• It's expected an announcement will be made today on the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    The unit accommodates mostly elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, and there have been fears for some time that the HSE may close the facility, as there have been no new admissions since September 2016.

    A senior HSE official said last year that the Rosalie unit would close and alternative care would be provided for the patients, but a strong campaign has been underway in Castlerea to keep the unit open, for the current residents and to provide care into the future.

    Independent assessments have been carried out recently on the residents, and Midwest News understands that senior management are visiting the unit this morning to announce its future.

  • It's been a busy week for the Aran Islands RNLI as the volunteer crew were called out to help a tourist who fell on rocky ground yesterday evening.

    The crew were asked to launch the all-weather lifeboat at 6pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to transport a patient to Rossaveal Harbour and on to a waiting ambulance.

     The American tourist, who was on a trip to Inis Mór at the time, had fallen on rocky terrain and sustained a suspected fractured ankle.

    The casualty was brought by lifeboat to Rossaveal, and then taken to hospital by ambulance.

     Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O’Donnell said medical evacuations are a routine part of the lifeboat’s work on the islands.

    Earlier this week, the same volunteer crew had two call-outs on Monday night -one for a medical evacuation and the second to assist a lone sailor who yacht ran aground in Kilronan Harbour.



  • The West of Ireland can expect another warm day, but temperatures not quite as high as yesterday, which is believed to have been the hottest day of the year so far.

    Temperatures in the West rose to the high 20's - with 28 degrees recorded in Shannon and Kerry, while closer to home, Newport enjoyed 25 degrees with 24 recorded in Claremorris and 23 degrees in Knock.

    Forecasters are predicting another warm day today, with temperatures in Connacht reaching 20-25 degrees.

    Sunshine this morning, but cloud building with a very heavy showers possible in Mayo and Galway.

    Met Éireann has warned that the UV index and pollen levels will both be "very high" for the coming days as temperatures soar.

    Meanwhile, wildlife officials are urging the public to be vigilant in the face of potentially deadly wildfires due to tinder dry conditions.

    The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) issued a warning of the high risk of wildfires breaking out.

    Tomorrow will remain warm with sunny spells and highs of between19 and 24 degrees in the West, while  there's a chance of a few showers breaking out  -some heavy.



  • Following on from suspected arson attacks at a hotel in Rooskey, Co Roscommon, a local Councillor is calling for a joint meeting of the Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon municipal districts, in a bid to address what he calls "the escalating events" at the Shannon Key West Hotel.

    Two small fires broke out at the premises on Monday night, 5 weeks after a previous fire at the hotel, which is due to accomodate 80 asylum seekers in the coming weeks.

    Condemning the incidents, Roscommon Fianna Fail Councillor Joe Murphy is now seeking a meeting between the two municipal districts, saying we need to get county councillors from Roscommon and Leitrim working together on the issue, as Rooskey villages straddles the two counties.

    Councillor Murphy is also hoping an official from the Department of Justice would attend such a joint meeting.

    Meanwhile, another anti-racism rally will take place in Rooskey on Sunday.

    The Leitrim / Roscommon United Against Racism group is organising a rally outside the hotel from 12.30 on Sunday afternoon.

  • Whatever the make-up of Mayo County Council following tomorrow's local elections, all elected councillors should make a united call on Government to approve a life-changing drug for children suffering from SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    That's according to Paul Lawless, Aontú local election candidate in the Claremorris electoral area.

    Mr Lawless wants to see all local authority members putting pressure on Government to approve Spinraza for children across the country suffering from SMA -including two children in south Mayo......

  • Westport Gardai are appealing for information following a burglary at the Church in Newport over the weekend.

    The oratory was broken into, and two candleabras were taken along with a sum of money.

    The incident occurred sometime between Friday evening and Sunday, and anyone with information is asked to contact Westport Garda Station at 098 - 50230.



  • Approval has been granted today for the N5 road project from Ballaghadereen to Scramogue to go to construction.

    The 34 km road, costing in the region of €200 million, will run from the end of the Ballaghadereen bypass to the townland of Scramogue in Co Roscommon, bypassing Frenchpark, Ballinagare, Tulsk and Strokestown.

