Mayo News

  • A status yellow snow-ice warning has been issued for 10 counties.

    The warning will affect all of Connacht and counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Longford and Louth.

    It will come into effect from just after midnight and last until noon on Wednesday.

    Met Eireann says there will be icy patches, while hail and sleet will fall mainly on higher ground.

  • The average price of agricultural land in Mayo is at a five year low according to the Irish Farmers Journal.

    In 2018 prices fell by 6.6% in County Mayo, which makes it the second cheapest land market in Ireland, behind Leitrim and just ahead of Roscommon and Clare.

    This is the lowest price land has been in Mayo since 2013.

    Supply was well down in Mayo last year, to the tune of 53.6%. In total 3,454 acres was offered in Mayo, down from 5,176 acres in 2017.

  • There's expected to be disruption for patients in the health service today - despite a strike by 10 thousand support staff being called off.

    They were due to stage a 24 hour walkout in a row over the implementation of pay rises.

    However, SIPTU's confirmed the strike won't go ahead so more talks can take place at the Workplace Relations Commission.

    Two more days of industrial action are planned next week if no breakthrough can be found.

    Stephen McMahon from the Irish Patients Association says the strike being called off doesn't mean there won't be disruption.

  • Councillor Teresa Whelan, who is a representative on Mayo Enterprise and Development SPC, along with Mayo Broadband Officer Stephen Carolan have identified Ballycroy Community Centre, Keel Community Centre in Achill and Belderrig Community Centre as the 3 centres that will avail of the new broadband connection point ahead of the National Broadband Plan.

    These 3 centres will give access to all people living in the community the opportunity to avail of this essential service.

    Cllr Whelan has welcomed the news but says she is committed to lobbying the government so that this service can be rolled out in many more community centres in rural communities.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Three pupils from a small primary school on the Mayo / Galway border have made it through to the finals of the national scratch competition, which is aimed at Ireland's next generation of digital creators.

     

    Cian Mangan from 5th class, Ewan Fitzgerald from 4th class and Nathan Fitzgerald from 3rd class in Cloghans Hill national school on the borders of Galway and Mayo are among 30 primary and secondary school students from across the country who were chosen for the national finals, which take place in the University of Limerick on 15th May, as part of Tech Week Ireland 2019.

    The national scratch competition is open to primary and second-level students, and those involved in after-school coding clubs.

    Cloghans Hill National School already has a proud history when it comes to national coding finals, while the school has also been selected to showcase their work with coding and scratch at the European Scratch conference in Cambridge in August.

    Past pupil Aoibheann Mangan -who was chosen as joint European Digital Girl of the Year for 2018 - and other students from 2nd, 3rd and 4th class in the small rural primary school will take part in the showcase event in the UK.

  • Transport Infrastructure Ireland has carried out an audit of junctions along the N17 between Claremorris and Charlestown and a number of safety works will be undertaken along the route over the next number of months. That was confirmed by Council Engineer Conrad Harlay at the monthly meeting of Claremorris Municipal District earlier this week.

    Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry Murray had been highlighting the concerns of many local residents along the route, where a number of serious road traffic collisions had occurred over the past number of years.

  • Today marks the second anniversary of the Rescue 116 helicopter crash in which 4 crew members were killed off the coast of Co Mayo.

    The helicopter crashed after hitting the small island of Blackrock just off Blacksod.

    The final air accident Investigation report into the crash is expected to be completed shortly.

    In the early hours of March 14th 2017,  Rescue 116 was en route to Blacksod for refuelling after providing top cover on a medivac for an injured fisherman 250 kilometres off the Mayo coast.

    The helicopter disappeared from radar screens at 12:45am prompting a massive search and rescue operation.

    Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Co pilot Captain Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith were all killed when the helicopter ditched into the sea.

    6 months after the crash a report into the operation of search and rescue found confusion among the different agencies involved.  12 recommendations were made.

    The final report of the the Air Accident Investigation Unit has yet to be completed.  The AAIU says it is at an advanced stage and will be circulated, in confidence, to interested parties as soon as possible before being published

     

     

  • Tomorrow's strike by health workers has been deferred to allow for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission. 

    Siptu representatives have confirmed that a 24 hour workplace stoppage at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities has been postponed at the request of the WRC. 

    The union says discussions on the implementation of the job evaluation scheme will get underway tomorrow. 

    However it says preparations for strikes next Tuesday and Wednesday will continue.

