• Roscommon County Council is launching a new helpline this afternoon, to advise people on where they can access supports and assistance in their local community during the Covid-19 crisis.

    The helpline number is 1800 200 727.

    An interactive map listing the supports available in each town and village is also available on the council's website.

    The Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Councillor Paschal Fitzmaurice says people from any part of Co Roscommon can ring the helpline number and they will be directed to a community group or agency that can assist with their particular issue.



  • The highest temperature in the country today was recorded in Co. Roscommon.

    Mount Dillon recorded highs of 17 degrees at around 3 o'clock this afternoon.

    Met Eireann says tomorrow is set to be another dry and mild day.

    Weather conditions will become more unsettled towards the weekend.

  • An increase in carbon tax in tomorrow's budget could have a disproportionate impact on rural Ireland.

    That's the view of former Environment Minister, Roscommon Independent deputy Denis Naughten, who has raised concerns over the potential hike.

    An increase in carbon tax by Finance Minister Paschal Donohue will push up the cost of petrol, diesel, heating oil and other fuels.

    Deputy Naughten told Midwest News today that people in the capital may be able to avoid the tax, but it's a different story for people in rural areas without access to an adequate public transport system.

  • HIQA has found that urgent action is required to address fire safety risks at a Co Roscommon care centre.

    Following an unannounced inspection in December, the State’s health watchdog said governance and management systems at St Eithne’s Rest Care Centre in Tulsk required “review and significant improvement” to ensure the service provided was safe.

    The 10-bed residential centre accommodates elderly members of the local community with low and medium dependency needs. The inspection was carried out to determine what progress had been achieved in addressing issues following a previous inspection in September.

    The September inspection found the centre needed to strengthen its governance and management structures; to take action to reduce and manage the risk of fire, and to limit its number of residents to a level that could be cared for safely.

    During the December inspection, Hiqa found the centre had not taken the necessary action to mitigate risks and had failed to improve regulatory compliance.


    Inspectors were not assured there was sufficient staff with an appropriate skill-mix available to effectively meet the needs of residents. They also observed that residents were sitting in the sittingroom for most of the day unsupervised.

    They called for a complete staffing review to ensure that a safe standard of care was delivered.

    HIQA said actions to address fire safety remained outstanding.

    Inspectors also said some residents had high dependency needs, which the centre was not structured or resourced to safely care for.

    The report said not all staff had up to date training in fire safety, moving and handling, inection control and prevention, or food hygiene education.

    It also said not all residents had access to the type of bed they required, and the bed linen was threadbare and needed replacing.


    Management at St Eithne’s in Tulsk said steps have since been taken to address the concerns outlined by Hiqa.

    The inspection report was one of 48 on residential centres for older people published by Hiqa yesterday.





    House prices went up by over a thousand euro a month during 2018.

    According to the latest report, there was a 5.5 per cent increase across the country with the average price now 254 thousand euro.

    In Dublin, house prices rose by 2.9 per cent, compared to an increase of 11.7 per cent in 2017.

    Prices went up 5.8 per cent in Cork, 6.3 per cent in Galway city, while Limerick saw increases of 9.8 per cent.

    In Mayo, prices in the final quarter of 2018 were 10% higher than a year previously, compared to a rise of less than 1% seen a year ago. The average house price is now €154,000, 39% above its lowest point.

    In Roscommon the average price has risen by 7.5% since last year up to €138,908 and are up 51.6% since their lowest point.

    In Galway City the average house price is €290,528, up 6.3% on the same time last year and up just under 81% since its lowest point.

    In Galway County the average price is now €197,791, up 7.4% on last year and 56.3% since the lowest level.

    In Sligo the average price is €138164, up 5.5% since last year and 31.5% since its lowest level.

  • House prices nationally rose by 2.5% during the first three months of 2018, according to the latest House Price Report released today by property website, The average price nationwide was €247,000, 7.3% higher than a year ago. Compared to their lowest point in 2013, prices nationwide have risen by an average of 50% or just over €82,500.

    In Mayo, prices in the first three months of 2018 were 3% higher than a year previously, compared to a rise of 11% seen a year ago. The average house price is now €145,000, 31% above its lowest point. In Roscommon prices are up by 4% compared to a year ago, in Sligo 5%, and in Galway County 11%.

