• Ballina  has the third lowest level of income nationally, in towns with populations of 10,000 people or more.

    That’s according to the latest report published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), while households in Malahide, Co Dublin, enjoy the highest median incomes.

    The CSO report on the geographical spread of income showed the median gross income for households – the midpoint in the range of incomes earned in Ireland – was €45,000 in 2016. By local authority area, it ranged from €32,000 in Donegal to €66,000 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

    Of the 41 towns in the study the lowest medians were Longford (€29,200), Enniscorthy (€31,000) and Ballina (€33,000).

    Nine of the 10 highest median incomes were in Leinster. Carrigaline had the highest median for Munster at €59,000, Castlebar had the highest in Connacht at €37,000 and Letterkenny had the highest in Ulster at €36,000.

    Social welfare payments made up more than half of income in 14 per cent of households, while the State pension formed the majority of income in 13 per cent of households. This means that in 27 per cent of households in the State, social welfare made up more than half of their income.

    Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the lowest proportion of households where the majority of gross income came from social welfare at 6 per cent. In contrast, 20 per cent of households in Longford, 20.2 per cent in Donegal and 19  per cent in Carlow relied on social welfare for the majority of their income.

    In terms of gender, men had higher incomes than women across selected occupations. The CSO pointed out that that this comparison was not adjusted for hours worked, which accounted for some of the difference in incomes.


  • There's good news for Ballina this morning, as the north Mayo capital has been named a winner in the 2020 Bank of Ireland Begin Together Awards.

    The awards recognise business and community groups who have come together to support their local area in rebuilding and recovering from the impact of Covid-19.

    Ballina won the award for the population category 7,000-14,000, which carries a prize of €10,000.

    The judges said Ballina "has turned the negative of Covid-19 into positive, as people worked together to tackle dereliction, improve bio-diversity and support businesses and community organisations" in responding to the challenges of the pandemic.

    Clonbur in Co Galway won the award in the under 2,000 population category.

    There were 21 awards in total, while Kinsale in Co Cork was the overall winner, and named Ireland's Most Enterprising Town for 2020.




  • The All Ireland Fleadh held in in Ballina in the late 90s will feature this Sunday night (Sept 6th)in a programme on TG4 from 9.30pm to 10.30pm.

    At a time when large crowd gatherings are restricted due to Covid-19 and the cancellation of this  years All-Ireland Fleadh in Mullingar, TG4 looks back at three towns which hosted the event in the past.

    Listowel, Ballina and Enniscorthy were selected.The All-Ireland Fleadh was hosted by Ballina for the first time ever in 1997, and then again the following year, in 1998.

    Eamonn Walsh PRO of the Moy Valley branch of Comhaltas told Midwest News that it is a huge boost to Ballina’s campaign to host the event in the future.

    The event is valued at generating in the region of €50 million to local economy.

    Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson was a special guest at the 1997 Fleadh – the first time that a serving Uachtaran na hEireann attended an All-Ireland Fleadh in an official capacity.

    While, Dana was a special guest at the 1998 Fleadh when she sang at a Fleadh Mass in St Muredach’s Cathedral.

    The programme by “Forefront Productions” is presented by Pat Butler and Straide native Breda Smyth.


  • Businesses across Ballina need Government support now more so than ever and looking after staff has to be paramount during this pandemic.

    That's according to the Ballina Chamber of Commerce who say's a rates freeze needs to be introduced to support local businesses in this difficult period.

    The Chamber is hosting a live Facebook workshop today at 4pm answering questions that concerned business owners may have.

    Mags Downey from the Ballina Chamber of Commerce says rates staffing and HR issues are top of the agenda and is confident that the wider communtiy will support businesses stronger than ever when they reopen.

  • Kilkenny has topped a survey of the country's cleanest cities and towns for a record fourth time.

    In contrast, Dublin's North Inner City is "seriously littered" while Ballymun, Limerick City South and Cork Northside are "littered."

    Sweet wrappers, chewing gum and cigarette butts remain the most common forms of rubbish on our streets.

    Galway City Centre is ranked 10th in the league and is cleaner than European Norms.

    Ballina returns to the league standings and is clean to European Norms positioned 16th.

    Elsewhere, both Sligo and Roscommon towns are clean to European Norms.

    However, Ballybane in Galway’s Inner city is described as moderately littered.

    Irish Business Against Litter spokesperson Conor Horgan says the results show a mixed bag but overall, our cities performed very well.

  • A Ballina coffee shop was one of four food businesses served with closure orders last month, for breaches of food safety legislation.

    Costa Coffee on Pearse Street in Ballina was served with a closure order on the 10th February, and the order was lifted two days later.

    The reason given was rodent activity at a number of locations within the restaurant, including the large store room, walk in cold room and in the corner of the boiler room.

    Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, says there are no excuses for food business owners failing to comply with all relevant food safety and hygiene standards, as it's a legal responsibility.

    The other food businesses served with closure orders last month are in Dublin, Cork and Waterford.


