Mayo News

  • Ballyhaunis has been highly commended in the Connacht category at this year’s Iarnród Éireann Best Station Awards. Station Manager, Matthew Garrett as well Shane Hughes of Ballyhaunis Station were at Inchicore Works to pick up their certificate. Ballyhaunis was narrowly beaten to the top spot in the Connacht category by Sligo. 

    Speaking at the awards, Station Manager Matthew Garrett said ‘Although we are disappointed to miss out on the top spot, we are proud to have made it in the top three in Connacht this year. He also thanked all the staff at Ballyhaunis who keep the station in great order

    Voting was conducted through an online poll and voting at stations, with hundreds of votes cast for Ballyhaunis. Customers were asked to rate their station under the following criteria; Customer Information, Station Appearance and Staff Helpfulness with Ballyhaunis scoring highly in all categories. The votes were cast at the end of last year.

    The Iarnród Éireann Best Station Awards reward excellence in customer facilities, cleanliness, innovation and customer service in the country’s 144 railway stations.

  • Belmullet Electoral Area Final Tally results

    Carey Sean - Fianna Fail 1599
    Coyle Gerry - Fine Gael 1798
    Grealis Breege - Fine Gael 639
    Heneghan Jay - Non-Party 225
    McNamara Paul - Fianna Fail 1693
    Whelan Teresa - Sinn Fein 1087

  • A Belmullet Staff Hospital Action Committee has been formed following a meeting of staff from Belmullet District Hospital and Aras Deirbhle yesterday.

    That was confirmed by local Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick, who chaired the meeting.

    Senator Swanick, who is also a local GP, was asked by the staff to chair the meeting as he is the Medical Officer at the hospital.

    He says that the overall feeling from the meeting is that the staff wanted to be in control of any direction of any campaign.

    The committee was then formed, comprised of 4 nursing staff members and 4 support staff members, 4 from Belmullet District Hospital and 4 from Aras Deirbhle.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest News that the committee is due to meet this afternoon and will issue a statement following that meeting.

  • A bench in memory of the late Corporal Fintan Heneghan will be unveiled in his native Ballinrobe on Friday March 15th ahead of the 30th anniversary of his death.

    Corporal Fintan Heneghan died alongside Private Mannix Armstrong and Private Thomas Walsh on March 21, 1989 while serving with the 64th Infantry Battalion of the United Nations’ Interim Force in the Lebanon.

    They were killed when a landmine detonated in the ‘Green Rooms’ area of Lebanon, on a track that was not frequently used by peacekeeping personnel there.

    Local Fianna Fail Cllr Damien Ryan confirmed at this week’s Claremorris Municipal District meeting that the bench would be unveiled on Friday week at 2.30pm during the special ceremony in the town, which will be attended by the Defence Forces and various dignitaries.

  • A very famous face made an appearance in the west yesterday.

    U2 frontman Bono was spotted in Roscommon and Achill over the course of the day.

    Pictures on social media show the singer at Keenan’s in Tarmonbarry and then later in the day, at Lourdie’s Pub in Dooagh in Achill.

    It is believed he was visiting the island for a birthday party.


  • A Fianna Fail local election candidate has called for a new seawall and defence system to be put in place on the Muing Road in Belmullet.

    Sean Carey has made the call after the road was left littered with seaweed and other debris again today, despite the fact that it was not stormy last night.

    Pictures posted by local Senator Keith Swanick show the road covered in seaweed, something that happens very often according to Mr Carey.

    He told Midwest News that the new seawall and flood defence system must be installed as quickly as possible to prevent a more dangerous situation occurring.

  • A Castlebar Councillor has asked the HSE why they haven’t made the public aware of an outbreak of the CPE superbug at Mayo University Hospital.

    Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the matter at the recent HSE Regional Health Forum meeting this week.

    Ann Cosgrove of the Saolta University Healthcare Group confirmed that through screening processes at Mayo University Hosptial, an increase in the numbers of cases of CPE has been identified.

    She said that all patients that were affected have been communicated with directly by their relevant Consultants.

    Communication has been sent internally throughout the hospital and management is currently working on more detailed information for the public on general issues relating to CPE.

    CPE is an antibiotic resistant organism and for most patients who carry CPE, it never causes any illness but lies harmlessly in the gut. However it can cause major issues in some patients with comprised immune systems.

    Cllr Kilcoyne says he cannot understand why the public haven’t been informed about these increased cases.