    In Dublin, prices rose by 2.3% in the first quarter of the year. This means that the average price in the capital is now €145,000 higher than five years previously. In Cork and Galway cities, prices rose only marginally in the first three months of 2018 (by 0.3% and 0.1% respectively) but are now 59% and 70% higher than their 2013 lows.

    The number of properties available to buy on the market nationwide continues to fall. There were just over 20,000 properties on the market in March. A significant increase in Dublin listings – up from 2,700 a year ago to 3,500 now, largely offset a fall in availability elsewhere. The number of properties on the market outside Dublin is now at 16,800, down 1,000 on a year ago and the lowest on record, for a series starting in January 2007.

  • The HSE has apologised for failures identified in a review of paediatric audiology services in Mayo and Roscommon and has committed to sharing the review report with the families affected today.

    General Manager of the HSE West, Tony Canavan said “on behalf of the HSE, I would like to offer a sincere apology for the failures identified”.

    Parents of the children affected have been invited to meet with a senior manager and a senior audiologist to discuss the findings of the report and they will be updated on their child’s care,” he said.

    The HSE carried out a review of audiology services in counties Mayo and Roscommon between April 2011 and February 2015 following concerns raised by the assistant national clinical lead in audiology. It said the concerns related to one audiologist who no longer works in the audiology services.

    Of the 995 cases examined, 49 children have been found to be affected. Thirteen children were re-referred into the service following concerns and were retested and identified as having a hearing loss.

    Sixteen children with hearing aids received hearing aid management that deviated significantly from recommendations set out in the National Audiology Review group Report (2011). Twenty children who were recalled and retested were identified with a new hearing loss.

    The HSE say the 49 children affected are all currently receiving or have already received the appropriate care.

    Tony Canavan says the priority now is to bring the outcome of the audit to the attention of the parents involved and to provide them an opportunity to have any questions they might have answered. To this end, the review report will be shared with the families affected today.”

  • The HSE's Capital Spending Plan for the next three years has been published today.

    The plan covers 2019 to 2021, at a cost of over €2 billion.

    The publication of the HSE's Capital Plan was delayed as a result of the over-run in the cost of the new National Children's Hospital, however, it's understood no projects face cancellation or delays, despite the over-run.

    In Mayo, funding is being provided for additional bed capacity at Mayo University Hospital, as well as electrical upgrade works at the hospital.

    Elsewhere across the region, the capital plan includes funding for the new Rehabilitation Unit at Roscommon University Hospital, and a 50-bed upgrade of the Sacred Heart Community Nursing Unit in Roscommon.


    In Galway, funding has been announced for the long-awaited new Emergency Department and Maternity Unit at University Hospital Galway and a new elective hospital at Merlin Park in Galway to reduce waiting times and overcrowding.

    The plan also includes a new ambulance base in Galway city, while the mortuary at UHG will undergo major refurbishment works, and there's funding for the development of a blood science laboratory.

  • The HSE has no intention of admitting new residents to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. That was clearly stated just last week by HSE Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan at a meeting of the unit that was attended by Ministers, public representatives and local interests.

    At present the Rosalie Unit is a HSE residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and local Minister Denis Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

    But despite the promises and commitments to date the HSE are insisting that no further residents are being admitted to the facility and instead are providing seven options that it sees as potentially the way forward for the unit.

    Yesterday Minister for Health Simon Harris was in Boyle for the opening of a new Primary Care Centre and he met a delegation supporting the retention of the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility for patients with specific mental health needs. The Minister outlined his frustration and dismay at the lack of progress on this matter and he again reiterated the government’s commitment to its retention.

    Local Senator Maura Hopkins was at the meeting last week between the HSE and public representatives.  She has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why all interested parties are frustrated with the HSE’s response to date.

  • The HSE has confirmed that the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is to close.

    The unit accommodates 12 mostly elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, and there have been fears for some time that the HSE may close the facility, as there have been no new admissions since September 2016.

    However, a strong campaign has been underway in Castlerea for several years to keep the unit open, for the current residents and to provide care into the future for those with psychiatric needs.

