• There's some good news for residents in the Murrisk and Lecanvey areas, who have had to endure a poor water quality supply for a number of years.

    The issue was discussed at this week's meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District, where a Mayo County Council official said consultants will be appointed shortly to progress the project.

    Last September, former Minister Michael Ring announced that the Murrisk Water Supply would be included in the multi-annual Rural Water Programme, and would see a quality water supply being brought to about 350 houses in the area.

    Currently, signs at the base of Croagh Patrick alert visitors to the fact that the water is not fit for human consumption, while local residents have had to endure poor water quality for years.

    Westport-based Independent Councillor Christy Hyland told Midwest News that the scheme is progressing, but it could still be two years before it's completed.

  • Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group Members have decided to proceed with a mountain path on Croagh Patrick, to help to preserve the mountain into the future.

    It follows and evaluation process of the trial path work undertaken on Croagh Patrick in recent weeks. The work was done by Scottish mountain path specialist’s contractor Mr. Matt McConway of Upland Access Ltd over a period of two weeks. The trial section of stone pitching is two metres wide, consisting of irregular steps and platforms, using only stone and material from the mountain. Work took place in two locations, along the traditional summit path and at a lower level near the access gate to the mountain.   

    The objective of the trial path work 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. The path work was evaluated against Helping the Hills (the Guiding Principles for Upland Path work produced by Mountaineering Ireland) and included the assessing the quality of path work construction technique; landscape impact and environmental impact. It also provided an insight into the value of progressing the implementation of the project with strong emphasis on training and voluntary inputs, building the capacity locally to repair and long-term care for the mountain.

    The result of the evaluation process is that The Stakeholder Group is confident to proceed with the proposed path solution together with a maintenance and management regime.

    The Stakeholder Group has acknowledged with gratitude the assistance of the Mountain Shareholders; Murrisk Development Association; GMIT Mayo Campus; South West Mayo Development staff and RSS workers; Mountaineering Ireland; Mayo Mountain Rescue and all other volunteers who assisted with the physical creation of the path work.

    The next steps for the project are to obtain planning approval through Part 8 procedure in partnership with Mayo County Council and then proceed to implementation.

    Midwest News will have a special feature on this latest development on our local news next week.

  • Organisers of the annual Reek Sunday climb of Croagh Patrick have appealed to people to stay away next Sunday, due to coronavirus.

    The pilgrimage traditionally takes place on the last Sunday of July each year, and attracted some 25,000 pilgrims during last year's climb.

    It was confirmed in May that this year's pilgrimage would be cancelled, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

    However, concerns were expressed about the large numbers of people arriving in Murrisk to climb the Reek last weekend, parking in the local carpark and lining the public road close to Croagh Patrick.

    Superintendent Joe Doherty is appealing to the public to abide by Covid-19 restrictions, and not to travel to Murrisk on Sunday as this year's pilgrimage has been cancelled.

    Speaking to Midwest News, Superintendent Doherty said the car parks will be closed, and any cars found to be parked illegally will be towed, and a fee applied.

    He said there will be a Garda presence in the area this Sunday on traffic duty, and he's asking for co-operation from the public.

  • Up to 350 households in the Murrisk area are to benefit from an announcement this week by government that the Murrisk water supply scheme is to be included in the multi annual Rural Water Programme. That was confirmed this morning by the Minister for Rural and Community Developent, local deputy Michael Ring

    It means monies have now been granted by government to provide the area with an acceptable water supply. Mayo county council and Irish Water will be responsible for delivering the new water scheme.

    There has been a long running campaign in the area for a better public water supply in Murrisk, an area that attracts thousands of visitors each year to climb and visit Croagh Patrick.

    There are infamous signs at the base of Croagh Patrick that read the water is not fit for human consumption.

    Speaking to Midwest News this morning Minister Ring acknowledged that a new water supply for Murrisk has been long awaited, adding that he is delighted as a government Minister to see the new scheme delivered.

  • The need for a new public water supply for the villages of Murrisk, Lecanvey and Kilsallagh and the town of Louisburg was discussed at a public meeting in Lecanvey last night.

    Local residents and businesses are currently depending on water from Croagh Patrick streams, and the water is then treated locally for washing and other purposes, while many are buying bottled water for drinking.

    Concerns emerged again recently after a child was hospitalised after drinking water sourced from the streams around Croagh Patrick.

    Last night, the possibility of closing access to beaches on the southern shores of Clew Bay was discussed, alongside a previous threat by landowners to close access to Croagh Patrick.

    A local campaign is calling for an extension of the Lough Mask public water supply from Westport to Louisburg, however, this is not currently in Irish Water’s capital investment plan.

    While local residents say they’re not interested in a group water scheme, that is the only option currently on the table, according to Mayo County Council.


  • A Mayo TD is calling on Irish Water to amend its Capital Plan to include a new public water supply scheme from Westport to Louisburg.

    The matter was discussed at a well-attended public meeting in Lecanvey last night, where residents pledged their support for whatever action is needed to secure a safe public water supply for the villages of Murrisk, Lecanvey and Kilsallagh and the town of Louisburg.

    Residents in these areas are currently depending on water from Croagh Patrick streams, which is then treated locally, while many are buying bottled water for drinking.

    The issue has been ongoing for a number of years, particularly as Murrisk is a national pilgrimage site with hundreds of thousands of people coming to the area to climb Croagh Patrick every year.

    Landowners are now threatening to block access to Croagh Patrick unless a new public water scheme is put in place, while the possibility of closing access to beaches on the southern shores of Clew Bay was also discussed at last night’s meeting.

    A committee is being set up to campaign for a public water supply for the area stretching from Westport to Louisburg, but Irish Water says such a scheme is not on the current Capital Investment Plan.

