Mayo News

  • The man who died in yesterday evening’s road collision near Mulranny has been named.

    Padraig Doherty of Geata, Mulranny, who was in his 60s died in the single vehicle collision on the N59 between Mulranny and Ballycroy yesterday evening.

    A 12-year old boy who was a passenger in the car sustained minor injuries and was also brought to Mayo University Hospital.

    Westport Gardai are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them on 098-50237.


  • A man who was found dead on the side of the road yesterday evening at Kinaffe, Swinford has been named as John McCallion.

    48-year-old Mr McCallion was a serving Garda and was a brother of Garda Robert McCallion, who died tragically while on duty in Donegal a number of years ago.

    Mr McCallion was understood to have been out cycling when he died suddenly.

    Emergency services attended the scene at about 7pm, and his body was removed to Mayo University Hospital for post-mortem examination.

    Funeral arrangements for Mr McCallion have been confirmed this afternoon. His remains will repose at Campbell’s Funeral Home, Swinford on Monday from 3-8pm. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday in Kilconduff Cemetery following 12 noon Funeral Mass in the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians Swinford.

  • Many parts of the region are without electricity today following high winds and lightning strikes overnight.

    Around 700 homes and businesses are without electricity in the Crossmolina area, with another 200 out in the Bangor Erris region.

    Around 400 are without power in the Killala area, while around 600 are without electricity in the Ballina/Ardnaree/Bonniconlon areas and almost 200 homes are out in Knockmore.

    In Swinford about 1000 electricity customers are out, with over 100 in Achill and around 350 in Enniscrone.

    ESB Powercheck says estimated restoration times at present are at around 8pm this evening. 


  • A Co. Mayo born soldier killed by a landmine explosion in Lebanon thirty years ago was honoured in his hometown of Ballinrobe today.

    Hundreds, including family members and other relatives, gathered for the unveiling of a memorial – a handsome stone bench – to Corporal Fintan Heneghan.

    On March 21, 1989, Corporal  Heneghan died alongside Private Mannix Armstrong and Private Thomas Walsh in a landmine explosion while they were patrolling in South Lebanon.

    All three were members 64th Infantry Battalion of the United Nations’ Interim Force (UNIFIL).

    The impressive memorial bench, situated at Cornmarket, was designed by members of Mayo County Council’s architect’s section.

    Speakers at today’s ceremony included Fianna Fail TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers, Councillor Blackie Gavin, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Councillor Damian Ryan (FF), Councillor John Cribben, cathaoirleach of Claremorris Municipal District and Liam Hanrahan, Director of Services for Claremorris Municipal District.

    Padraig Flanagan, senior executive officer with Mayo County Council, was master of ceremonies.

    Enda Heneghan, a brother of the late Corporal Heneghan, spoke of his family’s gratitude that the memorial had been erected. He expressed special thanks to Martin Feeney from Ballinrobe for his role in having the bench erected close to the Heneghan family home.

    Members of the Defence Forces, past and present, were represented at the early afternoon ceremony.

    Corporal Heneghan was a son of Jack Heneghan, a member and former cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, and his wife, Ellen. Both parents are now deceased.

    Apart from Enda, Corporal Heneghan’s siblings – Grace and Anne represented the family at the unveiling ceremony.

    Fr. Michael Gormally brought the ceremony to an end when he recited prayers and sprinkled the memorial bench with holy water.

    The explosive device which killed Corporal Heneghan and his two colleagues could have been detected in advance, according to a recent review commissioned some years ago by the then Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.

    The independent report concluded that the three soldiers should not have been sent down the track on which they lost their lives without the area first being cleared of landmines and other improvised explosives.

    Following the publication of the report, Minister Shatter and the then Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces issued a “wholehearted” apology to the families of the three dead men.

  • Mayo business Velvet Cloud featured at Bord Bia’s Bloom business breakfast, attended by 250 trade buyers this week.

    The Claremorris based company provides artisan dairy products made from sheep’s milk and is launching this season’s Rockfield sheep’s cheese at Bloom 2019.

    The buyers included representatives from leading retailers, food service organisations, hotel groups, specialist retailers, distributors and airlines interested in sourcing the best of Irish products such as Harrods and British Airways Lounges from the UK.

    Among the Irish buyers were some of Irish largest retailers such as Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Lidl & Aldi.

  • A Mayo Councillor has asked how patients can be discharged from hospital during the night when the consultant - who makes the ultimate decision to discharge a patient - may be at home in their bed.

    The issue was raised at the monthly meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, when Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne asked for clarification on who ultimately makes the decision to discharge a patient.

    He was informed by HSE management that the decision is made by a consultant.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says it's unfair that patients, who often live alone, are sent home from hospital in the middle of the night.

