Belmullet

  • A Fianna Fail local election candidate has called for a new seawall and defence system to be put in place on the Muing Road in Belmullet.

    Sean Carey has made the call after the road was left littered with seaweed and other debris again today, despite the fact that it was not stormy last night.

    Pictures posted by local Senator Keith Swanick show the road covered in seaweed, something that happens very often according to Mr Carey.

    He told Midwest News that the new seawall and flood defence system must be installed as quickly as possible to prevent a more dangerous situation occurring.

  • Bank of Ireland has confirmed that cash counters at their branches in Belmullet and Westport will remain open all day, from September.

    Last Summer, the Bank of Ireland closed cash counters at both branches from 12.30 each afternoon, which was a huge inconvenience for local people wishing to do their business and for tourists to the area - according to Erris-based FG Councillor Gerry Coyle.

    He and Minister Michael Ring led a campaign to have this decision reversed, and Councillor Coyle says the Bank of Ireland has now confirmed that, from September next, the cash counter will remain open all day at both the Westport and Belmullet branches.

  • Mayo GAA Egan Jewellers IFC – Group 1

    Mayo Gaels v Béal an Mhuirthead

    now goes ahead on Sunday 8th at 2pm in Connacht Centre of Excellence, Bekan.

  • A charity cycle in memory of the crew of Rescue 116, which crashed off the north Mayo coast last year, will take place in March.

    Miles in the Memory is an initiative organised by the Coast Guard, An Garda Siochana and Belmullet Cycling Club.

    The cycle will depart Dublin Airport on Saturday March 10th at 8am and is expected to arrive in Blacksod on Sunday evening March 11th at around 6pm.

    The event was officially launched last night at the Broadhaven Bay Hotel in Belmullet last night.

  • There are some delays reported on the R312 Castlebar to Belmullet road this evening as services try to recover a bus which went off road earlier.

    The bus left the road North of Beltra school on the R312 Road from Castlebar to Belmullet.

    The road is not fully closed to traffic.

    However, motorists are advised to L1400 Glenhest road at Beltra crossroads and then onto R317  Newport to Belmullet road, and vice versa.

  • Eir has confirmed to Midwest News this afternoon that the company is aware of an issue with 3G coverage in the Belmullet area.

    Listeners to Midwest Radio have been contacting the station over the past couple of days to say they had little or no coverage on their Eir mobiles over the past few days.

    A spokesperson for Eir told Midwest News that engineers are working on the issue at present but they do not have an estimated time for full coverage to be restored.

  • Belmullet Gardai are advising motorists of flooding on the Bangor to Bellacorrick road this afternoon.

    There was large accumulations of rainfall over the last 24 hours which has made driving conditions difficult in the area.

    Gardai say the road is passable but drivers need to take care on the roads and reduce their speed.

  • A Coroner today described a stretch of the N17 national primary route where three generations of a family – a grandmother, her daughter and grandson – lost their lives last September as 'a Russian roulette route'.

    At inquests into the deaths of Mary Ann Wilson (67), Marcella Wilson (39) and Sean Wilson (7), all from the Belmullet area of Co. Mayo, highlighted what he said were dangers caused by junctions on the N17, particularly between Knock and Ballindine.

    He said that at entrances onto the N17, such as the one at Lisduff, Claremorris where the Wilsons were killed instantly when their saloon car collided with an articulated lorry need to be looked at by Mayo County Council, the Road Safety Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

    “All drivers aren't stopping at the junctions”, Mr. O' Connor maintained. “They are driving onto the hard shoulder without stopping. They are treating the junctions as slip roads. It is extremely dangerous”.

    After an inquest jury, with Mr. Eamon Berry acting as foreman, returned a verdict of accidental death on all three Wilson family members, Mr. O'Connor described the impact as “an unspeakable horror”.

    Schoolboy Sean Wilson was propelled from his mother's Citroen C3 car by the force of the impact. The engine was ripped from the vehicle.

    The Wilsons, who were traveling to Galway at the time, died when their car collided with a lorry, owned by Killacroy Logistics and driven by Mark Tierney, Oldcastle, Co. Meath.

    A witness to the impact, Kenneth Groarke from Oranmore. Galway, was travelling north from Galway to Claremorris.

