Connacht

  • €5m is being made available under the latest CLÁR programme, which has reopened this morning.

    The reopening of the scheme has been confirmed by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.

    Funding will be available under 3 measures of the programme – the Community Safety Measure; Play Areas and the First Response Support Measure.

    Local Authorities and Community Groups and Organisations can apply for funding under the programme.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News he is delighted to be able to reopen the scheme once again.

  • €60,000 in European funding has been allocated to Mayo County Council, to provide free public WiFi hotspots in locations across the county.

    Mayo Co Co secured the funding under the WiFi4 EU (wiFi for you) initiative, and Minister Michael Ring says his department has offered to match that funding.

    The initiative will bring free WiFi hotspots to a number of public spaces in Mayo, such as town squares, parks, hospitals and libraries, where there is no other free WiFi service available, and the locations will be decided by Mayo County Council.

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    A capital grant of €750,000 has been allocated for the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

    The funding is being provided through the Higher Education Authority, and will go towards refurbishment works at the GMIT campuses, and upgrading IT equipment.

    Mayo FG Senator Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the funding, and expects to see an allocation of this capital grant coming to the Castlebar campus

  • Funding of €800,000 has been announced for four walking and cycling trails in Co Mayo.

    The funding was announced at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough Park, Castlebar this morning by the Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring, under his Department's Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

    Minister Ring announced a total allocation of almost €11 million for 78 projects across the country.

    In Mayo, four projects will each receive €200,000 - The Great Western Greenway, for major essential trail works at Kilmeena and Turlough,

    The Achill Island Greenway, for bridge crossing and approach works at Achill Sound,

    The Bangor Trail and Erris Access Bridge - to upgrade and plan suspension footbridge, and €200,000 also to construct a new riverside trail from the Bowers, Ballinrobe to Lough Mask on The Way- A Spiritual Journey.

    Minister Ring says the investment will provide the people of Mayo, and those who visit the county, with a wonderful way to experience our outdoor areas.

     

  • Funding of €855,000 has been allocated today to Mayo County Council under the Local Improvement Scheme for improvement works on private rural roads in the county.

    Under the LIS scheme last year, improvements were carried out on 89 private roads in Mayo.

    The scheme is aimed at laneways and boreens that enable people to access their homes and farms.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Affairs Michael Ring has allocated €855,000 euro for the LIS roads in Mayo, and says he might be in a position to make a further allocation next September.

  • Almost six and a half thousand older people across the country are currently on a waiting list for home care support from the HSE.

    The biggest waiting list in the CHO2, which comprises Mayo, Galway and Roscommon with 1,482 people waiting for home support hours.

    The figures, obtained by Fianna Fail, show that between January and March, the HSE missed its target of home support hours by around 40,000 hours - or almost 10%.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers is asking why those targets are being missed- particularly in the Western counties, where older people are waiting for basic supports in order to continue living at home.

  • There’s good news this morning for Glencastle National School, Bunnahowen as the Minister for Education has allocated 1.2 million euro to build a special needs unit at the Gaeltacht primary school.

    Minister Michael Ring has confirmed that the unding has been approved to build an extension at the school for an SNA unit.

  • A planned search of a number of houses in the Attymass area on Tuesday last by gardai resulted in the seizure of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of 10,000 euro.

    Gardai in Ballina have confirmed that in the planned operation on Tuesday evening last a number of houses in the Attymass area,were searched by members of the Divisional Drugs Unit and a quantity of drugs were seized.

    The estimated street value of the seizure is estimated at 10,000 euro.

    A number of persons are now helping the gardai with their investigation and files are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

  • 100 jobs are being created in Galway at a global wedding planning company. 

    The Knot Worldwide is setting up an operations centre in the city. 

    Through its global wedding planning brands, The Knot Worldwide has more than 40 years of experience and has helped more than 40 million couples plan their weddings.

    The new roles will come on stream over the next few years and will include content writers, community forum support and customer support staff.

  • A medical laboratory company is to create 100 new jobs at its facilities in Galway City and Rosmuc.

    Complete Laboratory Solutions provides sampling and analysis for clients in the food, environmental, medical device and pharmaceutical industries.

    CLS already employs almost 200 people between its facility on the Tuam Road in Galway and the facility in Rosmuc, where the company was formed in 1994.

    CEO Evelyn O'Toole explained that they're the largest privately-owned contract lab in the country, and are hoping to expand their overseas customer base.

    The 100 new jobs will be filled over a two year period.

     

     

     

  • Hundreds of prisoners are being forced to sleep on the floor of jails because of accomodation shortages.

    New figures from the Irish Times show 572 people - 404 men and 168 women - had to sleep on mattresses on the floor at Limerick prison in July.

    The number was 674 at Midlands Prison in Portlaoise and 119 in Cork.

    The Irish Penal Reform Trust says the scale of the problem is "unacceptable" and a clear breach of human rights.

    The monthly total of prisoners sleeping on floors in Castlerea Prison in July was 115 - an average of four per night.

     

    Deirdre Malone, executive director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, said the scale of the problem is “entirely unacceptable, and in clear contravention of basic human rights norms, including the European Prison Rules”.

    She said this should not be happening in 21st century Ireland.

    Ms Malone said overcrowding decreases the chance of meaningful rehabilitation, increases tensions and makes prisons less safe for prisoners and staff.

     

  • Concerns are increasing for the future of rural Post Offices, as it's emerged that over 100 offices could close under a retirement scheme brokered as part of an agreement between An Post and the Postmasters Union.

    It's emerged that An Post has received applications from 110 Post Offices across the country expressing interest in a voluntary retirement package.

