Mayo News

  • A Mayo Senator has called for funding for three new group water schemes in Mayo.

    Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says funding is urgently needed to fund new schemes in Downpatrick and Carrowmore in Ballycastle and Furmoyle in west Mayo.

    She raised the matter by way of motion in the Seanad yesterday.

    Senator Mulherin says it is past time that these areas were provided with proper group water schemes. In Downpatrick for example, the tap water cannot be used because of the presence of iron and arsenic in the supply.

    However these areas did not qualify for funding under previous water programmes due to not meeting certain criteria and the cost of providing the supply.

    However Senator Mulherin says a new measure – the multi-annual rural water programme – should provide for these types of areas and she is confident that in the cases of Downpatrick and Carrowmore they can be accommodated.

    She says more work will be needed to make progress in Furmoyle.

    Senator Mulherin told Midwest News that she will continue to work on obtaining a clean drinking water supply for these areas.

  • A Mayo Senator has called for the Life Saving Equipment Bill to be brought back before the Seanad, so that the final stage can pass the Seanad and then the Dail.

    Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick drew up the Bill last year and it proposes to introduce hefty fines and custodial sentences for people convicted of destroying life saving equipment, like defibrillators, life buoys, life rings etc.

    It has passed the second stage in the Seanad and earlier Senator Swanick asked the Leader of the Seanad Jerry Buttimer to reintroduce it so that it can be progressed.

    Senator Buttimer committed to bringing it back as a priority and Senator Swanick is hopeful it pass through the Seanad before the Summer recess.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest News this evening that this a vital piece of legislation.

  • A Mayo Senator is urging Mayo County Council to apply for grant-aid to proceed with the proposed Salmon Life Centre in Ballina.

    Fáilte Ireland recently announced a new grant scheme for large-scale visitor attractions, with funding of up to €2.5 million available, and expressions of interest must be submitted by 17th July.

    Ballina-based FG Senator Michelle Mulherin is urging Mayo County Council to submit an expression of interest before that date in relation to the Salmon Life Centre, which was first mooted in Ballina about ten years ago.

    She says the plan has been on the back burner for some time, but such a facility would help to expand the area's tourist attractions, and encourage visitors to spend more bed nights in north Mayo.

  • Ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) held a protest at Leinster House on Wednesday in their continuing campaign for their right to join, and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice.

    Separately, PNA has announced that over 500 PNA ambulance branch members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) will hold two further days of strike on Tuesday 2nd April, and Wednesday 10th April from 7am to 5pm each day.

    The protest and the further strike action in April is a further stage in the campaign by PNA ambulance personnel members that has already involved four days of strike action on January 22nd, February 15th, 28th and March 1st.

    Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin has voiced her support for NSARA in their continuing campaign. She has also spoken to Minister for Health Simon Harris about the issue.

    She says the staff members represented by NASRA have the right to be recognised by the HSE.

  • At a recent Mayo Sports Partnership Board meeting €21,500 was allocated to 47 clubs / organisations in Mayo through the Partnerships 2019 special participation grant scheme. Special guest at a recent presentation evening, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, recognised the contribution that sport makes to people’s health and wellbeing.

    “We should never take for granted what sport does in our communities and daily lives. The fantastic work sports volunteers do in providing participation opportunities for all sectors of the population needs to be commended and recognised. I am delighted to be here once again to present funding for sports initiatives across the length and breadth of the county ” Minister Ring stated.

    Mayo Sports Partnership aims to have more people enjoying more sports and this scheme supports minority sports groups & clubs in providing increased opportunities to participate in these activities. This year the scheme has funded initiatives including additional mothers and others programmes, table tennis and swimming in Ballyhaunis, athletic club development in Swinford and Westport, kayaking opportunities in Ballina and Castlebar ,womens participation in golf programmes in Claremorris and Westport, handball in Belcarra and Tourmakeady plus much more. Disability sports programmes in rugby and soccer clubs, disability groups and projects targeting the travelling community were also supported under the initiative.

    “While the monies distributed are not substantial this small grant scheme is very targeted and has helped many new clubs and programmes to get established. New clubs and sports such as Mayo Volleyball Club, Lakes District Athletic Club, Westport Basketball Club, Ballyhaunis Table Tennis Club are just some who have benefitted from the initiative ”Mayo Sports Partnership Head Charlie Lambert added

    Mayo Sports Partnership comprises of representatives from local agencies, sports organisations and community representatives, is core funded by Sport Ireland and is hosted locally by Mayo County Council. For funding under the annual Special Participation Grant Scheme applicants need to show that the suggested project will increase participation and is sustainable.

