Westport

  • Minister Michael Ring has welcomed the appointment of Fine Gael Councillor Tereasa McGuire from Westport as a Peace Commissioner.

    Minister Michael Ring said he was pleased to hear that Councillor McGuire has been appointed as a Peace Commissioner. He congratulated Tereasa on this appointment and said Tereasa is a person of good character and standing within the community.  She is a well-respected teacher, Councillor and overall community person.

  • A Westport Councillor is calling on Government to introduce two different VAT rates for the hospitality industry.

    Fine Gael Councillor Peter Flynn believes hotel rooms being sold for €150 euro or less should be subject to the lower rate of 9%, while the higher VAT rate could apply to more expensive hotels.

    The VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector was increased to 13.5% in the last Budget.

    He's also proposing the introduction of a tourist tax, which would see visitors paying a small tax on their arrival at a hotel, which would be ringfenced for projects in that town.

    Councillor Flynn's comments follow concerns expressed by the Restaurants Association of Ireland that one in 5 Irish restaurants could face closure in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

  • If anyone has any suspicion of illegal drug dealing in Westport, they are welcome to pass it on to local Independent councillor Christy Hyland and he will gladly pass it on to the Gardai.

    The councillor says often families panic when they discover that a loved one is taking illegal substances, but he says it’s better to contact agencies like the Western Drug and Alcohol Task Force, contact the Gardai, or a local councillor and they will pass the information on to the gardai

    At a recent County Joint Policing Committee in Westport, the Chief Superintendent Pat Diskin urged anyone with any information on drug dealing or grow houses to contact the gardai and said after that, the gardai will investigate and do their own research.

    Cllr Hyland raised concerns that on two separate occasions last year, a judge at a sitting of Westport Court, commented on the volume of drug cases in the area being brought before the courts.

  • The Westport Festival of Chamber Music will take place next weekend, from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September.

    The Festival's six concerts will be presented in Westport House, Westport Town Hall Theatre and Holy Trinity Church. 

    A broad range of music performed from solo to septet will include composers from Bach to Britten.  

    Following the opening concert in Westport House on Friday evening, Saturday’s  programme in the Town Hall Theatre will provide three concerts at 11.30am, 8pm and 10.30pm.  

    Sunday will return to Westport House for the 11.30am concert with the Heath Quartet and the final concert at 2.30 will take place in Holy Trinity Church.

     

  • Westport is the first town in Ireland to be awarded Failte Ireland’s Destination Award for Excellence in Customer Service.

    Over 300 staff in 18 businesses in the town undertook and completed Failte ireland’s Accredited Service Excellence programme over a number of months to secure the accolade.

    The programme aims to assist tourism businesses reach the highest standards in customer care , which can result in business growth, additional repeat business, increase visitor spend and positive recommendations. The award can be presented to individual businesses or to a whole town, as is the case in Westport.

    The Award was presented on Friday in Westport by the Chief Executive of Failte Ireland Paul Kelly.

  • Lausanne, a small town nestled in the heart of the Switzerland countryside, may not be a name you’ve heard of before when it comes to basketball – particularly in terms of Irish basketball, but one man from Mayo is working hard to change that.

    Meet Liam Printer from Westport in Co. Mayo. A teacher at the International School of Lausanne, Liam has worked hard over the last number of years to put basketball front and centre on the school map and what a job he’s done.

    In just a short space of time, the school has gone from having no basketball team whatsoever, to boasting three different squads at different age levels going into the 2018/19 season - as well as a trophy cabinet bursting at the seams with silverware.

    Having previously coached the likes of Aidan O’Shea and the Durkan brothers at St Gerald’s College in Castlebar, Liam moved to Switzerland back in 2013, and hasn’t looked back since.

    “I arrived that September and we had our first trial session and there were only about eight girls there,” he reflected. “We worked hard with the girls, many of them new to the sport, and we decided to enter the European Schools Conference (ESC) in March of that first year. It was in Milan, and believe it or not, we ended up winning the entire tournament! We couldn’t believe it. We somehow got through an overtime game, and went on to win it out. The school was so delighted! The Principal couldn’t believe it either.

    “The next year (last year), we built on that and we had some great girls on the squad and a good few coming through as well, so that’s when we introduced a second team to the school – an under 13 team.

    “Last year, we went to the ESC again, in Geneva this time, and we won it yet again! Back-to-back champions! It was incredible. We had gone from having no basketball team at all, to suddenly getting this team together and winning back-to-back European titles.”

    While this year has been a regrouping year, with many of the squad’s players having graduated at the end of last season, Coach Printer has still enjoyed remarkable success and is looking forward to next year even more

    “This year was about regrouping, but we did win that SGIS A Category Tournament in November though for the first time in the school’s history. That was a pretty special day as Jerry – the other coach - was away so my brother, Anthony, came over and was my Assistant Coach for the day - the same brother who got me into basketball out on our driveway in Westport with a rusty old hoop nailed to a tree.

