councillor Michael Kilcoyne

  • The improvement works currently being carried out at two wards of Mayo University Hospital are scheduled to be completed in mid-November.

    In the meantime, the hospital has access to a ward at the Sacred Heart Hospital - and that situation will continue even after the works are completed, according to the HSE - which should ease overcrowding this Winter.

    The issue was raised at a recent HSE Regional Forum meeting by Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who questioned management on why it was necessary to close the wards at Mayo University Hospital, and the impact it has had on trolley numbers.

    In recent weeks, the refurbishment works on two wards have been cited as a reason for the high numbers of patients on trolleys - with 25 patients reported on trolleys on one day earlier this month, and 18 on trolleys today (Monday) according to the INMO.

    Councillor Kilcoyne got a commitment from the HSE that Mayo University Hospital will continue to have access to the beds at the Sacred Heart Hospital, once the wards at Mayo University Hospital are reopened.

  • A quarter (25%) of the 339 now confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo are made up of staff at Mayo University Hospital. That’s according to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne.

    He is now calling for Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to be brought into investigate what’s happening at Mayo University Hospital and he wants Saolta, the group responsible for the running of acute hospitals in this region, to demand the intervention.

    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne says the number of Mayo University Hospital staff with the virus is of real concern, and he claims that management of the hospital have questions to answer. He says he has been informed that in some cases staff at the hospital are working across departments- working with covid-19 patients, and others. This, he says, is not happening at Galway University Hospital, and the number of confirmed cases of the virus in county Galway is at present 10 percent lower than in the considerably less populated county of Mayo.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Cllr Kilcoyne also urged the government deputies in Mayo to ask Minister Harris to urgently look at the problem.

    The councillor raised his concerns over the incidents of the virus in county Mayo earlier this week at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Midwest West News has again today sought comment from Saolta on the situation at the Castlebar hospital and we await a response. We had sought clarification from Saolta on Monday on the high incidents of the virus in Mayo, but no comment was supplied.



  • Iarnrod Eireann is not fit to provide rail services to the public. That’s the view of Castlebar Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    The councillor has been speaking to Midwest News today in light of assault incidents that have occurred on the Westport to Dublin train on two separate occasions over the past number of days.

    On Saturday evening last an incident developed on the 5.45 Westport to Dublin service, after it stopped at Tullamore.  At least one person was injured.

    Four men in their twenties were arrested after Gardai later boarded the train at Sallins. Two of the four were released on bail and the other two were remabnded in custody to appear before Naas District court today.

    While on Thursday evening last, the Dublin to Westport train was held up for almost two hours at Claremorris after a train driver and a young female passenger were attacked by a male passenger.The male passenger was arrested and later taken to the Mayo Adult Health Unit.

    The train driver was the only staff member of Iarnrod Eireann on the train on Thursday evening.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that the company is not fit to provide a rail service to the public.

  • The changes in income limits for medical cards for people over the age of 70 have not yet been implemented, despite the announcement in last October's Budget.

    That's according to Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who's calling on the HSE and Department of Health to make this a priority.

    The last Budget included a clause that would allow the income limit for over 70's to be increased, so they could get medical cards.

    But Councillor Kilcoyne says the legislation has not yet been implemented, and the HSE say they don't know when the changes will come into effect.

  • It's of grave concern that, just two days into September, the trolley situation at Mayo University Hospital is already rising significantly - that’s the view of Independent Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who's a member of the HSE West Forum.

    There were 22 people waiting on trolleys for admission at Mayo University Hospital yesterday (Tues), according to INMO figures - the Castlebar hospital had the third highest number of patients nationally waiting for admissions.

    Meanwhile, there are no patients at present at Mayo University Hospital with a confirmed Covid 19 diagnosis.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News that the return to high trolley numbers at the Castlebar facility, before the winter flu season has even begun. is worrying for everyone


  • The Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District has called for an enquiry, after confidential medical records from a number of patients who attended Mayo University Hospital were found dumped in a local housing estate.

