• 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 in the High Court to a 69-year old Sligo woman who suffered a major stroke after she was discharged from a hospital without her blood-thinning medication.

    According to the Irish Independent, the court heard Mary Moss continued unknowingly for 6 weeks without her anti-coagulants, suffered a major stroke and is now disabled.

    Des O'Neill, senior counsel for Mary Moss, said Ms Moss is currently in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, and her family plan to have her return home to Ballymote as soon as possible.

    In a court statement, the HSE apologised to Ms Moss and her family for any shortcomings in treatment at Sligo University Hospital.

    The apology was read as a settlement of the action, which was approved by the court with a €710,000 payment, plus annual care for the rest of her life in the region of €250,000 per year.

    Outside court, her daughter Leanne Moss said her mother, who suffers from left-side paralysis, has to use a wheelchair and she was relieved her mother's care was going to be looked after every year.

  • The HSE has made a € 5m settlement to the family of a boy with cerebral palsy in a case taken over the handling of his birth at Sligo General Hospital.

    The case, which was settled without an admission of liability, was taken by his mother Lisa Carpenter from Coolaney, Co. Sligo.

    Kyle Carpenter was born three weeks early on May 3rd 2009.

    His mother Lisa went to hospital two days beforehand complaining of stomach pain but she was reassured everything was normal.

    The pain continued after she went home but she experienced no pain when she woke up on May 3rd and couldn't feel any movement.

    She was advised to go back to hospital and a CTG scan taken at 1.30 gave cause for concern.

    Despite that, she claimed a decision to deliver the baby wasn't made for another hour and Kyle required resuscitation and intubation when he was eventually delivered at 3.37.

    He has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

    The HSE contested liability and the case was due to go to a full hearing before it was settled out of court today with no admission of liability.

    In approving the € 5m settlement, Mr. J Kevin Cross described the case as "complex" and one, he said, that would have had an uncertain outcome for the family had it gone to a full hearing.


  • A 32 year old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of his wife in Sligo.

    Natalia Karaczyn's body was discovered on the outskirts of the town on Tuesday.


    The mother of three who was originally from Poland had been missing since early on Sunday morning.

    The 30 year old's body was discovered in the Holywell Road area two days later.

    Today her husband 32-year-old Rafal Karaczyn of Crozon Park in Sligo appeared in court charged with her murder.

    Dressed in a red hoodie he sat with his head in his hands and was visibly upset throughout the hearing, and was comforted by members of Natalia's family.

    Sergeant Cathal Duffy told the court that the accused made no reply when he was arrested, charged and cautioned at Ballymote Garda Station shortly before 8 o'clock last night.

    His barrister asked that he be put on suicide watch while in custody, and the court heard this application was supported by the family of the deceased.

    Judge Kevin Kilraine agreed and also granted him free legal aid.

    He was remanded in custody to appear before Harristown District Court tomorrow.

  • Ice is affecting driving conditions and causing long delays - up to 2 hours - on the N17 at Achonry north of Tubbercurry. Gardai are advising motorists to avoid the area if at all possible.

  • The IFA say there are still a number of farmers in Achill and in Sligo that are awaiting payments which were stopped over fires on their land.

    This saga has been ongoing for the best part of nine months.

    Numerous meetings have taken place over the past while, however there a still a lot of people out of pocket according to Eddie Davitt who is the Rural Development Chairman for the IFA in Sligo.

  • There's increasing hope that St Mary's College in Ballisodare, Co Sligo - which is due to close - may get a reprieve.

    St Mary's is the only post-primary school in Ballisodare, and last month, the trustees informed parents and staff that the school would close when the current Junior Cycle pupils had completed their Leaving Cert.

    CEIST is the trustee body for St Mary's College and over 100 other voluntary catholic secondary schools across country.

    CEIST CEO Dr Marie Griffin met yesterday with a delegation from the Save St Mary's College campaign, along with local public representatives and election candidates.

