Westport

  • Increase the hourly rate in the council carparks in Westport, rather than introduce street car parking charges in the town.

    That’s the view of Fine Gael councillor Tereasa McGuire.

    She told Midwest News this morning that if Tom Gilligan, Director of Services for Mayo county council, needs to secure additional funding, then he should increase the hourly rate in the carparks in Westport from 70 cent to one euro for the first hour.

    Last week, Tom Gilligan outlined plans to councillors to introduce street carparking charges in 8 towns across the county.

    Cllr McGuire says the proposal is unfair to rate payers, businesses and the general public.

  • An Independent Councillor says the reduction of outdoor staff with Mayo County Council for the Westport area by six people in total is deeply concerning. 

    Cllr. Christy Hyland says standards have to be maintained in the Westport area. He says outdoor staff are vital in Westport due to the high volume of people coming into the town on an ongoing basis. 

    He raised his concerns at a recent meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District and afterwards told Midwest Radio that he is going to persist on this matter.

  • Irish Rail is banning people from drinking alcohol on some of its routes from next week.

    The ban will come into effect from Friday October 12th, and will be enforced every Friday, following regular reports of anti-social behaviour.

    It will affect the Heuston to Galway routes departing at 11:25am, 1:25pm and 3:35pm; as well as the 2:45pm train from Heuston to Westport.

  • Seven town centres are to become free public wi-fi zones.

    Unlimited access to high speeds  will initially be introduced in Knock, Westport, Sligo, Monaghan, and Carrick-On-Shannon town centres.

    Wifi spots in Kerry and Donegal will also be brought on stream.

    Magnet Networks will install access points on their premises, providing free connectivity within the town centres.

    The scheme is already in operation in Galway.

  • It now looks likely that the long awaited flood relief works at Carrowholly outside Westport will get underway by September.

    That’s according to the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.

    The Minister says over a million euro has been set aside by government for the works and he says it remains available, but he says it’s completely unacceptable that it has taken months to get the OPW and Mayo County Council to meet and get the project underway.

    Many homes in the Carrowholly area of Westport have been marooned over recent years due to severe flooding.

    Minister Ring says the OPW has in recent days been meeting residents on the ground in Carrowholly and he says he is confident that the flood relief works will get underway in September, ahead of this winter.

  • Gardai in Westport have arrested a man in connection with a spate of thefts from charity boxes in licensed premises in the town.

    It’s understood the suspect is also being questioned about a break-in to a caravan at the rear of a B&B in Westport.

  • A court has heard that the man suspected of murdering Ciara Glennon 20 years ago in Australia is socially awkward with an "obsessive sexual interest" in abduction.

    For the first time, prosecutors in Perth have revealed disturbing details about why they believe Bradley Robert Edwards is the man responsible for abducting and murdering 27-year old Ms Glennon and two other young women in the 1990s.

    Ciara's father Denis Glennon is a native of Westport, Co Mayo.

    The Irish Independent reports that the pre-trial hearing of the accused, who's from Claremont, Western Australia, began on Monday after its proceedings were delayed on a number of occasions.

    Ciara Glennon disappeared on March 14, 1997, after a night out celebrating St Patrick's Day in the Perth suburb of Claremont.

    Her body was discovered 18 days after she disappeared in bushland 50km north of Perth and had to be identified by her parents.

    The court heard DNA taken from Ms Glennon's body, including from under her fingernails, was consistent with Mr Edwards's DNA.

    Fibres in her hair also corresponded with the same fibres found inside Mr Edwards's car.

    Bradley Robert Edwards is also accused of murdering 18-year old Sarah Spiers and 23-year old Jane Rimmer in 1996 and 1997.

    He previously pleaded not guilty to all charges, which also include raping a 17-year-old girl in 1995 and breaking into an 18-year-old woman's bedroom in her home in 1988.

    The court was told that  Mr Edwards was "an introverted, socially awkward man, and that the allegations against him show he had an "obsessive sexual interest in the abduction, imprisonment and forcible rape of women in degrading and violent circumstances".

    Following Mr Edwards' arrest in 2016, Ms Glennon's father Denis described the murder charge as a "bitter-sweet moment".

    Mr Edwards will go on trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in July.

     

  • Mayo County Council has granted planning permission for the development of a new €10 million euro global headquarters for Portwest at The Quay in Westport.

    Two weeks ago, members of the West Mayo Municipal District approved a material contravention to allow the site of the proposed development on Roman Island at The Quay to be re-zoned, and the council has now given the green light for the predominantly four-storey building, subject to 37 conditions.

    Portwest now employs over 3,000 staff worldwide and expected to treble staff numbers and reach $1 billion turnover in the next 7 years.

    The new global headquarters at the site of the Old Mill on The Quay will accommodate some 150 staff.

