Ballina

  • Roadworks taking place on the Foxford road entrance to Ballina have been causing significant delays for motorists, as well as for emergency vehicles such as ambulances.

    That's according to Ballina-based TD Dara Calleary, who's calling on the contractors to work over weekends to ensure the roadworks on the N26 are completed as soon as possible.

    While welcoming the works, the Fianna Fail TD says it makes sense to work on the scheme 7 days per week to ensure it's completed before December, and he says some arrangement needs to be put in place with Hollister, to enable staff to access the exit the premises when shifts are starting and ending.

  • Mayo County Council has announced that the internationally renowned Other Voices music festival will return to Ballina at the end of February 2020.

    A Partnership between South Wind Blows, Moy Valley resources and Mayo County Council  has enabled Other Voices to again showcase excellent music, provide great workshops, a music trail in local pubs, high-profile concerts in St. Michael’s Church and the ground-breaking Ireland’s Edge Conference. 

    There was a tremendously positive response to the Other Voices Festival in Ballina in 2018 and it is estimated that the economic benefit to the region was in excess of two million euro in addition to an extensive media reach.

    Other Voices Mayo will also feature in the next broadcast series on RTE later this year and further information of an exciting line up of artists will be announced next week by Other Voices.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary has welcomed the announcement of the music festival to the north Mayo town.

  • Members of the business community in Ballina are seeking a meeting with local elected councillors to outline their frustration with elected councillors’ failure to listen and take on the concerns of businesses in the town, as a new speed limit of 80km per hour is set to be introduced on the N58 main Foxford to Ballyvary road.

    That’s according to the President of Ballina Chamber of Commerce Hugh Rouse.

    Mr Rouse told Midwest News this morning that at last month’s meeting of Ballina Municipal District some councillors appeared to question the authenticity of the one thousand signatures secured by Ballina businesses - objecting to the TII decision to reduce the speed limit along this stretch of road that links Ballina to Castlebar.

    The business group had asked councillors to seek a meeting between themselves and the TII to outline in detail business concerns about the reduction to the speed limit proposed.

    Councillors voted not to seek such a meeting between both sides.

    Mr Rouse, who declined to go on air this morning, told Midwest News that Ballina Chamber is the third largest chamber in Connaught and he said it appears that local councillors are not listening to its concerns.

    He added that multinationals and local businesses in Ballina are all concerned about the impact on business if the speed limits are, as planned, reduced from  100km per hour to 80km per hour, along the Foxford to Ballyvary road.

  • On Friday 13th of April, Ballina man Michael Cuffe was struck by a bus while in Budapest on a weekend break. What followed was an outpouring of support from all over Ireland and beyond as his family tried to get him home to Mayo for treatment. After a hugely successful "GoFundMe" campaign set up by his sister Naomi, Michael was airlifted back to Ireland last week and is recovering in hospital at this moment. 

    Naomi joined Tommy Marren on Monday morning to talk about the last few weeks for the family and the relief at seeing Michael back in the country. Listen back now. 

     

  • From a young age Mayo native Dr Norah Patten has had a fascination with all things space. When we met her recently in her former national school at the Quay in Ballina, she explained to us what had brought her back to the town and explained more about her current role, and the possibility of one day fulfilling her dream of going to space.

  • Payments allocated to various festivals, events and committees in the Ballina Municipal District will be paid out from next week, following a decision by councillors yesterday to increase parking charges in Ballina town.

    An increase of between 5 and 10 cent per hour has been agreed in the various parking zones in Ballina town, and this will allow the GMA funding - which has been delayed by several months - to be paid out to clubs and organisations.

    Councillor Michael Smyth, Chair of the Ballina Municipal District, says there will be a minor increase in parking charges to meet the Council's financial committments...

  •  

     

    The Ballina woman who had been missing since last Thursday was located safe and well yesterday.

     Gardaí in Ballina have thanked the public for their assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 22-year-old Margaret Lawrence.

     

  • More than 2000 customers are without electricity in the Enniscrone/Quay area of Ballina today.

    ESB Powercheck is indicating a large fault which is stretching from the Ballina area to Enniscrone, where the majority of the outages are.

    According to the ESB it will be around 6.30pm this evening before power is restored to most of the areas affected.

     

  • Gardai in Ballina are advising motorists that the N26 road between Ballina and Foxford is closed to traffic at present about 4 km the Ballina side of Foxford due to a collision.
    Emergency services are at the scene.
    Motorists are advised to divert through Knockmore / Pontoon.

