Minister Michael Ring

  • 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.

  • 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.



  • Talks aimed at resolving the ongoing beef dispute will reconvene on Monday.

    The Agriculture Minister has confirmed that he will facilitate the talks, and asked that stakeholders "engage in a spirit of compromise."

    Michael Creed added that the dispute has the potential to inflict "long term damage on the sector" if it continues.

    Meat Industry Ireland meanwhile has welcomed the new round of talks, which are aimed at ending the dispute over beef prices.

    It says that if a process of engagement can now be secured by the Minister, members will defer further legal proceedings.

    Mayo based Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News today it’s time that farmers got a fair price for their product.

  • The restoration of the 13.5 percent VAT rate on hotels, restaurants and hairdressing was necessary in yesterday’s budget, according to the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs Michael Ring.

     Minister ring says the reduction of the VAT rate to 9 percent for this sector was introduced in 2011 as an emergency measure, and he said it was sustained for 7 and a half years, but in light of the booming tourist numbers it has had to be restored.

    It was costing the exchequer over 2 billion euro and he insists that money is now required in education, social welfare and other areas.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News today why the 13.5 percent VAT rate has been restored across the hospitality sector.


    Listowel in Co. Kerry has been named Ireland's overall tidiest town for 2018.

    This is the 60th year of the Tidy Towns awards, and Minister Michael Ring announced the winners in Dublin at lunchtime - he also announced a special allocation of €1.4 million to support the work of individual Tidy Towns committees around the country, to mark the 60th anniversary.

    Westport was among the national winners, being named Ireland's Tidiest Large Town  - for the second year running.

    Minister Ring presented the committee from his hometown with a trophy and €5,000 euro prize money.

    Castlebar has secured a Gold Medal award for the first time, while Westport also retained its gold medal award, which is worth €900.

    Ballina, Belmullet and Mulranny all secured Bronze awards worth €400.

    Westport was the county winner for Mayo, with Mulranny highly commended, and Castlebar was commended.

    Westport also won the Young Tidy Towns Committee award of €500.

    Binghamstown won the Endeavour award for Mayo and €500, while Belmullet was highly commended in the Gaeltacht award and received €1,000.

    36 communities from across Co Mayo entered the competition this year.

  • Westport has been named Ireland's Tidiest Large town at the 2019 National Tidy Towns awards, for the third year in a row, while Glaslough in Co Monaghan has won the overall award for Ireland's Tidiest Town.

    Over 800 entries were received from across the country in the 61st year of the Tidy Towns  competition, and the award winners were announced this afternoon at The Helix in Dublin.

    Seven communities in Mayo have won a total of 13 awards today.

    Westport has again been named Ireland's Tidiest Large Town, while both Westport and Castlebar have retained their Gold medals, with Bronze Medal awards for Ballina, Belmullet and Mulranny.

    Westport also won the county award for Mayo, with Mulranny highly-commended, while Castlebar was commended and the Endeavour award for Mayo went to Lecanvey.

    A number of special awards also went to communities across Mayo -

    Louisburg won the Leave No Trace Award, while Belmullet Tidy Towns won the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, and Belmullet was highly-commended in the Gaeltacht Award.

    The awards were presented in Dublin by the Minister for Community & Rural Development Michael Ring, who said Mayo has outdone itself in this year's competition, as 7 communities across the county won a total of 13 awards.

    Minister Ring also announced €1.4 million to be allocated to Tidy Towns groups around the country, and urged Mayo participants to avail of the funding.


  • Works at Robeen Crossroads in South Mayo will go to tender shortly and will commence in the next six weeks.

    That’s according to Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.

    Minister Ring says he announced funding of €175,000 last year for Robeen Crossroads in respect of improving the junction.

    He said he has contacted Mayo County Council and Executive Engineer Kenneth Morley has confirmed that the final design for the junction realignment at Robeen is complete and the land agreement is also in place.

    Minister Ring says this work is badly needed as they have been a number of very serious accidents at this location.