• The Acting Chief Medical Officer is asking people to double-down on their efforts to prevent the spread of the virus following the highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in over three months.

    217 new infections were reported yesterday evening, but for the tenth day in a row,  there were no deaths from the virus.

    Dr Ronan Glynn says while the number of cases is substantial, the five day moving average remains relatively stable at 115 cases per day.

    However, he said this is still a substantial number of cases, and is urging people to continue washing hands regularly, physically distancing, avoiding crowded areas, wearing face coverings where appropriate, and to contact their GP if they have concerns over symptoms.

    Yesterday's numbers included 103 positive tests in Dublin, 25 in Kildare, and 17 each in both Limerick and Tipperary, as new cases were also confirmed in Galway and Roscommon.

    Co Roscommon has seen a steady increase in confirmed cases over the past month, after almost no new cases were reported during July.

    From 1st August to the 30th August, the number of cases in Roscommon increased by 17.

    In the same month, the number of confirmed cases of the virus in Mayo increased by 5, with 17 additional cases in Co Galway during August.


  • There are another 136 cases of Covid-19 in the Republic and one more death.

    Of the cases confirmed yesterday evening, 51 are in Dublin and 24 in Kildare.

    The remainder are spread over 15 other counties.

    There are 12 in Kilkenny, 11 in Tipperary, 7 in Cork, 6 in Limerick, 6 in Wexford, 5 in Meath and the remaining 14 cases are in Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Offaly, Waterford and Wicklow.

  • A new drive-through test facility for coronavirus has opened today in Castlerea.

    The HSE has confirmed to Midwest News that, in line with their plans to increase Covid-19 testing, a new facility has opened today at the Castlerea Fire Station, which has been closed as a fire station for the past three years.

    The HSE says this new drive-through test facility will replace the current test centre at The Lodge at Roscommon University Hospital.

    The test centre at Castlerea Fire Station is the third drive-through test centre in the region, along with McHale Park in Castlebar and Galway Airport.



  • The Department of Health has opened a new Mental Health Hub in Castlerea.

    CAMHS Connect is an online service, based at the former Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, and is one of various new e-Mental Health initiatives to modernise mental health care nationally.

    The Department of Health says it will provide vastly-improved patient experiences, particularly during out-of-hours where currently a young person presenting to a facility with no on-duty psychiatrist must wait until one becomes available the next morning.

    With the assistance of doctors working from the new Hub, clinical support will be available around the clock to support health staff elsewhere to treat patients who present with mental health problems, via tele-psychiatry.

    It will also improve the support available to mental health teams across areas where there are gaps due to recruitment issues.

    Also on the same site in Castlerea at the former Rosalie Unit, a new Day Hospital will be for young people and a Day Hospital for Psychiatry of Later Life are being developed.

    Minister of State for Mental Health & Older People Jim Daly told Midwest News that this represents an investment of €2.6 million in mental health services in the Western region....

  • A new Primary Care Centre is to be developed in Ballaghadereen.

    Minister Jim Daly says planning permission will be lodged shortly for the construction of a Primary Care Centre on the site currently occupied by the Willowbrook Medical Centre on Convent Road in the town.

    This will provide modern facilities for GP and other medical services.

    The issue was raised in the Seanad yesterday by Roscommon FG Senator Maura Hopkins, who asked for an update on plans for the new facility.

    Minister Jim Daly said the HSE is currently in the final stages of agreeing the floor plan for the new centre, and will then agree a lease for the premises before lodging a planning application.

  • A new Garda Superintendent has been appointed to the Castlerea District.

    The Garda Press office has confirmed that Supt Goretti Sheridan has been assigned responsibility for the Castlerea Garda district.

    This is one of ten new Superintendent appointments, taking immediate effect.


  • There will be no change in the Local Property Tax next year in either Roscommon or Galway.

    Both Roscommon and Galway County Councils discussed the matter at their respective monthly meetings yesterday, and the two local authorities voted to retain the current rate for 2019.

  • There's no guarantee that money will be available next year to commence construction of the long-awaited new 50-bed unit at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon.

    Prior to the 2016 general election, €9 million was announced for a replacement 50-bedroom unit for the facility in Roscommon Town, to bring it up to HIQA standards.

    However, work has not yet started on the development.

    The issue was raised again at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway, where Roscommon Independent Councillor Tony Ward asked HSE management for an update on the plans.

