• Three Fianna Fail conventions took place over the weekend in county Mayo to select candidates to run for the party in the upcoming local elections.

    On Friday night in the Park Hotel in Kiltimagh, there were two contenders for two nominations in the new Swinford Municipal District area. They were sitting councillors John Caulfield and Michael Smyth.

    Both men were selected without avote, John is a councillor on Claremorris Municipal District at present, while Michael is in the Ballina Municipal district at present.

    The new Swinford Municipal District will return 4 councillors in the May local elections.

    In the Twintrees Hotel in Ballina yesterday the selection convention for the new Ballina Municipal District took place.

    There were three contenders for three places, so all three were selected without a vote.

    They are sitting councillors in the Ballina Municipal District at present Annie Mae Reape and Michael Loftus, and they are joined on the party ticket now by Eamon Moore, who failed to win a municipal district seat in 2014.

    6 councillors will be returned to represent the new Ballina Municipal District.

    Last night in the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris candidates were selected for Fianna Fail in the new Claremorris Municipal District. Here there were three contenders for two positions and so a vote took place.

    Former Knock based councillor Michael Carty and sitting Claremorris councillor Damian Ryan were selected, with Barnacarroll based Michael Nally failing to find a place on the party ticket last night.

     The Claremorris Municipal District will return 6 councillors.

    The final Fianna Fail selection Convention take place in Belmullet next Sunday, for the new 3 seater Belmullet Municipal District.

    The three sitting Fianna Fail councillors at present on Castlebar Municipal District - Al McDonnell, Blackie Gavin and Martin McLoughlin have been selected to contest  the new 7 seater Castlebar Municipal District and the 4 seater Westport Municipal District has one sitting councillor selected – that’s Brendan Mulroy at present a member of the West Mayo Municipal District.

    Even after selection conventions, Fianna Fail Headquarters makes the final decision on how many candidates will contest each Municipal District area for the party.

  • From this evening in Ballina there is a toy collection underway to assist families in need.

    The collection is an annual event, run this year by local musicians Noel Kenny Jnr and Stephen Moyles.

    The collection box made by Ballina Men’s shed and painted by Ballina Cleanup will be lo1cated outside the Old Shebeen on Abbey St in the town.

    It will remain in place for donations until December 22nd.

  • A man and woman have been charged after a drugs seizure in County Mayo.

    It's after 80 thousand euro worth of cannabis was found in Ballina yesterday.

    Both who were arrested will appear before Ballina District Court on the 9th of March.

  • The two young men who died after the car they were travelling in hit a tree in Ballina on Monday night have been named locally as  21-year old Jack O'Hora from Castleconnor, Co Sligo and 28-year old Ricky Langdon from St Patrick's Estate, Ballina.

    The fatal collision occurred shortly after 11pm on Monday night, when the black Audi A6 car crashed into a tree on the Killala Road in Ballina.

    A third man, Declan Ferguson - also in his 20's -  was critically injured and remains in a stable condition in the intensive care unit at Mayo University Hospital.

    It's understood Jack O'Hora had been home visiting from the UK where he was a member of the British army.

    He played with the Castleconner GAA club, just across the county border in Sligo, before moving abroad to serve in the British army.

    Ricky Langdon had worked in a local garage in recent years and came from a large family living in the Ballina area.

    Funeral arrangements for the deceased are not yet available.

    The stretch of roadway where the crash happened was sealed off until late yesterday afternoon to allow for a forensic examination.

    Ballina Gardaí are continuing their investigation into the crash and appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

    They're also asking the drivers of any vehicles that may have passed through the townland of Kilmoremoy close to the Costcutters Supermarket, between 10.20pm and 11.15pm, and who may have dash-cam footage, to contact Ballina garda station (096) 20560 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

  • A two-car collision that occurred earlier outside Ballina has now been cleared.

    Long traffic delays were reported on the Crossmolina Road following the collision earlier this afternoon.

    Gardai say the road has now been cleared.


  • The ongoing traffic delays on the Foxford road entrance to Ballina were discussed at a meeting of Mayo County Council's Special Policy Committee on Roads yesterday evening.

