Minister Michael Ring

  • There's good news for householders in Mayo whose homes have been affected by pyrite damage.

    The Government has agreed to provide €20 million euro this year for a scheme to repair homes affected by pyrite and mica in Mayo and Donegal.

    Some 350 homes in Mayo are affected by pyrite - some with serious structural damage.

    Last October, the Government agreed in principle to a grant aid scheme to assess and repair the damage, and at yesterday's Cabinet meeting, it was agreed to provide €20 million from central Government funds this year to repair homes.

    That's according to Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Affairs Michael Ring, who says the worst-hit homes will be repaired first under the scheme....

  • The GP vacancies in both Glenamoy and Bangor are to be advertised next week.

    Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring says he has been informed by the HSE that the GP who's currently covering Glenamoy and Bangor will take up an appointment elsewhere, and the twp GP vacancies will be advertised separately  next week.

    It's understood the doctor currently covering these two areas of north Mayo has agreed to take up a permanent position in Laherdane from next February.



  • Grants have been allocated to schools offering Computer Science and Physical Education as Leaving Cert Subjects.

    104 post -primary schools will offer the courses for the first time from September.

    St Mary’s Secondary School in Ballina is offering Physical education for Leaving Cert this September, while Rice College in Westport is offering Leaving Cert Computer Science.

    Minister Michael Ring says the introduction of the new Leaving Certificate subjects is part of efforts to ensure the education system keeps pace with the changing society and needs of the economy.

    40 Schools will offer Computer Science as a subject in the first phase of its introduction from September

    While 64 will take part in the first phase of the introduction of Physical Education.

    The 104 schools have been allocated a total of four hundred and fifty thousand euro in grants.


    It's important to find new ways to connect people and focus on the importance of neighbours.

    That's the view of Minister Michael Ring as he launches "The Big Hello" event.

    It's taking place during the May Bank Holiday weekend, with people across the country encouraged to increase community spirit and create friendships.

    Minister Michael Ring hopes it will tackle social isolation.


  • Improvements at two sections of the N59 Westport to Mulranny road are being unveiled this afternoon.

    Minister Michael Ring has officially opened the N59 Rossow Bends Road Project- which involved the realignment of a 1.8 km section to remove a bad bend at a cost of over €6 million.

    The Minister also turned the sod on the N59 Kilmeena Road realignment scheme which involves the upgrade of 2.6 km of road, and the construction of 1km of cycleway, to tie into the recently completed section at Rossow.

    Minister Ring says these are two key sections of the €55 million N59 Westport to Mulranny Improvement Scheme.










  • LEADER funding of over €375,000 has been allocated for five projects in Co Mayo.

    Minister Michael Ring has allocated almost €200,000 for the Kiltimagh Velorail Project, to purchase railcars and provide storage.

    This project involves the running of pedal-powered railcars along the old railway line, and is aimed at bringing in tens of thousands of visitors to the town each year.

    €150,000 has been allocated for the Ballinglen Museum of Contemporary in Ballycastle.

    Smaller grants of just over €12,000 have been announced for Knockmore Rathduff Resource Centre, to update computers and IT services, and for Rachel's Irish Adventures in Ballina to purchase bikes and equipment for a start-up tourist business offering tailor-made cycling tours.

    Finally, almost €2,500 goes to the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail to develop a website and promote the trail.

    The Minister for Community & Rural Development Michael Ring, whose Department oversees the LEADER programme, says these projects will help in promoting tourism and creating jobs...

  • The Rural Development Minister has dismissed claims the Carbon Tax is a surcharge on rural Ireland.

    In the Budget it was announced it's increasing by six euro - meaning a rise in the cost of diesel and petrol and also an increase in heating fuels from next May.

    However, Michael Ring says everyone will be affected and not just people living in rural parts of the country.

    He says it's important efforts are made to reduce our carbon footprint:

  • Funding of over €11,000 has been allocated for three community organisations in Co Mayo, to assist the integration of migrants into the local communities.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has announced grants of €4,950 for Ballyhaunis GAA Club, €3,500 for Ballyhaunis Family Resource Centre and €2,800 for Claremorris Community Radio.