    Owen Hughes, Director of Portwest, told Midwest News that they're delighted to have secured planning permission for the new office development, and says that - if there are no objections - they would hope to start construction early in 2019.

  • A Mayo man won Gold for a radio documentary on Frank Stagg at last night’s IMRO Radio Awards in Kilkenny.

    Liamy MacNally from Westport told Gold in the Documentary/Feature category for his production – Frank Stagg’s Three Funerals.

    Frank Stagg was a Provisional IRA hunger striker from Hollymount in Co Mayo. He died in February 1976 after 62 days on hunger strike while in prison.

    Frank Stagg's burial caused considerable controversy in Ireland, with republicans and two of his brothers seeking to have Stagg buried in the republican plot in Ballina in accordance with his wishes, while his widow, his brother Emmet Stagg and the Irish government wished to have him buried in the family plot in the same cemetery and to avoid republican involvement in the funeral. As the republicans waited at Dublin Airport for the body, the Irish government ordered the flight to be diverted to Shannon Airport.

    His body was taken to Ballina and buried near the family plot. In order to prevent the body being disinterred and reburied by republicans, the grave was covered with concrete. In November 1977, a group of republicans tunnelled under the concrete to recover the coffin under cover of darkness and reburied it in the republican plot.

    Liamy’s documentary aired on the Documentary on One on RTE Radio 1 and last night he was awarded the top accolade at the IMRO Radio Awards.

     

  • Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has today announced that the N5 Westport to Turlough Road road project is to go to e-Tender for the procurement of a main contractor.

    Mayo County Council will be working with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in progressing the scheme.  The total cost of the investment in this project is approximately €170m which includes land, construction and all other costs.

    Minister Ring says it is one of the most significant investments in the West of Ireland in a generation. It is a signal of intent for the Atlantic corridor and it will help to drive the development of the county.

    The N5 out of Westport into Castlebar and onto Turlough is an exceptionally busy road, with huge volumes of traffic travelling on it, on a daily basis.

    The project has been mooted for up to four decades now, and today’s announcement is expected to see a contractor on site by this time next year.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Minister Ring said it’s very welcome news for the county.

  • Minister Michael Ring has today confirmed that the Government has allocated €22m for the improvement and maintenance of roads in Mayo in 2019.

    The allocation for improvement of roads in Mayo is €21,058,639, while the allocation for maintenance of roads is €1,296,569.

    Included in the allocation is €10m for the Westport to Turlough road.

    Minister Ring says this project is going out for tender in January and all going well a contractor should be onsite by September or October of 2019.

    This is just one of a large number of projects to be funded under today’s allocation.

     

     

    TII 2019 National Road Allocations
    Total of All Allocations: €22,355,208
    Mayo County Council
    Improvement
    National Primary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat
    5
    N05MO_088 Swinford
    4,812
    17
    N18MO_041 Knock
    13,740
    17
    N17MO_068 N17 R320 Junction Claremorris
    300,000
    Total National - HD 15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat:
    €318,552
    Major Scheme  - Nat
    5
    Charlestown By-Pass
    200,000
    5
    Westport to Turlough
    10,000,000
    Total National Primary - Major Scheme - Nat:
    €10,200,000
    Minor Works - Nat
    26
    N26 Clongullane Bridge
    700,000
    Total National Primary - Minor Works - Nat:
    €700,000
    Pavement - Nat
    HD28 NP Pavement Renewals 2019 MO
    160,000
    5
    N5 Ballyvarry Ph1 incl N58
    480,000
    5
    N5 Castlebar Distributor Road Section 2 (East)
    250,000
    17
    N17 Kilkelly North
    500,000
    26
    N26 Foxford North
    500,000
    26
    N26 Swinford to the N5
    500,000
    Total National Primary - Pavement - Nat:
    €2,390,000
    National Secondary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat
    59
    N59MO_084 Bellacorrick
    7,300
    60
    N560MO_056 Bekan Rail Overbridge
    8,286
    60
    N60MO_079 Claremorris Road, Balla
    38,892
    84
    N84 Ballinrobe Traffic & Transportation Study
    19,883
    Total National Secondary - HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat:
    €74,361
    Major Scheme - Nat
    59
    Westport to Mulranny
    950,000
    Total National Secondary - Major Scheme - Nat:
    €950,000
    Minor Works - Nat
    59
    N59 Kilmeena LVNS
    600,000
    59
    N59 Newport to Derrada Realignment
    370,000
    59
    Rossow Bends
    160,000
    60
    N60 Heathlawn
    650,000
    60
    N60 Lagnamuck
    850,000
    60
    N60 Manulla Cross
    100,000
    Total National Secondary - Minor Works - Nat:
    €2,730,000
    Pavement  - Nat
    HD28 NS Pavement Renewals 2019 MO
    170,000
    59
    N59 Ballina Bunree Bridge / Junction Pavement Strengthening
    265,000
    59
    N59 Ballycroy South
    300,000
    59
    N59 Ballyveeney to Castlehill
    500,000
    84
    N84 Ballinrobe Town North
    400,000
    84
    N84 Sandymount to R317
    200,000
    Total National Secondary - Pavement - Nat:
    €1,835,000
    Both NP & NS
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat
    Fencing Retrofit - Mayo
    100,000
    Total Both NP & NS - HD17 Minor Works - Nat:
    €100,000
    LA Eng Support - B.1.1.- Nat
    Local Authority Support (Improvement) 2019 MO
    330,282
    PO Support (Improvement) 2019 MO
    1,380,444
    Total Both NP & NS - LA Eng  Support - B.1.1. - Nat:
     €        1,710,726
    Route Lighting Improvement - Nat
    NW Bypasses Energy Saving Public Lighting Consultancy
    50,000
    Total Both NP&NS - Route Lighting Improvement - Nat:
    €50,000
    Total Improvement Allocations:
    €21,058,639
    Maintenance
    National Primary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    Maintenance
    NP Ordinary Maintenance 2019 MO
    253,415
    NP Route Lighting 2019 MO
    88,878
    NP Winter Maintenance 2019 MO
    200,000
    Total National Primary - Maintenance:
    €542,293
    National Secondary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    Maintenance
    NS Ordinary Maintenance 2019 MO
    323,498
    NS Route Lighting 2019 MO
    111,578
    NS Winter Maintenance 2019 MO
    230,000
    Total National Secondary - Maintenance:
    €665,076
    Both NP & NS
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    LA Eng - Support - B.1.2. - Nat
    Local Authority Support (Maintenance) 2019 MO
    79,200
    Local Authority Support (Winter Maintenance) 2019 MO
    10,000
    Total Both NP & NS  - LA Eng Support - B.1.2. - Nat:
    €89,200
    Total Maintenance Allocations:
    €1,296,569

