Ballina

  • Former US Vice President, with Mayo connections, Joe Biden has officially announced he will be seeking the Democrats nomination to run for US President in 2020

    He has formally thrown his hat in the ring today after months of speculation that he would enter the race.

    The 76 year old is one of twenty Democrats vying for the nomination to take on DONALD Trump.

    Mr Biden visited county Mayo in 2016, when he was the US Vice president.

     He has family connections in north Mayo and received a very warm welcome in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport – where large crowds turned out to greet him.

  • There's good news this evening for Ballina, as funding of €140,000 has been allocated under the Historic Towns Initiative to help protect the town's architectural heritage and boost its tourism profile.

    The funding has been allocated to Mayo County Council to repair ten buildings in the Pearse Street architectural conservation area - including the town's library and a number of privately-owned buildings.

    Ballina-based FG Senator Michelle Mulherin says repairs to historic shop fronts, sash windows and doors will ensure the longterm survival of these historic buildings.

  • €55,000 in LEADER funding has been approved for the Local Voices Music Trail in Ballina.

    Local Voices Music Trail is part of the acclaimed Other Voices Music Festival and will feature an exciting and diverse line-up of performers, musicians, bands and DJs, plying their wares across the venues of Ballina on September 28th and 29th.

    The funding will be provided by Minister Ring’s Department through the Mayo LEADER Local Action Group.

    22 new acts have been confirmed for free gigs throughout Ballina as part of the Local Voices Music Trail later this month.

    Local Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says the funding is a welcome boost.

  • There were 109 reported incidents of dog-fouling from the Ice House to the Quay area of Ballina on one particular day last week.

    The issue was raised at yesterday’s Ballina Municipal District meeting by Crossmolina based Fianna Fail Cllr Michael Loftus.

    Cllr Loftus said there were 109 incidents reported to him on one day last week.

    He says it is not a problem unique to Ballina but it is a serious issue.

    There is a fine of up to €3,000 for incidents of dog-fouling and Mayo County Council has committed to enforcing this law very strictly.

  • The 10th Mayo Pink Ribbon Charity Cycle is taking place today (Sat), with about 600 cyclists taking part.

    Motorists are advised of some traffic disruption as a result, with the cyclists leaving Castlebar at 10am this morning and travelling down the N5 towards Swinford.

    Organisers say the main area of concern, where motorists will need to take extra care, is at the junction of the N58 and the N4 in Ballyvary village.

    Motorists travelling from Ballina, Foxford and Straide will experience delays turning on to the N5 between 10.15 and 10.45 am this morning. 

    Road users also need to exercise caution on the following roads at these times:

    Castlebar to Swinford (N5) from 10 -11am. 

    Bohola to Foxford  (R321) from10.30am -12noon 

    Swinford to Foxford,  (N26) from 10.50am – 12noon

    Foxford to Pontoon (R318/R310) from 11.30am - 1pm 

    Foxford to Ballina via Knockmore, (R318/R310) 11.30 -1pm

    Ballina to Crossmolina, (N59) 12.30 – 2pm

    Crossmolina to Castlebar (R315/R310) 12.45 – 3.45pm

  • Sixty three candidates will contest the local elections in Mayo across six new electoral areas  - only 10 of the candidates are female.

    These are the contenders:

    Ballina Electoral Area (6 seats) – 12 candidates

     

    Michael Loftus FF      

    Eamon Moore FF      

    Annie May Reape FF            

    Kieran Gill FG

    Aileen Horkan FG

    John O'Hara FG                    

    Jarlath Munnelly FG              

    Michael Regan SF                 

    Tracey Smyth SD                  

    Mark Duffy Ind                                  

    Willie Nolan Ind                      

    Seamus Weir Ind                   

      

    Belmullet Electoral Area (3 seats) – 6 candidates

     Gerry Coyle FG         

    Breege GrealiS FG    

    Paul McNamara FF   

    Sean Carey FF          

    Teresa Whelan SF     

    Jay Heneghan    Ind     

     