    Independent assessments have been carried out recently on the residents, and their families have today received letters from HSE Community Healthcare West Chief Officer Tony Canavan, which says the review of the clinical assessments concludes that the current residents do not require continuing in-patient psychiatric care.

    Therefore "the Rosalie Unit will cease to function as a community psychiatric unit". and the letter says a transition plan will be put in place to arrange alternative care for each of the residents

    News of the closure was announced to staff in Castlerea this morning.

    However, a son of the one of the residents in the Rosalie Unit says the battle is not yet over.

    Liam Walsh, who's mother Breda has been a patient there for the past ten years, told Midwest News that it's a dark day for the residents, their families and staff at the unit, as well as the wider community....

  • The Data Protection Commission is examining complaints it has received in relation to Covid 19 test results being made available to employers before staff members.

    It centres on tests carried out at certain facilities.

    Individuals have expressed shock and upset at receiving their results from managers, rather than the HSE.

    The Chief Medical Officer has said the practice whereby the HSE is giving employers the Covid-19 test results of their employees is "a breach of confidentiality".

    Dr Tony Holohan told the Dáil's Covid-19 committee meeting today that "employers should not be receiving result for employees".

    Confirmation that test results were shared with employers before employees clearly shows that basic data protection rights of individuals were ignored by the HSE, says Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten.

    He has given examples of staff in meat plants and nursing homes who were informed of their Covid test results by their employer.

    The Independent TD says this cannot be tolerated, and results should be provided directly to those tested as soon as they become available.


  • A Roscommon Senator says she is very frustrated after HSE management failed to attend a meeting between a local delegation and Ministers Harris and Daly over the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins says she is very frustrated following the events of yesterday evening.

    A local delegation made up of Oireachtas members, family advocates and local councillors were due to meet with Ministers Harris and Daly and Executive Clinical Director for HSE West Amanda Burke and Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan. However Ms Burke and Mr Canavan were not in attendance.

    This was despite a formal request from Senator Hopkins’ office requesting they attend so a clearer picture could be gained about what is happening with the Rosalie Unit.

    It was agreed that the meeting would be reconvened and Senator Hopkins wants a new date confirmed by the end of today.

  • A motion calling on the HSE Executive to ask the board of the Irish Wheelchair Association to abandon the proposed closure of the Cuisle holiday centre in Donamon, Roscommon was carried unopposed at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Health Forum in Galway.

    However, CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group Tony Canavan said it is not within the remit of the HSE to instruct the Irish Wheelchair Association regarding its plans for the respite centre.

    The motion was put forward by Roscommon Independent Councillor Tony Ward who said the decision to close the Cuisle centre is unbelievable, given that it was a vital service for people with disabilities who travelled from all over the country for a holiday.

    The Cuisle centre is set to close this week with the loss of 48 jobs.

  • The HSE is to apologise to almost 50 families in Mayo and Roscommon for serious failings in audiology services provided to their children according to an RTE Investigates report.

    It follows the completion of a look-back review of paediatric audiology services provided in over 900 cases by one audiologist.

    The HSE carried out a view of services provided in Mayo and Roscommon from 2011 to 2015 as a result of concerns around some aspects of the quality of the service provided, leaving some children with lifelong implants.

    The report says that the individual worked in the Mayo/Roscommon area for over a ten-year period from the early 2000s providing services to young children.

    The look-back began when several professionals in the area expressed concerns about the quality of the audiologist’s work.

    Of the over 900 cases examined, 49 children have found to be affected.

    The HSE is expected to write to these families in the next number of days to provide them with details of the report and RTE reports the letters will also acknowledge that the failings identified either increased the risk of a missed diagnosis or a poor outcome for the affected children.

    The letters will also include an apology from the HSE for its failure to provide appropriate hearing assessments and for the distress this has caused the children involved and their families.

    The clinical team who undertook the review found that in the cases examined hearing assessments conducted did not meet national audiology standards.

    Among the key failures identified are a failure to determine the model of paediatric audiology service provide; hearing aid management was not performed as per relevant guidelines at fitting or review appointments; there was inadequate clinical governance in place to audit and monitor service provision and poor record keeping.

    The HSE has said that all affected children who required a recall have been offered follow-up appointments and in the majority of cases those clinical follow-ups have been accepted.