    Since 2005 the Partnership has brought an overall investment of close to €10 million to developing sport and recreation within the county. Many projects / initiatives involving pre-schools all the way up to older people have benefited from this significant input.

    Any further information on the above can be obtained by contacting Mayo Sports Partnership at 094 9064360 or by logging on to

    The full list of Clubs/Organisations who received funding are:

    Special Project Participation Initiative Grants 2019


    Organisation/ Club                                         Total amount €


    Claremorris Colts RFC


    Castlebar Mitchells Mothers and others


    Ballinrobe GAA Mothers and Others


    Ballina United FC


    Westport Golf club Ladies club


    Ballyhaunis Table Tennis Club


    Breaffy Rounders Club


    Claremorris Golf Club


    Swinford Athletics Club


    Castlebar Kayak Club


    Neale Ladies Gaelic Mothers and others


    Westport Athletics Club


    Tullaghan Bay Rowing Club


    Belcarra Handball Club


    Islandeady GAA


    Kilmaine GAA (Kilmaine Kickers)


    Grainne Uaile Triathlon Club


    Westport United FC


    Ballyhaunis Swimming Pool Committee


    Ballina Tennis Club


    Moy Davitts Mothers and Others


    Moy Canoe Club


    Kiltimagh/Knock United


    Mustangs Basketball


    Manulla FC


    Castlebar Town FC


    Tourmakeady Handball Club


    Westport Warriors Basketball club


    Westport Tennis Club


    Claremorris Tennis Club


    Ballina RFC


    Westport RFC


    Islandeady/Glenisland/Derrywash Community groups.


    Monday Meets Club 55


    Traveller Girls Group Youth Booth @ The Maple Youth Ballinrobe


    Kilkelly Active Group


    Mayo Traveller Support Group


    Moy ICA Guild Ballina


    Ballina Carers Support Group


    Irish wheelchair association/Belmullet INA Centre


    Westport Special Olympics


    Western Care Day Service


    Rapid Prompting Method


    Cairde Club (Drop in Centre)


    Arthritis Ireland


    Mayo Dyspraxia Group
















  • There's a call on the Health Minister Simon Harris to explain why he went against expert advice and announced extra free smear testing.

    Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says he must immediately tackle the confusion over the latest developments in the CervicalCheck controversy.

    6,000 women will get letters next week asking them to take another smear test as their original one was made unreliable due to being delayed.

    Deputy Chambers says it's put pressure on the system and is taking too long.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has criticised the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection as pensioners in County Mayo are left wondering while a pension review is underway to consider their entitlement to an increase in the State Contributory Pension.

    A review in relation to post Budget 2012 band rates is currently underway.

    Dara Calleary says the changes brought in by the previous government were a disaster.

    Deputy Calleary says he fought hard to have the Government rectify these issues and a review was commenced.

  • A Mayo TD has described maternity facilities in some hospitals across the country as unacceptable.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers was speaking during a Private Members Motion in the Dail yesterday.

    She said that the difficulty in obtaining foetal anomaly scans was a huge problem, and it can be a postcode lottery with inconsistencies across the country.

    Deputy Chambers said that staffing levels are still much lower than they should be.

    In response Minister for Health Simon Harris said that funding is being made available to hire 28 new sonographers to read scans to provide 100% access to the anomaly scans. He also said that all 19 maternity units in the country will offer full access to the anomaly scanning by the end of this year.

  • A Mayo TD has raised concerns about the future of the Mayo Power plant in Killala with Minister Richard Bruton in the Dail today.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Leader Dara Calleary sought the urgent debate with the Minister in the Dail following the decision by the energy regulator to issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18% - compared to the 100% issued previously.

    Minister Bruton told Deputy Calleary that he is not in  a position to intervene directly but the regulator is answerable to the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Environment.

    Deputy Calleary has now written to the Chair of that Committee, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton to ask that she request the regulator appears before the committee to address these concerns.

    Some €95 million has already been spent on the €255m high-efficiency combined heat and power plant in Killala.

    Work on the plant was halted in 2016 when one of the investors withdrew from the project.

    New investors then came on board to complete the 45 megawatt biomass-fuelled power plant, and they applied for the necessary consents.

    Renewed consents were was given by Mayo County Council, the EPA and ESB Networks, while the energy regulator has taken since last May to respond.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News this evening that it is now of the utmost importance that this issue is looked at urgently.