    “It is all a bit surreal to be honest. We’ve gone from not existing to double European Schools champions and two League titles in the space of three years which is pretty extraordinary,” he reflected. "Now we will have three squads next year at three age groups, which is fantastic.

    “There’s also another Irish coach here in Lausanne as well, which is really crazy. Elaine – the other coach – is bizarrely, actually from Mayo too, - Ballaghaderreen in fact - so that was really funny the first time we coached against each other and we went up to introduce ourselves only to find out we are from the same county. Two Mayo coaches in the same part of Switzerland, now that’s pretty cool.”

     

  • Westport has been named Ireland's Tidiest Large town at the 2019 National Tidy Towns awards, for the third year in a row, while Glaslough in Co Monaghan has won the overall award for Ireland's Tidiest Town.

    Over 800 entries were received from across the country in the 61st year of the Tidy Towns  competition, and the award winners were announced this afternoon at The Helix in Dublin.

    Seven communities in Mayo have won a total of 13 awards today.

    Westport has again been named Ireland's Tidiest Large Town, while both Westport and Castlebar have retained their Gold medals, with Bronze Medal awards for Ballina, Belmullet and Mulranny.

    Westport also won the county award for Mayo, with Mulranny highly-commended, while Castlebar was commended and the Endeavour award for Mayo went to Lecanvey.

    A number of special awards also went to communities across Mayo -

    Louisburg won the Leave No Trace Award, while Belmullet Tidy Towns won the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, and Belmullet was highly-commended in the Gaeltacht Award.

    The awards were presented in Dublin by the Minister for Community & Rural Development Michael Ring, who said Mayo has outdone itself in this year's competition, as 7 communities across the county won a total of 13 awards.

    Minister Ring also announced €1.4 million to be allocated to Tidy Towns groups around the country, and urged Mayo participants to avail of the funding.

     

  • Westport was named Ireland's Tidiest Large Town - for the 2nd year running  at the 2018 National Tidy Town Awards in Dublin today.

    This is the 60th year of the awards, which involve hundreds of towns and villages across the country.

    Castlebar has secured a Gold Medal award- for the first time.

    Five communities in Mayo received a special recognition in this year’s awards. They are:

    Castlebar and Westport €900 both received a Gold Medal and with it a prize of €900.

    Mulranny won a Bronze Medal (and €400) and was highly commended in county category for Mayo.

    Binghamstown won the Endeavour Award for Mayo and a prize of €500.

    Béal an Mhuirthead was a Highly Commended Winner in the Gaeltacht award and received €1,000.

    Westport also won the Young Tidy Towns Committee award and €500

     Liam Campion of Westport Tidy Towns told Midwest News that the 30 strong group that travelled up to the Helix this morning from Westport were thrilled at their achievements again this year.

  • Westport Order of Malta is celebrating its 75th anniversary and will mark it with a number of events this weekend.

    On Saturday the Council will afford the Order a Civic Reception and they will celebrate Mass at 6.30pm on Saturday evening in St Mary’s Church.

    The celebrations culminate in dinner dance at the Westport Woods Hotel on Saturday night at 8pm.

    Westport Order of Malta was founded in 1943 by 14 founding members.

  • A Westport-based photographer won two awards last night at the Irish Professional Photographer and Videographer Association national awards.

    Michael McLaughlin won the overall press award for four images - including photos of the anniversary of the Rescue 116 tragedy in north Mayo, a photo of a pilgrim climbing Croagh Patrick which made the front page of the Irish Times, an image of horse racing on the strand in Geesala and a picture of a kite surfer in Achill.

    Michael also won the second prize in the landscape category, for four images he captured in Ireland and the US.

    Speaking with Midwest News, the Westport-based photographer said he was delighted to have won the Press award, amid strong competition from national agencies.

     

     

     

  • A Westport woman sailed her boat up the Thames and arrived in London's Docklands at the weekend, after retracing the same journey made by Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley more than four centuries ago.

    Professional race sailor Joan Mulloy set sail from Westport last month and travelled some 700 nautical miles solo, arriving into London at the weekend.

    Grace O'Malley made the same journey back in 1593, when she met with Queen Elizabeth 1 in a historic meeting.

    Joan Mulloy is a direct descendant of the pirate Queen, and has now recreated her voyage on board her racing boat Believe in Grace, sailing up the Thames to Tower Bridge on Saturday.

  • A building in Westport has been shortlisted in the Public Choice category of the 2018 RIAI Architecture Awards.

    The nominated project is called “New School in Town”, and is the new Scoil Phadraig building in Westport, which was designed by SJK Architects with offices in Westport and Galway.

    This is one of 32 buildings across the country shortlisted for the Public Choice Award.

    Members of the public can vote online before midnight on 1st June.

     

     

  • A 17-year-old from Kilmeena, Westport has been named the overall winner of the 64th Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

    Hetty Lawlor, a pupil at the Sacred Heart School in Westport, won the competition with her portrait of a young neighbour called Grainne.

    Her entry was described by judges as "a captivating portrait, beautifully composed, perfectly executed and life-like in its use of colour, tone and texture."