  • Castlebar is gearing up for the 10th Western People West of Ireland Women's Mini-Marathon which takes place this Sunday, 5th May.

    Over 1500 women of all ages and abilities are expected to take part in the event, which will raise funds for local charities.

    The Mini-Marathon gets underway at 12noon on Sunday, while the Primary Schools Mini Fun Run starts a few minutes later, and 500 children have registered for this free event.

    A number of temporary road restrictions will be in place on Sunday during the events.

    The Mall area in Castlebar will be closed to traffic from 9.30am to 4pm.

    Ellison Street will be closed from 11.30 am to 3pm,

    Lower Spencer St closed from 10.30- 12.30

    Duke St from 12 noon to 1pm,

    Newport Road to Pound Road, Gallows Hill and Newline will be closed from 12 noon to 1pm.

    Pontoon Road to Ballinacarriga, and Ballinacarriga to Ballynew closed from 12 noon to 2 pm,

    Ballynew / Turlough Road will be closed from 12 noon to 2.30,

    Staball Hill / Thomas St from 12.15 to 2.30 pm

    while Bridge Street and Main Street will be closed from 12.15 to 2.30pm on Sunday.


    A full detailed map of the route, with information on car parks, is available on


  • A change in the contracts of HSE Carers will mean different carers calling every day to elderly clients.

    That's according to Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who's concerned that there will be no consistency in the service, and that elderly people will be concerned about a number of different people calling to their homes to provide care.

    He's also concerned about security, as a number of carers may have keys to a client's home.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says he has been contacted by anxious families in relation to the change in carer's contracts, and will raise the matter at the next meeting of the HSE Regional Forum.

    Midwest News has also contacted the HSE for clarification in relation to this issue, and we're currently awaiting a response.

  • A meeting organised by Clare Island Fishermen’s Group held earlier this month, heard a number of concerns that the group have in relation to the proposed laying of a fibre optic cable in Clew Bay, connecting the US with Europe.

    Aqua Comms have applied for a foreshore licence for the cable.

    It is proposed to lay the cable in a free floating unanchored way, on a 25-30km, stretch of seabed north of Clare Island and west of Achill.

    The Clare Island Fishermen’s Group say it is proposed to hold responsible any vessel which snags this cable, which they say effectively creates a serious hazard at sea.

    The group is also concerned about where the cable is due to make landfall – close to the harbour at Old Head. They say it would cause serious issues and danger for the passenger ferries at that location.

    They are also concerned about the impact on the future development of Old Head as a possible deep sea port.

    The group is holding another meeting this Saturday at 12 noon on Clare Island and all are welcome to attend.

    In a statement to Midwest News Aqua Comms say:

    There are over one million miles of subsea cable laid across the world. They are a simple and safe technology that facilitate our phone, TV and internet communications.

    There are currently 20 cables landing in Ireland and they do not represent either an obstruction or a hazard.  

    The concerns raised by Mr O’Malley are all perfectly understandable, but we are confident that we can address each and every one.

    • The narrow 4-centimetre wide cable will be buried two meters below the seabed. 


    • It has a reinforced protective steel coating, weighs 4 kg per metre and cannot float.


    • For a small portion of rocky outcrop the cable will be fixed firmly to the seabed, by virtue of its weight and the tension applied.


    • The cable is too heavy and strong to be lifted by a fishing boat but if damaged, it automatically switches off.


    All of these issues have been discussed at a number of meetings of the regional fisheries forum which were attended by representatives of the Clare Island Fishermens’ group.

    • Finally, we have had a positive engagement with the local ferry operator and from our engagement with the Council we are confident that the cable will not hamper any future development of Old Head.


  • A community CCTV system is needed in Claremorris town, so residents feel safer.

    That's according to local Sinn Fein election candidate Natasha Wards, who feels the installation of CCTV cameras would deter people involved in illegal dumping and in anti-social behavior.

    The Sinn Fein candidate in the Claremorris Municipal Area points to the success of the CCTV system in Ballinrobe, and believes Claremorris town should also have such a system.

  • Concerns have been raised about GP services in the Bangor Erris area of north Mayo.

    It's understood the GP currently working in Bangor has been offered a job elsewhere, which he is expected to accept, and there are concerns that the vacancy in Bangor may be difficult to fill.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who's calling on Government to make the role of a GP more attractive, as many areas of rural Ireland are struggling to recruit family doctors.

