05 March 2021 Roscommon People

Page 1



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For years, the slick marketing gurus – most of whom wouldn’t know a cow from a sheep – have patronised rural communities, assuring families who have had decades of interaction with the banks that these institutions have some credible social conscience, an unwavering loyalty to their customers, an instinctive empathy with people. Whatever about the dogs in the street, even the cows and sheep knew it was always a dubious claim. This past week we’ve seen all our cynicism about such financial institutions being justified. Hot on the heels of the Ulster Bank Roscommon-Galway Constituency announcing it is pulling out of Ireland, Bank of Ireland ruthlessly shuts 103 branches on this island…including those in Strokestown, Elphin, Ballygar. These closures represent a hammer blow to these communities. FULL COVERAGE: Pages 15-17

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Family Home My husband has a gambling problem and I am concerned that he may try to sell our home to pay off gambling debts. The house is in his name and I am very worried. Can he sell our home without my consent? No, your husband may not legally sell your home without your consent. The family home of a married couple is protected by specific legislation, namely, the Family Home Protection Act, 1976. Similar protection is provided for the shared home of civil partners by the civil partnership legislation. The Family Home Protection Act prevents one spouse or civil partner from selling, mortgaging, leasing or transferring the family home without the consent of the other spouse or civil partner. This applies regardless of whether the home is owned jointly by the married couple or civil partners or where the home is owned by just one party. Consent of a spouse or civil partner must be secured prior to any sale, lease, mortgage or transfer. Such consent must be in writing. If you remain very concerned you may inform the Property Registration Authority that you are a spouse of the registered owner of the property. A notice to that effect will then be registered against the property. However, you are not obliged to enter such a registration and not doing so will not affect your rights, it will simply offer you peace of mind.


What’s Another Year…? You must be joking! Kind of undermines what our Eurovision superstar used to sing… Huh? God forgive me, I’m even lashing out at Eurovision stars! I need to take a breath… WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I’m just saying…Ireland’s Eurovision legend… Dana? Is it Dana? Is it Marty Whelan? NO! Johnny Lohan! Oh! Eh…what about him? Wasn’t it Johnny who used to sing…What’s Another Year…? Yeah… So, like I say, that mantra is kind of undermined now… Huh? …by the year we’ve just had. What’s Another Year! You must be joking!

Endangered Species The barstool boyos

(They pause to solemnly and ruefully mark the first anniversary of Covid’s arrival in Ireland) Old men climbing ladders to see young men play football on the pitches the old men developed – and graced. Snapshots of the Covid year? Yep. So many harrowing images. Loved ones in care homes separated from their loved ones… communicating through windows. They are all in our thoughts. Stressed frontline workers. Heroic. Face coverings the symbol of the new normal. The new normal! A wretched phrase! Such ‘new language’ is a product of these times. Yeah…social distancing. Self-isolating. Flatten the curve. Quarantine. Click and collect. Idiot. I’m sorry?

I mean Covidiot. That’s a new word… Oh, that’s actually a good one! (They pause to ponder on how to balance humour with the harsh realities of lockdown life when discussing the first anniversary of Covid in Ireland) Celebrities… Huh? It’s been a year of new emerging celebrities. Oh yeah, despite lockdown, there are exciting new faces in sport, acting, music… No! I’m talking about Sam McConkey and Luke O’Neill and Ronan Glynn and… Oh, THEM! Yeah…household names now. I like that Professor Luke O’Neill, he’s al-

(They pause to reflect again on a year unlike any they’ve ever known) Hold Me Now… I’m sorry? Didn’t Johnny Logan win with that too? More irony. HOLD ME NOW! The one thing people can’t do now…hold or hug! You can’t blame Johnny Logan for lockdown! Yeah, I know…Ryan Tubridy. No, not his fault either… No, I mean as another snapshot of the year…Tubridy’s monologues. Oh no, not for me! Claire Byrne in her shed. Banana bread. Zoom quizzes. WhatsApp videos. Empty sports’ pitches. Empty schools, for so much of the year. Empty pubs. No holidays. No family gatherings. No one believed it would be a year… (They pause; they just pause) Anyways, Johnny Logan was great…but I always had a soft spot for Abba. Oh yeah…hey, maybe their Eurovision winner is more appropriate? Not really, it was WATERLOO! Oh, forget I said that. Still, we’ve been resilient during this traumatic 12 months…. we can take inspiration from another Abba hit… Both: Yeah, we’re SUPER TROOPERS!

