• An extraordinary general meeting will be held next week to decide the future of the Ballina Salmon Festival, which is currently under threat.

    One of Ireland's longest-running family festivals, it attracts over 250,000 people to Ballina each Summer for a week of events, including the National Heritage Day, International Evening, Mardi Gras and Children's Programme.

    The festival's annual general meeting last week was poorly attended, according to outgoing Chairman Billy Lewis, who says a number of dedicated festival directors are stepping down, and new volunteers are needed to take up the mantle.

    Mr Lewis says it's likely there may not be a Ballina Salmon Festival next year, unless more people are prepared to become involved.

    All interested are being urged to attend the EGM of the festival next Thursday night 13th December at the Cot & Cobble in Ballina.

    Billy Lewis, outgoing Chairman, told Midwest News that more volunteers are needed, or the festival may not go ahead in 2019....

  • An extraordinary general meeting of the Ballina Salmon Festival will take place later this evening.

    The future of the festival is currently under threat, following a poor turnout at the recent AGM.

    One of Ireland's longest-running family festivals, it attracts over 250,000 people to Ballina each Summer for a week of events, including the National Heritage Day, International Evening, Mardi Gras and Children's Programme.

    The festival's annual general meeting was poorly attended, according to outgoing Chairman Billy Lewis, who says a number of dedicated festival directors are stepping down, and new volunteers are needed to take up the mantle.

    Mr Lewis says it's likely there may not be a Ballina Salmon Festival next year, unless more people are prepared to become involved.

    All interested are being urged to attend the EGM of the festival tonight at the Cot & Cobble in Ballina at 8pm.

    Billy Lewis told Midwest News that volunteers are now urgently needed to ensure the future of the festival is secure.

  • Emergency services are dealing with a fire to a business premises in Ballina.

    The blaze occurred just above McKane’s pharmacy on O’Rahilly Street.

    The fire occurred shortly after 1pm and emergency services are at the scene.

    Buildings either side of McKane’s have been evacuated and O’Rahilly Street is currently closed.

    Motorists are advised of long delays around Ballina as a result of the blaze this afternoon.

  • An examination will take place today at the scene of a light aircraft crash in County Mayo.

    It happened just after 6 o' clock yesterday evening.

    A man in his fifties, the pilot, died after the plane came down in a field outside Ballina.

    He was the only person in the aircraft at the time.

    A team from the Air Accident Investigation Unit are expected at the scene between Ballina and Bonniconlon today.

  • The Football Association of Ireland have described Jack Charlton as "the manager who changed Irish football forever".

    The 1966 World Cup winner with England died last night at the age of 85 after a battle with lymphoma and dementia.

    Charlton's family say he passed away in his sleep at his home last night with them by his side.

    He took Ireland to a first major finals at Euro 88 and also steered the team to the knockout stages of the 1990 and 94 World Cups.

    Jack was a keen angler and had a holiday home in Ballina for years.

  • Parking charges in Ballina are to be increased, following a meeting of the Ballina Municipal District on Monday.

    Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District Councillor Michael Smyth told Midwest News earlier that charges will be increased by between and 5 and 10 cent in the three different zones in Ballina.

    He also explained that GMA payments allocated to various festivals, events and committees in the Ballina Municipal District will be paid out from next week.

    The payments have been delayed by several months, as Mayo County Council management said increased parking charges were needed to balance the budget.

    However, the Fine Gael councillors in the Ballina Municipal District are opposed to any increase in parking charges, and do not believe the charges should be linked to GMA payments.

    Councillor Jarlath Munnelly says he and his colleagues have consistently objected to any increase in parking charges, since the council's budget meeting last December, and he wants it put on the record that he and his FG colleagues did not agree at Monday's meeting to an increase in parking charges in Ballina - however, they're outnumbered on the council by Fianna Fail and Independents....

  • A Fine Gael Cllr. has again sought clarification into what’s happening on the N26 Ballina to Swinford road as well as the orbital route around Ballina.

    Cllr. John O’Hara says he received positive news that there will be a presentation early in the New Year at Ballina Municipal District meeting.

    Cllr. O’Hara says this is badly needed as there has been serious traffic disruption in the town over the last number of weeks.

    He says progress will also be made in the third quarter of next year in preparing a route connecting Ballina with the N5 at Bohola.

  • Ballina Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin raised in the Seanad yesterday with Minister Eoughan Murphy the need for funding to be secured for an ambitious project proposed for the Military Barracks in Ballina.

    A project planning to develop a digital and innovation hub in the barracks has already sought funding under the government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 2018.

    While the Ballina project looks set to cost up to 70 million euro in total , it is hoped that some funding may be secured under this fund. There are 189 applicants nationally competing for monies under the scheme at present.

    Senator Mulherin told Midwest News today she is hopeful that there will be positive news for Ballina before Christmas, as decisions on the funding scheme are due before the New Year.

  • Five people were arrested and more arrests are anticipated as an estimated €333,000 worth of drugs were seized by gardai yesterday in the Ballina area, according to Garda Chief Superintendent for Mayo, Tony Healy.