    Hetty has followed in the footsteps of her father Jimmy who won the competition in 1984.

    It has been quite a year for the young Westport artist, as Hetty was a finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year competition, which was broadcast earlier this year on British television.

    Hetty is currently preparing for  the Leaving Cert and hopes to study Fine Art in Dún Laoghaire.

    Her prize for winning the Texaco Children’s Art Competition includes a €1,500 cheque and a visit to Tokyo in August at the invitation of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture.

    Following her win, Hetty said: "Knowing of the many renowned and highly talented artists who have won prizes in the competition down through the years, I feel hugely honoured to be amongst them."

     

  • Results from last night's Connacht Minor A Club Football Semi Finals

     

    Westport       0-21                       Salthill/Knocknacarra         1-09

     

    St Brigid's, Roscommon       2-11    St Mary's Kiltoghert            1-05

     

    Westport and St Brigid's will meet in the final on Friday evening at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence

     

     

     

  • Westport will play host to a major international conference between Sunday and Wednesday of this week.

    Hosted by the British Society of Animal Science – Bull Fertility, Theory into practice, will bring experts from across the world back to Westport again to discuss the challenges and innovations in cattle breeding and managing bulls to maximize fertility.

    The event has been organised by scientists in Teagasc, University College Dublin and University of Limerick and is back in Westport for the second time in four years.

    Teagasc’s Michael Diskin is Chairman of the Group organising the event and told Midwest News that it is a major boost to Westport and the surrounding areas.

  • The sudden death has taken place of Adam Mulchrone, a talented young soccer player from Westport.

    21-year old Adam passed away suddenly at Mayo University Hospital after falling ill.

    He had trained with his team Westport United on Saturday - ahead of a big Connacht Cup game next Sunday.

    Westport United Club Chairman Myles Staunton said they're shocked and deeply saddened to hear news of Adam's death.

    He described him as a key member of the Super League team, and an exciting and skilful player whose talents were recognised recently when he was nominated as Young Player of the Year at the Mayo Football Awards.

    Westport United team manager Padraig Burns said there are no words to describe the devastation and heartbreak in the team.

    He described Adam as a genuine, decent and respectful young man who was loved dearly, and one of the most skilful and accomplished footballers he's had the pleasure of working with.

    Westport United has extended deepest sympathies to Adam's parents Paul and Mary, his brother, sister and extended family.

    Adam Mulchrone's remains will repose at McGings Funeral Home in Westport on Wednesday evening from 5-7 pm.

    Funeral Mass will take place in St Mary's Church, Westport n Thursday at 2pm followed by burial in Aughagower Cemetery.

     

  • Women's FAI U14 Cup Quarter Final
    Westport 2-1 Evergreen 
    Saoirse Byrne and Cliodhna Casey with the goals for Westport Utd

  • The official route for Cannonball 2018 has been announced and County Mayo will once again be hosting the supercar spectacle on Friday September 8th.

    The event was in Westpost in 2016 and it was such a huge success that it has been chosen once again in 2018 to host the event for the 10th anniversary year with free family entertainment. 

    Last year (2017) Cannonball got a rapturous welcome in Claremorris but it was only a lunch pitstop for a few hours.  Thousands lined the streets to welcome the event.

     Cannonball is set to roll on September 7th – 9th with over 190,000 people expected to line the streets all around Ireland. Top mark cars will blaze a trail through  the country.

    It has already raised €960,000 for Irish charities and this year, the milestone of €1,000,000 raised for charities will be broken. The official charity of Cannonball 2018 will be Ireland’s 24-hour listening service for children and young people, Childline.

  • Westport-based company Portwest was named Exporter of the Year at the Export Industry Awards which took place in Dublin at the weekend.

    This was the 18th year of the awards, which recognise the achievements of companies working in the export industry in Ireland.

    Portwest designs, manufactures and distributes personal protective equipment, workwear and outdoor leisure wear throughout the world.

    The family business is headquartered in Westport and employs over 3,500 people worldwide.

    CEO Harry Hughes said they were surprised and delighted to win the Exporter of the Year award, which he said represents hard work and commitment from their staff worldwide.

     

     

     

  • Westport-based start-up company Payslip, which is led by former Taxback chief executive Fidelma McGuirk, has secured €1 million in investment.

    The Irish Times reports that the founding round was led by AIB and early-stage venture capital firm Frontline Ventures. Other backers including Tribal, Hban Bloom Equity and Enterprise Ireland.

    Headquartered in Westport, Payslip provides software that simplifies and reduces the costs of managing a global payroll for businesses with employees in multiple jurisdictions.

    Its cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform includes functions that enable clients to meet General Data Protection Regulations, which come into effect in May.

    Payslip said it intended to use the funds for expansion purposes, which included taking on 12 new staff this year.

    Ms McGuirk said the company had already begun hiring for a number of roles, including chief technology officer, international payroll, operations and sales roles. Other planned hires include software engineers and integration specialists.