What we liked… Monday’s return to school of about 320,000 students nationwide was a very positive development.

This column is prepared by Dolores Gacquin, Solicitor. Byrne Carolan Cunningham have offices in Athlone, Moate, Lanesborough and Galway.

What we didn’t like… We certainly didn’t like the violence instigated by some of the louts involved in the protest/riot in Dublin on Saturday. A number of Gardaí were hurt after violence erupted during an anti-lockdown protest.

A person should always contact their solicitor to obtain legal advice specific to their own situation. The above column contains general information and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. * In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement

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ways smiling. But the other new ‘Covid celebs’… they’re generally quite glum… Oh they’ll cheer up once it’s all over. They can have a well deserved party then. Great! They’ve formed a social committee with a party coordinator… I bet it’s Luke! Is it Luke? Eh no…it’s George Lee.

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The shocking scenes in Dublin during a violent anti-lockdown protest on Saturday; the GAA decides to move to a ‘split season’ from 2022 – keeping club and county activity largely separate – with All-Ireland finals to be held in July; Bank of Ireland announcing the closure of 103 branches on the island of Ireland; Racehorse trainer Gordon Elliott embroiled in controversy after a photograph emerged of him sitting on a dead horse; schools (partially) reopening; the death of three brothers in Cork in an apparent murder-suicide which has stunned the public.

Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


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Tributes to a ‘broadcasting giant’ MIKE BURNS IN HIS OWN WORDS: Page 18 < PAUL HEALY

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin have led tributes to “giant of Irish broadcasting” Mike Burns, who began his journalistic career in Roscommon, having grown up in Ballintubber. Mr. Burns (a former Head of RTE News) died at the weekend at the age of 84. While he was born in the UK, the late Mike Burns’ family moved to Ballintubber, Co. Roscommon. Later, he began his distinguished career working as a journalist with the Roscommon Champion. He subsequently moved to RTE, where he became Head of News, before going on to work as London Editor. In 2004, he received an MBE for services to UK-Irish relations. Extending condolences to the family of Mike Burns, President Higgins said: “News of the death of Mike Burns will have been received with sadness not only by his colleagues

but by his many friends in Ireland and abroad. “The tributes by so many of his colleagues to his geniality and the ease with which he engaged both with people and with complex issues is an appropriate one, and one that is shared by all those who knew him. “In so many ways, as a journalist Mike Burns was in touch with all aspects of the Irish diaspora”. Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was “very saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Burns, a giant of broadcasting”. He added: “Kind and courteous, his pioneering RTÉ shows like This Week and the News at One left a lasting legacy. His analysis of the Troubles and work on UK-Irish relations made a real difference that will endure”. Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten said that Mike Burns was always proud of his roots in Ballintubber in County Roscommon. “Mike was someone who

made a huge impact on how current affairs broadcasting was developed in this country. Three programmes which he helped to establish – This Week, The News at One and World Report – continue to this day on RTE and provide the public with an in-depth analysis of news stories from the local to the national and the international. “Until Mike’s intervention, the news each day was just a news bulletin with no in-depth detail, which could only be accessed through the papers. Coming from

print journalism into RTE brought that desire to give listeners far more than had been available on radio up to that point. “Coming from rural County Roscommon Mike understood the importance of radio and how vital it was in communicating the current issues of the day with Irish people. “On a personal level, I’ve known Mike all my adult life. While soft spoken, he would never mince his words and would always get his point across. “He was a great storyteller and he recounted

many from Roscommon, from his time in the Premier Aces Showband and his many years interacting with the political systems on both sides of the Irish Sea. “He is someone who will be remembered fondly by the many people that had the good fortune of being in his company”. Predeceased by his wife Lynette and his sister Mary, the late Mike Burns is mourned by his sisters Margaret (Joyce) and Norah (Stewart), further relatives and many friends. May he rest in peace.

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Back to school…with a smile! SPECIAL REPORT < DAN DOONER

There was plenty of excitement in Roscommon this week as junior primary school and Leaving Certificate students across the county returned to their classrooms as part of

the Government’s updated ‘Living with Covid’ plan. Outside Ballyforan National School, young students happily greeted their classmates while parents made a welcome return to the school run. Sophie (9) and Emily (8)

Eric, Sophie (9) and Emily (8) Cramer pictured outside Ballyforan NS after returning to school earlier this week.

