Senator Rose Conway-Walsh

  •  Almost 5 million euro has been spent on ambulances to Mayo University Hospital over the past seven years, and according to Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh it’s too high a price to pay when the service is not under HSE control.

    The senator says the spending €4.8 million on private ambulances since 2011 does not constitute value for money and the money should instead have been spent purchasing and staffing new ambulances.

     She claims that the ambulance services in the HSE have suffered from years of cuts, under investment, and privatisation of ambulance services with over €31 million being spent on private ambulances by the HSE nationally since 2011.

    Mayo University Hospital and the State, she believes, need to ensure that we have a high quality, publicly owned stock of ambulances instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute fiscal prudence.

  • Midwest News understands that a woman was left waiting for three hours for an ambulance after being injured when she fell off a bicycle in the Glenamoy area of north Mayo yesterday.

    The woman is believed to have suffered an injury after coming off her bike yesterday afternoon. When the call was made for an ambulance, if it understood the available ambulance was in Clifden at the time.

    A GP is understood to have assessed the woman at the scene and said she was fit to be moved, at which point she is understood to have been brought to the Garda Station to wait for the ambulance.

    Local Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says while yesterday’s situation was shocking, it is not surprising to people in Erris.

    She says that situations like this have occurred before and it is something that will have to be dealt with in some way or another.

  • A Mayo Sinn Féin Senator has called for an independent investigation on the historical prescribing of valproate to pregnant women.

    Rose Conway-Walsh says it is now clear that hundreds of children have been born with disabilities as a direct result of the of the prescribing sodium valproate (epilim) which is a drug licensed in Ireland for the treatment of epilepsy and bi-polar disorder.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the crux of the matter is that parents were not informed of the risks or risk-reduction measures they needed to put in place, therefore they continued to be prescribed valporate during pregnancy.

  • A  Mayo Senator is calling on the Mayo-based Minister for Community & Rural Affairs Michael Ring to get involved in issues surrounding the school transport system.

    Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says, once again this year, families are faced with the problem of children being left without places on the school bus.

    While many of these children were fully paid up by the deadline, they're only being informed in recent weeks that they have no place on the school transport  - and she says that, in some cases, their brothers and sisters attending the same school have already secured a seat on the bus.

    Senator Conway-Walsh claims many of the problems associated with school transport at this time of year are escalating from previous years...

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the National Transport Authority and Bus Eireann on the School Bus Transport Scheme.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says there are a number of issues arising from what she describes as the inflexibility of the scheme.

    Bus Eireann says the company is only taking instructions on how the scheme should operate from the Department of Transport.

    She raised the case of a student who is a valid medical card holder, and her parents were advised that she was eligible for a seat on the bus. However she cannot use a seat on the bus, as there is no room on it at present. Her siblings are currently travelling on this bus.

    Senator Conway-Walsh said she wanted to establish whose responsibility is it to ensure this girl has a seat on the bus. It was established that Bus Eireann need to get approval from the Department on this.

    She also raised the issue of the timings under which applications must be submitted for a place on such bus routes.


  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the commitment of Fianna Fáil to saving rural post offices after their own motion on the issue was poorly attended by their own senators.

    Sinn Féin's Rose Conway-Walsh says there was only one speaker from Fianna Fáil on behalf of the motion and only three Fianna Fáil senators turned up to vote.

    She says there is no use in attending mass rallies calling for the protection of rural post offices if those same politicians are not going to use every avenue available in the Oireachtas to achieve this.

    Senator Conway-Walsh was strongly critical of Fianna Fáil's attempts to explain away the 732 post office closures that happened when they were in Government.

  • A Mayo Senator has raised the issue of home help hours and packages with the Oireachtas Committee on Health.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Councillor Rose Conway-Walsh says there are 6,450 people assessed and approved for home help and are on a waiting list for it.

    She also raised the issue of home help providers having their hours cut.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says that the system which was in place up to 2010, where the HSE ran the home help service, worked perfectly and should not have changed. The service was privatised after 2010.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that there are ways and means that the issue of waiting lists can be tackled.

  • A Mayo Senator has said Revenue must treat farmers as citizens not targets in new taxation measures.

    Erris Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh was speaking at an IFA meeting to inform farmers about the changes in Breaffy House last week.

    She says small farmers in the west of Ireland struggling to make a living on marginal land must be exempted from further bureaucracy when it comes to new taxation measures proposed.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the new PAYE modernisation scheme, due to be implemented from January 2019 is unworkable for small farmers. She says having to report any payments to spouses, sons or daughters or casual labour in real time, is going to cause huge challenges for farmers.

    The Senator says exemptions must be introduced to reflect these situations for farmers.

  • A Mayo Senator says Sinn Fein absolutely made the right decision to run a candidate in the election.

    Erris based SF Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says there was a limited time for people to get to know the candidates properly and they were only getting to know their candidate Liadh Ni Riada.

    Senator Conway-Walsh spoke with Midwest News at the count centre in Castlebar today.

    Meanwhile Castlebar Fine Gael Cllr Henry Kenny says there is no doubt in his mind, that that right candidate for the job will be elected later.

    Cllr Kenny says Michael D Higgins is the correct choice for President in terms of his capabilities for the position.

