Westport

  • Thousands of pilgrims are expected to climb Croagh Patrick this Reek Sunday weekend.

    Accurate counting procedures undertaken by Mayo county council indicated that 5,000 people climbed Mayo’s holy mountain on Reek Sunday last year.

    Masses will be celebrated on the summit from 8am on Sunday morning next, on the hour,  until 2pm. While a Mass will take place at the base of the mountain at Murrisk on this Friday, Garland Friday, the day that many local people traditionally make the climb.

    Fr Charlie McDonnell is the Adminstrator in the parish of Westport , where Croagh Patrick is situated, he told Midwest News today   that it’s a busy week  - as final preparations are made for Reek Sunday.

    He is advising pilgrims not to take any risks, if they do not feel physically able to climb, they should not attempt to reach the summit. 

    He says the condition of the cone, close to the summit is deteriorating and while its hoped to reduce the problem over the next number of years, it is a very difficult climb at present that should not be underestimated.

  • As the Mayo under 20's prepare to face Derry in Carrick on Shannon in a historic All Ireland semi-final - a game which you can hear live on Midwest Radio with thanks to Salamancas Tapas Bar - we got the views of manager Mike Solan, free scoring full forward Ross Egan as well as marauding half back Paul Lambert. You can watch the interviews back now and don't forget to tune in from 4pm on Saturday for the full game live on Midwest Radio.

  • Allergan is to invest €65m in its Irish operations and will add 63 jobs to its plant in Westport.

    Local Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News this morning that it’s great news for the county, and added that Allergan has been a wonderful employer in Westport for forty years now.

     Allergan has four plants in Ireland - two in Dublin, one in Mayo and one in Galway. 

    Today's jobs announcement will bring its employee numbers in Ireland above 2,100.

    The €65m funding will also see the company invest at its Clonshaugh facility in Dublin, which includes two manufacturing facilities and the company's head office.

    The Westport campus is the largest and most complex in the company's global network. 

    It includes a pharmaceuticals facility, two biologics plants and is also responsible for the global supply of Botox. 

    Minister Ring says the news is today warmly welcomed in Westport.

    .

  • The amount of time devoted to talking about issues concerning Westport town at monthly meetings of the West Mayo Municipal District is completely out of proportion in view of the large area that the district represents from the Ceide fields in north Mayo to the Mayo / Galway border.

    That was the view expressed by Achill based Fianna fail councillor Paul McNamara at the monthly meeting this week of the West Mayo Municipal District.

     In particular he highlighted what he termed the excessive debate on the introduction of on street car parking charges in Westport town.

  • Archbishop Michael Neary will lead the annual Croagh Patrick pilgrimage tomorrow (Sunday).

    Later this evening ( Sat), Archbishop Neary will celebrate Mass in St Mary's Church, Westport at 6.30pm to mark the official start of this year's pilgrimage.

    On Reek Sunday, Mass will be celebrated on Croagh Patrick every hour from 8am to 2pm.

    The Bishop of Killaloe Fintan Monahan will celebrate the 9am Mass, and Archbishop Neary will celebrate Mass at 11am.

    Confessions will also be available on the summit from 7.30am to 2pm.

    Those making the climb this weekend are advised to come prepared - with wet gear, sun screen, appropriate footwear, water and snacks.

  • Gardai in Westport are investigating the seizure of a significant amount of cannabis last weekend.

    It's understood the drugs, worth in the region of €20,000, were found in a wooded area near The Point.

    Members of the Westport Drugs Unit were involved in the seizure, and Midwest News understands one person is helping Gardai with their enquiries.

     

  • Cannonball has now broken the milestone of one million euro raised for charities

    The action packed supercar event was in Westport on Friday night last and large crowds lined the streets to welcome the parade.

    Fans got up close and personal with the world’s top mark cars such as McLaren, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Bentley, among others.

    The official charity of Cannonball 2018 is ISPCC Childline, Ireland’s 24-hour listening service for children and young people.

  • Car parking charges in local authority car parks and on the streets of Mayo towns should show uniformity right across the county, according to Independent Cllr Richard Finn.