  • The need for Councillors to all sing from the same hymn sheet, to ensure that the N26 road out of Ballina and the proposed new orbital route around the town are both prioritised by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was highlighted by Fine Gael Councillor John O’Hara at the monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District.

    Councillor O’Hara claimed that the N26 road from Mount Falcon to Foxford urgently requires significant upgrading in light of recent collisions and he says if traffic flow around the town of Ballina is not improved then the town will lose out on local business.

    At a recent meeting between the TII and members of Mayo County Council Roads SPC, Councillors were informed that it could be at least a decade before the long promised N26 route, from Mount Falcon to Swinford reaches the government’s capital programme.

    Cllr O’Hara insists that it’s up to Ballina Councillors working in unison to put pressure on the government and the TII to re-prioritise roads in and around Ballina.

  • The development of a Digital Hub at the former Military Barracks in Ballina is a very welcome development for the town, but the project must be designed in such a way that local contractors can tender, and local people can get jobs during the construction phase.

    That's according to Ballina-based Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary.

    On Friday last, the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy gave approval for the Ballina Digital Hub which is a €7 million euro project, and €3.2 million has already been allocated, with planning permission granted.

    Deputy Calleary says the project will bring jobs and investment, but he wants to ensure that local contractors and building workers will benefit also....

  • EirGrid has confirmed the start and end points for the North Connacht Project, a new electricity line that will connect local renewable energy to the national grid and reinforce the regional electricity system.

     A series of economic, socio-economic, environmental and technical network studies have concluded that the line should run between the electricity substations at Moy near Ballina in county Mayo, and Tonroe, near Ballaghadreen, in Co. Roscommon.

     The other option that was under consideration was a circuit between Moy and Srananagh in Co. Sligo.

     As the state-owned operator and developer of the electricity transmission grid in Ireland, EirGrid is obliged to connect large electricity generators to the grid.

    In North Connacht, a large amount of electricity is generated by wind farms, with more planned for the future as part of the decarbonisation of the national grid. The level of planned generation exceeds the capacity of the existing infrastructure. As a result EirGrid will reinforce and improve the network to accommodate the additional power.

     During 2018, EirGrid carried out the studies and consulted with the public and stakeholders in Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon.

     On the basis of these studies and feedback received, Moy and Tonroe proved the best-performing start and end points for the proposed new line.  This 110 kV line can run overhead or underground.  If an overhead line is used, the majority of the distance would be carried on twin pole sets. 

     The next step in the development of the project is to choose the best technology and to determine the most suitable route between the two substations.  This phase will also establish whether the line will be overhead, underground or a combination of both, and formal consultation activities will resume later in 2019.

     The North Connacht Project will replace the larger Grid West project that was originally proposed in 2012.  EirGrid revised its previous plans due to the lower than expected amounts of wind generation in the region.

     Interested members of the public are invited to visit EirGrid Regional Office, Chapel House, 3 Upper Chapel Street, in Castlebar.  The office will be open from today, 7th January until Friday, 18 January and members of the EirGrid team will be available to answer any questions on the project. 

     

  •  

    The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring will perform the official opening of a new Famine Exhibition in Ballina tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) at 3pm in the Gallery Space of Ballina Civic Offices.

    The exhibition will then be open, free of charge, to the public from Monday next until March of 2019.

    It’s an initiative by Ballina Lions Club. Monies raised in donations during the exhibition will be used to assist charities addressing homelessness in the county.

    The Famine Exhibition is one of a number major famine related events that Ballina is hosting, which included the special screening of the internationally acclaimed movie Black ’47, the visit today (Friday) to Ballina of the Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews for the unveiling of a bronze statue to “The Famine Girls” and the publication of Terry Reilly’s latest book Mayo forgotten Famine Girls,while the Jackie Clarke Museum is running an Autumn Education Series on the Famine.

    Paul Graham and Adrian Bourke are the joint Chairs of the Ballina Lions Club Famine Exhibition and they have been telling Midwest News about the exhibition which includes a short documentary, information boards about the famine and artefacts that were used in workhouses at the time that are now on display in Ballina.

  • A Ballina Councillor has compared new social houses at Marian Crescent in the town to Disneyland, due to the colour scheme adopted by Mayo County Council.