    Minister Ring says the funding is provided under the Communities Integration Fund, which is designed to encouraged and assist migrant integration and social inclusion in communities.


  • Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring has been looking at the highlights of Budget 2020.

    Speaking with Midwest News this evening, he said that - as this is the last Budget from the current Government, it could have been a giveaway Budget, but instead they had to focus on the threat posed by a no-deal Brexit

  • The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has announced further details on the extension of mandatory electronic identification to all sheep.

    Since his announcement  last May of mandatory electronic identification to all sheep, he says his dept  has engaged with stakeholders in relation to the practical concerns raised in introducing the new system and has made some adaptations.

     Minister Creed says the new requirements will now be introduced in two stages as follows:

    With effect from 1st October 2018, all National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) approved tag suppliers will only sell two tag types:

    single electronic slaughter tags (for animals less than 12 months for lambs moving directly from the farm of birth to slaughter), and electronic tag sets (for all other sheep movements). 

    With effect from 1 June 2019 all sheep moving off a holding must be identified electronically, requiring either a single electronic slaughter tag, where lambs less than 12 months of age are moved directly from the birth holding to a slaughter plant, or an electronic tag set, in the case of all other sheep movements.

    There will be a once-off payment of up to a maximum of €100 per farmer, which will be related to the purchase of electronic tags from 1 October 2018. This is double the previous proposed figure of €50 payment. In the context of simplification, sheep farmers will not need to make an application for this funding, as the Department is in a position to use its records to calculate the amount due to each farmer under the scheme.

  • The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has invited all sides in the beef dispute to separate talks this evening at the Department of Agriculture.

    It comes as the Minister is under growing pressure to get talks started to try and resolve the ongoing dispute.

    Meat factories have temporarily laid off 3,000 staff because of ongoing protests outside their planrs

    Earlier today, the IFA called on Minister Creed to get tough with the meat factories, and said this unprecedented crisis cannot go on any longer.

    Minister Creed has now invited Meat Industry Ireland and the farming organisations - including the IFA, ICSA, ICMSA, Beef Plan movement, INHFA and Macra to separate talks this evening.

  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development, has called on anyone over the age of 70 to check that they are availing of household and medical benefits that they are entitled to.

    He says the Household Benefits Package is a package of allowances which help with the costs of running a household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to people under age 70 in certain circumstances, regardless of income.”

    Under the Household Benefits Package anyone over 70 is entitled to:

    • Electricity Allowance: €35 monthly (€1.15 per day)
    • Natural Gas Allowance: €35 monthly (€1.15 per day)
    •  Free Television Licence

    If your home is not connected to an electricity or natural gas supply but you satisfy the conditions of the scheme, you can get the Cash Gas Allowance of €35 (equal to €1.15 per day).

    If you are living in self-contained accommodation and you have your own electricity slot meter you may qualify for a monthly Cash Electricity Allowance of €35 (equal to €1.15 per day)

    The Minister is also urging people over 70 to avail of the Free GP Visit Card that they are entitled to.

  • 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.


  • Minister Michael Ring insists that no government can be looking over it’s shoulder wondering if Fianna Fail will or will not support it, as the most critical discussions on Brexit are taking place between now and the end of this year.

    That’s why he says the Taoiseach wrote an open letter to the media yesterday calling on Fianna Fail to extend the Confidence and Supply Agreement out to 2020.

    But, according to Mayo deputy Lisa Chambers, speaking on Midwest Radio’s lunchtime news today, there is nothing in the Confidence and Supply agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail that suggests that any discussion on extending the three year agreement up to 2020 should occur, until after the upcoming budget. She stated that the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar knows that quite well, and that just because he now wants to change the goalposts through a letter to the media yesterday, that does not mean it should happen.

