• At least 169 people have been waiting at least a year to be seen by the HSE's National Counselling Service.

    All of those waiting over a year are based in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

    The HSE figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal there are over 10,000 people on waiting lists across the country for the National Counselling Service.

    The statistics involve counselling in primary care, along with those who've suffered a bereavement or need help due to suicidal thoughts or self-harm.

    At least 721 people have been waiting at least seven months, and 169 have been waiting over a year.

    All of those on the list for more than a year are in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. 

  • Mayo Mountain Rescue  say a total of 17 people were treated for a variety of injuries yesterday as 5,000 people climbed Croagh Patrick for Reek Sunday.

    Weather conditions were favourable for the annual pilgrimage, and helped in reducing the number of severe casualties.

    Cameron Clotworthy of Mayo Mountain Rescue told Midwest News this morning that the dry weather appears to have reduced the number of serious casualties on the holy mountain yesterday, compared to recent Reek Sundays.

  • There are currently 18 vacant hospital consultants posts at Galway University Hospitals, while across the country, new figures show almost 350 hospital consultant posts are vacant.

    The HSE figures in today's Irish Times show there are now more than 1 in 10 hospital consultants posts vacant across the health service.



  • A post mortem examination is due to take place tomorrow on the body of a young woman who died after becoming unwell at a Debs Ball in a hotel in Galway in the early hours of this morning.

    Emergency services were called and the 19-year-old was brought to Portiuncula Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

    The Coroner has been notified and investigations into the sudden death are ongoing.



  • 19,148 pensioners in Mayo will see an increase in their weekly payment from today.

    This was confirmed by Minister Michael Ring who says the state pension will be increased by €5 per week for those on maximum weekly rates, with proportionate increases for those on reduced rates.

    There will also be a €5 increase in the maximum rate of all weekly payments for lone parents, jobseekers, carers, people with disabilities, widows, and people on employment programmes.

  • The HSE is to start testing nursing home residents living where NO Covid-19 clusters have been found.

    Yesterday saw the country's highest number of deaths in a single day recorded, with a further 41 people losing their lives after being infected with the virus - including 4 more deaths in the West of Ireland.

    548 new cases of the virus were detected in the past 24 hours, while there were 284 positive tests sent back from German labs.

    The total number of confirmed cases here now stands at 11,479.

    The latest breakdown by county shows 198 confirmed cases in Mayo, 220 in Co Galway, 52 in Sligo and 48 in Roscommon.

    406 people have now died in this country -187 of the deaths occurred in nursing homes.

    The State's Chief medical officer Tony Holohan says his team is trying to stop the virus getting into nursing homes in the first place:

  • 730 people with Covid-19 have died in Ireland, after a further 44 fatalities were confirmed  yesterday evening - including 2 additional deaths in the west and 2 in the northwest.

    388 new diagnosed cases have also been recorded, bringing the total number to 16,040.

    The latest county breakdown shows 335 confirmed cases in Mayo, 294 in Galway, 93 in Sligo and 91 in Roscommon.

    The Government says events with crowds of more than 5,000 will not be licenced up to the end of August to try stop the spread of the virus.

    Meanwhile, the State's Chief Medical Officer is appealing to people to continue obeying the Covid-19 restrictions, despite the good weather.

    Temperatures could reach up to 20 degrees today, leading to fears people will start travelling to beauty spots like parks and beaches.

  • 20 Garda stations in the Western region cannot access the PULSE computer system, due to a lack of internet connectivity.

    The Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has released new figures which show that, nationally, there are still 76 Garda stations operating without internet of PULSE, while work is ongoing in another 15 stations.

    Roscommon-Galway Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy asks how can Gardai be expected to carry out their work without basic access to an ICT system or PULSE system, and says the West is particularly hit, as 20 stations are left in a black hole with no internet access.

  • 20% of parents in Connaught/ Ulster say they're getting into debt to cover back-to-school costs.

    That's considerably lower than the national average of 36% of parents getting into debt.

    The findings are revealed in the annual school-costs survey commissioned by the irish League of Credit Unions.

    11% of parents in debt say they have turned to a moneylender to cope with costs.

    The study found that overall back to school costs have fallen somewhat since last year.

    Parents are now spending €999 per primary school child - €49 less than last year.

    For secondary school students, parents say the cost per child has fallen by €22 to €1,379.

    Books and uniforms are the most expensive items for second-level students, while extracurricular activities and school lunches are the biggest costs for primary school children.

  • About 200 customers on Achill Island are without electricity since earlier this morning due to a fault.

    The fault was reported shortly before 9.30 am and ESB Networks are working to repair the fault, with an estimated restoration time of 1pm this lunchtime.



  • Over 500 artists, musicians and performers will take part in the Galway International Arts Festival, which gets underway today.

    It's one of Europe's leading international arts festivals, and this year's programme once again includes a mix of Irish and international artists and performers, with an impressive line-up of theatre, dance, comedy, music and visual art.

    This is the 41st year of Galway Arts Festival, which runs until the 29th July.

    Madness, Kodaline, The Stunning, Gavin James and the RTE Conert Orchestra are just some of the acts which will take to the stage at the Festival Big Top.


  • Ballyhaunis-born war hero Corporal Patrick Gallagher will be remembered in Cork tomorrow, when the 2018 Irish Navy class graduating from the Naval Base will take his name.