Cramer and their dad Eric said they were delighted school was back in session. Sophie said she was happy she would get to see her friends again while Emily agreed that it was good that so far she hadn’t received any homework! Cáit Kenny-Finneran said her children, Donnacha (7) and Clodagh (9), were also happy to be going back and praised Ballyforan NS for providing devices as part of online learning. “My experience of home schooling was very different,” she said. “I was working from home so I was struggling at times and worried that they were falling behind with the work. They had a Zoom class each day and they really looked forward to that. “This is another step and hopefully the next thing that returns is the sport. One thing I noticed is that screen time has gone way up during lockdown but thank God for Fitbits because we could set them a target of 10,000 steps each day before they were given devices,” she said. Cáit also praised the school for providing provisions through the school

meals programme while the children were at home. Next Monday week it’s the turn of the more senior primary school students and parents are already looking forward to some sort of normality. Rita Tansey’s daughter Marissa is in fourth class and she said the online classes provided by Principal Thomas Murray and his staff were “brilliant”. “We got our timetable on Friday evenings and it was all laid out for the following week. “It was great that all the teachers could log on too and we could email if she was struggling with something and they’d go over it. It was like being in the classroom,” she said. “Without doubt though, they need their classmates, and Marissa can’t wait to see all her friends,” she added. Sharon DunningThorose’s daughter, Darcy, is also in fourth class in Ballyforan, and Sharon says the excitement is already building ahead of Monday week. “They were relatively happy with the Zoom classes and seeing their friends everyday but I

Cáit Kenny-Finneran pictured with her children Deborah (14), Donnacha (7) and Clodagh (9) outside Ballyforan NS earlier this week.

think they are definitely looking forward to getting back into class and seeing their friends and teachers. Zoom made the transition easier though and they have covered a lot,” she said. Meanwhile, Carmel Fahy’s daughter, Robyn, is in fifth class and Monday

week can’t come quickly enough! “She is looking forward to it. Today was the first day she didn’t want to put on clothes so she needs to go back! “We weren’t put under any pressure with online learning. She had three or four Zoom classes every

day and the principal Mr. Murray would go over the work so he’d understand where they might be struggling. “It’s also good that they will be getting outside and getting a bit of fresh air and exercise because I think Robyn was becoming a bit of a hermit!”

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

PAUL HEALY’S WEEK A column by Roscommon People editor Thursday Denis O’Brien is stepping off the Irish stage, presumably to spend more time with his ego. The thin-skinned tycoon has sold Communicorp to Bauer Media Audio, meaning that media-wise, O’Brien – by choice – now has no place to go in Ireland (older readers/Brendan Shine fans will get the reference). His media group Communicorp includes leading national radio stations Newstalk and Today FM. The sale completes O’Brien’s withdrawal from the Irish market; two years ago he sold his major interest in the newspaper industry (Independent News & Media). As the years passed, O’Brien’s stock with the Irish public fell significantly. His initial public image – cuddly, smiling selfmade man/generous philanthropist – began to be challenged. It was hardly surprising that, as his influence and profile grew, we began to see evidence of steel and ruthlessness; but also revealed was a notably thin skin and a tedious victim mentality. A sense grew that this was a man not to be an enemy of. Then, a determination by the Moriarty Tribunal proved devastating for O’Brien’s reputation. The Tribunal declared that the then Minister of Communications Michael Lowry had helped O’Brien secure the mobile phone licence for his company, Esat Digifone. O’Brien has always disputed this finding, but the reputational damage is done. Meanwhile, his ego grew in parallel with the rise of his media empire. His prickly approach to some politicians and journalists did not endear him to either profession. Neither did his haste in taking legal action. He was entitled to make his many forays to the courts, but it was unseemly to see a media billionaire rushing to sue the media. In recent years, O’Brien’s Communicorp arrogantly banned all Irish Times journalists from its radio stations in response to an article written by Fintan O’Toole.


Apart from anything else, O’Brien’s domination of the Irish media scene was unhealthy because it was monopolising. I have no issue with the steel behind O’Brien’s smile, but his legacy is certainly badly tainted and the Irish media won’t mourn the O’Brien era. He leaves in a blaze of apathy!

at least tried to live up their image (i.e. sang bawdy songs, drank lots and terrified and intrigued us in equal measure).