    The Confidence and Supply agreement is keeping the present government in office and deputy Chambers says if the Taoiseach wanted to change it, there is a mechanism in place- he should have contacted Micheal Martin directly and he didn’t do that.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Minister Ring said everyone would agree that we need a strong government in place as we negotiate on the international stage for a Brexit deal that is acceptable to this country and it makes perfect sense to begin discussions now with Fianna Fail about extending the agreement that keeps the government in office, as the budget is in three weeks time.

  • A Cabinet Minister claims Eir is acting like 'a spoilt child' over the National Broadband Plan.

    The company pulled out of the tendering process, but claimed last month it could roll it out for only a billion euro.

    That's a third of the contract-price the government expects to sign with National Broadband Ireland later this year.

    The Department of Communications yesterday ruled out Eir's latest proposal, saying it wasn't feasible.

    Mayo based Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring say the company is 'playing games'.

  • A number of Government Ministers from the West will be travelling abroad in March for the St Patrick's Day festival.

    In total, Government Ministers and representatives will visit more than 50 countries in what will be a final pre-Brexit promotional opportunity for this country.

    The plan released by the Department of Foreign Affairs shows 37 Ministers and other dignitaries travelling to 57 countries.


    From the West of Ireland, the Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Affairs Michael Ring is travelling Stateside - he will pay a visit to Chicago for St Patrick's Day.

    Galway East TD and Minister of State Séan Canney will visit Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.

    Also from Galway East, Minister of State Ciaran Cannon will visit Vancouver and Calglary in Canada, and Seattle in the US,

    and Galway West TD, Chief Whip and Minister of State Séan Kyne goes to Boston and Pennsylvia.




  • Minister for Rural and Community Affairs Michael Ring said he was surprised to hear Ballinrobe based Fianna Fail councillor  earlier this week, announce on Midwest News, that the village of Cong had secured 70,000 for flood relief works.

    Minister Ring is questioning where this 70,000 came from and is asking is it additional funding to the 325,000 euro that was already announced last September from the government, under the OPW, for Minor Flood Mitigation Works at Cong and Drumshiel.

    In response Cllr Ryan has stated to Midwest News today that the 70,000 euro is part of the 325,000 euro already announced by the OPW and government, but he said a section of the works is expected to get underway in Cong by next month.

    He said he had been working closely with Mayo county council and the OPW to ensure these particular measures are carried out in the village of Cong.

  • LEADER funding of €10,000 has been announced for Mayo Adventure Experience, based in Castlebar.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has allocated just over €10,000 funding for Mayo Adventure Experience, located on the shores of Lough Lannagh in Castlebar.

    Minister Ring says the LEADER funding will enable the group to purchase additional equipment, including stand-up paddle boards, wetsuits and tag archery, which will allow them to cater for larger groups, and help with attracting visitors to Castlebar for outdoor activities.

    Minister Ring says he has now announced over €4.4 million in funding for 109 LEADER-funded projects in Co Mayo.


  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has announced €191,405 in funding through the LEADER Programme to support six community initiatives in Mayo.

    The following projects in Mayo have been allocated funding:


    Project Description

     Amount €

    Mayo Mountain Rescue Team, Westport

    To provide Emergency First Responder Training training to 30 active members of Mayo Mountain Rescue Team.


    South West Mayo Development Company

    Funding towards the Foundation for Life Programme 2019 which aims to provide essential life skills to young people who are not in education, employment or training.


    Lough Carra Catchment Association (LCCA)

    To fund a feasibility study for a project to reverse the ecological decline of Lough Carra.


    Mayo Celtic Holidays Ltd, Kiltimagh

    To purchase new equipment for Maghus Castle in Kiltimagh, including the installation of a sensory room.


    South West Mayo Development Company

    Funding for the development of a co-operation project between Moorehall in Carnacon and Derrymore House in Co. Down.


    Hayes Mechanical & Engineering, Ballintubber

    To upgrade workshop so as to ensure ISO certification





  • Minister Michael Ring has today confirmed that the Government has allocated €22m for the improvement and maintenance of roads in Mayo in 2019.

    The allocation for improvement of roads in Mayo is €21,058,639, while the allocation for maintenance of roads is €1,296,569.