     

    Meanwhile local TD, Denis Naughten has welcomed the allocation of €14.3m investment by Transport Infrastructure Ireland in the national road network throughout County Roscommon.

    Minister Naughten says this investment includes €4m for the new section of road at the Hill of Oran, resurfacing of Athleague Village and the Town of Castlerea and the upgrading of sections of the Boyle to Athlone road”.

    Funding of €3m has also been set aside to complete the planning and design for the new N5 road between Ballaghaderreen and Scramogue which will not only improve access to the West but allow for the future development of Strokestown, Tulsk, Bellanagare & Frenchpark”.

     

  • Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring Mr. Michael Ring has today received confirmation from the Department of Education and Skills that a premises has been secured for the Westport Educate Together school to operate in.

    The Department of Education and Skills has been working closely with Educate Together to progress the establishment of a new multi-denominational school in Westport. In light of this development of securing a premises, it is planned that Educate Together will open in this premises in September 2019.

     

  • A fire which broke out on the grounds of the Convent in Westport was brought under control last night.

    The fire was described as a "minor incident" by Gardai and was quickly extinguished.

    The main building was not affected, it has been reported that it was a gazebo on the grounds of the convent that went up in flames. The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.

     

     

  • Motorists are again being advised by gardai not to leave valuables in their vehicles. In follows a spate of break-ins to parked vehicles across the county last weekend.

    Gardai are investigating thefts in Manulla, Westport and Charlestown.

    A parked van was broken into on Saturday evening at Lurga, Charlestown. The incident occurred between 3pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Power tools were taken from a red Nissan Primera van.

    A green Ford Transit van parked at Westport Leisure Centre had a window smashed between 9.30am on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Items taken from the van included an iPad Mini and Bluetooth headphones all stored in a nike back pack.

    On Sunday evening between 9pm and 11pm a white Volkswagen Golf parked outside Manulla Community Centre was broken into and a handbag was taken.

    Gardai believe that all three thefts may be connected to a single, highly mobile gang.

  • Motorists are being advised of potential disruption in the Westport area this Saturday as the 2018 Westportif cycle takes place.

    Over 650 cyclists from all over the country are taking part in the event, and traffic is expected to be busy in Westport Town as a result.

    The participants will sign on from 6.30 to 9.30 at the Towers Bar on the Quay, with cyclists heading off from 9am.

    The Quay area is expected to be busy with cyclists between 9 and 10am, before they depart for Louisburg on the R335 to Ashleigh Falls.

    The shorter 80k route then goes north onto the N59 to Westport, while the longer 120 and 160km route turn for Leenane and Innagh Valley, joiing the N59 at Recess via Maam Cross.

    Most cyclists will have returned by 4pm.

    Organisers are asking all road users to be aware of possible traffic disruption on Saturday as a result of the popular event.

  • A pupil from St Colmcille’s Quay School in Westport is celebrating after winning an award in a major poetry competition.

