• Debenhams Irish operation is going into liquidation, causing major job losses at its Galway City Store.

    2,000 jobs will be lost in its 11 stores across the country, according to the Mandate trade union.

    The union says the company suspended trading due to the Covid 19 pandemic and confirmed to staff in a letter today that the shops are not expected to reopen.

  • The Department of Justice last night described the death of a transgender woman in a direct provision centre in Galway as unexplained.

    The woman is believed to be from Africa.

    The exact circumstances of the woman's death are unclear but the Department of Justice confirmed she fell ill at the direct provision centre.  A spokeserson says a post mortem examination is due to take place and until results are known the department will make no further statement.

    Two LGBT resource centres in Galway, Amach and Teach Solais, have issued a statement of condolence describing the woman as a 'great friend'. 

    The Transgender Equality Network says it has been in contact with Gardai and relevant authorities to offer assistance if needed.

    In a statement, the Green Party has claimed the woman came to Ireland legally seeking asylum and described the death as a tragedy


  • 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 Department of Justice has confirmed plans to lease 35 properties in Galway city centre to house asylum seekers.

    The apartments and town houses are located on Dominick Street and on Munster Avenue.

    It's understood the  properties in question have been used for student accommodation and short term tourist rental purposes in the past.

    The Department has agreed to lease the units for an initial duration of two years.

    Comprising 30 apartments and five town houses, the "Own-Door Accommodation Centre" in Galway will open this week.

    The one and two bedroom units all have separate front doors and are fully self contained with kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms.

    When full, the units will house in the region of 140 people.

    Families will be moved into the new centre on a phased basis over the coming days - from a Direct provision centre in Galway.





  • Galway deputy Hildegarde Naughten has stepped aside from an Oireachtas committee examining the votegate controversy.

    The investigation is examining complaints about TDs voting for members who were not in the chamber at the time.

    The Fine Gael deouty recused herself from the investigation on legal advice.

    She admitted to voting on behalf of another TD while they were in the Dáil chamber.

  • 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.



  • Irish Water says a Do Not Use water notice, which was put in place earlier this week for a number of businesses at the Liosbaun Industrial Estate in Galway has now been lifted.

    The alert was issued earlier this week for 40 businesses in the Kilkerrin Park section of the estate as a precaution, following the accidental break of a sewer and watermain located in close proximity to each other which may have resulted in contamination of the drinking water supply.

    Following consultation with the HSE, Irish Water has now lifted the notice and says the issue has been resolved.


  • A Do Not Use notice has been issued on the water supply in a section of the Liosbaun Industrial estate in Galway city.

    Irish Water has issued a Do Not Use notice for 40 commercial properties located in the Kilkerrin Park section of Liosbaun Industrial Estate as a precaution, following the accidental break of a sewer and watermain located near each other, which may have resulted in contamination of the drinking water supply.

    All impacted customers have been contacted directly, and no other part of the industrial estate or Galway city are affected.



  • 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.

  • Two brothers with family connections in Swinford have made history, as their Galway restaurant  has been named in the Top 50 Best Pizzerias in Europe.

    The Dough Bros in Galway city is owned by Eugene and Ronan Greaney.

    Their restaurant on Middle Street in the city was ranked at number 21 in Europe's Top 50 Pizzerias by the judging panel from Italy  - this is the first time the West of Ireland was featured on the prestigious list, and The Dough Bros was one of just two Irish pizzerias included.

    The Greaney brothers were initially invited to Milan for the awards ceremony, but due to Covid 19, the event took place online last week - and they celebrated with a black-tie event at the family home in Galway.

    The Dough Bros business began as a food truck, before opening a restaurant in Galway 5 years ago, and Eugene Greaney told Midwest News says he's still pinching himself after being named in the top 50 in Europe......

  • 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.  





  • Galway West TD Eamon Ó Cuiv claims Fianna Fáil should form a national government because of coronavirus - not a coalition with Fine Gael. 

    Both parties have agreed to hold detailed talks about forming an administration, and they're likely to begin today.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously said he wanted to go into opposition, but now says covid-19 changes things.

    But Deputy Ó Cuiv says many Fianna Fáil TDs are opposed to any coalition with Fine Gael - despite the coronavirus.

  • 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 number of patients on trolleys at hospitals nationwide has dropped, after record numbers over the past two days.

    Latest figures from the INMO show 621 people are waiting for beds today, down from 760 for the past two days.

    University Hospital Limerick remains the worst affected facility with 63 people on trolleys, followed by 46 at University Hospital Galway.

    There are 20 patients on trolleys today at Sligo University Hospital, 15 at Portiuncla in Ballinasloe and 9 at Mayo University Hospital.

    The INMO says this is day three of a 'severe' period of overcrowding, and the intolerable pressure placed on frontline staff and patients continues.

    The nursing union has put forward a 5-point plan to alleviate pressure, and says all of the actions they're proposing could be taken today, or by the end of the week at the latest.

    Meanwhile, as pressure continues on hospital Emergency Departments, the Saolta hospital group has confirmed that elective procedures are cancelled at hospitals across the West & northwest region - with the exception of a limited number of urgent cases.

  • 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.