Sligo

  • The Goverment has given the go-ahead to award the contract for a notoriously dangerous section of road in Co Sligo.

    The N4 between Collooney and Castlebaldwin, described by Transport Minister Shane Ross as a notoriously dangerous stretch of road, is to undergo a €150 million upgrade.

    Minister Ross has announced that the 15km section of road is to be rebuilt to a modern standard.

    The existing road has seen 9 fatal road collision, 10 serious accidents and over 80 minor accidents over the past 20 years.

    Following a fatality in 2015, the section of road was described by the Sligo Coroner as "possibly the worst road in Ireland".

    The Collooney to Castlebaldwin road is to be upgraded to a Type 2 dual carriageway.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland says it will work with Sligo County Council and the contractor Roadbridge to complete the project in 2021.

     

     

  • A thriving community in Co Sligo is to consider taking a judicial review to save its local post office, after accusing An Post of ignoring its own viability guidelines.

    Hundreds of people attended a protest meeting last night in Gurteen, amid local fury over An Post's decision to close the village post office on February 28.

    The decision followed a six-month campaign in Gurteen to save the post office, which prompted An Post to give three deadline extensions.

    Fiona Tansey, of Tansey's Centra Supermarket, told the Irish Independent that the decision made absolutely no sense and threatened the area with a devastating economic blow.

    She claims An Post is ignoring its own guidelines.

    Last year, it promised no post office would close where there's a local population of 500 people or more, while there are 512 living in Gurteen.

    The threatened closure of Gurteen post office will force people to travel more than 12km to Ballymote for services.

    Ms Tansey claimed that An Post has refused to engage with the local community, and they are now considering a judicial review of the decision.

    Last year, An Post unveiled plans to close 159 rural post offices, after a deal had been agreed with the Irish Postmasters' Union.

    A spokesman for An Post last night said there's an established protocol there to help them make a decision like this, and the step-by-step process was followed in this case, with Gurteen Post Office due to close at the end of this month.

     

  • The Co Sligo village of Gurteen has seen its playground close in recent days, due to difficulties in obtaining insurance cover.

    The community playground opened two years ago, following a local fundraising campaign.

    However, the company which was providing insurance is withdrawing from the Irish market, and the playground operators are finding it difficult to get cover.

    One quote was in the region of €20,000.

    Local Fianna Fail Councillor Paul Taylor says it's very disappointing that a lock went on the playground gate on Sunday evening....

  • The Gurteen to Ballymote road has reopened to traffic this afternoon following a single vehicle road collision.

    The incident occurred shortly after 12 noon when the driver of a car lost control and drove into a farmyard.

    A man was cleaning his quad bike in the yard when it was struck by the vehicle.

    He suffered minor injuries and was taken to Sligo University Hospital as a precaution.

    There were five occupants in the car and they suffered no injuries.

    Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the incident and ask anyone with information to contact Ballymote Garda Station on 071 918 9500.

  • The family of a young Sligo man, who fatally stabbed his nine-year-old brother before taking his own life five years ago, has settled a High Court action against the HSE.

    Shane Skeffington and his wife Carmel from Banada, Tourlestrane had returned from a Sunday afternoon shopping trip on 20th July 2014 to discover their eldest son, 19-year old Shane Junior had stabbed his 9-year old brother Brandon with a knife, leaving him fatally wounded.

    Shane Junior then took his own life.

     The Skeffingtons sued the HSE for alleged negligence and breach of duty in relation to his care.

    It was claimed there was an alleged failure to take care of Shane Jnr when he was in St Columba’s Hospital , Sligo in May 2014, and counsel told the court that, had the treatment been better when Shane was in the hospital, there may have been a different outcome.

    It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to adequately investigate Shane Junior’s mental state prognosis.

    The claims were denied.

     Approving the settlements, Mr Justice Cross sympathised with the Skeffington family and said it was a sad and tragic case.

    The settlement is without admission of liability and the terms of the settlement are confidential.

     

     

  •  

    A special Cabinet meeting will take place in Sligo this Friday.

    The Cabinet meeting will get underway at 11am at IT Sligo, and will be followed by the launch by Taoiseach Leo Varadker of Project Ireland 2040 – the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.

    The President of IT Sligo Dr Brendan McCormack says the institute is honoured to host the historic Cabinet meeting – the first ever held on an IT campus.

    He says the event is a vote of confidence in Sligo, the Northwest region, its young people and its future.

    Dr McCormack says he believes the plans being announced on Friday will have a transformative impact on the economic well-being of the north-west region, and will provide a much-needed boost for the region.

  •  

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

    According to the latest Daft.ie 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, Daft.ie. 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.

  • 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.