• The man charged with the murder of Detective Garda Horkan in Castlerea in June, has again failed to appear by video link in court today.

    Stephen Silver of Aughaward, Foxford, Co Mayo, is charged with the murder of Charlestown native Det. Garda Horkan on June 17.

    Further details of the extent of the murder investigation were outlined at Harristown District Court in Castlrea this morning when a defence solicitor questioned the length of time it was taking for the file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Solicitor Martina Moran, who is representing Stephen Silver, asked for progress to be made on the matter.

    The 44-year old was due to appear before Harristown District Court by video-link from the Central Mental Hospital, where he is receiving treatment.

    Ms. Moran said that the Central Mental Hospital had arranged video-link facilities but the court was told that a sick note had been received this morning and that Silver would not be appearing.

    It is the seventh time Silver has been deemed unfit to appear by video link at Harristown District Court.

    Sgt. Mark Mahon said that the file is with the State solicitor in Roscommon and is due to be sent to the DPP but Ms. Moran said they expected more progress would have been made at this stage.

    In response, Sgt. Mahon said that it was a ‘complex’ investigation with numerous lines of enquiry.

    “There are over 350 house-to-house enquiries have been carried out, approximately 70 CCTV footage exhibits had to be explored, in excess of 200 written statements compiled,” he said.

    A previous court sitting heard that the investigation included over 250 exhibits and the content of ten electronic devices, while Gardai also spoke to a person in Australia as part of their enquiries.

    Judge James Faughnan remanded Stephen Silver in custody to appear before Harristown District Court by video-link on October 2 and asked that a progress report be made at the next sitting in two weeks.


  • A 44-year-old man has been charged with the capital murder of a Detective Garda in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.

    Stephen Silver made no reply when charged by Gardai following the fatal shooting incident in the town on June 17th last.

    The mechanic, with an address at Aughaward, Foxford County Mayo, was previously charged with the murder of the Detective Garda Colm Horkan  in June.

    He has been receiving treatment at the Central Mental Hospital over the last number of months and has been deemed unfit to appear via video link for medical reasons at several court appearances.

    Today, he was brought from the hospital to appear in court and was wearing grey suit with a white shirt for the short hearing.

    The court heard he made no reply when charged and he was remanded in custody to the Midlands Prison to appear via video link at Harristown District Court next month.

  • The file into the murder last June of Detective Garda Colm Horkan in Castlerea has been completed and runs to ten volumes.

    At Harristown District Court in Castlerea today Sgt Mark Mahon told the court  that the garda file is now with the Director of Public Prosecutions and will take some time to be processed. He told Judge James Faughnan that considerable progress had been made in the investigation.

    Stephen Silver of Aughaward, Foxford, is charged with the murder of Det. Garda Horkan in Castlerea on June 17, and was due to appear before this morning’s sitting of the court by video link.

    But the court was told that a sick note had been received and that Mr Silver was unable to appear.

    It is the eighth time he has been deemed unfit to appear by video link at Harristown District Court.

    Defence solicitor Martina Moran told a previous sitting of the court that 44-year old Silver was being treated at the Central Mental Hospital and that video-link facilities had been arranged there.

    Sgt Mahon told Judge Faughnan this morning that an officer had been appointed to take charge of the file at the DPP offices and that it was progressing.

    The file is quite substantial, Sgt Mahon explained “however, the DPP’s office is actively looking into the file at the moment and we hope to have directions as soon as possible”.

    Judge Faughnan remanded Stephen Silver in custody to appear before Harristown District Court by video link on October 16 for DPP directions.


  • Gardai say their investigations are continuing into a multi-million euro VAT Carousel Fraud.

    A man in his 50's was arrested as part of the investigation earlier this week, and was questioned at Castlerea Garda Station under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act.

    Castlerea Gardai have confirmed to Midwest News that the man was released without charge yesterday evening, and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    A woman in her 40's had previously been arrested in Co Louth in May in connection with the investigation, and was subsequently released without charge.

    The investigation has been ongoing since 2017, and it's claimed the fraud involves the movement, purchase and sale of goods between different companies in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for a number of years.

    Gardai say this type of fraud involves supplier companies, VAT-registered entities, customer companies and transport companies.

    The ongoing investigation involves Gardai, the Criminal Assets Bureau, PSNI, National Crime Agency and Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs Agency.


  • A man remains in Garda custody today in Castlerea, after three loaded guns were recovered from a car which was stopped by Garda on Main Street last night.

    As a result of an operation into illegal crime gang activities, Gardai attached to the Roscommon / Longford division stopped a car at about 8.30pm, and found three fully loaded pistols.

    A man in his early 30's was arrested at the scene, and is being detained at Castlerea Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, for unlawful possession of firearms.

    Gardai conducted follow-up searches at a location in Castlerea town last night, during which a small quantity of heroin was seized.



  • One man was taken to hospital following a single-vehicle collision on the outskirts of Castlerea last night.

