Category Archives: News


‘…processors have no intention of abiding by recent agreement.’

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA Beef Chairman, Edmond Phelan
ICSA Beef Chairman, Edmond Phelan

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has accused Meat Industry Ireland of completely disregarding the recent roundtable agreement.

“It seems quite clear that meat processors have no intention of abiding by the recent agreement. They are ignoring the commitment to end dual pricing and are showing total disregard for the roundtable process,” said Mr. Phelan.

“Once again the factories are showing their clear disdain for the primary producer, the farmer on whom their business depends. How can farmers be expected to have any confidence in this process when factories obviously don’t take it seriously?”

“Factories have also been dragging their feet on expanding the Quality Assured bonus to include all steers and heifers and to date there has been no engagement with farmers on this.”

Splash up a storm in aid of North West Hospice this Christmas Season!

Three annual swims in County Sligo in coming weeks.

Sligo News File Online.

North West HospiceWhy not splash up a storm and help raise funds for North West Hospice this festive season?  Three annual swims will take place in CountySligo in the coming weeks: Christmas Day Swims at Mullaghmore and Lough Arrow and a New Year’s Day Swim at RossesPoint.  Another swim also takes place this year in Lake Gulladoo, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim in aid of North West Hospice. All proceeds from each swim go to North West Hospice and these funds go directly towards the provision of essential palliative care services for people living with life-limiting illness in the North West region.

Lough Arrow Christmas Day Swim.
Time: 1pm.
Location: Flynn’s Pier, Lough Arrow.
Contact: Mary Moran on (086) 8733485
Sponsor cards: Available from Mary Moran.
Additional details: Hot whiskey, mulled wine and soft drinks will be served alongside a DJ spinning tunes.

Mullaghmore Christmas Day Swim.
Time: 12 noon.
Location: The Pier, Mullaghmore.
Contact: Bridie & Michael Watters (087) 2531878
Sponsor cards: Available from Michael Watters
Additional details:  Hot whiskeys will be served and fancy dress is encouraged!

Lake Gulladoo Christmas Day Swim.
Time: 12.30pm.
Location: Lake Gulldaoo, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim
Contact: Cathríona MacManus (086)3136264
Sponsor cards: Donations can be made on the day or sponsorship cards are available from Cathríona or North West Hospice
Additional details: Soup & refreshments on the day, fancy dress is welcomed!

Rosses Point New Year’s Day Swim
Time: 2.00pm.
Location: The Yacht Club, RossesPoint.
Contact: Winifred McDermott (087) 6335450 or North West Hospice (071) 9143317
Sponsor cards: Donations can be made on the day or sponsorship cards are available from North West Hospice (071) 9143317
Additional details: Soup and mulled wine will be served up on the day.

Speaking about the festive Swims, Bernadette McGarvey, Community Relations Manager at North West Hospice, said “We are sincerely grateful to everyone involved in organising and participating in these annual swims in aid of North West Hospice. These Swims give people the chance to have a really fun afternoon with friends and family while raising vital funds for our local hospice. 

“To maintain our current level of service, we must raise €1 million every year through fundraising events, voluntary contributions, donations and bequests.  This is a huge challenge, but it is one we can meet through the continued support and generosity of individuals and groups in our community like all of those involved with these annual swims. ”

North West Hospice provides specialist care with compassion for those living with life-limiting illness and their families, in Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and West Cavan. 

Further info: Bernadette McGarvey, North West Hospice
 (071) 9143317 / (087) 9030887 /


Fianna Fail to back same sex ‘marriage’ referendum – Kelleher.

‘As a republican party we believe there should be no law…that discriminates against certain citizens.’

Fianna Fail spokesman on health, Billy Kelleher has said his party
will be supporting the Coalition referendum on same sex ‘marriage.’

Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fail front bench spokesman on health
Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fail front bench spokesman on health

Kelleher told News Talk Breakfast this morning that “yes, we’ll be campaigning for a Yes vote.

“Clearly as a Republican party we believe that there should be no laws on the statute book that discriminate against certain citizens.”

“One thing I worry about”, he said, “is the highjacking of debates and referenda by extremes on both sides and middle ground being torn apart.