    Members of the Mayo Divisional Drugs Taskforce, the Armed Support Unit, the Garda Dog Unit, and Gardaí attached to Ballina Garda Station searched a total of eight properties in the Ballina area yesterday.

    The coordinated search operation began at 9am yesterday morning and concluded at 10pm last night.

    During the search, a cannabis growhouse containing suspected cannabis plants valued at approximately €265,000 was discovered at a house in Attymass, Ballina.

    A man in his 30s was arrested in connection with this seizure and is due to appear in Castlebar District Court today.

    During the search of a house in Ballina town Gardaí seized €30,000 worth of cannabis herb in a garden shed.

    A further search was conducted at a house in Ballina where €20,000 worth of suspected cannabis herb, €7,000 worth of suspected cocaine, and a quantity of suspected steroid tablets were seized.

    Also at this property Gardaí recovered a small quantity of ammunition.

    Arising from a separate search at a house in Ballina town €11,000 worth of cocaine has been seized.

    Chief Superintendent Healy told Midwest News today that investigations are ongoing and thanked the community for their assistance in this significant drugs seizure.

  • The former Estoria Cinema building located in Ballina town, should be made a protected structure . That was the joint motion put forward by Independent councillors Gerry Ginty and Seamus Weir at this week’s Ballina Municipal District meeting, held in the Community Centre in Bonniconlon.

    The building owned by Mayo County Council, is leased at present to Ballina Men's Shed group.

    The councillors say the structure is of significance as a piece of art deco architecture, it also is part of the town’s social history and in addition, the Men’s Shed Group are keen to restore the structure.

    In response the Manager of Ballina Municipal District Marie Crowley explained to the councillors that there are financial implications to listing a building in this way. She said any work on a protected structure building is restricted and tends to be costly.


    It’s always wonderful to be recognised in your own county, according to the former President of Ireland and UN Human Rights Commissioner on Justice, Ballina native Mary Robinson.

    Mrs Robinson received a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award at the weekend, at the opening of the National Lions Clubs Conference held in the Great National Hotel in Ballina.

    She was recognised in particular, for her new role as the Chair of The Elders, an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statespersons, peace activists and human rights advocates who were brought together in 2007 by the late Nelson Mandela.

    Speaking to Midwest News she explained what it meant to her to be recognised with the Fellowship Award in Ballina.

  • A four car collision has occurred this morning on the N26 Foxford to Ballina road.

    The collision occurred three miles the Ballina side of Foxford and efforts are now underway to clear the scene.

    It’s understood no one has been injured but material damage has been caused to vehicles.

    Gardai are urging motorists to take an alternative route for the next half an hour to avoid significant delays.

    Traffic travelling in both directions are urged to divert via Pontoon.

    Gardai say they hope have the scene cleared inside the next half an hour.

  • Four days of Mayo Famine Commemorations came to an end in Ballina at the weekend with the unveiling of a statue to the c 137 Mayo girls sent to Australia from Ballina, Ballinrobe, Castlebar and Westport workhouses 1848-50 under the Early Grey scheme. The events also honoured all the county’s famine victims, those who died and those forced to emigrate.

    The four page programme incorporated the unveiling of a commemorative quilt with all the names of the girls seen on patches by people from around the world, including some of the descendants of the famine girls. The quilt was an initiative of the Ballina Costume Company.

    Over the four days an exhibition on the Ear Grey scheme and the Mayo girls was held in the Jackie Clarke collection. An illustrated talk by author Terry Reilly featured the central character in his book, Mayo’s Forgotten Famine Girls, was given in Ballina Library on the Thursday night.

    The culmination of the week was the unveiling of the bronze statue outside Ballina Library. Thus was performed by three of the daughters of  the donor, Frank Kerins, Fiona, Michelle and Samantha, and wreaths were laid by Pearse Farrell, representing the Australian Ambassador, Richard Andrews; by the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor; the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Blackie Gavin, and the Ballina Organising Committee of the events. An ecumenical prayer service was conducted by Bishop of Killala John Fleming, the Revds Stephen McWhirther  and his wife, Jennifer, and the Revd Molly Dethridge, Presbyterian Church.

    Gifts to mark the occasion were presented by master wood turner, Willie Creighton, while the Men In Arbour Hill, through Governor Liam Dowling and Mark O’Brien, presented a beautifully designed travel box, a representation of the wooden box in which the girls carried their possessions to Australia.

    Foxford Brass Band entertained the crowds gathering around the statue, while earlier inside the building the St Mary’s Secondary School Choir, under director Regina Deacy, sang the Irish and Australian National Anthems, the Orphan Girl and You Raise Me Up in front of composer Brendan Graham and the capacity attendance.

    Names of 137 read out by students and forage members drawn from throughout Mayo
    Earlier that morning a Commemoration Mass for all our famine victims was celebrated by Bishop John Fleming in St Patrick’s Church, Ballina .

    The attendance included Michael Blanch, chairman of the National Famine Commemoration Committee.

