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

    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 Coast Guard helicopter crashed at Blackrock island, off the north Mayo coast, in the early hours of March 14th last year.

    At today’s inquest, it was confirmed that Captain Dara Fitzpatrick died by drowning in the early hours of 14th March 2017, prior to arriving at Mayo University Hospital.

    The body of Captain Mark Duffy was found 12 days later, still in the helicopter, and he died from multiple injuries sustained in the crash.

    The bodies of Mr Ormsby and Mr Smith have not been recovered, in spite of extensive air, sea and shore searches, but at today’s inquest, they were officially declared dead, with cause of death “lost at sea”.

    The coroner for north Mayo Dr Eleanor Fitzgerald adjourned the inquests to allow investigations by the Gardai and the Health & Safety Authority to continue, while a separate investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Unit is also continuing.



  • There is a public meeting tonight (Monday) in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel in Belmullet regarding the recent storm damage in Erris caused by Storm Callum.

    The meeting gets underway this evening at 7pm.

  • Gardaí in Belmullet are renewing their appeal for missing teenager, Paddy McDonagh, aged 16, who is missing from Belderrig, Ballina since the 3rd April.

     Paddy was last seen on Tuesday the 3rd of April 2018 in Belderrig, at approximately 7pm. He is described as being of slight build and 5’11’’ in height. He has blue eyes and short brown hair. When last seen he was wearing a grey/green padded jacket and black tracksuit bottoms with a grey stripe.

    Anyone who has seen Paddy or who can assist in locating him is asked to contact Belmullet Garda Station on 097 81910, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

  • A Status Orange wind warning for counties Mayo, Donegal and Galway is in place this morning while the rest of the country is under a yellow wind warning as storm Erik hits our shores with damaging wind gusts expected of up to 130kmh.

    Met Eireann is warning that parts of the country will face a "potentially disruptive period of weather".

    The Status Orange warning is in place until 1pm today.

    The yellow warning is valid until 6am on Saturday.

    South-west to west winds will reach average speeds of 65kmh to 80kmh, with some severe or damaging gusts of 110kmh to 130kmh.

    Mayo County Council is advising that the Belmullet to Blacksod road (R313) is closed at Bundolla due to the high tide and will reopen when the tide recedes.

    The Shore Road in Belmullet is also closed and will reopen when the tide recedes.

    Galway city council has closed the Prom in Salthill this morning because of flooding due to high tides.

    The Prom has been closed from Leisureland to Grattan Road as a result.



    The Coast Guard has asked the public to "heed the warnings and take appropriate action". It is is asking users of smaller vessels to pay particular attention to the weather warnings and for the general public to be mindful of the risks on exposed areas - in particular piers, walkways and cliff areas.

    The National Parks and Wildlife Service has advised the following facilities will be closed today: Connemara National Park, Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, Derryclare Nature Reserve, Old Head Nature Reserve, Laughil Wood, near Pontoon and Knochma Wood, near Tuam.

  • Three Mayo Clubs are in action this weekend in the Connacht Championship.

    The Connacht Council have confirmed to Midwest Sport this lunchtime that Both Balla and Belmullet will play their respective games on Saturday at 1.30 with the venues to be confirmed today.

    Balla will take on the Sligo champions Easkey, while Belmullet face Galway’s An Spiddeal.

    On Sunday afternoon at 1.30 in Carrick-on-Shannon Ballintubber will play Aughawillan of Leitrim in the Connacht Senior Semi-Final.

  • The former Garda Superintendent for the Belmullet division Tony Healy has been transferred to the Roscommon / Longford Garda division, and promoted to Chief Superintendent.

    The Garda press office has confirmed to Midwest News that Chief Superintendent Healy was transferred last week to begin his new role, and is based at the Divisional Headquarters in Roscommon Town.

    It’s not yet known who will replace him in Belmullet.

    Mr Healy was one of the senior Gardai involved in the investigation into the tragic crash of Rescue helicopter 116 off Blacksod in March last year.


  • A  new educational board game based on the Wild Atlantic Way, and a storage solution for boots are the businesses developed by Transition Year students from Achill and Belmullet, who are aiming to reach a European entrepreneurial final.

