Tender for works on N60 from Heathlawn to Balla - Dillon

Sun, May 15, 2022

Mayo TD Alan Dillon has welcomed good news on N60 Balla to Claremorris Road Realignment at Heathlawn that has now moved to tender. Deputy Dillon said: "This is an important step forward for all road users who use the N60 and especially this busy section of road which has seen a large increase in traffic flow since the Tuam bypass has opened. The project comprises the construction of approximately 3.6km of mainly online upgrade of national secondary road on a section of road commencing 1.5km east of Balla village. The realigned road will improve the capacity, overall consistency and efficiency of the N60, providing more reliable journey times, thereby enhancing the prospect for future development and growth within the region. There is no doubt, the lives of the residents living along this stretch of road will be greatly enhanced; it will provide all road-users with a safer environment into the area. I want to acknowledge the work of my colleague Cllr Cyril Burke who has raised this matter with me on multiple occasions and has liaised with Mayo County Council road design team to see this development proceed to tender," concluded Deputy Dillon.

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Extension for Mayo Abbey NS to proceed to tender – Ring

Sun, May 15, 2022

Michael Ring TD has welcomed the announcement that Mayo Abbey National School, Claremorris has been approved to proceed to tender for a school extension. The extension will include 1 x 80sq m mainstream classroom including en suite and 1 x 10.5sq m wc for assisted users (total area including walls and circulation 105sq m). Deputy Ring said: "I am delighted that this extension has been approved to proceed to tender. Currently the school has to use the GP room as a classroom and this extra mainstream classroom is urgently required. This is very welcome news for the pupils and staff in Mayo Abbey NS."

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Ring officially opens Glencorrib/Kilroe Community Walkway

Sat, May 14, 2022

Michael Ring TD officially opened Glencorrib/Kilroe Community Walkway recently. Deputy Michael Ring stated: "I was absolutely delighted and honoured to be asked to officially open Glencorrib/Kilroe Community Walkway. This is a truly wonderful amenity in the village of Glencorrib. I am very pleased to be able to say that this walkway was developed with funding of €71,250 that I allocated in my capacity as Minister for Rural and Community Development. This walkway with lighting is a tremendous addition to the Glencorrib/Kilroe area. The provision of lighting will ensure that this facility can be used all year round and will prove especially beneficial during the long winter evenings. This is an excellent investment in people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. The number of people engaging in outdoor recreation activities in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years. Both locals and visitors are engaging in a broad range of outdoor recreation activities. I was delighted that Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton -who also allocated funding to this wonderful project - was able to attend the official opening. I wish to strongly compliment and commend LEADER, the Rural Social Scheme and Mr Pauric Hennelly, chairman of the committee, on their hard work, dedication and commitment to this project. Without of all of their sterling work this project would not have come to fruition. It is extremely heart-warming to witness first-hand the community spirit that is very much alive and well in the Glencorrib/Kilroe area. It is extremely admirable. Over the years, in my capacity as Minister for Rural and Community Development, I always endeavoured to deliver as much funding as I could to rural Ireland and Glencorrib/Kilroe was no exception to this."

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Dillon urges Minister to secure an affordable housing scheme for Mayo

Sat, May 14, 2022

Affordability of housing in Mayo is now at a crisis point, Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon highlighted during ministerial questioning in the Dáil. Deputy Dillon expressed disappointment that Mayo County Council has been excluded from the national affordable housing five-year delivery targets despite the problems that exist. At present no scheme has been approved to provide affordable housing in the county and this is having a negative impact on future economic development in the county. "There is a shortage of affordable homes to rent or purchase in parts of the county, especially in towns such as Westport, Castlebar and Ballina." Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien explained an identified level of affordable housing need arises where, of the projected housing need in the county, more than five per cent of new households would not qualify. "The level of affordability constrained need in Mayo is assessed at below five per cent. I understand there are localised affordability issues, particularly in Westport and also potentially in Ballina. We are happy to consider those issues. Where local authorities have localised affordability measures, as is the case in the two towns in question, they can still apply to the Department for funding to develop affordable housing schemes if they can demonstrate that an affordable scheme is needed to address those localised affordability challenges and they can meet the criteria for the fund. I am confident that can be done. As regards Mayo in particular, in June 2021 a scheme was submitted for 25 homes in Westport under the previous fund, namely, the Serviced Sites Fund. We have told Mayo County Council that it can resubmit that to the new fund and I understand work is ongoing between my Department and the council on that." Minister O’Brien informed Deputy Dillon of KPMG’s ongoing work for Mayo County Council on the future analytics side, to prove the affordability constraint in pressure areas within Mayo, and following the conclusion of KPMG work this month his Department has agreed to meet with Mayo County Council in June. Deputy Dillon said Mayo has the fourth-lowest market house price in the country but that is certainly not reflective of the open market price of new-build homes in areas such as Westport, Castlebar and Ballina. Some of these A-rated new premises are on the market for between €270,000 and €350,000. He said: "I am delighted to see Mayo County Council has been proactive. It reached out to the public in Mayo, seeking information to understand better the demand for affordable housing, including locations of choice and the affordability constraints of potential applicants. The threshold for social housing in Mayo is €25,000. Many people are above that threshold but caught within the squeezed-middle bracket. It is important that we respond to these pressure areas. Mayo has significant issues in respect of vacancy and dereliction. Increasing housing supply in the area would be an important step forward."