    Roscommon-based Independent TD Denis Naughten has welcomed confirmation that the project can now proceed to the construction stage, and says the new road will improve journey times along the N5, and will reduce the cost of travel for businesses in Mayo and Roscommon.



  • The Aran Islands RNLI crew was launched this morning to come to the assistance of two people on board a yacht that had run into difficulties.

    The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 7.27am by the Irish Coast Guard.

    They headed straight for the 38ft yacht that had got tangled in lobster pots off Gorumna Island in the North Sound. 

    Weather conditions were choppy with moderate seas.

     Once on the scene, the lifeboat crew established contact with the two people aboard the yacht, and found that a local fisherman in the area had freed the yacht from the tangled lobster pots. 

     The lifeboat then escorted the yacht, which was under sail, as far as the mouth of Kilronan Harbour where a tow line between the lifeboat and yacht was established as it was having steering issues. The lifeboat guided the yacht alongside the pier in Kilronan Harbour.  







  • The Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation this morning during Storm Lorenzo.

    The volunteer crew were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat at 9.51am today at the request of the Irish Coast Guard.

    A woman on Inis Meain had sustained an injury from an earlier fall and required further medical attention.

     The lifeboat headed straight for Inis Meain in rough seas and took the patient abroad before heading for Rossaveal Harbour where the woman was handed over to a waiting ambulance crew.

     Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O’Donnell said the conditions at sea this morning were really challenging, and as Storm Lorenzo continues, he's reminding people of the Coastguard message to Stay Back – Stay Dry – Stay High.



  • The Aran Islands RNLI volunteer crew was called out on Saturday evening last, to come to the aid of a sailor whose yacht got into difficulty.

    The all-weather lifeboat was launched at about 5.30pm Saturday evening, as a yacht with one person onboard experienced engine difficulty north-east of Straw Island.

    Once alongside the yacht, the lifeboat crew established a tow line and towed the yacht back to Kilronan Harbour.

    Aran Islands RNLI coxswain Tommy Dirrane is urging anyone planning a trip at sea to always wear a lifejacket, carry a mobile phone or means of communication, and let someone ashore know where you're going and when you're due back.


  • Archaeologists from around the world will descend on IT Sligo today for a 5-day international conference to discuss the use of the latest technology in exploring our past.

    Drones, data mining and artificial intelligence will be among the topics discussed by some of the world's leading archaeologists.

    Over 140 delegates from 33 countries are attending, and researchers will share how they're using some of the these technological advances in their studies and excavations of ancient sites in places such as Iraq, Egypt, Ethiopia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Sudan.

    The 13th International Conference on Archaeological Prospection is held every two years at various locations, and this is the first time it's being held in Ireland.

    The conference was organised by IT Sligo lecturer Dr James Bonsall who has managed research at some of Ireland's leading archaeological sites, including a dig at Carrowmore in Sligo this Summer.

    President of IT Sligo Dr Brendan McCormack has welcomed the international conference to the institute and the region, and says it acknowledges IT Sligo as an international centre of excellence in archaeological research.

  • Ardrahan defender Shauna Healy has been named Connacht camogie player of the year.

     Three in-a-row All-Ireland Club Camogie champions Slaughtneil have seven players on the A-I-B team of the year, while Tina Hannon, who was player of the game in their All-Ireland Final victory, has also been named the Ulster player of the season.

     St Martin's forward Chloe Foxe has been selected as Leinster player of the year, and  

    Inniscarra midfielder Aileen Sheehan has won the prize for Munster.

     Ardrahan's Rebecca Hennelly is also included on the team of the year.



  • An estimated 12,000 people are still without power this morning after Storm Ali on Wednesday.

    Two people died during the storm.

    A full service on the Luas Green line in Dublin has resumed this morning.

    It is understood the majority of those without power are in the Tuam, Mullingar, Cavan and Longford areas.

    Up to 180,000 homes were without power at one stage on Wednesday. Repair efforts were hampered by Storm Bronagh, which followed Storm Ali yesterday, and brought heavy rain across the country yesterday evening and overnight.