    He raised the matter at the monthly meeting of Claremorris Municipal District, during which councillors passed bylaws for parking in their area.

    Cllr Finn says that in different Municipal Districts, there are different parking charges.

    He cited the recent controversy where West Mayo opted to have no car parking charges on the streets of Westport, one of the county’s largest and busiest towns.

    He told the meeting that he feels there needs to be uniformity on parking charges throughout the county, so there can be clarity for the general public parking in any town.

  • Bank of Ireland has confirmed that cash counters at their branches in Belmullet and Westport will remain open all day, from September.

    Last Summer, the Bank of Ireland closed cash counters at both branches from 12.30 each afternoon, which was a huge inconvenience for local people wishing to do their business and for tourists to the area - according to Erris-based FG Councillor Gerry Coyle.

    He and Minister Michael Ring led a campaign to have this decision reversed, and Councillor Coyle says the Bank of Ireland has now confirmed that, from September next, the cash counter will remain open all day at both the Westport and Belmullet branches.

  • The Celtic Camino Festival will take place in Westport from April 13th-15th.

    The event is aimed at bringing a flavour of the Camino to Ireland.

    It is organised by the Camino Society of Ireland, a voluntary non-profit organisation, founded in 1992 by returned pilgrims to give something back to the Camino.

    More recent the group has started to promote walking pilgrimages in Ireland, with the concept – The Celtic Camino.

    The event beings on Friday April 13th with a screening of The Camino Voyage in the W Cinema in Westport. On Saturday there will be presentations, discussions and workshops in Hotel Westport from 9.30am, while Sunday sees the Celtic Camino Pilgrim Walk follow the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail from 9.30am.

  • Claremorris was last night named the best small town in Connacht/Ulster at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Towns, held in Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny.

    Claremorris picked up the overall award in the small town category, while Westport was a runner-up in the regional section.

    Ballina and Castlebar also represented Mayo at last night’s awards.

  • The brother of a woman found dead in her home in Westport last week, asked the congregation at her funeral service yesterday to pray for her family.

    According to today’s Irish Independent, David French told mourners that mother of three Valerie French-Kilroy (41) was "an immensely caring and loving person" who had devoted her life as an occupational therapist to helping others.

    The mother of three young sons was found dead at her Islandeady home last Friday and a post mortem examination indicated she had met a violent death.

    Her husband, James Kilroy, was charged last Sunday before Castlebar District Court with the murder of his wife on June 14 and he is due before Harristown court later today.

    Hundreds attended the funeral service at St Fachtna's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Rosscarbery, west Cork.

    Mrs French-Kilroy is survived by her three sons Oscar, Axel and Zak.

    The service was led by the Dean of Ross Rev Christopher Peters and the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Dr Paul Colton.

    Dean Peters had celebrated Valerie's wedding ceremony in St Fachtna's in 2008. David French paid an emotional tribute to his sister - and asked everyone to remember that her "three young sons are almost unaware of the catastrophe that has unfolded around them."

    "We are here to celebrate Valerie’s wonderful life not to remember the horrific circumstances of her death. The name Valerie means strong and valiant," he said.

    Mr French  said his sister, throughout her life and career, never lost her warm laugh, the sense of fun she inherited from her adored father and her compassion for others.

    "She had an immense capacity for work and a deep connection with people across the community wherever she was. Valerie could also be very serious but only when necessary," he said.

    His sister adored music, festivals, art, craft, storytelling, nature, gardening but above all her family and children.

    He asked mourners to remember his sister's three young sons.

    "Above all else please pray for the future of Valerie’s three sons," he said.

    Mr French concluded with a moving tribute to the Gardaí, Health Service Executive (HSE) and Tusla as well as all those who had supported his family over the past week.

    "As a close family friend often says: We are only put here to help each other. Valerie was put here to help us," he said.

    Dean Peters said anyone who met Valerie remembered her by her ready smile and warm laughter.

    "She was someone at ease in and with herself happy to be a bit different and to do things differently," he said.

    "It is the precious memories of her life which must always define our memories of Valerie and her marriage to James and not the tragic and awful event of this last week."

    A special statement had been issued by the family via the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross Dr Paul Colton thanking everyone for the immense outpouring of support the family had received since the tragedy last Friday.

