Ireland

  • The Health Protection Surveillance Centre says the risk of the coronavirus outbreak coming to Ireland is "moderate to low."

    Officials in China say the death toll has risen to 25, with 830 confirmed cases.

    Health officials in the North expect to get test results back later on a patient being examined for the deadly virus at a Belfast hospital.

    The man entered the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast yesterday after presenting with symptoms of the illness.

    Dr. John Cuddihy - Director of the HPSC - says the fact that there are no direct flights from

    It's thought the man being tested in Belfast may have recently returned to Northern Ireland from an affected area in China.

    Former Stormont Health Minister Jim Wells wants anyone who travelled from the region to be examined.

  • The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 14 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died.

    All 14 deaths located in the east of the country. The median age of today’s reported deaths is 81.

    There have now been 36 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

    The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of 294 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland as of 1pm today.

    There are now 2,415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

  • 14 people have died from Covid19 in the republic while an extra 212 cases have been confirmed. 

    It brings the death toll here to 85. 

    The number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,447. 

  • A further 3 people have died from Covid 19 in the Republic of Ireland.

    It brings the death toll to 1720. 

    A further 10 confirmed cases have also been confirmed this evening, bringing the total number to 25,391.

     

  • Eir says that 37,000 of its customers have been affected by a data breach, but that their personal financial details have not been compromised.

    In a statement the company say that an unencrypted laptop was stolen offsite on Sunday 12 August, containing the details.

    All customers affected are set to be notified today.

    The details included the names, email addresses and Eir customer numbers.

    The gardaí and the Data Protection Commissioner have been notified about the data breach and theft.

    Eir says in its statement : “There is no evidence at this time that the data at risk has been used by a third party.

  •  A further four people have died from Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, while another 88 cases of the virus have also been confirmed.

    It means the death toll now stands at 1,547.

    There's also now a total of 24,200 confirmed cases.

  • An Post is denying they need to cut two thousand jobs to survive.

    The Irish Times is reporting today that  the company needs  500 job losses a year over four years.

    The paper says the numbers were outlined in a confidential briefing to Cabinet just days before An Post announced a 50 million euro investment in their network.

    This morning An Post confirmed the number of 2000 redundancies is from a strategic review in March 2017.

    The statement from the company says the company has achieved a major turnaround since then and is performing well ahead of plan and does not anticipate job reductions of this magnitude.

  • "They can dress it up anyway they want to, but the introduction of car parking charges on the streets in eight additional Mayo towns, is just a money making exercise by Mayo county County Council." That’s the view of Westport based Fianna Fail cllr Brendan Mulroy.

    The Cllr is the Chair of the Roads and Transport Strategic Policy Committee of Mayo county council, and at a meeting of the committee yesterday, Tom Gilligan Director of Service for the local authority told members that car parking charges are to be introduced in Ballyhaunis, Belmullet, Charlestown, Crossmolina, Foxford, Kiltimagh, Knock and Swinford.

    At present these towns have neither street car parking charges or carpark charges.

    Mr Gilligan said they plan to collect an additional half a million euro a year from such charges.

    Westport has carpark charges already, but on street car parking charges are also proposed under this plan.

    Cllr Mulroy told Midwest News editor Teresa O’Malley why he cannot accept the proposals.

  • Donald Trump has cancelled his planned visit to Ireland in November.

    Last month the US president announced his intention to come to Ireland taking the government by surprise.

    Less than two weeks ago Donald Trump announced he would return to Ireland to renew the deep and historic ties between our two countries.

    He last came here in 2014 - before running for office.

    The trip was scheduled to form part of a wider European visit which would include the Armistice celebrations in Paris on November 11th

    Details of the US Presidents Irish itinerary were due to be worked out between officials from both countries but it was thought likely that Donald Trump's hotel in Doonbeg in Co Clare would feature on the list of locations.

    Opposition parties had called for protests to coincide with the visit and Ministers of State John Halligan and Finnian McGrath both said they would participate in any demonstrations.

    It's not clear why the visit has been cancelled. 

  • The campaign is continuing in Easkey county Sligo to retain the village Post office.

    Secretary of the Save Easkey Post Office Campaign, Orla Cawley told Midwest News today that they hope to meet a representative of An Post about the situation later this week.

    The local campaign group held a peaceful poster protest outside the gates of Sligo IT last Friday, as the Cabinet had a special sitting in the college to launch the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan.

    Ms Cawley said the campaign will continue as the community back the efforts to convince An Post to retain a post office in Easkey.