    All events attracted capacity attendance.

  • A man was arrested in Ballina on Saturday, on suspicion of the sale and supply of drugs.

    The Mayo divisional drugs taskforce was on patrol in Ballina when they stopped a 21-year old man on a bicycle.

    He was found in possession of suspected cannabis to the value of €145, along with a weighing scales.

    The young man was questioned at Ballina Garda Station, and a file will be prepared for the DPP.

    Meanwhile, a number of raids were carried out in the Ballina area yesterday by the divisional drugs unit, assisted by local Gardai.

    At one property, two cannabis plants were found, to the value of €1600 euro, along with a small amount of suspected cannabis.

    In the second property searched in Ballina town, over €1,000 euro of suspected cannabis was discovered.

    A 28-year old man was arrested on suspicion of the sale and supply of drugs and was taken to Ballina Garda Station for questioning.

    At a search of a third property in the town, €4,000 worth of cannabis was found and a 23-year old man was arrested.

    The Divisional drugs taskforce also stopped a car in the Ballina town area, and recovered €280 euro of suspected cannabis hidden in the car.

    A 36-year old man was arrested on suspicion of the sale and supply of drugs, and was questioned at Ballina Garda Station.

    Gardai have confirmed that investigation files are being prepared in relation to all four men arrested in these incidents in Ballina, and will be forwarded to the DPP.

  • From this morning in Ballina there’s free parking in the Council’s car-parks up to 2pm daily.

    The concession will remain in place until Christmas Day and does notapply to on-street car parking charges.

    The car parks include Emmet Street and Teeling Street Car Parks

    Humbert Street Car Park

    Bachelors Walk & Barrett Street Car Parks

    Diamond's Car Park

    Kilcullen's Car Park.

    Market Square Car Park

    Military Barracks Car Park

  • Funding has been allocated for additional accommodation at Newtownwhite Educate Together National School in the Ballina area.

    The school - which became an Educate Together school in 2014 - has been approved for two new mainstream classroms and a prefab replacement.

    Ballina area FG Councillor Jarlath Munnelly says it's welcome news for the Newtownwhite school where pupil numbers are growing.....

  • €3.2m government funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 2018 has been approved for the transformation of Ballina's 18th century military barracks.

    It is to be developed into a digital hub and innovation quarter in an exciting and pioneering project that marks the start of a new era for Ballina and its hinterland,.

    The digital hub will provide 20 spaces for technology, digital media and internet companies to scale and grow alongside local enterprises and a distillery which will be established by SMAKS, an international private investor which will create jobs in the production of high-end rum.

    “Plans realised would see Blackstone Launchpad a vehicle company used by National University of Ireland, Galway providing third level outreach in entrepreneurship supporting an innovation and enterprise centre for seed and scaling up new businesses.

    Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says this project has the potential to be transformational.

    She says not alone will it restore a centre piece in our built heritage, the Military Barracks built in 1742, and unlock its tourism and cultural potential, but it will be a living functioning building realizing plans for investment and jobs and put Ballina on the map internationally as a place to start and grow a digital business.

  • Funding of over €9,000 has been granted to the North Mayo Youth Project in Ballina.

    The news of the funding has been welcomed by local Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin, who says the allocation will come from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

    The new Government capital grants announced are going to be of huge benefit to young people here in Mayo, as they will improve the quality of the services on which local young people rely according to Senator Mulherin.

    The grants approved support purchases of equipment and small scale projects, including the upgrade of bathrooms and kitchens in youth services.

    Eligible local services were invited by the Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim Education and Training Board to apply for support.

  • The mother and son who died tragically in Dublin last week will be laid to rest in Ballina this Saturday.

    Nicola Coleman nee Keane and her baby son Henry died tragically last Thursday.

    The funeral Mass will take place on Saturday morning at 11:30am in St. Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina with burial afterwards in Leigue Cemetery. 

    Funeral mass can be accessed at

    The funeral of Nicola and her son will be strictly private at all stages.

    The family have asked to respect their privacy.

  • Funeral arrangements for the victims of Monday night’s road traffic collision in Ballina have been released.

    28-year-old Ricky Langdon from St Patrick’s Estate died along with 21-year old Jack O’Hora from Castleconnor, Co Sligo when the car they were travelling in hit a tree on the Killala Road in Ballina on Monday night shortly after 11pm.

    A third man, Declan Ferguson, also in his 20’s was critically injured and remains in a stable condition in the intensive care unit of Mayo University Hospital.

    Mr O’Hora’s remains will repose at his residence this evening until 8pm and again tomorrow from 4-8pm. The funeral will arrive to St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina on Friday morning for Mass at 11am and Mr O’Hora will be laid to rest afterwards in Killanley Cemetery, Castleconnor afterwards.

    Mr Langdon’s remains will repose at his residence on Thursday evening from 4-8pm and again on Friday evening from 4-8pm.

    The funeral will arrive to St Patrick’s Church, Ballina on Saturday for Mass at 12.30 and Mr Langdon will be laid to rest afterwards in Leigue Cemetery.