Alan Dillon TD

  • It's expected the government will appoint junior ministers following a cabinet meeting today.

    There's 17 roles to fill with an extra focus on the appointments following criticism of the geographical spread of the cabinet ministers.

    Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will each have 7 Junior Ministers, with three for the Green Party.

    Meanwhile, a Castlebar Councillor is calling for Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon to be considered for a Junior Ministry.

    Given the controversy over no senior Ministers being appointed along the Western seaboard, Castlebar FG Councillor Ger Deere claims the Government should seek to redress the regional imbalance, and he believes Deputy Dillon would be an ideal candidate- even though he was only elected to the Dail in February.

  • The Dáil has passed the legislation allowing indoor dining for fully vaccinated people or those who've recovered from Covid-19.

    The Bill was voted through by 74 votes to 68 last night.

    It's reported that Mayo TDs Michael Ring and Alan Dillon were among a number of Government deputies who missed the vote, and were unaccounted for when the controversial bill finally passed.

    However, Deputy Alan Dillon has told Midwest News that he was accounted for last night by the party and Government Chief Whip, who agreed to have him paired with a member of the opposition for votes.

    The pairing arrangement is a usual feature of Dail votes.

    If the new legislation passes through the Seanad, bars, cafes and restaurants look set to resume indoor service no later than next Monday week, July 26th.

  • The funding for summer school programmes for disadvantaged students and those with special needs has been doubled.

    Education Ministers Norma Foley and Josepha Madigan have announced an expanded summer provision of extra courses at a cost of 40 million euro.

    All primary and secondary schools will have the option to run two-week summer programmes for mainstream students with additional needs or those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Extra camps will also be available for DEIS schools, schools with special classes and special schools.

    The announcement of a new enhanced Summer Programme for students with special educational needs and those facing disadvantage is good news for students, according to Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon.

    He says many students and their families will welcome the opportunity to return to the classroom over the summer to benefit from additional support and routine after a very difficult year, and he's encouraging schools in Mayo to avail of the opportunity.

  • The Health Minister has signed regulations giving Gardaí emergency powers to enforce restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

    People found not following health advice will be forced to return home.

    Yesterday saw the largest daily rise in the number of deaths here since the outbreak began - 36 people died, bringing the total to 210 - none of the latest deaths were in the West of Ireland.

    345 new cases of Covid-19 were also announced, with the total number now standing at 5,709.

    The latest county breakdown shows 126 confirmed cases in Co Mayo, 128 in Galway, 28 in Sligo and 22 in Roscommon.

    Mayo FG TD Alan Dillon has welcomed the emergency powers granted to Gardai in advance of Easter weekend.

    He says Gardai across the region will continue their high-profile patrols, but now with additional powers to force people to return to their homes if they're out within a valid reason.

    Deputy Dillon is urging the people of Co Mayo to continue following the advice of health experts in the fight against Covid-19 and not to become complacent in the days and weeks ahead.


  • A Mayo TD says he hopes to see more employers across the county taking on apprentices, as the Minister for Further Education Simon Harris has announced that the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme has been further extended to the end of December.

    The scheme provides grants of €3,000 for employers for each new apprentice registered.

    So far, 49 employer applications in Co Mayo have been approved under the scheme, and FG Deputy Alan Dillon says he hopes to see many more doing so in light of the extension of the scheme....

  • The Junior Transport Minister Brendan Griffin is being invited to Castlebar, to view at first-hand the concerns of local residents in the Breaffy and Belcarra areas in relation to the Kilnageer level crossing.

    Irish Rail recently commissioned a new lighting warning system at the crossing, but locals claim it does not go far enough to tackle their concerns over safety.

    Kilnageer crossing has been the location of several collisions over the years between trains and road vehicles, and locals are unhappy with the procedure of opening and closing gates to cross the railway line.

    At last week's meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District, local residents outlined their concerns about the level crossing, and Mayo FG TD Alan Dillon has now invited Minister Griffin to visit the location.

    Deputy Dillon also says he's disappointed with the response he received from Irish Rail's CEO on the issue.

  • Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon is calling for a second Covid vaccination centre for Co Mayo, to be located in the north of the county.

    While welcoming confirmation that Breaffy House Resort will be the primary vaccination centre for Mayo, Deputy Dillon says that - given the geographical spread of the county and limited public transport - it would be strategically important for the HSE to provide another mass vaccination centre in north Mayo.

    The Fine Gael TD has written to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the HSE, asking that they would prioritise north Mayo for a second vaccination centre.


  • Concerns have been expressed about the future of the GMIT Mayo campus, as the business department at the Castlebar campus is being closed.

    Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon says he's appalled at the decision, and has called on the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris to explain the situation.

    Deputy Dillon says business staff at the Mayo campus were issued letters on Sunday night, stating that the Business Department at the Castlebar campus was to close, and staff were now to report to the Galway campus.