“There’s a lot of people out there, middle Ireland, who want to deal
with this not only in the context of compassion for people but just to ensure every citizen has equal and fundamental rights in this republic.”

Sligo Regional Hospital shoots down Colreavy ‘stolen cancer equipment’ claim.

‘Mammography equipment not stolen from hospital at any time.’

Sligo News File Online.

Sligo Regional Hospital-Saolta University Health Care Group has rejected claims reportedly made by Sligo/Leitrim Sinn Fein TD, Michael Colreavy that cancer equipment was stolen from
the hospital.

General Hospital Sligo Speaking under Dail privilage, Mr. Colreavy, a former HSE employee, allegedly stated that “mammography equipment was stolen overnight from Sligo General Hospital by agents of the
Health Service Executive some months ago.”

He is also said to have asserted that the equipment was purchased “following fund-raising by local people in Sligo, Leitrim, south Donegal and west Cavan.”

But now the hospital and Saolta have hit out at the apparent allegation, stating that “mammography equipment was not stolen from the hospital at any time.”

Explaining the position surrounding the equipment, the hospital and Saolta have said in a statement to Sligo News File Online that “it is important to clarify that mammography imaging equipment at
Sligo Regional Hospital was decommissioned recently as it was more than nine years old and did not meet current guidelines.

“Even if repaired it would suffer from inadequate detector size, inferior imaging performance and inability to fit up to date software.

“It is not acceptable from a patient safety perspective to maintain or retain equipment that is not fit for purpose. Our priority at all times is to ensure the delivery of safe patient care.

“This equipment has been purchased from SRH funds.”

The statement adds that “…the ultrasound machine which was largely funded from donations following fundraising led by the former Mayor of Sligo, Rosaleen O’Grady, and the hundreds of
other fundraisers who took part in the Inner Relief Road Walk in Sligo in 2005, is still in use in the hospital in the Maternity Services, having been assigned there a few years ago.”

Sligo’s Twist Soup Kitchen forced to close.

Daily meals service for needy hit as building placed in receivership. 

Sligo News File Online.

Concern is growing for the welfare of upwards of 70 people in need
following the closure of the Twist Soup Kitchen in Sligo.

Sligo Twist Soup Kitchen
Sligo Twist Soup Kitchen

The facility, which provides meals on a daily basis, was forced to
cease its activities after the building was placed in receivership.

Founder of the facility, Oliver Williams, is attempting to reach
agreement with the receivers to allow the service to continue.

A health issue has been raised by the HSE over the location of
toilets. Separate toilets for users of the facility are also being
demanded. Mr. Williams believes this can be resolved if agreement
can be reached on the future of the soup service.

He has told local media of his disappointment at the turn of events,
stating “We keep hearing about the recession lifting on the east coast,  but no way is it happening in the west.”

Every day, he said, people are being stretched to the limit. “Single
mothers in housing estates are struggling and there are children going to school hungry.”

The closure of the High street facility comes weeks after the County Council adopted a budget in which upwards of €50,000 is understood to have been earmarked for a golf tournament.

Despite repeated promises, the county council has to date failed to provide Sligo News File with a copy of the annual budget as adopted or publish it for inspection by the public on the council’s website.

Jamie Rooney Of Mayo National Citizens Movement reflects on water charges protest in Dublin

‘Powerful message delivered to government hell-bent on keeping its head buried in the sand.’

Sligo News File Online. 

A Chairde,

On Wednesday December 10th, this country saw a massive 3rd wave of citizen protest in what can only be described as a powerful message, yet again, being delivered to a government hell-bent on keeping its head (and ears) firmly buried in the sand. The proverbial ostrich is nothing new to the Irish people who have been, and will continue, piling the pressure of citizens’ organised movements onto those deaf ears in Leinster House.

The National Citizens Movement Mayo brought a max. capacity coach to Dublin to represent north Mayo, while a mirror effort was carried out from Castlebar – the home constituency of our Dear Leader, Enda Kenny.

Representations of other National Citizens Movement local branches brought their gatherings to the event also – coming from Donegal, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Westmeath; to name but a few.

Despite the cold weather that was in it on the day, the atmosphere was not only electric and positive all-round, but also entirely family friendly. Old, young, male, female, unemployed, working people, & pensioners took their voice to the national table once again.

