Westport

  • 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.

     

  • The official opening will take place this morning of new classrooms at Knockrooskey National School near Westport.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring will be at the school at 11am this morning (Friday) to open the extended and refurbished school.

    And at 3pm this afternoon, Minister Ring will officially open the new Achill Island Distillery and Visitor Centre.

    The company hopes to create up to 25 jobs at the Achill facility in the coming years when fully operational.

    Irish American Whiskey was established 5 years ago, and is currently exporting to 11 states in the US.

     

  • 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 murder investigation has been launched by Gardai following the death of a woman in Kilbree, Westport on Friday.

    A post-mortem examination was completed yesterday afternoon on the body of 41-year-old Valerie French Kilroy at Mayo University Hospital yesterday by acting State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan.

    Details of the results of the post-mortem are not being released at this stage for operational reasons. A man arrested in connection with the investigation remains in Garda custody.

    The woman’s body was found at a house in the Kilbree area of Westport on Friday morning.

    The arrested man remains in custody at Castlebar Garda Station.

     

  • 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 Network Ireland Mayo Businesswoman of the Year winners were announced last night at a gala dinner in Knockranny House Hotel in Westport.

    The overall Businesswoman of the Year award went to Stephanie Coyne of Face Aesthetic Clinic in Castlebar.

    The Small SME with less than 10 employees award went to Martina Calvey of Calvey’s Achill Mountain Lamb, the Emerging New Business award went to Stephanie Coyne, the STEM award to Paula McNicholas of Lean Team Strategies Ltd, the Arts award to Geraldine Hogan, better known as author Faith Hogan and the Shining Star Employee award went to Siobhan Scally of the Great National Hotel in Ballna.

     

     

  • 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.

  • New parking charges will come into effect in Westport town from next week.

    To date, on-street car parking in Westport has been free, but restricted to one hour, while there's a charge for the town's carparks.

    From next week, drivers will have to buy a "scratch & display" parking disc to place on the dashboard of their car, with different rates applying to the Pink Zone and Blue Zone.

    The Pink Zone is the town core, where parking will be free for the first hour, but a disc will be needed after that, while the Blue Zone covers the remainder of the town streets and the Quay area.

    Mayo County Council says the new parking arrangements in Westport are being introduced to ensure a greater turnover of parking spaces in the town.

  • Irish Rail is advising passengers that no drink will be allowed on board its Galway and Westport services out of Dublin on Monday morning and afternoon. 

    The trains also won't be selling alcohol from the catering trolleys. 

    The 5 services are expected to be busy with customers heading home after the Longitude festival. 

  • 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.

  • WESTPORT VOTERS

    Please note voting will take place in Scoil Phadraig at the new address at Newport Road, Westport.

    The old address at Altamount Street on polling cards is incorrect.

    The local Returning Officer apologies for any inconvenience caused.

  • There are a number of critical areas in west Mayo that require immediate works to prevent serious flooding every time there is a high tide. T

    hat’s according to Independent local election candidate in Westport, John O’Malley.

    The former Fine Gael Councillor says he has grave concerns that due to the overspend by the present government on the new Children's Hospital in Dublin, that funding will either be cut or not approved for projects long over due in rural Mayo.