Councillor Neil Cruise

  • A Foxford councillor claims that "all hell broke loose" last Sunday night during an incident at the Sliabh Rua housing estate in the town.

    At this week's meeting of the Claremorris / Swinford Municipal District, FG Councillor Neil Cruise requested that standing orders be suspended to discuss the anti-social behaviour.

    He outlined that an incident took place at one house in the estate, which was purpose-built for a family who have children with special needs.

    Councillor Cruise said his sympathy lies with the children of the house who were distressed by what went on, as well as other residents in the estate who were kept awake until the early hours of the morning, with cars being driven at high speed through the estate, windows of vehicles smashed and criminal damage caused to trees and other common areas.

    Councillors were told at this week's meeting that the Gardai are investigating the alleged incident, while Mayo County Council's anti-social behaviour strategy is also being implemented.

    However, Councillor Cruise insists he will be raising the matter again next week at the full meeting of Mayo County Council, as well as at the Housing SPC.

  • €23 million euro has been announced in funding nationally under Community Involvement Grant 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.

    321,000 euro has been secured under the scheme for four projects in the village of Knockmore.

    Local Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News the funding is very welcome and includes the extension of the footpath in the village.

  • Mayo County Council needs to step in, to ensure that the connections between Co Mayo and Argentina are protected into the future.

    That's according to Foxford-based Councillor Neil Cruise, who says the Admiral Browne Museum in Foxford has had to close.

    Admiral William Browne was born in Foxford in 1777, and emigrated to Philadelphia as a child, before later moving to Argentina where he founded and led the Argentine Navy.

    Admiral Browne - a hero in Argentina - is synonymous with Foxford, and Argentine visitors often visit the Museum in Foxford to learn about his early life, while a number of events have taken place in Foxford in recent years to celebrate the connections between the two countries.

    Councillor Neil Cruise says the current building housing the museum is not ideal, but the council should assist in finding another location, to ensure that it can reopen in the future.....

  • Mayo county council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland are at present testing different road barriers on the Castlebar road outside Foxford (the N58).

    In the Umoon area about 2 km outside the town there are significant drops either side of a newly resurfaced road and many road users have expressed their concerns over the lack of any barriers that might prevent a vehicle dropping a couple of meters should it come off the road in ice or frost.

    Local Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News today about the present testing of barriers to ensure that the safest option is installed along this very busy stretch of main road linking Ballina to Castlebar.

     He said he expects the barriers to be in place before next winter.

  • Mayo County Council should look at providing serviced sites for new houses in areas of the county where there is pressure for housing. That’s the view of Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise.

    The councillor outlined his idea to a meeting of the Economic and Planning committee of Mayo County Council earlier this week, and he called for the local authority to apply to government to develop a pilot scheme where council owned land could be serviced and then sold in plots to private individuals to build their homes, and avoid the huge difficulties many encounter in securing planning permission for a new home.

    There was widespread support for his suggestion from both elected councillors and council management, and the details of such a scheme will now be explored with a view to developing further.

    Cllr Cruise has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why he believes serviced sites in various areas in the county could be very helpful in ensuring that people who want to return locally and work remotely can secure housing...

  • With extensive works underway by Irish Water in Foxford in the construction of a new sewerage scheme for the area, local Fine Gael cllr Neill Cruise says there is some confusion locally over what bridge in the town will be closed to traffic.

    Cllr Cruise told Midwest News that it is not the main bridge in the town that that links Foxford to Ballina and Pontoon, or the N26 to the N5, that’s closed to traffic, but rather it’s Moybridge, close to the garda station in town that is closed to traffic for the next number of weeks, and diversions are in place.

    A public information meeting on the new sewerage scheme in the town takes place this afternoon in the Foxford Woollen Mills. Irish Water is hosting the event.

  • Just weeks after a controversial motion declaring a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency in Mayo was voted through by elected councillors on Mayo county council, an attempt was made this week to invalidate it.

    The revocation of the motion was proposed by Foxford based councillor Neil Cruise at Monday’smeeting of the council. He called for the motion to be invalidated and instead referred to the Environment and Climate Action Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) of Mayo County Council, who could then issue recommendations.

    The Fine Gael cllr insisted that councillors needed feedback from the SPC, before any ambitious actions were included in the county development plan.

    However, he was informed by council Administrator Siofra Kilcullen that motions cannot be revoked for up to six months following their adoption due to existing standing orders.

