• Minister Denis Naughten has welcomed reassurances provided by the HSE’s Tony Canavan today in relation to the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Minister Naughten had written to Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly stating that both Government and HSE policy is clear that the Rosalie Unit has a future which is in all likelihood within the Mental Health services and had sought reassurances in relation to both the residents of the unit and the future of the unit itself.

    The HSE has confirmed today that no decision will be taken in relation to the Rosalie Unit until the clinical assessment process has been completed and reviewed.

    Mr Canavan also said he can confirm that the Rosalie facility will continue to form part of the service delivery of health care in the Roscommon area, and that if any change of use should arrive from its current use, it will be done in consultation with public representatives and relevant stakeholders for the area.

    Minister Naughten says he welcomes the reassurances, and while it will provide some solace for residents and their families, he says we must continue to work with residents, their families and their advocates as well as the local community into the future.

    Liam Walsh’s mother is a resident at the Rosalie Unit and he told Midwest News today that it is a welcome development but it does not provide any assurance regarding the long-term future of the Rosalie Unit. 

  • The Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly have both agreed to meet a delegation to discuss the future of the Rosalie Home in Castlerea.

    That’s according to Roscommon FG Senator Maura Hopkins, who has spoken with both ministers, and says they have agreed to meet a delegation.

    Senator Hopkins is currently arranging the meeting, which would also include HSE management.

    In addition, she says Minister Jim Daly will visit the Rosalie Unit at the end of this month, where he will meet with residents, family members and healthcare professionals.

    Up to 300 people attended a public meeting in Castlerea last Thursday night amid concerns that the Rosalie unit may close, as the HSE says it is not part of their plans going forward.

  • The future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be discussed at a meeting in Leinster House this evening.

    The Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly will meet with a deputation which will include patient advocates, three local Councillors and Roscommon Oireachtas members.

    The meeting was due to take place earlier this month, but was deferred until this evening.

    The Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is a long-stay residential unit for elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, but there are concerns locally that the HSE is planning to close the unit.

    The HSE says the 12 residents in the Rosalie home are being clinically assessed to determine their future care needs, while family members are concerned this may mean moving the residents to other facilities in Mayo or Galway.


  • Almost 3,000 homeless people around the country use a local post office as their home address to receive mail because of the scale of Ireland's housing crisis.

    New data reveals the spread of hidden homelessness across the country, with many people unaccounted for in official figures because they stay with friends and family.

    The Sunday Independent reports that the statistics show higher volumes of people in rural areas using post offices as an alternative because they have no home address.

    The figures show high demand for the service in Galway where there are 194 users.

    In counties across the west there are more homeless people registered for the An Post service than there are staying in emergency accommodation, according to the Department of Housing's most recent figures.

    Mayo with 31, Roscommon with 15, Leitrim with 5 and Sligo with 38, have more homeless people using post offices to access mail than those recorded as being in emergency accommodation.

    The figures have been made available by An Post for the first time since the service was created for homeless people last April

  • 750 older people are to be offered a nursing home place under the Fair Deal scheme.

    The boost in numbers follows months of restrictions by the HSE, which had been putting a limit on the number of places allocated weekly.

    It is expected that top-up funding will now be needed, in addition to the €1bn Fair Deal budget for the year, in an effort to make inroads into a waiting list of people approved for a nursing home place.

    Roscommon Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins told Midwest News recently that she is aware of a number of families paying out thousands of euro weekly for nursing home care for a loved one, who has qualified for the Fair Deal Scheme, but had not secured it.

    In some cases, older people are waiting two months or longer for a place.

    The Irish Independent reported earlier this week that a record 769 patients nationally, who are medically fit could not be discharged because of a lack of step-down care, and were occupying hospital beds.

  • More than a thousand people have taken part in a protest in Strokestown in County Roscommon.

    The peaceful demonstration was organised in support of the local family recently evicted in controversial circumstances, from a family farm on the outskirts of the town.