     

  • A  new educational board game based on the Wild Atlantic Way, and a storage solution for boots are the businesses developed by Transition Year students from Achill and Belmullet, who are aiming to reach a European entrepreneurial final.

    The students from Colaiste Pobail in Achill and Colaiste Naomh Bhreandáin in Belmullet are making final preparations from the All-Ireland Final of Udarás na Gaeltachta's Clár na gComhlachtaí Competition, which takes place in Furbo, Galway next month.

     

    Eight student mini-companies from Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Cork and Kerry will battle it out for honours over the 2-day national final on 2/3 April in the Connemara Coast Hotel in Furbo.

    The two student enterprises by the TY students in Achill and Belmullet - a new educational board game based on the Wild Atlantic Way and a storage solution for boots - recently took joint honours at the Mayo regional final of the competition, and are hoping to impress the judges in Galway.

    The winners of this year's National Final will represent Ireland at the Junior Achievement Europe Company of the Year competition which takes place in France in June.

    This is the first time winners of the Udaras competition will have the opportunity to take part in the European level of the competition.

    The TY students will also showcase their projects at NUI Galway.

    St Brendan's College Belmullet is represented by Mairtín Ó'Conaire and Pádraig Ó'Gacháin, who developed their storage solution for boots called Cró Buataisí P&M, while Coláíste Pobail Acla is represented by four TY students - Molly Nic Meanmáin, Caoimhe Ní Ghallolaigh Mcnamara, Saran ni Ghallolaigh and Tara Ni Chaoimh who developed the board game Cluiche Bord an Atlantaigh.

    The Udarás Clár na gComhlachtaí programme is a hands-on business learning experience, taught by business volunteers through the Irish language to students in the Gaeltacht regions.

  • Tuesday last was one of the busiest days in the history of the Mayo Mountain Rescue Team - with the exception of Reek Sundays.

    The team dealt with three separate call-outs to incidents on Croagh Patrick, between 11am and 7pm.

     

    With the exception of Reek Sundays - which take place on the last Sunday of July each year - Tuesday of this week was one of the busiest days ever for the Mayo Mountain Rescue team.

    It starts shortly before 11.30am when the mountain rescue team was alerted by Gardai and the Irish Coast Guard to come to the assistance of a man who had sustained a lower leg injury on Croagh Patrick.

    A first-response party attended to the casualty who was subsequently airlifted to Mayo University Hospital by the Coastguard for further treatment.

    While he was being airlifted by Rescue 118, the Mayo Mountain Rescue team was again tasked at about 2.40pm, again near the shoulder of Croagh Patrick.

    The first reponse team and stretcher team who were already on the mountain went to assist a second casualty who had also sustained a lower leg injury.

    He was treated and then stretchered down the Reek to the Murrisk side.

    A walker who was with a group on Croagh Patrick then advised of a 3rd casualty who required assistance, after being injured in a fall near the summit.

    He had managed to descend with the help of his group, but was suffering from exhaustion.

    A first-response team  treated him for his injury before assisting the casualty to walk down off the mountain.

    The Mountain Rescue Team were finally stood down at about 7pm Tuesday evening after a busy day - and it followed a busy weekend, with two callouts last Saturday - one of which included a complex rescue on steep ground.

    The voluntary organisation provides emergency cover 24 hours per day, 7 days a week on Mayo's hills and mountains.

    Up to 80% of call-outs annually are to Croagh Patrick.

  • A verdict of misadventure was returned by a jury at an inquest today into the death of a 61-year-old building contractor who was killed instantly when his car collided with an articulated lorry on the Swinford bypass in February of last year.

    The man who died was Francis (Frank) Walsh, Treenlaur, Kiltimagh. His son, Mark, who was in the passenger seat, was badly injured but has since recovered.

    The impact occurred at Carrowbaun, Swinford, close to Applegreen, as Mr. Walsh was exiting from the Kiltimagh/Swinford road onto the N5.

    The truck involved in the impact was owned by Donovan Transport.

    Driven by Eugene Casey, Cloonloo, Boyle, it was travelling westwards on the N5 to pick up a loaded container at Baxter Healthcare, Castlebar. 

    Mr. Casey, in a statement read to today’s inquest, explained that he sounded his horn to warn the driver to stop as he came onto the N5 but the car driver kept coming.

    He said there was nothing he could do to avoid and impact and he was in pure shock afterwards.