Every day

Every day Still, it’s amazing how much things have changed… Imagine some surreal fusion of today’s world with, say the Ireland of 60 or 70 years ago. Here’s our fantasy merging of the old days and now…(okay, we have some extra spare time during lockdown). The scene: A rural house Paddy: ‘Where’s the young fella? I need him to help with killing the pig later…’ Bridie: ‘Oh he’s playing Minecraft – again! I’ll message him on Snapchat’. Paddy: ‘That bloody Minecraft! When I was their age…anyways, do they not realise all that has to be done to get food on the table! This pig….’ Bridie: ‘That reminds me, they’re completely gone off the bacon and cabbage, they’re getting another Chinese delivered tonight’. Paddy shakes his head. ‘A Chinese! What is the world coming to! Anyways, where’s Mary? She’s gone very quiet…’ Bridie: ‘She’s on a Zoom meeting with the HR people followed by a Q&A with the Financial Executive on the implications of the first quarter returns…’ Paddy: ‘Well, where’s Paddy Junior? I was hoping he might come with me later to have a look at this field I’m thinking of buying…’ Bridie: ‘He said you should pass on it…’ Paddy: ‘Why? It’s not bad land…’ Bridie: ‘Yeah, but apparently there’s no WiFI there’. Paddy: ‘I give up! It’s not like when I was a young fella. I better organise a meitheal and tackle this pig…’ Bridie: ‘Hold on! There’s the delivery guy! I ordered a Do-ityourself pig-killing device for you off Amazon!’

John Tarpey (Castlecoote) pictured after having been vaccinated by Dr. Valerie Morris, at the Roscommon Primary Care Centre on Thursday. Picture: Mick McCormack

Saturday Readers will recall how, when we collectively took our eye off the ball, a media superhero/monster was created. Obviously I’m referring to Marty Morrissey. It’s too late now; nothing can be done. Marty will soon be running the country (and that might not be a bad thing). A warning however: I see worrying signs that a similar metamorphosis may be underway with Donncha O’Callaghan (obviously we’re watching the situation with Davy Fitzgerald closely too).

Back to Donncha. Once upon a time he was a standard international class rugby forward whose job it was to hold the ball, gain ground, look relatively imposing, and make life difficult for the opposition. Now he’s morphing into a favourite ‘funny guy’ of lazy TV producers. In the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine today, Donncha is in full ‘I’m mighty craic’ mode, doing silly poses for the photographer while promoting his…eh…kids’ show. Good luck to him, but I think I prefer the days when giant rugby forwards

The English soccer season skips along, all too quickly for my liking. For a lot of people, it’s been a much-savoured lockdown lifeline. The absence of fans is bearable; personally, I like the fake ‘crowd noise’ which the TV ‘Ingenuity Departments’ created in order to replace the lost atmosphere. Delighted with the almost daily diet of Coviddistracting football, suddenly we seem less troubled now by the obscene salaries, the occasional cheating, the obnoxious behaviour of a minority of players, and the thin skin/fragile egos of some of the top managers. The matches are coming thick and fast. At this stage, Sky Sports has a marketing name for almost every day (Monday Night Football, Super Sunday, etc). Match of the Day midweek is a great treat too. Of course the Premier League ‘race’ is done and dusted. Manchester City have clocked up 21 consecutive wins in all competitions; Pep cannot stop smiling. Liverpool are in freefall. I suspect their unexpected decline is temporary, and down to burnout after a couple of seasons of relentless, high-energy football. A few new signings and they’ll be back in business for next season. Manchester United are arguably over-achieving just now. They’ve improved significantly, but the jury is still hesitant about returning a verdict on manager Ole. Chelsea need to finish the season strongly if they are to consider it a success. Same story at Spurs, who purr beautifully one day, and frustrate the next. Inconsistent Arsenal are probably looking to next season already. Leicester, Everton and Villa are doing very well. Perhaps the story of the season (to date) is West Ham’s rise. It’s redemption for their manager, David Moyes, who has rediscovered his Moydas touch.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

NewsPeople Who’s saying what on Tweet Street ... Paul Healy’s take on top tweets! Tiger Woods @TigerWoods It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time. – The great golfer thanks his playing peers – and fans – for their support since his dramatic car crash last week Seamus Duke @SeamusDuke The decision of the GAA to go ahead with a split season with the All Ireland finals being played in July is huge. One of the most fundamental changes in the history of the association. #GAACongress

– From 2022 on, Seamus doesn’t intend to take holidays in July! Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan @lukeming Is there any truth to the rumour, which I am maliciously spreading, that @ FineGael organised a far right rally in Dublin yesterday? I have absolutely no proof whatsoever. I am ‘just’ putting this out there in the public interest. – Tongue firmly in cheek, Mischevious ‘Ming’ gets a dig at FG with this not very veiled comment on the riot in Dublin Michael O’Regan @Michael_O_Regan Idiot. Trivialising an appalling event. – A veteran journo is not impressed

