Mayo News

  • A €100m Brexit compensation fund for beef farmers has been secured. 

    Agreement on a €50m support package from the European Commission was agreed yesterday. It is understood the deal will see the Irish Government match this with €50m of State funding, to bring the total fund for beef farmers to €100m.

    The details of the scheme will have to be worked out with the various farming organisations.

    The funding package is based on an IFA submission to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and Commissioner Hogan that detailed losses of €101m by beef farmers.

    Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin told Midwest News this morning that she received confirmation of the funding from Commissioner Phil Hogan last night.

  • A €31 million project has been approved for an ambitious four-year floating offshore wind project in Belmullet. Subject to consenting, it is planned that a full-scale floating wind turbine be deployed for testing off the west coast of Ireland at a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) test site near Belmullet, Co. Mayo, by 2022. The project is led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) working in partnership with SEAI, SAIPEM and other organisations in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK.

    Funding for the project has been secured from Interreg North West Europe to accelerate the uptake of floating offshore wind. The project will demonstrate the survivability and cost-competitiveness of a floating offshore wind technology. It will also support the development of an active supply chain in the region which has some of the strongest wind and ocean resources in the world. The project is known as AFLOWT (Accelerating market uptake of Floating Offshore Wind Technology) and is the first project of its kind at such scale to draw on expertise from right across Europe.

    The news has been welcomed by Mayo County Council, as a statement says today that the local authority has worked tirelessly alongside the SEAI over the past three years to ensure this project received the green light and funding.

    CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Hynes says the council is delighted with this project and it places Mayo at the heart of the renewable energy industry and offers huge opportunities for the development of supply chain and supporting industries to develop and flourish in the county,

  • A 13-year-old boy who had been missing in the Carrowmore-Lacken area since Friday has been found safe and well.

    Jake Bagnell went missing at around 9.30am on Friday morning.

    Gardai confirmed to Midwest News this morning that Jake has been found safe and well.

    They thanked the hundreds of local volunteers who have helped in the search since Friday and say without their assistance they may not have located Jake so quickly.

  • 37 thousand nurses have taken to the picket line for the third day today - in a row over pay and conditions, including over 100 at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar.

    A further 25 thousand medical appointments are cancelled and the HSE says it's getting harder to reschedule as the industrial action continues.

    The Government shows no sign of budging in the dispute.

    Both sides last met 10 days ago in the Labour Court, but it decided they were too far apart to intervene.

  • A 46-year-old man appeared in court this afternoon (Sunday) charged with the murder of his wife.

    James Kilroy, with an address at Kilbree Lower, Westport, Co. Mayo, was brought before Judge Fiona Lydon at a special sitting of Castlebar District Court.

    He has been in custody in connection with the death of his wife, Valerie French Kilroy, a 41-year-old mother of three.

    The accused showed no emotion during the brief five minute hearing.

    Detective Sergeant Michael Doherty, told today's hearing he arrested the accused at 11.45 this morning and at 12.45 he charged him with murder.

    In reply to the charge, after caution, Det Sgt Doherty outlined, the accused made no reply.

    Garda Inspector Denis Harrington applied for a remand in custody to Harristown (Castlerea Prison) court on Friday next (June 21).

    Gary Mulchrone, solicitor, said there were serious concerns about the mental health of the accused, concerns that had become apparent since his detention.

    Mr. Mulchrone said his client was in immediate need of medical attention and a psychiatric evaluation.

    Remanding the accused in custody, Judge Lydon recommended the medical attention sought by Mr. Mulchrone as well as an independent pyschiatric assessment in due course.

    Free legal aid was also granted on the application of Mr. Mulchrone.

    A small group of relatives, as well as Reverend Val Rogers, Westport based Church of Ireland Rector, were in court for the brief hearing.

    Rev Rogers spoke briefly to the accused before he was led away by detectives following the hearing.

    Kilroy stared forward impassively during the entire proceedings.

    He was dressed entirely in dark clothes which included a black hoodie type garment.

    The murder victim sustained fatal wounds in the attack.

    Her three children were in the house at the time but were unharmed.

    Arrangements have yet to be finalised for the funeral of Ms. Kilroy, a popular HSE employee.

  • Health services across the country will experience major disruption again this morning, as 37,000 nurses and midwives take to the picket line.

    A government offer of talks has been roundly rejected by their union, the INMO, as the discussions wouldn't address their pay claims.

    37,000 INMO nurses will walk off the job and onto the picket line for a second day from 8am over their dispute with the government on pay and staff shortages.