    Local Fine Gael election candidate in the Sligo /Drumcliffe area Thomas Walsh attended the meeting in Co Kildare, and says the Catholic Education Irish Schools' Trust have listened to their concerns.

    The local community group also outlined their plan for the school going forward, if the decision to close the school can be reviewed.

    The CEIST board of directors will meet tomorrow, and Thomas Walsh told Midwest News that they're expecting the issue to be discussed at that meeting.


  • The Irish Cancer Society has announced emergency funding so that women directly affected by the CervicalCheck controversy can have free counselling in their own community.

    Funds will be made available for an additional 500 counselling sessions in 25 Irish Cancer Society-affiliated Support Centres across the country, including Mayo Cancer Support Association, Castlebar in Mayo, Roscommon Cancer Support Centre and Tuam Cancer Care Centre. The society has taken the step in response to the significant increase in the numbers of women seeking advice and support from the charity around CervicalCheck and their smear test results.

    The announcement brings to 8,000 the number of free counselling sessions for people affected by cancer which the Irish Cancer Society will provide funding for in 2018.

    Donal Buggy is Head of Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society and told Midwest News this evening that this is important additional funding for counselling services.

  • Irish Rail have announced additional services on the Sligo-Dublin route from the 9th December, due to increased demand.

    From Mondays to Fridays, an additional service will be provided from Connolly Station to Sligo, with trains leaving Connolly at 6.55 am and 9.05 am  - replacing the existing service at 8am.

    On Saturdays, the morning train from Connolly station to Sligo will depart at 9.05 instead of the current time 8am departure time.

    An additional service is also being added on the Sligo to Connolly line 6 days per week.

    Trains will depart Sligo at 4.55 pm on weekdays and 5pm on Saturdays, and again at 7 pm - replacing the current 6pm service.

    These are in addition to the other scheduled services between Sligo and Connolly.

    Irish Rail is inviting submissions by this Thursday on the proposed changes, will be introduced on 9th December, subject to the approval of the National Transport Authority.


  • 13,000 consumers supplied by the Lough Talt public water supply have been advised to continue to boil water before use, at least until the end of April.

    The boil water notice was issued on 5th February following the detection of cryptosporidium in the water, and Irish Water announced on Friday that, of 18 samples collected over the past few weeks, six of the samples have shown cryptosporidium.

     The areas affected include the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a number of villages in Sligo as well as Cloontia, Doocastle and the Moylough group water scheme in Mayo.

    Householders and businesses are urged to boil water before use until further notice.

    Irish Water is apologising for the inconvenience, and has confirmed today that businesses affected will get a 40% discount on their water in bill.

    In the meantime, a planning application is being prepared to install the necessary barriers against cryptosporidium at the Lough Talt water treatment plant.

    An Bord Plenala refused permission for the scheme in the past on environmental grounds.

    Sligo TD Eamon Scanlon says the public’s right to a clean water supply should be more important than protecting a species of snail, which has not been seen in the area in several years.

  • It has been confirmed this evening that the boil water notice for the Lough Talt Public Water Supply Scheme remains in place until further notice.

    A two-week testing and sampling programme which was implemented in agreement with the HSE has concluded and found two more positive detections for cryptosporidium.

    Irish Water met with the HSE today (Wednesday) and on the advice of the health authority the Boil Water Notice remains in place. A further two weeks of sampling and testing has been agreed and these results will be reviewed with the HSE on Friday, March 2. The HSE confirmed today that to date there have been no cases of associated illness reported in the community.

    In the meantime Irish Water is urgently progressing with an alternative design proposal and will be in consultation with the relevant stakeholders regarding this detailed option over the next few weeks.

    A statement from Irish Water this evening says its priority is The priority to ultimately provide compliant and robust water treatment for the 13,000 people who are affected by this Boil Water Notice in the shortest possible time.