Klassic Cleaners

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan @lukeming Goodbye. This is one of the people who reckons the discourse on Twitter is too abrasive while at the same time calling people “lunatics” and “idiots”. You’re blocked.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan

June Shannon @juneshannon Smallie said she was feeling “a little bit nervous” on the walk to school this morning



but that all evaporated when she saw her friends and she skipped in holding her friend’s hand ...I don’t think I have seen her smile so much in ages. #backtoschool – All smiles (we think) as kids big and small returned to school

Mark Hebden @unionlib

graduated from UCD with a professional diploma in digital. In welcoming Elva to the foundation, CEO Martina Jennings said she is looking forward to working with Elva in bringing her wealth of experience to the changing world of digital and community fundraising. Martina also thanked Angelina Nugent for her work and commitment over the last nineteen months, and wished her every success as she pursues her career in media. Elva can be contacted at elva@hospice.ie or on 0949388666. Pictured is Elva Donlon, Head of Fundraising and Communications.

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Three years in prison for #Sarkozy for corruption. If he were British he’d have been given a seat in the House of Lords and a couple of well paying Non-Executive Directorships by now. – Sacré bleu! This tweet speaks for itself

Elva takes up role at Hospice Elva Donlon has been appointed head of fundraising and communications by the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice Foundation. After graduating from Sligo IT with an Honours Degree in Business, she spent some years in the United States and Dublin, spending most of her time in a commercial role with retail giant Primark. In 2017, missing the rural life, she decided to move back home to the west of Ireland. After moving home, she started working with St. Jarlath’s Credit Union in a business development role. Elva has recently

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Man (21) due in court over drugs seizure

Aoife Silke and Emer Griffin pictured out for a walk recently at Cloonbard, Castlerea. Picture: Mick McCormack

A 21-year-old man is due in court in Castlerea tomorrow (Friday) charged in connection with a drugs seizure in Roscommon town on Friday night last. It comes after cocaine and cannabis herb worth €123,000 were found at a property on Lanesboro Road on Friday night as part of a search carried out under Operation Tara. Kamil Piotrk, with an address of Greenfields, Blackstick Road, Roscommon was charged with twelve offences of possession and intent to sell or supply when he appeared before Judge James Faughnan at a special sitting of Castlerea District Court on Saturday night. He was remanded in custody to Castlerea Prison until this Friday where he will appear again in Harristown Court.

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Roscommon County Council announces details of three literary development programme awards Roscommon County Council is delighted to announce details of three of its 2021 Literary Development Programme Awards. All entrants must have a strong connection with the county of Roscommon. Application forms and competition rules are available at roscommoncoco.ie/en/services/community/arts-office/ literature.html. The deadline for receipt of applications for each of the award categories is Monday, May 24th, 2021.

Pictured is Anne Byrne, winner of the Roscommon New Writing Award in the 2020 competition.

Roscommon New Writing Award The Roscommon New Writing Award 2021 (for short fiction and memoir) is funded by Roscommon County Council and The Arts Council, and supported by the Roscommon Herald and by Shannonside FM. The winner will receive a monetary prize of €500 and will have their winning entry printed in the Roscommon Herald. An extract will

be broadcast on Shannonside FM. (Four runners-up will receive €100 each). The adjudicator for this year’s competition is Louise G Cole. Writer Mentorship Programme The Writer Mentorship Programme is designed to support the development of emerging and established Roscommon writers who have identified particular gaps in their knowledge and expertise. The programme achieves this by providing funding to a leading professional to help the applicant make the next steps in their development. The mentor will provide an objective critique and feedback on the writer’s work and/ or assist her or him in the development of a specific writing project. The focus of the mentor can be on short-term objectives, such as completing a manuscript, or it can be on longer-term goals that the

Literary Development Programme 2021 Roscommon County Council invites applications from Roscommon writers for:

• Roscommon New Writing Award 2021

Short Fiction and Memoir Competition. First prize €500. Four runner-up prizes of €100. Supported by the Roscommon Herald and Shannonside FM.

• Chapbook Publication Bursary Award 2021

Bursary of €500 towards the publishing costs for a first collection of stories or poetry.

• Writer Mentorship Programme 2021

To support the development of emerging and established Roscommon writers who have identified particular gaps in their knowledge and expertise. Closing date Monday 24th May 2021.