    Meanwhile the village is today celebrating the success of Martin McDonagh at the BAFTAS last night.

    The internationally acclaimed director’s mother is from KIlleenduff, Easkey. He was born in London.

    His film ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ picked up five prizes in total including best film and best British film.

    Minister for Culture and Heritage Josepha Madigan says ‘It’s great to see Irish talent represented at this year’s BAFTA awards’.

  • Face coverings look set to be made mandatory on public transport as capacity increases to 50 per cent.

    The cabinet is expected to sign off on the plans at a meeting this evening.

    It's also expected to approve moving to phase three of easing restrictions from Monday - after the National Public Health Emergency Team meets this morning. 

     

  •  

    The first death linked to coronavirus in Ireland has been confirmed.

    The woman who contracted the virus died in a hospital in the east of the country.

     She was one of 34 people that have contracted the virus so far in Ireland.

    The woman was elderly and had an underlying illness.

    She was being treated in hospital initially for respiratory problems, when she was diagnosed with COVID 19.

    It's been confirmed that she has sadly passed away in a hospital in the east of the country.

     

     

  • The Government has officially given the go ahead for the National Broadband Plan.

    A preferred bidder for the contract has been appointed to roll out high speed internet access to 1.1 million people.

    The Cabinet approved the plan this evening - after a meeting that went on considerably longer than expected.

    The plan, which will cost in the region of €3 billion, will see high speed broadband being rolled out to every home and business in the country.

    The first new homes will be connected in 2020 - but some may have to wait years to be connected.

     

     

  • Irish-American businessman and billionaire Edward F Crawford has been  approved by Cabinet as the US ambassador to Ireland.

    The 80-year-old Republican from Cleveland, Ohio was honoured with the title of Mayo Person of the Year in Cleveland in 2014.

    He has been linked with the vacant envoy role since last year shortly after Mr Trump’s initial choice, Florida businessman Brian Burns, withdrew from consideration due to ill-health.

    His connection to Mayo is not direct, it’s more to the Mayo association in Cleveland. Back in 2014 because of his long association with the Association and his work for Irish causes, the Cleveland Association actually changed its own rules and honoured him as the Mayo Person of the Year in Cleveland– despite not having any direct ancestry to the county.

    The President of the Mayo Association in Cleveland is Gerry Quinn of Cloghans, Knockmore and he told Midwest News today that Mr Crawford “ won’t be sitting in an office in Dublin as the ambassador he will work hard and travel extensively across the country”. He said the Association in Cleveland is thrilled and delighted with today’s developments.

    Mr Crawford ‘s approval by the Irish Cabinet this afternoon  - in many ways was a formality, He must now be approved through the US Congress with a vote by the Senate foreign relations committee and then the Senate itself before he can be formally sworn in as ambassador by the Trump administration.

     

     

     

  • Pope Francis hopes to begin his historic visit to Ireland in Knock, according to today’s  Irish Independent. Organisers of the pontiff's trip are believed to be exploring the idea of having him fly directly to the west of Ireland rather than Dublin as anticipated.

    When the Pope’s visit to Ireland was officially confirmed some weeks ago, Dublin was the only venue confirmed – Knock was not ruled out – but certainly wasn’t ruled in either.

    This morning Midwest News has contacted Knock Shrine and we were told that they have not been informed of any new developments regarding the Pope’s visit.

    However, according to the paper there has been much speculation about the type of welcome the Pope will receive - but sources say gardaí have concerns that as many as 650,000 people will want to see him in the Phoenix Park on August 26.

    By holding another event at Knock a day earlier they hope to offer an alternative viewing opportunity for people.

    "The Phoenix Park can cope with the crowds once they are inside but getting them safely to and from the Mass would be the problem," a source  has told the paper.

    The Vatican tends to remain tight-lipped about the Pope's itinerary until shortly before he travels to a country.

    It has been confirmed that the first papal visit in nearly 40 years will take place to coincide with the World Meeting of Families in Dublin between August 21-26. Pope Francis (81) is scheduled to take part in a ceremony in Croke Park on August 25, before celebrating Mass in Phoenix Park the following day.

    Well-placed sources involved in logistical planning for the visit have indicated to the Irish Independent, that Knock is now firmly on the agenda. One proposal is for the pontiff to fly directly to Knock Airport, which in itself would be an historic occasion.

    Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at Knock shrine during his visit in 1979. He described his visit there as "the goal of my journey to Ireland".

