• History was made in Dublin's AUL Complex last week as an FAI National Academy side played against international opposition for the first time.

    The 2005 National Academy played against the Netherlands in back-to-back friendlies in a first for the Emerging Talent Programme.

    James McManus scored in the opening 3-1 defeat to the Dutch, before a consolation Adam Murphy penalty saw the side lose 2-1 in the second game

    Despite the two defeats, ETP National Co-Ordinator Niall Harrison believes that the games were massively beneficial to the players and their development.

    24 players were used across both games, with three goalkeepers and 21 outfield players selected for the matches.

    "We played against one of the top teams in Europe. The Dutch showed us the level we need to be at. Games like these will be helpful to our players going forward," said Harrison.

    Despite the results, Harrison is already planning a return trip to the Netherlands next year.

    "There is an agreement for us to travel next year. The Dutch hope to run a three-team tournament, involving both sides and one other nation at Under-14 level. That will be for players born in 2006, and we hope to play it in May 2020."

    Harrison sees the games as a new era for the Emerging Talent Programme and hopes it can expand in the coming years.

    "It's another step up for the ETP. Before now we played training games in-house, or against domestic opposition. Now we can provide these players international football," he said.

    "My hope is that we continue to develop the programme. We have a pathway now from under-13s up to senior level."

    FAI 2005 National Academy Squad
    Shay O'Leary (Wexford Albion), Conor Walsh (Westport United), Fintan Doherty (Finn Harps), Alex Malone (Shamrock Rovers) Ryan Boyle (Ballyhaise Celtic), James Byrne (Belvedere FC), Luke O’Brien (Bray Wanderers), Daniel Kelly (Westport United), Sam Curtis (Shamrock Rovers), Roy Vitkevicius (Fermoy FC), Cain Byrne Dunne (Cherry Orchard), Joe O’Brien Whitmarsh (Cork City), Cian Barrett (Shamrock Rovers), Eanna Fitzgerald (Cork City), Kevin Zefi (Shamrock Rovers), Liam Murray (College Corinthians), Adam Murphy (Belvedere FC), Mark Tansey (Bray Wanderers), James McManus (St Kevin’s Boys), Mark O’Mahony (Cork City), Thomas Morgan (Shamrock Rovers), Jack Murray (Cherry Orchard), Darren Darcy (Salthill Devon), Giddeon Tetteh (Shamrock Rovers)


  • A Fianna Fail Councillor is calling for urgent action to address parking at Scoil Phadraig National School in Westport, amid concerns for the safety of children attending the school.

    Councillor Brendan Mulroy says cars are pulling up each side of the road on footpaths, when dropping and collecting their children, and says it’s extremely dangerous.

    He raised the matter at yesterday’s monthly meeting of the West Municipal District which was held in Ionad Deirbhle, Aughleam.

    Cllr. Mulroy says a turnaround area should be installed at the school and is calling for a traffic management plan to be put in place.

  • There is disruption to the water supply in Westport town this morning, following a burst water mains overnight.

    Local councillor Brendan Mulroy stold Midwest News that  Irish water staff are on site and it’s expected that the service will be restored  before noontime today.

  • Sometime in October, Westport based global enterprise Portwest is hoping to secure the green light from West Mayo Municipal District councillors to allow the development of its 10 million euro world headquarters at a site at the harbour in Westport town.

    The decision is in the hands of the local councillors who must vote on a change of planning designation at the harbour side site, as a material convention of Mayo County Development Plan is needed to allow the building to go ahead.

    Portwest had originally planned to locate its global HQ at a site adjacent to Allergan, however, Allergan has sought additional space to expand its enterprise, and so the Hughes family have opted to locate at a site they own at the harbour.

    One of the Directors of Portwest Owen Hughes told Midwest News today that they hope to get the project underway by October.

  • Local election candidate in Westport Shane Fitzgerald  believes that 1 in 4 persons in each house in the Westport, Louisburgh, Newport areas that he has canvassed are not registered to vote. 

    He told Midwest News today that one man told him that he has been living in Westport for 14 years, and he does not have a vote.   

    With only days left to register as a voter, Mr Fitzgerald says it is very important to have your say, so please ensure that you can at least exercise your right to vote on 24rdMay.

    To register to vote, you can download the form from Mayo County Council’s website.  

  • Mayo Junior B Football Final 
    Westport 3-08 
    Kiltimagh 2-07

  • There is currently an audit of trees taking place in Westport by Mayo County Council.

    That’s according to local Independent Cllr. Christy Hyland who says a tree came down in a recent storm near the library in the town but admits a review is needed.

    Cllr. Hyland says the trees are an important part of Westport’s character but says pruning is needed along with better public lighting in areas of the town.

  • A Westport based Councillor has again called for the wearing of high-viz vests in poorly lit areas to become law.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Brendan Mulroy made the call at the Roads and Transportation Strategic and Policy Committee meeting last week.

    Last year Cllr Mulroy called for the imposition of fines for people found to be walking on badly lit rural roads, without a high-viz jacket.

    At the time the call gained national interest but Cllr Mulroy says the campaign has made very little headway since.

    He has asked the SPC to go to Mayo County Council to see if a bye-law can be enacted in the county in the first instance.

  • 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.

  • A Westport councillor is questioning why the day care service is not being provided at present at the McBride Community Nursing Home in Westport.

    Independent Councillor Christy Hyland says the day care service is a very important service, particularly for elderly people living alone.

    While the day care service was being provided a few days per week, he says it's not available at all over the past number of weeks, and is calling on the four TDs in Mayo to play their part in having the service restored as soon as possible.

    Midwest News has contacted the HSE to enquire about the day care service at the McBride nursing home, and we' re awaiting a reply.

  • 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.

  • Westport 2-9 1-11 Kilmovee Shamrocks

  • 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.