    A suggestion by Ministers Simon Harris and Paschal Donohue for talks on issues other than pay has been dismissed as "spin masquerading as substance" by the INMO. 

    Up to 50,000 people will be affected by the action.

    All outpatient appointments, surgeries and routine community nursing activities are cancelled.

    Local injury units, and nurse-led day centres for older people and those with disabilities are closed.

    The advice is to stay away from emergency departments. 

    The HSE's mental health services face disruption too, as the Psychiatric Nurses Association are extending an overtime ban tomorrow and Thursday in their own row over pay and working conditions.

    With unions and government entrenched in their views, it seems a breakthrough is a long way off.

    The Saolta University Health Care Group says today’s industrial action planned by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation will have a significant impact on patient services across all of their hospitals.

    The Saolta Group comprises of hospitals in this region including Mayo University Hospital.

    The industrial action is planned to take place at all public hospitals, healthcare facilities and community healthcare services from this morning 8am tomorrow morning.

    The Saolta Group say they are continuing to work with the INMO on arrangements for the day to ensure safe service provision; however scheduled services are cancelled.

    All Out Patient, Inpatient and Day Surgery appointments are cancelled and Roscommon University Hospital Injury Unit is also closed today.

    If a patient’s procedure is going ahead, the relevant hospital will be in contact directly with the patient to let them know.


  • The Achill Experience visitor attraction has been allocated €75,000 to fund a 60 square metre extension.

    The funding has been granted through the Dormant Accounts Fund in Minister Michael Ring’s Department.

    This investment will support the building of an extension to the front of the property which will contain a new enlarged entrance, retail space, rest area and cafe.

    Almost 70,000 visitors have enjoyed Achill Experince since it opened its doors in 2016.

    Minister Ring has been telling Midwest Radio that the aquarium and visitor centre is the feather in the cap of Achill.

  • The Achill Half Marathon and 10K attracts up to 1,200 participants annually. Keeping these runners hydrated required approximately 12,500 bottles of water at refreshment stations along the route. Keen to reduce the negative impact of large events on the environment, and the Achill Half Marathon committee teamed up with local secondary school, Colaiste Pobal Acla, for an alternative initiative to mark #climatestrike day. 

    The students competed in a 6k race, and rather than using single use plastic bottles, they were offered filtered water served in reusable cups

    With the help of, the reusable cups will be collected, steam cleaned and reused at other events around the country. Eliminating 12,500 plastic bottles from the Achill Half Marathon is just the start. The organisers hope that other events will follow suit and ultimately remove millions of bottles annually from such events.

    Earlier this year, the Achill Half Marathon was voted Ireland’s Most Scenic Route and the message from the students was that they want to do their utmost to look after it.

    This year’s race takes place on 6th July.


  • Achill Tourism is hosting its 4th Expo Achill this Easter Monday.

    The event is a showcase of all that Achill Island has to offer, from outdoor activities to the best in retail and design.

    There will also be a presence from the voluntary sector – the RNLI and Achill Island Coastguard.

    Everyone is welcome to attend the event and admission is free.

    The event takes place in Colaiste Acla in Dooega and runs from 12 noon to 4pm on Monday.

  • The Air Corps is en route to Ballycroy to deal with a gorse fire outbreak. That was confirmed by Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe, to Minister Michael Ring this afternoon.

    Minister Ring says he was notified by Cllr Gerry Coyle earlier today of a serious gorse fire in Ballycroy that required external assistance.

    Minister Ring spoke with Minister Kehoe and it has been confirmed that the Air Corps is en route to Ballycroy to deal with the fire and are due to arrive around 4.30pm. 


  • Almost €300,000 in LEADER Funding has been announced for five Mayo community projects.

    The largest amount has gone towards the Big Red Barn company based in Aghamore.

    €150,000 will go to expanding the existing factory to increase the manufacturing space by 10,000 square feet.

    €121,000 has been awarded to Next Generation Digital Hub, Claremorris to upgrade a recently purchased industrial unit to a digital hub that will provide much needed training and conference space in Claremorris.

    Westival 2019 which is an arts festival in Westport has received over €12,000 in funding towards markerting, online development, festival signage and volunteer training.

    €5,000 will go to a self-employment programme for women in Westport.

    The Daring way training in Westport has also received a little under €5,000 in funding.

  • An Bord Pleanala has sought further information from Mayo County Council in relation to the proposed construction of a new bridge at Glenisland, on the main Castlebar to Belmullet road.

