Mayo News

  • While the Government has further delayed a decision on the National Broadband Plan until after Easter, commercial companies are continuing to rollout highspeed broadband in towns across Co Mayo.

    The proposed National Broadband Plan aims to provide broadband to the most remote houses and premises in the country, but in the meantime, companies like Eir are providing highspeed broadband to more customers in the less remote areas.

    That's according to Mayo FG Councillor Jarlath Munnelly.

    Speaking to Midwest News after the monthly meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, Councillor Munnelly cited the example of broadband being rolled out to areas on the outskirts of Killala town. 

    However, the difficulties faced by rural areas that don't have broadband have been highlighted by Ballina Independent Councillor Seamus Weir.

    While commercial companies are continuing to rollout high-speed broadband in many towns and cities across the country, he says some rural areas are being left behind and it's causing severe difficulties - particularly for those running a business or hoping to work from home.

  • More than €100,000 in funding has been confirmed for preservation and enhancement of Mayo heritage buildings.

    The buildings and structures have been supported through funding announced by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund.

    6 locations in Mayo have been allocated funding under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme which supports owners and custodians to care for our built heritage.

    Ballinrobe House will receive €15,000, St Peter and Paul’s Church Straide €14,844, Valley House in Achill €14,562, Greaghans House Hollymount €5,990, the Church of St Charles the Martyr Hollymount €5,000 and Ballyglass House, Scarduane €4,604.

    The focus of the Historic Structures Fund is on the conservation and enhancement of historic structures and building for the benefit of communities and the public.

    Two locations in Mayo have been allocated funding – Ballysakeery Glebe House in Mullafarry €26,000 and St Catherine’s Church Louisburgh €16,000.



    Most of the country is now under a status yellow wind warning.

    Counties along the West, East, North and South can expect gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

    A status orange rainfall warning remains in place for Cork and Waterford until 6pm tomorrow.




  • Motorists are being advised to exercise caution on the roads this morning. While most main routes appear to have been treated - some secondary routes are reported as being icy. 

    A Status Yellow snow-ice warning remains in place until midday tomorrow. It remains very cold this morning with frost and ice on untreated surfaces.

    Particular care is advised on secondary and local routes, in sheltered areas and on higher ground, where ice and frost may linger. 


  • Motorists can expect additional checkpoints across the Western region over this Easter weekend.

    That's the message from the Western Roads Traffic Unit, as they're appealing to all road users to take extra care this Bank Holiday weekend.

    Last Easter, two people were killed and 14 seriously injured over the Bank Holiday weekend, and Superintendent Noel Kelly of the Western Regional Traffic Unit is urging motorists to slow down, always wear seatbelts, don't use a mobile phone when driving,  and never drink and drive.

    Superintendent Kelly told Midwest News that drivers can expect to meet checkpoints, day or night, over the long weekend....

  • A murder investigation has been launched by Gardai following the death of a woman in Kilbree, Westport on Friday.

    A post-mortem examination was completed yesterday afternoon on the body of 41-year-old Valerie French Kilroy at Mayo University Hospital yesterday by acting State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan.

    Details of the results of the post-mortem are not being released at this stage for operational reasons. A man arrested in connection with the investigation remains in Garda custody.

    The woman’s body was found at a house in the Kilbree area of Westport on Friday morning.

    The arrested man remains in custody at Castlebar Garda Station.


  • Gardai are advising motorists that the N5 road is closed to traffic this afternoon following a serious collision at Swinford, close to the Kiltimagh Road/Applegreen junction.

    The collision between a lorry and a car occurred earlier. The road is closed between the junction for Kiltimagh and the Kilkelly junction.

    Gardai are advising motorists to take an alternative route if possible – if travelling east or west. Possible alternatives are through Kiltimagh and Foxford. Also for people travelling to the airport, they should go through Swinford town and back out onto the N5.

    The road will remain closed for some time.

    Meanwhile Gardai are advising of delays in Kiltimagh town this afternoon following a minor collision.



  • The N84 road at Ballintubber has reopened to traffic this evening following a collision earlier today.

    Gardai say the road has reopened in the past hour. 

    The incident was a two car collision, which Gardai describe as serious.


  • Nearly 600 cases of mumps have been reported in Ireland so far this year.

    The latest figures from the HSE mean there's been more cases of the highly-contagious disease than all of 2018.

    Most of the cases are in teenagers and young adults, while men have had 54 percent of diagnoses so far.

    The figures show that in the Western region there were 96 cases reported, while in the North Western region there were 66.


  • The Network Ireland Mayo Businesswoman of the Year winners were announced last night at a gala dinner in Knockranny House Hotel in Westport.

    The overall Businesswoman of the Year award went to Stephanie Coyne of Face Aesthetic Clinic in Castlebar.

    The Small SME with less than 10 employees award went to Martina Calvey of Calvey’s Achill Mountain Lamb, the Emerging New Business award went to Stephanie Coyne, the STEM award to Paula McNicholas of Lean Team Strategies Ltd, the Arts award to Geraldine Hogan, better known as author Faith Hogan and the Shining Star Employee award went to Siobhan Scally of the Great National Hotel in Ballna.



  • On two occasions this year, it took an ambulance over an hour to arrive at a life-threatening emergency.

    New figures also show that response-time targets aren't being met in up to 50 per cent of such cases across the country.


    HIQA says ambulances should arrive at life-threatening emergencies in less than 19 minutes in 80 per cent of cases.

    But new figures, released by the National Ambulance Service, show this isn't being met in almost all regions in Ireland.