    It said any children identified as needing further interventions have now been prioritised and treated in a timely manner.

    It is understood that the individual involved has been suspended from practicing here and no longer provides services in the Republic of Ireland.

    It is reported some parents are now considering pursuing legal actions against the HSE.


  • Employers will no longer be told about their workers Covid-19 test results.

    Yesterday, the HSE confirmed the issue had been taking place in some 'exceptional' circumstances.

    However, it now says the practice is being suspended as it seeks advice on the matter from the data protection commissioner.

    Following a further 16 deaths yesterday, the death toll from the virus now stands at 1,561, and there are 24,251 confirmed cases - including an additional 51 cases confirmed yesterday evening.

    The number of confirmed cases in Mayo is up 4 since yesterday at 556, with 438 confirmed cases in Galway, 307 in Galway-  that's an increase of 6 cases - 307 cases in Roscommon, up 3, 129 in Sligo - unchanged from the previous day - and up one in Leitrim to 80 confirmed cases.


    Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten has welcomed confirmation that the HSE is to suspend its practice of sharing medical results with employers before workers, but again questioned why this practice was used in the first instance.

    Deputy Naughten, who first raised this issue in the Dail last week, says the key question that remains unanswered is why did the HSE disregard data protection laws regarding medical test results.

    He believes it's because those responsible either wait weeks for the contract tracing system to inform staff of their results, or try to get the information out quickly to the employer in order to reduce the spread of the infection.

    The Independent TD claims this breach of data protection has occurred because the current contract tracing system in not working.






    A hunt's underway for a gang of five who carried out an armed raid on a bank in county Roscommon yesterday.

    Four men wearing balaclavas entered the Bank of Ireland in Strokestown at 2.15pm, threatening staff with a handgun and iron bars.

    No one was injured, but the raiders escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash in a black Audi car, driven by a fifth man who had been waiting outside.

    No arrests have been made but an investigation is ongoing and Gardai have been carrying out searches in the area.  

  • The Connacht GAA Football Championship Finals, Senior and U20, scheduled for Sunday 17th June 2018 will take place in Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon.

    This decision was made following discussion between the Connacht GAA Council and Roscommon County Board officers and in consultation with the National Infrastructure and the National Health & Safety Committee. Making this decision Connacht Council recognised the financial constraints of Roscommon County Board and agreement was made to hold the game in Roscommon subject to a number of conditions.


    Those conditions include:

    • Confining the capacity to 18,870
    • No tickets being available for sale on the day
    • Roscommon covering the cost of a temporary scanning system 
    • CCTV being in place

    Connacht Council also stressed that Dr Hyde Park will not be considered for future provincial finals until a new entrance is completed in front of the terrace on the Athlone Road side of the ground, permanent metered turnstiles are installed, dressing rooms are built to modern standards, and all roadways behind the stand are tarred.

  • There has been extensive illegal dumping at one of Roscommon’s prime fishing locations.

    Two washing machines and at least 14 bags of household waste were discarded in the river Lung in Ballaghaderreen over the weekend.

    Local councillor Michael Mulligan told Midwest News that seven of the bags, containing dirty nappies and food waste, were removed by fishermen, while the remainder flowed down the watercourse.

    The Sinn Féin politician claims that while dumping has been widespread in drains, bogs and private lands recently, this incident marks a new low.

    He described the situation as disgusting.

  • An Independent TD is urging the public to consider using the Injury Unit at Roscommon where they can be treated within an hour, rather than waiting in overcrowded Emergency Departments like Mayo University Hospital and Portiuncula.

    That’s the view of Denis Naughten who says patients should also ask GP’s if they can have tests or x-rays in Roscommon Hospital rather than spending hours in an emergency department waiting to see a doctor before accessing x-rays or scans.

    Last Friday there were 35 patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital which was the third highest in the country.

    Deputy Naughten says Roscommon’s injury unit needs to be better utilised which in turn would free up emergency departments across the region.

  • Some areas of the Co Roscommon village of Ballinlough were without water again today – for the second time in four days -due to a burst in a pipe.

    Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says it’s not good enough that local residents and Carrick national school are without water once again, as this has happened a number of times in recent weeks.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice is calling on Irish Water to replace the pipe in the area as a matter of urgency.