  • The community of Ballina is invited to come out at 12.30 tomorrow afternoon at the Ridgepool  to remember Jack Charlton and what he did to promote Ballina and the river Moy, as the funeral of the former Ireland soccer manager will be underway in his hometown in Newcastle in the UK.

    The late Jack Charlton and his wife Pat owned a holiday home in Ballina and were regular visitors to north Mayo and he was a keen fisherman on the Moy.

    Over the weekend a large new mural was painted by volunteers and Ballina’s Community Clean-up group, on a building on the banks of the river Moy at the Ridgepool, of the former World cup footballer. The painting was copied from a photograph that showed Jack holding a pint and toasting fishermen on the Moy.

    One of the main people behind the new installation is publican and artist Padraig Mitchell, known locally as “Smiler”.

     Smiler has been telling Midwest News TODAY how the idea came about and the musical tribute that will take place on the banks of the river Moy tomorrow, open to everyone,  to commemorate Jack Charlton.


  • The number of homeless people in Co Mayo is continuing to rise, and 2018 could see an increase of 40% on last year.

    In the first ten months of this year, 224 people presented as homeless to Mayo County Council - including 173 adults and 51 children.

    The figures were revealed at a recent meeting of Mayo County Council's Strategic Policy Committee on Housing.

    Cathaoirleach of the Housing SPC Councillor Gerry Ginty says this is a direct result of a lack of social housing being built in Mayo and across the country in recent years.

    He's appealing to the public not to oppose plans for social housing developments - citing an example in Ballina where Mayo Co Co is planning to build a 54-unit social housing development at a site on the Foxford Road, but Councillor Ginty says there's considerable opposition to the plan from existing residents in the area and a number of councillors.

    Councillor Ginty says there are currently over 2,000 people on the housing list in Co Mayo, and every effort should be made to give people a roof over their heads.

  • A Ballina Councillor is calling for an awareness campaign in schools to combat the drugs problem in Mayo.

    The whole drugs epidemic was discussed at length at yesterday’s Joint Policing Committee in Castlebar.

    One of the suggestions was from Independent Councillor Mark Duffy who feels work needs to be done in our schools to educate younger people about the damage drugs can do.

  • Councillors in the Ballina area have again expressed their concerns that there are no improvements being currently planned for the N26 Ballina to Foxford road.

    At the monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District this week Fine Gael Councillor John O’Hara proposed that TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) come down to Ballina to meet with the business community and local representatives to see the state of the road themselves at first hand.

    However, Councillor O’Hara’s proposal didn’t get unanimous support.

    Independent Councillor Mark Duffy says before he was born there was plans for a proper road in to Ballina and this still hasn’t moved forward.

    A delegation from Mayo County Council along with the two SPC members will be meeting with TII in Dublin on November 18th.

    Cllr. Duffy says that while the new ring road from Castlebar to Westport is welcomed news it is now time for North Mayo to get proper infrastructure in place.

  • A Ballina councillor is calling for speed ramps to be installed in the Bohernasup area to slow down traffic.

    Since the opening of the new Lidl store in Bohernasup, Councillor John O'Hara says there's a significant increase in traffic in the area, and locals are complaining of the speed of traffic through the residential area.

  • A Ballina area councillor is calling on the developers of the Oweninny windfarm in north Mayo to provide funding for a new pedestrian crossing at Ardnaree in Ballina.

    The current pedestrian crossing in Ardnaree is not working, according to local FG Councillor John O'Hara who claims drivers are ignoring the flashing lights, and he fears a serious accident will occur unless the crossing is replaced with a push-button pedestrian crossing.

    Councillor O'Hara says that, with the Oweninny windfarm developers using this road four night per week from midnight, they should finance the pedestrian crossing as a community gesture.

  • A Ballina Councillor has asked Mayo County Council to work with Irish Water to carry out a full review of the water and sewage infrastructure in the town centre.

    Independent Cllr. Mark Duffy says there have been continuous burst pipes, leakages and disruption for businesses and residents in Ballina.

    Cllr. Duffy raised his concerns at a recent meeting of Ballina Municipal District, and called for an overall review to be carried out to ensure long lasting permanent works are implemented.

  • The first full week of general election campaigning is underway, with education and health on the agenda.

    Fine Gael will be looking to get back on track after an opinion poll over the weekend had Fianna Fáil twelve points clear at the top.

    Sinn Fein placed just a point behind them, and their focus today is on housing.

    Elsewhere, the Social Democrats will address biodiversity and Labour will focus on ending inequality for women in the workplace.

    The Fianna Fail leader is expected to visit Sligo today.

    Micheál Martin will visit the offices of Deputy Marc MacSharry, and will make a number of stops in the town before heading to other areas of the county this afternoon

    There are three Fianna Fail candidates contesting the election in the Sligo/Leitrim constituency. They are Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon – both  sitting deputies, together with Shane Ellis

    In other election news, Independent councillor in Ballina Mark Duffy has confirmed to Midwest News this morning that he will not be contesting the 4-seater constituency of Mayo on February 8th.

