding to a slaughter plant, or an electronic tag set, in the case of all other sheep movements.

    There will be a once-off payment of up to a maximum of €100 per farmer, which will be related to the purchase of electronic tags from 1 October 2018. This is double the previous proposed figure of €50 payment. In the context of simplification, sheep farmers will not need to make an application for this funding, as the Department is in a position to use its records to calculate the amount due to each farmer under the scheme.

  • Minister Michael Ring insists that no government can be looking over it’s shoulder wondering if Fianna Fail will or will not support it, as the most critical discussions on Brexit are taking place between now and the end of this year.

    That’s why he says the Taoiseach wrote an open letter to the media yesterday calling on Fianna Fail to extend the Confidence and Supply Agreement out to 2020.

    But, according to Mayo deputy Lisa Chambers, speaking on Midwest Radio’s lunchtime news today, there is nothing in the Confidence and Supply agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail that suggests that any discussion on extending the three year agreement up to 2020 should occur, until after the upcoming budget. She stated that the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar knows that quite well, and that just because he now wants to change the goalposts through a letter to the media yesterday, that does not mean it should happen.

    The Confidence and Supply agreement is keeping the present government in office and deputy Chambers says if the Taoiseach wanted to change it, there is a mechanism in place- he should have contacted Micheal Martin directly and he didn’t do that.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Minister Ring said everyone would agree that we need a strong government in place as we negotiate on the international stage for a Brexit deal that is acceptable to this country and it makes perfect sense to begin discussions now with Fianna Fail about extending the agreement that keeps the government in office, as the budget is in three weeks time.

  • Minister for Rural and Community Affairs Michael Ring said he was surprised to hear Ballinrobe based Fianna Fail councillor  earlier this week, announce on Midwest News, that the village of Cong had secured 70,000 for flood relief works.

    Minister Ring is questioning where this 70,000 came from and is asking is it additional funding to the 325,000 euro that was already announced last September from the government, under the OPW, for Minor Flood Mitigation Works at Cong and Drumshiel.

    In response Cllr Ryan has stated to Midwest News today that the 70,000 euro is part of the 325,000 euro already announced by the OPW and government, but he said a section of the works is expected to get underway in Cong by next month.

    He said he had been working closely with Mayo county council and the OPW to ensure these particular measures are carried out in the village of Cong.

  • Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring has completed a busy St Patrick’s Day schedule of events in Boston during which he met with politicians, representatives of the Irish American community and business representatives.

    The Minister for Community & Rural Affairs presented a gift from Foxford Woollen Mills to the Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh, who has family connections in Connemara and is due to receive the Freedom of Galway, and to the Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker, who visited Ireland last year.

    During his trip, Minister Ring met with numerous Irish groups including the Mayo Association, the Irish American Partnership, the Irish International Immigrant Centre, the Charitable Irish Society and the Irish Pastoral Centre. He said these organisations provide fantastic support for the Irish diaspora in Boston and they are a credit to the strong and vibrant Irish American community in the city. 

    Minister Ring said that during his meetings with public representatives, he highlighted the situation of the undocumented Irish, of whom there are many in Boston and the wider area.

    He said both Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh are very aware of the difficulties faced by the undocumented Irish – an issue which the Taoiseach also raised with President Trump.

    Minister Ring also marched in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Boston, which was attended by tens of thousands of people.


  • Minister Michael Ring says the tragic drowning of two County Clare teenagers highlights the need for public awareness about the hazards around water.

    The Minister has extended his sympathy to the boys' family and friends - and appealed to water users to be vigilant across the bank holiday.

    15 year old Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney got into difficulty in a quarry lake near Ennis on Thursday afternoon.