Ballina

  • People are being warned to be on the lookout for counterfeit bank notes after the discovery of one in Ballina earlier this week.

    Gardai say a counterfeit €50 was discovered after being lodged through a bank on Monday in Ballina. It is described as a very sophisticated counterfeit note.

    Gardai believe the discovery of this note will not be an isolated incident and it is highly likely there are more in circulation.

    The serial number on the note was EO118175484 and that serial number would be the same on any other counterfeit notes.

    People are asked to report anything suspicious to their local Garda Station.

  • Pieta House is launching an outreach service in Ballina.

    The suicide and self harm support charity has been operational in Ballina since February.

    The charity says they are delighted to be able to respond to the need for an outreach service in County Mayo.

    The service initially started one day a week but has now increased to a two-day-per-week service following demand.

    The launch will take place in the Ballina Manor Hotel on Monday August 26th at 7.30pm.

  • A plan to build 50 new social houses on the Foxford Road in Ballina seems to be in LIMBO - that's according to Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty, who says the Government is ready and willing to provide funding for social housing, but he claims the project is being held up by local objections.

    The 50 houses are to be built on a site which previously had permission for 80 private houses.

    While there were no objections to plans for 80 houses, there are now a number of objections to the proposed 50 social houses, and Councillor Ginty is urging the objectors to be more open-minded, and to remember that there are over 2,000 people currently on the housing list in Co Mayo.

    The Independent Councillor says Mayo County Council has now acquired the site on the Foxford Road in Ballina, but the funding for the houses has not yet been sanctioned by Government.

  • Planning permission has been granted for a new Digital Hub at the former Military Barracks in Ballina.

    Late last year, over €3 million Government funding was announced under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund to transform the 18th century military barracks into a digital hub and innovation quarter.

    Councillors have now approved the €7 million project to go to tender stage.

    The issue was discussed at yesterday's meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, which was held at Hennigan's Heritage Centre in Killasser.

    After the meeting, Fine Gael Councillor Jarlath Munnelly told Midwest Radio that this is a very important project for Ballina.

     

  • Plans to establish a Salmon Life Centre in Ballina need to be reactivated.

    That’s according to local Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty, who says such a facility would cement Ballina’s reputation as the Salmon Capital of Ireland.

    It’s almost ten years since a feasibility report on the proposed Salmon Life Centre in Ballina was unveiled, with plans for a salmon museum, angling information, education centre and café along the River Moy.

    However, a decade later, the proposed centre has not become a reality.

    The issue was discussed at a recent meeting of Ballina Municipal District, in terms of the overall new Ballina Public Realm.

    Councillor Gerry Ginty says the Salmon Life Centre would be an important development in Ballina, but would need Government funding to become a reality, and he’s calling on TDs and Senators to get involved in the campaign at a national level.

    Councillor Ginty claims this is just one of a number of proposals for Ballina that were shelved when the Town Councils were abolished…

  • Gardai have confirmed that the woman who died suddenly in Ballina on Saturday died from smoke inhalation.

    Kathleen Murray who was aged 74 died after a fire broke out in a section of her home on Saturday.

    A Post Mortem examination took place at Mayo University Hospital yesterday, which revealed she died from smoke inhalation.

    Gardai are not treating the death as suspicious.

    Kathleen’s remains will be reposing at the family residence, 12 Bunree Road, this evening from 4pm until 8pm.

    The Funeral will arrive to St. Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina on Wednesday for Mass of the Resurrection at 12.30 p.m.

    Burial will take place afterwards in Leigue Cemetery.

  • A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out today on the body of an elderly woman who was found dead in her home in Ballina on Saturday.

    The woman, who was in her 70's, is believed to have died from smoke inhalation after a small fire broke out in the house in the Bunree area of the town.

    The alarm was raised by a neighbour, and emergency services attended the scene.

    The woman's body was removed to Mayo University Hospital.

