• The Bishop of Galway has called for an end to the current system of direct provision.

    In a statement from the Catholic Communications Office Bishop Brendan Kelly said the Direct Provision system strips people of their independence, their cultural identity, and their dignity and has lasting traumatic impact on residents.

    He went on to say that the direct provision model is not fit for purpose as it prevents people from integrating and it contributes towards the deepening of ignorance, resentment and suspicion. 

    The Galway Bishop questioned the level of transparency in the management of, and in the quality of the operation of Direct Provision centres. 

    Bishop Kelly says the State has fallen short by inadequately preparing local communities to effectively plan for asylum seekers, highlighting a lack of consultation, ineffective communication and information-sharing, and an absence of required social infrastructure and resources in health and education. 

    The Galway Bishop called on the Department of Justice to inform communities at the earliest opportunity about proposed Direct Provision centres.

    He affirmed to all in the Diocese of Galway that human dignity does not depend on the colour of a person’s skin, their nationality, accent, or their religious affiliation.

    Finally he urged the faithful to open the doors of their hearts, homes, parishes and communities to asylum seekers.

  • Campaigners are continuing a '24-hour' presence outside a proposed Direct Provision Centre in Oughterard in County Galway.

    It's after 3,000 people joined a silent protest yesterday at a former hotel outside the town. 

    Local Independent Councillor Thomas Welby says the protest is not about racism.

    He says it's a planning issue - and the community is determined to be heard.


  • Gardai are appealing for witnesses after a 16 year-old girl was killed in a crash in County Galway.

    It happened when a car struck a wall in Porridgetown, Oughterard at around 1.15am yesterday morning.

    The teenager who was a passenger in the car died at the scene.

    The 21 year-old driver of the car, a man, has been seriously injured.

    He's being treated in University Hospital Galway, for non life threatening injuries.

  • The Justice Minister says nobody is forced into direct provision.

    Minister Charlie Flanagan was responding to criticism about his Department's handling of plans for a direct provision centre in Oughterard, Co. Galway.

    The developer of the hotel, which was to be used as a direct provision centre, withdrew from the process yesterday.

    Minister Charlie Flanagan says entering the system is voluntary:

  • Hundreds of people attended a public protest meeting in Oughterard, Co Galway, last night and vowed to fight any plans to provide a direct provision centre in their community.

    All expressed anger at the lack of consultation and information which they say is fuelling rumours in recent weeks concerning refurbishment works at the Connemara Gateway Hotel in Oughterard, which has been closed for a number of years.

    According to today’s Irish Times,Cllr Tom Welby chaired the meeting on behalf of an ad hoc Facebook group which is campaigning to stop any plans to accommodate asylum seekers in Oughterard.

    The councillor said neither he or any of the public representatives in attendance at the meeting, including Minister of State Seán Kyne and TDs Catherine Connolly and Noel Grealish, had knowledge of any plans for the future of the building.

    However, Minister Kyne told the meeting there was a tender process ongoing in the west to find locations for new asylum seeker centres but that this was under the remit of the Department of Justice and neither he nor his colleagues were privy to information about any applications.

    He was booed and heckled when he reminded those assembled that Ireland was obliged under EU and United Nations laws to accept and process anyone who could prove they had fled persecution and injustices in their own country.

    Many of the speakers accused the Government of ignoring rural towns such as theirs which had only one doctor for a population of 1,600, full to capacity schools, an intercom instead of a Garda station and a social housing waiting list with no sign of any new schemes being built.

  • A manslaughter trial has heard evidence from a woman about how she discovered her father's body at his bar in Oughterard County Galway.

    Gillian Kenny said that she and her mother found the body of John Kenny in the ladies toilets at the bar.

    The trial heard he was lying face down, with his hands tied behind his back, and had been subjected to a serious assault.

    24 year-old Marian Lingurar Junior - with an address at Blackpool in Co Cork - has pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing of Mr Kenny in September 2011.


