Mayo County Council

  • The launch of Mayo’s Wifi4EU service took place today in Ballina.

    The first group of towns going live this week are Ballina, Belmullet, Crossmolina, Newport & Swinford

    Mayo County Council plans for a second group of towns to go live in Q1 of 2021.

    The Wifi4EU service has been installed and will be supported by Castlebar Company Westnet,

    The WiFi4EU Project provides free outdoor public Wi-Fi service in 9 locations in County Mayo. The service is installed in public places such as main streets, public parks and other public areas of high footfall. It aims to provide high-quality Internet service, free of charge in these public spaces. This new service encapsulates one of the main pillars of the upcoming new Mayo Digital Strategy, “Infrastructure”, a key enabler of any new modern society and one which will allow the citizens of Mayo to grow in this new phase of digital technology.

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    The state of the market square plaza in Castlebar town centre is "completely unacceptable", according to local Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    A million euro was spent by the now abolished Castlebar Urban council, backed by Mayo County Council, to install what was to be the centrepiece of the town centre development, about 18 years ago.

    The paving stones that cover the square are now literally separating and lifting and are considered a public safety hazard, with a section in the centre of the square cordoned off, for almost three months now.

    Councillor Kilcoyne raised his concerns again over the present situation at the monthly meeting of Castlebar Municipal District. He claims members of the public will inevitably trip, fall and hurt themselves on the paving stones not cordoned off.

    He told Midwest News today that he and other councillors are completely frustrated at the lack of action by council management in addressing the problem.

    "A million euro in 2000 was a lot of money, and it simply makes no sense," he says, "that the paving stones are now separating and lifting and are left in such a state for a prolonged period."

    Midwest News contacted Mayo County Council today for a response and an update on the timescale proposed to repair the plaza .

    There was no one available for interview, however, John McHale Head of Castlebar Municipal District, stated that weather conditions have not been suitable for the repair work but it will be repaired very shortly.

     

  • RTE's Operation Transformation is once again joining forces locally with Mayo Sports Partnership to encourage people to become more physically active in 2019.  A number of walks will take place across the country on Saturday 12th January with Mayo walks taking place in Achill, Aughamore, Ballina, Ballyhaunis, Ballinrobe, Belmullet, Castlebar, Claremorris, Kiltimagh, Kilmovee Newport and Westport.

    The walks, either 3 or 5km in length will be led by suitable leaders who will be on hand guide participants through the walk and also to give advice about follow on programmes etc.

    Details of the events are as follows (See also attached poster, please note that all walks commence at 11am with meeting time at 10.30am):

    Walk Locations

    Centre                       Meeting Point & Time                               Time of Walk

    Achill                          Saula National School                                            11am

    Aughamore                Aughamore GAA Club                                           11am

    Ballina                        Belleek Woods                                                       11am

    Ballyhaunis               Friary Field                                                               11am

    Ballinrobe                  The Green                                                                11am

    Belmullet                    Aras Inis Gluaire (Civic Centre)                               11am

    Claremorris                Clare Lake                                                                11am

    Castlebar                   Castlebar Tennis Club                                              11am

    Kiltimagh                   Market Square                                                         11am

    Kilmovee                   Community Centre                                                  11am

    Newport                     The Statue, Medlicott St.                                          11am

    Westport                    Westport GAA Grounds                                           11am

    County co-ordinators Mayo Sports Partnership and local organisers such as Achill Athletic Club, Aughamore GAA Club, Ballina Athletic Club, Ballinrobe GAA Club, Ballyhaunis Sports Network, Castlebar, Claremorris and Claremorris parkruns, Erris Community Health Forum, Kilmovee Community Centre, Newport Business association, Kiltimagh Tourism and Westport GAA and are encouraging people of all age groups to turn out on the day.

    In all the events there is no cost involved, participants are asked to wear loose clothing and to bring some water. However no dogs are allowed. Further information on Operation Transformation can be viewed at : www.rte.ie/ot/

    Details of Mayo Sports Partnerships follow on 5 week initiative “Operation Get Active Mayo” involving approximately numerous communities / groups throughout Mayo will be promoted at www.mayosports.ie and also in local media. Other Mayo Sports Partnership programmes such as Men on the Move, Couch to 5K, Meet and Train, Swim for a Mile, parkrun, Active 55 etc will also form part of this county wide call.