     

  • A project from a Mayo school has been highly commended at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

    St Mary’s Secondary School Ballina students Leah Hannon and Lauren Tuffy picked up the accolade for their project to identify and novel and wildlife supporting use of seafood waste in coastal protection against destructive ocean waves.

    They were highly commended in the Biological and Ecological category.

    The overall winner of the competition was 17-year-old Adam Kelly, a student from Skerries Community College.

     

  • A protest is taking place today outside the Ballina Civic Offices, over the lack of social housing in Mayo.

    Today’s protest has been organised by the Ballina Housing Action Committee.

    Joe Daly of Mayo People Before Profit was one of those protesting today.

    He told Midwest News that they are concerned about the high number of vacant properties in Mayo – 15,000 in total, 10,000 of which are not holiday homes.

    3,000 families are on the social housing waiting list in Mayo, with 500 of those in Ballina.

    Mr Daly says Mayo County Council need to look at purchasing some of these vacant properties by way of Compulsory Purchase Orders.

  • More than 3,600 council houses are lying empty across the country in the midst of the housing crisis.

    A report from the National Oversight and Audit Commission, which oversees local authorities, says councils need to improve the time it takes to re-let a property.

    According to the Irish Independent, new figures show almost one on every 33 houses and apartments owned by local authorities is lying idle, and it takes an average of 7 months to re-let a dwelling.

    The report says that, while the level of vacant housing stock is coming down, some councils need to improve the speed at which units are re-let.

    The NOAC report shows the quickest turnaround times are in Westmeath at just under 7 weeks, while it's as high as 77 weeks in Sligo and 70 weeks in Leitrim.

    The figures also show a wide disparity in vacancy rates, with Co Mayo and Galway city both at almost 3%.

    Meanwhile, the newly-formed Ballina Housing Action Committee have been staging protests over the past month outside Ballina Municipal Offices to highlight the number of vacant homes in the area, in light of the large housing waiting list in Ballina.

  • Public lighting is to be restored to residents of two private housing estates in Ballina left in the dark for a number of years now.

    The two estates, Ashbourne Grove and Orchard Court, remain unfinished, and so are not yet taken in charge of by Mayo County Council.

    The plight of residents left in the dark in both estates has been highlighted on a number of occasions by local Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara at meetings of Ballina Municipal District.

    The ESB cuts off the power to estates for public lighting when no one is paying the bill.

    According to cllr O’Hara speaking to Midwest News today, Joe Lavelle, the owner of the Merry Monk in Ballina, has now agreed to pay the bill until both estates are taken in charge of by Mayo County Council .

    The matter will be raised again at tomorrow's monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District.

  • Residents in The Quay area of Ballina are highlighting their opposition to a proposed sludge hub for the Belleek area of the town.

    Irish Water has confirmed that the existing wastewater treatment plant in Belleek is one of five sites nationwide being examined as a potential sludge hub.

    However, local residents have questioned the wisdom of locating such a hub on the banks of the River Moy, and in an area that attracts tourists.

    Willie Nolan, Chairman of the Quay Residents Association, says the proposed sludge hub is in the early stages of planning, but local residents are adamant that this is not the location for such a facility.

    He intends to start a petition locally against the plans....

  • There are long tailbacks on the N59 from Ballysadare towards Ballina.

    It’s very busy both ways on the N59 approaching works just outside Ballysadare from the church on the Ballina side.

    Midwest Radio News understands that road works have the road down to one narrow lane.

    Motorists driving HGV's should use an alternate route if possible.

  • The scene of a light aircraft crash in County Mayo is being examined.

    A local  man in his fifties died in the incident which happened yesterday evening.

    He was the pilot and the only person in the aircraft at the time when it came down just outside Ballina.

    It is understood the Air Accident Investigation Unit has removed the wreckage of the plane from the crash site, between Ballina and Bonniconlon and transported it to a hanger in Meath for further examination.

    A post-mortem on the deceased man is due to take place on Monday.

  • A search is underway again this morning for a 13-year-old boy missing from the Carrowmore-Lacken area of Ballina.