    No business subjects at the GMIT Mayo campus were included on this year's CAO application form, and Deputy Dillon says he's appalled and shocked that the business department at the Castlebar campus is being closed.

    In a statement to Midwest News, the GMIT explains that the insitute is joiining with IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT in making a submission to become a Technological University, and GMIT - following engagtement with staff at the Mayo campus - is seeking to reorganise itself to be better positioned for this transition.

    The statement continues - "GMIT has already articulated its full commitment to multi-disciplinary provision at its Mayo campus, including business, but also sees exciting opportunities arising from the growing critical mass and expertise on the campus in healthcare and well being.

    GMIT President Dr Orly Flynn says it's intended that the ongoing internal reorganisation will enhance their offerings and services, not diminish them.

    Full statement from GMIT is as follows - 

    GMIT will be joining with partners in IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT in making a submission to become a Technological University; this will provide enormous opportunities for the stakeholders of the region. GMIT, following engagement with Mayo campus staff over an extended period, is seeking to reorganise itself to be better positioned for this transition.

    GMIT staff across all five campuses have proven themselves to be very agile in adapting to the constraints arising from the  COVID-19 pandemic, proving that location is no barrier to effective delivery of services.

    GMIT has already articulated its full commitment to multi-disciplinary provision at its Mayo campus, including business, but also sees exciting opportunities arising from the growing critical mass and expertise on the campus in health care and wellbeing. A more complete description of the reorganisation includes the proposed establishment of a new academic School for GMIT, led from the focused expertise that has been quietly growing at the Mayo campus.

    The challenge for GMIT will be to ensure that all academic Schools in GMIT are enabled to support all our stakeholders in Galway, Mayo and beyond.

    GMIT President Dr Orla Flynn states, “I am very happy to engage with all stakeholders as to the exciting opportunities that arise from what is an ongoing internal reorganisation. It is intended that this reorganisation will enhance our offerings and services, not diminish them. What we are trying to do is to enable the full range of expertise across all of GMIT to be harnessed in service of the wider region. This challenge is one that will also be faced by our new Technological University. I hope to follow through on the establishment of the new School in the coming months, and this will no doubt see additional opportunities emerging for the Mayo campus.”



  • A Mayo TD is unhappy with the slow rate of progress in relation to the speed reduction campaign on the N60 at Breaffy outside Castlebar.

    FG Deputy Alan Dillon raised the matter this week with Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naugton .

    He says this is an extremely busy stretch of national road, and the speed limit is currently at 100 km/h but must be reduced to 60 km/h to try and avoid further serious collisions.

    Back in March, Transport Infrastructure Ireland was working with a consultancy group to conduct a feasibility study on the N60 at Breaffy, but the report was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Deputy Dillon said he now understands from Mayo Co Co that the report won't be finalised until mid-December.

    Speaking with Midwest News, Alan Dillon said local residents, teachers, and parents are frustrated at the slow progress on this issue.....

  • Mayo TD Alan Dillon is calling for all healthcare workers in acute hospitals to be routinely tested for Covid-19.

    The Fine Gael TD says the present current national guidelines do not require healthcare workers in acute hospitals to be tested, unless they experience symptoms of the virus.

    Within Mayo University Hospital, a high number of staff have contracted the coronavirus, and Deputy Dillon says staff are afraid they may not have symptoms, but may infect others.

    With increased levels of testing capacity, Deputy Dillon now believes healthcare staff should be tested on a weekly basis, with results back within 48 hours.

  • Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon is to meet with the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris this week to discuss the latest developments at the Castlebar campus of GMIT.

    It comes following the recent decision to close the business department at the Mayo campus.

    Three years ago, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny set up a working group to formulate a plan for the future of the Mayo campus, which led to a 5-year strategy being agreed with €750,000 to be ring-fenced for the campus for each of the next 5 years while the plan was being implemented.

    Deputy Alan Dillon is now calling for an independent review of the working group's report and the ring-fenced funding.

    The FG TD met last Friday with the GMIT President Dr Orla Flynn, and will meet with Minister Harris this week to outline his concerns...

  • People must wear face coverings while on public transport from now on, or they will be refused entry onto buses and trains.

    That's the warning from Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon, who says the travelling public should wear face coverings, to protect themselves and others from Covid-19.

    Deputy Dillon says the people of Mayo have done so well in following public health advice since the start of the pandemic, and have managed to flatten the curve due to our combined efforts, but we must remain vigilant and protect ourselves and our communities by continuing to follow public health advice.

  • The Minister for Rural & Community Development Heather Humphreys will visit Swinford next Monday, 31st May.

    Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon has told Midwest News that the Minister will open the Digiwest Hub at the Old Swinford Courthouse, which has been developed in conjunction with the Western Development Commission.

    Funding from the Rural Regeneration Fund was allocated for refurbish the 18th century courthouse into a hub for remote working.

    Minister Humphreys will also launch the National Hub Network in Swinford on Monday.