• Leigue cemetery in Ballina is in danger of becoming a jungle, overrun by weeds, briars and grass, if Mayo county council continues to withhold the payment of GMA funding to local voluntary groups.

    That was the view expressed by Ballina Independent councillor Gerry Ginty at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District held in the community centre in Bonniconlon.

    He called for, at least an interim payment, to allow the voluntary group to get on with its work.

    The withholding of the of GMA funds, is causing controversy across the county.

    The CE of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes, says the monies cannot be paid out until a shortfall in the parking charges revenue agreed in the budget are resolved.

    However, councillors disagree saying they approved the GMA funds for voluntary groups and many of these groups need the payments now.

    20,000 euro has been allocated by councillors to Friends of Leigue Cemetery in 2018, under GMA funding.

    Leigue Cemetery is just one of a variety of voluntary groups that receive various amounts in grant funding annually under GMA funding – tidy town groups, residents associations, festival committees also benefit from this fund.

    They would usually have the much needed cash injection by this time of the year, but due to the shortfall in carparking charges revenue that was agreed to be generated by cllrs in the 2018 budget, Peter Hynes says the paying out of GMA must be withheld until an alternative source of funding is agreed to make up the shortfall.

    The situation is causing tension, to say the least, between municipal district areas. There are 4 municipal districts in Mayo – Castlebar, Ballina , Claremorris and West Mayo.

    Councillors in Ballina have strongly expressed their view that voluntary groups in the Ballina area are now being impacted on negatively because Westport is refusing to introduce car parking charges on the streets of the town.

    At Mondays monthly meeting of Mayo county council, Peter  Hynes explained that there are complications in the paying out of the GMA fund but he said he is engaging in discussions with the Municipal Districts Managers and he is confident that the issues will be resolved before the next monthly meeting of the council.

    Claremorris councillor Tom Connolly said, on Monday ,however, that he is not prepared to see any increase in car parking charges in the Claremorris Municipal District to compensate for the failure of West Mayo councillors to introduce street car parking charges in Westport.“We won’t subsidise Westport”, he insisted.

    Independent councillor Gerry Ginty at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District agreed with that sentiment.

    He called at the start of the meeting for an urgent interim payment to be released to Friends of Leigue Cemetery, the voluntary group that maintains the grounds around the Ballina cemetery.

    He argued that without a cash injection now – maintenance of the graveyard will become too much, and he says the grounds will revert to the jungle that they were, before Friends of Leigue took over the work, using the annual GMA allocation of 20,000 euro a year.

    However, there was no joy in response to that request.Director of Services Tom Gilligan stated that there are lots of exceptional cases, but said until the present problem at county council level is resolved no monies will be paid out under GMA.

  • There will be no pay-and-display on-street parking charges in Westport.

    That’s after councillors voted yesterday against the recommendation of Mayo County Council officers to introduce the controversial charges

    The decision ends weeks of debate about whether to introduce on-street car parking charges to the town in order to bring it in line with other large towns in the county.

    However, the general municipal allocation (GMA) to local community groups has been cut from €450,000 to €230,000 pending further negotiations.

    Fianna Fail Cllr. Brendan Mulroy says there is more talking to be done but Westport parking charges have been voted off the table.


    Please note voting will take place in Scoil Phadraig at the new address at Newport Road, Westport.

    The old address at Altamount Street on polling cards is incorrect.

    The local Returning Officer apologies for any inconvenience caused.

  • There are a number of critical areas in west Mayo that require immediate works to prevent serious flooding every time there is a high tide. T

    hat’s according to Independent local election candidate in Westport, John O’Malley.

    The former Fine Gael Councillor says he has grave concerns that due to the overspend by the present government on the new Children's Hospital in Dublin, that funding will either be cut or not approved for projects long over due in rural Mayo.

  • A number of Mayo individuals and groups have been nominated for the 2018 All Ireland Community & Council Awards.

    The awards are hosted annually by the Local Authority Members Association and IPB Insurance, and the winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Croke Park Stadium this evening ( Saturday).

    Flying the flag for Co Mayo at this evening’s awards ceremony are the Westport 250 festival and Crossmolina St Patrick’s Day Committeee for the St Patrick’s night festival – they’re both shortlisted in the Best Arts & Culture Initiative.

    In the Best Community-Based Initiative, Mayo Community Futures and the School Warden Lollicops scheme in Mayo and Kildare are shortlisted.

    “Its for Girls” Mayo is nominated in the category of Best Community Health Initiative.

    John Cooney and Seamus Jordan of the Crossmolina Festival committee are nominated for the Community Volunteer of the Year award, and in the Best Tourism Initiative category, Wild Mayo Development & Promotional campaign has been nominated.

    RTE’s Marty Morrissey will present the awards to the winners in the Croke Park Stadium later this evening.

  • The official opening of the Leeson Enterprise Centre, Altamont Street, Westport  takes place this evening. Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, will perform the opening at 5.30pm.