    Mr. Groarke testified that at what is known as the 'Old Ballindine Road' junction, as he moved into the slip road to take the turn to Claremorris, he saw the C3 go slowly up to the stop line at the junction but not fully stopping.“”.

    The inquest heard that the lorry driver, Mr. Tierney, was fully compliant with tachograph driver requirements at the time the collision occurred and the condition of either vehicle involved did not contribute to the collision occurring.

    Sergeant Gabriel McLoughlin, PSV Inspector for Mayo, said it was apparent from an examination of the scene that the car involved travelled onto the N17 and impacted onto the passenger side of the semi-trailer.

    The two front seat passengers were wearing seatbelts but Sean Wilson, who was flung from the vehicle, was not restrained due to the incorrect fitting of a rear seat safety belt.

    Each of the victims received what were described by Dr. Fadel Bannani, consultant pathologist at Mayo University Hospital, as 'traumatic head injuries' in the violent impact.

  • Judging is taking place today in the Pride of Place competition, with judges visiting two separate communities in north Mayo.

    Pride of Place acknowledges the work of local communities across the island of Ireland, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Cork on 17th November.

    The judges are visiting Killala, Ballycastle and Belderrig this morning, as the Céide Coast is representing Mayo in the new Community Tourism category of the IPB Pride of Place awards this year.

    The three communities are working together to develop tourism across the area.

    The Pride of Place judges will travel to Belmullet this afternoon, as the Erris branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association is representing Mayo in the Community Well-Being section.

    A community celebration with BBQ and music is planned for the wheelchair association's centre in Belmullet this afternoon.

    The third Mayo community nominated for the Pride of Place awards is the village of Balla, which is representing Mayo in the population category.

    The judges will arrive in Balla tomorrow morning for a 3-hour visit.

     

     

  • Mayo County Council can confirm that the major clean-up operation at the Dun na mBó cliffs near Belmullet has been completed.

    Following notification from a passing kayaker, Mayo County Council hired a specialist team of rope access experts from ‘Over The Ground Rope Access’, a Dublin based company, to clean the cliffs on last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, August 28-30.

    Funding for the hire of the specialist team was secured under the National Anti-Dumping Initiative.

    Mayo County Council Environment Awareness Officer, Sharon Cameron, says prosecutions are hopefully on the way; “We are anxious to find out who is responsible for this reprehensible act and hope to find something in the waste which might point us towards a prosecution. Mayo County Council has been doing surveillance on the area and permanent cameras are going to be put up to stop this from happening again.

    “We would like to thank the person who informed us of the illegal dumping which had taken place. It is disturbing to see this damage being done to our beautiful coastline but thankfully now it has been cleaned up and will remain that way.”

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    A man in his 40’s was airlifted to Mayo University Hospital after the van he was driving collided with a car near Belmullet.

    The man is described as being in a serious condition.

    The occupants of the car included three females and a baby.

    They were also taken to hospital and sustained non-life threatening injuries.

    The collision on the R313 at Muinhin Bridge, which is between Bangor and Belmullet occurred at 3.15pm.

    The road will remain closed overnight for a forensic examination to take place.

    Diversions are in place.

     

  • A major and costly clean-up is getting underway today on cliffs close to Belmullet, where someone appears to have illegaly dumped household and bulky rubbish over the edge of the cliffs and into the sea.

    The rubbish has accumulated along the rocks at a location known as Dun na mBo, and was recently noticed by a passing kayaker, who alerted Mayo County Council.

    The local authority has now employed a specialist team of rope access experts to abseil down the cliff face and remove the waste.

    The clean-up operation could take a number of days to complete, according to Mayo County Council's Environmental Awareness Officer Sharon Cameron who has described it as a very disturbing situation along the Wild Atlantic Way.

    She says the clean-up could cost €20,000.

     

     

  • The Mayo Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta finals take place in Belmullet this weekend.

    On Saturday the Junior semi-finals get underway at 2pm where Cill Chomain clash with Ballycroy who are competing in their first year of the competition.

    At 3.30 Achill take on Tourmakeady.

    The Junior final will then take place on Sunday along with the Senior Final.

    The Senior final sees hosts Belmullet face Kiltane.