     

    Castlebar Electoral Area (7 seats) – 17 candidates

     Al McDonnell FF       

    Blackie Gavin FF     

    Martin McLoughlin FF           

    Cyril Burke FG                  

    Ger Deere FG          

    Eugene McCormack FG       

    Donna Sheridan FG            

    Joe McHale SF                  

    Joe Daly PBP           

    Michael Farrington  Renua  

    Kamal Uddin  Lab

    Harry Barrett Ind              

    Michael Kilcoyne Ind          

    Anthony Vesey Ind

    Gerry Loftus Ind

    Des Walsh Ind

    Aidan Crowley Ind

    Claremorris Electoral Area (6 seats) – 10 Candidates

     Patsy O'Brien FG      

    John Cribbin FG        

    Tom Connolly FG

    Michael Burke FG

    Damian Ryan FF       

     Michael Carty FF      

    Natasha Warde SF    

    Mags Sheehan GP    

    Richard Finn Ind        

    Paul Lawless Aontu   

    Swinford Electoral Area (4 seat) – 7 candidates

    John Caulfield FF      

    Michael Smyth FF     

    Neil Cruise FG           

    Tom Lavin FG            

    Gerry Murray SF       

    Tom Horan Aontu      

    Sean Forkin Ind         

    Westport Electoral Area (4 seats)- 11 candidates

     Peter Flynn FG          

     Austin Francis O'Malley FG

    Tereasa McGuire FG

    Chris Maxwell FF       

    Brendan Mulroy FF    

    Cissy Nayiga GP

    Christy Hyland Ind   

    Johnny O'Malley Ind

    Darragh McGee Ind

    Frank McAlonan Ind

    Shane Fitzgerald Ind

     

  • Additional funding of €29,500 has been allocated to Quay National School in Ballina.

    It follows a number of appeals by the school for the funding.

    Local Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says Quay NS was initially approved funding for two resource rooms and one additional classroom. However when the site was assessed by an engineer, it was discovered that a linkway was needed between the existing school building and the new extension and that would incur an extra cost.

    Quay NS was refused this additional funding initially and have been appealing that decision since.

    Senator Mulherin told Midwest News she was happy to be able to make representations on the school’s behalf.

  • An Post is to offer a new contract to Ardnaree Post Office in Ballina.

    There was concern expressed about the future of Ardnaree Post Office in recent weeks, as the current postmaster is to retire in March. An Post undertook a Public Consultation on the provision of post office services in Ardnaree.

    Today An Post has announced that Ardnaree Post Office will be offered a new post office contract. When a suitable candidate emerges the contract will be in place initially for two years.

    It comes after a local campaign to oppose any suggestion of closing the post office, which included a public meeting and march in Ballina recently.

  • Anyone hoping to spend a penney to use a public toilet in Ballina has a long wait.
    The Director of Services for MCC Tom Gilligan told councillors in the BMD area yesterday that a public toilet on a street in the town does not make economic sense, due to the cost of the facility and would not bring an extra tourist to Ballina.

    FG Cllr John O’Hara disagrees- and argued that it’s a basic facility for people doing their shopping in the town.

    He asked at least for signs to be erected at public buildings in the town indicating toilet facilities, if available.

    Afterwards Cllr O'Hara told Midwest News the response by the council is not good enough.

  •  

    After recent concerns expressed by members of the public the organisers of the Ballina Salmon Festival have decided to cancel plans for a pig racing event during the week long festival. They released the following statement on the decision. 

    "In light of the number of complaints received about the proposed ‘Ardnaree Grand National’, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday 10 July, the Ballina Salmon Festival committee has decided to cancel the event.