    If you are interested in getting your community involved in the Get Active Mayo Campaign please contact Community Sports Development Officer Deirdre Donnelly at 094 9064386 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • At yesterday’s  (Monday) monthly meeting of Mayo county Council the Cathaoirleach, Councillor Richard Finn, thanked the outdoor staff of Mayo County Council for their tireless work in gritting and dealing with the main routes across the county during the recent severe weather.

    In addition he praised Midwest Radio for its regular alerts regarding weather and road conditions through the snow and storm.

    The CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Hynes also praised the work of local authority outdoor staff over the past number of days and nights who ensured that the main roads were passable for traffic at all times.

    He said it was almost miraculous that the county had, thankfully, escaped the worst of the snow.

    Erris based councillor Gerry Coyle praised the work of the many volunteers with Meals on Wheels, who despite the hazardous conditions, continued to cook and deliver meals to many elderly across the region.

     Castlebar based councillor Frank Durcan encouraged everyone to install emergency lighting at their homes. He said the cost of such lighting is relatively cheap and it is vitally important when the electricity supply is brought down in severe weather.

  • Mayo County Council has been granted €516,218 to refurbish social housing units which will be re-let to individuals struggling with homelessness or on a housing list.

    The money will be used to refurbish and re-let 45 social housing units in the county, according to Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary.

    The funding has been provided by the voids programme and forms part of the July Stimulus Programme.

    Deputy Dara Calleary told Midwest News that the units are due to be completed by the start of 2021.

  • Councillors in the Westport / Belmullet Municipal District have approved a Part 8 planning application for works to be carried out on the pilgrimage path on Croagh Patrick, to make it sustainable for generations to come.

    The application came before councillors at their monthly meeting in Belmullet this week, and Martin Keating - Chairperson of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group - addressed the meeting in relation to the their plan to protect the holy mountain.

    Westport Independent Councillor Christy Hyland has complimented the stakeholders' group for their work, and he proposed that the Part 8 be adopted at Monday's meeting.

    He says it's welcome news in terms of improving the pilgrimage path which has become dangerous due to numbers of people climbing the Reek.

  • Ballina councillors today approved a Part 8 Planning that gives the green light, with a condition, for the development of a 50 unit social housing development on a site to the rear of Rehins Woods housing estate on the Foxford road in the town.

     

    The controversial development had come before councillors at the January meeting of the Municipal District but the decision on the Part 8 Planning was deferred on that occasion.

     

    Today, after further debate, and in front of more than 30 people packed into the public gallery of the Ballina Municipal office, councillors agreed to approve the Part 8 but with a condition that a new access road be developed that would alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

     

    Residents of Rehins Fort and neighbouring Childer's Height that attended today's meeting were not allowed, by regulations, to publicly address the council meeting.

     

    The 6 elected councillors on Ballina Municipal District are now to seek a meeting with representatives of Hollister to discuss the construction of a new access road, on Hollister land, that would also assist the thousand or more employees of the company enter and exit their plant daily, onto the N26 Foxford road in Ballina.

     

    Council management explained that such a road is estimated to cost half a million euro and said there is no funding available to provide it.

     

    Nonetheless, elected councillors insisted they will meet with Hollister in an attempt to have a new access road developed.

  • The GMA (General Municipal Allocation) monies that had been “paused” by council officials last week for voluntary and community groups across county Mayo are now to be paid out in agreed phases. The development has emerged following a meeting yesterday between the acting CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Duggan and a number of councillors from the 4 municipal district areas in the county.

    That’s according to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne.

    On Monday last at the West Mayo Municipal district meeting, councillors were angry at any suggestion by council management that their allocation of GMA funding could not be paid out for the moment, due to the huge financial losses per month in income that Mayo County Counci, is experiencing during the pandemic lockdown (estimated at 1.75 million euro a month)

    That is because at present commercial rates are paused, car parking fees on the streets of towns and in council car parks are no longer in operation and leisure and swimming facilities in the county operated by the local authority are all closed.

    West Mayo councillors refused to accept however, that as a result ,GMA funding would be paused,  and now they have been backed by cllrs across the county.

    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne has been telling Midwest News about the outcome of yesterday’s meeting between both sides.

  • Planning is the next stage in the ambitious plan to repair the paths on Mayo’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick.

    The mountain, over centuries has become more difficult to climb, particularly close to the top, and to protect it and those who climb it, it was decided by the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group some years ago, to look at ways that it may be better preserved.

    The trial path works on the upper cone of the mountain are now completed and it opens the way for the entire project to proceed.

