Minister Ring

  • €1.4 million euro in funding has been allocated to transport people in rural Ireland to hospital appointments and other medical services, with over €220,000 allocated for six voluntary groups in Co Mayo.

    The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring approved the funding, which will go to voluntary organisations under the CLÁR programme to assist them in buying vehicles to transport people with mobility issues and to bring cancer patients to their medical appointments.

    Three separate allocations have been announced for the Western Care Association to provide transport in a number of areas of Co Mayo, with funding also for the Irish Wheelchair Association and Foxford & District Alzheimers Trust.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News that the funding will provide vehicles to enable people living in rural areas to travel to medical care or respite centres free of charge.

  • €10,300 has been allocated to Belmullet Tidy Towns through the LEADER Programme to support the Mullet Peninsula Biodiversity Community Training Programme.

    According to the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring the funding will help establish a training programme for the community with the aim of training and supporting the residents to manage habitats for biodiversity.

    The programme will have a strong emphasis on supporting flagship species such as the great yellow bumblebee.

  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring  says the approval of a Language Plan for the Tuar Mhic Éadaigh and Dúiche Sheoigheach (Joyce Country) Gaeltachtai will provide a significant boost to these areas. 

    A total of €100,000 over a full 12-month period will be available to begin the implementation of the language plan in the current year. This funding will include covering the salary of a Language Planning Officer who will oversee the implementation of the plan.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News today that the implementation of the language plan will start shortly.

    Údarás na Gaeltachta will soon be in touch with the lead-language organisation to begin the implementation of the plan.  

  • Over the next 4 years the government will allocate 25,000 euro annually for restoration works to support Mayo county council’s purchase at the end of last year of Moore Hall and 80 acres of surrounding woodlands.

    It is to be developed as a nationally significant nature reserve and tourist attraction in collaboration with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

    Minister Michael Ring says the investment, which will be paid over four years, will help ensure that the natural, built and cultural heritage of Moorehall is protected, yet developed and managed in a sustainable manner for current and future generations.”

    A plan for the estate will be developed by Mayo County Council and the National Park and Wildlife Service in consultation with stakeholders and the local community. It’s expected to be published before the end of this year.

    Minister Ring has been speaking to Midwest News today about the investment.

  • €145,000 has been allocated to Mayo under the Community Enhancement Programme.

     Over €4.5 million will be provided to disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas throughout the country through the Community Enhancement Programme.

    Announcing the funding Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says typical enhancements under the Programme include the renovation of community centres, community amenities, improvements to town parks and common areas and spaces, CCTV equipment and energy efficiency type projects.

  •  165,000 euro in funding has been announced under the Leader Programme for the Mayo Academy of Performing Arts.


    The group is based in the Enterprise Centre on the Breaffy road in Castlebar.

    Making the announcement Minister Michael Ring said it’s a significant funding boost for the Mayo Academy of Performing Arts and it will be used to develop and fit-out  their newly acquired building which will be used to teach various aspects of performing arts and allow for performances and recordings.

    He said the facility will be available to everyone in Mayo and will promote social inclusion and opportunities.

    In addition, the Minister has announced 156,000 euro in grants to North West Fisheries Local Action Group.

    The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under Ireland’s European Maritime & Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the seafood sector.

    They include



    Total Cost

    Grant Aid

    Redrose Developments Ltd

    Harvesters United of Belmullet (HUB) Seaweed Facility



    Belderrig Development Committee Limited

    Refurbishment and restoration of carport in Belderrig Harbour



    DMG Welding Services, Belmullet




    Naomh Micheál Rowing Club

    Safety Enhancement of Naomh Michaél Rowing Club



    Inishturk Community Club CLG

    Inishturk Wild Atlantic Festival



    Iascairí Chois Chósta Iorrais Teoranta

    Ballyglass Pier & Harbour Development Natura Impact Study



    Comharchumann Forbartha Cill tSeadhna Teo

    Naíonra Cill tSeadhna



    Roscahill Seafoods Limited

    Renewal & Extension of size of holding facility for lobsters



    Clew Bay Marine Services, Marine Contractors

    Upgrade of mechanical systems for 'Multimac' our licensed work vessel for Clew Bay Marine Services



    Ionad Ealaiona Iorras Teo

    Saol Mara Iorras



    David Downes Lobster Fisherman

    Value added Sales (Van insulation and trailer)



    Bellacragher Boat Club

    Promotion of Claggan Ferry and provision of two boat shore dollies



    St Colman's Care Centre CLG

    St Colman's Care Centre Garden Fete











  • 18,000 euro has today been allocated to Belmullet GAA Club for the installation of a fence and the purchase of nets.

    The funding from the dept of the Gaeltacht and the Islands, has been announced today by the Minister for Rural affairs Michael Ring

    The Minister describes Belmullet GAA Club as a fantastic club with over 400 members, 2 playing pitches, and 4 changing rooms. It serves eight primary schools and two secondary schools and its facilities are used by other clubs in the area for training.