    Roadworks are continuing on a 1.2 km section of the N26 Foxford Road into Ballina, which are causing significant traffic delays, particularly at peak times in the mornings and evenings.

    The work is scheduled to continue until 8th December.

    Yesterday, Mayo TD Dara Calleary called for the contractors to work 7 days per week on the scheme to get it finished as quickly as possible, but this appeared to be ruled out by Mayo County Council.

    However, Ballina Fianna Fail Councillor Annie May Reape says councillors at the SPC meeting yesterday evening were told by Mayo County Council's Head of Roads Paul Dolan that a 2-way system will be in operation at weekends once the work moves closer to Ballina town, and traffic lights will be put in place to help alleviate traffic delays.

  • While most of us are enjoying a break from work over the festive season, the volunteers at the North Mayo Horse Rescue Sanctuary are continuing to care for abandoned horses this Christmas.

    The sanctuary, located at Knockegan outside Ballina, provides a safe home for horses and donkeys that have for the most part been abandoned or neglected.

    The organisation runs a charity shop in Ballina to assist in covering the costs involved in looking after the animals, and always welcome more volunteers to help out with the work involved in caring for horses and donkeys.

    Midwest News visited the sanctuary recently and spoke to its founder Gerry Ginty about the 20 animals currently being looked after at the facility.

  • The urgent need for a site for the Boy Scouts in Ballina has been raised again this week at the local Municipal District Meeting by Independent Cllr Seamus Weir.

    Cllr Weir says the Scouts have identified a site in the St Patrick’s Church area of Ballina.

    It is located in a council area and is according to Cllr Weir, an ideal location for the club.

    However the site is currently zoned as utility and they would rather the club identify another location.

    Cllr Weir says they are currently operating out of Teeling Street and it is not suitable for such a club.

    Council management told Cllr Weir that they will work with the Boy Scouts to identify an alternative site.

    Cllr Weir says if it comes to it, Councillors can opt to rezone the site identified by the Boy Scouts, as it is now an urgent situation.

  • A US film company are looking for film trainees, as they prepare to shoot a film in the Ballina area.

    Mayo County Council's Arts Office has issued a statement on behalf of Heather Productions, looking for people interested in trainee film positions, with diverse applications encouraged from under-represented backgrounds.

    Those interested must be over 18 and must live within a 45 km radius of the Ballina area and be able to arrange travel to and from the workplace.

    Trainee positions are available in a number of areas including production, locations, camera, sound, art department, props and wardrobe departments.

    The deadline for applications is this Wednesday 28th August, and those interested should send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




  • Concerns have been expressed following the vandalism of a life-saving defibrillator in the Ballina area.

    The glass case cover of the defibrillator outside Heffernan's Supermarket in Ardnaree was smashed over the past fortnight, but has since been repaired and replaced.

    This incident again highlights the need for tougher sanctions for those involved in damaging or stealing vital life-saving equipment, according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick.

    Senator Swanick has introduced a new Bill which would provide for tougher fines and even custodial sentences for those convicted of stealing life-bouys or damaging defibrillators and other life-saving equipment.

    The Erris-based Senator is calling for the remaining stages of the Lifesaving Equipment Bill to be bought through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible, saying such "acts of thuggery" need to be dealt with.


  • A 35-year old Vietnamese native has been remanded in custody charged with cultivating over a quarter of million euro worth of cannabis.

    Mihn Cam Vo, with an address at Kilgellia, Attymass, Ballina, Co. Mayo, is charged with cultivating plants of genus cannabis at his home on May 28 this year.

    Sgt. Mark Mahon told Judge Alan Mitchell at Harristown District Court this morning that they were waiting on certification of the drugs before confirming that it was cannabis, but that if their initial thoughts were confirmed the haul had an estimated value of €260,000.

    Solicitor for the accused, Mark Gannon, appealed to the court that his client’s custody had been elongated enough.

    Judge Mitchell refused jurisdiction of the case due to the estimated value saying: “experienced Gardaí know this is not tomato plants or potato plants”.

    He remanded Cam Vo in custody for four weeks to appear again before Harristown District Court on August 21 for service of the book of evidence.


    A new walk-in testing centre for Covid-19 opens in Ballina this morning, following high numbers of the virus in the Ballina electoral area in recent weeks.