  • A Mayo Senator has asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to address the urgent need for a family resource centre in Erris.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the Minister needs to recognise the unique factors present in Erris. She says due to the poor standards of the roads and the dire lack of public service, the population of Erris cannot rely on essential services making their way into the area.

    The Senator says it is not feasible for support services such as those provided for by Tusla through Family Resource Centres to travel in and out of Erris to meet individuals and families.

    She says Tusla and HSE staff spending half their day travelling is not a best use of their time and is not conductive to providing the quality of support service to individuals and families. Senator Conway-Walsh says the reality is that families and individuals are being deprived of life saving and life changing supports and services available to people living in other areas.

    She says a FRC located in Erris would facilitate an early intervention and prevention approach and would assist in preventing cases escalating to social work teams which are already overstretched.

  • A Mayo Senator has welcomed the decision by Bank of Ireland to reverse the decision to make several branches completely cashless.

    Bank of Ireland confirmed to Midwest News today that by the end of 2018, it will offer a full counter service at 164 branches spread across every county in Ireland. This includes some branches in County Mayo.

    This is happening on a phased basis and some branches have already implemented it. Full details of the branches that will have the service restored have not been confirmed by the bank as of yet.

    At present Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Charlestown and Kiltimagh have no cash desk facilities, while in Belmullet, Claremorris and Swinford the cash counter only operates for two and a half hours in the morning.

    In July Erris based Fine Gael Councillor Gerry Coyle confirmed to Midwest News that the cash counters at the Bank of Ireland branches in Belmullet and Westport will remain open all day from September.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who is a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, says the decision by Bank of Ireland has not materialised out of nothing and has called on other banks who have curtailed branch services to take note of this row back by Bank of Ireland and respect their customers.

  • The head of the HSE has stepped down just hours after refusing to resign over the CervicalCheck scandal.

    Tony O'Brien informed the Health Minister last night admitting that there were failures in telling women about incorrect smear test results.

    Yesterday it emerged the HSE was told two years ago that women could go to the media over the scandal.

    Mr O’Brien’s resignation has also been welcomed by Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.

    She says that from the moment the revelations started about CervicalCheck, his position was untenable.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the news yesterday that there were three memos outlining the fact that they knew within the HSE about these failures but kept that information from the women involved and their doctors, is unacceptable. 

    She told Midwest News this morning that people need to be held accountable in this scandal.

  • People should take a look at the alternative budget proposed by Sinn Fein and judge it on its own merits.

    That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.

    She says that despite criticism from Government, this is a fully costed budget that the party feels addresses some of the main concerns facing the country at present.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says that they would look to tackle the housing crisis, beds in hospitals and waiting lists amongst other concerns, by taxing various outlets.

    She says she has also highlighted a number of issues in Mayo that deserve priority funding.

  • It’s not acceptable that Bus Eireann can simply change a bus route, like route 52 connecting Ballina to Galway, without any consultation. That’s the view of Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh

    The Minister for Transport Shane Ross has been asked by the Mayo Senator to address the Seanad on the urgent need to maintain Bus Éireann Route 52.

    The route is at present under review, according to Bus Eireann, and an alternative service looks set to be rolled out in 12 weeks time, the company confirmed to Midwest News earlier this week.

    Any change in the service will impact on Kiltimagh and Swinford residents who regularly use the route, but will also impact on north Mayo patients attending medical appointments in Galway.

    Senator Conway Walsh wrote to Minister Ross about concerns over the route and recently received a reply in which the Minister said he does not interfere in the management/operation of the bus services.

    The Senator told Midwest News today that the response is a “cop out” and is demanding a full debate on accountability within the regional transport network.

  • A Sinn Fein amendment on rural planning will be debated in the Dail this evening, which could remove obstacles for people attempting to get planning permission in rural areas.


    The amendment would permit local authorities to grant a waste water discharge licence to applicants wanting to built one-off rural houses where the percolation test has failed.


    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says this would move away from the discharge rule which has prevented many families from building a house in rural areas of the West.

  • Sinn Fein says they will announce the party's candidate for the Presidential election on the 16th September.

    The party is holding its annual two-day think-in in Cavan today and tomorrow, ahead of the start of the new Dáil term.

    Sinn Fein confirmed earlier that they will put down a motion of no confidence in the Housing Minster Eoghan Murphy when the Dáil returns, in response to the ongoing homelessness crisis -  a motion which Fianna Fail says it won't support.

     Mayo Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the forthcoming Presidential election is also being discussed, and while the party will not announce its candidate until 16th September, it's unlikely to be former party president Gerry Adams...

  • Sinn Féin will continue to press the Government to increase funding in next month's Budget for the provision of social housing.

    That's according to Mayo-based Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who was speaking after the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy comfortably survived a Sinn Fein motion of no confidence in him last night by 59 votes to 49, with Fianna Fail abstaining.

    Minister Murphy told the Dáil he would not be "hounded out of office" by personalised slurs against him.

    He said the housing crisis was a decade in the making, and he only came into office 16 months ago.

    Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says her party had no choice but to put this motion forward, as the housing crisis is now a national issue. and she claims the Government is failing to deal with it.