  • Describing illegal dumping as ‘economic and environmental treason’ the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Roscommon based, Denis Naughten has allocated €2 million this year for a targeted crackdown on illegal dumping black spots across the country. 

     Minister Naughten and the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring today launched the 2018 Anti-Illegal Dumping Initiative.

    Covert surveillance and smart technology including aerial imagery from drones and satellites as well as the installation of CCTV cameras and better enforcement and prosecution actions will form a central part of this year’s crackdown, confirmed Minister Naughten.  

    Ministers Naughten and Ring announced that applications are now open for Local Authorities and community groups to apply for funding under the 2018 Anti-Dumping Initiative with an increased funding allocation of €2 million euro for 2018.

     Applications for funding are being invited from Local Authorities and are focusing on unauthorised waste collectors and the sources of waste targeting unpermitted ‘man with a van’ operations advertising on-line and through leaflet drops; intelligence led days of action; household bulky waste initiatives such as mattress amnesties.

    The deadline for applications is Friday, 2nd March 2018 and further information on the 2018 anti-dumping initiative is available from the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities and from the Environment Section of each local authority.

  • The 2018 Town & Village Renewal Scheme is opening for applications from today (Friday).

    Nationally , €15 million will be allocated to support rural regeneration projects in towns and villages across the country, and the scheme is aimed at areas with a population of less than 10,000 people.

    Last year, 14 towns and villages in Co Mayo received funding under the scheme.

    Grants were made available for projects such as Ballinrobe Town Hall, Ballycastle Museum, enhancement works in Balla, Ballyhaunis, Claremorris and Breaffy village, the Admiral Browne promenade in Foxford, round tower in Killala and Dark Sky project in Ballycroy.

    The Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says this is a very important scheme for revitalising smaller rural villages and towns.

  • Approval has been given today by Cabinet for the construction of the N5 Westport to Turlough Road.
    Speaking to Midwest News this lunchtime the Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring said the proposed road development, which will cost €241 million to construct, involves the construction of 20km of dual carriageway from Westport to Turlough and a 2.5 km single carriageway link to the N59 Westport to Mulranny national secondary road.
    He says it’s the single largest Government investment in the history of Mayo and it will have a transformative effect on the county. Work is due to begin later this year.
    The Minister explained that the new N5 will link up with the N59 which is currently undergoing a €55 million improvement scheme from Westport to Mulranny.

  • More than 280,000 euro in funding has been approved for a new Community Centre in Kilkelly.

    Funding of 281,445 has been granted under the Leader Programme for the development.

    The facility is being constructed to meet the social and leisure needs of the community, while also providing a venue for community services.

    Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News today that he is delighted to approve support for the new centre, which he says will act as a focal point for information and coordination of all local activity and will drive local development.

  • Minister Ring approves over €290,000 to support 6 Mayo voluntary groups to transport people for medical services

    The Minister for Rural and Community Development, has allocated €290,887.50 in funding to six community care organisations in Mayo which provide Mobility and Cancer Care transport in the community.

    The funding has been allocated under the CLÁR programme and will support voluntary organisations that provide transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres and for people with significant mobility issues, including those requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles, to day-care or other medical, therapeutic or respite services.

    The following organisations in Mayo have been approved for funding:


    Areas to be serviced


    Western Care Vocational Training Centre

    Kilkelly, Charlestown, Foxford and Castlebar


    Western Care Newport

    Newport, Achill, Mulranny and Westport


    Western Care Claremorris

    Claremorris, Knock, Charlestown


    Irish Wheelchair Association

    All county Mayo excluding Erris Peninsula - Claremorris, Foxford, Kiltimagh, Ballinrobe, Ballina, Mulranny, Newport, Swinford, Westport, Castlebar and their surrounds


    Western Care Transport Dept

    Claremorris, Hollymount and Garrymore


    Enable Ireland Mayo Services

    County-wide service



  • The Minister for Rural and Community Development,  Michael Ring has announced €300,000 in funding through the LEADER Programme for the construction of a new scout den in Castlebar.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News this morning that this is fantastic news for Castlebar. The new scout den will benefit young people in the community for many years to come.

    He said scouting provides a great outlet and provides important life skills to young people. It also helps foster a love of our great outdoors and an appreciation, at an early age, of the benefits of working together.

    “With this investment, the Minister says, “Castlebar will have a top of the range scouting den which will allow the group to increase numbers and will include facilities for wheelchair access. This is a real coup for the town and is fantastic news for local parents and young people”.

  • Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, has today confirmed that the Government has allocated €300,000 to support the opening of the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Castlebar.

    Minister for Health Simon Harris has allocated the monies through the HSE to the Castlebar facility and Minister Rings told Midwest News this afternoon that it will enable the new hospice to open  its  specialist palliative care inpatient unit towards the end of the year.