    The collision occurred at about 11.30pm, when a van collided with the railway bridge on the N60, on the Ballinlough side of Castlerea.

    Emergency services attended the scene, and the van driver was taken by ambulance to Mayo University Hospital.



  • Emergency services attended the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Castlerea yesterday evening.

    The driver of the car was taken to Sligo University Hospital by ambulance with serious head injuries following the collision, which occurred at about 6pm on the Williamstown Road, just outside Castlerea.

    Gardai, fire and ambulance services attended the scene.

  • A 39 year old man, whose gun jammed when he tried to shoot his ex-girlfriend, has been jailed for 8 years.

    Gerard Mooney from Dublin but with a previous address in Castlerea in Roscommon was on bail when he pointed the gun in his former partner's face.

    The court heard he became obsessive after their relationship broke down and he called her more than 250 times over a number of days.

    He pleaded guilty to attempted murder with the Judge noting personal relationships can be the most dangerous place for victims.

  • A march will take place in Castlerea today.

    The marchis being held in response to an incident which occurred in the town last weekend.

    The march will take place from the Lidl Car Park to the Garda Station at 1pm this afternoon.

  • A deputation from Castlerea were planning to travel to Dublin later today to meet with the Health Minister Simon Harris and the Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly, in relation to the future of the Rosalie unit in Castlerea.

    However, Minister Daly has requested that the meeting be postponed, due to diary issues.

    It’s now been rescheduled for three weeks time -Wed 28th March.

    There are major concerns about the future of the home, which accommodates 13 elderly people with Alzheimers and dementia, after the HSE said the facility is not part of its long-term plans.

    No new admissions have been taken into the home for the past year and a half.

    However, a campaign is underway locally to retain the Rosalie unit, with thousands of people signing a petition to that effect.


  • The HSE West has finally revealed its plan to change the current use of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, that is controversially closing as a residential facility for people with dementia.

    A meeting took place earlier this week in Merlin Park, with Minister Jim Daly, HSE Management, Dept of Health Officials and Roscommon Senator Maura Hopkins. The Fine Gael Senator had been requesting such a meeting for some time, in response to concerns over the information being provided by the HSE to residents of the Rosalie unit and their families.

    HSE management now say that work is being progressed on a proposal to change the current use of the Rosalie Unit.  The proposal is to develop a Mental Health Hub at the site which would include two Day Hospitals, one serving children and adolescents and one serving the elderly. 

    At the meeting, HSE Management also gave a commitment that it will work with residents and their families but, according to Senator Hopkins failed to commit to her request that individual details of Dr. Anderson’s report on the needs of the elderly residents, be shared with the individuals and their families.

    The Senator spoke to Midwest News today.

  • In the Dail yesterday the Minister for the elderly Jim Daly, indicated that the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will not be closed down as a HSE facility, but may no longer serve as a residential facility for elderly people with alzheimers or dementia.

     He was responding to another question on the facility’s future submitted by local Fianna Fail deputy Eugene Murphy.

    Last Friday, Tony Canavan of the HSE told oireachtas members that a report on the unit, that is home to twelve residents, is strongly indicating that the residents needs would be better met in an alternative location.

     Residents and their families strongly disagree, but Mr Canavan said that while the unit as it stands looks set for closure, he has passed on the report to a medical expert to review before a final decision is made.

     Councillor Murphy told Midwest News this afternoon, that yesterday’s statement by the Minister appears to concur with Mr Canavan's.

  • The Government has confirmed that committments given in 2015 in relation to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be honoured.

     Roscommon-based Minister Denis Naughten has received a letter from the Minister for Mental Health & Older People Jim Daly, confirming that the Rosalie Unit will continue to form part of the service delivery for older people.

    This comes as a welcome development for the residents of the unit and their families, as a senior HSE manager had indicated recently that the facility may close.

    Minister Daly points out that the matter of the best interests of the current residents of the Rosalie Unit is a separate issue, and independent assessments of each resident will be carried out to assess the most appropriate long-term care plan for each individual.

    That's perfectly acceptable, according to Liam Walsh, who's an advocate on behalf of resident's families.

    Following a packed public meeting on the issue again on Monday night in Castlerea, Liam Walsh has welcomed this letter from Minister Daly, which he says is great news for the current residents, and those who might need the unit in the future.

  • At a packed public meeting last night in Castlerea, Minister Naughten confirmed that the Taoiseach will honour the commitments given in 2015, securing the Rosalie unit as a residential facility,

    Confirmation in writing confirming that commitment is expected later today.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother is a resident in the Rosalie Unit for some years, told Midwest News this morning that the packed hall was delighted with that news last night.

    The Rosalie Unit, a residential facility for people with mental health issues, looked destined to close in the coming weeks, according to the HSE.

    A campaign to keep the facility open has been ongoing for some years now.

    Mr Walsh told Midwest News this morning that people power appears to have won out in this case.