    He also claims patients are often moved to district hospitals without prior consultation with their families.

  • Mayo County Council can confirm that crews were out across the county last night as a result of damage caused by wind. A number of trees were reported down which have now been cleared. Crews are out this morning to continue any clear up required.


  • Mayo County Council says it is fully supportive of a project which will involve the laying of a fibre optic cable in Clew Bay.

    The local authority’s Head of Marine Michael O’Boyle was speaking after concerns were voiced by the Clare Island Fishermen’s Group at a public meeting this month and also on Midwest News earlier this week.

    Their spokesperson George O’Malley said it is proposed to lay the cable in a free floating unanchored way, on a 25-30km, stretch of seabed north of Clare Island and west of Achill and it is proposed to hold responsible any vessel which snags this cable, which the group says effectively creates a serious hazard at sea.

    The group is also concerned about where the cable is due to make landfall – close to the harbour at Old Head. They say it would cause serious issues and danger for the passenger ferries at that location and are also concerned about the impact on the future development of Old Head as a possible deep sea port.

    In a statement to Midwest News in response yesterday, Aqua Comms, the company seeking the foreshore licence for the project said: there are over one million miles of subsea cable laid across the world and they are a simple and safe technology that facilitate our phone, TV and internet communications.

    There are currently 20 cables landing in Ireland and they do not represent either an obstruction or a hazard.  

    They said the concerns raised are all perfectly understandable, but they are confident that theycan address each and every one.


    • The narrow 4-centimetre wide cable will be buried two meters below the seabed. 


    • It has a reinforced protective steel coating, weighs 4 kg per metre and cannot float.


    • For a small portion of rocky outcrop the cable will be fixed firmly to the seabed, by virtue of its weight and the tension applied.


    • The cable is too heavy and strong to be lifted by a fishing boat but if damaged, it automatically switches off.


    They also say that they have had a positive engagement with the local ferry operator and from our engagement with the Council we are confident that the cable will not hamper any future development of Old Head.

    Michael O’Boyle has echoed those sentiments and said the council is very excited about the arrival of this second cable on our coastline. He says the technology is safe and is environmentally benign.

    He told Midwest News today that the local authority is extremely confident about the safety of this cable.


  • Mayo County Council has signed up to a partnership with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.

    At a ceremony during the Mayo Day event at Turlough House in Castlebar, then Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Blackie Gavin and Chief Executive Peter Hynes signed a framework agreement with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to formalise Mayo County Council’s long-term commitment to support pollinators in the county.

    The plan is a cross-sector initiative, led by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, with local authorities, farmers, businesses, schools and local communities to support pollinators such as bees. Ireland depends on pollinating insects to pollinate our crops, fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately many of our pollinators are now threatened with extinction.

    Parks Superintendent with Mayo County Council Peter Gill told Midwest News that the plan is a progressive and necessary one. 

  • Abandoned vehicles parked on council property in local authority estates, windows in homes and cars being broken, and general anti social behavior is not acceptable and need to be immediately dealt with my Mayo county council. That’s the view of the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne.

    The matter was discussed at the monthly meeting of Castlebar Municipal District earlier this week.

    Michael Kilcoyne said the anti social behavior is not confined to local authority estates, but he argued that where Mayo County Council is the landlord / owner of a housing estate it must act to stamp out such behavior.

    He says the conditions and standards of estates are deteriorating in some cases, and the local authority is not taking tenants to task he says for unacceptable behavior.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Al McDonnell said he took exception to the Cathaoirleach , Michael Kilcoyne, in any way blaming Mayo County Council for any anti social behavior by its tenants. He said it is up to every individual to take responsibility for their own actions and he said if criminal damage is caused or anti social behaviour is spilling on to the streets of estates than the Gardai should be called.

  • Mayo County Council was delighted to present the Grand Marshal of the New York City St Patrick’s Day parade, Brian O’Dwyer, with an iconic Foxford Woollen Mills Michael Collins Rug at a function in New York on Friday March 15th.

    Brian O’Dwyer became the third member of his family to lead the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York, following in the footsteps of his father, City Council President Paul O’Dwyer, who led the parade in 1974, and his uncle William O’Dwyer, the 100th Mayor of New York City, who was Grand Marshal in 1938.

    Mr O’Dwyer’s father and uncle were natives of Bohola, Co. Mayo and the Attorney & Immigration Activist has retained his strong Mayo ties over the years.

    In early 1922, Foxford Woollen Mills presented a specially commissioned Travel Blanket to General Michael Collins to mark his appointment to Commander-in-Chief of the newly established Irish Army. The rug was in his armoured car at the ambush at Béal Na Bláth in August 1922 and was used to wrap the body for transportation to Cork. It was recovered at Shanakiel Hospital by Nurse Nora O'Donaghue and later donated to the National Museum.

