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.

  • 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.

     

  • 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:

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

  • €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.

  • 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.

  • Concerns are increasing for the future of rural Post Offices, as it's emerged that over 100 offices could close under a retirement scheme brokered as part of an agreement between An Post and the Postmasters Union.

    It's emerged that An Post has received applications from 110 Post Offices across the country expressing interest in a voluntary retirement package.

    The leaked list of 110 post offices includes 12 in Co Mayo , 3 in Co Roscommon and 10 in Co Galway.

    The Mayo Post Offices on the list are Ballindine, Ballyglass, Belcarra, Carrowmore Lacken, Cross, Doocastle, Finny, Geesala, Hollymount, Kilmaine, Partree and Scardaun.

    The Roscommon Post office on the list are Loughlynn, Granlahan and Knockvicar- near Boyle.

    It's understood that An Post will assess the applications, and determine where retirements can be facilitated, and their transactions consolidated to other local Post Offices.

    It was confirmed earlier this week that Geesala Post Office is remaining open, even though it's on this list, and in other villages, the Post Office service may be taken over by another person or business.

    However, Ballindine Post office - near Claremorris - is due to close its doors tomorrow week 10th August.

    Ballindine is a busy village, located on the N17 Sligo to Galway road, and Midwest Radio's News editor Teresa O'Malley was there this morning where locals outlined their shock and disappointment that the Post Office is closing.

  • €145,000 has been allocated to Mayo under the Community Enhancement Programme.

     Over €4.5 million will be provided to disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas throughout the country through the Community Enhancement Programme.

    Announcing the funding Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says typical enhancements under the Programme include the renovation of community centres, community amenities, improvements to town parks and common areas and spaces, CCTV equipment and energy efficiency type projects.

  • GSK is to close its manufacturing plant in Sligo by 2021,with the loss of 165 positions.

    Staff have been informed that the skincare manufacturing plant in Sligo is to be phased out over the next three years, and will close by the end of 2021.

    Just over two years ago, the company created 50 jobs at the Sligo plant, but says demand for products made at this facility has not grown in line with previous expectations, due to the highly-competitive market.

    GSK has been in Sligo for the past 43 years, and its plant is a dedicated supply site for the company's Stiefel skincare products.

    In a statement to Midwest News, GSK said a number of alternatives for the Sligo plant had been evaluated but, none of them were considered feasible without significant further investment.

    The statement says the company's immediate priority is to support their employees through this difficult period.

    GSK's other operations in Ireland (manufacturing sites in Cork and Dungarvan, and commercial operations in Dublin) are not affected by this proposal.
     

     

     

  • Mayo Mountain Rescue  say a total of 17 people were treated for a variety of injuries yesterday as 5,000 people climbed Croagh Patrick for Reek Sunday.

    Weather conditions were favourable for the annual pilgrimage, and helped in reducing the number of severe casualties.

    Cameron Clotworthy of Mayo Mountain Rescue told Midwest News this morning that the dry weather appears to have reduced the number of serious casualties on the holy mountain yesterday, compared to recent Reek Sundays.

  • There are currently 18 vacant hospital consultants posts at Galway University Hospitals, while across the country, new figures show almost 350 hospital consultant posts are vacant.

    The HSE figures in today's Irish Times show there are now more than 1 in 10 hospital consultants posts vacant across the health service.

     

     

  • 19,148 pensioners in Mayo will see an increase in their weekly payment from today.

    This was confirmed by Minister Michael Ring who says the state pension will be increased by €5 per week for those on maximum weekly rates, with proportionate increases for those on reduced rates.

    There will also be a €5 increase in the maximum rate of all weekly payments for lone parents, jobseekers, carers, people with disabilities, widows, and people on employment programmes.

  • 20% of parents in Connaught/ Ulster say they're getting into debt to cover back-to-school costs.

    That's considerably lower than the national average of 36% of parents getting into debt.

    The findings are revealed in the annual school-costs survey commissioned by the irish League of Credit Unions.

    11% of parents in debt say they have turned to a moneylender to cope with costs.

    The study found that overall back to school costs have fallen somewhat since last year.

    Parents are now spending €999 per primary school child - €49 less than last year.

    For secondary school students, parents say the cost per child has fallen by €22 to €1,379.

    Books and uniforms are the most expensive items for second-level students, while extracurricular activities and school lunches are the biggest costs for primary school children.

  • Over 500 artists, musicians and performers will take part in the Galway International Arts Festival, which gets underway today.

    It's one of Europe's leading international arts festivals, and this year's programme once again includes a mix of Irish and international artists and performers, with an impressive line-up of theatre, dance, comedy, music and visual art.

    This is the 41st year of Galway Arts Festival, which runs until the 29th July.

    Madness, Kodaline, The Stunning, Gavin James and the RTE Conert Orchestra are just some of the acts which will take to the stage at the Festival Big Top.

     

  • Ballyhaunis-born war hero Corporal Patrick Gallagher will be remembered in Cork tomorrow, when the 2018 Irish Navy class graduating from the Naval Base will take his name.

    Bob Gallagher from Derrintogher, Ballyhaunis was killed in Vietnam in 1967 - shortly after being awarded the Navy Cross for saving the lives of three of his comrades.

    Last year, St Patrick's Church in Ballyhaunis was packed to capacity at a special Mass to remember Corporal Gallagher, and a monument was unveiled at the local cemetery.

    It was confirmed earlier this year that the US Navy is to name a ship after Corporal Gallagher, and now the Irish Navy will also honour him at tomorrow's ceremony.