Achill Island

  • A number of areas of Achill Island are without water today, following two bursts on the watermain.

    Local Councillor Paul McNamara says households and businesses in the areas of  Cashel, Saula, Curraune, Derreens, Shraheens and Dooega are without water as a result of the bursts.

    Mayo County Council are working to resolve the problems, and hope to have water supplies restored by this evening.

     

     

  • A family from Achill Island are the inaugural winners of the 2018 National Farming for Nature Award.

    The award was announced over the weekend, as part of the Burren Winterage School, and Martin Calvey and his family from Keel were chosen as the winners.

    Over the past four weeks, members of the public - and particularly the farming community - were asked to vote for one of six shortlisted farmers for the Farming for Nature award - which is sponsored by Bord Bia and is part of a wider independent initiative to share and celebrate stories of farmers across Ireland who are doing great things for nature on their land and in their community.

    The Calvey family have farmed on Achill Island for seven generations where they farm a herd of 150 Blackfaced Mountain sheep on their shareholding of a commonage.

    Martin Calvey is also a master butcher and his family run an abbatoir on Achill Island, selling their trade-marked Achill Mountain Lamb to chefs and restaurants across the West, as well as the general public.

  • The Green Party is putting three candidates forward for the upcoming European elections on May 24th.

    The party is launching its campaign later today.

    Councillor Ciarán Cuffe is contesting Dublin, Senator Grace O'Sullivan is standing in Ireland South and newcomer, Saoirse McHugh, is seeking election in Midlands North West.

    Saoirse, who's from Achill Island, is passionate about the environment and the dangers of climate change.

    The 28-year old says there are a number of key issues facing the Midlands North West constituency - including Brexit and rural decline.

  • A beach on Achill Island in County Mayo has disappeared again after it reappeared in 2017.

    Dooagh beach was gone for more than 30 years when it came back to life in April 2017.

    The reappearance of the beach was covered international by news outlets and increased tourism and employment on the island.

    However, recent storms this winter have washed the sand away again leaving only rocks and boulders.

  • A very famous face made an appearance in the west yesterday.

    U2 frontman Bono was spotted in Roscommon and Achill over the course of the day.

    Pictures on social media show the singer at Keenan’s in Tarmonbarry and then later in the day, at Lourdie’s Pub in Dooagh in Achill.

    It is believed he was visiting the island for a birthday party.

     

  • A Donegal man who lost his life in this week’s boating tragedy at Malin Head will be laid to rest today.

    Gerry Doherty who was in his 60's, will be buried after Funeral Mass at St Mary's Church, Lagg, Malin.

    Among those at the funeral will be Gerry's relative, Dessie Keenan, who survived the tragedy.

    16-year-old Thomas Weir, who was originally from Scotland, also died in the accident.

    His remains are expected to be brought back to Scotland for burial.

    Both of Thomas’ parents are from Achill Island, while Gerry was married to an Achill native.

    A full investigation into the possible cause of the tragedy is being carried out by the Gardai and the Marine Casualty Investigation Unit.

     

  • Two events on Achill Island this weekend have been postponed, due to the deaths of a teenager and a man in his 60's in a drowning accident off the Donegal coast - both of whom have close family connections with Achill.

    16-year old Thomas Weir from Scotland - whose parents are both natives of Achill Island - and Gerry "Malin" Doherty from Donegal, whose wife is from Achill, both drowned when  Mr Doherty's boat capsized less than a kilometre out to sea off Malin Head on Tuesday.

    A third man, who is in his late 40s, survived after he clung to a fishing buoy for four hours before being spotted and brought to safety.

     

    Due to the drownings of two men with close Achill connections, the Purteen Harbour Festival - due to take place this Saturday - and the RNLI Open Day at Kildavnet have both been postponed to a later date, as a mark of respect.

     

     

  • Kite fliers and spectators of all ages will experience a visual feast as the Mayo International Kite Festival returns to Keel Beach, Achill Island from 11am until 5pm this Sunday.

    This free event is organized by Pure Magic and Mayo County Council.

    Kite enthusiasts are encouraged to show off their skills and take part in fun and games throughout the day.

    Families will love the kite making workshops and pro kite flier, Andrew Beattie, will fill the sky with his impressive kites.

  • Midwest News understands that the 16-year-old boy and man in his 60’s who died in a drowning tragedy in Donegal yesterday both have strong family connections on Achill Island.

    The teenage boy and man drowned in a fishing boat accident off Donegal.

    They have been named locally as 16-year-old Thomas Weir from Scotland, but had been living in Derry in recent months and Gerry Doherty, originally from Malin but had been living in Burt in recent years. The man who left hospital this morning also lived in Derry and it is believed that there were family connections between the three.

    They capsized off Malin Head yesterday afternoon after setting out in the morning from Port Ronan Pier.

    The alarm was raised by members of the public who heard call for help coming from the water and a third man in his 40s was taken to hospital.

    Midwest News understands that both of Thomas Weir’s parents are from Achill Island and Gerry Doherty is married to an Achill native.

  • A petition has been launched in Achill, calling for the main Cashel to Achill Sound road - the R319 - to be upgraded - particularly three bridges located in the Cashel area.

    Locals say they're are causing problems for traffic, as the road is narrow and uneven and the bridges are located on a curve in the road approaching the village from Achill Sound.

    The Cashel Village Enhancement Group - which is part of the Cashel Women's Group based on Achill Island - is calling on Mayo County Council and the Department of Transport to assess the road, which forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

    The group is seeking support for its petition from local road users, those involved in tourism and accommodation services, people who visit the island regularly, and those who supply goods and services to Achill Island.

    The petition can be signed in local shops and businesses, and there's also an online petition on the www.change.org website

  • Tributes are being paid following the death of longstanding Achill lifeboat volunteer Mattie Stafford who passed away on Friday and is being laid to rest today.

    Achill Island RNLI said it's with deep shock and regret that they learned of the untimely passing of former crew member, emergency Coxswain and current Deputy Launching Authority Mattie Stafford, who brought his skills and ability in seamanship and mechanics to the Achill Island lifeboat over many years.

    Mattie was awarded the RNLI Long Service Medal following 20 years on the lifeboat crew.

    On his retirement from the crew, he took on the roles of Deputy Launching Authority and on the station operations team.

    Achill Island RNLI says his advice, experience and camaraderie will be missed, and has extended sympathies to his wife Kathleen, daughters Jacinta, Caitriona and Genevieve, son Matthew and extended family.

    Mattie's Funeral Mass got underway at 12 noon today in St Patrick's Church, Pollagh followed by burial in Slievemore Cemetery.

     

  • A yacht which had been missing since Saturday off the North West coast has been located safe and well off Achill Island.

    Pilgrim was last last seen North East of Tory Island on Saturday last, but there had been no sighting of the yacht up to yesterday. There is one person on board.

    Ballyglass Coastguard was tasked by Malin Coast Guard to check all the piers and inlets along the Erris Peninsula from Porturlin to Blacksod for a Yacht called "Pilgrim" on Thursday night.

    Yacht Pilgrim has been located safe and well by the CASA (air corp fixed wing aircraft) in a position 80 nm west of Achill Island. The vessel is currently heading south and has indicated all is safe and well. The Irish Coastguard thanked everyone for their assistance in this incident.