    Foxford Woollen Mills have reproduced the blanket in conjunction with the Michael Collins House, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, and to mark the occasion of leading the New York parade, Mayo County Council presented Brian O’Dwyer with the commemorative rug.

  • Mayo County Council has published a draft policy on roadside memorials erected in close proximity to locations where fatal collisions have occurred.

    The proposed policy will be put before the elected members of Mayo County Council for their consideration and adoption.

    Tom Gilligan, Director of Services, told a meeting of the Roads and Transportation Special Policy Committee (SPC) yesterday that the proposed policy, in general, will not affect existing memorials erected by members of the public.

    However, Mr. Gilligan added, should an existing memorial become damaged or in need of replacement, the replacement memorial must comply with the policy. Members of the family of 21-year-old Joe Deacy, who died in August 2017 after being found unconscious at Gortnasillagh, Swinford, were present as observers at yesterday’s SPC meeting.

    The family group included Joe Deacy’s father, Adrian. The Deacys have previously expressed disappointment over the council’s actions in removing two roadside memorials erected to their loved one and say they were given no notice they were to be dismantled.

    Mr. Gilligan expressed his deepest sympathy on behalf of management of the council with the Deacy family on their tragic loss.

    He emphasised that Mayo County Council recognises and respects the wish of the bereaved to mark roadside deaths by way of erecting a roadside memorial but added that the council is also charged with the duty of keeping the public highway safe for all road users.

    In relation to the Joe Deacy memorials, Mr. Gilligan said, said there had been a number of complaints from members of the public that the memorials were “a visual distraction” and a hazard to road users.

    Mr. Gilligan said it must be recognised that all roadside memorials have the potential to become a road user hazard and, accordingly, a site-specific risk assessment will be required to be carried out at all proposed locations.

    The draft policy debars the erection of large permanent physical structures (such as monuments and shrines) along a carriageway and shall be removed on safety grounds.

    Following yesterday’s SPC session a private meeting, which was facilitated by Councillor Brendan Mulroy, Cathaoirleach of the Roads and Transportation SPC, took place between the Deacy family representatives and members of the county council executive.


  • Mayo County Council is requesting the Road Safety Authority to standardise a breathalyer test that could be bought in any shop or pharmacy.

    FG Councillor Jarlath Munnelly proposed the motion at this week's monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, and it was unanimously supported.

    He believes that, if a consumer could have confidence in an over-the-counter breathalyser kit, marked with the RSA logo, then it would assist drivers - particularly the morning after a night out.

  • Mayo County Council will be introducing several ‘greening’ elements to this year’s Mayo Day event at the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, in Turlough House on Saturday May 4th.

    ‘The Mayo Word’ is a fun, free, family event which is celebrating the fifth annual Mayo Day running from 12 noon until 6pm.

    A number of initiatives will be taking place to ensure the day runs smoothly and ‘Green’ for the benefit of those attending and our environment.

    A free shuttle bus service will run between Castlebar Library and Turlough Village from 11.30am to 6.30pm on Mayo Day. 

    As parking in Turlough Village is extremely limited, visitors to the Mayo Word are strongly encouraged to park in any of the public car parks around Castlebar Library and use this free service. 

    The service, which is being organised in conjunction with Local Link Mayo, will be fully wheelchair accessible.  Wheelchair users are advised to pre-book before Saturday, May 4th by calling 094 904 7571 or 094 904 7642.

    Attendees are also encouraged to use the Greenway, which runs from Castlebar town center to Turlough House, as a means of getting to the venue.

    On the day the council is encouraging all visitors to go plastic free by choosing tap water over bottled water. Refill Ireland will be present on the day with their Mobile Hydration Stations providing easy access to drinking water on the day.

    The first 60 people who arrive at the Mayo Day Event using the Greenway will be rewarded with a free reusable drink bottle made from natural biodegradable materials. Everyone attending on the day is reminded to bring their own drink bottle to the event so that they can refill on the day.

    The local authority will also be greening the event by providing highly visible festival bins throughout the park for visitors to easily recycle on the day. They will also be providing bins for food waste & compostable packaging on the day and our team of ‘Green Your Festival’ volunteers will be available on the day to offer advice. 

    Younger visitors on the day will also be able to take part in some creative green themed workshops.  To learn more about the environment and climate change, pop into the Neighbourhood tent.

    To further reduce the environmental impact of the event Mayo County Council will be using their electric vans to transport materials and from the site in the run up to the event. These vans will be on display at Mayo Day.