    Deputy Calleary says the HSE has struggled in recent years to recruit a GP for Bangor, and while the area is well-served by the current GP, there are concerns locally that he's set to take up another job

  • Westport Fianna Fail Cllr Brendan Mulroy has been elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, following a hotly elected contest today.

    Fianna Fail, working with the Independents elected to the local authority have managed to strike a deal to elect Cllr Mulroy as Cathaoirleach, with Fianna Fail’s Al McDonnell as Leas-Cathaoirleach.

    Meanwhile Castlerea based Fianna Fail Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice is expected to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council today. That meeting is underway and we hope to have more later.

  • A Westport Independent Cllr. has again called for work to be carried out on footpaths along the Ballinrobe road in Westport.

    Christy Hyland says it is a densely populated area and anyone walking along that stretch at present is taking a huge risk.

    Cllr. Hyland says he has been calling for a footpath to be put in place for a number of years and has called on the senior engineer with Mayo County Council to put this on their plan.

  • The South Mayo area is in the grip of a "drug epidemic" according to a local Fianna Fail Councillor.

    The issue was discussed on Friday at a meeting of the Mayo Joint Policing Committee.

    Chief Superintendent of the Mayo Garda Division Pat Diskin told the JPC meeting that the number of drug offences detected by Gardai in Mayo has increased significantly over the past year.

    He said there were 240 detections for drug offences last year - including 51 detections for sale & supply of drugs - an increase of 122% on the previous.

    Drug cultivation offences increased by 25% last year.

    Ballinrobe-based Councillor Damien Ryan expressed concern about drug-dealing in the south Mayo area, due to its proximity to Galway city.

    Councillor Ryan said local teachers have brought the issue to his attention, and he called on Gardai to implement a pilot scheme to tackle drug use in the area - which would include increased surveillance and undercover activity.

  • There is disappointment in the parish of Islandeady that Leitir National School between Castlebar and Newport is to close in June.

    Local Fianna Fail Councillor Martin McLoughlin confirmed the news to Midwest Radio today describing it as another nail in the coffin for rural Ireland.

    Leitir NS will officially close for the last time on June 28th when the number of pupils at the one teacher school will reduce to four following the departure of two children to commence second level education.

    Leitir was one of five schools in the parish of Islandeady.

    Following the closure of Glenisland School three years ago, only Cloggernagh, Cornanool and Cogaula remain.

    Cllr. McLoughlin says he has learned of this closure with great shock and dismay.

  • An Independent Councillor has voiced his frustration at the state of the footpath in the Market Lane area of Westport.

    Christy Hyland says this has been an issue going back for at least ten years.

    It came to light again recently when a person fell in the Market Lane area and sustained injury.

    Cllr. Hyland says that there is an accident on that lane way once every two or three weeks and someone has to take full responsibility to carry out repairs.

    It emerged at a recent meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District that the laneway is owned by Nama and Council management say upgrade works in that area would be a very substantial investment.

  • The death has taken place of former State Solicitor Liam MacHale from Ballina.

    Mr MacHale had a law practice on Pearse Street in Ballina and served as State Solicitor for Mayo during his distinguished career.

    He is survived by his wife Jackie and family.

    Mr MacHale’s remains will repose at McGowan’s Funeral Home in Ballina on Friday evening from 5.30-8pm. He will be laid to rest on Saturday in Leigue Cemetery following 11am Funeral Mass in St Muredach’s Cathedral.

  • The death has taken place of former Castlebar Urban and County Councillor Sean Bourke.

    Sean of Castlegrove West, Castlebar, was a native of Keelogues and aged 72.

    He served as an elected Fianna Fáil representative in Castlebar from 1985, when he was first elected to Castlebar Urban Council, until 2009, when he stepped down.

    During his time on the urban council, he held the office of Mayor for a term. 

    Sean’s remains will repose at the Mortuary Chapel, Mayo University Hospital on Sunday evening from 4 o’clock with removal at 7pm to the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar.

    He will be laid to rest on Monday following 11am Funeral Mass in Castlebar new Cemetery.




  • Defibrillators should be installed on all passenger trains, to assist people who may suffer a heart attack while travelling.

    That's the view of Kieran Gill, Fine Gael local election candidate in the Ballina area, who's written to Irish Rail on the matter.

    With the company carrying over 45 million passengers per year, Mr Gill believes defibrillators should be installed on trains, as every minute is vital in treating a heart attack.