    The evaluation process tested the feasibility of a pathway made from materials on the mountainside, and was led by Scottish expert Matt McConway of Upland Access Ltd.   
    Its objective was ‘to establish if the proposed methodology for constructing the path would work using the small stone blocks found on the steep slope of the summit’ while adhering to Mountaineering Ireland’s ‘Guiding Principles for Upland Path Work.

    According to the report – “The trial works included an assessment of ‘the quality of path work construction technique; landscape impact and environmental impact’, as well as examining the value of progressing the implementation of the project with strong emphasis on training and voluntary inputs’. 
    The result of the evaluation process is that the Croagh Patrick Stakeholder Group is now confident to proceed with the proposed path solution and with a maintenance and management regime.

    Midwest News has been speaking to two of the many people, members of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group - the chairman, Mayo County Council’s Martin Keating and Fr Charlie McDonnell of Westport.

    They have been explaining what’s planned and how work will proceed from here.

  • A decision by Mayo County Council on planning permission for a recovery facility for soil and stone waste contaminated by Japanese Knotweed in a disused quarry near Ballyhaunis has been delayed.

    Council planners are seeking further information from the Kerry based company which is involved in the proposal – the Japanese Knotweed Company with a business address in Klllorglin.

    Forty-one residents of the Drumbaun/Hazelhill area have objected to the proposal.

     At the moment, a major nationwide programme is underway to eradicate Japanese Knotweed, which can crack pavements and undermine buildings.

    The invasive species is now rampant in many counties. Local authorities have imposed strict controls on the cutting and disposal of the weed due to the high risk of it spreading.

    A decision on planning permission was due last week but now Mayo County Council has requested further information.

    One of the council’s concerns relates to possible contamination along the transport routes from infected sites to the recovery facility.

    The company is also being asked to submit details of existing facilities in the UK or Europe such as that proposed in Ballyhaunis.

    The council’s planning department has set a deadline of April 11 for the receipt of the information which it is seeking.

     

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    The Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance, spokesperson Breeda Murphy has described as positive the reaction of her group to yesterday’s apology by Mayo County Council to what happened under its watch to woman and children who were sent to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

    Mayo county council convened yesterday afternoon in a special session to look at the local authority’s responsibility in what happened to Mayo mothers and babies who were sent to the Bon Secour Mother and Baby Home in Tuam between the 1920s and 1960s.

    The 3000 page Commission of Investigation Report into Mother and Baby Homes was published last month and indicated that up to a third of the residents at the Tuam Home, over 40 years, were from Mayo.

    Elected councillors and council management all apologised to residents and agreed, post the pandemic, to attend a meeting with survivors of the home and their relatives and to listen to their experiences and stories, first hand.

    Breeda asked Mayo County Council to open up access to its administrative records over those years, when county councils were responsible for the County Boards of Health. She called on the local authority to employ an archivist to enhance that access.

    This lunchtime Breeda gave her reaction to yesterday’s special meeting to Midwest News

     

     

     

     

  • A meeting in relation to the new financial scheme for owners of houses damaged by pyrite has been postponed until next week.

    Mayo County Council is advising the public that the information meeting on the Pyrite and Mica Remediation Scheme, which was due to take place in Belmullet this Thursday evening, has now been re-arranged for Wednesday 12th February at the Belmullet Civic Centre from 3.30 to 4.30 pm.

    Details of the scheme were published by the Department of Housing last Friday, and this meeting will give owners of homes affected by pyrite damage to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

     

     

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    Mayo Co Co has confirmed that the R312 Belmullet to Castlebar road is open this morning but motorists are advised to drive with extreme care, as loose stone and debris have been washed onto the road following yesterday's flooding.

    Drivers are advised  to use an alternative route if possible, as debris may cause damage to vehicles and cause the road to be slippery.

     

  • Funding has been secured for remedial works to get underway on a notoriously dangerous S bend at Newell’s Cross, Aughamore.

    According to local Fianna Fail councillor John Caulfield the roads section of Mayo County Council are ready to begin work on this section of busy road.

    The councillor told Midwest News today its welcome news for businesses in the area and road users.

    He says works will get underway immediately on the development.

  • Residents along the N17 near Charlestown will have a more reliable water supply due to a programme of works which will commence next week.

    Irish Water, working with Mayo County Council is starting a programme of works to replace 700 metres of water main on the N17 Airport Road, near Charlestown.

    The works are expected to be completed by mid July and Irish Water says these works will reduce the number of bursts in the area, leading to a more reliable drinking water supply for local customers

    These works are being carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme.