    Those attending today carried banners and tri-colours, calling for an end to forced evictions.

    It follows violent clashes last week in the aftermath of the eviction.

    Two men were arrested and later released following last week's disturbances - and a file is being prepared for the DPP.



  • The HSE has again apologised to almost families in counties Mayo and Roscommon for serious failings in audiology services provided to their children.

    Earlier this month, it emerged that the HSE carried out a review of services provided in the two counties from 2011 to 2015  as a result of concerns around some aspects of the quality of the service provided.

    Some children were left with lifelong impairments after the review of services provided in more than 900 cases.

    It was understood that one audiologist was involved who worked in the Mayo / Roscommon area for over ten years, providing services to young children.

    However, at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway, FG Councillor Padraig Conneely called for the audiologist involved to be named and shamed.

    But HSE management then informed the councillor that it wasn't down to one individual - rather there were two contractual services involved.

    Councillor Conneely told Midwest News that this revelation raises further concerns....

  • A mother-of-three, who was fatally injured in a road collision last Friday, will be laid to rest in Ballinlough tomorrow (Friday).

    Anne Grogan from Cloonlough, Ballinlough, who was in her early 30s, passed away at University Hospital Galway earlier this week, after sustaining serious injuries in an accident last Friday when her car was involved in a crash with a lorry and a van in Ballinlough.

    Ms Grogan was a member of the teaching staff at Ballyhaunis Community School.

    A statement from the school says it's with great sadness that they learnt of the tragic passing of a dear friend and colleague, who was a much loved member of the school community.

    Ms Grogan was also an active member of Michael Glaveys GAA club, where she both played and managed teams.

    Ms Grogan's remains will repose at McDonagh's Funeral Home, Castlerea this evening (Thursday) from 4-7pm.

    Funeral Mass will take place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballinlough tomorrow at 1.30, followed by burial in Ballinlough Cemetery.


  • A motorist in Co Roscommon was arrested on Saturday, after being detected driving under the influence of drugs.

    The Roscommon Division Roads Policing Unit stopped the driver and carried out an oral fluid test at the roadside.

    The motorist tests positive for cocaine, cannabis and benzodiazepines and was arrested, with court proceedings to follow.





    A motorist was caught travelling at 181 kilometres an hour heading for County Galway last night.

    The driver was speeding on the M6 motorway between Athlone and Ballinasloe.

    The Roscommon Roads Policing Unit say a fixed charge notice is to follow.




  • The N5 road has reopened following a crash in Roscommon overnight.

    Part of the N5 had been closed after a multiple-car collision near Strokestown near Strokestown Golf Club.

    Three vehicles were involved in the crash, which happened shortly before 8pm.

    Meanwhile the N17 road reopened around 11.30pm last night following a two-car collision in the village of Ballindine.

  • The N5 between Ballaghadereen and Frenchpark is closed to traffic, following a serious collision.

    It's understood the 3-vehicle collision occurred at Portahard, and emergency services are currently at the scene.

    Gardai have confirmed that the N5 is closed on the Ballaghadereen side of Frenchpark, and diversions are in place.

  • The N5 Road between Tulsk and Ballinagare has reopened to traffic following the removal of a jack-knifed truck. Conditions remain slippery in that area so Gardai are advising motorists to exercise caution. 

    The N4 on the Boyle side of Carrick on Shannon is closed following an accident involving a lorry and a number of cars. Gardai say the road will remain closed for a number of hours.

    The Kiltimagh/Balla Rd (R342) has reopened to traffic after a truck overturned there yesterday evening.

  • Roscommon County Council has confirmed that the main N60 road between Castlerea and Roscommon will be closed at Oran from next Monday morning the 16th September for a 6-week period.

    The road closure is to facilitate construction of the N60 Oran road project, and motorists are being advised to divert via Tulsk.