    Other drivers on the N5 corroborated the lorry driver’s evidence that the car appeared not to stop at the junction but kept going.

    Sergeant Gabriel McLoughlin, PSV Inspector for Mayo, carried out an examination of the crash vehicles.

    Sergeant McLoughlin said it was not possible to calculate the speed of the car at the time of the collision.

    Also, it was not possible to determine whether the car braked prior to the collision.

    Both vehicles were in a roadworthy condition and the road was good.

    Garda Michael Mullaney of the Garda Traffic Corps, Castlebar, examined the digital tachograph unit of the lorry.

    He said that at the time of the fatal collision Eugene Casey was fully compliant with the driver’s hours regulations as well as the EU Working Time directive.

    Dr. Fadel Bennani, who carried out a post mortem examination, gave the cause of death as multiple fatal injuries including skull fracture with subarachnoid haemorrhage and multiple rib fracture sustained in a road traffic accident.

    The level of blood alcohol was determined at 377mg%

    Coroner O’Connor noted the blood alcohol level of the deceased was five times the legal limit.

    After a short period of deliberation, the inquest jury returned a verdict of misadventure.

    Sympathising with the Walsh family, the coroner said he had known the deceased well.

     “I knew him personally. He was a lovable man and ran a very good business.

     “He will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him”.

     Tom Walsh, solicitor (for the Walsh family) thanked the emergency services, gardai and particularly members of the public who attended at the scene in a bid to help both accident victims.

     Sergeant David Tiernan, on behalf of An Garda Siochana, and the foreman of the inquest jury joined in the expressions of sympathy.

     Finally, Coroner O’Connor mentioned what he described as an increasing trend - the practice of motorists coasting from minor roads onto national primary routes such as the N17 and the N5 without stopping.

     The practice had been the cause of serious accidents particularly on the N17 between Charlestown and Ballindine, the coroner stated.

     

  • West Mayo Councillors have agreed to write to the Transport Minister Shane Ross to try and bring in a law to penalise people who fail to wear hi-visibility clothing while out walking.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Brendan Mulroy asked the SPC to get legal advice and see if a by-law could be brought in within Mayo County Council but that can’t be done.

    As a result of this Cllr Mulroy says the only solution is now to meet with Minister Ross to address this issue.

    Cllr Mulroy says if we can save one life and family from going to a graveyard it will be a good day’s work.

  • A Westport based Councillor has again called for the wearing of high-viz vests in poorly lit areas to become law.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Brendan Mulroy made the call at the Roads and Transportation Strategic and Policy Committee meeting last week.

    Last year Cllr Mulroy called for the imposition of fines for people found to be walking on badly lit rural roads, without a high-viz jacket.

    At the time the call gained national interest but Cllr Mulroy says the campaign has made very little headway since.

    He has asked the SPC to go to Mayo County Council to see if a bye-law can be enacted in the county in the first instance.

  • Minister Michael Ring has welcomed the appointment of Fine Gael Councillor Tereasa McGuire from Westport as a Peace Commissioner.

    Minister Michael Ring said he was pleased to hear that Councillor McGuire has been appointed as a Peace Commissioner. He congratulated Tereasa on this appointment and said Tereasa is a person of good character and standing within the community.  She is a well-respected teacher, Councillor and overall community person.

  • A Westport Councillor has called on the CEO of Mayo County Council to ensure that the local authority submits an application for part of the €23m announced recently for the Water Services Investment Programme, so that work can begin on the Westport/Louisburgh Water Scheme.

    A notice has been in place for some time now on Croagh Patrick to advise people that the water is not fit for consumption.

    Local Independent Cllr Christy Hyland asked the CEO to ensure funding is sought to get the scheme in this area up and running.

    The CEO assured him that funding would be sought for the programme.

  • The Wild Atlantic Way is this week awash with influential media from across the globe, as they undertake a tailored itinerary to learn more about the Wild Atlantic Way and Mayo.  The overseas media visit was designed, hosted and managed by Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland.

     The top magazine and online journalists from India (Outlook Traveller), the US (Swanky Retreats), Canada (Skyscanner), France (Paris Match), Belgium (L'Aveni), Denmark (Isabelles Magazine) and the Netherlands (Zin) have a combined readership/audience of over 1.2 million.

    A bespoke itinerary was devised by Fáilte Ireland for the media who will spend five days taking in the many activities, culture and heritage of Mayo on the Wild Atlantic Way. 