    He was informed that a design team would be appointed for the project before the end of this year, but he's concerned that there was no commitment given in relation to funding to begin the construction work in 2020.

  • Householders in Roscommon will face no increase in the local property tax next year.

    The issue was debated at this week's council meeting, where a vote to maintain the Local Property Tax at current levels for 2021 was carried by 13 votes to 5.

    Sligo County Council, Galway County Council and Galway City Council have also voted to maintain the current rate in 2021.

    Both Roscommon and Sligo County Councils agreed a 15% increase last year, which stays in place.

    Meanwhile, householders in Mayo will see a 10% increase in their local property tax.

    At a meeting earlier this month, two-thirds of Mayo councillors voted in favour of the increase, on condition that the funding is ring-fenced for each Municipal District.

  • There's no indication when the ambulance service in the Co Roscommon village of Loughglynn will be extended to a 24-hour service.

    The issue was raised again at this week's HSE Regional Forum meeting by local Councillor Micheal Creaton, who asked management for an update on plans to extend the ambulance base to a round-the-clock service.

    Management said they're hoping to recruit 6 people for the ambulance by next month, but this would only be to provide a service during the day.

    Councillor Creaton says it's disappointing that there's no indication of when the ambulance base will operate on a 24-hour basis.

  • 188 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the Republic in the last 24 hours.

    There have been no new deaths recorded.

    76 cases of the new confirmed cases are in Dublin, with 25 in Cork, 21 in Donegal, 16 in Kildare, 13 in Galway, 7 in both Roscommon and Waterford, and the remaining 23 cases spread across 12 counties.

    The Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has once again urged people to halve the number of contacts this week, saying everyone of us doing our bit matters a great deal.




  • No progress was made on securing the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, following a meeting between local public representatives, family members, HSE officials and Minister Jim Daly on Wednesday night.

    According to both Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins and family advocate Liam Walsh, the status quo remains and the issue is no further on.

    The meeting was attended by Minister Daly, local representatives and Charlie Meehan Head of Mental Health Services and Tony Canavan Chief Health Officer.

    It was confirmed by the HSE officials that clinical assessments are continuing on the 12 residents of the unit but the families were informed in letters this week, that these assessments will not contribute the decision on the future plans for the Rosalie Unit but are being used to put care plans in place for residents.

    Tony Canavan is due to meet with Minister Daly again after the clinical assessments are complete.


    Liam Walsh’s mother is a resident at the Rosalie Unit. He too attended last night’s meeting.

    He said it is disappointing that the status quo remains and it is creating anxiety for the residents.

    Mr Walsh told Midwest News that when visiting his mother on the day of the meeting, another resident asked him to tell the Minister and HSE officials that they don’t want to leave the unit.

  • As football supporters from Galway, Mayo and all corners of Roscommon travel to Dr Hyde Park tomorrow for the Connacht senior and under-20 finals, Roscommon GAA is reminding the public that NO tickets will be available for sale in Roscommon ahead of the matches.

    Patrons must have tickets before travelling to Hyde Park, where the Connacht U20 final between Mayo and Roscommon throws-in at 1pm, ahead of the Connacht senior final meeting of Roscommon and Galway.

    Supporters are also urged to check their tickets before making their way to Hyde Park, as those with terrace tickets can only access the grounds from the Athlone Road entrance, and those with stand or seated tickets must use the entrance on the Golf Links Road.

    Brian Carroll, Secretary of Roscommon GAA, says no tickets will be available for sale at Hyde Park tomorrow.

  • The National Public Health Emergency team will meet again tomorrow to decide if further restrictions are needed in four counties, including Roscommon and Galway, due to the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases.

    It comes as Roscommon's 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is now at over 99.

    In Galway, the incidence rate is now 65.5 and just under 30 per 100,000 in Mayo.

    In Donegal and Dublin - which are at level 3 of restrictions - the rate is now over 204 in Donegal and 156 in the capital.

    One further death was recorded yesterday evening from coronavirus, with 363 additional cases.

    This included 15 new cases in Co Roscommon, 14 in Galway and 5 in Mayo.

    There's also one confirmed case of Covid-19 being treated at Mayo University Hospital and one also at University Hospital Galway.

    Meanwhile, the HSE West is urging everyone across counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon to continue their efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.

  • The Head of the HSE says we need to 'call-out' behaviour that could significantly impact the spread of Covid-19.

    However he doesn't believe fining people is the right course of action.

    363 cases were confirmed in the country yesterday, and one more death.

