• Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, has announced today that his Department has reached agreement with Galway Aviation Services Limited (trading as Aer Arann Islands) in relation to the Aran Islands air service and Connemara Airport.

    Under this arrangement, Heads of Agreement setting out a process under which negotiations can proceed with regard to the potential purchase of Connemara Airport by the Department, has been signed by both parties.

    The contract under which the airport is made available for the provision of the air service has been extended up until September 2021 and Aer Arann Islands has agreed to continue providing the air service up until 20 December 2018.  These agreements will allow both parties to conclude the above-mentioned negotiations in the months ahead.  Also during this period, the Department will immediately issue a Request for Tender for interim service, under a contract which will operate from 21st December 2018 to 30th September 2019.  A further tender process to award a four-year contract will be undertaken while this short-term contract is in operation.

  • The tragic death of a man on the grounds of Galway City Council is the second death of a homeless person in Galway city in the space of ten months and is a stark indictment of government policy, according to Galway West Independent deputy Catherine Connolly.

    The deputy told Midwest News today that these deaths are not inevitable and are a direct consequence of the housing crisis which is the result of the policy of this government and the previous Fine Gael/Labour government.

    Deputy Connolly says in Galway there are housing applicants waiting since 2002 on the housing list with no prospect of a local authority house any time soon, there is  a lack of housing falling within HAP thresholds, an unregulated Air B&B market gobbling up houses; and not a single social house constructed between 2009 and the first quarter of 2018, and then only 14 houses coming on stream.

    In view of the scale of the crisis, the Minister for Housing must not only visit Galway, as called for by the Mayor Of Galway today Labour Cllr Niall McNelis in the wake of yesterday’s death, but rather deputy Connolly says the Minister  must have an urgent meeting with the local authorities with a view to rolling out an urgent housing construction plan.

  • A design team has been appointed for the proposed  new 50 bed HSE residential care home in Tuam. That’s according to local Fianna Fail councillor Daragh Killalea. The councillor is a member of the HSE West Forum and earlier this week he raised progress on the facility with HSE management.

    Afterwards councillor Killalea told Midwest News that the HSE acknowledged the generous gift of the late Joe O’Toole, a business man in Tuam, and his family in progressing this 7 million euro development.

  • A design team has been appointed to a project in Clifden that will see a new 50-bed unit replace the Clifden District Hospital and St Anne's Community Nursing Home.

    The new unit will be built at the site of the existing hospital and nursing home, and will provide for a ten-bed dementia specific unit, according to Galway West Fianna Fail TD Eamon O'Cuiv.

    He's welcomed confirmed that a design team has now been appointed for the new unit in Clifden, but says the overspend on the National Children's Hospital must not result in a delay to other projects needed urgently outside of Dublin.



  • Dog owners in the Mayo/Galway area are being warned to keep their dogs safe, following reports that a number of dogs have been poisoned and died due to alga scum.

    Some algae can develop on the surface of ponds and lakes can produce toxins that can be fatal to dogs.

    The blue-green algae can sometimes wash-up or accumulate on shorelines and in humans can cause skin rashes and illnesses.

    According to The, the algae is more common during the calm summer weather and following the deaths of a number of dogs in the Mayo/Galway region, investigations were carried out into whether algae was to blame.

    It is understood that autopsies carried out on the dogs were inconclusive in determining whether algae was to blame for the harm to dogs.

    The EPA has said the algae can pose a danger to animals and pointed to a previously confirmed incident when a dog died in 2016 from eating algae.

    Dog owners are being advised to take a number of precautions – if dogs encounter algae, hose them down to prevent them from cleaning their coats, feed and water a dog before a trip to a lake to reduce the chance of consuming algae, toxins in the algae are fast acting, so if a dog encounters an accumulation, owners are being told to inform a vet as soon as possible and when presenting to a vet, photos of the algae are useful as are notes of the dog’s activities.

  • The DPP has appealed the sentence handed down to a drunk driver who killed a pedestrian and injured two Gardaí.

    Adrian Nestor from Keamsella, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway was given 240 hours community service instead of a four year prison sentence.

    In the early hours of Feb 1st 2016, two Gardaí found 66 year old Liam McDonnell on a stretch of the N18 in Ardrahan, Co. Galway.

    He'd been reported missing from a nearby nursing home and they were trying to get him into a patrol car when Adrian Nestor crashed into them.

    Mr. McDonnell was pronounced dead at the scene and the two Gardaí were hospitalised.

    Mr. Nestor later admitted being drunk behind the wheel and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and serious injury.