    Speaking about the trip, Liam Campbell, Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity Manager, commented –

    “Mayo offers so much to visitors– from incredible walks with breath-taking views to fantastic water sports, we are sure these international media will be more than keen to put the Wild Atlantic Way, and indeed Mayo in the minds of their readers when they return home.  

    “From visiting bustling Westport town, once voted the Best Place to Live in Ireland to discovering the Lost Valley to see how life was in bygone days, the group were given a truly immersive experience to bring the Wild Atlantic Way and Mayo to life.

    “These trips are a wonderful opportunity for overseas media to come and experience at first hand the Wild Atlantic Way and they are pivotal to positioning this successful Irish attraction in front of a global audience.  We trust that the visiting media will enjoy their time along the Wild Atlantic Way and encourage their many readers and followers to take the same journey and put it firmly on their ‘must-visit’ list.”

     The attractions which were highlighted to the group included:

     

    • A visit to the bustling town of Westport, including experiencing Irish traditional music at Matt Molloy’s.
    • A guided cultural adventure with the Bourke family in The Lost Valley, through this area of special scenic importance, as designated by the EU.
    • Turf cutting demonstration and sheep dog herding at Glen Keen Farm.
    • A scenic drive exploring Achill Island.
    • Cycling on the Great Western Greenway from Achill Island to Mulranny.
    • Walk along the Claggan Mountain boardwalk and coastal trail at Ballycroy National Park.
    • A 5km guided looped walk of the stunning headland at Erris Head.
    • Exploring Céide Fields, with its extensive stone age monument.
    • A visit to Ballycastle and to explore Downpatrick Head.
    • A quick stop at Rosserk Abbey one of the finest and best-preserved Franciscan monasteries in Ireland.

     

     

     

     

     

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    The wind warnings that were in place for different parts of the country have been lifted.

    At the height of Storm Hannah, the highest average wind speed recorded was 93 kilometres an hour at Mace Head in Galway.

    That area also had the highest gust of 122 kilometres an hour.

    Met Eireann's Siobhan Ryan says winds peaked late last night and the early hours of this morning.

     

    33,000 homes, farms and businesses are still without power after Storm Hannah.

    ESB Networks says the worst affected areas are in Munster. But there are some areas of Mayo without electricity - in Ballinrobe over 600 customers are without power - there is no current estimated restoration time as of yet. There are also around 200 homes still without power in Louisburgh area, with an estimated restoration time of 1.30pm. 

    Clare and Kerry have the highest number of outages, with 19,000 customers affected.

    Derek Hynes, from ESB, says crews have been out since first light this morning to being restoring power supply.

     

     

     

  • A public meeting will take place in Bangor Hall this Friday evening to discuss the situation surrounding a GP service in the area.

    There have been concerns expressed locally about the service in the Bangor area in the near future, after it was confirmed that the current GP has been offered a job in another area and will take that up in the coming weeks.

    The issue was raised by Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary and Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh in the past week.

    Yesterday evening Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said he had received confirmation from the HSE that the GP in Bangor Erris will resign his position with effect from February 28th to take up a new position in Galway.

    He said that the Bangor Erris and Glenamoy practices will be cared for by one GP, on a six month trial period.

    The GP position for Bangor Erris will be advertised immediately to ascertain if this post can be fill on a permanent basis following the GP’s departure.

    The six month trial period with the one GP covering both Bangor Erris and Glenamoy will be kept under review over the six months.

    Minister Ring said while it is disappointing to see the GP leaving the Bangor Erris practice, he is hopeful that when the position is advertised, it will be filled by another GP on a permanent basis.

    Friday’s public meeting will commence at 8pm in Kiltane Hall and people in the Bangor, Geesala and Doohoma areas are urged to attend.

  • A woman who was missing in Achill since yesterday morning has been found safe and well.

    24-year-old Susanna O’Malley was last seen in the Achill Sound area at around 6am yesterday morning.

    Gardai confirmed to Midwest News this morning that she has been found safe and well and thanked the public for their assistance.

  • Work is to commence next week on the development of 18 council houses at Abbey Quarter in Ballyhaunis.

    Fine Gael Cllr. John Cribbin says this will be a huge boost to the local economy.

    The contractors appointed for the development are McHugh’s of Ballindine.

    It is expected the work will be completed by the summer of 2020.

    Cllr. Cribbin says this project is a timely boost for the local economy on the back of the €8 million refurbishment of Ballyhaunis Community School which is due to be fully completed shortly.