Minister Michael Ring

  • 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.

  • The National Broadband Plan will be a game changer for rural Ireland, according to the Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development.

    The Cabinet yesterday approved a preferred bidder for the plan, which will see high-speed broadband being rolled out to 540,000 premises all areas of the country, benefitting 1.1 million people - almost a quarter of Ireland's population.

    56,000 farms, 44,000 small businesses and 674 schools are among the premises which will be connected under the plan, with the roll-out of fibre broadband commencing in the last quarter of this year.

    The Government says the majority of premises will be connected with the next 4 to 5 years under the plan, which will cost almost €3 billion - with a €151 million investment in Co Mayo.

    Minister Michael Ring says it will be a game-changer for the areas of rural Ireland currently without broadband...



    The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring will perform the official opening of a new Famine Exhibition in Ballina tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) at 3pm in the Gallery Space of Ballina Civic Offices.

    The exhibition will then be open, free of charge, to the public from Monday next until March of 2019.

    It’s an initiative by Ballina Lions Club. Monies raised in donations during the exhibition will be used to assist charities addressing homelessness in the county.

    The Famine Exhibition is one of a number major famine related events that Ballina is hosting, which included the special screening of the internationally acclaimed movie Black ’47, the visit today (Friday) to Ballina of the Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews for the unveiling of a bronze statue to “The Famine Girls” and the publication of Terry Reilly’s latest book Mayo forgotten Famine Girls,while the Jackie Clarke Museum is running an Autumn Education Series on the Famine.

    Paul Graham and Adrian Bourke are the joint Chairs of the Ballina Lions Club Famine Exhibition and they have been telling Midwest News about the exhibition which includes a short documentary, information boards about the famine and artefacts that were used in workhouses at the time that are now on display in Ballina.

  • 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 and long awaited  sewerage scheme for Belmullet will be officially opened this morning at 11am in Belmullet by the Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring, together with the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Blackie Gavin.

    The event marks the completion of a 9 million euro investment by Irish Water and Mayo county council in the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in the town.

    Before this plant was completed, Belmullet was one of 44 locations nationally where wastewater / raw sewerage was being discharged into the environment untreated.

    The new wastewater treatment plant is located on the Toorglas road in the town and will serve a population of 2,500.

     Local Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle told Midwest News that  today sees the delivery of a long sought after, vital piece of infrastructure for Belmullet and added that it is a great day for the area.

  • A one billion euro Rural Regeneration and Development Scheme has been launched today.

    The fund forms part of the Project Ireland 2040 and is targeted at increasing employment opportunities in rural towns and villages as well as supporting infrastructure developments.

    Eligible projects must demonstrate a capacity to add value to other public investments. There will also be a requirement of match funding in the region of 25% from other public or private sources.

    All towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000 will be eligible for this fund. Larger urban centres will be eligible to apply for a two billion euro urban regeneration and development fund.

    The scheme will open for applications at the end of June, will close in September and the first batch of announcements are expected in October.

  • Projects in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon have each been allocated €500,000 today, under the 2018 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

    This morning, the Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring announced half a million euro for the Lecanvey to Bertra section of the Clew Bay Trail.


    The Clew Bay Trail is a 19 km walking and cycling trail along the southern edge of Clew Bay between Belclare and Louisburg.

    This is one of 18 projects that which will share a fund of over €8 million from Minister Ring's department.

    €500,000 has also been announced for a new cycle corridor between Boyle town centre and Lough Key Forest Park in Co Roscommon.

    Local Senator Maura Hopkins says the new cycle corridor will provide a great new amenity for the community, and help to draw tourists who visit Lough Key into Boyle's town centre.

    Senator Hopkins says the new cycle route will form a key element of the new tourism brand for the region -"Ireland's Hidden Heartlands".

    And in Co Galway, €500,000 has been allocated for the Connemara Greenway Project, for a walking/cycle track along the disused railway line between Clifden and Oughterard.

  • Over €133,000 in LEADER funding has been allocated for Mayo community projects today.