    NPHET will meet tomorrow to discuss whether additional restrictions are needed in Galway, Roscommon, Monaghan and Cork.

    HSE CEO Paul Reid says it's not just gatherings of students that need to be criticised.

  • Nurses and midwives across the country have taken to the picket lines outside hospitals and HSE facilities since 8am this morning, as they demand pay increases and Government action on staff shortages.

    37,000 INMO members are involved in the industrial action, with 5 further strike days planned during February.

    All elective surgery and outpatient appointments are cancelled today, with local injury units and day care centres remaining closed.

    The HSE is appealing to people not to attend hospital Emergency Departments unless absolutely necessary.

    Nurses and  midwives have gathered in cold conditions this morning to demand  pay increases of around 12 per cent and for the HSE to sort out what they call a recruitment and retention crisis in nursing.

    However, the government says wage hikes for nurses would open the floodgates for other unions to seek pay claims, which the State cannot afford.

    In this region, pickets have been placed on hospitals in Mayo, Galway, Roscommon and Sligo and on a number of primary care centres and health centres run by the HSE.

  • It’s stalemate on Day 13 of the farmers protest outside meat factories over the collapse in beef prices.

    Hundreds of jobs remain on the line in factories and there’s the threat of a court battle against protesting farmers by the meat plants.

    Westport based Independent councillor Johno O’Malley insists that the only solution to the crisis is for the factories to pay more per kilo, per animal.

    At the moment there appears to be no end in sight to the dispute that has shut down 14 factories around the country, and has seen up to 200 workers temporarily laid off at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis “into the forseeable future”. These are all workers involved in beef processing, sheep processing is continuing at the Ballyhaunis plant.

    Last night a number of major meat processors are understood to have written to the Beef Plan movement warning it has just hours to stand down or face immediate legal action.

    Agriculture Minister Michael Creed now faces intense pressure to find a way to help resolve the dispute.

    Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy has pleaded with Minister Creed not to get hung up about any precondition before going into talks, but rather to go ahead with round table discussions even if farmers continue their protests at the gates of meat factories. Speaking to Midwest News he said that stalemate in the crisis for another number of days is likely, as farmers are adamant they will continue

    Councillor Johno O’Malley insists the meat factories must pay more per kilo for animals, if farmers are to survive in the beef industry. Farmers need a price of 4 euro or more per kilo to make a living, he says.

    He joined the protest line outside Dawn Meats with the farmers yesterday.


  • The N5 between Ballaghaderreen and Frenchpark re-opened to traffic again last night following a three vehicle collision at about 6.15 yesterday evening, at Portaghard, Frenchpark.

    Emergency services attended the scene of the collision and a man in his sixties was removed by air ambulance to University Hospital Galway with what were described as “serious injuries”.

    No one else sustained injuries in the collision.

    The road remained closed to traffic for some hours, and re-opened again about 11pm.

  • Organisations in counties Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Galway will benefit from funding announced under the 2018 Community Integration Fund.

    Minister of State David Staunton has announced that 115 grassroots organisations nationally will receive funding totalling half a million euro.

    The organisations each receive grants up to €5,000 for activities to support the integration of migrants within local communities.

    Ballaghadereen GAA Club and Ballaghadereen Community Games, Friends of the Centre in Ballaghadereen and Roscommon GAA club are among the recipients, as well as the Irish Refugee Council in Mayo and Sligo.

    Also in Sligo, the Sligo Family Resource Centre and Sligo Global Kitchen are among the recipients, while in Galway, the Galway Integration Consortium, Theatre for Change in Galway City, ARD Family Resource Centre and Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre will also receive grants under this fund.

    Minister Staunton says last year was the first year of the Community Integration Fund, and having visited some of the projects, he says he was struck by how great an impact such modest financial support can have in bringing migrants and their host communities together.

  • Orthopaedic waiting lists at Galway University Hospital have spiralled to over 6,000 with many people left in pain on waiting lists for hip replacement surgery for up to four years.

    That’s according to Roscommon based Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy who says the figures reveal that up to last month there were a total of 1,092 people on inpatient day case orthopaedic waiting lists with 193 of those waiting for eight months to a year with 88 waiting from one year to 15 months.

    On the outpatient waiting list for orthopaedics, a staggering total of 5,134 people have been left languishing on waiting lists.

    Deputy Murphy says in some cases people have been waiting for up to four years which has labelled as outrageous.