• 180 new jobs have been announced for Athlone.

    Pharmaceutical company PPD Lab has announced the creation of the new roles over the next three years as it expands its operation at its Athlone laboratory.

    PPD plans to increase the size of its facility in Athlone and will add cell and gene therapy testing to the operation's portfolio of services.

    It said its expansion will enhance its ability to deliver global scientific and technical expertise to meet growing customer demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

    The current operation employs nearly 300 highly skilled scientists and project managers who support PPD's services, which includes testing to support the development of novel and advanced pharmaceuticals and therapies.

    IDA Ireland is supporting the company's expansion.

    As well as the lab in Athlone, PPD Laboratories has operations in the US, China, Belgium and Singapore.

  • Neueda Technologies has announced that it is to create 200 software development jobs in Athlone.

    The IT Training, development and consulting services company is headquartered in Belfast, and  is  establishing a Software Engineering Hub in Athlone where it will employ 200 staff over the next four years.

    Minister Denis Naughten says the  announcement is a major boost to Athlone which is fast becoming the Silicon Heartlands with the town set to have a bigger percentage of the workforce employed in software development than any town or city in Ireland or the UK.

    Athlone is set to have 15% of its workforce in the software sector which puts is well ahead of Dublin and its Silicon Docks.”

    Minister Naughten added: “”With towns such as Roscommon having an abundance of ready to move into office space, and with a new incubation hub about to become operational in Ballinasloe, other towns in the region are set to benefit from this major growth in the tech sector in Ireland’s Heartlands.

    He says the objective of creating a hub in Athlone and using that to bring more investment into the surrounding towns of Tullamore, Mullingar, Longford, Roscommon and Ballinasloe is clearly set out in the Government’s Project Ireland 2040.”

    Neueda Technologies will undertake software development services for global telecommunications and financial services clients.

    More than 70 members of staff have been hired already with that number expected to grow to over 80 by the end of the year. The new roles are almost exclusively for technology specialists including experienced software developers, cloud engineers and agile practitioners.

  • 55 years after securing a senior county championship with Athlone, Castlebar man John Deacy was presented with his medal yesterday.

    The former star Gaelic footballer’s wait for a county club championship medal, ended when the prized memento was delivered to him on his doorstep.

    John, now in his early 80s, was astonished when former Mayo footballer Liam McHale, the current manager of the Athlone GAA senior football team arrived at his home yesterday to make the long overdue presentation.

    John played corner back on the Athlone team which defeated Ballymore in the 1965 Westmeath senior championship final.  But, due to family reasons, he missed out on the medal presentation at the time.

    A number of the members of the team were due to be present for yesterday’s presentation, but  due to Covid restrictions, it was decided that only one club representative, Liam McHale, would be involved.

    Midwest News  today spoke to John about how the surprise presentation took place yesterday.


  • DPD Ireland is to expand its nationwide operations, creating 700 new jobs before the end of the year. Up to 150 positions will be based in their headquarters in Athlone and the remaining 550 drivers and operational personnel will be required to service deliveries to and from all of their 36 regional depots nationwide.

    DPDIreland, which is the country’s largest parcel delivery company, is also investing  €1 million in its automation and routing systems in its central hub and sortation facility in Athlone.

    The company will invest a further €1 million in additional driver scanner technology to support the anticipated parcel volume increase due to flow through the business this Christmas period and has already spent €500,000 this year doubling the size of its depots in Cork, Kildare and Meath, with two more facilities opening in Dublin this month.

  • A 34 year old Roscommon man drowned in Athlone on Sunday night last.

    He has been named as Trevor Brennan from Knockskehan, Lecarrow. He had been socializing with friends when he slipped and fell into the Shannon at Quay Wall at about 11.20pm on Sunday night.

    His remains will be reposing at his home this evening from 4pm until 8pm.

    Removal takes place tomorrow morning to St John's Church, Lecarrow  for funeral Mass at 11am.

    He will be laid to rest in the local cemetery.