    Mayo County Council says it’s willing to work with the local communities in setting up a Group Water Scheme in the area, but the majority of local residents insist a public scheme is the way forward and last night’s meeting heard that they will support whatever action is needed to secure such a supply.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chamber attended last night’s public meeting in Lecanvey.

    She intends to raise the matter in the Dáil, and is calling on Irish Water to amend its capital investment plan to include a new public water scheme from Westport to Louisburg….

  • A protest is taking place at Croagh Patrick today as the Reek Sunday pilgrimage takes place.

    Members of the local community in Murrisk are protesting in relation to the situation regarding drinking water in the area.

    There are signs erected on Croagh Patrick advising pilgrims not to drink the water as there have been concerns over the quality for a substantial period of time.

    On Friday Minister Michael Ring organised a meeting between Irish Water, Mayo County Council and representatives from Louisburgh and Murrisk.

    At that meeting Irish Water confirmed a commitment to bring a water supply to both areas.


    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has received a commitment from Irish Water that the utility will provide a water supply to Louisburgh and Murrisk.

    Minister Ring received that commitment from Irish Water at a meeting this week, where Irish Water, Mayo County Council and representatives from Murrsk and Louisburgh were in attendance.

    He says that he would like to see the Lough Mask to Westport scheme extended out to serve both areas but the final details of how the water will be brought out will have to be ironed out.

    He says Murrisk will also have to set up a new group water scheme, while one is in place in Louisburgh.

  • A public meeting will be held in Lecanvey next Monday evening, amid threats from local landowners in Murrisk to close access to the commonage at Croagh Patrick this Summer, in a protest over water quality.

    Thousands of pilgrims climb the Reek each year – including over 20,000 on Reek Sunday at the end of July.

    It’s now emerged that a young child from Murrisk was recently admitted to Mayo University Hospital where she was diagnosed with e-coli and cryptosporidium.

    The incident has served to highlight the seriousness of the water problem in the area, according to Chris Grady, Chairman of Murrisk Development Association.

    Mr Grady has confirmed that “people with commonage rights have suggested blocking the pathway” to highlight the fact that the area is relying on water coming from streams on the mountain.

    Mayo County Council has erected signs in the carpark at the base of Croagh Patrick advising that the water is not fit for human consumption.

    Westport-based Independent Councillor Christy Hyland has highlighted the issue at a number of council meetings, and says it’s a disgrace that the water is unfit for purpose at a national pilgrimage site.

    A public meeting will be held at 8pm next Monday night to discuss the issue and decide on what action to take.

    Mayo County Council wants the Murrisk community to set up its own group water scheme, while the local community wants the public water system to be extended from Westport.

  • The need for a new public water supply for the villages of Murrisk , Lecanvey and Kilsallagh and the town of Louisburgh will be highlighted at a public meeting this evening (Monday).

    Despite one million visitors to Croagh Patrick each year, local residents and businesses are depending on water from mountain streams, which is treated locally.

    However, concerns have emerged after one local child was hospitalised recently after drinking water sourced from the streams around Croagh Patrick.

    It emerged recently that commonage landowners may block access to the holy mountain this Summer due the current impasse between local communities and Mayo County Council / Irish Water over the provision of a safe water supply to the area.

    But this is just one of the options available, according to the Vice-Chairman of the Murrisk Development Association.

    Raoul Downey says it’s important that locals attend this evening’s meeting at 8pm in Lecanvey Community Centre, to decide on a way forward for this campaign.

  • Communities in Murrisk and in Newport received welcome news yesterday evening as Mayo county council officials outlined the progress being made on two long awaited projects in west Mayo – a water supply for Murrisk and a new sewerage facility for Newport.

    Details were outlined to local councillors at the monthly meeting of West Mayo Municipal District yesterday.

    There was a real Christmas atmosphere at yesterday’s meeting of West Mayo as cllrs received positive news on  a number of major projects for the area - all long awaited, and continuously raised at municipal district meetings throughout the last number of years.

    In the case of the Murrisk/ Croagh Patrick area- where the lack of any adequate public water supply has been highlighted, with signs at Croagh Patrick advising the thousands of visitors that arrive each year to climb the holy mountain stating that the water is not fit for human consumption – and in addition of course, residents of Murrisk are living daily without a water supply that they can rely on.

    Council officials explained that progress is now being made on forming a group water committee in Murrisk and when in place – the authority is hopeful that funding will be secured in the next funding tranche that runs from 2019 to 2021 to get a new water supply in place.

    Local independent cllr Christy Hyland told Midwest News today that while the project is not over the line yet, it is very welcome news that it now looks set to be delivered by 2021.

    There was also news for Newport and the long sought after new sewerage facility needed to deal with waste water / sewerage flowing into Newport bay. Officials confirmed that a feasibility study is being put in place for a new plant and gain expressed confidence that funding for the plant will be secured, with its construction underway by 2023.

    There was also some news at yesterday’s meeting on an issue that is of ongoing concern in Westport and that’s the flooding at Carrowholly and the need for flood relief works. Environmental issues have long stalled progress on this work that is on the agenda now for five  years. Council officials told cllrs that agreement has now been reached between the OPW and Mayo county council and 818,000 euro is in place to carry out a range of works that should address the problems. The local authority intends to seek a Part 8 planning for the works, to come before cllrs early next year.

  • A Westport Councillor has called on the CEO of Mayo County Council to ensure that the local authority submits an application for part of the €23m announced recently for the Water Services Investment Programme, so that work can begin on the Westport/Louisburgh Water Scheme.

    A notice has been in place for some time now on Croagh Patrick to advise people that the water is not fit for consumption.

    Local Independent Cllr Christy Hyland asked the CEO to ensure funding is sought to get the scheme in this area up and running.

    The CEO assured him that funding would be sought for the programme.