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Widespread frustration as CAO faces repeat of grade inflation pressure – Conway-Walsh

Sat, May 14, 2022

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education Rose Conway-Walsh TD has said there is widespread frustration among students and parents at reports of sustained levels of grade inflation and the use of a lottery system to allocated high-demand courses.

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Ring on hand to unveil projects in Balla

Fri, May 13, 2022

Deputy Michael Ring TD was on hand in Balla recently to unveil a number of local projects that were completed in the local area.

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Helipad for Inishturk Island goes to tender - Dillon

Fri, May 13, 2022

Mayo TD Alan Dillon has welcomed good news on the construction of a new helipad at Inishturk Island. Deputy Dillon said: "I received an update today following several representations to the Department that the construction of a new helipad on Inishturk Island is gone to tender. Works include the construction of a helicopter landing pad at Bellavaum, Inishturk, comprising construction of a helicopter landing pad and associated access road. This project is a lifeline for island residents and emergency services, to date progress has been slow but I am very confident that once a tender is chosen the work will commence. I want to commend the people of Inishturk for their patience and the Inishturk Community Club CLG for their hard work and I look forward to seeing the work progress on the Island."

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Mayo retail businesses should apply for new round of funding to expand online offering - Ring

Fri, May 13, 2022

Michael Ring TD has stated that Mayo retail businesses should apply for a new round of funding to expand their online offering and presence to customers at home and abroad. Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English this week launched a new round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, worth €9.3m, to help Irish businesses to upgrade their websites and improve their competitiveness in online retail. Deputy Michael Ring said: "Many Irish companies have successfully made the digital transition in recent years and developed their online capability to sell their goods and services online. Consumer habits have also changed in recent years and it was great for them to know that that when they went online, they had local options instead of just the large international retailers, particularly when the pandemic occurred. Government was keen to help businesses adapt to and embrace this change, and the Online Retail Scheme was launched to help them develop and improve their offering beyond the physical shop. There have been over 500 successful approvals under the Online Retail Scheme, which includes many businesses here in Mayo. Past applicants have included many retailers selling jewellery, fashion, sports, homeware, furniture, healthcare, hardware, electrical goods and equipment. Businesses are rightly preparing for the future and growing their presence so that they can attract and cater for different types of shoppers.” The scheme is administered by Enterprise Ireland and there is €9.3m available in this round of funding, which is open for applications and closes on June 1. In order to be eligible for this funding, applicant companies must have 10 or more full-time employees in a physical store and an existing online presence. This is to support the clicks and bricks for Irish retailers. The transition to online shopping was accelerated over the last two years and consumers' retail habits have changed significantly. Almost all previous recipients of funding in this Scheme noted an increase in online sales, many in international markets and the vast majority have hired additional employees to manage their increase in online sales."

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Chambers welcomes new strategic action plan for the National Parks and Wildlife Service

Fri, May 13, 2022

Local Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers has welcomed the publication of a new strategic action plan for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) following Government approval. The plan sets out an ambitious timeline for a full organisational restructuring of the NPWS, and a substantial €55 million additional investment in the organisation across three budgetary cycles, together with the early recruitment of 60 key staff for critically important roles. Senator Chambers commented: "The renewal of the National Parks and Wildlife Service is the keystone action in this Government’s response to the biodiversity emergency and I am delighted to see a suite of strategic actions to transform the organisation, which have now been approved at Cabinet. The NPWS will be established as an executive agency, giving it a strong identity and voice to speak for nature. The funding commitment will enable the NPWS to embrace Ireland’s ambitions for nature and help us begin to turn the tide on biodiversity loss." This strategic action plan aims to deliver an NPWS that is more resilient, better resourced, and better equipped to play its part in Ireland’s response to the biodiversity emergency, on the national and international stage. The plan will equip the NPWS with the organisational capability and supporting structures to enable it to deliver its mandate in protecting our natural heritage. The announcement fulfils an important commitment in the Programme for Government, providing for a significant investment in, and a renewal of, the National Parks and Wildlife Service. This renewal is underpinned by a comprehensive, expert review of the organisation, which has now been completed by independent authors. The strategic action plan is designed to implement and deliver upon the recommendations made by the review.

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The Movement for Choice will mobilise against any religious influence over the NMG - Daly

Fri, May 13, 2022

"Any form of religious influence at National Maternity Hospital would see political backlash and would ignite the choice movement on the streets," said People Before Profit representative in Mayo Joe Daly. Mr Daly has called on the Government to heed calls by Dr Peter Boylan, as well as several of the HSEs own board members, regarding outstanding concerns over the future ownership of the National Maternity Hospital. He stated: "That any hint of religious influence over the provision of abortion and sterilisation services in the new National Maternity Hospital would see a political backlash that would ignite the choice movement on the streets. The Movement for Choice will mobilise against any deal that would see any form of curtailment of abortion services in the National Maternity Hospital. The Government and Minister for Health now need to come before the Dáil and make a statement on this matter."

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Talking Politics - What have your local politicians talking about this week?

Fri, Mar 11, 2022

What were your politicans talking about this week?

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Castlebar Municipal District Briefs

Fri, Feb 25, 2022

The February meeting of the Castlebr Muncipal District took place this week. 

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