• 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ballina Fringe Festival will take place from July 6th until 15th running alongside Ballina’s famous Salmon Festival.

    Ballina and North Mayo have a proud heritage in the arts, and it’s rugged wild Atlantic landscape has inspired countless artists through the years.

    The inaugural Ballina Fringe Festival has a focus on how North Mayo, its landscape and heritage have set foundations for ambitious and creative arts in many media.

    Full festival details are available on

  • Gardai in Ballina are investigating what's described as “a serious incident” that occurred on the Killala Road, Ballina on Thursday night, or the early hours of last Friday morning (July 25/26th).

    An alleged sexual assault occurred on a woman aged in her mid thirties, and an aggravated burglary occurred at approximately 4am. 

    Gardai are appealing to anybody who may have witnessed anyone acting suspiciously or any car acting suspiciously in the area in the early hours of last Friday morning, particularly between 3 and 4am  to contact Ballina Garda station on 096 20560 or the Garda confidential Line at 1800 666 111.


  • Gardai in Ballina are investigating an alleged hit & run traffic collision last Friday morning.

    An elderly man was knocked down on Bury Street in the town between 9.40 and 9.50am on Friday morning last, 13th Sept.

    Gardai say the incident occurred at a busy time of the morning, and are asking any witnesses to come forward to assist in their investigation.

    Gardai are particularly interested in speaking with the driver of a truck who was at the scene at the time of the collision.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Ballina Garda Station at 096 - 20560 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.


  • Gardai in Ballina seized a significant quantity of cannabis yesterday.

    It followed a traffic checkpoint in the Slí Eachtra area of the town, and a follow-up search of a house in the Ballina area by local uniformed Gardai and members of the divisional drugs unit.

    Cannabis worth over €1,000 was seized, along with drugs paraphernalia and a sum of cash.

    One person was arrested, questioned, and later released with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    This is part of a major crackdown on drugs in the north Mayo region, which also saw cocaine being discovered in the Ross area of Killala on Saturday 16th March.

    In a planned operation by the Divisional Drugs Unit, two people were stopped and searched and a significant quantity of cocaine was recovered.

    Gardai say a file is being prepared for the DPP.

  • A 10-year old Ballina girl will be taking part in one of the most-watched TV programmes of the year next weekend.

    10-year old Alison McGrath from Ballina is one of the children chosen to take part in The Late Late Toy Show, which will be aired on Friday week 30th November on RTE One at 9.35 pm.




    A Mayo man has lost his appeal against his 5 year jail sentence for dangerous driving causing death.

    40 year old Declan Moran of Carrentrilla, Ballina had been drinking when he performed an illegal u-turn and killed oncoming motorcyclist Martin Wynne.

    It happened on the N26 at Ballinahaglish, Ballina in May 2016.

    Declan Moran fled the scene on foot and was arrested a few hours later and was found to be over the drink driving limit.

    The Court of Appeal said the 5 year sentence was entirely appropriate, given the accused has a previous conviction for drink-driving.





  • A Mayo man was seriously injured after being hit by a bus in Budapest last weekend.

    32-year old Michael Cuffe from Ballina travelled to the Hungarian capital last Friday with three friends for a weekend away, but just hours after he arrived he was struck by a bus.

    The Irish Independent reports that Michael suffered a number of  injuries, including broken bones in his neck and back, a broken collarbone and a triple leg fracture.

    His family are now fundraising to help bring Michael home for treatment.

    It’s understood a radiologist travelling on the bus gave him CPR and stabilised him until an ambulance arrived.

    Michael’s sister Naomi told the Independent that he will have to travel home on a spinal board, and as no commercial airline accommodates spinal boards, he will need an air ambulance.

    The family have set up a GoFundMe page to try and meet the costs of getting Michael back to Ireland.

    The GoFundMe page has raised more than €13,000 in less than 24 hours and Naomi said her family are blown away by people's generosity.

    For further details, or to make a donation, you can go online to


  • A Ballina man, whose son died by suicide, has hit out at the pre-Christmas advertisements for cheap alcohol, as supermarkets vie with each other to see who can provide the best value.


    TV, radio, print and social media are currently running campaigns for cheap drink, accompanied by the advice to "enjoy alcohol responsibly".


    However, these three words will bring no comfort to children whose prospect of a happy Christmas will be shattered as a result of alcohol abuse in the home, or to families who have lost a loved one in situations where alcohol was a contributing factor.


    That's according to John Higgins from Ballina, whose son David died by suicide after a house party in March 2011.


    The inquest into David's death recorded a verdict of death by suicide, with alcohol a contributing factor.


    John Higgins believes the culture of cheap drink and house parties presents a danger for young people, and has again called for tighter regulation on the price of alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences.


    While the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 provides for minimum unit pricing for drink, this section of the Act has not yet been implemented in Ireland, and he's calling on the Government to introduce this legislation as soon as possible, to prevent any more loss of life.

  • Ballina - Final Tally

    Duffy Mark Non-Party 1938
    Gill Kieran - FIne Gael  722
    Horkan Aileen - Fine Gael 536
    Loftus Michael - Fianna Fail 1310
    Moore Eamon - Fianna Fail 1102
    Munnelly Jarlath - Fine Gael 946
    Nolan Willie - Non Party 368
    O'Hara John - Fine Gael 1929
    Reape Annie Mae Fianna Fail 1212
    Regan Michael Sinn Fein - 267
    Smith Tracey Social Democrats - 178
    Seamus Weir - Non-Party 1119

  • Ballina has today been named Ireland's Best kept Large Town for 2018.

    The 32-county Best Kept Towns competition has been running since 1985, and the awards are being presented in Belfast this afternoon.

    Ballina has beaten off competition from Armagh and Monaghan to be crowned Ireland's Best Kept Large Town.

     Chairman of Ballina Tidy Towns Jim Friel has collected the award at the Harbour Commissions Office in Belfast.