The only negative on the day was the obvious and visible presumption by An Garda Síochána that, despite a national rally cry for that a PEACEFUL protest was organised, An Garda Síochána prepared for the IMAGINARY riots that are happening elsewhere in austerity-hit countries. Do they still not understand that WE THE PEOPLE in this island are willing and able to convert our rage, anger and emotion into a loud and voluminous VOICE?? To see An Garda Síochána have Kildare St. and Molesworth St. closed to the public, preventing them access to THEIR OWN parliament is an insult to the form of democracy that they so dearly cling to and shove down the throats of the ordinary decent citizen. To see the RIOT SQUAD and CANINE UNIT standing in wait only added to the level of disgust they managed to reinforce in the eyes of the citizenry on the day too.

On the stage, there was an cross-section of anti-water charge and anti-austerity support from Independent TDs, party TDs, experienced national and international protesters (offering the power of their hindsight), trade unions and their umbrella group (Right2Water), and revolutionary music to bring a binding resolution from the stage to the crowd – that “we are here to stay and that we are a force to be reckoned with!”. In the words of Paul Murphy TD: “Look at us now!”.

Staring right back at that chorus up on the stage, was a representation of ALL classes, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, political affiliations, and interests of the common good, which echoed every single sentiment presented over the loudspeaker in unison like a chorus – in fact there were many choruses throughout that afternoon.

Let us be clear about one thing and ONLY one thing now, the people of Ireland now know that WE have the power and, to borrow from a great band of a protest generation 40 years ago, we are “taking it to the streets”.

We now no longer heed the official An Garda Síochána crowd estimates, nor that of RTE, as we have come to know that they cannot count any longer! When you have a 90% disparity between the UK National Broadcaster, BBC, and the Irish ‘National’ broadcaster (more like STATE broadcaster if we’re really being candid here) estimates of the crowd present – then we have to start looking down the direction that the questions which are being raised start to point.

We would like to pay thanks to those HONEST media staff who are not bound by their own whips in their organisations and who can air the truth that we as citizens are entitled to – we will continue to work with you guys, in parallel with calling out the CULPRIT media groups who seek to subvert the Irish public opinion.

The next huge wave of protest will be at a local level again on January 31st, and will overwhelm the nay-sayers – like Michael “Let them have their last protest” Noonan, and Enda “It’s not about the water, is it?” Kenny. We shall keep shouting in their ears until such time as they realise the humility they should have had all along, and truly sit down with the ordinary citizen to hear their concerns. In the interim, a self-organisation of local groups will continue to grow and they will continue their localized protest actions in order to repeat those messages that our leaders are vehemently continuing to seek refuge from

Is mise le meas,
Jamie Rooney
PRO – National Citizens Movement (Mayo)


Increase in current water rates ‘would be intolerable.’

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA president Patrick Kent has said that it would be intolerable if current water charges for farmers were to increase as a result of the formation of Irish Water.

ICSA President, Patrick Kent
ICSA President, Patrick Kent

Farmers, said Mr. Kent, have been paying for water for years, either via the public supply system,  through group water schemes or through the cost of providing their own supply, and have put up with it.

“However, there is concern that these charges may increase under Irish Water, something that would be completely unacceptable,” he said

“Farmers must not be used to subsidise cuts to the original planned charges for households.

“Drystock farmers in particular have taken huge financial hits in recent years, and any increase in their water charges would be a step too far.”



Continuation of service arrangements in place since 2009: Saolta.

Sligo News File Online.

General Hospital SligoSligo Regional Hospital /Saolta University Health Care Group have confirmed that Sligo patients recovering from a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment (surgery will continue attending University Hospital Galway for their follow up surveillance mammography. 

This, they have stated, is a continuation of the service arrangements that have been in place since 2009 and is supported by the National Cancer Control Programme as the most effective way of providing quality assured follow up services to patients who have undergone treatment for breast cancer.

Sligo patients will continue to receive chemotherapy locally at Sligo Regional Hospital as part of their treatment programme.

The Symptomatic Breast Cancer Service.
A comprehensive symptomatic breast cancer service is provided to patients from the west of Ireland at the Symptomatic Breast Unit based at Galway University Hospitals with a satellite service at Letterkenny General Hospital. This service is provided on the basis of clinical need and without regard to county boundaries.