    The students from Colaiste Pobail in Achill and Colaiste Naomh Bhreandáin in Belmullet are making final preparations from the All-Ireland Final of Udarás na Gaeltachta's Clár na gComhlachtaí Competition, which takes place in Furbo, Galway next month.


    Eight student mini-companies from Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Cork and Kerry will battle it out for honours over the 2-day national final on 2/3 April in the Connemara Coast Hotel in Furbo.

    The two student enterprises by the TY students in Achill and Belmullet - a new educational board game based on the Wild Atlantic Way and a storage solution for boots - recently took joint honours at the Mayo regional final of the competition, and are hoping to impress the judges in Galway.

    The winners of this year's National Final will represent Ireland at the Junior Achievement Europe Company of the Year competition which takes place in France in June.

    This is the first time winners of the Udaras competition will have the opportunity to take part in the European level of the competition.

    The TY students will also showcase their projects at NUI Galway.

    St Brendan's College Belmullet is represented by Mairtín Ó'Conaire and Pádraig Ó'Gacháin, who developed their storage solution for boots called Cró Buataisí P&M, while Coláíste Pobail Acla is represented by four TY students - Molly Nic Meanmáin, Caoimhe Ní Ghallolaigh Mcnamara, Saran ni Ghallolaigh and Tara Ni Chaoimh who developed the board game Cluiche Bord an Atlantaigh.

    The Udarás Clár na gComhlachtaí programme is a hands-on business learning experience, taught by business volunteers through the Irish language to students in the Gaeltacht regions.

  • Two Belmullet men completed a swim from Inishkea Island to the mainland yesterday.

    Paul Reilly and Mark Dixon made it safely to shore, completing the swim in two hours. This is the first time this swim has ever been completed.

    The two men completed the swim in choppy conditions and had a large crowd great them on landing at the mainland, as well as the assistance of support boats.

    They have been fundraising for the past 5 weeks for Crumlin Children's Hospital.

  • Fianna Fail last night selected Sean Carey and sitting West Mayo councillor Paul McNamara as their candidates in the new Belmullet electoral area for the upcoming local elections.

    Both men were selected without a vote, as there were two contenders for the two places on the party’s ticket

    The new electoral area of Belmullet will return 3 councillors in the May elections.

  • Last night's winning Euro Millions ticket was sold in North County Dublin.

    The largest ever lotto jackpot winner in Ireland bought the ticket in Reilly's Daybreak in the Naul.

    It's still unclear if the winner of the € 175 million is a syndicate or single ticket holder.


    Meanwhile, a Belmullet shop had a €5,000 euro winner last night.

    Carey's Newsagents & Bookstore on Main Street, Belmullet sold a ticket that was one of 10 picked in Ireland during a EuroMillions raffle.

    It's worth €5,000 to the holder.



  • A mother-of-three told a judge today that the purpose of her setting up a charity shop which went unregistered was to assist local causes, including families suddenly bereaved who needed money for funeral expenses.

    Maureen Gaughan, owner of what was known as The Second Chance Boutique, American Street, Belmullet told Judge Alan Mitchell at Belmullet District Court that she had not gained personally from the charity venture.

    The Second Chance Boutique was closed by the Charities Regulator under a “cease and desist order”  following a complaint by a member of the public.

    When she appeared in court today, Mrs. Gaughan pleaded guilty to breaching the Charities Act 2009.

    Garda Daniel Malone said that when he investigated on December 3, 2015, following a complaint from a member of the public, Ms Gaughan admitted the shop wasn’t operating as a registered charity.

    He said 76 bags of second hand clothing and boxes of toys and books, as well as €362 cash, were seized from the premises.

    In evidence Mrs. Gaughan said she had been involved for years with St. Vincent de Paul and when the charity’s shop in Belmullet closed she tried to fill the void.

    She said she collected money for anyone looking for help, including the families of road traffic victims.

    Judge Mitchell said it had not been proven that the defendant gained personally from the venture, but added that he could not disregard the fact there had been a breach of the charities act and he had to send out a message in that regard.

    Remanding the case to November, the judge said he would dismiss under the Probation Act if €500 was paid to the RNLI.

     He commented that the donation to the RNLI was appropriate given that yesterday Wednesday was the first anniversary of the R116 helicopter tragedy.

     Judge Mitchell ordered forfeiture of the cash and property seized by Gardai.