    However, there are concerns that the official diversion could add up to 10 miles to the journey.

    Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Paschal Fitzmaurice says that, while the new road project is welcome, the works should have been carried out on a Stop / Go basis for traffic, rather than closing the road completely for 6 weeks.....

  • The N60 road between Castlerea and Ballymoe reopens this morning, following major roadworks.

    The road, which forms part of the N60 from Mayo to Roscommon and onto Athlone, has been closed between Castlerea railway station and Ballymoe village for the past few weeks, to allow overlay works to be carried out between the train station and Harristown.

    However, emergency funding is now being sought for roadworks on a stretch of this road from Harristown onto Ballymoe, which has disimproved since the Summer drought.

    Castlerea-based Fianna Fail Councillor Paschal Fitzmaurice raised the issue at yesterday's monthly meeting of Roscommon County Council, and has now confirmed that the road will reopen to traffic from today..

  • The Government's decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan is a turning point for the revitalisation of rural Ireland.

    That's according to former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, who says fibre to the home is the only option to ensure high-speed broadband is available in every corner of the country for the 25 years of this project.

    While more expensive than other suggested options, Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten says fibre is the only viable solution - despite the initial cost.

    The Independent TD resigned as Minister for Communications last October following controversy over meetings he had with David McCourt, the businessman heading up the Granahan McCourt consortium, which was the only group bidding for the National Broadband Plan contract, and was yesterday approved by Cabinet.

    Deputy Naughten has repeatedly said that broadband will be as important in the coming years as rural electrification was in the last century.

    Speaking with Midwest News, he welcomed the Government's decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan, which will provide high-speed broadband to over 540,000 premises in rural Ireland...

  • Negotiations between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on the Budget and the Confidence and Supply Agreement should take place at the same time.

    That's the view of the Minister for the Environment, Denis Naughten.

    Both sides are at odds over the future of the Confidence and Supply Agreement, the deal which sees Fianna Fáil propping up the Fine Gael Government.

    The Taoiseach has called for the agreement to be extended now until 2020.

    But Micheál Martin appears to want to wait until after October's Budget.

    Minister Naughten says there's a risk the issues could overshadow sensitive Brexit talks

  • A new Business Alert scheme is being set up in Castlerea.

    Over 50 businesses in the town have already signed up for the free service, which is designed to share information among local businesses about any security or crime-related incidents, such as shoplifting.

    A similar service is already operating successfully in Castlebar.

    Members will also receive a weekly message on Whatsapp offering advice on safety and security measures for business.

  • New car sales in Roscommon fell by over 12% last year - almost three times the national average.

    That's according to new figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, which show total new car registrations nationally for 2018 finished over 4% down on 2017.

    1,050 new cars were registered in Roscommon in 2018, compared to over 1200 the previous year.

    In Mayo, 2168 new cars were registered last year - a drop of almost 5% on 2017.

    There was also a 5% drop in Sligo and a 3% reduction in Galway in new car registrations.

    Meanwhile, the number of used cars imported into this country exceeded the 100,000 mark for the first time .


    Brian Cooke, Director General Designate of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, says despite Ireland's strong economic performance last year, 2018 was very challenging for new car sales - largely as a result of Brexit and the associated weakness of sterling.

    He told Midwest News that this has led to a surge in used car imports over the last two years - and the trend is reflected across the West of Ireland.....

  • 174 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the latest official data -- most of them in the three counties put under lockdown.

    It's the largest number of confirmed cases reported in Ireland in one day since May, and brings the total number infected to date in Ireland to over 26-thousand six hundred.

    Another patient infected with the virus has also died.

    There were 110 cases recorded in Kildare, 27 in Dublin, seven in Cork, seven in Offaly and six in Meath. The remaining cases were spread across 13 other counties, of which Mayo is one.

    Cases have also been reported in neighbouring Galway and Roscommon after several days where none had been reported in the whole of Connacht.