Application forms and full details are available here: http://www.roscommoncoco.ie/en/services/community/arts-office/literature.html For further information, please contact Áine Butler abutler@roscommoncoco.ie or telephone (09066) 37271 Late applications will not be considered. Rhona McGrath, Arts Officer Roscommon County Council

mentee may wish to explore. Previous mentors have included Jane Clarke and Fiona Looney. Roscommon Chapbook Bursary The Roscommon Chapbook Bursary is to the value of €500 and will go towards the cost of publishing what is known in the trade as a ‘chapbook’, i.e. a literary pamphlet. The award is for a collection and is not open to a single long story, or indeed one very long poem. A chapbook will typically contain between fifteen and twenty-five poems and will be about thirty pages in length, from cover to cover. A short fiction chapbook might contain three to six stories, depending on the length of each story. The award is aimed primarily at emerging writers in Roscommon who have not had a book published. Published writers will, however, be con-

sidered. The intention is for the successful applicant to have his or her chapbook published before the end of 2021. The deadline for receipt of all above applications is 5 pm, Monday, May 24th, 2021. Application forms and further information are available at roscommoncoco.ie/en/services/community/arts-office/ literature.html. For queries, please contact Áine Butler at abutler@roscommoncoco.ie, or phone 090 6637271.

Pictured is the adjudicator for this year’s Roscommon New Writing Award, Louise Cole.

Pictured is Fiona Looney, a previous mentor for the Writer Mentorship programme.

Pictured is Jane Clarke, a previous mentor for the Writer Mentorship

Pictured is the adjudicator for this year’s Roscommon Chapbook Busary, Geraldine Mills.

Roscommon LEADER welcomes ILDN Covid-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Programme Roscommon LEADER Partnership, a member of the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN), has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD, of an €800,000 Covid-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Programme, funded by her Department to be administered by the ILDN. The fund will resource Local Development Companies (LDCs) and LDC consortia to provide supports to social enterprises in communities as they emerge from the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. ILDN is the representative body for Ireland’s Local Development Companies (LDCs), such as Roscommon LEADER Partnership. These fortynine not-for-profit groups are building inclusive, vibrant communities and better life chances for people in every part of Ireland. With 2,100 employees on the ground, supporting 15,000 community groups and 170,000 individuals through €300+ million of programmes each year, the ILDN membership is the largest Community Development/Anti-Poverty Network in the state and perfectly placed to deliver the Covid-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Programme on behalf of the Department of Rural & Community (DRCD). Welcoming the Programme, Roscommon LEADER Partnership CEO Martina Earley said: “The scheme, which is funded by the DRCD through the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF), will provide grants of up to €80k to provide free

training and mentoring to social enterprise managers, directors and staff across the country, with a particular focus on strategic planning, digital innovation, capacity building and governance. It will assist social enterprises to strengthen their operations, and to repurpose or diversify their trading income while living in a Covid-19 operating environment. ILDN, with its extensive network of LDCs, offices and personnel in communities across the country, are well placed to deliver this important Programme to social enterprises nationwide”. Martina continued: “I warmly welcome the continuation and strengthening of the relationship between DRCD and the ILDN Social Enterprise Working Group. It is a significant vote of confidence in the capacity of the ILDN, on behalf of the Department, to award the administration of the Programme to the ILDN, and reflective of the unique positioning of the Network, its track-record, and the learnings from its administration of the 2019/2020 Small Capital Grants Pilot scheme. “ILDN members administer the LEADER programme and the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) across the country, which allows Local Development Companies support Social Enterprises nationwide. The Covid-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Fund is a welcome addition to the supports being provided by ILDN members at present”.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Mother’s joy as transplant recipients move up vaccination list < DAN DOONER

A Ballinlough mother says she is “relieved beyond words” following a successful online campaign to have transplant recipients like her young daughter moved up the Covid-19 vaccination priority list. Bernie Osgood’s 17-yearold daughter, Rebecca Osgood-Daly, was just two-years-old when she contracted E Coli, which led to her receiving a kidney transplant in 2010. Mother-of-three Bernie, who donated a kidney to Rebecca, was part of a large campaign over the last number of months which has led to transplant recipients aged from 16 to 18 moving from group fifteen to group four in the list. The young family have been cocooning since the arrival of Covid-19 last March because Rebecca has been on strong immunosuppressant medication since the transplant. “I’m over the moon. I just

