Connacht

  • University Hospital Galway is reminding the public that visitor restrictions continue on St. Dominic's ward due to a number of confirmed cases of Influenza (flu). In order to assist staff in curtailing the spread of the flu virus, it says its imperative that only essential visiting takes place at this time in consultation with nurse management on the ward.

    Infection control procedures are in place on the affected ward and will remain in place until further notice.

    There continue to be cases of flu in the community and anyone who is suffering from symptoms of the flu are asked not visit patients in the hospital to avoid spreading the virus to sick vulnerable patients.

  • A “Drive Safer and for Longer” event takes place at the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris this morning, and is fully booked out.

    The event is being organised by Mayo County Council’s Road Safety Office and Mayo’s Older People’s Council, and will run from 9.30am to 1pm.

    The course is aimed at giving reassurance to drivers over the age of 50, helping them to improve and update their driving skills, and provide advice on changes in road traffic law, road layouts and traffic signs.

  • All road signs that say "Yield Right of Way" should be replaced with a Stop sign.

    That's according to Ballinrobe-based Councillor Patsy O'Brien, who says the order to yield goes back to the days of the horse and cart.

    For safety reasons, Councillor O'Brien wants to see Stop signs at junctions instead.

    He made his comments at yesterday's meeting of the Claremorris Municipal District, where he also highlighted the problem of road signage being stolen - claiming signs are being taken every day in Co Mayo.

    He gave an example of signposts missing for two years at Collierans Cross  near Claremorris, while signs have also been taken at Sheridan Cross.

    The council executive said signs have been ordered for Collerans Cross and will be installed shortly.

    Councillor O'Brien called on Mayo County Council to carry out an audit of road signage across the county, and where signs need replacing, he said a contractor should be appointed to do this work if the council does not have the resources within its own workforce.

  • Funding of over €1.2 million has been allocated to build seven new social houses at Clooneybeirne in Roscommon Town.

    The Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has given Roscommon County Council the funding go-ahead for this housing construction scheme at Cluain Fraoigh.

    Roscommon-based FG Senator Frank Feighan says this provision is part of the Government’s housing action plan, ‘Rebuilding Ireland.’

    He's hoping to see the 7 new social houses coming on stream as soon as possible to help tackle the housing shortage in the area.

     

  • There's good news this evening for Ballina, as funding of €140,000 has been allocated under the Historic Towns Initiative to help protect the town's architectural heritage and boost its tourism profile.

    The funding has been allocated to Mayo County Council to repair ten buildings in the Pearse Street architectural conservation area - including the town's library and a number of privately-owned buildings.

    Ballina-based FG Senator Michelle Mulherin says repairs to historic shop fronts, sash windows and doors will ensure the longterm survival of these historic buildings.

  • Irish people have spent more than one-point-seven billion euro on renovating their homes in the last 4 years.

    Over 100 thousand projects have been carried out since the Home Renovation Incentive was launched in 2013.

    In Co Mayo, €17.7 million was spent on renovating 1,364 properties.

    In Roscommon, the spend was over 10 million on 983 properties, while Galway homeowners spent over €65 million over the past 4 years in renovating almost four and a half thousand properties.

    Nationally, the average spend was more than 16 thousand euro, and projects included home extensions, general repair and renovations, window replacements and kitchen replacements.

    Director of the Construction Industry Federation Tom Parlon says the scheme has been a huge success:

  • Funding of €2.3 million euro has been announced for seven projects in Co Mayo under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has confirmed that three of the projects are solely within the county - this includes €825,000 to support the regeneration of Ballinrobe town, including upgrading the library and grounds and the Bowers Walk area and developing Market House; while €75,000 has been allocated towards developing plans for a national cycle network in Mayo from Leenaun in Co Galway to the Sligo county boundary; and €56,000 has been announced for developing the Lost Treasures Trail linking Westport and Cong and highlighting heritage assets along the way.

    The other four projects cover a number of counties including Mayo.