    Mr. McDonnell's widow didn't want him to go to jail and he was sentenced to 240 hours of community service in lieu of a four year prison term.

    The DPP has now appealed that decision accusing the judge of taking the mitigating factors into account not once but twice thereby "double discounting"

    Counsel for Mr. Nestor claimed what the judge did was "reasonable" given the circumstances.

    A judgement is due to be delivered tomorrow week.



  • A Co Galway Parish is offering locals drive thru ashes once again this Ash Wednesday.

    St. Patrick's Church in Glenamaddy is making receiving the blessing easier for people in the area.

    Parishioners can drive their car, bike, truck or tractor into the church grounds this morning to receive their ashes from the local priest or a volunteer.



  • A motorist in Co Galway was caught driving at 113 km an hour in an 80 km zone last Friday, during the Garda National Slow Down Day which took place over a 24-hour period.

    In total, Gardai and GoSafe checkted over 132,000 vehicles, and found 211 were driving over the permitted speed limit.


    In the West of Ireland, a driver was found travelling at 113 km and hour in an 80 km zone at Aughrim in Co Galway,while in Mayo, a driver was caught driving at 93 km an hour in an 80 km zone at Cartron, Kiltimagh.

    In Sligo, a motorist was caught doing 119 km an hour in a 100 km zone on the N4 at Knoxspark, Ballisodare.


    Gardai are reminding drivers to think about the consequences of speeding the next time they get behind the wheel, and reduce speed accordingly.  





  • Eamon O'Cuiv is the latest name to be linked with the Presidential election, but the Galway West TD has been unavailable for comment this morning.

    It emerged yesterday evening that Galway Fianna Fail Councillor Ollie Crowe has written to all party councillors across the country, rallying support for Deputy O'Cuiv to contest the Presidential election.

    It's reported today that the Galway West TD gave permission for the email to be sent to party councillors on Friday.

    However, the Fianna Fail parliamentary party has voted to support Michael D Higgins for a second term in Áras an Uachtaráin, and not to field a candidate.

    Councillor Crowe believes 95% of FF councillors and grassroots members believe the party should contest the Presidential election.

    He says this should have been a decision for the party's national Executive, rather than the parliamentary party.

    Councillor Crowe confirmed he had Deputy O'Cuiv's permission to lead the campaign, and says he believed there's strong support for Eamon O'Cuiv to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Eamon De Valera, who served as President from 1959 to 1973.

     He's confident Mr O'Cuiv would have the support of at least four local authorities.

    Meanwhile, Senator Joan Freeman and businessman Gavin Duffy will make their first appeals today as they bid for Presidential nominations.

    Waterford City and County Council will be the first to declare this afternoon after holding a special meeting to hear from the two candidates.

    According to the guidelines, potential candidates have to secure the backing of four local authorities in order to get on the ballot paper.

  • Ed Sheeran continues the Irish leg of his European tour in Galway today.

    He's playing two shows at Pearse Stadium tonight and tomorrow having already done sold-out gigs in Cork and Belfast.

    Anyone going is advised not to bring a bag, while delays around the stadium are also expected.

    Anne-Marie is the main headliner before Ed's due on stage at quarter to 9.

    The final 3 Irish dates of the tour are at Dublin's Phoenix Park next week.

  • The Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway is extremely busy this afternoon, with a large number of patients awaiting admission to the hospital. 

    In a statement Saolta University Hospital Group management apologised to patients and their families for these delays.

    The Full Capacity Protocol has been implemented and all efforts continue to be made to identify patients who are appropriate for discharge. 

    Management at the hospital would like to advise people who are attending the Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway today to expect significant delays.

    They have reminded the public that they encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.

    University Hospital Galway again apologises to all patients and their families for any distress caused as a result of these delays.



  • Emergency services are attending the scene of a collision on the Headford to Galway road near Shrule.

    A 2-vehicle collision occurred on a bend outside Shrule shortly before 11am this morning.

    Gardai are attending the scene and the road is currently blocked.

    It's not believed anyone sustained life-threatening injuries in the collision.


    Meanwhile, a lorry jacknifed earlier on the N17 between Ireland West Airport Knock and Charlestown.

    The road has now been cleared and there were no serious injuries sustained in the incident.



  • EML Payments Limited today announced it is expanding its operation in Galway with the establishment of a Technology & Innovation Hub in Galway, employing 20 people.

    The investment is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

    The Australian company provides prepaid payment services in Australia, Europe and North America, issuing mobile, virtual and physical card solutions for pay-outs, gifts, incentives and rewards as well as supplier payments. The company has an established sales and marketing operation in Wicklow.