have no words for the relief we are feeling. Rebecca now has a good chance of being vaccinated and back in school by September,” Bernie said. “There was always a danger of organ rejection and with the medication she is on she can get very sick and is very susceptible to infection during normal times. “Since March of last year, Rebecca and the rest of the family have been cocooning at home. Both she and her brother Conor (11) have been learning from home while her sister Lauren (19) had to move out to go to college. We don’t go anywhere except for our walks and we have our shopping delivered. “It has been tough but it’s tougher on Rebecca because she has been completely isolated. “Rebecca’s doctors and GP had told me that transplant recipients would be moved up the list but when nothing happened in the New Year I began to get

very agitated,” she said. “I emailed so many TDs. I told them that when she was sixteen she was transferred from Temple Street to Beaumont Hospital. So on one hand she was being treated like an adult and in other ways she had been disregarded because she was way down the list. “I received an email back from Roisin Shortall TD and she said she would be raising the question with the Tánaiste Leo Vardkar. Local TD Denis Naughten also voiced our concerns in the Dáil,” Bernie added. While the Tánaiste agreed to raise the issue with Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, there was still no sign of movement in January of this year. Bernie decided to take her campaign to social media and this resulted in over 4,000 letters being sent to TDs across the country. “I used social media to start a campaign to support other kids in the same position. “I’ve watched every press

conference since March looking for news, which has had an effect on me. “Last Tuesday, Leo Varadkar mentioned it casually that 16 to 18-year-old transplant recipients (and those with underlying illnesses) would be moved up the list and it was confirmed by Dr. Ronan Glynn shortly afterwards following advice from NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee). “When the new list was released the following day it was such a relief to know that those young people have now had their voices heard,” she said. While there is relief in the Osgood-Daly household, Bernie says the campaign continues for other groups. “We are so relieved of course but there are other people who must also move up the list and I think those who offer homecare are one of those groups,” she said. Bernie said that for now though, it was all about

Launch of Co. Roscommon LEADER Transitional Programme 2021 The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced funding of €20 million for a National Transitional LEADER Programme, which will be delivered through the current Local Action Group, Roscommon Local Community Development Committee (RLCDC) and the Implementing Partner, Roscommon LEADER Partnership (RLP). The aim of this newly launched Transitional LEADER Programme is to work closely with communities, particularly new applicants, to assist with building their capacity in preparation for the next programming period. Priority will be given to promote projects that support communities in a post-Covid environment, projects that support job creation, entrepreneurship, enterprise development, and innovation, in a post-Covid

and/or post-Brexit environment. Explore and develop projects for funding in thematic areas, which are likely to feature strongly in the next EU-funded programme. Expressions of interest can be made by rural businesses and rural community organisations, including private individuals, sole traders, farmers, registered charities, partnerships, designated activity companies that are limited by shares, limited companies, companies having share capital, and co-operative societies. Do you have an idea/project that seeks to address the impact of Brexit, Covid, climate change and/or remote working? If so, Roscommon LEADER Partnership now invites you to submit an expression of interest for funding under their first targeted call for projects. Expression of interest forms are

available from the Roscommon LEADER Partnership website (rosleaderpartnership.ie), or by emailing tomas@ridc.ie. If you wish to speak to a member of the LEADER team prior to submitting your expression of interest, see details in advertisement or alternatively contact Tomás Beades (Operations Manager) on 086 0460176. The deadline for the submission of expressions of interest is 3 pm on Friday, April 16th. EOIs should be submitted by email to tomas@ridc.ie or by post to Roscommon LEADER Partnership, Roscommon West Business Park, Golf Links Road, Roscommon Town, F42TD98. Only EOIs deemed eligible will be invited to submit a full application. All submissions should be clearly marked ‘LEADER – Transitional Programme Targeted Call 2021’.

Lauren Osgood-Daly, Bernie Osgood, Iain Daly, and Conor and Rebecca Osgood-Daly pictured at the tenth anniversary celebration of Rebecca’s kidney transplant last year.

keeping safe and waiting for word on when Rebecca can receive her Pfizer vaccine. “We’re delighted that Rebecca’s 94-year-old great-

grandmother, Frances Daly, will be vaccinated very soon even though she very kindly offered her place in the queue to Rebecca!

“There is hope in the air now and hopefully it won’t be too long until Rebecca gets word of her own vaccine,” Bernie concluded.

