Senator Rose Conway-Walsh

  •  Almost 5 million euro has been spent on ambulances to Mayo University Hospital over the past seven years, and according to Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh it’s too high a price to pay when the service is not under HSE control.

    The senator says the spending €4.8 million on private ambulances since 2011 does not constitute value for money and the money should instead have been spent purchasing and staffing new ambulances.

     She claims that the ambulance services in the HSE have suffered from years of cuts, under investment, and privatisation of ambulance services with over €31 million being spent on private ambulances by the HSE nationally since 2011.

    Mayo University Hospital and the State, she believes, need to ensure that we have a high quality, publicly owned stock of ambulances instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute fiscal prudence.

  • The Taoiseach says Catherine Noone's apology for remarks she made about autism are 'good enough for him'.

    The Claremorris-born Fine Gael Senator issued a statement after an article where she described Leo Varadkar as 'autistic' was published by The Times dot ie.

    The Taoiseach says he's satisfied that Senator Noone has withdrawn the remarks and apologised.

    However, Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says she's appalled by Senator Noone's comments, and the Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin feels Senator Noone's comments have hurt a lot of people.



  • The disparity in what the GAA gives back per player in each county from its ticket sales in the National Leagues and All Ireland Championship matches, is unfair according to a Mayo Senator.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has questioned the GAA president on how and why the decision to increase ticket prices for this year’s Leagues and All-Ireland matches was reached.

    The Senator is concerned that new GAA pricing model could prevent loyal supporters from attending matches, particularly families where a number of tickets need to be purchased.

    She was speaking at a special address to the Seanad by Mr. John Horan, where she raised what she sees as the inequity in prices paid back to clubs per player from ticket sales.

  • The HSE is planning to reduce the number of beds at Belmullet District Hospital from 20 to 15.

    That's according to Erris-based Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who has told Midwest News today that HSE senior officials informed unions on Friday that the number of beds will be reduced by 5.

    The Sinn Fein Senator says she's very concerned at this development - after assurances were given earlier this month by Government that Belmullet Hospital would not be downgraded.

    Senator Conway-Walsh is now calling for clarification on the matter.

  • An Erris Senator has responded to assurances given by Minister for Older People Jim Daly and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring in relation to Belmullet District Hospital.

    Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly told the Dail yesterday evening that Belmullet District Hospital will not be downgraded under his watch.

    It came as concerns over the facility and Aras Deirbhle were raised by Fianna Fail Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary yesterday on a Topical Issue.

    Minister Daly said that there will be no downgrading of facilities for older people while he is in office and that includes Belmullet.

    However he said he cannot stand over staff being allocated to empty beds if that is proven to be the case.

    Minister Daly has also confirmed that he will visit the hospital at the end of this month, or in the very early days of July.

    The assurances from Minister Daly were welcomed this morning by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring. He says that it is a case of some people trying to make political gain out of a situation that is simply not happening.  

    However Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that the responses from Minister Daly and Minister Ring were not adequate and questions remain unanswered.

    She says she wants to know if there will be 20 beds in place at Belmullet District Hospital at the end of this process and also why GPs cannot make referrals to the hospital and further to that, why referrals cannot be made from the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital to Belmullet.

    Senator Conway-Walsh outlined her remaining concerns to Midwest News this lunchtime.

  • The impossible workload facing teaching principals in smaller primary schools was highlighted this week at the INTO conference in Galway.

    Teaching principals are a feature of many smaller schools - especially in counties in the West of Ireland - but many have reported increased stress levels due to trying to balance their teaching work with administrative duties.

    They're asking to be released from the classroom for one day per week to carry out their administrative work.

    Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the current situation cannot continue, and the Government needs to immediately address the workload placed on teaching principals.

  • An interim scheme needs to be put in place for farmers who are coming out of the AEOS scheme and cannot enter GLAS.

    That's according to Mayo-based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who raised the issue this week at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture.

    Department officials confirmed that, for farmers in this position, there will not be a scheme in place until after 2021.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says it's unfair to leave these farmers for two years without a scheme, facing a significant drop in income, and she's calling on the Agriculture Minister to put an interim scheme in place for those leaving AEOS that were excluded from GLAS.

  • Midwest News understands that a woman was left waiting for three hours for an ambulance after being injured when she fell off a bicycle in the Glenamoy area of north Mayo yesterday.

    The woman is believed to have suffered an injury after coming off her bike yesterday afternoon. When the call was made for an ambulance, if it understood the available ambulance was in Clifden at the time.

    A GP is understood to have assessed the woman at the scene and said she was fit to be moved, at which point she is understood to have been brought to the Garda Station to wait for the ambulance.

    Local Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says while yesterday’s situation was shocking, it is not surprising to people in Erris.

    She says that situations like this have occurred before and it is something that will have to be dealt with in some way or another.

  • 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.

  • “More care needs to be taken of the carers”, that’s the view of Mayo Sinn Fein senator Rose Conway Walsh.

    She says that people caring for loved ones in their homes, save the state in excess of 10 billion euro a year, yet she says only a fraction of Home Carers actually qualify for the Carers Allowance.

    Home Carers Ireland launched its pre budget submission to government this week asking for a range of changes to the Carers Allowance scheme to make life a little easier for carers.

    Senator Conway Walsh told Midwest news that  she has asked the Minister with responsibility in this area to come into the Seanad to discuss the needs of Carers in more detail.

  • A Mayo Senator says she's very concerned at the lack of clarity from a Government Minister over when a new Primary Care Centre will be constructed in Bangor Erris.