    Funding of 500,000 euro was granted in 2015 for the construction of a new bridge at Mucknagh/Kilgarriff in Glenisland and realignment works. However An Bord Pleanala has sought additional information on a number of occasions, with the latest request arriving on January 18th.

    Erris based Fine Gael Cllr Gerry Coyle says if the situation wasn’t so serious it would be amusing.

    He says he cannot understand why the planning authority cannot see the urgency in completing this project, given the safety concerns on that road.

  • The man who penned 'The Fields of Athenry' will today walk in the footsteps of Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

    Singer songwriter Pete St. John will join the annual Afri famine walk in County Mayo - which was lead by Desmond Tutu during a visit to Ireland in 1991.

    The famine walk enters its fourth decade this afternoon and Pete St. John's climate change song 'Waltzing on Borrowed Time' will be performed as part of the opening celebrations.

    Walkers are asked to gather at Louisburgh at midday for registration before the walk begins.

  • Anyone hoping to spend a penney to use a public toilet in Ballina has a long wait.
    The Director of Services for MCC Tom Gilligan told councillors in the BMD area yesterday that a public toilet on a street in the town does not make economic sense, due to the cost of the facility and would not bring an extra tourist to Ballina.

    FG Cllr John O’Hara disagrees- and argued that it’s a basic facility for people doing their shopping in the town.

    He asked at least for signs to be erected at public buildings in the town indicating toilet facilities, if available.

    Afterwards Cllr O'Hara told Midwest News the response by the council is not good enough.

  • Architects are to be appointed next month to design the Keem Bay Discovery Point in Achill.

    The project was announced in 2014 as one of the major discovery points along the Wild Atlantic Way, but concerns have been expressed about the lack of progress since.

    At last month's meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District, Achill-based Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McNamara expressed frustration at the slow progress on the Keem Bay project, which he says will attract huge numbers of visitors to the island's blue flag beach.

    He asked for a full report on the project, and at this week's meeting of the authority, a presentation was given on the timescale and work involved.

    Environmental consultants will be appointed later this month, as the site is in a designated area, and architects will then be appointed next month.


  • The army bomb disposal unit were called to deal with a suspected viable explosive device on Dooagh beach in Achill last night.

    Gardaí were alerted when a walker spotted the suspicious device shortly after 9pm last night. The area was sealed off overnight by several units of the Achill coast guard until the bomb disposal unit arrived.

    The army bomb disposal unit from Athlone arrived on the scene at around 5am. this morning and removed the object from the beach.

    It has since been confirmed that the device was a marine flare. After being assessed it was removed for destruction.

  • Around 200 customers are without electricity this afternoon in the Achill area.

    According to ESB Powercheck, 202 customers are without power, due to a fault.

    Power is out since around 2.30pm today and the estimated restoration time is 6.15pm this evening.

  • Aurivo is at present accepting applications for the Aurivo Gaffney & Mulleady Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Scholarship programme.

    The scholarship programme is open to all students in Aurivo’s catchment area who are considering a level 7 or level 8 third level degree course in agriculture, food or nutrition this September.

    Both scholarships on offer are awarded to individuals who achieve academic excellence in their Leaving Certificate, in an effort to support them in developing careers in agri-related professions.

    The scholarship programme in existence for three years now, was founded in memory of two customers who died tragically in the company’s store in Longford in 2013.

    Friday, June 28th is the closing date for 2019 applications. 

  • A Ballina area councillor is calling on the developers of the Oweninny windfarm in north Mayo to provide funding for a new pedestrian crossing at Ardnaree in Ballina.

    The current pedestrian crossing in Ardnaree is not working, according to local FG Councillor John O'Hara who claims drivers are ignoring the flashing lights, and he fears a serious accident will occur unless the crossing is replaced with a push-button pedestrian crossing.

    Councillor O'Hara says that, with the Oweninny windfarm developers using this road four night per week from midnight, they should finance the pedestrian crossing as a community gesture.

  • Ballina - Final Tally

    Duffy Mark Non-Party 1938
    Gill Kieran - FIne Gael  722
    Horkan Aileen - Fine Gael 536
    Loftus Michael - Fianna Fail 1310
    Moore Eamon - Fianna Fail 1102
    Munnelly Jarlath - Fine Gael 946
    Nolan Willie - Non Party 368
    O'Hara John - Fine Gael 1929
    Reape Annie Mae Fianna Fail 1212
    Regan Michael Sinn Fein - 267
    Smith Tracey Social Democrats - 178
    Seamus Weir - Non-Party 1119