  • Galway, Sligo and Athlone are to be among the locations where the HSE now intends to establish centres nationally to provide Covid-19 vaccines to the wider population in the weeks ahead.

    The vaccination of people over the age of 70,starting with those over 85s, will get under way next week under a revised programme using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only.

    HSE chief executive Paul Reid said yesterday that the decision to change plans and not to use the AstraZeneca vaccine for the over-70 age group was likely to delay the completion of the process by only a couple of weeks. He said all those over 70 should receive their first dose of the vaccine by mid-April and their second by mid-May.

    He says it's hoped one million Covid 19 vaccines can be carried out a month from May.

    Paul Reid said today he is hoping the vaccine rollout will speed up significantly in the summer.

    Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had a superior effectiveness and were considered to be more appropriate for people over 70.

    The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines, which arrived in the State at the weekend, will be given to healthcare workers from today.

  • The National Lottery is continuing to appeal to Lotto players in the Castlebar and Athlone areas to check their tickets carefully, as the latest Lotto millionaires have yet to make contact.

    On Saturday 22nd May, the Lotto Plus 1 top prize of €1 million was won by a player in Mayo.

    The winning ticket was bought the previous day in Cunninghams Costcutters in Belcarra.

     The same night, the Lotto jackpot of over €6.4 million was won by the holder of a QuickPick ticket sold in the Applegreen Service Station in the Arcadia Retail park on the motorway just outside Athlone.

    Lotto players in both areas are being urged to check their tickets carefully, as the winners have yet to come forward.




  • Casey’s Londis  Ballina has been named as the Off-Licence Store of the Year at the annual Londis Retailing Awards.

    The awards were presented at the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone. 

    The Londis Retailing Awards have been running for over 20 years and recognise stores that excel across all areas of store performance.

    Casey’s Londis Ballina secured the national title of Retailing Excellence Award and Off-Licence Store of the Year. While Casey’s Londis Castlebar won: Retailing Excellence Award, Hiney’s Londis Crossmolina won the Retailing Excellence Award and Cunningham’s Londis  Ballyhaunis took the Retailing Standard Award

    Award recipients are selected after demonstrating industry excellence following a year of specialised audits conducted by retail specialists, SMA. The stores were independently examined across a range of criteria.

  • Public Consultation on five potential route corridor options for the new Galway to Athlone Cycleway Project is still open and the project team is encouraging the public and interested parties to view the proposals and make their submissions over the coming weeks.

    They say there is still time to visit the virtual public consultation room where you can watch the project video, view maps, and read about the proposals.

    Submissions can be made through the online consultation website, by email, post, or telephone.

    The project team has also published new Frequently Asked Questions that have arisen during this public consultation, mainly regarding land for the Greenway (see


  • The elderly woman who died in a road collision in Athlone yesterday was a native of Arigna in Co Roscommon.

    Sr Bernard Lynch, who was in her 90's, died when the car she was driving was involved in a single-vehicle collision near the Golden Island shopping centre in Athlone shortly after 2pm yesterday afternoon.

    Sr Bernard had spent over 50 years in Athlone.

    She worked in education for most of her life, and served as principal of a local primary school for over 20 years until her retirement in 1993.

    She remained actively involved in St Peter and Paul's parish, and in a posting on Facebook, the parish said Sr Bernard touched the lives of many families in her 50-plus years in Athlone and will be fondly missed by all.


  • The National Lottery has confirmed that the winning ticket in the Lotto Plus 1 draw on Saturday was sold in Castlebar.

    The ticket is worth €1 million euro.

    A national lottery spokesperson has confirmed to Midwest News that it was a quick pick ticket bought on Friday.

    The shop that sold the winning ticket will be named tomorrow.

    No one has yet come forward to claim the prize.

    The main Lotto weekend jackpot was €6.4 million, and the winning ticket in that draw was sold in Athlone.

    It was a quick pick ticket bought on Thursday.

    Lotto players in the Castlebar and Athlone areas are being urged to check their tickets carefully.

    The winners should sign the back of the tickets and keep them in a safe place while contacting the National Lottery prize claims team.