    Hospital management have apologised in writing to a number of former patients, recently discharged from the hospital, whose personal details were found in a refuse sack at the housing estate in Castlebar.

    Refuse staff attached to Mayo County Council made the disturbing find earlier this month, and the council alerted hospital management.

    Management at Mayo University Hospital has now written to the patients informing them of the breach of data protection,and apologising for the breach of confidentiality.

     The letter of apology contained an assurance that Mayo University Hospital treats such matters with 'the utmost seriousness' and said corrective measures have been put in place to prevent such an incident from happening again.

    Hospital management says the matter has been reported to the HSE Consumer Affairs Department and  the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

    Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne says he's shocked to hear that sensitive medical data could end up in a refuse bag in a housing estate about a mile from the hospital, and has called for an enquiry into what happened, and who was responsible.





    He says that, over the years, there have been a number of data breaches relating to the HSE West region, and is calling for an enquiry into what happened and who was responsible.

  • A woman waited five hours in the waiting room at the Emergency Dept of Mayo University hospital on a Saturday afternoon last month, in severe pain before seeing any doctor.

    She has detailed her experience in an email to Castlebar independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    The woman attended the ED of the hospital on Saturday July 21st, where it appeared that there was not adequate staff on duty to cope with the demands.

    She describes an 18 month old sick toddler with her mother waiting five hours to be seen by a doctor, and a man who had waited seven hours to see a doctor and eventually was gone home when his name was called.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says the situation is completely unacceptable and together with information released earlier this week that almost a million people are waiting for outpatient appointments nationally, he calims, the health system is failing many patients.

  • The first meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District was held this afternoon.

    Seven Councillors were elected in Castlebar in last month's local elections - with three seats for Fianna Fail, 3 Fine Gael and one Independent - Michael Kilcoyne.

    Councillor Kilcoyne, the outgoing Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District, was returned to the position at today's meeting.

    He was nominated by Fianna Fail's Blackie Gavin and seconded by Martin McLoughlin.

    Councillor Blackie Gavin was elected leas-Cathaoirleach.


  • A Mayo Councillor is concerned about delays facing some medical card patients in getting an appointment with their local GP.

    Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the matter at the recent HSE Regional Forum meeting, where he was told that most patients get a same-day appointment, but in some cases, the appointment cannot be got until the following day or later.

    Councillor Kilcoyne also asked HSE management what's the maximum number of medical card patients that can be assigned to one GP - and was told the maximum is 2,000, with an additional 200 where the GP has a contract to provide free services to children under 6.

    There is no limit on the number of private patients a GP can have on their books.

  • If a pedestrian crossing is not installed on the Station Road in Castlebar at the junction between McHale road and Hanley’s shop, then the local residents will bring a protest to the street and stop traffic. That’s according to local Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    He raised the concerns of pedestrians at this very busy location, at a recent meeting of Castlebar Municipal District.

    The councillor claims the junction is an accident waiting to happen for pedestrians that attempt to cross from McHale road over to the local shop, doctors and pharmacy on the opposite side of the street.

    His demand for action from council management on the matter was supported by all councillors present.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News today that they are no longer prepared to accept what he termed “excuses” from the authority as to why this development is not already in place.

  • Today's monthly meeting of Mayo County Council was a much smaller event than usual, due to social distancing measures during the Coronavirus outbreak.

    Only 9 of the 30 elected councillors were in attendance at Aras an Condae, along with the council Chief Executive and two reporters.

    At the start of the meeting, all of those attending took part in a one-minute clap for the frontline staff working during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The applause was followed by a one-minute silence to remember the Mayo people who have died from the Covid-19 virus.

    In a report issued to Councillors this afternoon, Mayo Co Co said the Covid-19 outbreak in Mayo continues to escalate, particularly in residential care facilities, with new hot spots in the north of the county.

    The council says this is a major concern - as is the age profile of our community, and the large number of residential care and retirement homes - both public and private - throughout the county.

