• A fire occurred in a shed behind a family home in Castlerea in the early hours of this morning.

    The Ballaghaderreen fire brigade attended the scene, at around 5am and the blaze was brought under control.

    One person was taken from the scene to the hospital in what was described as a precautionary measure.

    The fire did not spread to the house but was quite intense with a significant quantity of turf stored in the shed.

  • Firefighters are battling a forest fire between Frenchpark and Castlerea again this morning.

    Ballaghaderreen, Boyle and Elphin brigades are back out at the blaze, after battling it into the early hours of this morning.

    They also have air support from one water carrier helicopter.

    Midwest News understands the blaze is extensive but no homes are under threat at present.


    Firefighters battled a major forest fire between Frenchpark and Castlerea yesterday evening and into the early hours of this morning.

    The fire service from Ballaghaderreen battled the blaze from early yesterday evening and they were joined by brigades from other areas also.

    Midwest News understands that firefighters battled the extensive blaze into the early hours of this morning and the blaze was brought under control.




  •  Four men have appeared in court charged with assault, false imprisonment and criminal damage as well as animal cruelty in Roscommon last year.


    There was a significant Garda presence at Castlerea District court today for their appearance in connection with an incident at a repossessed farmhouse in Falsk, Strokestown, on December 16th.


    PJ Sweeney, of High Cairn, Ramelton, and Martin O'Toole, of Stripe, Irishtown, Claremorris, along with Paul Beirne, of Croghan, Boyle, and David Lawlor, with an address of 5, Brookhaven, Blanchardstown, Dublin, were described as facing very serious charges by gardai.


    The court heard that Mr Sweeney and Mr O'Toole had previously been before the court on charges connected to incidents at Falsk, but more charges were now before the court.


    Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was entered on behalf of Mr Beirne and Mr Lawlor but they did not reply to any of the charges.


    All four are charged with assault, criminal damage, arson, theft as well as a cruelty to animal charge and all four were granted bail with conditions and will be back in court on December 20th.

  • The Frenchpark to Castlerea Rd (R361) remains closed to traffic this morning  between Frenchpark  and the local Fairymount turn-off following a collision yesterday afternoon between a car and a tractor.

    Three people sustained injuries in the collision and one person was removed to the hospital by air ambulance.

    Gardai in Castlerea say they expect the road to re-open about 11 am this morning. Traffic diversions are in place.

    A garda technical examination of the scene will be carried out this morning.

  • A Garda has been hospitalised after allegedly being assaulted in Co Roscommon.

    The Garda was allegedly attacked at about 1am this morning at Roselawn, Castlerea by two men aged in their late 30's and 60's.

    The male Garda and the suspected offenders were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and Gardai say their investigations are continuing.




  • Gardaí are investigating threats made against MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and his six-year-old daughter.

    The Independent MEP revealed he received abusive messages on his TikTok account on Wednesday night. Among the posts received was a threat to his youngest child.

    As a result, gardaí in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, where Mr Flanagan lives with his family, have advised him to install security measures at his home.

    Posting on his Twitter account MEP Flanagan said the situation made it “impossible to do one’s job. I’ve just left Castlerea Garda Station after reporting threats on my TikTok account towards my 6-year-old daughter.We’ve been advised by the Gardaí to get security for our house This is so wrong. It’s impossible to do one’s job in this situation,” he said.

    The messages were sent to Mr Flanagan’s TikTok account from an anonymous account.

  • Gardai are appealing for information following a break-in to a hardware shop in Castlerea overnight. 

    Michael Cooney and Sons Homevalue, Main Street in Castlerea was broken into last night or early this morning and a number of items were stolen. Gardai are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious between 8pm on Saturday evening and 5am this morning to contact them on 094-9621630. 

  • Gardai in Castlerea are investigating the sudden death of a man at an apartment in the town on Thursday evening.

    The man in his 30's was discovered at his home in Castlerea at about 8.30 on Thursday evening.