    Over the past couple of weeks Irish Water, in partnership with Sligo County Council, has completed a review of the catchment followed by protection works at the inlet.

    Areas affected by the Boil Water Notice include the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bellaghy, Bunnanaddan, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carroweden, Kilmacteige, Quarryfield and Coolaney.

    This boil notice also includes customers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme (GWS) in Co Sligo and the following areas in Co Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle, and the Moylough GWS.

    Customers are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption including the washing of teeth, making of ice and in the preparation of food that is not cooked. It is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice.

    A map of the scheme is available on the Irish Water and Sligo County Council’s websites.

  • In the coming weeks, Irish Water will be writing to 140 thousand homes and businesses in 16 counties, where water supply is 'not as good as it could be'.

    Homes and businesses on the public water network whose supplies are on the EPA's Remedial Action list will receive letters outlining problems with their supply.

    Irish Water says the water is still safe to drink in 53 of the 55 water schemes in the list.

    However, boil water notices are in place on the Lough Talt supply in Sligo and at Grangemore in Roscommon where the water is not safe to drink.

     Irish Water will outline what they're doing in these 55 areas to improve supply, and how soon the works will be carried out.

  • This Friday, a group of staff from IT Sligo will climb the equivalent of Mount Everest in their homes, to raise money for the North West Hospice.

    A small team of the college's staff will scale the equivalent of Mount Everest - climbing 55,000 steps, or 3,500 flights of stairs - with the target of raising €5,000 for the Hospice.

    They've already raised over half of that target, and are asking people to donate on the IT Sligo Facebook page, where there will be filmed updates and a tally of the steps achieved.

    Rosie Gilleece, Marketing Manager at IT Sligo, told Midwest News that the staff decided to undertake this challenge at a time when the North West Hospice is missing out on vital fundraising, due to Covid-19 restrictions....

  • It's time that a line was drawn under the controversy surrounding Phil Hogan and Golfgate, as it's distracting from the work of Government - that's according to Sligo-based Fianna Fail TD Marc McSharry.

    Phil Hogan's future as Ireland’s EU commissioner hangs in the balance due to the controversy over his attendance at the infamous Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden, and his travel in Ireland.

    Here, the three Government leaders - the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Green Party leader - issued a statement last night in which they said it's clear that breaches of public-health guidelines were made by Commissioner Phil Hogan since he travelled to Ireland.

    Mr Hogan admits he made mistakes, but insisted he broke no regulations.

    Phil Hogan yesterday published details of his travel in Ireland on a recent visit, and since then further details have emerged, including a social visit to Co Roscommon on August 17th on his way to Clifden.

    This morning, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the Government has lost confidence in Commissioner Hogan, as he had breached public health advice.


    The EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is now deciding the fate of Phil Hogan, with a decision expected soon, and Sligo Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry says a line needs to be drawn under the controversy:

  • There's a jobs boost for Sligo today, with the news that 80 new jobs are being created in Cork and Sligo.

    Capita Customer Solutions has signed a three-year contract worth 12 million euro with Electric Ireland to provide credit control and collection services.

    Capita currently employs 650 people and the new jobs will be based at the company's head office in Co Cork and a satellite operation in Sligo.

    The company offers a diverse range of services to clients in the Agriculture, food, telecommunications, travel, energy and media industries.


  • Former Fine Gael Minister and Dail deputy for Sligo, John Perry, says he is astonished at the procrastination of Fine Gael in selecting a second replacement candidate on the party ticket in the Sligo Leitrim constituency.

    Over the summer, Gerry Reynolds who had been selected to run for the party in this newly drawn up constituency announced his decision to withdraw his name. He has since been replaced by Boyle based Roscommon Senator Frank Feighin on the party ticket.

    Then last month cllr Sinead Maguire who had also been selected to run for the party in the same constituency also withdrew her name. It’s this second vacancy that John Perry believes now needs to be immediately filled.