    Bob Gallagher from Derrintogher, Ballyhaunis was killed in Vietnam in 1967 - shortly after being awarded the Navy Cross for saving the lives of three of his comrades.

    Last year, St Patrick's Church in Ballyhaunis was packed to capacity at a special Mass to remember Corporal Gallagher, and a monument was unveiled at the local cemetery.

    It was confirmed earlier this year that the US Navy is to name a ship after Corporal Gallagher, and now the Irish Navy will also honour him at tomorrow's ceremony.

  • Thousands of people are expected to travel to Knock Shrine each day of the 2018 National Novena, which starts tomorrow and runs until 22nd August.

    This is the 41st year of the Novena, and the theme is "Faith and Family", as preparations continue for the Pope's visit to the Shrine on Sunday week next, as part of the World Meeting of Families.

    A number of religious and lay speakers will address the Novena over the course of the 9 days, with ceremonies at 3pm and 8.30 pm each day, and workshops will take place at 12 noon and 6pm daily.

    Writer and broadcaster Jim Deeds will address the Novena tomorrow, with Archbishop Michael Neary on Wednesday and the Parish Priest of Ballyhaunis Fr Stephen Farragher will address pilgrims on Thursday.

     The full list of speakers is available on the Knock Shrine website.

    The Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons says the Novena may be overshadowed by the upcoming visit of Pope Francis, but is a very important event in the Shrine's calendar each year...

  • The 2018 Town & Village Renewal Scheme is opening for applications from today (Friday).

    Nationally , €15 million will be allocated to support rural regeneration projects in towns and villages across the country, and the scheme is aimed at areas with a population of less than 10,000 people.

    Last year, 14 towns and villages in Co Mayo received funding under the scheme.

    Grants were made available for projects such as Ballinrobe Town Hall, Ballycastle Museum, enhancement works in Balla, Ballyhaunis, Claremorris and Breaffy village, the Admiral Browne promenade in Foxford, round tower in Killala and Dark Sky project in Ballycroy.

    The Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says this is a very important scheme for revitalising smaller rural villages and towns.

  • The 2019 Clár programme opens for applications today for infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered population decline.

    Over the last two years, almost €2 million has been allocated for 54 community projects across Co Mayo under the Clár programme, and Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring is encouraging local communities to work with Mayo County Council on applications for this year's funding.

    As well as funding for school safety measures, playgrounds and multi-use games areas, applications can also be made this year, for the first time, for developing sensory gardens for people with certain disabilities.

  • This year's National Famine Commemoration will take place in Sligo City on Sunday 19th May.

    Minister Josepha Madigan says this is the 3rd time that the State Commemoration takes place in Connacht.

    She says the ceremony will provide an opportunity for people in Sligo to honour the memory of those who died during the Famine, or sought escape from its port for a new life, and will feature the National flag and military honours as well as a solemn wreath-laying ceremony.

    The population of Co Sligo fell by one-third between 1841 and 1851 - with those who did not die emigrating from the area.

    Schools around the country will be invited to hold a minute of silent reflection on Friday 17th May in memory of those who died or suffered loss during the Famine, while sporting organisations will be invited to observe a minute's silence at events taking polace on 19th May - the day of the commemoration.

    This is the 12th consecutive year of the National Famine Commemoration.

  • The number of pubs in Co Mayo has fallen by 21% in the past 13 years.

    There are now 98 less pubs in the county than in 2005, according to the latest figures from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.

    A new study shows one-fifth of rural pubs closed since 2005, compared to just 1% of pubs in Dublin.

    The drinks industry is calling on Government to ease the burden on rural businesses by reducing Ireland's high alcohol excise tax over the next 2 years.


  • There will be 211 polling stations in operation across county Mayo in the Referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

    Voters on Mayo’s three islands are voting today, and the rest of the county cast their preference tomorrow (Friday).

    Voters are being asked if they want the Eighth Amendment in the Constitution retained or repealed.

    The Eighth Amendment  reads "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."

    This is the phrasing exactly as it appears in the constitution and there can be no changes made to it without a referendum.

    County Registrar Fintan Murphy is in charge of operations in the Referendum in county Mayo.

    He told Midwest News today that there is one polling station less in the county on this occasion than at the last Referendum, and the voters affected will be accommodated in Tourmakeady. 

  • 22 jobs will be created when the Nephin Whiskey distillery is up and running in the village of Laherdane.

    The company is hoping to start production early next year, after drawing down €2.5 million from the Davy EIIS Fund - a joint venture between Davy Stockbrokers and  corporate advisory firm BDO, which invests in Irish businesses.

    The funding will allow Nephin Whiskey to complete the distillery being constructed in Laherdane, and its hoped the whiskey will go into production early in 2020.

    The company was founded by husband and wife team Dr Paul and Jude Davis and Mark Quick - an electronic engineer originally from Attymass.

  • More than a million euro in funding has been announced for 22 projects in Mayo under the Community Involvement Scheme.

     €23 million euro was announced nationally under the Programme for regional and local road projects.

    Applications were sought from local authorities for suitable schemes for inclusion and the response from local authorities was very positive, according to the Minister Shane Ross, with a large number of proposals received.

    The average community contribution proposed is about 19%. The community input can be either by way of a financial contribution or works.

    Paul Dolan is Senior Engineer with Mayo county council, speaking to Midwest News today he said  it is welcome funding for the county.

    The local authority had submitted 22 applications under this scheme and all 22 have been approved.