    The State Pathologist's office was called to the scene, and following a post-mortem examination yesterday, Gardai have confirmed they're not treating the matter as suspicious.

    A file will now be prepared for the Coroner.



  • There were heated exchanges in the Dail today between Roscommon Fianna Fail Deputy Eugene Murphy and Minister with responsibility for Older People Jim Daly over the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Deputy Murphy says every attempt is being made at present to move a resident at the unit to a private nursing home, despite assurances that no patient would be moved before a review of the services there is complete. The review is due to get underway in January.

    Minister Daly told Deputy Murphy that neither he, nor the Roscommon TD are clinicians and therefore can’t decide what is in the best interests of residents.

  • The HSE Community Healthcare West Chief Officer says no decision has yet been taken on where residents of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be moved to.

    Tony Canavan was speaking to Midwest News today following the news earlier this week that the unit will not continue to operate in its current guise.

    It follows a review by Dr James Anderson of the clinical assessments of the needs of each resident of the unit, on behalf of the HSE.

    The assessment concluded that two of the current residents required inpatient psychiatric care in a different setting, while the remaining 10 patients’ needs were exclusively supportive of general nursing at the time of inspection.

    Tony Canavan told Midwest News this evening that the unit will cease to be used as it currently is and alternative arrangements will be put in place for the 12 residents.

    He told Midwest News the HSE only wishes to ensure patients are receiving the best possible care they can.

    Meanwhile the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today strongly condemned the decision of the HSE to close the Rosalie Community Psychiatric Unit in Castlerea. The PNA said the closure, which the HSE has claimed is in line with the recommendations of the Anderson Report, is a clear breach of repeated political commitments to keep the unit open and is against the wishes of service users and their families/carers.

    The PNA is seeking urgent clarification on HSE comments to the media regarding their concerns over the level of care being provided in the Rosalie Unit. The PNA totally rejects these reported comments from the HSE that have caused deep distress to staff working in the unit. The PNA is meeting with HSE management in the next week to seek clarification on the implications for services of the Anderson Report, and the HSE response to the closure of the Rosalie Unit.

  • The HSE has no intention of admitting new residents to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. That was clearly stated just last week by HSE Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan at a meeting of the unit that was attended by Ministers, public representatives and local interests.

    At present the Rosalie Unit is a HSE residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and local Minister Denis Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

    But despite the promises and commitments to date the HSE are insisting that no further residents are being admitted to the facility and instead are providing seven options that it sees as potentially the way forward for the unit.

    Yesterday Minister for Health Simon Harris was in Boyle for the opening of a new Primary Care Centre and he met a delegation supporting the retention of the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility for patients with specific mental health needs. The Minister outlined his frustration and dismay at the lack of progress on this matter and he again reiterated the government’s commitment to its retention.

    Local Senator Maura Hopkins was at the meeting last week between the HSE and public representatives.  She has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why all interested parties are frustrated with the HSE’s response to date.

  • The HSE has confirmed that the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is to close.

    The unit accommodates 12 mostly elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, and there have been fears for some time that the HSE may close the facility, as there have been no new admissions since September 2016.

    However, a strong campaign has been underway in Castlerea for several years to keep the unit open, for the current residents and to provide care into the future for those with psychiatric needs.

    Independent assessments have been carried out recently on the residents, and their families have today received letters from HSE Community Healthcare West Chief Officer Tony Canavan, which says the review of the clinical assessments concludes that the current residents do not require continuing in-patient psychiatric care.

    Therefore "the Rosalie Unit will cease to function as a community psychiatric unit". and the letter says a transition plan will be put in place to arrange alternative care for each of the residents

    News of the closure was announced to staff in Castlerea this morning.

    However, a son of the one of the residents in the Rosalie Unit says the battle is not yet over.

    Liam Walsh, who's mother Breda has been a patient there for the past ten years, told Midwest News that it's a dark day for the residents, their families and staff at the unit, as well as the wider community....