    The boy who is described as 5ft 7in in height, with black hair and blue eyes, was last seen at around 9.30am yesterday morning.

    When last seen he was wearing green tracksuit bottoms and a dark navy or black hoodie.

    Gardai confirmed to Midwest News that a search operation has been underway again since early morning.

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Ballina Gardai on 096-20560.

  • The second victim of Monday night’s fatal road collision in Ballina will be laid to rest later today.

    28-year-old Ricky Langdon from St Patrick’s Estate, Ballina died along with 21-year-old Jack O’Hora from Newtown, Castleconnor, Co Sligo when the car they were travelling in hit a tree on the Killala Road on Monday night at around 11.15pm.

    Funeral Mass for Mr Langdon will take place in St Patrick's Church, Ballina today at 12.30 with burial afterwards in Leigue Cemetery.

    Mr O’Hora was laid to rest yesterday afternoon in Killanley Cemetery, Castleconnor. 

    Gardai are continuing to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact them. 

  • The CEO of Mayo county council, Peter Hynes needs to gather all the interested parties and outline how the 6 million euro Mary Robinson Centre for Ballina town can now be delivered.

    That’s the view of Ballina based Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin.

    She says there is a level of “ miscommunication” at present about the project, which she believes  is central to the development of the north Mayo capital.

    The Senator has been in contact with Minister Josepha Madigan to ensure the two million euro of government funding allocated to the project is still in place.

    The Minister confirmed that the monies are still there and indicated that Mayo County Council is undertaking a review of the proposed development at present.

    Senator Mulherin says the review appears to be underway since 2016 and she told Midwest News today that progress now needs to be made, and has called on Mr Hynes to spearhead the project’s delivery.

  • Settlement talks have broken down between representatives of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, and the legal team for the family of murdered Garda Tony Golden who, just over three years ago, was shot five times and killed in a murder-suicide attack while on duty at Omeath, Co Louth.

    The Ballina native died while responding to a call following a domestic violence incident.

    It was learned yesterday that the assessment of compensation for Garda Golden’s widow, Nicola, and their three children of Blackrock, Co Louth, may now go to a full trial before Mr Justice Michael Twomey, who deals with all Garda compensation cases in the High Court.

    The Irish Independent reports that talks had been taking place in a bid to obviate the necessity and family trauma of a full assessment hearing.

    Garda Golden, a native of Culleens on the Killala Road in Ballina, was unarmed on 11th October 2015 when he accompanied 23-year old Siobhan Philips to the house she shared with her partner Adrian Crevan Mackin.

    Crevan Mackin shot the 36-year-old Garda dead and also shot his partner Siobhan Philips four times, before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life.

    Mackin was a convicted criminal and had been charged with IRA membership months before his death and was on bail. He had previously been given a three-year suspended sentence on firearms charges in the North.

    Tony Golden was a member of An Garda Siochana for 11 years and had been based in Omeath for 6 years until his tragic death. The inquest into his death last year concluded that he had been unlawfully killed.

  • There was a significant drug seizure in the Ballina area yesterday.

    A planned operation by the Mayo garda drugs division unit on a private dwelling house in the Ballina area resulted in gardai seizing a significant quantity of suspected cannabis, with an street value estimated as  a 5 figure sum.

    One man was arrested and was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

    He was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

  • SIPTU is calling on management at the Coca Cola plant in Ballina to fully implement a Labour Court recommendation recognising the right of workers in the plant to collective trade union representation.

    The Labour Court has recommended in favour of SIPTU's claim to have negotiation rights for workers in the concentrate manufacturing facility, but the union claims management has refused to implement the recommendation.

    Over 100 workers at the Coca Cola plant in Ballina are members of SIPTU, and the union is calling on management to immediately implement the Labour Court recommendation and engage with the union to negotiate terms and conditions of employment for members.

    Midwest News has asked Coca-Cola for a comment on the matter and we are awaiting a response.