    The centre is located in the former Friel Motor Factors building, and has been developed by Westport Multi-Agency Enterprise Group (MAEG) and funded by Enterprise Ireland, Mayo County Council (and former Westport Town Council), Westport Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

    The Centre is now at 85% occupancy providing space for a number of start-up businesses both in private units and hot-desk areas. Approximately thirty people now work in the Centre and support and mentoring is provided to the start ups by Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Office and IiBC. 

    Welcoming the opening Mr. Peter Hynes C.E. Mayo County Council said “there is a strong spirit of entrepreneurship in this County and the provision of this facility will help to strengthen the enterprise eco system for our budding entrepreneurs”

    The Leeson Enterprise Centre takes its name from the 18th century architect William Leeson. On March 17th1767 the 2nd. Earl of Altamont Peter Browne-Kelly placed an advertisement in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal seeking tradesmen to build the new town in Westport to the plans of William Leeson. As a legacy to the memory of William Leeson and to celebrate the 250th anniversary the new town of Westport, it was agreed that the centre should bear the name Leeson.  

    For details about the facility – hot-desks, office space, conference and meeting room hire, contact the Leeson Enterprise Centre on 098-28536www.leesonenterprisecentre.ieThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • After years insisting it would never happen, councillors in West Mayo yesterday voted to introduce on-street car parking charges in Westport

    The decision was carried by five votes to two. Former Westport town councillors Brendan Mulroy and Erris based Teresa Whelan voted against the introduction of charges.

    The first hour of parking on the streets of Westport will now be free, but after that, motorists will have to buy a parking disc in local shops.

    The controversial issue of parking charges was back on the agenda for yesterday's monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District, which was held in Belmullet.

    In June, councillors in West Mayo voted against the recommendation of Mayo County Council officials to introduce on-street parking charges in Westport.

    This led to an extensive delay in paying out what’s termed the GMA funding - general municipal allocation - for local community groups and organisations right across the county.

    Municipal authorities in Ballina, Castlebar and Claremorris  agreed to secure additional funding in carparking charges in their areas to meet GMA demands, but West Mayo refused to do the same until yesterday.

    Then at yesterday’s meeting Westport-based Independent Councillor Christy Hyland - who had vehemently objected to on-street parking charges in the past - tabled a motion proposing parking charges, and the motion was carried.

    Councillor Hyland initially argued he had not done a U-turn, but later admitted that it”may be”, but said the current situation could not continue and he had no choice.

    After the meeting, Councillor Hyland told Midwest Newswhy he had tabled the  motion.

  • One person has been taken to Hospital with minor injuries following a two vehicle collision this afternoon between Westport and Leenane.

    The collision occurred shortly before 3pm.

    Emergency services attended the scene and the vehicles have now been towed away.

  • AN outdoor gym on the Greenway in Westport has been locked up, out of order for the past three months.

    That’s according to local Independent Councillor Christy Hyland, who’s calling on Mayo County Council to get the necessary parts and re-open the outdoor gym, which is used by many people enjoying the greenway.

    Councillor Hyland is also concerned about the monument at the Octagon in Westport, as it’s not lit up at present.

    He raised both matters at a recent meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District

  • Councillors in the Westport / Belmullet Municipal District have approved a Part 8 planning application for works to be carried out on the pilgrimage path on Croagh Patrick, to make it sustainable for generations to come.

    The application came before councillors at their monthly meeting in Belmullet this week, and Martin Keating - Chairperson of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group - addressed the meeting in relation to the their plan to protect the holy mountain.

    Westport Independent Councillor Christy Hyland has complimented the stakeholders' group for their work, and he proposed that the Part 8 be adopted at Monday's meeting.

    He says it's welcome news in terms of improving the pilgrimage path which has become dangerous due to numbers of people climbing the Reek.

  • The long awaited flood relief works at Carrowholly in Westport, at last appear to be making progress with a Part 8 planning for the works to be published next week, with an opportunity for people to make submissions on the proposal before the end of August.

    The news is very welcome, according to the Cathaoirleach of West Mayo, Christy Hyland.

    Environmental issues have delayed the much needed works for almost five years now, and in the meantime the people affected by flooding after high tides and storms have had to live dreading such events.

    The Cathaoirleach has described the slow progress on the wall involved in the flood relief works as not unlike the building of the Great Wall of China.

    He told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that today’s news is welcome, but the campaign to get the construction complete goes on.

  • A man has been taken to Mayo University Hospital following an incident with a vehicle shortly after 9am this morning on Bridge Street, Westport.

    Emergency services attended the scene and the pedestrian has been removed to hospital with what has been described as non-life threatening injuries.

    There was severe traffic congestion in the town earlier this morning as a result of the incident but has since eased.

  • Pilgrims are being reminded to stay away from Croagh Patrick for the annual Reek Sunday tomorrow.

    The pilgrimage in County Mayo usually attracts around 10,000 people, however due to Covid-19 restrictions those numbers can't be accommodated.