     

  • Winners for the inaugural Irish SME Business Awards have been announced following an online campaign which saw nominations flood in from across the country.

    The awards celebrate the hard work and determination of the best professionals and businesses in the Irish SME business sector and follows the success of last year’s Scottish SME Business Awards and Welsh SME Business Awards.

    27 awards were presented on the night.

    Among the winners was Stephanie O’Malley of Education Desty in Westport who took the Social Leader of the Year award.

    Business of the Year for less than 50 staff in the west of Ireland went to JMB MERIT  in Galway, while Retail Business of the Year for less than 3 units went to Cahalan Jewellers in Ballinasloe.

  • Construction got underway yesterday on the first phase of the Westport to Louisburgh Greenway. 

    The 19km stretch of greenway will extend on from the Great Western Greenway that runs from Westport to Achill. 

    Phase One runs from Bertra to the famine monument at Murrisk, at the base of Croagh Patrick. 

    Local Councillor Christy Hyland told Midwest News he is delighted work on the new facility is now underway. 

  • Westport Fianna Fail Cllr Brendan Mulroy has been elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, following a hotly elected contest today.

    Fianna Fail, working with the Independents elected to the local authority have managed to strike a deal to elect Cllr Mulroy as Cathaoirleach, with Fianna Fail’s Al McDonnell as Leas-Cathaoirleach.

    Meanwhile Castlerea based Fianna Fail Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice is expected to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council today. That meeting is underway and we hope to have more later.

  • A Westport Independent Cllr. has again called for work to be carried out on footpaths along the Ballinrobe road in Westport.

    Christy Hyland says it is a densely populated area and anyone walking along that stretch at present is taking a huge risk.

    Cllr. Hyland says he has been calling for a footpath to be put in place for a number of years and has called on the senior engineer with Mayo County Council to put this on their plan.

  • We need a referendum to change the bail laws of this country, according to Westport based Independent councillor Christy Hyland.

    He made the call at a recent county Joint Policing Committee meeting, stating that at present up to 2,000 crimes per month in the country are committed by people out on bail.

    The councillor told Midwest News today that the present bail laws are serving the criminals well, as distinct from the people that they are suppose to be protecting.

  • The long awaited work to renovate the old convent in Westport, and to locate a library and municipal district offices on the site, appears to be making little progress.

    The matter was raised yesterday at the monthly meeting of West Mayo Municipal District by Westport based councillor Tereasa McGuire.

    Council management presented a report to date on the site.

    Councillor McGuire  said it was a sad day for Westport, when there appears to be insufficient funding to develop the now derelict site, that is often used as a location for anti social behavior.

    The council bought the property in 2010, and for the past eight years  extensive plans are in place for its development but  nothing has happened.

    The Fine Gael councillor told Midwest News today that the building continues to fall into disrepair, and it will cost more now than it would have in 2010 to restore and develop it.  She described the situation as wrong and sad.

     

  • A local Councillor says that something has to be done about flooding on the access road to Allergan and Portwest in Westport.

    Independent Cllr Christy Hyland says the access road flooded again yesterday, following heavy rain as part of Storm Diana yesterday.

    He says that once Allergan found out that the road was flooded, they provided access to the two sites by opening up a road at the rear of their plant.

    However Cllr Hyland says the situation must be resolved, as it has occurred on a number of occasions over the past few years.

    He says that both Allergan and Portwest are major employers and it is not good enough to have the access road to the plants flooded.

    Cllr Hyland says employees were worried about getting home from work or getting into work yesterday because of the issue.

    He told Midwest News he has been in touch with the Executive of Mayo County Council about the matter.

  • An Independent Councillor has voiced his frustration at the state of the footpath in the Market Lane area of Westport.

    Christy Hyland says this has been an issue going back for at least ten years.

    It came to light again recently when a person fell in the Market Lane area and sustained injury.

    Cllr. Hyland says that there is an accident on that lane way once every two or three weeks and someone has to take full responsibility to carry out repairs.

    It emerged at a recent meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District that the laneway is owned by Nama and Council management say upgrade works in that area would be a very substantial investment.