    The report says adherence to health authority guidelines, including travel and social distancing, will play a major part in determining how quickly the outbreak here can be brought under control.

    The latest county breakdown shows there are 312 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo - higher than the neighbouring Co Galway with 283 cases, and 76 in both Roscommon and Sligo.

    The Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne says questions need to be answered as to why Mayo has a higher rate of coronavirus, compared to Galway with much larger population.

    The Independent Councillor is also asking why the number of staff at Mayo University Hospital with confirmed or suspected cases of Cobid-19 is higher than at any other hospital in the Saolta Group.

  • The general public should be asking Fine Gael election candidates on the doorsteps what the Government is doing about delivering a larger Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital.

    That's according to Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who says the large numbers of patient recorded on trolleys each month at the Castlebar hospital highlight the lack of an adequate Emergency Department to cater for the numbers presenting.

    At this month's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, Councillor Kilcoyne sought figures from HSE management as to the number of patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital in the first three months of this year, and claims the numbers recorded are not acceptable.

  • 27 patients had surgical procedures postponed earlier this month at Mayo University Hospital, due to a faulty water pump in the hospital's sterile services department.

    This also meant that surgical implements had to be sent to other hospitals in Galway and Sligo over the course of a week, as there was no water supply to the sterile service department at the Castlebar hospital -again due to the faulty water pump.

    The issue was raised at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, where Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne questioned management on the impact of the incident, and how many patients had procedures cancelled or postponed as a result.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says there should be a back-up plan in place, for when such problems occur at a major hospital...

  • Despite government promises to enhance mental health services, the reality is that there are less staff employed by the HSE in mental health services in Mayo at present than there was ten years ago.

    That was confirmed by HSE management in response to a question from Independent Castlebar councillor Michael Kilcoyne at this month’s HSE West Forum meeting.

    The councillor told Midwest News today that mental health remains “the poor relation” of the health services and he says changes are urgently required considering the increasing demand on the service.

  • Nurses at Mayo University Hospital claim the crossover of staff between Covid-19 patients and non-Covid patients has continued up to this week, despite a claim by the Saolta Hospital group that this practice had ceased a month ago.

    Following concerns highlighted last month by Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne about staff working with both positive and negative patients, Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta group, told Midwest News that this practice had been discontinued after 21st April.

    However, nurses this week say that, while they're wearing PPE gear at all times, they're still treating both Covid and non-Covid patients during their shifts.

    Councillor Kilcoyne, who's Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District, is now calling on the Minister for Health to investigate what's going on at the Castlebar hospital, with the aim of preventing the further spread of the virus.

  • Despite increasing number of Covid-19 across the country, the HSE has confirmed that there is just one test centre in Co Mayo.

    The issue was raised at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, where Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne questioned HSE management on how many test centres are operating in Mayo, how many staff are involved, and where the tests are processed.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News he was surprised to hear that the test centre at McHale Park in Castlebar is the only location in the county for people referred by their GP for a test..

  • A risk assessment is to be carried out, after a patient at Mayo University Hospital exited through a window to a flat roof, and fell about 30 foot, sustaining serious injuries.

    The incident happened a month ago, and the man involved was subsequently treated in the hospital's Intensive Care Department.

    Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the matter at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway, where he asked management what investigation has taken place into the incident, and whether this risk had been brought to the attention of hospital management prior to this incident in late October.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says it's imperative that such risks are identified and eliminated, as a matter of urgency....

  • Some people are continuing to dispose of used plastic gloves and face masks on the streets and carparks of Castlebar, and according to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District, council mobile cameras are on the lookout for culprits, and those offenders caught on camera will be fined €150.

    Residents of St Patrick's Avenue, located directly across from Mayo University Hospital, have raised the ongoing littering problem with the  Cathaoirleach.

    Councillor Michael Kilcoyne has contacted Mayo County Council on the issue, and says the local authority will be installing mobile cameras throughout the county town to capture such indiscriminate dumping and impose fines on those responsible.