• 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.



  • Today at Castlebar Circuit Court, Judge Rory McCabe imposed a fine of €500,000 on Harrington Concrete and Quarries ULC for three separate breaches of health and safety legislation.

    The company, Harrington Concrete and Quarries ULC, had earlier pleaded guilty to three offences under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, namely;

    • Section 8(2)(c)(iii) & Section 77(9)(a), failure to ensure safe plant and machinery, particularly no sufficient edge protection/barrier to the crusher and the area around it resulting in the death of Mr. Joseph Harrington.
    • Section 8(2)(e) & Section 77(2)(a), failure to ensure a safe system of work was in place for the unblocking of the crusher.
    • Section 20(2), failure to ensure the safety statement contained safe operating procedures and instructions for the operation of the crusher.

    The prosecution arose after a fatal accident that occurred on June 11th 2015 at Carrowscoilta Quarry, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.  An employee of the company, Mr. Joseph Harrington, was fatally injured when he fell into an inadequately guarded stone crusher at the quarry operated by Harrington Concrete (no relation) and Quarries ULC. 

    The company pleaded guilty to three charges, in that they failed to adequately guard the crusher, that they failed to ensure there were safe systems in place to unblock the crusher and that they failed to ensure the safety statement was in accordance with the legislation.

    Mark Cullen, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said, “It is vital that employers ensure that they provide safe plant and machinery and that there are appropriate safe systems of work in place designed to protect their employees. Furthermore, such measures should be specified in the company safety statement. The failures that contributed to this incident are clear and the consequences for Mr Harrington and his family were tragic.”


  • The Health and Safety Authority have today begun a fortnight long intensive farm inspection campaign.

    Inspectors across the island will be visiting farms and ensuring that farmers are carrying out work at height safely.

    They will draw attention to information and guidance available from the HSA.

    Farming continues to be one of the most hazardous sectors to work in.

    Since the beginning of 2018 there have been 21 people killed due to farm accidents on the island of Ireland.

    Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector for Agriculture safety with the HSA says they are asking farmers to plan ahead and make sure that work at height is only carried out using the proper equipment and with protective measures in place.

  • Farmers are being told to take extra precautions to make sure they're safe.

    The Health and Safety Authority says farms are still one of the most challenging and dangerous workplaces in the world.

    It's holding a national conference in Carlow later today to promote safe farming.

    The Irish agriculture sector makes up 6 percent of the workforce but often accounts for up to 50 percent of workplace deaths.

    Senior Inspector with the HSA, Pat Griffin, says many farmers are under enormous pressure to produce goods which can lead to workplace complacency.

  • The body of a man who died in a work place accident yesterday in County Sligo will be laid to rest on Friday afternoon.

    Gerard Greene from Gortnagoyne, Dunmore, Co. Galway died while cutting down a tree.

    The accident occurred at Drumbaun, Curry at about 11.30 yesterday morning.

    Mr. Greene who was in his 30’s was fatally injured, and his body was removed to Sligo University Hospital for post-mortem examination.

    The Health & Safety Authority and the Gardai are investigating the circumstances of the fatal accident.

    The remains of Gerard Greene will repose at his residence tomorrow evening from 4pm until 9pm and again on Thursday from 4pm-9pm.

    Removal will take place on Friday to St. Patrick’s Church, Garrafrauns for funeral mass at 1 o’clock followed by burial in Addergoole cemetery.

  • A man has died after he was struck by a falling tree in Strokestown yesterday.

    The man aged in his late 40's is understood to have been found under the tree and was pronounced dead at the scene.

    His body was removed to University Hospital Galway, where a post mortem examination took plac

    The Health and Safety Authority is aware of the man’s death and has launched an investigation.

  • A man has died following a farm accident in Co Roscommon.

    The man, who passed away in hospital this morning, was injured following an incident last Saturday involving a tractor.

    The Health and Safety Authority has confirmed it is investigating the circumstances.

    It is the second farm fatality in week after the death of a Wexford farmer on Tuesday.