Sod to be turned on National Outdoor Pursuits Academy

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this week that he expects for the sod to be turned on phase one of the National Outdoor Pursuits Academy based in around Lough Lannagh in the coming weeks. The Taoiseach was speaking at the press briefing with local newspapers this week in Lough Lannagh Holiday Village where he outlined progress on a number of projects and developments in the county.

The Taoiseach said that it would be a wonderful facility for the town, he also spoke of issue of the new swimming pool that will be part of the campus not being a 50m pool saying there was "no realistic basis to the initial calls for a 50 metre facility".

Maternity unit safe

The Taoiseach said he believed there was no danger to the maternity unit in Mayo General despite reports earlier this year the unit could be in danger, saying: "Upgrades to the maternity unit in the hospital are complete. You have had queries about the maternity unit in Castlebar, because of an unofficial draft report, now there's an official report being commissioned which will be available by the end of the year on maternity services all over the country. The standards that apply in this hospital measure up to all standards. I do not see any danger to the situation in Mayo General in respect of the maternity unit, and when you have had problems in other hospitals, you cannot have a maternity service where a mother or a baby are in danger of losing their lives because of inadequate service or standards. That is not the situation here in Mayo. The official report will be made available this year. It's to make sure all maternity units meet safety and standards needed. I have every faith Mayo will match up." He added: "I wouldn't be saying this unless I believed it, the official report is to ensure the standards that apply in the maternity units all across the country are the highest standards. I expect the standards in Mayo to measure up here." Staying on the medical theme he also added that the work on the new laboratory unit in the old St Mary's Church which is located beside GMIT in Castlebar is under way and it should be completed by the end of the year. The €2 million project is part of a medical academy project in conjunction with NUIG.

Cable laying ships due to depart

The transatlantic cable connecting the USA to Europe via a landing in Killala will see progress in the near future, the Taoiseach explained, saying: "We expect a few ships to leave New York early in the next month for the process of laying the transatlantic cable coming into Killala. Which will have a very beneficial effect on the digital capacity for the entire west coast of Ireland, that's the first of its type, and the cable will be world class for 25 years and will probably be replaced then. It should lead to a point where the region becomes far more attractive for investment for content and storage facilities that don't need to be located in major cities."

Another major project for Killala is the Mayo Power power station and the Taoiseach threw his full weight behind it, saying: "I expect the the sod for that to be turned officially in September and that's a major investment of over €100 million. I don't accept the pundits who say it shouldn't be there, this is a brilliant location for a very appropriate industry for the west of Ireland, and will allow farmers on some bits of their land to grow the willow to contribute to the overall supply for it and to add an income."

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