    Dave Murphy, Regional Lead for the Leakage Reduction Programme says reducing these ageing water mains will not only reduce the high levels of leakage, but will also improve the reliability of water supplied to businesses and residents.

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    The search is continuing for a new permanent base for the Order of Malta in Castlebar.

    The organisation has been based at a headquarters on Pavilion Road since the late 1980’s but the building is subsiding, and is no longer insurable.

    The Order of Malta unit is currently based in a temporary location provided by St Vincent de Paul but is seeking a new home for its ambulances and up to 40 volunteers.

    Members recently addressed the Castlebar Municipal District of Mayo Co Co to appeal for their help in finding a new headquarters, but no progress has yet been made on the issue.

  • A section of the greenway that links Castlebar to Turlough is subsiding into the Castlebar river at present, but Mayo County Council Tourism Officer Anna O’Connor says work will get underway on restoring the path this week.

    Severe winter weather, with high water levels in the river impact on the greenway, and the local authority will use a bio engineering product “willow” to repair the damage.

    Mayo has 80 km in total of greenway, the largest 42 km section runs from Westport to Achill, there is also a greenway in Ballina, and another in the county town.

    Funding of 100,000 euro is allocated annually in Mayo county Council’s budget for Greenway Maintenance. This figure was described as inadequate by Achill based Fianna Fail councillor Paul McNamara at a recent Special policy committee on tourism.

    He says if the county is serious about being an international tourist location more funding needs to be invested in facilities and maintenance along our greenways.

    Ann O’Connor says the plan is to expand the greenways in the county. She says it generally takes 200km of a cycle route to attract international cyclists.

    Speaking to Midwest News today she said  that in addition to the funding for maintenance of the greenways, there is also a Green Patrol that assist in keeping the routes in good condition.

  • A serious assault occurred on a teenager in a county Mayo town over the Christmas period, and despite the incident having occurred directly under a public CCTV camera in the town, the camera was out of order. The camera had been reported as out of order weeks previously, but the Departments of Justice and the Environment were arguing between themselves as to who should pay for the call out, according to Westport based Independent Councillor Christy Hyland.

    He raised the matter at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council earlier this week, as he says that this matter needs to be urgently sorted – as to who is responsible for the maintenance / repair of cameras.

    Cllr Hyland says the local authority has a responsibility her as in any community application for a CCTV system the applicant must have the support of Mayo County Council.

  • Six former Mayo county councillors have received gratuity payments since the local elections last May.

    Some of the recipients chose not to contest the last local elections while other failed to secure a seat last May.

    The gratuity is paid on the councillor reaching the age of 50.

    Nationally councillors who bowed out at May's local elections are to receive retirement gratuities of at least 6 million euro in total. 17 of them will get at least 70-thousand euro each.

    Councillors who lost their seats in May, or chose not to contest the elections, are entitled to a lump sum based on their experience on the local authority.

    Most of these payments have been processed.

    28 of the 31 local authorities across Ireland have now released the details of the amounts to be paid, following freedom of information requests. They come to a total of just under 6 million euro.

    The figures have been released by Mayo County Council under a Freedom of Information request

    Former Independent Castlebar councillor Frank Durcan, who did not contest the local elections last May, received 34,000 euro in a gratuity paid out in July of this year.

    Ballina based former Independent cllr Gerry Ginty, who did not contest last May’s election, received just under 39,000 in July.

    Mulranny based former Independent cllr Michael Holmes, did not contest the May elections, he is to be paid 51,000 euro – which has not yet been claimed by him.

    Castlebar based former Fine Gael Cllr Henry Kenny, did not contest the election in May, in July he received just under 69,000 euro in gratuity.

    Westport based former FG cllr Tereasa McGuire  - who failed to secure a seat in May, in August received 29,000 euro in gratuity.

    While Erris based SF cllr Teresa Whelan, who failed to secure a seat in May, is to receive just under 10,000 euro, not yet claimed

     

  • Minister Eoghan Murphy has announced Social Housing figures delivered across the country, outlining individual figures per Local Authority.

    The figures show that progress is being made in Mayo as a result of a variety of solutions, being applied by Mayo County Council.

    The overall social housing target achieved is up by almost 20%, while the build, acquisition and leasing target is up by 12%.

    Overall the target for social housing delivery in 2018, under Rebuilding Ireland, was exceeded by 6% and the housing needs of over 27,103 households were met according to the figures.

    Simon Shevlin is the Head of Housing for Mayo County Council and told Midwest News that progress is being made.