    Erris-based SF Senator Rose Conway-Walsh raised the matter last week in the Seanad with Minister Jim Daly, and asked for an update on the status of the centre - given that a needs assessment carried out almost 20 years ago established the need for such a facility in the area.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says there's already concern locally in relation to retaining GPs who serve large geographical areas of Erris, and she believes the Primary Care Centre should be delivered sooner rather than later.

    However, Minister Daly said a Primary Care Centre for Bangor is not in the 2019 or 2020 plans, but a business case is currently being prepared for such a facility.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that, in light of the overspend at the National Children's Hospital, she sought specific assurances about the proposed Primary Care Centre for Bangor Erris...

  • A Mayo Sinn Féin Senator has called for an independent investigation on the historical prescribing of valproate to pregnant women.

    Rose Conway-Walsh says it is now clear that hundreds of children have been born with disabilities as a direct result of the of the prescribing sodium valproate (epilim) which is a drug licensed in Ireland for the treatment of epilepsy and bi-polar disorder.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the crux of the matter is that parents were not informed of the risks or risk-reduction measures they needed to put in place, therefore they continued to be prescribed valporate during pregnancy.

  • Mayo Senator Rose-Conway Walsh is adding her voice to calls for the immediate reconvening of the Joint Oireachtas Agriculture Committee.

    The Sinn Fein Senator says it's blatantly obvious that the current pricing model for beef is not working for farmers, and says the situation cannot be allowed to continue.

    Sinn Fein has launched a new Mandatory Beef Price Transparency Bill, which she says would provide much-needed transparency to Irish farmers regarding beef prices, through the establishment of a beef market observatory which would report on cattle prices on a daily basis.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says it's unacceptable that the substantive issue of pricing was not discussed at the last round of talks, and says it's important that Minister Michael Creed reconvenes talks between the stakeholders in the beef sector as a matter of urgency.


  • The Minister for Health is being urged to make a decision sooner rather than later on providing access to a drug, which is used to treat advanced Parkinson's Disease.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says certain patients were receiving Duodopa through an access programme provided by the company which manufactures the medicine, but that route is no longer available to patients.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says Duodopa is available to patients in Britain, and should also be provided here.

    She's calling on the Health Minister Simon Harris to at last make it known when he intends to make a final decision on it.

  • A  Mayo Senator is calling on the Mayo-based Minister for Community & Rural Affairs Michael Ring to get involved in issues surrounding the school transport system.

    Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says, once again this year, families are faced with the problem of children being left without places on the school bus.

    While many of these children were fully paid up by the deadline, they're only being informed in recent weeks that they have no place on the school transport  - and she says that, in some cases, their brothers and sisters attending the same school have already secured a seat on the bus.

    Senator Conway-Walsh claims many of the problems associated with school transport at this time of year are escalating from previous years...

  • A Mayo Senator says it's very disappointing that the Government has not yet decided whether to provide the Spinraza drug for children suffering from SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    A decision was expected today, but that has now been deferred, according to Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who says it's bitterly disappointing for the families of two children in south Mayo with this condition.

    The families of Grace O'Malley in Hollymount and Cillian Mearns from Cloghans are left waiting for a decision on this life-changing drug, which is available in 21 other countries in Europe, and Senator Conway-Walsh is urging people to highlight this campaign on the doorsteps ahead of next week's local and European elections....

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the National Transport Authority and Bus Eireann on the School Bus Transport Scheme.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says there are a number of issues arising from what she describes as the inflexibility of the scheme.

    Bus Eireann says the company is only taking instructions on how the scheme should operate from the Department of Transport.

    She raised the case of a student who is a valid medical card holder, and her parents were advised that she was eligible for a seat on the bus. However she cannot use a seat on the bus, as there is no room on it at present. Her siblings are currently travelling on this bus.

    Senator Conway-Walsh said she wanted to establish whose responsibility is it to ensure this girl has a seat on the bus. It was established that Bus Eireann need to get approval from the Department on this.

    She also raised the issue of the timings under which applications must be submitted for a place on such bus routes.


  • A Mayo Senator has questioned the commitment of Fianna Fáil to saving rural post offices after their own motion on the issue was poorly attended by their own senators.

    Sinn Féin's Rose Conway-Walsh says there was only one speaker from Fianna Fáil on behalf of the motion and only three Fianna Fáil senators turned up to vote.

    She says there is no use in attending mass rallies calling for the protection of rural post offices if those same politicians are not going to use every avenue available in the Oireachtas to achieve this.

    Senator Conway-Walsh was strongly critical of Fianna Fáil's attempts to explain away the 732 post office closures that happened when they were in Government.

  • A Mayo Senator has raised the issue of home help hours and packages with the Oireachtas Committee on Health.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Councillor Rose Conway-Walsh says there are 6,450 people assessed and approved for home help and are on a waiting list for it.

    She also raised the issue of home help providers having their hours cut.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says that the system which was in place up to 2010, where the HSE ran the home help service, worked perfectly and should not have changed. The service was privatised after 2010.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that there are ways and means that the issue of waiting lists can be tackled.

  • It's beyond belief that children suffering from SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy - are still awaiting treatment, four months after the drug Spinraza was approved in Ireland.

    That's according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who says the families of two Mayo children  -Grace O'Malley from Hollymount and Cillian Mearns from Shrule - are still waiting for the treatment to be administered, while the HSE is saying it doesn't have to hospital beds or staff needed.

    There was widespread welcome last June when Spinraza was approved by the HSE, but Senator Conway-Walsh says it's now imperative that the Minister for Health announces a start date for its administration to the children involved.

    She's raising the matter during the Commencement Notices in the Seanad this morning, and is hoping Minister Simon Harris will come into the House to give an update on this issue....