    The leaked list of 110 post offices includes 12 in Co Mayo , 3 in Co Roscommon and 10 in Co Galway.

    The Mayo Post Offices on the list are Ballindine, Ballyglass, Belcarra, Carrowmore Lacken, Cross, Doocastle, Finny, Geesala, Hollymount, Kilmaine, Partree and Scardaun.

    The Roscommon Post office on the list are Loughlynn, Granlahan and Knockvicar- near Boyle.

    It's understood that An Post will assess the applications, and determine where retirements can be facilitated, and their transactions consolidated to other local Post Offices.

    It was confirmed earlier this week that Geesala Post Office is remaining open, even though it's on this list, and in other villages, the Post Office service may be taken over by another person or business.

    However, Ballindine Post office - near Claremorris - is due to close its doors tomorrow week 10th August.

    Ballindine is a busy village, located on the N17 Sligo to Galway road, and Midwest Radio's News editor Teresa O'Malley was there this morning where locals outlined their shock and disappointment that the Post Office is closing.

  • In the European elections, six of Ireland's 13 MEPs have now been elected.

    In the Midlands North West, five candidates are still battling for the three remaining seats.

    FG's Mairead McGuinness topped the poll and was elected on Monday afternoon.

    Since then, a number of candidates have been eliminated - including Achill native Saoirse McHugh of the Green Party who was eliminated in the early hours of this morning.

    That leaves five candidates - with Independent Luke Ming Flanagan, Sinn Fein's Matt Carthy and Fine Gael's Maria Walsh look set to take the remaining three seats.

    They're followed by Independent Peter Casey and Fianna Fail's Brendan Smith.

    The 12th count is now underway the TF Royal Theatre.

  • €145,000 has been allocated to Mayo under the Community Enhancement Programme.

     Over €4.5 million will be provided to disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas throughout the country through the Community Enhancement Programme.

    Announcing the funding Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says typical enhancements under the Programme include the renovation of community centres, community amenities, improvements to town parks and common areas and spaces, CCTV equipment and energy efficiency type projects.

  • While the number of burglaries nationally is down 55%, due to the success of Operation Thor, 15 burglaries have been reported across Co Mayo in the past month.

    Eight of these occurred at business premises in the Castlebar area, and Gardai say they are following a definite line of enquiry in relation to these incidents.

    Burglaries have also been reported in a number of other areas across Mayo in recent weeks, and Gardai are urging business owners to take the necessary steps to protect their premises.

  • The number of serious complaints made by prisoners in Castlerea Prison increased by 60% last year.

    According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, prisoners in Castlerea made 15 serious complaints in 2018 - up from 9 in 2017.

    The data shows no category A complaint has been made by inmates in Castlerea so far this year.

    Nationally, the number of serious complaints from prisoners increased from 70 in 2017 to 80 last year, while 42 complaints were lodged in the first seven months of this year, including allegations of assaults and sexual and racial abuse.

    But since the beginning of 2017, only 16 complaints have been upheld or partly upheld.

    Gabriel Keaveny, assistant general-secretary of the Prison Officers Association, says there's a serious problem with false allegations, and vexatious complaints should be punished....

  • 16 more people have died from Covid19 in the Republic while 370 new cases have been confirmed. 

     It brings the death toll here to 174. 

    One of the latest deaths was in the West of the country, 4 in the northwest and 11 in the east.

    The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 5,364.

     

     

  • The number of patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital today has halved since yesterday, according to the latest figures from the INMO.

    There were 31 patients on trolleys at the Castlebar hospital yesterday - the highest number in the Western region.

    Today's Trolley Watch reports 16 patients on trolleys at both Mayo and Sligo University Hospitals, with 8 at UHG.

    Nationally, there are 469 patients waiting for a hospital bed this lunchtime - down from 505 yesterday.

    Meanwhile, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are meeting with the HSE this afternoon to try and avert strike action.

    It's the latest attempt for both sides to reach agreement in the row over pay and recruitment.

    Nurses and midwives are due to stage the first of 6 strikes next Wednesday 30th January.

  • Over 1600 teenagers from across Co Mayo attended a road safety event in Castlebar today, where graphic crash imagery was used to tell the story of how a night out ended in tragedy and permanent disability for one driver.

    The AXA Road Safety Show is held annually at Breaffy House Hotel to highlight to teenagers the tragic consequences of dangerous driving.

    The students heard from ambulance personnel and Gardai who respond to road collisions, medical staff who deal with the victims of road crashes, a funeral undertaker, a family member of a deceased accident victim and a car crash survivor.

    Mayo's Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons says too many young people are being killed or seriously injured on our roads, and he hopes young people attending today's roadshow will think twice about the safety when driving, and realise the consequences of taking risks on the road.

     

     

  • GSK is to close its manufacturing plant in Sligo by 2021,with the loss of 165 positions.

    Staff have been informed that the skincare manufacturing plant in Sligo is to be phased out over the next three years, and will close by the end of 2021.

    Just over two years ago, the company created 50 jobs at the Sligo plant, but says demand for products made at this facility has not grown in line with previous expectations, due to the highly-competitive market.

    GSK has been in Sligo for the past 43 years, and its plant is a dedicated supply site for the company's Stiefel skincare products.

    In a statement to Midwest News, GSK said a number of alternatives for the Sligo plant had been evaluated but, none of them were considered feasible without significant further investment.

    The statement says the company's immediate priority is to support their employees through this difficult period.

    GSK's other operations in Ireland (manufacturing sites in Cork and Dungarvan, and commercial operations in Dublin) are not affected by this proposal.