    Mass will be celebrated in St Mary's Church in Westport for pilgrims this evening, and streamed on Facebook.

    Fr Charlie McDonnell from Westport Parish is appealing for people to exercise caution.

  • A Planning decision is expected today in respect of an application by Portwest Limited for the construction of a €10 million corporate headquarters at Westport Quay.

    The Connaught Telegraph is reporting that councillors who are members of West Mayo Municipal District have already voted to rezone the site on Roman Island.

    The site is currently zoned for marine related tourism and a material contravention was needed to rezone it.

    Some 87 valid submissions were received from the public in respect of the material contravention with 62 objecting, 23 supporting it, while two were neutral.

  • Plans are underway to strategically link Castlebar to Westport in an effort to develop a new regional growth centre that has the potential to attract serious foreign direct investment, and as a result employment, into the area.

    The strategy, being developed by team of consultants for Mayo county council, was outlined to Castlebar councillors at yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Municipal District.

    They were presented with a brief presentation entitled “The feasibility of a high level strategy of the joint development of the towns of Castlebar and Westport”.

    A team of consultants have been appointed by Mayo County Council , under Director of Services Catherine McConnell – who has responsibility for planning ,economic and community development in the local authority  and the idea is that the two towns linked together can be promoted as a brand – and sold nationally and internationally to potential investors as a new regional growth centre.

    Attracting serious FDI and creating jobs. The idea has been fueled by the new N5 road that should be under construction later this year, that will link Turlough to Westport and mean that travel time between Westport and Castlebar will be reduced to ten minutes.

    If you link the two towns – a shopping and administrative town like Castlebar and the tourism town of Westport – you have a lot more for agencies like the IDA to sell to foreign investors.

    Catherine spoke to Midwest News about the proposal and explained that it would significantly raise the “critical mass” (population) in the area and together the towns linked are worth more than individually.

  • The fact that patients in the Castlebar area must often travel to Westport to avail of the out of hours Westdoc Service late at night or over Bank holidays was raised by the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne at this week’s monthly meeting of the HSE West Forum.

    The councillor says he often gets complaints from patients and their relatives forced to bring a sick person to Westport in the middle of the night.

    He said the same situation exists for people in the West Mayo area that need the Westdoc service on nights that a Castlebar doctor is on call.

    In response, HSE West management confirmed that that is the system in place and added that Westdoc had not received any complaints from the public on the matter.

    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne told Midwest News that response contradicts what many users of the service have told him.



    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that that response contradicts what many users of the service have told him

  • Portwest has announced 40 new jobs at their Westport headquarters.

    The new positions are in a variety of business functions including product development, internal sales, IT, procurement and marketing.

    As part of the recruitment drive, Portwest will hold a Virtual Careers Fair in spring 2021 and registration details will be posted on their social media platforms in the coming weeks.

    Harry Hughes, CEO, Portwest says they are the fastest growing workwear company in the world and we’re continually recruiting as the business expands. We have a five-year strategic plan to grow by 20% annually to become a €1 billion turnover company by 2025 and our employees are at the heart of enabling this growth.”

    Portwest are also inviting people to call in to a drop-in information morning on Monday, December 28 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and pre-register for the careers fair. The information morning will adhere fully to Covid-19 public health guidance and will take place at the Portwest headquarters in the IDA Business Park, Westport. Alternatively, enquiries and registrations of interest for the careers fair can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Westport-based company Portwest is investing $10 million dollars in expanding its operations in Australia.

    The workwear and outdoor clothing company officially launched a new state-of-the-art warehouse facility in Melbourne last week.

    Minister of State at the Department of Finance Patrick O'Donovan and the Irish Ambassador to Australia attended the launch, along with Portwest CEO Harry Hughes.

    The company's clothing is now being sold in over 130 countries and is continuing its global expansion.

    Meanwhile, three appeals have been submitted to An Bord Pleanala in relation to Portwest's expansion plans in Westport.

    The company is planning to build its €10 million euro global headquarters at the Quay, and Mayo County Council recently granted planning permission for the development on Roman Island, subject to a number of conditions.

    It's understood three appeals have now been submitted by local groups, calling for the development to be located elsewhere.


  • Power supplies have now been restored in the Westport area, following high winds overnight.

    Over two and half thousand customers were impacted by faults this morning, and ESB Networks have responded.

    It appears the majority of households and businesses in the Westport area now have power restored.

    Meanwhile, a status yellow wind warning remains in place until 4 pm this afternoon with Met Eireann advising of severe or damaging gusts and heavy spells of rain.


  • A protest will take place in Westport this Saturday afternoon, to highlight the scaling back of services at the town's MacBride Community Nursing Unit.

    In recent months, both the respite and daycare services at the HSE-run home have been suspended, with staff shortages being blamed.

    Westport-based Councillor Brendan Mulroy, the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, claims nurses are reluctant to take up jobs at the home, as they're only being offered 3-month contracts.

    The Save Our MacBride Services group will be protesting on The Octagon at 2pm this Saturday.