    The funding will support six community initiatives in Mayo.

    €45,440 has been granted to Louisa Stoney, Rosturk, Mulranny to upgrade self-catering accommodation to meet the needs of older guest.

    €31,705 has been allocated to Niall Russell, Irishtown, Claremorris to develop a new craft workshohp at the promoter’s business base in Irishtown.

    €30,000 has been granted to Atlantic Photonic Solutions Ltd, Pontoon Road, Castlebar to fund the development of a prototype handheld laser device that can be tested in lab and field conditions for the treatment of sea-lice in salmon, while the company has also been allocated €8,060 for a feasibility study to determine if a device can be designed to treat sea-lice using a particular wavelength of light that would not be harmful to fish.

    €11,886 funding will go to Ballina Tidy Towns Company to install a lighting system to light up the archway at the entrance to Belleek Castle.

    And €6,254 has been granted to the Westport Beekeepers Association for the purchase of equipment to support the group’s current activities at their training centre in Knappagh

  • Over €157,000 in funding has been announced to support the construction of a new clubhouse at Westport Tennis Club.


    This funding has been announced by Minister Michael Ring through the LEADER programme.


    Minister Ring says this is fantastic news for the town of Westport and a big step forward for the tennis club.


    Meanwhile, Minister Michael Ring, will today partake in a series of events in Erris to highlight Government investment in rural communities through Department of Rural and Community Development.

    Minister Ring will this morning officially open the refurbished kitchen at Teach Greannaí Community Centre in Chill Chomaín.

    The Minister will also officially open a community playground in Carrowtigue which has been funded by his Department’s CLÁR Programme. He will also raise the Green Flag at Aughalasheen National School.

  • Over €27 million has been announced for the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in Co Mayo in 2019.

    The funding includes over €14 million for road restoration and improvement, €2.5 million for restoration maintenance, a discretionary grant of over €5 million, over €1.1 million for the Community Involvement Scheme, €1.3 million for drainage works, €610,000 for safety improvement works, €337,000 for specific improvement works and €595,000 for bridge rehabilitation.

    This includes work on Moyview Bridge in Foxford, Kilmannin Bridge in Ballyhaunis and bridges in Crossmolina, Newport, Killala, Bohola and Castlebar.

    The Minister for Community & Rural Affairs Michael Ring says the funding is further proof that the Government is committed to improving connectivity in rural areas.


  • Over €3 million is being made available in Co Mayo to support home adaptations for older people and those with disabilities or mobility issues.

    The funding, which has been increased this year, provides grants of up to €30,000 to assist people with a disability to carry out the necessary works to make a house more suitable for their needs, while smaller grants are available to assist older people and those with mobility problems to carry out necessary improvements.

    Funding of over €2.5 million is being provided by Government with a further €637,000 from Mayo County Council.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says these grants enable people to remain living independently in their homes for longer, and will also facilitate early return home from hospital.

  • Over €32 million euro has been allocated for improving and maintaining regional and local roads in Co Mayo this year.

    This includes €16 million for restoration improvement, €2.8 million for restoration maintenance, €725,000 for bridge rehabilitation, €650,000 for safety improvement works,  and over €1.3 million for drainage works.

    Half a million euro has been allocated for the R312 bridge and road realignment at Glenisland, on the Castlebar to Erris road.

    €100,000 has been allocated for the Kilmaine to Tuam road at Foxhall, and also €100,000 for the Cong Outer Relief Road under the Strategic Regional & Local Roads scheme.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says this year's funding for local and regional roads in Mayo is an increase of €5 million on last year's allocation....

  • Funding of over €43,000 has been allocated to provide sensory facilities and equipment in Castlebar and Ballina libraries.

    The Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has allocated the funding to assist people with sensory impairments, special educational needs and other learning differences, including those on the Autism spectrum.

    This part of a national investment of almost €700,000 for facilities which can include sensory library rooms, sensory toys and play equipment, assistive technologies, autism-friendly signage, books and social stories.

