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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Councillors at the West Mayo Municipal District meeting today voted in favour to grant permission for the Portwest construction on the proposed new 10 million euro Global Head Office of Portwest at Roman Island, the Quay, Westport.

    A total of 93 submissions have been submitted by members of the public and a number of local organisations to West Mayo Municipal District on the proposed new 10 million euro Global Head Office of Portwest at Roman Island, the Quay, Westport.

    The matter came before elected councillors at today’s monthly meeting of the West Mayo  Municipal district, in Westport.

    Councillors were asked to approve what’s termed a “material contravention” of the Westport Town and Environs Development plan in order to grant permission for the Portwest construction. The area at Roman Island, The Quay, Westport  is not zoned for such a development under the present area development  plan.

    The proposed development by Portwest includes an office building and café and is predominately 4 storeys in height. It will include office space for the Portwest Global Head Office . It also includes 91 car parking spaces and 30 covered bicycle spaces, signage, hard and soft landscaping and all associated infrastructure and site development works on a site area of 0.6ha at the Quay.

    At today’s meeting the number of submissions received from the public both in favour and against the proposal were presented to councillors.

    Councillors voted 6-1 in favour of the Material Contravention.

     

     

  • Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group Members have decided to proceed with a mountain path on Croagh Patrick, to help to preserve the mountain into the future.

    It follows and evaluation process of the trial path work undertaken on Croagh Patrick in recent weeks. The work was done by Scottish mountain path specialist’s contractor Mr. Matt McConway of Upland Access Ltd over a period of two weeks. The trial section of stone pitching is two metres wide, consisting of irregular steps and platforms, using only stone and material from the mountain. Work took place in two locations, along the traditional summit path and at a lower level near the access gate to the mountain.   

    The objective of the trial path work was to establish if the proposed methodology for constructing the path would work using the small stone blocks found on the steep slope of the summit. The path work was evaluated against Helping the Hills (the Guiding Principles for Upland Path work produced by Mountaineering Ireland) and included the assessing the quality of path work construction technique; landscape impact and environmental impact. It also provided an insight into the value of progressing the implementation of the project with strong emphasis on training and voluntary inputs, building the capacity locally to repair and long-term care for the mountain.

    The result of the evaluation process is that The Stakeholder Group is confident to proceed with the proposed path solution together with a maintenance and management regime.

    The Stakeholder Group has acknowledged with gratitude the assistance of the Mountain Shareholders; Murrisk Development Association; GMIT Mayo Campus; South West Mayo Development staff and RSS workers; Mountaineering Ireland; Mayo Mountain Rescue and all other volunteers who assisted with the physical creation of the path work.

    The next steps for the project are to obtain planning approval through Part 8 procedure in partnership with Mayo County Council and then proceed to implementation.

    Midwest News will have a special feature on this latest development on our local news next week.

  • The death has taken place in Westport of former Town Councillor John Joe O’Malley.

    Mr O’Malley, from Horkan’s Hill, was a member of the now defunct Westport Town Council for 20 years, from 1979 to 1999, and he served as Cathaoirleach of the Council in 1986 and 1987. 

    He retired from politics in 1999 after two decades of service in Westport, but he remained a very active member of the Westport community, until a battle with illness in recent years. 

    John Joe is survived by his wife Breda, three sons, three daughters and extended family.

    John Joe's remains will be repose in Navin’s Funeral Home, Westport, this evening (Wednesday), from 5pm to 7pm.

    His funeral will arrive at St Mary’s Church, Westport, on Thursday at 10.30am for Mass at 11am.

    Burial will take place afterwards in Aughagower Cemetery.

  •  

    A demonstration will take place at The Fairgreen in Westport on Saturday afternoon, as part of a nationwide rally against the Cervical Check scandal.

    The demonstrations are being organised by the Standing4Women campaign, and will take place at 2pm Saturday in 26 counties across the country.

    The organisers are calling for the new Patient Safety Bill, which will provide for mandatory open disclosure, to be enacted without any further delays.

    It's understood the Health Minister Simon Harris is to bring the Bill before the Cabinet later this week, but it's unsure if it can be introduced before the Summer recess.

    It emerged in April that an audit of smear tests showed 209 women with cervical cancer would have benefited from earlier treatment.

    Tara Bleeks is regional organiser of Standing4Women, says Saturday's demonstration in Westport is the second of its kind, to show support for the women involved and their families...

  • A demonstration will take place at The Fairgreen in Westport at 2pm this afternoon  (Saturday), as part of a nationwide rally following the Cervical Check scandal.

    The demonstrations are being organised by the Standing4Women campaign, and will take place at 2pm in 26 counties across the country.

    The organisers are calling for the new Patient Safety Bill, which will provide for mandatory open disclosure, to be enacted without any further delays.

    It emerged in April that an audit of smear tests showed 209 women with cervical cancer would have benefited from earlier treatment.

    Tara Bleeks is regional organiser of Standing4Women, and says today's demonstration in Westport is the second of its kind in Mayo, to show support for the women involved and their families.