• The Crossmolina road out of Ballina has now fully reopened to traffic following an earlier collision. 

    The road was closed at the turnoff for Moygownagh following a collision earlier. 

    A stop/go system had been in place for a time also but the Fire Service has confirmed to Midwest news that the road has now fully opened. 





  • Sligo Rovers midfielder David Cawley has agreed a new two-year contract extension with the club.

    The 29-year-old Ballina native, is now in his eighth season with the club over two different spells.

    Cawley joins Sligo's John Mahon and Leitrim’s Niall Morahan in committing their immediate futures to Rovers next season.

  • The death has taken place of former Bishop of Elphin Christopher Jones.

    Bishop Jones was 82 and died at his home in Sligo yesterday.

    His successor in the Diocese of Elphin Bishop Kevin Doran said in a statement that the death of Bishop Christy is like the loss of a grandparent.

    Bishop Jones was a native of Rathcroghan in Co Roscommon and was born on March 3rd 1936.

    He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1962 and spent the first three years of his priesthood at St Muredach’s College in Ballina.

    Following that he spent the rest of his ministry in Co Sligo and became Bishop of Elphin in 1994.

    He retired in 2014.

    In a statement Archbishop Eamon Martin said Bishop Christy was a man for others and was very committed throughout his lifetime to person-centred social services.


  • The death has taken place of former State Solicitor Liam MacHale from Ballina.

    Mr MacHale had a law practice on Pearse Street in Ballina and served as State Solicitor for Mayo during his distinguished career.

    He is survived by his wife Jackie and family.

    Mr MacHale’s remains will repose at McGowan’s Funeral Home in Ballina on Friday evening from 5.30-8pm. He will be laid to rest on Saturday in Leigue Cemetery following 11am Funeral Mass in St Muredach’s Cathedral.

  • The death has taken place in Florida of Monsignor Fachtna Joseph Harte, late of Moneen, Kincon, Ballina.

    He was ordained to the priesthood in Dublin in 1961 and moved to the USA where he worked in Central Washington State for 9 years before being transferred to the Diocese of Orlando.

    He served in Orlando until his retirement in 2007, and was a founder of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe near Disney World in Florida, where he served as rector from 1975 to 2007.

    Monsignor Harte also wrote a book about his experiences as a priest, entitled "They Shall Bear You Up" - Memories of  Catholic Priest, which was published in 2011.

     His funeral arrangements will be announced later.


  • The death has taken place in Ballina of Monsignor Paddy Gallagher, in his 97th year.

    Monsignor Gallagher, who celebrated the 70th jubilee of his ordination last year, passed away yesterday at St Augustine's Nursing Home.

    The Monsignor grew up in Ballina and spent most of his life in the town.

    He served as a priest in the parish for over 33 years before being appointed Parish Priest of Crossmolina.

    He retired 22 years ago and returned to Ballina.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Bishop Fleming said it's with deep regret that he learned of the death of Monsignor Gallagher.

    Among his outstanding achievements were his promotion of the Cathedral Choir and the building of St Patrick's Church.

    The Bishop described him as " a cultured man who will be greatly missed by his fellow priests, his family and his community in Ballina".

    Monsignor Gallagher’s funeral will take place on Thursday, subject to Covid-19 restrictions. He will be laid to rest in the grounds of St Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina following 1.30 Funeral Mass.

    The Mass will be private, and can be viewed live on



  • Leigue graveyard, located just off the Killala road in Ballina is one of the country’s largest cemeteries, located on a 15 acre site.

    The maintenance and up keep of the graveyard, which is owned and the responsibility of Mayo county council, has over the years become very dependent on a group of volunteers, “Friends of Leigue Cemetery”.

    Friends of Leigue Cemetery are one of many voluntary groups across the county that depend on GMA funds annually, that’s monies set aside by Councillors for local voluntary groups. This year the paying out of that money in Mayo is on hold, as the CEO OF Mayo County Council Peter Hynes, has explained that there is in excess of a  400,000 euro shortfall on the revenue that was earmarked to be collected through car parking charges in the 2018 budget agreed by Councillors.