    There had been some speculation locally that he may throw his hat into the ring.

    In a statement this morning he says that for the rest of his term as councillor he will work to deliver for Ballina and North Mayo and tackle the neglect that the region has experienced over a number of generations. He will then decide on whether or not he wants to continue in politics into the future.



  • There is a need for Mayo county council to set aside up to 200,000 euro a year specifically to be used on the restoration of footpaths across the county.

    That’s the view of Ballina Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    He says that would mean that at least, 50,000 euro would be available annually for the restoration of footpaths in each Municipal District area.

    Councillor O’Hara believes the allocation could actually save money for Mayo county council, as it is likely that insurance compensation payments against the authority over people falling and injuring themselves on broken pavement would be reduced.

  • While the Christmas lights in Ballina are spectacular, there are still areas of the town left without lights for the festive season.

    That's according to local Councillor Annie May Reape.

    The Fianna Fail Councillor is insisting that funding be set aside next year to ensure Christmas Lights are installed on Abbey Street, and in other areas that have been left out.

  • As shops and businesses reopen this week, a Ballina Councillor is proposing a trial pedestrianisation of Pearse Street in the town, to create more outdoor space for shoppers.

    Independent Councillor Mark Duffy believes that closing off part of Pearse Street to traffic for certain hours each day, and all day at weekends, would free up more space for people to circulate around shops and around cafes and restaurants as they reopen later this month.

    Councillor Duffy made the proposal online earlier this week, and invited submission from the public on the matter.

    Having received almost 100 responses, he says the majority are in favour of pedestrianising part of Pearse Street...

  • A Ballina Councillor is calling for senior officials of Mayo County Council to carry out an enquiry into why public monies were used to install at footpath on the Behy Road, which was a condition of planning for a developer in the area.

    Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty says it's wrong that tens of thousands of euro of council money are being spent on a footpath, which should be provided by the private developer.

    In the region of €80,000 is being budgeted for the footpath, but the funding has run out.

    At this week's meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, Councillor Ginty says another €30,000 was allocated for the footpath, as part of a list of roads and footpaths receiving funding this year, but he says that's now on hold until further enquiries are carried out.

    Councillor Ginty told Midwest News that questions need to be asked about this use of public funds, when the footpath should have been installed by a developer.

  • Tomorrow Down Syndrome Ireland is inviting the nation to join them for Ireland’s biggest street dance in order to help raise vital funds to enable DSI to provide online courses for their members as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

    The COVID-19 crisis has adversely affected all face to face services provided by DSI and as a result, the way in which these services are provided has had to change dramatically.

    No matter where you live across the country, Dance4DSI is the way to reconnect with your neighbours at a safe distance and dancing is a fantastic way to make you feel good.

    Dance4DSI will take place at 3pm on June 21st, coinciding with the summer solstice. The number 21 also carries a special meaning as Down syndrome occurs when there is one extra copy of chromosome 21 in cells in the body. DSI are encouraging everyone to get involved by donating what they can through Then share photos or video on social media of their family and neighbours dancing in the street to their favourite summer song, using the hashtag #Dance4DSI.

    Adrian and Aoife Doherty from Ballina in Co. Mayo whose three-year-old son Louis has Down syndrome, have experienced first-hand the benefits of DSI’s online services.

    Adrian and Aoife have been learning how to teach Louis Lámh through online Zoom calls with Olive Buckeridge at DSI.

    Lámh is a manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland.


    Today Ballina has launched its ambition to secure the title of Ireland’s Greenest Town.

    Last March, at the 5th International Human Rights Lecture held in the Mary Robinson Centre in the Ballina, Ballina Chamber of Commerce pledged to make Ballina Ireland’s Greenest Town.

    Covid 19 delayed the project plans, but has not dampened the ambition and today’s launch sets out how the town hopes to achieve its goal.

    The Agenda for Ballina, Ireland’s Greenest Town project is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will be guided by those principles as they apply to the town and region, as well as working alongside the Mary Robinson Centre and other stakeholders.

    Already, there is a unanimous agreement that the people of the town want to enhance the presentation, cleanliness and biodiversity of Ballina. It is envisaged that this project will not have a completion date but will be a continual process over the next 20 years with continuous review and reassessment of the goals and results.

    Gerry Luskin, President of Ballina Chamber explained to Midwest News today that amid the hard work and achievements of business and community groups in the area during Covid 19, they have now identified this project as a key objective for the town.  He believes that together with the recent launch of Ballina 2023, marking 300 years of the formal establishment of Ballina, a vision and unique legacy for the town will be achieved.

    At today’s launch he outlined the cross community effort that will be required to make Ballina Ireland’s Greenest Town. Businesses, the local authority, schools and education providers, community groups, will all be working alongside the Mary Robinsons Centre, using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation for the project.