    Eleven year old, Sybille de Pluvié, who hails from Britany in France, moved to Westport last year on a cultural and learning experience with her family. 

    With her poem ‘Love Always Wins’, Sybille was recognised in the ‘Primary Senior’ category of the 2018 Trócaire poetry competition.

    The annual competition, in association with Poetry Ireland, uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. This year submissions focused on the theme ‘Until Love Conquers Fear’, which examines the importance of showing support and solidarity with people facing hunger and injustice.

    The 2018 winners, ranging from primary school pupils to published adult poets, were awarded their prizes recently at the National Library of Ireland.

     

  • The need to designate a portion of the 38 acres of land acquired by Mayo County Council on the Golf Course Road in Westport, for sport and recreation, was highlighted by Westport based Independent Cllr Christy Hyland at the November meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District. 

    He believes that demands on sporting activities in Westport look set to increase, with the last census showing an increase in population of 400 in Westport town and that increase occurred during a recession. 

    It is envisaged that a portion of the land acquired by the local authority will be zoned for housing. 

    The Councillor said a ladies football team in the town, earlier this month, found it difficult to find a location to play a home match. 

    Cllr Hyland says they eventually found a location, but the situation needs to be addressed. 

  • The new €270m euro N5 road that will connect Castlebar to Westport looks set to be open to traffic in about four years time.

    That’s according to Castlebar based Fine Gael Councillor Cyril Burke.

    The Councillor says Transport infrastructure Ireland (TII) confirmed recently to a delegation of Mayo County Councillors that 4 contractors have been shortlisted for the construction contract and the preferred contractor should be selected and ready to begin work on the road from June of next year.

  • Leigue cemetery in Ballina is in danger of becoming a jungle, overrun by weeds, briars and grass, if Mayo county council continues to withhold the payment of GMA funding to local voluntary groups.

    That was the view expressed by Ballina Independent councillor Gerry Ginty at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District held in the community centre in Bonniconlon.

    He called for, at least an interim payment, to allow the voluntary group to get on with its work.

    The withholding of the of GMA funds, is causing controversy across the county.

    The CE of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes, says the monies cannot be paid out until a shortfall in the parking charges revenue agreed in the budget are resolved.

    However, councillors disagree saying they approved the GMA funds for voluntary groups and many of these groups need the payments now.

    20,000 euro has been allocated by councillors to Friends of Leigue Cemetery in 2018, under GMA funding.

    Leigue Cemetery is just one of a variety of voluntary groups that receive various amounts in grant funding annually under GMA funding – tidy town groups, residents associations, festival committees also benefit from this fund.

    They would usually have the much needed cash injection by this time of the year, but due to the shortfall in carparking charges revenue that was agreed to be generated by cllrs in the 2018 budget, Peter Hynes says the paying out of GMA must be withheld until an alternative source of funding is agreed to make up the shortfall.

    The situation is causing tension, to say the least, between municipal district areas. There are 4 municipal districts in Mayo – Castlebar, Ballina , Claremorris and West Mayo.

    Councillors in Ballina have strongly expressed their view that voluntary groups in the Ballina area are now being impacted on negatively because Westport is refusing to introduce car parking charges on the streets of the town.

    At Mondays monthly meeting of Mayo county council, Peter  Hynes explained that there are complications in the paying out of the GMA fund but he said he is engaging in discussions with the Municipal Districts Managers and he is confident that the issues will be resolved before the next monthly meeting of the council.

    Claremorris councillor Tom Connolly said, on Monday ,however, that he is not prepared to see any increase in car parking charges in the Claremorris Municipal District to compensate for the failure of West Mayo councillors to introduce street car parking charges in Westport.“We won’t subsidise Westport”, he insisted.

    Independent councillor Gerry Ginty at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District agreed with that sentiment.

    He called at the start of the meeting for an urgent interim payment to be released to Friends of Leigue Cemetery, the voluntary group that maintains the grounds around the Ballina cemetery.

    He argued that without a cash injection now – maintenance of the graveyard will become too much, and he says the grounds will revert to the jungle that they were, before Friends of Leigue took over the work, using the annual GMA allocation of 20,000 euro a year.

    However, there was no joy in response to that request.Director of Services Tom Gilligan stated that there are lots of exceptional cases, but said until the present problem at county council level is resolved no monies will be paid out under GMA.

  • There will be no pay-and-display on-street parking charges in Westport.

    That’s after councillors voted yesterday against the recommendation of Mayo County Council officers to introduce the controversial charges

    The decision ends weeks of debate about whether to introduce on-street car parking charges to the town in order to bring it in line with other large towns in the county.

    However, the general municipal allocation (GMA) to local community groups has been cut from €450,000 to €230,000 pending further negotiations.

    Fianna Fail Cllr. Brendan Mulroy says there is more talking to be done but Westport parking charges have been voted off the table.