    Minister Ring says he wants people living with autism or learning differences to see libraries as a safe and welcoming space for them and their families, and says they're working to ensure that library services are inclusive and accessible for all.

    He says Castlebar Library will work closely with Castlebar Autism Friendly Committee, Mayo Autism Camp, local special needs schools and SNA's in ensuring the local community derives maximum benefit from the new facilities.

    Likewise, Ballina Library will work with the Ballina Autism Support Group, the Newman Institute, Shore Farm Pony Therapy and a number of local schools.



  • Seven social enterprise projects in Co Mayo will share funding of over €80,000 from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has awarded grants of between €2,000 and €15,000 under the first round of the Small Capital Grants Scheme.

    Five Mayo projects will each receive €15,000 - Ballycastle Community Hall, Mulranny Industrial Development Trust, Western Care's Carrowbeg Enterprises, Carrakennedy Community Playschool and Mayo Academy of Performing Arts, with smaller grants of €4,500 for Robeen Rascals Community Childcare and just over €2,000 for Westport Social Services.

  • Over €91,000 has been approved for Ballina projects through the LEADER programme.

    The funding has been confirmed today by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.

    Minister Ring has approved a total of €91,896 for three projects in the Ballina area, which were selected by the Mayo LEADER Local Action Group.

    Behy Community Hall will receive €69,336, Ballina Tidy Towns Company €18,187 and Anthony Golden Communty Park Trust €4,372.

    Minister Ring says this will be very welcome news for rural businesses and communities seeking investment.

  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development, has said that sports clubs and organisations across Mayo are set to benefit from €1,143,493 investment in 36 local projects through the 2019 Sports Capital Grants.


    Michael Ring has made the announcement to Midwest News.

    The following organisations in Mayo have been allocated funding:





    Project Title

    Grant Amount


    Ardnaree Sarsfields GAA Club




    Balla Secondary School

    Balla Secondary School Gaelic Games Pitch



    Ballina Tennis Club Limited

    Upgrade & improve club facilities



    Ballina Town FC

    Pitch resurfacing , drainage and boundary fence



    Ballinrobe GAA Club

    Ballinrobe GAA- Pella, Training pitch & Mower



    Ballycastle GAA Club

    Fit out of Ballycastle GAA new Gym and Clubhouse.



    Ballyglass Ass Football & Social Club Ltd

    Upgrade Floodlighting at Ballyglass FC



    Bohola Moy Davitts GAA

    Pitch mower




    Breaffy GAA facilities development



    Charlestown Sarsfields GAA Club

    New 56M2 GAA Sports Storage Shed Shared with CBD



    Charlestown Swimming Pool & Recreational Co.Ltd

    Charlestown Pool Accessibility/Dress. Room Upgrade




    The upgrading and improving of Claremorris BC.



    Claremorris Lawn Tennis Club

    Construct an all-weather tennis court enclosure



    Claremorris Squash Club

    Install Glass Back Wall on Squash Court



    Conn Rangers Ltd.

    Conn Rangers FC - Clubhouse Expansion



    Crossmolina AFC

    Crossmolina AFC Development phase 2



    Cumann Liathróid Láimhe Thuar Mhic Éadaigh

    Development of courts and purchase of equipment



    Eastern Gaels GAA Club

    Security & Fencing



    Gaelscoil Uileog de Búrca

    Artificial Sports Pitch



    Garrymore GAA

    Development of playing pitches at Garrymore GAA



    Killala Sports & Social Club Ltd aka KIlalla AFC

    Refurbishment of the Killala AFC clubhouse



    Kilmaine Community Recreational Trust Company CLG

    Drainage of Playing Pitch and Surface Remediation



    Kilmurry Youths Soccer Club

    Development of Kilmurry Youths Soccer Club



    Lahardane MacHales GAA Club

    Lahardane McHales Grounds Refurbishment



    Mayo County Council

    Phase 2 Lighting Belleek Greenway



    Mayo Gaels GAA

    Upgrade floodlights, pitch drainage & mower



    Mayo,Sligo & Leitrim E.T.B.