    Minister Naughten had been speaking with the Taoiseach about the Unit’s future earlier yesterday, before attending the public meeting, and he said the Taoiseach assured him that the commitments, given by Leo Varadkar himself, as Health Minister in 2015, to the people of Castlerea concerning the Unit’s future as a residential facility will be upheld.

    Mr Walash says they are now awaiting that verbal commitment in writing later today, but he said he is cautiously optimistic that the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility has been secured.


  • The HSE has been accused of betraying the residents of the Rosalie Unit, a facility for adults with mental health issues in Castlerea, by families who say they will fight plans to close the unit.

    Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has confirmed, to the Irish Times, that he will attend a public meeting in the town to night as relatives of those living in Unit reacted angrily to a HSE suggestion that their care needs would be better served elsewhere.

    Minister Denis Naughten, lobbied Minister for Health Simon Harris on the Unit’s future last week, and is under pressure locally to keep the facility open to the 12 residents in it at present.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother, Breda (83), has been living in the Rosalie Unit since 2009, said Mr Naughten had told a public meeting last February that the unit would not close while he was part of the government.

    Mr Naughten lost the Fine Gael whip after voting against the government decision to close the emergency department of Roscommon hospital in 2011.

    Recently  Tony Canavan of HSE West  told a meeting with local representatives that a report completed on the unit indicated that better care for residents could be provided in a different setting and said the unit was set for closure. However, he said before a final decision is made the report was being reviewed by a medical expert.

    Mr Walsh pointed out that there were 33 residents in the unit when his mother moved in and said following a decision to stop all new admissions in September 2016, the number had dropped to 12. “They have been trying to close it by stealth,” he insisted.

    We believe they want this building for something else, but we are prepared to keep fighting

    Mr Naughten confirmed he would raise the issue this week with the Taoiseach and said he would continue to press Mr Harris and Minister of State Jim Daly in relation to the unit.

    In response to a query on the unit by Fianna Fail deputy Euergene Murphy  last week in the Dail, Minister Jim Daly’s response concurred with the likely closure of the unit as a residential facility.

    The public meeting will take place in Hester's Golden Eagle Lounge this evening at 8.30pm





  • Minister Denis Naughten has welcomed reassurances provided by the HSE’s Tony Canavan today in relation to the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Minister Naughten had written to Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly stating that both Government and HSE policy is clear that the Rosalie Unit has a future which is in all likelihood within the Mental Health services and had sought reassurances in relation to both the residents of the unit and the future of the unit itself.

    The HSE has confirmed today that no decision will be taken in relation to the Rosalie Unit until the clinical assessment process has been completed and reviewed.

    Mr Canavan also said he can confirm that the Rosalie facility will continue to form part of the service delivery of health care in the Roscommon area, and that if any change of use should arrive from its current use, it will be done in consultation with public representatives and relevant stakeholders for the area.

    Minister Naughten says he welcomes the reassurances, and while it will provide some solace for residents and their families, he says we must continue to work with residents, their families and their advocates as well as the local community into the future.

    Liam Walsh’s mother is a resident at the Rosalie Unit and he told Midwest News today that it is a welcome development but it does not provide any assurance regarding the long-term future of the Rosalie Unit. 

  • The Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly have both agreed to meet a delegation to discuss the future of the Rosalie Home in Castlerea.

    That’s according to Roscommon FG Senator Maura Hopkins, who has spoken with both ministers, and says they have agreed to meet a delegation.

    Senator Hopkins is currently arranging the meeting, which would also include HSE management.

    In addition, she says Minister Jim Daly will visit the Rosalie Unit at the end of this month, where he will meet with residents, family members and healthcare professionals.

    Up to 300 people attended a public meeting in Castlerea last Thursday night amid concerns that the Rosalie unit may close, as the HSE says it is not part of their plans going forward.

  • The future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be discussed at a meeting in Leinster House this evening.

    The Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly will meet with a deputation which will include patient advocates, three local Councillors and Roscommon Oireachtas members.

    The meeting was due to take place earlier this month, but was deferred until this evening.

    The Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is a long-stay residential unit for elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, but there are concerns locally that the HSE is planning to close the unit.

    The HSE says the 12 residents in the Rosalie home are being clinically assessed to determine their future care needs, while family members are concerned this may mean moving the residents to other facilities in Mayo or Galway.


  • A month's mind mass is being held today for Detective Garda Colm Horkan who was shot while on duty in Castlerea.

    Detective Garda Colm Horkan died in Castlerea on June 17th, and was buried in Charlestown after a state funeral.

    Today's ceremony will be held at the GAA grounds in Charlestown at 2pm.

  • A new Business Alert scheme is being set up in Castlerea.

    Over 50 businesses in the town have already signed up for the free service, which is designed to share information among local businesses about any security or crime-related incidents, such as shoplifting.

    A similar service is already operating successfully in Castlebar.

    Members will also receive a weekly message on Whatsapp offering advice on safety and security measures for business.