    Friends of Leigue Cemetery are due €20,000 this year under the GMA  fund, but to date have not seen any money.

    The delay in the funding means the cemetery that had been well maintained is again facing wilderness, as briars and high grass begin to take over once again.

  • The Department of Education is now actively involved in trying to sort out an issue with a lease, which is preventing work from progressing on new accomodation approved for Newtownwhite Educate Together National School.

    That's according to Mayo-based FG Senator Michelle Mulherin, who raised the issue in the Seanad this week.

    Approval was recently given to additional classrooms at the Educate Together school near Ballina, but the works cannot go ahead until issues with the lease are resolved.

    The Education Minister told the Seanad this week that his Department is engaging with the various stakeholders involved, to try and regularise the position with the lease.

  • Fianna Fáil has announced a major re-shuffle of its front bench.

    Micheál Martin has appointed Ballina based deputy  Dara Calleary as the deputy leader of the party, a position which had been vacant for years.

    Barry Cowen has been moved to Public Expenditure, with Darragh O'Brien taking the Housing brief.

    Stephen Donnelly has been appointed Health Spokesperson while Billy Kelleher moves to the jobs portfolio.

    Castlebar’s Lisa Chambers is the new spokesperson on Brexit, Niall Collins moves to Foreign Affairs, while Jack Chambers will join the front bench as Spokesperson on Defence.


  • The body of an elderly man was discovered at a house near Killala this morning.

    Gardai were alerted shortly before 11am when the 91-year old man was found dead at a house in Ballinteen.

    The area was sealed off while a Garda forensic unit conducted preliminary investigations into what appeared to be a minor house fire.

    The man's body has been removed to hospital for a post-mortem examination, and Gardai are not treating the death as suspicious.


  • Irish Water nd Mayo County Council  are working to restore the water supply to Clare Street and Howley Terrace, Ballina following a watermain burst.

    Approximately 100 homes and businesses in the Clare Street/Howley Terrace area which are supplied by the Ballina Regional  Water Supply Scheme may be impacted by water outages while the repairs are carried underway.

    The repair is expected to be completed by this evening. Once the watermain has been repaired it may take a number of hours for the water supply to return in full to all impacted properties.

     A traffic management system is in place for the duration of these urgent repair works.

  • Two men in their 20's were fatally injured in a single vehicle road collision on the Killala Road in Ballina last night.

    The collision occurred at about 11.15 pm when a car, carrying three men, collided with a tree near the Costcutter store on the Killala Road.

    One man in his late 20's was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The other two men - also in their 20's - were taken to Mayo University Hospital where one was later pronounced dead.

    The third man remains in a serious condition in hospital.

    Gardai say the Killala Road in Ballina is closed to facilitate a forensic examination, and local diversions are in place.

    The road is closed from Leigue Cemetery to Gillespie's Garage.

    Motorists travelling from Ballina towards Killala should divert via the Gurteen roundabout on the Crossmolina Road.

    Motorists travelling from Killala towards Ballina should turn left before Coca Cola and go through Belleek.

    Meanwhile, HGVs travelling from Killala towards Ballina should divert after Asahi and use the road by Killala Rock and Mullafarry, while HGVs travelling from Ballina towards Killala should take the Crossmolina Road and turn right for Moygownagh.

    The road is expected to remain closed for much of the day.

    Gardai for appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them in Ballina at 096 - 20560 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.


  • There's some good news for residents of the Childers Heights estate in Ballina, as drainage works will start tomorrow to relieve flooding problems in the area.

    That's according to FG Councillor John O''Hara who says there are ongoing flooding problems in the area, which have impacted in the past on a local playschool, as well as residents.

    Councillor O'Hara says funding was allocated for the scheme earlier this year, and work will start next week

  • Drainage works will get underway in the Childers Heights area of Ballina in the next 2-3 weeks.