    A Community Sports Hall (Phase 1)



    Mulranny National School

    Mulranny National School Multi Use Games Area



    Mulranny/Tiernaur Amenity Centre Ltd

    Up-Grade of 35-year-old Sports Hall



    Neale GAA Club

    The Neale GAA New Pitch and Walkway Development



    Partry Athletic FC

    Sports equipment: Goals: Sanding: Floodlighting.



    Shrule Community Sports Field Ltd

    Enhancement of substandard sports field facilities



    Swinford Amenities Development Ltd

    Floodlighting and provision of spectator fencing



    Templemary National School

    Construction of Astro Turf Pitch




    Westport B.C. upgrade of Sacred Heart School gym



    Westport Golf Club

    Westport Golf Club(WGC) Development Plan



    Total Local Projects





    As 159 Post Offices across rural Ireland are closing - including 11 in Mayo, 18 in Galway and 5 in Roscommon-the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs Michael Ring insists An Post and the Government are not responsible for the closures, rather it’s the communities that failed to use their local post office on a regular basis.

    He believes that, if local post offices were being used by communities, many of the Postmasters/ mistresses opting for the retirement packages would not be doing so.

    The CEO of An Post David McRedmond is insisting that the remaining post offices will benefit from increased services and better investment, and says 96% of customers will benefit from the move.

     Minister Michael Ring is not responsible for the post office network, but he is the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs.

    He says he has been in attendance at some of the public meetings organized in the last number of days to Save the Local Post Office.

    While he acknowledges that large crowds have turned out and are upset and frustrated by the closures, he told Midwest News that the same volume of people have not been supporting the same post offices.

    Aine Gilligan is postmaster in Ballyglass Post Office, which is closing tomorrow.

    She agrees with Minister Ring that post offices are closing due to lack of support from their local communities.

    Speaking earlier with Midwest Radio, she said the numbers of people using the local post office have dwindled over the past 10-15 years.


  • The operators of a new whiskey distillery in Achill are hoping to start production next month.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring visited Bunnacurry this afternoon to officially open the new Achill Island Distillery.

    The company hopes to create up to 25 jobs when fully operational.

    The company was established 5 years ago, and is currently exporting two types of Irish whiskey sourced from a number of distilleries across the country to 11 states in the US.

    The Irish American Trading Co says Minister Ring's visit today marks the completion of works on the Achill Island distillery, and they're hoping to start production next month, with a Visitors Centre due to open before the end of the year.


  • New penalties for speeding could be dramatically reduced after an intervention by Fine Gael Cabinet ministers.

    Transport Minister Shane Ross has committed to reviewing his proposed speeding laws after he clashed with Fine Gael ministers.

    A Cabinet sub-committee will now review the strict penalty point regime for speeding, which could see motorists receive severe penalties based on how fast they are travelling beyond the speed limit.

    It's understood every Fine Gael minister from rural Ireland raised concerns with elements of the new speeding laws at Cabinet, while Mayo-based Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring was reportedly the most vocal.

    Minister Ross intends to introduce speeding penalties based on how much over the limit a motorist is driving, and he also wants automatic fines for not carrying a driving licence.


    The Irish Independent says sources described the mood within Fine Gael over the clampdown as "close to revolt".

    Ultimately, Minister Ross proposed having a Cabinet sub-committee examine the proposed changes, before he moves on to the next stage of the legislative process.






  • 36 primary schools across the country, including 2 in Mayo, have been selected for a hot school meals pilot scheme.

    It's a new initiative from the Department of Social Protection to provide a hot lunch to students on a daily basis from next month.

    Scoil Naisiúnta Realt na Mara in Mulranny and Scoil Naisiúnta Achaidh an Ghlaisin, Belmulet will be part of the new pilot scheme, according to Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring, who says families will not be asked for additional contributions towards the scheme.

    The Department of Social Protection says a mix of DEIS and non-DEIS schools in both urban and rural areas have been selected for the pilot programme, and over 6,600 students will benefit.