  • A Mayo TD has called on the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation along with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to address the disparity nationally in prices for a litre of petrol and diesel.

    Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says it has been brought to her attention by numerous constituents that there is a huge disparity in the price for a litre of petrol and diesel around towns and villages in Mayo.

    She said it is completely unacceptable and unfair to people who already pay huge bills to own a vehicle.

    Deputy Chambers has contacted both Minister for Business Heather Humphries and the CCPC to ask for clarity on the matter.

  • Mayo Mental Health Association, Ballyhaunis Golf Club, the Achill International Harp Festival, Swift Conservation Ireland and the Ballinglen Arts Festival are the five Mayo clubs, community projects and organisations announced today as county winners in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019.

    The awards were created to honour and showcase the inspiring work being carried out by thousands of projects, clubs and individuals in their local communities across Ireland thanks to National Lottery Good Causes funding. Nearly 30 cent of every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.

    The Mayo winners are:

    • Sport - Ballyhaunis Golf Club
    • Health & Wellbeing– Mayo Mental Health Association
    • Arts & Culture -Achill International Harp Festival
    • Heritage -Swift Conservation Ireland
    • Community -Ballinglen Arts Festival

    The awards, which culminates in a televised Gala Awards Dinner in Dublin on Saturday, 2nd November, has six main categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced on the night at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish Language.

    The full list of County Winners can be found at

    These winners will now go forward to the six Regional finals, competing for a place in the National Finals in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November. Each category winner will received €10,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year will receive an additional €25,000.  

  • A Mayo woman is reported to have died following a road collision in Australia. It is understood the woman was in her early 20’s and had travelled to Australia in recent weeks.

    The woman sustained fatal injuries following a two-car collision in the Melbourne area.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is aware of the incident and is providing consular assistance to the family of the deceased.

  • Following the release today (Thursday) of the latest JNLR/Ipsos Radio Listenership survey of all radio stations in Ireland Midwest Radio remains the dominant force in local radio in Ireland.

    The figures reveal that Midwest Radio is clearly the preferred choice amongst radio listeners with a Yesterday Listened figure of 63% - up 2% for the previous survey. However, the stations market share – which determines the amount of time listeners stay tuned to the station – has increased by a massive 3.9% and now stands at 54.8%.

    Midwest Radio’s CEO Paul Claffey said he was extremely proud of the latest figures and said that the loyalty people in Connacht have to the station is unique and that Midwest Radio is an integral part of life in the west of Ireland.

    “The results are phenomenal and great credit has to go to our entire team who have put their shoulder to the wheel and made sure that we deliver the service that people want.  Midwest Radio is very much a team effort and every single member of our staff in every department of our business deserves great credit for keeping us where we are”.

    Mr. Claffey also said that whilst other media competitors such as local newspapers were experiencing a worrying decline within their industry it appeared that there were no signs of local radio becoming extinct - citing the fact that local radio was more popular in practically every franchise area in the country that the national stations. 

    “When you consider that Midwest Radio has more listeners than the combined listenership of all the RTE radio stations, Newstalk, Today FM and all the other stations available in the region it tells its own story.  Thankfully, we continue to be the preferred choice and we hope to keep it that way”.

    2019 sees Midwest Radio celebrate its 30th birthday and Mr. Claffey said that in the coming weeks a number of initiatives would be launched to coincide with this milestone.  He said, however, that the success-story of Midwest Radio belonged to its staff and advertisers.

    “We never underestimate the importance of our loyal staff and also our exceptionally supportive advertisers.  At the end of the day the service we provide couldn’t happen without the financial supports which businesses across the west give us.  I would like to thank them for their loyalty and assure them that we are delivering the listenership figures that allow them to promote their businesses to the largest radio audience in the region”.

  • The Minister for Agriculture has announced details of Online Clinics which will be held across the region in April, to assist farmers to submit their Basic Payment Scheme and Transfer of Entitlements applications online.

    Farmers can meet on a one-to-one basis with Department staff who will assist them in making their BPS application.

    Under EU regulations, all applications must now be submitted online, and the application process is open since February.

    BPS online clinics are being held across the region where farmers can meet one-to-one with a member of staff from the Department, and make their Basic Payment Scheme application there and then.

    A clinic will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sligo next Friday 5th April, at the Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina on Wed 10th April, at the Oranmore Lodge Hotel in Oranmore, Galway on Friday 12th April and the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe the following Tuesday 16th April, and at the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris on Tuesday 30th April - the clinics will run from 9am to 3pm.