The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) have set national standards against which all symptomatic breast services are measured: the Galway/Letterkenny service has consistently delivered on these standards ensuring that the best possible service is provided to patients in this part of the country. 

Galway/Letterkenny service is at the top of the league tables for quality of service: for example, 98% of referrals triaged as urgent by the cancer centre were seen within 2 weeks across both sites and 88% of routine referrals seen within 12 weeks.

In addition, Saolta conducted a survey of patient satisfaction, including 783 patients from Sligo: the overall results showed that 85% of patients rated the service as excellent and 13% as good. Therefore, both the NCCP’s key performance indicator assessments and patient satisfaction rating are extremely positive in relation to services provided in the West.

In 2009, when the symptomatic breast service transferred to Galway, it was envisaged that Sligo patients (those that had breast surgery in Sligo) or those who had surgery in Galway could avail of the option of surveillance mammography in Sligo. 

However Sligo Regional Hospital did not have sufficient numbers of trained mammography staff to maintain an onsite follow-up service. 
A commitment was given that the necessary staff would be provided but it did not prove possible to deliver on this commitment due to the difficulty in recruiting mammographers (despite numerous recruitment campaigns-there was worldwide shortage of mammographers).

In September 2012, University Hospital Galway took the decision to send two radiographers to be trained as mammographers but these were needed as part of the core service. At no stage did the level of mammographers reach that required to re-establish a service in Sligo. 

The Hospital Group remains committed to this training programme in order to ensure an adequate number of appropriately trained staff are retained within the Group.

Following evaluation within the Group, it was agreed that re-establishing a Sligo service would no longer be feasible due in the main to the following reasons:-
• Potential for fragmentation of the breast service.  There is a concern that this would not be in the best clinical interest of patients.  Given it is now more than 5 years since the cessation of the Sligo service, many women who already are receiving follow up in Galway would continue to avail of this option.   There is no longer Consultant Radiology backup in Sligo and therefore any woman requiring further investigation from a mammogram would need to travel to Galway for this service, with a potential for further delay in intervention.   
• In order for radiographers trained in mammography to continue to perform their role, they must meet quality assurance standards and minimum numbers of examinations per annum. There are insufficient numbers of surveillance follow up patients that would require mammography in Sligo Regional Hospital to maintain a radiographer’s skill set.

The vast majority of women who require mammography from Sligo and the surrounds attend a locally provided service, (i.e women between the ages of 50-64, through BreastCheck, the National Screening Programme). The service plan for next year includes an extension of this up to 70 years of age. 27,920 women attended the BreastCheck service in 2013

Cancer Services in Sligo
Approximately 500 inpatients, 5,200 daycases and 2,700 outpatients are treated between both Haematology and Oncology services across the catchment area of Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal, West Cavan and parts of Mayo in Sligo Regional Hospital. 
The service in Sligo is committed to consistently achieving high quality evidenced based care for the management of cancer patients and patients with non-malignant blood disorders. It focuses on all stages of a patients’ journey: prevention, screening, and diagnosis, treatment, palliative and supportive care.

Some cancer surgery is provided in Sligo, whilst patients who require specialist cancer surgical treatments travel to either Galway or Dublin. 

Follow-on care including the administration of chemotherapy is provided in Sligo. In addition, on-site weekly Radiotherapy outpatient clinics are provided from Galway University Hospital whilst patients continue to travel to Galway for radiotherapy treatment.  

The service strives to achieve individualised, holistic and patient centred care to all patients and their families with the establishment of  strong links within Sligo Regional Hospital services, the North West Hospice Palliative Care Service, local community services and other designated Cancer Centres and in particular Galway University Hospital.   To this end, formal weekly Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings have been in place between Sligo Regional Hospital and Galway University Hospital for the past 4/5 years for a number of cancer subspecialties.  These include Lung, Urology, Breast, Lymphoma, and Gastrointestinal Multidisciplinary Team Meetings where staff discuss individual patients and their treatment plans on both sites. 

It is very important to note that patients from all parts of the west continue to receive an excellent service across the hospitals in the Saolta Group.  Integration across the hospitals within the Saolta Group and improved patient pathways remain a key focus in our efforts to provide a quality and safe service.