    Included in the allocation is €10m for the Westport to Turlough road.

    Minister Ring says this project is going out for tender in January and all going well a contractor should be onsite by September or October of 2019.

    This is just one of a large number of projects to be funded under today’s allocation.



    TII 2019 National Road Allocations
    Total of All Allocations: €22,355,208
    Mayo County Council
    National Primary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat
    N05MO_088 Swinford
    N18MO_041 Knock
    N17MO_068 N17 R320 Junction Claremorris
    Total National - HD 15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat:
    Major Scheme  - Nat
    Charlestown By-Pass
    Westport to Turlough
    Total National Primary - Major Scheme - Nat:
    Minor Works - Nat
    N26 Clongullane Bridge
    Total National Primary - Minor Works - Nat:
    Pavement - Nat
    HD28 NP Pavement Renewals 2019 MO
    N5 Ballyvarry Ph1 incl N58
    N5 Castlebar Distributor Road Section 2 (East)
    N17 Kilkelly North
    N26 Foxford North
    N26 Swinford to the N5
    Total National Primary - Pavement - Nat:
    National Secondary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat
    N59MO_084 Bellacorrick
    N560MO_056 Bekan Rail Overbridge
    N60MO_079 Claremorris Road, Balla
    N84 Ballinrobe Traffic & Transportation Study
    Total National Secondary - HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat:
    Major Scheme - Nat
    Westport to Mulranny
    Total National Secondary - Major Scheme - Nat:
    Minor Works - Nat
    N59 Kilmeena LVNS
    N59 Newport to Derrada Realignment
    Rossow Bends
    N60 Heathlawn
    N60 Lagnamuck
    N60 Manulla Cross
    Total National Secondary - Minor Works - Nat:
    Pavement  - Nat
    HD28 NS Pavement Renewals 2019 MO
    N59 Ballina Bunree Bridge / Junction Pavement Strengthening
    N59 Ballycroy South
    N59 Ballyveeney to Castlehill
    N84 Ballinrobe Town North
    N84 Sandymount to R317
    Total National Secondary - Pavement - Nat:
    Both NP & NS
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    HD15 and HD17 Minor Works - Nat
    Fencing Retrofit - Mayo
    Total Both NP & NS - HD17 Minor Works - Nat:
    LA Eng Support - B.1.1.- Nat
    Local Authority Support (Improvement) 2019 MO
    PO Support (Improvement) 2019 MO
    Total Both NP & NS - LA Eng  Support - B.1.1. - Nat:
     €        1,710,726
    Route Lighting Improvement - Nat
    NW Bypasses Energy Saving Public Lighting Consultancy
    Total Both NP&NS - Route Lighting Improvement - Nat:
    Total Improvement Allocations:
    National Primary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    NP Ordinary Maintenance 2019 MO
    NP Route Lighting 2019 MO
    NP Winter Maintenance 2019 MO
    Total National Primary - Maintenance:
    National Secondary
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    NS Ordinary Maintenance 2019 MO
    NS Route Lighting 2019 MO
    NS Winter Maintenance 2019 MO
    Total National Secondary - Maintenance:
    Both NP & NS
    Route Name
    Allocation 2019
    LA Eng - Support - B.1.2. - Nat
    Local Authority Support (Maintenance) 2019 MO
    Local Authority Support (Winter Maintenance) 2019 MO
    Total Both NP & NS  - LA Eng Support - B.1.2. - Nat:
    Total Maintenance Allocations:


    Meanwhile local TD, Denis Naughten has welcomed the allocation of €14.3m investment by Transport Infrastructure Ireland in the national road network throughout County Roscommon.

    Minister Naughten says this investment includes €4m for the new section of road at the Hill of Oran, resurfacing of Athleague Village and the Town of Castlerea and the upgrading of sections of the Boyle to Athlone road”.

    Funding of €3m has also been set aside to complete the planning and design for the new N5 road between Ballaghaderreen and Scramogue which will not only improve access to the West but allow for the future development of Strokestown, Tulsk, Bellanagare & Frenchpark”.