    The testing will take place at the Stephenites sportsground from today until Friday this week from 11am to 5pm daily.

    The walk-in centres are open to people aged 16 or over who do NOT have symptoms of Covid-19 but would like to be tested.

    Those attending should bring photo ID, and will been to provide a mobile phone number for their test results.

  • Irish Water says a burst water main in Ballina is impacting on the water supply to about 50 houses.

    Customers in Bachelors Walk, Arbuckle Row and Castle Row in Ballina and surrounding areas are affected by the burst water main.

    It's expected repairs will be completed by 12 noon tomorrow, but some customers may not have a full supply for a further 2-3 hours, while water returns to the network.

  • A Westport councillor has called on Eirgrid to consider a 220 KV power line to run from Ballina to Ballaghaderreen instead of the 110KV line planned.

    Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn believes that it is vital that the county has infrastructure ready for the future, not just to meet present needs.

    He was speaking at the monthly meeting of Mayo County yesterday where Aidan Corcoran Transmission Project Manager with Eirgrid addressed the monthly meeting of the authority.

    It’s about a decade ago when Eirgrid proposed a controversial 400KV line for this area, and it resulted in mass public protests and was eventually shelved.

    The new proposal includes options to have the line either overhead or underground, and a number of preferred routes have been established. The company now wants the views of local residents, landowners and others on the proposals, and eventually a single option will be adopted and the company will seek planning permission to construct the line.

    The public consultation process was due to take place at the end of this month but due to coronavirus concerns has been postponed.

    It’s planned that the line will be in place by the third quarter of 2024.

    Cllr Flynn has been telling Midwest News today why he believes that the county needs to be ambitious and seek a higher powered 220 KV line, while the planning for the 110KV line continues.

  • Westport has been named Ireland's Tidiest Large town at the 2019 National Tidy Towns awards, for the third year in a row, while Glaslough in Co Monaghan has won the overall award for Ireland's Tidiest Town.

    Over 800 entries were received from across the country in the 61st year of the Tidy Towns  competition, and the award winners were announced this afternoon at The Helix in Dublin.

    Seven communities in Mayo have won a total of 13 awards today.

    Westport has again been named Ireland's Tidiest Large Town, while both Westport and Castlebar have retained their Gold medals, with Bronze Medal awards for Ballina, Belmullet and Mulranny.

    Westport also won the county award for Mayo, with Mulranny highly-commended, while Castlebar was commended and the Endeavour award for Mayo went to Lecanvey.

    A number of special awards also went to communities across Mayo -

    Louisburg won the Leave No Trace Award, while Belmullet Tidy Towns won the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, and Belmullet was highly-commended in the Gaeltacht Award.

    The awards were presented in Dublin by the Minister for Community & Rural Development Michael Ring, who said Mayo has outdone itself in this year's competition, as 7 communities across the county won a total of 13 awards.

    Minister Ring also announced €1.4 million to be allocated to Tidy Towns groups around the country, and urged Mayo participants to avail of the funding.


  • Gardaí stopped a car in Ballina on Friday evening, where approximately €1,000 worth of cannabis (pending analysis) was discovered in the vehicle.

    A follow up search of a property in Corcoran Terrace resulted in the seizure of €17,000 in cash.

    A female in her 30s was arrested in relation to this.

    She has since been released without charge with a file now being prepared for the DPP.

    Investigations are ongoing.

  • Work is to be carried out on a section of footpath on the Foxford Road in Ballina before the end of the year.

    That was confirmed to Cllr John O’Hara this week.

    Cllr O’Hara says that this section of footpath from Rehinsfort to Hollister needs attention, and its poor condition has also led to flooding issues in some residents’ back gardens also.

    He told Midwest News that he is happy to hear the issue is being dealt with.

  • Irish Water has confirmed that work is underway on replacing a section of water mains on the Sligo Road in Ballina.

    Recurring water bursts on this section have been causing problems for local residents and businesses for some time.

    The 750 metre section of water mains will be upgraded on the Sligo Road to improve water supply and reduce high levels of leakage.

    A traffic management plan is in place while the works are ongoing.

    Irish Water says the work should be completed by the end of April.