    The motion was initially tabled by Independent councillor Mark Duffy just last month and after lengthy debate, a notice of motion calling on the authority to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency and to commit to taking measures to address the climate crisis within county Mayo was voted on and carried by a single vote in January.

    An emergency has already been declared nationally, and 17 other councils have also made similar declarations.

    However, on Monday, councillor Cruise questioned what legislative authority they had to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. He said that councillors were trying to encourage people back to the county but this would make it harder to get planning for one-off houses, adding that the IFA had concerns over how farmers may be impacted by the emergency declaration.


    This lunchtime Midwest News Editor Teresa O'Malley spoke to councillors Duffy and Cruise on the issue.

     She began by asking Cllr Duffy what's the purpose of declaring the county a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency...


  • The contract has been signed for a new bridge at Cloongullane, between Swinford and Foxford.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland have confirmed that BAM construction have been awarded the contract for the Cloongullane Bridge and road realignment project.

    The start date given by the company is mid November, but it is more than likely that it will be early 2021 before activities are obvious on site. 

    It is envisaged that the contract will take 21 months to complete, and the new bridge at this blackspot should be operational in the third quarter of 2022. 

    Foxford-based Fine Gael Cllr. Neil Cruise told Midwest News that this is now the final piece in the puzzle.......

  • Foxford-based FG Councillor Neil Cruise is calling on Mayo County Council to immediately publish the Part 8 planning required to get the Velo Rail project underway in Kiltimagh.

    The project, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, will involve the self-propelling of carriages on a 12 km section of the old railway track running from Kiltimagh towards both Claremorris and Swinford.

    It's estimated the Velo Rail could attract over 30,000 visitors each year to the area.

    Councillor Cruise says the project will be a major tourism attraction, and he's urging Mayo County Council to proceed with the publication of the Part 8 planning required for change of use of the track.

    This will then go for public consultation before coming back before Councillors - first at  Municipal District level, and will then go before a full meeting of the local authority.



  • As a precautionary measure with the Covid 19 outbreak, that will only be activated, if deemed necessary, Foxford based councillor Neil Cruise and others are assembling a list of potential volunteers who may need to be called upon to deliver prescriptions, groceries and other essential supplies to elderly and vulnerable people in the local community, if further restrictions are put in place or people have to self isolate.  

    He explained to Midwest News this morning that the group of volunteers will be taking their lead from the advice given by the expert group led by Dr Tony Holohan of the HSE, along with local health professionals. The health & safety of all volunteers will always be a priority.

    Anyone interested can contact Neil at (086) 8388778 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contact details.

  • A Mayo county councillor is calling on GAA chiefs to reconsider postponing the All-Ireland schools series for the rest of this year.

    St Joseph's College, Foxford were due to face St Colmcille's Community School in the All-Ireland senior C football final, while St Gerald's College Castlebar are through to the All-Ireland senior A semi-final.

    Last Friday however, Croke Park announced the postponement of the All-Ireland competitions due to Covid-19, and Foxford-based Councillor Neil Cruise is now calling on the GAA to reconsider this decision.

    He says the local footballers are devastated at the decision....

  • Anyone caught in the possession of illegal drugs in Co Mayo should have their car impounded and crushed.

    That's the view of Foxford-based Councillor Neil Cruise, who spoke on the matter at the recent meeting of the Mayo Joint Policing Committee.

    As part of efforts to tackle drug-dealing throughout the county, Erris-based Councillor Gerry Coyle suggested that anyone using a vehicle to transport drugs should be disqualified from driving for 5 years on a first offence, and disqualified for life on a second conviction.

    FG Councillor Neil Cruise wants to go further and hit drug dealers in the pocket, by crushing their cars and having them pay the cost of doing so.

    Speaking with Midwest News, the Foxford-based Councillor said this could be one of a number of measures taken to try and deter drug-dealers....

  • Irish Water has confirmed that it will take over the Currinara group water scheme outside Foxford in January.

    Local FG Councillor Neil Cruise has been calling for some time for this, and other group water schemes, to be taken in charge by Irish Water, and has welcomed this latest update.

  • An application for capital funding to develop the strategic development zone (SDZ) at Ireland West Airport was proposed and approved this week by members of Mayo County Council’s  Economic and Enterprise Special Policy Committee (SPC) meeting.

    Foxford based councillor Neil Cruise called on the local authority to get an application submitted to the Rural Regeneration Development Fund for capital works to develop the SDZ at the airport.