  • Mayo County Council’s Climate Action Department this week launched their Public Consultation Process for its draft Climate Adaptation Strategy – Climate Ready Mayo.

    The draft policy was launched in Bridge Street, Castlebar last Wednesday by Director of Services John Condon and Climate Action Officer Laura Dixon.

    Speaking at the event John Condon spoke of the importance of Mayo County Council taking action on Climate Change.

    The Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy sets out how Mayo County Council will lead the journey to a Climate Ready Mayo and work to reduce our exposure to climate risks and capture new opportunities.

    The Mayo County Council Draft Climate Adaption Strategy, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report and Appropriate Assessment (AA) Screening Report are available for inspection during normal office opening hours at the Municipal offices in Swinford, Ballina, Westport, Ballinrobe and Belmullet, at Aras an Chontae in Castlebar and all Mayo County Council Libraries until Wednesday, July 3, between the hours of 9:30am to 4.30 pm.

    It can also be read online at where members of the public can also submit their ideas before the closing date on July 3.

    A number of information evenings will also be taking place across the county where members of the public can ask questions and give their observations.

    These information sessions take place in Cúram, Dalton St, Claremorris and the Ballina Family Resource Centre on Thursday, June 6. On Tuesday, June 11, in Aras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet. The Regional Training Centre, The Mall, Castlebar on Wednesday, June 12 and Westport Town Hall on Thursday, June 13. All information sessions take place between 7 – 8pm.




  • A number of Mayo establishments were awarded with Irish Hospitality Awards at a ceremony in Dublin on Monday night.

    Over 300 people gathered at the ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel.

    The winners are chosen by the public and are a reflection of the hard work, quality and customer services that is offered in the hospitality sector.

    Two Mayo pubs received overall national accolades – Tolsters Bar in Castlebar was named the Best Sports Bar, while Guiry’s Anglers Bar in Foxford was named Best Bar.

    Galway International Arts Festival was crowned Best Irish Festival, while Galway Racecourse was named Sports Venue of the Year.

    In the regional awards, The Irish House in Castlebar was named Pub/Inn of the Year West, while Flannery’s Bistro in Ballinrobe was awarded with Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year West.

    Mayo owned Salamanca Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Dublin was named the overall Restaurant of the Year.  


  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has responded to plans to introduce new arrangements for the border and to impose tariffs on products being exported from the Republic to the UK.

    Deputy Lisa Chambers says the plan will have massive ramifications on the Republic’s Agri-food sector if allowed to be introduced. She says she has been contacted by members of the farming community in Mayo who have grave concerns with proposed tariffs.

    Deputy Chambers says given the prominence of the Agri-sector in the west of Ireland, we are especially vulnerable to these proposed tariffs.

    She has called on the Government to publish without delay, the likely impact of these new tariffs and put a plan in place to protect farmers in Co Mayo.

  • Officers of Mayo IFA and IFAC Accountants met with representatives of the Mayo Motor Tax Office in Castlebar last week to try and get some clarification of the registration of commercial vehicles for agricultural use.

    The delegation included Chairman of Mayo IFA Martin Gilvarry, Roy O’Brien of the IFA Regional Executive and Martin Clarke from IFAC Accountants in Balla.

    Following discussions agreement was reached on the text covering the registration of such vehicles.

    A farmer and herd owner for bovine and/or sheep, you may submit documentary evidence from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine showing your name, address and herd number. The document must be less than 2 years old.

    Sheep farmers must submit proof of payment from the Department for a minimum flock size of 20 sheep.

    Alternatively proof of payment from the Department under the Basic Payment Scheme, Areas of Natural Constraint, GLAS or Organic Farming Scheme will suffice.

  • A Mayo man is looking forward to running his 40th KBC Bank Dublin Marathon next October.

    Michael Carolan, a native of Crossmolina who lives in Kilmacud, Dublin is one of just 13 people who have ran every Dublin Marathon since its inception in 1980, and hopes to run again this year in the 40th anniversary event.

    22,500 people will take part in the marathon on Sunday 27th October.

    The 134 runners who have taken part in all 39 marathons were welcomed to an event in Dublin's Mansion House yesterday to mark their achievements.

    Crossmolina native Michael Carolan said he never imagined when starting out in 1980 that he would still be running the KBC Bank Dublin City Marathon.

  • A Mayo Senator is calling for an investigation into the prices being paid by meat factories to farmers for beef. Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh has called for an investigation into whether or not a cartel is in operation by a small number of factories.

    She raised the matter at the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture earlier this week.

     Representatives of three farming organisations were present – the IFA, the ICMSA and the INHFA.

    The Senator believes that the low prices being paid by factories to farmers at present means that many farmers in this region can no longer afford to continue in beef production.