  • A Roscommon Senator says she is very frustrated after HSE management failed to attend a meeting between a local delegation and Ministers Harris and Daly over the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins says she is very frustrated following the events of yesterday evening.

    A local delegation made up of Oireachtas members, family advocates and local councillors were due to meet with Ministers Harris and Daly and Executive Clinical Director for HSE West Amanda Burke and Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan. However Ms Burke and Mr Canavan were not in attendance.

    This was despite a formal request from Senator Hopkins’ office requesting they attend so a clearer picture could be gained about what is happening with the Rosalie Unit.

    It was agreed that the meeting would be reconvened and Senator Hopkins wants a new date confirmed by the end of today.

  • The HSE has responded to a query from Midwest News in relation to the closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, as the final two residents are being transferred today to Aras Máthair Pól - a community nursing home in the town.

    There are 24 staff employed at the Rosalie Unit, and the HSE says Community Healthcare West is currently "working with the unions under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission in respect of the staff transferring to existing vacancies in the area".

    In terms of the future use of the property, the statement adds that a proposal, which would see the provision of a Child & Adult Mental Health Service at the Rosalie site has been submitted to the Dept of Health for consideration, and the HSE is currently awaiting a decision on this.


  • An Independent review in to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will take place this week.

    This news has been confirmed to Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy by CHO West.

    Dr. Jim Anderson who is a Consultant Specialist in Psychiatry of Later Life and has significant expertise in this area will carry out the review.

    The service users and their families are being invited to meet with Dr. Anderson to input into the process.

    Deputy Murphy says he hopes this review is progress in the right direction.

  • A large number of protestors have gathered today outside the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, as the first of the residents was due to be transferred to another facility this morning.

    Last week, the HSE confirmed that the Rosalie unit will cease to function as a community psychiatric unit.

    Following assessments of the 12 residents, the HSE said two required inpatient psychiatric care in a different setting, while transition plans are being put in place for all of the residents.

    It was expected that the first of the 12 residents in the unit would be transferred elsewhere this morning, but it's now believed that has been deferred.

    Large numbers of local people have gathered since early morning to protest at the closure of the unit.

  • Drinking water in three supplies in Ireland - including Castlerea -  was found to have at least 10 times the maximum allowable limit of lead last year.

    Water in 23 supplies across the country were found to have above the permitted level, according to Irish Water's most recent inspections.

     11 times the limit was detected in Dublin City Council's Leixlip supply - which serves much of the north and west of the capital.

    Lead nearly ten times the limit was found in the Castlerea Public Water Supply in Co Roscommon, and there were similar results on the Roundwood Reservoir supply in Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown.

    Irish Water says the exceedances arose from the presence of lead pipework within properties, and is therefore the owners' responsibility.

    Environmental consultant Jack O'Sullivan says the results are a major concern:

  • Castlerea , county Roscommon, has the lowest house prices in the country, at 85,000 euro, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

    While Ballyhaunis in county Mayo has one of the lowest median prices in the country at €91,000.

    In the 12 months to February 2021, Blackrock in Dublin has the highest median price for a house nationally, at 617,000 euro

    Overall, residential property prices increased by 3% nationally in the same 12-month period, showing a rise from 2.6%t in the year to January.

    The most expensive Eircode in Mayo was Westport, with median prices at €195,000 according to the CSO.

    Castlebar was next highest in the county at €166,000 followed by Ballina at €125,000, Ballinrobe €120,000,  and Claremorris €115,750.

  • Gardai seized cannabis with an estimated value of €2,200 during a search operation at a premises in Castlerea yesterday.

    Gardai have confirmed to Midwest News that, during the course of the search, suspected cannabis along with a sum of cash and drug paraphernalia were seized.

    A man in his 60's was arrested and charged in relation to the matter, and is due before Castlerea District Court next month.