    Pope Francis has prayed at a number of Marian shrines while on tours to other countries, including last year when he honoured two children who saw Mary in the Portuguese town of Fátima.

    It is likely that if the Pope flies directly from Rome to Knock, he will then use air transport to get to Dublin in time for a ticketed event in Croke Park.

  • Ireland is entering the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s according to new Government figures.

    The economy is expected to contract by more than 10 per cent this year - with unemployment forecast to reach its highest ever level at 22 per cent.

    Things will recover a certain amount in the second half of the year - but the economy won't return to pre-crisis levels until 2022.

    The forecasts are based on the restrictions being in place for three months and get worse if they last longer.

    Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said there are tough times ahead:

     

     

  • The Ireland Under 20 women’s team stormed through to the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship Division B semi-finals this evening thanks to a thrilling 66-53 point win over Croatia.

    The win saw Ireland top their group in Round 2 and advance through to Saturday’s semi-final where they will face Bulgaria at 3.30pm Irish time, with promotion to Division A and a medal all up for grabs.


    Despite what the scoreline may suggest though, this game was neck-in-neck right up until the fourth quarter. The lead changed hands 20 times throughout the game in a pulsating and absorbing contest. Ireland had heroes across the floor, with a superb team display on defense shutting down the threats of Croatia’s sharpshooters Andjela Katavic and Karla Erjavec to see them score just a combined 13 points in the game. With stand-out performances across the court, some of the key performers for Ireland included Enya Maguire, who finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two steals, two assists, Claire Melia who notched another double double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, Sorcha Tiernan was also a stand out with 12 points, while Dayna Finn top scored with 20 points. Rachel Huijsdens and Annaliese Murphy were also key players in an all round superb display.

    It was the fourth quarter where the game was well and truly won though, as the sides were level 14-14 at the end of the first, Croatia led 27-29 at the end of the second, while Ireland had just edged ahead at the end of the third, 49-46. A massive three pointer from Tiernan got the scoring underway for the Irish in the fourth quarter and this, followed by huge boards from Huijsdens, set Tiernan up for another score moments later to see Ireland suddenly ahead 55-48. The momentum was firmly in Ireland’s favour as Dayna Finn drove inside for two, while superb work from Maeve Phelan sent Melia through to the basket. Another huge three-pointer from Tiernan followed and it was game over, as Ireland powered through the remaining minutes to win out in thrilling fashion, 66-53.

     

  • Irish Rail is advising those travelling to Dublin for the Pope's visit next month that train seats must be booked in advance.

    There will be no access to trains on Sunday 26th August without a ticket or reservation.

    Irish Rail says train tickets will not be available for sale on Sunday 26th August, and only passengers with tickets or reservations will be allowed access the Intercity trains.

    This applies to regular services and extra trains which will operate on a number of routes, including the Mayo, Galway and Sligo rail lines.

    Train passengers must travel on the train they book - due to high demand, there is no flexibilty to change to other services.

    Trains on that date will have unallocated seating, and passengers should take any available seat.

    Up to half a million people will travel to Phoenix Park where the Pope will celebrate Mass on 26th August, following a brief visit to Knock Shrine.

    Irish Rail says this is the large single event the country has hosted since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979, and customers need to book intercity trains in advance to ensure all can travel to the event in comfort.

    Iarnrod Eireann says there are also limited services from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to Claremorris for the Knock Shrine event on the same date - including a bus transfer to and from Knock.

  • 80 percent of people here say the visit of pope Francis this weekend to Ireland hasn't changed their view of the church.

    An Ipsos MRBI Poll in the Irish Times also indicates that over half of people don't think the Pope went far enough when he addressed clerical abuse.

    The poll suggests around 400 thousand people saw the Pontiff at various public events over the weekend.

    Meanwhile, a former papal nuncio to the US, claims Pope Francis knew about a cover up of abuse, but did nothing.

    Peter Isley from the survivors group 'Ending Clergy Abuse' says canon law needs to change

  • Met Eireann are forecasting heavy rain and wind this weekend.

    The yellow weather warning has been issued for the entire country.

    The weather warning comes into effect just after midnight tonight with heavy rain expected to become widespread and strong southeasterly winds will reach gale force at the coasts.

    Tomorrow will be wet with local spot flooding as heavy rain continues through the day.

    Temperatures will range between 10 and 12 degrees.

    Strong southeast winds in the morning will become strong west to northwest winds in the afternoon, with the potential for damaging gusts in the north of the province later.