    They include €3.9 million for a major upgrade of 6 National Parks including Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, along with funding to develop the Dark Sky Planetarium project in the national park,

    almost €1 million has been allocated to develop an existing Geopark in the Joyce Country and Western Lakes area of Galway and Mayo,

    and €644,000 has been alocated for the Western Development Commission to establish digital working hubs in Swinford, Tubbercurry, Tulsk and Stranorlar in Co Donegal.

    This is part of a €62 million euro package of Government funding for 66 projects in rural communities across the country, to create jobs, rejuvenate communities and transform local economies. 

  • A total of €216,000 has been allocated this morning for 11 recreational amenity projects across Co Mayo.

    The funding is being provided under Measure 1 of the 2018 Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure scheme, which provides grants of up to €20,000 for outdoor amenities such as greenways and walking trails.

    Five of the Mayo projects allocated funding are under the banner of South West Mayo Development Company, while Mayo North East had applied for funding for the other 6 successful projects.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says the funding will go towards improving local walks, trails and greenways.

     

  • The future viability of the Mayo Power plant in Killala is now in question, following the decision of the energy regulator to issue a Certificate of High Efficiency to the company with a rate of 18% - compared to the 100% issued previously.

    Some €95 million has already been spent on the €255m high-efficiency combined heat and power plant in Killala.

    Work on the plant was halted in 2016 when one of the investors withdrew from the project.

    New investors then came on board to complete the 45 megawatt biomass-fuelled power plant, and they applied for the necessary consents.

    Renewed consents were was given by Mayo County Council, the EPA and ESB Networks, while the energy regulator has taken since last May to respond.

    The high efficiency rating of 18% now issued by  the regulator puts the commercial viability of the project in question, according to Mayo Senator Michelle Mulherin.

    The FG Senator believes the energy regulator has a number of questions to answer in relation to this power plant, and she's calling for the regulator to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, climate change and the environment to answer these queries.

    Senator Mulherin says this is a very important project for north Mayo, and is also of national importance as it will help Ireland acheive its targets on renewable energy.

    The FG Senator says this latest development calls into the question the viability of the Mayo Power plant.

     

    A spokesman for Mayo Power confirmed to Midwest News that the project promoters will discuss this latest development later today, but are unlikely to issue a statement on the matter yet.

        

     

  • kilkelly

    €30,000 has been granted for traffic calming measures in the village of Kilkelly.

    Local Fianna Fail Cllr. John Caulfield says Kilkelly is the shortest route on to the N17 for many commuters.

    Cllr. Caulfield says he has fought for some time to have the speed reduced in Kilkelly due to the narrow streets and the safety concerns raised by local residents and businesses.

     

  • An extra €18 million euro is being allocated to local authorities to assist in repairing regional and local roads damaged by severe weather events.

    Transport Minister Shane Ross has announced an additional €18 million Special Maintenance Grant to assist local authorities in repairing roads following storms and flooding over the past year.

    Under the measure, €1.1 million is being allocated to Galway County Council, €600,000 for Sligo County Council, half a million euro for Roscommon County Council and €375,000 for Mayo County Council.

    West Mayo FG Councillor Tereasa McGuire has welcomed the funding, and says Mayo County Council will prioritise which roads need repairs urgently....

  • There's a significant funding boost today for counties across the West, under the Government's Rural Regeneration and Development Programme.

    Almost €5 million has been allocated for rural regeneration projects across Co Roscommon.

    This includes an allocation of over €1.5 million for the next phase of the Food Hub at An Cistin at the Castlerea Enterprise Centre.

    €1.7 million has been provided for a town regeneration project in Boyle, which will involve developing the old Royal Hotel in the town into an enterprise centre.

    Over €1.6 million has been provided for An Bealach in Ballaghadereen to create a social innovation and inclusion centre with integrated Family Resource Centre, while another €20,000 is being provided to Roscommon Integrated Development Company to develop three premises in Ballaghadereen town centre into creative studios.

    And Co Galway is to benefit from funding of over €6 million for rural regeneration & development projects.

    Athenry is to receive a grant of over three and a half million euro to establish the town as a food and tourism centre.

    Coole Park will receive funding under the allocation for National Parks, and a grant of half a million euro has been allocated for the proposed design for the Connemara Visitor Centre, while areas such as Tuam, Gort, Dunmore and Kinvara will all benefit from the funding announcement.