    The event, a joint initiative between a number of Ardnaree-based businesses which included pig racing had received enthusiastic local support. However over the past 24 hours, the Ballina Salmon Festival Office received a number of complaints by phone and social media about the planned event, with concerned objectors raising concerns about potential animal cruelty.

    While the committee of Ballina Salmon Festival had carried out due diligence on the proposed event, and had been satisfied that neither the format of the racing itself, nor the conditions in which animals were housed or transported, constituted any level of cruelty to the pigs, it nevertheless acknowledges the worries of those concerned, and has decided to replace the event with a street party on the same date.

    Chairman of Ballina Salmon Festival Billy Lewis said: “While we were more than satisfied that the welfare of the animals involved was paramount at all times, we do acknowledge the sincerity of the concerns raised by members of our community and local animal charities.  As a community festival we are grateful that people took the time to make their feelings known to us, and in light of their concerns, after consulting with our volunteer event leaders, we have decided to cancel the event.

    Ballina Salmon Festival has always been a family-friendly celebration, and our aim has never been to upset or offend people, but to deliver events that people enjoy.”

    Ballina Salmon Festival depends entirely on volunteers and on local support to design and deliver its programme of events. It is a first and foremost a family-friendly festival, which includes over 70 events designed to entertain and delight adults and children of all ages.

    The festival committee would now like to invite everyone, including those who took time to contact the festival to raise concerns, along to the Ardnaree Street Party on Tuesday, July 10th from 8pm, for some live music, street entertainment and delicious food.  The party will be family-friendly and entirely animal free, save for the famous ‘pig on a spit’ which has featured at the festival for many years. There are sure to be lots of surprises on the night, and more than likely, some more twists in the tale."

     

  • Gardai and the Army's bomb disposal team have been dealing with a suspect device this morning in the Mount Assumpta area of Ballina.

    The Army's EOD team has now left the scene and taken the device with them for further examination to determine if it's viable.

    Gardai say roads in the area have now reopened, and their enquiries are ongoing into the discovery of the suspect device in the early hours of this morning.

     

    It's understood the alarm was raised at about 3am, the area was sealed off, and a number of residents were evacuated overnight.

    They're now returning to their homes, while schools in the area are open as normal this morning.

     

     

     

     

  • Ballina  has the third lowest level of income nationally, in towns with populations of 10,000 people or more.

    That’s according to the latest report published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), while households in Malahide, Co Dublin, enjoy the highest median incomes.

    The CSO report on the geographical spread of income showed the median gross income for households – the midpoint in the range of incomes earned in Ireland – was €45,000 in 2016. By local authority area, it ranged from €32,000 in Donegal to €66,000 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

    Of the 41 towns in the study the lowest medians were Longford (€29,200), Enniscorthy (€31,000) and Ballina (€33,000).

    Nine of the 10 highest median incomes were in Leinster. Carrigaline had the highest median for Munster at €59,000, Castlebar had the highest in Connacht at €37,000 and Letterkenny had the highest in Ulster at €36,000.

    Social welfare payments made up more than half of income in 14 per cent of households, while the State pension formed the majority of income in 13 per cent of households. This means that in 27 per cent of households in the State, social welfare made up more than half of their income.

    Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the lowest proportion of households where the majority of gross income came from social welfare at 6 per cent. In contrast, 20 per cent of households in Longford, 20.2 per cent in Donegal and 19  per cent in Carlow relied on social welfare for the majority of their income.

    In terms of gender, men had higher incomes than women across selected occupations. The CSO pointed out that that this comparison was not adjusted for hours worked, which accounted for some of the difference in incomes.

     

  • The number of homeless people in Co Mayo is continuing to rise, and 2018 could see an increase of 40% on last year.

    In the first ten months of this year, 224 people presented as homeless to Mayo County Council - including 173 adults and 51 children.

    The figures were revealed at a recent meeting of Mayo County Council's Strategic Policy Committee on Housing.