    Further online clinics are planned for Galway, Roscommon and Mayo during the month of May.

    Minister Michael Creed is urging farmers to avail of the opportunity to apply for the BPS with the assistance of Department staff.

    Farmers with queries in relation to completing the BPS apaplication online can also ring the Department at 076 - 1064420.


  • A Mayo TD today raised concerns over Belmullet District Hospital and Aras Deirbhle on a topical issue in the Dail with Minister for Older People Jim Daly.

    Minister Daly assured Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary that there is no threat to the future of the facility and said while he is in office, he will not let the facility be downgraded.

    Deputy Calleary outlined the situation to Minister Daly, where concerns have arisen that changes to staffing may impact on the facilities.

    There seems to be a difference in the number of short stay beds that the HSE has told Minister Daly are being staffed – he has been informed 12 short stay beds are in operation at any time, while Deputy Calleary was told that there are 18 support acute discharge beds, with 2 additional short stay beds – so 20 in total.

    The Minister also confirmed he will be visiting the hospital but it will be later this month or the beginning of next month.

    Deputy Calleary told Minister Daly he was concerned at the discrepancy in the information regarding the number of short stay beds at Belmullet Hospital.

    Minister Daly told Deputy Calleary that he has requested the information on how many short stay beds are in Belmullet Hospital from Tony Canavan of the HSE.

  • The Minister for Finance has effectively ruled out a general election this year.

    Paschal Donohue says he is already working on Budget 2020 for October and is confident it will pass.

    He was speaking at the Fine Gael National Conference in Wexford, where 1-thousand party members have gathered for the two day event, ending with a televised address by the Taoiseach tonight.

    Minister Donohue is confident he will get the Budget through by the end of the year.

  • Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring will today participate in a series of local events in Mayo.

    At 11am, Minister Ring will plant a tree in Belleek Woods to mark National Tree Week 2019, which will officially kick off on Sunday 31 March and will run until Sunday 7 April 2019.

    At midday, Minister Ring will officially open the Disabled Angler’s Facility with the East Mayo Angler’s Association at Crillaun Straide on the River Moy.

    At 2pm, Minister Ring will officially open phase 2 of the clubhouse at Grainne Uaile Sub Aqua Club in Ballina.

    At 4pm, Minister Ring will officially open the Crossmolina Civic and Cultural Centre.


  • The official opening will take place this morning of new classrooms at Knockrooskey National School near Westport.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring will be at the school at 11am this morning (Friday) to open the extended and refurbished school.

    And at 3pm this afternoon, Minister Ring will officially open the new Achill Island Distillery and Visitor Centre.

    The company hopes to create up to 25 jobs at the Achill facility in the coming years when fully operational.

    Irish American Whiskey was established 5 years ago, and is currently exporting to 11 states in the US.


  • Minister Michael Ring met with An Post yesterday to discuss issues locally and nationally.

    During the course of the discussion, Minister Ring raised the issue of Ballycroy Post Office.

    He says that he made very strong representations and impressed on them what a big loss this post office would be to the local community. Minister Ring also highlighted that some interest had been shown by someone in the vicinity in relation to the post office.

    The Minister says he has received confirmation from An Post that the issue of Ballycroy Post Office is being positively and constructively looked at.

    He says Cllr Gerry Coyle has maintained constant pressure on both himself and An Post in relation to securing the future of Ballycroy Post Office.

    Minister Ring says the post office provides a vital service to the community and he hopes there will be a favourable outcome with An Post.

    The post office in Ballycroy closed on New Year’s Eve.

    The future of the post office looked to have been secured when An Post announced last September they had agreed to re-advertise the contract, but there were subsequently no successful applicants for the post.

  • Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly told the Dail yesterday evening that Belmullet District Hospital will not be downgraded under his watch.

    It came as concerns over the facility and Aras Deirbhle were raised by Fianna Fail Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary yesterday on a Topical Issue.

    Minister Daly said that there will be no downgrading of facilities for older people while he is in office and that includes Belmullet.

    However he said he cannot stand over staff being allocated to empty beds if that is proven to be the case.

    Minister Daly has also confirmed that he will visit the hospital at the end of this month, or in the very early days of July.

    He is also waiting on figures from Tony Canavan on how many short stay beds are in use at the facility at any one time – he says the HSE has told him 12, while figures given to Deputy Calleary and the media say 18 support acute short day beds and 2 additional short stay beds.

    The assurances from Minister Daly were welcomed this morning by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring. He says that it is a case of some people trying to make political gain out of a situation that is simply not happening.