    He told Midwest News today that the voice of the ordinary members of Fine Gael need to be heard in this process and has called on the constituency chairman or secretary to call a meeting on the matter.

  • The jury in the trial of a man accused of murdering his wife in Sligo has been discharged, after three jurors contacted the court to indicate they were not in a position to attend.

    The 12-member jury panel was scheduled to hear closing speeches in the murder trial of 34-year old Rafal Karaczyn from Crozon Park, Sligo who has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year old wife Natalia Karaczyn at their family home in Sligo between April 29th and May 1st 2018.

    Yesterday, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon told the Central Criminal Court that the trial did not have a full complement of 12 jurors, as three had contacted the court to say they could not attend.

    Senior counsel Bernard Condon for the DPP told the judge his instructions were to ask that the jury be discharged and for the case to return to the list to fix dates.

    He said nobody knows when the trial could resume, and it would be unfair on jury members to be expected to re-assemble at some unknown point in the future.

    Mr Karaczyn was then remanded in custody with consent to bail, under the same terms and conditions, until March 30th.

  • Leitrim boxer Dearbhla Rooney secured a bronze medal at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires last night.

    The Leitrim featherweight beat New Zealand's Te Mania Shelford-Evans on a unanimous decision.

    There was disappointment for Sligo flyweight Dean Clancy.

    He was beaten on a unanimous decision by his Brazilian opponent in their bronze medal bout.


  • A lifeguard is on duty today at Enniscrone Beach.

    Midwest News understands that following an outcry yesterday, a lifeguard has been put in place today.

    Sligo County Council issued a statement yesterday to say there would not be a lifeguard on duty due to a lack of available staff.

    However Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin told Midwest News today that she was down at Enniscrone Beach this morning and there is a lifeguard on duty.


  • The Local Electoral Area Boundary Commission Report has been released.

    The committe is recommending a division of County Mayo into 6 local electoral areas.

    Currently there are local electoral areas in Ballina, Castlebar, Claremorris and West Mayo. The committee is recommending a division into six areas, to be formed around the towns of Ballina, Belmullet, Castlebar, Claremorris, Swinford and Westport.

    They have recommended Ballina have six members, Belmullet three members, Castlebar seven members, Claremorris six members, Swinford and Westport four each.

    That will bring the countywide total to 30 – the figure at which it currently stands.

    The committee has recommended that Municipal Districts in Mayo are constituted as follows: Ballina Municipal District, Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District, Castlebar Municipal District and Westport-Belmullet Municipal District.


    In Sligo the number of councillors will also remain the same at 18. However Sligo, which currently has ten councillors, will be split into the new areas of Sligo-Drumcliff and Sligo-Strandhill and they will have five and six councillors respectively.

    Ballymote-Tubbercurry will remain unchanged as an area but will lose one seat – going from eight to seven.


    In Roscommon the committee is recommending no change to the current configuration of the three local electoral areas – formed around the towns of Athlone, Boyle and Roscommon.

    In Galway, the boundary committee is recommending dividing the county into 7 local electoral areas.

    At present, Galway County Council has 39 members elected from five local electoral areas.

    Connemara and Tuam both elect 9 councillors, with 8 in Loughrea, 7 in Athenry-Oranmore and 6 in the Ballinasloe electoral area.

    The Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee is recommending dividing Galway into 7 local electoral areas, still with a total of 39 councillors.

    Under this plan, Connemara would be dividing into two electoral areas - Connemara North and Connemara South, with 4 and 5 elected members respectively.

    Athenry-Oranmore would retain 7 councillors and Ballinasloe 6.

    Loughrea would be reduced from 8 to 5 elected members, Tuam would be reduced from 9 to 7 councillors, and a new electoral area would be created in Gort / Kinvara with 5 councillors.

    The boundary commitee is also recommending 5 Municipal Districts in Co Galway - the Ballinasloe, Connemara, Loughrea, Athenry and Tuam Municipal Districts.