    The newly-built houses and apartments are a welcome development in Ballina, according to Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty, but he says they stand out like a sore thumb, due to their distinctive blue colour, while each front door is painted in a different bright colour.

    He says the final straw was the multi-coloured panels added to the front gates of the properties last week.

    Councillor Ginty told Midwest News that the new housing development looks out of place compared to neighbouring properties, and he’s calling on the council to re-think the colour scheme.

     

  •  

    A new TG4 documentary being broadcast tomorrow night will tell the story of Mayo native Frank Stagg - who died in hunger strike in Wakefield Prison in the UK in 1976 - and the bizzare events surrounding his funeral in Ballina.

    A native of Hollymount in Co Mayo, Frank Stagg was arrested in the UK in 1973 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly planning bombing activities in Coventry.

    He died in 1976 at the age of 35 while on hunger strike at Wakefield Prison, and his wish was to be buried in the Republican plot in Leigue Cemetery, Ballina - alongside fellow Mayo hunger striker Michael Gaughan who died two years earlier.

    However, the State ordered that the plane carrying Frank Stagg's body from London to Dublin be diverted to Shannon, and was then taken by helicopter to Ballina to avoid a military-style funeral.

    Frank's brother George and his sister Martha give first-hand evidence in this documentary about the extraordinary events surrounding their brother's funeral, and George recounts how he eventually dug up his brother's body from under a wall of concrete and had him reinterred in the Republican plot.

    The documentary is episode 4 of Finné - a new series commissioned by TG4 - and will be aired at 9.30 tomorrow night.

    We'll hear from the producer / director on Evening Edition this evening....

     

     

  • Long serving Ballina councillor Annie Mae Reape says there is huge frustration among councillors in the Ballina Municipal District as they were told at this month’s meeting of the authority by council officials that the 2019 budget for public realm spending in the area is already exhausted.

    The Fianna Fail councillor says this is only July, and councillors are being informed by management that there is no money to employ the street sweeper machine in the town of Ballina or in any of the local housing estates.

    To make matters worse, she says, councillors have been informed by management that their GMA funding, the source of funding for a range of community activities, is now reduced by a third, compared to last year’s budget, as the Ballina Municipal District has been reduced in geographical size, since the local elections in May.

    Foxford and Swinford areas that had been in Ballina Municipal District is now part of the new Swinford/ Claremorris Municipal District.

    Cllr Reape outlined her frustration with the situation to Midwest News today.

  • The Cathaoirleach of Ballina Municipal District Cllr Annie May Reape is advising that due to reinstatement works to O’Rahilly Street going ahead tomorrow Tuesday March 6th , there will be no on-street parking on O'Rahilly Street for the day.

    Cllr. Reape stated that the intention is to suspend all on-street parking for the day but that the contractors will be accommodating business deliveries and the street will remain open to traffic during the course of the works.

  • A number of events will take place tomorrow in Mayo to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

    At 11am tomorrow church bells will be ringing all over Europe and in America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere.

    They will also ring out in towns and villages in Mayo. Events are taking place throughout the county with the primary one in the Mayo Peace Park, Garden of Remembrance in Castlebar at 10.30am. There will be prayers, poetry, music and song. The last post will be sounded at 11am and the church bells will ring out.

    The 20th annual Mayo Remembrance Sunday Mass will be held at 11.30am in Louisburgh Parish Church, while other events will take place in Straide, Ballina, Killala and the Church of Ireland in Foxford.

     

  • One man was arrested after criminal damage was carried out in Ballina in the area hours of Saturday morning.

    Between 3-6am on Saturday, a number of premises and cars were damaged from the Greenhills area into Ballina town.

    One man in his 20’s, who is from the area, was arrested on Saturday and questioned at Ballina Garda Station.

    He was charged in respect of criminal damage and appeared before a special sitting of the District Court.

    He was remanded in custody to appear again at a later date.

    The Gardai have thanked the public and local neighbour watch for their assistance and are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything in the early hours of Saturday morning between Greenhills and Ballina town centre to contact them in Ballina on 096-21422.

  • One person was arrested earlier today, following a drugs seizure in Ballina.

    The divisional drugs unit, assisted by local Gardai, carried out a planned search of a house in St Patrick’s Estate and seized a significant quantity of suspected cocaine.

    One man was arrested and is being detained at Ballina Garda Station.

    Today’s seizure was part of Operation Thor, which is ongoing in the area.