    Cathaoirleach of the Housing SPC Councillor Gerry Ginty says this is a direct result of a lack of social housing being built in Mayo and across the country in recent years.

    He's appealing to the public not to oppose plans for social housing developments - citing an example in Ballina where Mayo Co Co is planning to build a 54-unit social housing development at a site on the Foxford Road, but Councillor Ginty says there's considerable opposition to the plan from existing residents in the area and a number of councillors.

    Councillor Ginty says there are currently over 2,000 people on the housing list in Co Mayo, and every effort should be made to give people a roof over their heads.

  • A Ballina councillor is calling for speed ramps to be installed in the Bohernasup area to slow down traffic.

    Since the opening of the new Lidl store in Bohernasup, Councillor John O'Hara says there's a significant increase in traffic in the area, and locals are complaining of the speed of traffic through the residential area.

  • A Ballina area councillor is calling on the developers of the Oweninny windfarm in north Mayo to provide funding for a new pedestrian crossing at Ardnaree in Ballina.

    The current pedestrian crossing in Ardnaree is not working, according to local FG Councillor John O'Hara who claims drivers are ignoring the flashing lights, and he fears a serious accident will occur unless the crossing is replaced with a push-button pedestrian crossing.

    Councillor O'Hara says that, with the Oweninny windfarm developers using this road four night per week from midnight, they should finance the pedestrian crossing as a community gesture.

  • There is a need for Mayo county council to set aside up to 200,000 euro a year specifically to be used on the restoration of footpaths across the county.

    That’s the view of Ballina Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara.

    He says that would mean that at least, 50,000 euro would be available annually for the restoration of footpaths in each Municipal District area.

    Councillor O’Hara believes the allocation could actually save money for Mayo county council, as it is likely that insurance compensation payments against the authority over people falling and injuring themselves on broken pavement would be reduced.

  • A Ballina Councillor is calling for senior officials of Mayo County Council to carry out an enquiry into why public monies were used to install at footpath on the Behy Road, which was a condition of planning for a developer in the area.

    Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty says it's wrong that tens of thousands of euro of council money are being spent on a footpath, which should be provided by the private developer.

    In the region of €80,000 is being budgeted for the footpath, but the funding has run out.

    At this week's meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, Councillor Ginty says another €30,000 was allocated for the footpath, as part of a list of roads and footpaths receiving funding this year, but he says that's now on hold until further enquiries are carried out.

    Councillor Ginty told Midwest News that questions need to be asked about this use of public funds, when the footpath should have been installed by a developer.

  • Ballina Fringe Festival will take place from July 6th until 15th running alongside Ballina’s famous Salmon Festival.

    Ballina and North Mayo have a proud heritage in the arts, and it’s rugged wild Atlantic landscape has inspired countless artists through the years.

    The inaugural Ballina Fringe Festival has a focus on how North Mayo, its landscape and heritage have set foundations for ambitious and creative arts in many media.

    Full festival details are available on www.ballinafringefestival.ie

  • Gardai in Ballina seized a significant quantity of cannabis yesterday.

    It followed a traffic checkpoint in the Slí Eachtra area of the town, and a follow-up search of a house in the Ballina area by local uniformed Gardai and members of the divisional drugs unit.

    Cannabis worth over €1,000 was seized, along with drugs paraphernalia and a sum of cash.

    One person was arrested, questioned, and later released with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    This is part of a major crackdown on drugs in the north Mayo region, which also saw cocaine being discovered in the Ross area of Killala on Saturday 16th March.

    In a planned operation by the Divisional Drugs Unit, two people were stopped and searched and a significant quantity of cocaine was recovered.

    Gardai say a file is being prepared for the DPP.

  • A 10-year old Ballina girl will be taking part in one of the most-watched TV programmes of the year next weekend.

    10-year old Alison McGrath from Ballina is one of the children chosen to take part in The Late Late Toy Show, which will be aired on Friday week 30th November on RTE One at 9.35 pm.