    Met Éireann meteorologist Joan Blackburn says they are  monitoring a weather system that may develop into a third storm, Storm Callum, late on Saturday evening.

    She says this system has the potential to develop into something “nasty,” which would hit Ireland late on Saturday into Sunday morning and this weather system is being kept under review.

  • Argos has reopened some of its stores, as part of the easing of restrictions, for online reservation orders only.

    The Argos stores at Hopkins Road in Castlebar, Headford Road in Galway and Cleveragh Retail Park in Sligo have reopened but only for online reservations and the company says customers will have to observe social distancing, which may mean queues outside stores.

    Argos, Woodies and B&Q are among the large retail outlets that reopened yesterday in phase one of the roadmap to exit Covid-19 restrictions, while Harvey Norman has reopened for home appliances and essential technology.



  •  IT company Arkphire, which has a regional office in Castlebar, has announced the acquision of Trilogy Technologies, one of Ireland's leading independent ICT managed services providers.

    Arkphire said that the deal marks the “first major move of significant scale towards industry consolidation in the ICT managed services sector”, as businesses seek outsourced support to meet increasingly complex and demanding IT infrastructure and business transformation challenges.

    Following the acquisition, the newly enlarged group will have a combined workforce of 220 and €150m in annual revenue.

    CEO of Arkphire, Ballina native Paschal Naylor,  says the two companies - Arkphire and Trilogy Technologies - will initially remain as distinct businesses and the acquisition will have no impact on the day-to-day business operations of the respective companies.



  • 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.





  • The death has taken place of well-known artist Cecil Maguire, at the age of 90.

    A native of Lurgan in Co Armagh, he spent much of his time in the West of Ireland, and painted the Connemara landscape while living in the Roundstone area.

    Cecil Maguire studied at Queen's University in Belfast and worked as an art teacher, before leaving the profession to focus on painting fulltime.

    His work features in major art collections including at the UN Headquarters in New York and the Ulster Museum in Belfast, while his painting are also to be found in many public and private collections.

    The Minister for Culture & Heritage Josepha Madigan says she's saddened to hear of the passing of Cecil Maguire, one of Ireland's finest landscape and figure painters.

    The Minister says he painted the Connemara landscape with such fondness that she knows he felt very much at home there, and has extended sympathies to his family and friends.



  • The Arts Council has awarded a total of €82,000 to three organisations in Co Mayo.

    The agency responsible for developing the arts will invest a total of €68.4 million euro nationwide over the course of 2018.

    Among the grants allocated in Mayo are €50,000 for Ballina Arts Centre – the 300-seat theatre opened in 2011 and provides rehearsal space, a dance studio and work spaces along with an auditorium for hosting touring productions and a gallery for visual arts exhibitions.

    €17,000 has been allocated for the Westport Chamber Music Festival, which runs an annual Autumn festival featuring Irish and international artists.

    and €15,000 goes to the Achill Heinrich Boll Association, which provides a live-in workspace for artists and writers in 2-week residencies at the Heinrich Boll cottage in Dugort.

    Commenting on the funding, Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride says 2018 will be an excellent year for people in Mayo who enjoy the arts.


  • The Road Safety Authority is warning pedestrians that they account for one in five deaths on Irish roads. 

    It's launching Road Safety Week today, which comes following the deaths of two pedestrians in separate road incidents in the past week.

    Communications Manager with the RSA, Brian Farrell, says they're focusing on what can be done to help pedestrians stay safe.

  • The Association of Catholic Priests will hold a public meeting in Tuam this Wednesday evening, ahead of the Pope's visit to Ireland next month.

    This is one of four regional meetings being held across the country ahead of the Papal visit, asking what do we need to say to Pope Francis about the Irish Church ?

    Wednesday's meeting takes place at the Árd Rí Hotel in Taum from 7 to 9.30 pm.

    Fr Brendan Hoban, who will speak at the meeting, says it's open to everybody to make a submission, and a summary of the meeting will be forwarded afterwards to Pope Francis via the Papal Nuncio to Ireland.