    In the first four months of this year, for non-cardiac cases, it was reached only 44 per cent of the time by Dublin Fire Brigade, the major provider of emergency ambulance cover in Dublin.

    It was also met in only 52 per cent of these type of cases in the west and southeast.

    There were response-times of over an hour in Kildare and Cork and one of 44 minutes in Leitrim - and three further calls of over 42 minutes for cardiac emergencies, in Tipperary, Monaghan and Wexford.

    The HSE has not yet responded to requests for comment on the statistics.


  • The new swimming pool and leisure complex at Lough Lannagh in Castlebar was officially opened yesterday by the Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring and the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Blackie Gavin.

    Over 30 people are now employed at the new leisure complex at Lough Lannagh, following an investment of almost €14 million.

    Minister Michael Ring says Castlebar is one of a number of Mayo towns that benefitted from the Swimming Pool Capital Scheme, which he reopened when he was Minister for Tourism & Sport several years ago.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News he was involved with this project from the start.


    The CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Hynes told Midwest News that the development is not only a milestone for Castlebar, but also for the local authority and the county. He says it is the culmination of two decades of planning and preparation.

    He told Midwest News that we are lucky to have such a facility on our doorstep.

  • The new US Ambassador to Ireland is set to be sworn into office today.

    Edward Crawford, a former Cleveland Mayo Society Person of the Year, was appointed to the position earlier this month, with the post vacant since Barack Obama's presidency ended.

    The 81 year old’s parents were from Ireland and travelled to the United States in the 1920s.

    After being sworn into office by US Vice President Mike Pence, he will formally take up the role.

  • It has been confirmed today that no challenge has been lodged to the planning permission for the new bridge at Cloongullane on the N26 between Foxford and Swinford.

    Planning permission was granted on December 21st for a new bridge at that location but there is a two month cooling off period to allow for any challenges to be lodged to the decision.

    That date has now passed and it has been confirmed that no challenged was lodged to the project.

    Local Fine Gael Cllr Neil Cruise says this is very welcome news and he is very hopeful that machinery will be onsite to construct the new bridge by mid 2020.

    He told Midwest News this evening this is a positive step on the road to improving the road network in the area.

  • There are a number of critical areas in west Mayo that require immediate works to prevent serious flooding every time there is a high tide. T

    hat’s according to Independent local election candidate in Westport, John O’Malley.

    The former Fine Gael Councillor says he has grave concerns that due to the overspend by the present government on the new Children's Hospital in Dublin, that funding will either be cut or not approved for projects long over due in rural Mayo.

  • Nurses have been thanking the public for their support on the picket lines last Wednesday.

    INMO members say they were overwhelmed with offers of hot drinks and food from local shops and pubs and cafes, donuts from prison officers and supplies from firefighters.

    They also have huge public support online - ahead a meeting of the union's executive later today, during which decisions will be made about what happens next.

    The INMO's Director of Regulation and Social Policy, Edward Matthews, says going on strike isn't an easy decision, but it can be avoided if the Government supports its nurses:

  • The Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Environment has issued an invitation to representatives of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, Water and Energy to appear before it, to address concerns in relation to the proposed Mayo Power Plant in Killala.

    That was confirmed to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary yesterday by Chair of the Committee Deputy Hildegarde Naughton.

    Deputy Calleary had contacted Deputy Naughton following the decision by the CRU to last week issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18% - compared to the 100% issued previously.

    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 that the invitation has now been officially extended to the CRU  to appear before the committee on April 2nd.

  • Older drivers, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, need to be aware of changes in road traffic laws and how to stay safe on roads.

    That's according to Mayo County Council's Road Safety Office, which is hosting an Older Road Users Conference in Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar next week.

    The free event takes place on Thursday 14th March from 9.30am to 1pm, and its aim is to help improve the experience for older road users, and increase their awareness and knowledge of current road systems and road traffic laws.

    With some older people choosing to use mobility scooters to maintain their independence, information provided on the day will assist these people to use the road and footpaths safely.

    The Older Road User conference is being organised by Mayo's Older Persons Council, the Road Safety Office and the Community Section and will cover a range of topics, including changes in road traffic law, road layouts and traffic signs, how vehicles have changed over the years and how driving skills and habits have evolved.

    Special guests on the day will include former RTE newsreader, Castlebar native Michael Murphy, and Mayo footballer Andy Moran.


    The number to book a place at the conference is 094 - 9064336 or 094 - 9064348.


  • One of Mayo’s oldest citizens will be laid to rest today.

    Andy Forde of Abbey Street, Ballina and late of The Glebe, Ballina and The Neale, passed away at St Augustine’s Home earlier this week in his 105th year.

    Mr Forde ran a grocers in Ardnaree for many years.

    He will be laid to rest in Leigue Cemetery this afternoon, following 12.30 Funeral Mass in St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina.


  • Outline planning permission has been secured for new three million euro development of the 12th century Ballintubber Abbey.

    The Ballintubber Abbey Development Project has ambitious plans to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of visitors and pilgrimages to the location and two members of the project Fr Paddy Gilligan and Con Lydon addressed this week’s monthly meeting of Castlebar Municipal District to seek the support of local councillors in their efforts.

    Working on an extension to an 800 year old structure is a difficult but necessary task, Fr Paddy explained.

    A lot of time and effort has already been given by the local community to get the plan to this stage, and now government funding, under schemes like the rural Regeneration Scheme, will be applied for to secure the monies needed to expand Ballintubber Abbey as an interpretive centre for pilgrimages.

     Councillors agreed that the proposed plan for Ballintubber Abbey is of huge significance nationally and gave a commitment to assist the committee in any way possible to ensure their success.