• 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.