    He says essential infrastructure now needs to be in place at the airport, making it an attractive location for potential businesses.

    Cllr Crusise argues that the time for talking is over. With up to 5,000 jobs promised with the designation around Ireland West Airport Knock, he says, it’s now time to see action.

    The proposal was unanimously supported by all members of the SPC this week, and will now go before a meeting of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District and also before a full meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Cllr Cruise has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why funding is now is now required if the benefits from the SDZ designation are to be realized


  • The area around Ireland West Airport Knock will have its long awaited SDZ status in place by next month (October).

    SDZ is a special development zone that has been created on a huge area of land around the airport to encourage development and to attract new enterprise and jobs to the region.

    It is the only SDZ zone in rural Ireland, and has been created in conjunction with the airport.

    Effectively it speeds up the planning process for investors, as any developer interested in developing an enterprise in the zone only needs to look to Mayo county council for planning permission, and that decision cannot go before An Bord Pleanala.

    Yesterday Mayo county councillors gave the green light for the draft development plan of the extensive area of land, and that means after a protracted process the new status becomes effective in four weeks time.

    Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News today that it is an historic development for Knock Airport.

  • Ballina is to benefit from significant investment under the LEADER programme.

    Funding of over €251,000 has been allocated for Ballina Rugby Football Club for improvements to the clubhouse and grounds.

    Grants have also been approved for Ballina Tidy Towns for improvements at Tom Ruane Park, for a feasibility study on a recreational route between Ballina and Enniscrone, and for Newport 300 commemorations.

    Foxford-based FG Councillor Neil Cruise says this is the last allocation of grants under the 2016-2020 LEADER programme, which has delivered funding of over €9.6 million to Co Mayo, and a new transitional programme starts next month.

    Councillor Cruise says the latest allocation of funding is good news for Ballina and Newport....


  • The water mains has burst in the town of Foxford and as a result there are large numbers of householders and businesses without a water supply in the town and in the Belass area, just outside the town, this morning.

    The burst occurred on the N26 road, outside the Admiral Brown Hall.

    Mayo County Council staff are working to repair the mains since 5am this morning and water to most areas of the town has been switched off since 7am, to allow the repair work to proceed.

     Local councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News this morning that it’s hoped that the supply will be restored by lunchtime today. He said the Providence road area and the Green road has a water supply despite the major disruption.

  • A pensioner in this region, sends himself a letter every Friday when he comes into the post office to collect his pension, so that at least he will see the postman once a week. That’s the level of isolation and loneliness being experienced by people livening in parts of rural Ireland, according to Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise.

    The councillor was among a number of councillors who at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District condemned what they termed the “kite flying” that the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross engaged in earlier this week, proposing a new system of incremental speed limit penalties for motorists, in view of the already harsh drink driving laws now in operation that are leaving many elderly feeling trapped in their own homes.

    The councillors accused the Minister of being out of touch with rural communities .

     On Tuessday, the Transport Minister presented a proposed new system for fining motorists caught speeding, to his cabinet colleagues. The new system would see motorists charged a higher amount and given higher penalty points, the more they're caught driving over the speed limit.

    At the outset of yesterday’s debate all cllrs said they appreciate that speed can kill and that drink driving is not acceptable and condemned both - but at the same time, they do not believe that punitive penalties and fines is the only answer – as they argued they hit rural communities more.

    Cllr Cruise outlined to Midwest News his increasing concern for many elderly people living in areas without access to any public transport.

  • The speed limit along the N58 Foxford to Ballyvary road is to be reduced to 80km per hour, down from 100 km, and reduced further to 60 km per hour through the village of Straide.

    It follows extensive lobbying by local Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise, who says the people living along this very busy stretch of road, that links Ballina to Castlebar, are living in fear of traffic speeds along the route.

    The councillor insists the changes are not designed as a revenue collector for the state, but rather arefor health and safety reasons.

    Speed limit reductions are also to be reduced on the N26 Foxford to Swinford road, the main Dublin road from Ballina.

    Councillor Cruise told Midwest News that these are all necessary changes  and the new limits will be enforced.

     They have been approved by both Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Mayo county council.


  • Traffic disruption can be expected in Foxford Town from tomorrow, 29th April, as extensive rehabilitation works will get underway on the Moy View bridge in the town.

    Local Councillor Neil Cruise says the works are expected to take about three months, and traffic will be diverted away from the bridge during this time.