  • A Mayo Senator has called for the Life Saving Equipment Bill to be brought back before the Seanad, so that the final stage can pass the Seanad and then the Dail.

    Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick drew up the Bill last year and it proposes to introduce hefty fines and custodial sentences for people convicted of destroying life saving equipment, like defibrillators, life buoys, life rings etc.

    It has passed the second stage in the Seanad and earlier Senator Swanick asked the Leader of the Seanad Jerry Buttimer to reintroduce it so that it can be progressed.

    Senator Buttimer committed to bringing it back as a priority and Senator Swanick is hopeful it pass through the Seanad before the Summer recess.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest News this evening that this a vital piece of legislation.

  • A Mayo Senator and GP says it’s outrageous that the majority of student nurses graduating next month, in Mayo and Galway, are not being offered jobs at Mayo University Hospital or Galway University Hospital.

    This is despite a commitment by the Health Minister Simon Harris some months ago promising that all nurses graduating in Ireland this year, would be offered a position.

    Fianna Fail Senator, Belmullet-based GP, Dr Keith Swanick has called on Minister Harris to clarify the situation, in the midst of the biggest recruitment and retention crisis in the HSE.

    His comments come as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation revealed (yesterday) that there are more than 1,300 nursing and midwifery posts vacant in Ireland's acute hospitals, because of a ban on recruitment.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest Radio News that it makes no sense for the HSE to employ agency staff rather than permanent nurses who have been trained in Ireland.

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    Irish woman Sinead Diver has finished 7th in the London Marathon.

    The Belmullet native improved on her personal best with a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 11 seconds.

    She now qualifies for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where she will represent Australia.

     

     

     

  • The new and long awaited  sewerage scheme for Belmullet will be officially opened this morning at 11am in Belmullet by the Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring, together with the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Blackie Gavin.

    The event marks the completion of a 9 million euro investment by Irish Water and Mayo county council in the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in the town.

    Before this plant was completed, Belmullet was one of 44 locations nationally where wastewater / raw sewerage was being discharged into the environment untreated.

    The new wastewater treatment plant is located on the Toorglas road in the town and will serve a population of 2,500.

     Local Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle told Midwest News that  today sees the delivery of a long sought after, vital piece of infrastructure for Belmullet and added that it is a great day for the area.

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    Belmullet is experiencing severe flooding today as Storm Callum continues.

    The orange weather alert has been extended to 5pm this evening for counties Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Donegal and Clare.

    Gardai in Belmullet say a number of roads in the Erris region which were impassable earlier have now fully reopened.

    Extensive flooding occurred again at Carraholly, Westport, at the bridge in high tide this morning.

    Local councillor Christy Hyland told Midwest News that the community of Carrowholly are living in fear, and for five years now Mayo county council and the OPW are still "discussing" solutions.

    The high tide caused some damage at Dooagh, Achill early this morning and telephone services on the island were affected.

    There is widespread disruption to electricity supply across the county today as a result of the storm.

    Trees came down in various locations right across the region throughout last night and this morning.

    The emergency services , gardai and Mayo County Council have been busy clearing the roads.

    A tree on the rail line delayed the Ballina to Manulla train for about 15 mins earlier this morning.

     

     

     

     

     

  • A preliminary inquest into the death of the crew of rescue helictoper 116 off the north Mayo coast, which was due to be held tomorrow in Belmullet, has been postponed due to weather conditions.

    The Coroner in North Mayo Dr Eleanor Fitzgerald has confirmed that the inquest has been postponed, and a new date will be announced later.

    The inquest was due to get underway in Belmullet courthouse, following the deaths of the four crew members of Coast Guard helicopter 116, which crashed into Blackrock Island off Blacksod Bay on 14th March last.

    The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy were recovered but their colleagues Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith have never been found, despite extensive searches.

     

     

     

     

  • A preliminary inquest hearing into the deaths of the four Irish Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter crew has opened today in Belmullet.

    The inquests into the deaths of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy, and winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith were due to open in Belmullet in early March, but were postponed due to bad weather conditions.

    The four crew members died when their Sikorsky helicopter crashed at Blackrock island, off the north Mayo coast, in the early hours of March 14th last year.

    The bodies of Mr Ormsby and Mr Smith have not been recovered, in spite of extensive air, sea and shore searches.