  • Magheracloone 0-12Oughterard 2-16

  • Claregalway Hotel Intermediate Football Championship replay

    Clg Mícheál Breathnach  1-16      0-19      Oughterard        Oughterard win on penalty shootout


    Claregalway Hotel Senior Football Relegation Group        

    Killererin           1-14      2-9       Naomh Anna, Leitir Móir


    Junior A Football Championship  

    Corofin  2-11      1-9       Killannin           

  • Plans for a Direct Provision centre in Oughterard in Co Galway have been shelved.

    The controversial plan will not now go ahead after the applicant withdrew from the tender process.

    Locals have been staging a round-the-clock protest outside the former Connemara Gateway Hotel for the last 3 weeks in opposition to the decision to base up to 250 asylum seekers in the premises.

    However, the applicant has now withdrawn the tender, claiming there was a lack of support from the Department of Justice.


    Those involved in demonstrations in Oughterard have welcomed the decision to abandon plans for a Direct Provision centre, and say the system for accommodating refugees and asylum seekers needs to be reformed.




    Speaking at Mass in Oughterard on Sunday, the Bishop of Galway Brendan Kelly also called for an end to the current system of direct provision, which he said "strips people of their independence, their cultural identity and their dignity and has a lasting traumatic impact on residents".

    Bishop Kelly said the current system is not fit for purpose, and prevents people from integrating, while he said the State has fallen far short by inadequately preparing local community to effectively plan for the new arrivals.







  • Protestors in Oughterard, Co. Galway are defending their demonstration about a possible Direct Provision centre in the town.


    A 24 hour protest is continuing at the proposed site of a former hotel.


    Earlier this week, the Minister for Justice appealed to protestors to 'step back' and await the result of an evaluation process.


    Protestors have rejected claims their actions are racist.


    A silent peaceful demonstration is also due to take place in Oughterard at 11:30 tomorrow against the "Inhumane Direct Provision Systems in Ireland."

  • A silent peaceful demonstration against Inhumane Direct Provision systems in Ireland will take place again this Saturday morning in Oughterard.

    The local community is organising the demonstration that will get underway from the Station Road in the town at 11:30am.

    Last Saturday they held a similar walk and in excess of fifteen hundred people took part.

    Geraldine Curran is a member of the community and told Midwest News that they would welcome people from all communities to join in the walk and to wear high-vis vests for road safety.

  • Galway West TD Noel Grealish is coming under increased pressure withdraw his comments about asylum seekers.

    It's after footage emerged of the independent TD addressing a public meeting in Oughterard earlier this week in relation to possible plans for a direct provision centre on the site of a former hotel in the area.

    The Taoiseach has already called on the deputy to withdraw the remarks.

  • A teenage girl has died after a single vehicle accident in Oughterard Co.Galway at around 1:15am this morning.


    The girl was a passenger in a car which hit a wall. 


    She died at the scene and her body has been removed to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.


    A 21 year old man who was driving was uninjured. 


    Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to contact them.

  • The teenage girl killed in a road crash in Oughterard yesterday has been named locally as Roisin Hession.

    The 16 year old was the passenger in a car which hit a wall at around 1.15am on Sunday.

    She was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The driver of the car – a 21 year old man – suffered serious injuries and was taken to University Hospital Galway where he remains in a serious but non-life threatening condition.

    Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to contact Salthill Garda Station at 091 – 514720 or the Garda confidential line 1800 666 111.

  • The Neale suffered a second half defeat at the hands of Oughterard in the Connacht Intermediate final.


    It finished Oughterard 1-16 0-11 The Neale.


    The floodgates opened for the Mayo men in the second half when Matthew Tierney found the back of the net.


    The Neale's remarkable year ends in MacHale Park as they look forward to Senior Championship football next year

  • A 52 year old pedestrian who was injured in a crash in Co. Galway on Christmas Eve has died.

    The woman was hit by a car while walking along a local road at Carrowmanagh in Oughterard at around quarter to nine on Tuesday night.

    She was in a critical condition when she was taken to Galway University Hospital  - and passed away yesterday.