• Over €91,000 has been approved for Ballina projects through the LEADER programme.

    The funding has been confirmed today by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.

    Minister Ring has approved a total of €91,896 for three projects in the Ballina area, which were selected by the Mayo LEADER Local Action Group.

    Behy Community Hall will receive €69,336, Ballina Tidy Towns Company €18,187 and Anthony Golden Communty Park Trust €4,372.

    Minister Ring says this will be very welcome news for rural businesses and communities seeking investment.

  • The body of a woman found dead in Dublin yesterday morning has been named locally as Ballina native Nicola Keane.

    A post mortem was carried out today on the body of the pediatric nurse.

    Her death and the discovery of the body of a baby boy in Lucan are being treated as a family tragedy.

    Gardai are not looking for anyone else as part of their investigation.

    Knockmore Parish Priest Fr. Michael Flynn says it is a terrible tragedy for Nicola's husband Darren and for all involved.

    Fr. Michael says it's so tragic and he was the celebrant when Nicola and Darren married a few years ago in Knockmore.


  • Ballina councillors today approved a Part 8 Planning that gives the green light, with a condition, for the development of a 50 unit social housing development on a site to the rear of Rehins Woods housing estate on the Foxford road in the town.


    The controversial development had come before councillors at the January meeting of the Municipal District but the decision on the Part 8 Planning was deferred on that occasion.


    Today, after further debate, and in front of more than 30 people packed into the public gallery of the Ballina Municipal office, councillors agreed to approve the Part 8 but with a condition that a new access road be developed that would alleviate traffic congestion in the area.


    Residents of Rehins Fort and neighbouring Childer's Height that attended today's meeting were not allowed, by regulations, to publicly address the council meeting.


    The 6 elected councillors on Ballina Municipal District are now to seek a meeting with representatives of Hollister to discuss the construction of a new access road, on Hollister land, that would also assist the thousand or more employees of the company enter and exit their plant daily, onto the N26 Foxford road in Ballina.


    Council management explained that such a road is estimated to cost half a million euro and said there is no funding available to provide it.


    Nonetheless, elected councillors insisted they will meet with Hollister in an attempt to have a new access road developed.

  • People living in private houses in estates in Ballina, that have not yet been taken in charge of by the local authority,are living in limbo land, according to local Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    Cllr O’Hara raised the many problems that these residents face , at the monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District, and he called for funding to be found "somewhere" to deal with the problem.

    He called on council management to complete the taking in charge of all the housing estates in Ballina and he told Midwest News that the situation can not be allowed to continue where no one is responsible for public lighting, footpaths, water and other basic infrastructure.

  • 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 have been announced for a significant redevelopment project which will see €10 million invested in Ballina Town Centre.

    The project will involve input and investment by both public and private sectors.

    Tesco will undergo a complete makeover and expansion of their existing town centre store.

    The development of a new carpark in back lands acquired by Mayo County Council with a new street linking Market Square and Pearse Street.

    A major new commercial and residential block which will be the subject of a design and develop competition.

    The overall project will dovetail with the ongoing work on the Military Barracks Innovation Hub and will allow for a major upgrade of the public realm in the Market Square.

    Local Independent Councillor Mark Duffy says there was frustration about the delay in progressing the town centre regeneration but is delighted Tesco have confirmed their plans to push ahead with the project.

  • St Mary's Secondary School in Ballina will see the construction of a new 650 pupil school on a greenfield site.

    The new school building project has gone to tender having gone through the planning permission stage.

    As one the Government's Capital Programme projects, construction is expected to take about two years and is due to start in the third quarter of 2020.

    Senator Michelle Mulherin welcomed confirmation from that the project had gone to tender saying “It will boost the local economy as construction jobs become available.”

    The Fine Gael Senator praised the work of the St Mary’s Secondary school and its’ Board of Management for their work in keeping the project going.

    The Mayo Senator says “I look forward to the provision of the new facility which will enhance the excellent work of education that is one of the hallmarks of St Mary's Secondary School.”

  • The ongoing traffic congestion on the Foxford side of Ballina looks likely to be relieved with initial plans now in place to provide a link road from the N26 on the Foxford side of the town to the N59 Crossmolina road. That’s according to Ballina Fianna Fail councillor Annie Mae Reape

    The councillor says there was some welcome news for road users in the Ballina area, when members of Mayo County Council met with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) earlier this week.

    Funding for the the first phase of the construction is set to be in place by early 2020.

    While construction of the new stretch of road and new bridge at Cloongullane on the N26 between Foxford and Swinford – should get under in 2020, just a few months away.

  • 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…

  • Traffic management is in place on N59 Sligo-Ballina Road at Culleens due to smoke from fire on the adjoining lands.

    Midwest News understands that visibility is poor at this location and motorists are cautioned to take extreme care

    It follows a major forest fires at the same location on Wednesday evening.

    In that instance the road was closed for a number of hours due to smoke from the fire crossing the roadway near Culleens.

  • Ballina has been designated as a town that is Clean to European Norms in the latest national survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) and the result is positive news, according to the Cathaoirleach of Ballina Municipal District, Michael Loftus.

    The Cathaoirleach says to a large extent, the result that sees the town  ranked 16th from the top nationally, is down to the dedication and commitment of Tidy town Volunteers working the local authority.

    Castlebar is not included in the latest IBAL survey and Midwest News is trying to establish why that is the case. It had been in the last number of surveys conducted by the group.

    Both Sligo and Roscommon towns scored as Clean to Normal. While Galway city is ranked 10th in the league and is deemed cleaner than the European Norm.

     Ballybane in Galway’s inner city is described as Moderately littered.

  • 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 proposed extension for St Oliver Plunkett NS at Creggs Road in Ballina has gone to tender. 

    The new extension will consist of a single storey extension consisting of three classrooms, as well as alterations to the front entrance of the school and a link corridor.

    Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon says he welcomes that the proposed extension for St Oliver Plunkett NS has now taken a further step to completion. 

    Deputy Dillon says In the months ahead, he will be prioritising shovel-ready projects around Mayo which provide local investment and jobs in our communities. 

  • 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.