    EML also offers supplier enablement, payment execution, programme management and other services.

    Minister Heather Humphreys, who is undertaking a trade and investment mission in Australia at present, welcomed the announcement, saying “This expansion is a great vote of confidence in Galway and, in particular, the highly skilled local workforce.


  • Just under two thousand homes and businesses have lost power because of Storm Gareth, which  brought strong winds and high seas to the west and north-west region overnight.

    ESB Networks are reporting power outages in the Achill and Ballinrobe areas of Co Mayo - they hope to restore power to about 50 customers in Ballinrobe this lunchtime, while the Achill outage should be repaired by late afternoon.

    A small number of customers are without power in Collooney, Co Sligo, while the Co Galway areas of Claregalway, Oughterard and Carraroe have also been hit by power outages.

    No structural damage was reported across Co Mayo following Storm Gareth, with gusts of  96 km/h recorded in Newport at 6am this morning, and 81 km/h in Belmullet.

    The highest gusts were reported in Co Donegal.



  • The Esker Novea will take place from Tuesday June 5th to Wednesday June 13th.

    The Esker Novena has been running for almost forty years and this year the theme will be around family life today.

    As Ireland prepares for the World Meeting of Families in August, the Novena sets out to contribute to that preparation and will focus on various aspects of family life today.

    There are daily sessions at 8 and 10am, 4, 6, 8 and 10pm. There will be a special session with anointing of the sick at 12 noon on Saturday 9th. There will be blessing of children after all sessions on Sunday 10th.

  • Patients and workers at Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway have this morning been urged to check their EuroMillions tickets after Tuesday night’s EuroMillions draw produced another EuroMillions Plus top prize winner of €500,000 – the fifth win in Ireland so far this year.

    The winning Quick Pick ticket was bought yesterday at the Oasis Shop which caters for hospital patients, visitors and workers.

    Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe is an acute general and maternity Hospital. The catchment area includes patients residing in the East Galway, Roscommon, Midlands and Mid-Western areas.

    The winning EuroMillions Plus numbers are: 13, 15, 22, 25, 41.

    There was no winner of the Tuesday’s EuroMillions €115 million jackpot which means that Friday’s jackpot now rolls to a whopping €130 million.

  • An event will take place this Friday to mark the beginning of demolition at Gilmartin Road in Tuam.

    The road is due to undergo an €8m rejuvenation project from Friday, which will involve the demolition of 30 old houses and the construction of 40 new homes.

    21 council houses at Gilmartin Road and St Enda’s Avenue will also be refurbished as part of the project.

    The event will take place on Friday from 12 noon at Gilmartin Road and will see councillors attend to see the demolition of the first of the houses.

    Chairman of Tuam Municipal District Fianna Fail Cllr Donagh Killilea told Midwest News that it is a historic day for the town.

  • This Sunday marks "World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims", with commemorations taking place globally to remember those killed or injured in road traffic collisions.

    The Road Safety Authority is joining forces with Gardai, local County Councils, emergency services and victim support groups to remember victims of road collisions at a number of services across Ireland.

    A service will take place in Knock Shrine at 12 noon on Sunday to remember those who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries in road collisions, and to recognise the work of the emergency services and hospital staff following such incidents.

    Refreshments will be served afterwards in St John's Rest & Care Centre.

    in Galway, a special commemoration to remember road traffic victims will take place in the Clayton Hotel at 2pm on Sunday.

    Those attending are asked to bring a frame photograph of their loved one.

    This is the 12thyear that he have commemorated World Remembrance Day in Ireland.


  • The Taoiseach says digging at the site of the mother-and-baby home in Tuam won't start until the end of next year, as legislation is needed before work can begin.

    In October, cabinet approved proposals by Children's Minister Katherine Zappone to excavate the site, after the work of historian, Catherine Corless, uncovered that 7-hundred-and-96 babies were buried there in an unmarked grave.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that measures need to be put in place to allow the government excavate the property.

  • Experts are looking at whether there's any legal block to gathering DNA from survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

    Survivors want DNA collection to start as soon as possible given the age and health profiles of some of the women involved.

    It's hoped the information may help identify the remains of the children buried at the site when excavation begins.

    The government has commissioned Dr Geoffrey Shannon to look at whether it's legal to gather DNA from survivors - and how to manage privacy issues.

    Excavations at the Tuam site are due to begin late this year if the government passes the necessary legislation on time.