    Funding of €525,000 has been allocated to Galway County Council for street-widening works at Bridge Street in Dunmore, while another €175,000 is allocated to develop a master plan for Tuam town centre.

  • Mayo University Hospital spent over €5.3 million on agency staff last year.

    The HSE has released figures which show that, every day last year, almost €1 million was spent on agency staff nationally, to fill posts left vacant due to recruitment and retention issues.

    A breakdown of the figures shows €5.3 million was spent on agency staff at Mayo University Hospital, of which €590,000 was spent on agency nurses while €1.6 million was spent on medical and dental staff.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that this spend on agency staff is not prudent or sustainable, as agency staff are more expensive than directly-employed staff.

  • Half a million euro is being allocated for the Lecanvey to Bertra section of the Clew Bay Trail.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has announced the funding as part of a national allocation of over €8 million for 18 projects nationally under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

    The Clew Bay Trail is a 19 km walking and cycling trail along the southern edge of Clew Bay between Belclare and Louisburg, which forms part of the Great Western Greenway.

    This morning, Minister Ring said he's delighted to announce €500,000 for the Lecanvey to Bertra section of the trail, following on from an allocation of almost €1 million euro last year....

  • €5m is being made available under the latest CLÁR programme, which has reopened this morning.

    The reopening of the scheme has been confirmed by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.

    Funding will be available under 3 measures of the programme – the Community Safety Measure; Play Areas and the First Response Support Measure.

    Local Authorities and Community Groups and Organisations can apply for funding under the programme.

    Minister Ring told Midwest News he is delighted to be able to reopen the scheme once again.

  • €60,000 in European funding has been allocated to Mayo County Council, to provide free public WiFi hotspots in locations across the county.

    Mayo Co Co secured the funding under the WiFi4 EU (wiFi for you) initiative, and Minister Michael Ring says his department has offered to match that funding.

    The initiative will bring free WiFi hotspots to a number of public spaces in Mayo, such as town squares, parks, hospitals and libraries, where there is no other free WiFi service available, and the locations will be decided by Mayo County Council.

  • Funding of €800,000 has been announced for four walking and cycling trails in Co Mayo.

    The funding was announced at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough Park, Castlebar this morning by the Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring, under his Department's Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

    Minister Ring announced a total allocation of almost €11 million for 78 projects across the country.

    In Mayo, four projects will each receive €200,000 - The Great Western Greenway, for major essential trail works at Kilmeena and Turlough,

    The Achill Island Greenway, for bridge crossing and approach works at Achill Sound,

    The Bangor Trail and Erris Access Bridge - to upgrade and plan suspension footbridge, and €200,000 also to construct a new riverside trail from the Bowers, Ballinrobe to Lough Mask on The Way- A Spiritual Journey.

    Minister Ring says the investment will provide the people of Mayo, and those who visit the county, with a wonderful way to experience our outdoor areas.

     

  • Funding of €855,000 has been allocated today to Mayo County Council under the Local Improvement Scheme for improvement works on private rural roads in the county.

    Under the LIS scheme last year, improvements were carried out on 89 private roads in Mayo.

    The scheme is aimed at laneways and boreens that enable people to access their homes and farms.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Affairs Michael Ring has allocated €855,000 euro for the LIS roads in Mayo, and says he might be in a position to make a further allocation next September.

  • Almost six and a half thousand older people across the country are currently on a waiting list for home care support from the HSE.

    The biggest waiting list in the CHO2, which comprises Mayo, Galway and Roscommon with 1,482 people waiting for home support hours.

    The figures, obtained by Fianna Fail, show that between January and March, the HSE missed its target of home support hours by around 40,000 hours - or almost 10%.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers is asking why those targets are being missed- particularly in the Western counties, where older people are waiting for basic supports in order to continue living at home.

  • There’s good news this morning for Glencastle National School, Bunnahowen as the Minister for Education has allocated 1.2 million euro to build a special needs unit at the Gaeltacht primary school.

    Minister Michael Ring has confirmed that the unding has been approved to build an extension at the school for an SNA unit.