    That’s according to local Fine Gael Cllr John O’Hara.

    Cllr O’Hara says this is good news for those who live in the area, as there had been a problem with flooding on one side of the estate.

    He says this work will alleviate the problem and a total of €10,000 is being made available to spend on the project.

  • Gardaí have seized a quantity of suspected cannabis herb and cash in Ballina.

    Members of the Garda local community engagement team stopped a motorist while on mobile patrol in the town last night.

    A search was conducted of both the driver and the car resulting in the discovery of cannabis with an approximate value of €1,000, along with over €1,900 in cash.

    The driver was arrested and interviewed at Ballina Garda Station.

    A follow up search of a house in Ballina was conducted under search warrant and a further €17,000 in cash was seized.

    Gardaí say investigations are ongoing and a submission will be sent to the DPP in relation to these findings.

  • There will be no party or gatherings to welcome home the new Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine when he returns this evening to his native Ballina.

    That was confirmed to Midwest News this morning by local Fianna Fail councillor Annie Mae Reape.

    The councillor said that the local community is delighted and proud of Dara’s new appointment, but added that it is his stated position that he now wants to get on with the job and in keeping with the Covid 19 restrictions on gatherings, does not want any celebration/ party at this time.

    Cllr Reape says she agrees, however, she says it is a great result for Ballina and Mayo.

    She described the new Minister’s portfolio as very significant for this region and said they will be celebrating Dara’s achievement at a future date, when appropriate.

  • An extraordinary general meeting will be held next week to decide the future of the Ballina Salmon Festival, which is currently under threat.

    One of Ireland's longest-running family festivals, it attracts over 250,000 people to Ballina each Summer for a week of events, including the National Heritage Day, International Evening, Mardi Gras and Children's Programme.

    The festival's annual general meeting last week was poorly attended, according to outgoing Chairman Billy Lewis, who says a number of dedicated festival directors are stepping down, and new volunteers are needed to take up the mantle.

    Mr Lewis says it's likely there may not be a Ballina Salmon Festival next year, unless more people are prepared to become involved.

    All interested are being urged to attend the EGM of the festival next Thursday night 13th December at the Cot & Cobble in Ballina.

    Billy Lewis, outgoing Chairman, told Midwest News that more volunteers are needed, or the festival may not go ahead in 2019....

  • An extraordinary general meeting of the Ballina Salmon Festival will take place later this evening.

    The future of the festival is currently under threat, following a poor turnout at the recent AGM.

    One of Ireland's longest-running family festivals, it attracts over 250,000 people to Ballina each Summer for a week of events, including the National Heritage Day, International Evening, Mardi Gras and Children's Programme.

    The festival's annual general meeting was poorly attended, according to outgoing Chairman Billy Lewis, who says a number of dedicated festival directors are stepping down, and new volunteers are needed to take up the mantle.

    Mr Lewis says it's likely there may not be a Ballina Salmon Festival next year, unless more people are prepared to become involved.

    All interested are being urged to attend the EGM of the festival tonight at the Cot & Cobble in Ballina at 8pm.

    Billy Lewis told Midwest News that volunteers are now urgently needed to ensure the future of the festival is secure.

  • Emergency services are dealing with a fire to a business premises in Ballina.

    The blaze occurred just above McKane’s pharmacy on O’Rahilly Street.

    The fire occurred shortly after 1pm and emergency services are at the scene.

    Buildings either side of McKane’s have been evacuated and O’Rahilly Street is currently closed.

    Motorists are advised of long delays around Ballina as a result of the blaze this afternoon.

  • An examination will take place today at the scene of a light aircraft crash in County Mayo.

    It happened just after 6 o' clock yesterday evening.

    A man in his fifties, the pilot, died after the plane came down in a field outside Ballina.

    He was the only person in the aircraft at the time.

    A team from the Air Accident Investigation Unit are expected at the scene between Ballina and Bonniconlon today.