    Minister Ring has complimented Mayo Roscommon Hospice, and in particular, Martina Jennings, CEO, Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation, for bringing this project in on time and under budget. Saying it will be “a wonderful facility for the people of Mayo and will no doubt provide great support and comfort to patients and their families”.

  • €62,200 in funding has been announced today by Minister Micahel Ring under the Leader Programme to support two community initiatives in Mayo.

    Both are based in Westport.

    The Edible Landscape Project (15,000 euro) – the funding will be used for training for the Edible Landscape Project board and members to improve dissemination of information to the general public, governing and funding bodies and media outlets.

    Labfit Furniture Limited (47,200 euro) – the funding will go towards a 3,500 square foot expansion of Labfit’s premises to enable the company to expand in the niche market of high-end bespoke fittings and furniture for laboratories.

  • Allergan is to invest €65m in its Irish operations and will add 63 jobs to its plant in Westport.

    Local Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News this morning that it’s great news for the county, and added that Allergan has been a wonderful employer in Westport for forty years now.

     Allergan has four plants in Ireland - two in Dublin, one in Mayo and one in Galway. 

    Today's jobs announcement will bring its employee numbers in Ireland above 2,100.

    The €65m funding will also see the company invest at its Clonshaugh facility in Dublin, which includes two manufacturing facilities and the company's head office.

    The Westport campus is the largest and most complex in the company's global network. 

    It includes a pharmaceuticals facility, two biologics plants and is also responsible for the global supply of Botox. 

    Minister Ring says the news is today warmly welcomed in Westport.


  • The Air Corps is en route to Ballycroy to deal with a gorse fire outbreak. That was confirmed by Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe, to Minister Michael Ring this afternoon.

    Minister Ring says he was notified by Cllr Gerry Coyle earlier today of a serious gorse fire in Ballycroy that required external assistance.

    Minister Ring spoke with Minister Kehoe and it has been confirmed that the Air Corps is en route to Ballycroy to deal with the fire and are due to arrive around 4.30pm. 


  • There's a setback for the ambitious Velo Rail project planned for Kiltimagh.

    An Bord Pleanala has ruled that the plan by Mayo County Council to develop the old railway line into a tourist amenity with pedal-powered carriages is NOT exempt from planning permission.

    However, it also ruled that work which has already been done to facilitate the change of use of the railway line to a Velo Rail does not require planning permission.

    Government funding of over €300,000 from Minister Michael Ring's  Department of Rural and Community Development has been allocated towards the Velo Rail project, which is being developed by Kiltimagh IRD.

    It's based on similar projects in France, and Kiltimagh IRD believe it could attract 30,000 visitors per year.

    Work has been underway on the tourism project for the past two years, in terms of clearing and preparing the site along the old Claremorris to Collooney rail line.

    However, the Western Rail Trail Campaign wants to see the railway line between Athenry and Collooney developed as a greenway.

    The campaign, led by Brendan Quinn, referred the Velo Rail project in Kiltimagh to An Bord Pleanala.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Mr Quinn said that - despite having attracted almost half a million euro in Government funding - the velo rail project is now effectively back at the starting blocks, and must now be the subject of a planning process, which will allow local concerns to be addressed.

    Responding to An Bord Pleanala's ruling that the project is not exempt from planning permission, Mayo County Council said the decision gives clarity , and they're looking forward to advancing the project through the planning process as soon as is reasonably practicable.

    The council said they're pleased that the Board has confirmed that works completed to date on the project are exempted from planning.

  • A detailed timeline has been outlined for the delivery of the Newport Waste Water Treatment Plant.

    The timeline was outlined to Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, following a meeting with Sean Laffey, the Head of Asset Management for Irish Water.

    Minister Ring says Irish Water has confirmed that a design team has been appointed and work has been started on Stage 1 – the Feasibility Report which is due to be delivered by the end of this year.

    Stage 2, the design stage, involves the carryout out of detailed local studies, followed by a completion of the planning and tendering processes. Once this process is complete, the construction phase will begin.

    Minister Ring says he is happy progress is being made on this scheme

  • Nominations have now closed for the Fine Gael Constituency Selection Convention for Mayo and there are 4 contenders.

    Eanna Kilbane , secretary of the party’s constituency executive received the 4 names ahead of the closing date last night.

    The selection convention will take place on Sunday, March 25th.

    The 4 nominees are Minister Michael Ring, Senator Michelle Mulherin, Councillor Patsy O’Brien and Alan Dillon.

    It’s not yet known how many names will be selected to contest the next General Election in the 4-seater constituency of Mayo. That will be a decision for the party’s Headquarters.

    Fine Gael at present hold two of the 4 seats in Mayo.

    Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, one of the two sitting TDs has stated that he will not be contesting the next election.