Minister Michael Ring

  • Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring has completed a busy St Patrick’s Day schedule of events in Boston during which he met with politicians, representatives of the Irish American community and business representatives.

    The Minister for Community & Rural Affairs presented a gift from Foxford Woollen Mills to the Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh, who has family connections in Connemara and is due to receive the Freedom of Galway, and to the Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker, who visited Ireland last year.

    During his trip, Minister Ring met with numerous Irish groups including the Mayo Association, the Irish American Partnership, the Irish International Immigrant Centre, the Charitable Irish Society and the Irish Pastoral Centre. He said these organisations provide fantastic support for the Irish diaspora in Boston and they are a credit to the strong and vibrant Irish American community in the city. 

    Minister Ring said that during his meetings with public representatives, he highlighted the situation of the undocumented Irish, of whom there are many in Boston and the wider area.

    He said both Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh are very aware of the difficulties faced by the undocumented Irish – an issue which the Taoiseach also raised with President Trump.

    Minister Ring also marched in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Boston, which was attended by tens of thousands of people.


  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring will officially launch a number of projects in county Mayo today.

    At 11am the Minister will be at Ireland West Airport Knock to open the new Visitor Discovery Centre at the airport and to launch the new Ryanair service from Knock to Cologne.

    The Visitor Discovery Centre Project is a collaborative initiative involving seven local authorities. Funding of €400,000 was provided for the project by Minister Ring’s department through the REDZ 2016 scheme, along with part funding from each of the local uuthorities and the airport itself.

    The Minister will also today turn the sod on new sewerage schemes for Killala, Foxford and Charlestown. The Government, through Irish Water, is investing €19 million in these three schemes.

    Minister Ring will also be in Louisburgh today to open the Tia Café in the town.

  • Minister Michael Ring will today participate in a number of events in Mayo.

    At 11am, Minister Ring will officially launch new ambulance vehicles at the Red Cross in Claremorris.

    At 12.30pm, Minister Ring will officially launch a new ambulance for the Order of Malta in Knock. 

    Then at 2.30pm, the Minister will officially open the new community kitchen and food hub in Balla.

    Following this event he will officially open the new Balla Greenway.

  • The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring officially opened the Belcarra Community Playground and Riverside Walk yesterday (Friday).

    Last year, Minister Ring allocated Clár funding of €50,000 for the construction of Belcarra Playground, while Mayo County Council and the local community contributed a further €30,000.

    Meanwhile, €5,300 was allocated from the Community Enhancement Programme to develop the Riverside Walk and Biodiversity Trail, which Minister Ring says is now a valuable natural amenity for the public.

    He says the new playground and Riverside Walk will bring significant benefits to the local community and visitors to the area.

  • Minister Michael Ring says the tragic drowning of two County Clare teenagers highlights the need for public awareness about the hazards around water.

    The Minister has extended his sympathy to the boys' family and friends - and appealed to water users to be vigilant across the bank holiday.

    15 year old Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney got into difficulty in a quarry lake near Ennis on Thursday afternoon.

  • Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring will today officiate at the re-opening of Templemary National School in Killala.

    Tomorrow (Sat) the Minister will participate in the official opening of Castlebar Mitchels’ new 4G pitch and tomorrow evening in Westport, Minister Ring will speak at the Mayo League Presentation Dinner.

    Templemary National School was provided with a grant of just under a half a million euro under the Department of Education’s Additional Accommodation Scheme. The funding was been used to construct a mainstream classroom, an assisted users WC, a resource room, and toilets. Roof and drainage works were also included in the project and a grant of €8,500 was also paid for furniture & IT equipment.

     Castlebar Mitchels’ 4G pitch,will provide underage and adult players with year round floodlit training and playing facilities.  The new 4G Astro Turf Pitch measures 60 by 86 meters and incorporates a five meter high Ball Wall. The Astro Turf area is enclosed with a new 3 meter high fence and enhanced floodlighting of the area.

    As a keen soccer supporter and former player Minister Ring speaking ahead of the Mayo Football League Presentation Dinner at the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport tomorrow evening , says he isdelighted to be participating in the event which celebrates all that is positive about the game in Mayo.

  • The Minister for Community & Rural Affairs Michael Ring will be in Ballyhaunis later this morning (Friday) for the official opening of the newly-refurbished Square and the pedestrian crossing on Bridge Street, at the Post Office.

    Funding of almost €100,000 was provided under the Town & Village Renewal Scheme for the works, which have been ongoing over the past number of months.

    The installation of a pedestrian crossing and the refurbishment of the Square in the town- centre were among the projects highlighted in the Community Futures study, and funding is currently being sought for a number of other projects in the town, which were prioritised by local residents and business people. 

    Minister Michael Ring and representatives of Mayo County Council and the TII will be at the Friary in Ballyhaunis at 11am this morning for speeches and due to weather conditions all the events will now take place at the Friary, with a quick visit to the Square afterwards. 

    The ribbon will be cut by Andrew McHale, a native of Knock and a service user at Western Care in Ballyhaunis.

    Andrew was invited to cut the ribbon by Ballyhaunis-based Councillor John Cribben.

  • We're being urged to be careful around water as a heatwave approaches.

    Met Eireann is forecasting temperatures into the high twenties over the next week.

    Minister Michael Ring, who's responsible for water safety in Ireland, says people need to be careful if they're swimming this weekend as the number of drownings rises when the weather's good.


  • 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 €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.