Co. Roscommon LEADER Transitional Programme 1st Targeted Call for Projects 2021 (March 2021) A new round of LEADER funding is now available under the LEADER Transitional Programme. Priority will be given to: • Businesses (Existing & New) for new markets, expansion, innovation and/or directly addressing Covid-19 and/or Brexit • New applicants to the LEADER Programme (enterprise and community/voluntary) • New and innovative projects in the areas of Climate Change, environment and the green economy • Community organisations to maximise the potential of broadband and the digital economies • Community/voluntary groups to address the impact of Covid-19 • Projects to develop the concept of the Smart Village initiative or REDZ 2. To apply for this funding, please complete and submit an Expression of Interest form. Expression of Interest forms are available from the RLP website www.rosleaderpartnership.ie or by emailing tomas@ridc.ie. If you wish to speak to a member of the LEADER Team prior to submitting your EOI, please contact: Amanda Mee Roscommon Municipal District 086 046 0046 Claire Carty Boyle Municipal District 086 609 4262 Denise McDonnell Athlone Municipal District 086 771 6574 Tomás Beades Operations Manager 086 046 0176 Deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is 3.00pm on Friday, 16/04/2021. Completed EOI’s should be submitted by email to tomas@ridc.ie or by post to Roscommon LEADER Partnership, Roscommon West Business Park, Golf Links Road, Roscommon Town, F42 TD98. Only EOIs deemed eligible will be invited to submit a full application. All submissions should be clearly marked ‘LEADER – Transitional Programme Targeted Call 2021’. Overall budget for call: Maximum level of funding available to any single project: Minimum level of funding: Maximum Rates of Aid:

Targeted Groups: Investment Type: Targeted Call opens: Deadline for submission of completed EOI forms:

€300,000 €200,000 €2,500 Capital: Private Promoters incl. businesses - 75%, Community Promoters - 75% Analysis & Development (including EIA/EIS): Private Promoters incl. businesses - 75%, Community Promoters - 90% Training: Private Promoters/Businesses and Community Promoters – 100% (Bespoke Training Courses only) Businesses (Existing & New), Social Enterprise, Individuals, and Community/voluntary groups Capital Support, Technical Support/Analysis & Development, Training 10:00am on Monday, 1st March 2021 3.00pm on Friday, 16th April 2021


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021



D News page

Rachel’s book of love…and important life lessons < DAN DOONER

While living in Australia in 2014, Rachel Drury was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, a longterm condition which results in inflammation of the bowel and has led to her suffering drastic weight loss and numer-

ous hospitalisations. The 37-year-old Sligo woman has written about her experiences in coping with the condition, as well as the love and support her fiancé, Ballybride native, Des Flanagan, has provided, in a new book, ‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to

Rachel Drury pictured with a copy of her new book ‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to Rise’.

Rise: A Journey in Love, a Journey Together’. “I moved to Australia in 2013 and that’s where I met Des. Soon after, in 2014, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis and experienced both good days and bad days. The bad days meant hospitalisations and strong medication,” Rachel said. “Des and I got engaged in 2017 and we were supposed to get married in Ireland in 2018 but we had to put our plans on hold because I needed more treatment. “I was working as an engineer up to 2018 but by then the condition had made it impossible to hold down a full-time job. I spent two years trying to allow myself to heal but always in the back of my mind was this idea of writing a book,” she said. Rachel and Des had moved to Drumcliff in Co. Sligo by the time Covid-19 arrived in Ireland. “When Covid hit, I had plenty of time to put my thoughts on paper and write about something positive,” Rachel said.

“It was a dark period in my life but I wanted to turn it into something positive, especially for younger people. “The disease has given me a new appreciation for life and I feel lucky to have a home in the countryside too. Writing is a new path for me and I’ve enjoyed getting up and writing down what I’ve learned over the last few years”. The book is split into four sections: Health, Wealth, Happiness and Love and Rachel has certainly experienced plenty of the latter since meeting Roscommon man Des. “The main lesson I learned was that even though the disease had taken everything from me, it showed me how much Des could love me even at my lowest point. Des really showed me what unconditional love is,” she said. ‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to Rise’, which carries a very positive message, is self-published because Rachel wanted to “take a chance” on herself. The book, which featured on The Ryan Tubridy

Rachel Drury pictured with her fiancé and Roscommon man, Des Flanagan, in Australia in 2017.

Show in February, is doing well but, more importantly, so is Rachel. “I have a nice balance in my life now,” she said, “I can prioritise myself and manage my stress levels now. “There has been an amazing response to the book on Amazon so far

and now I’m hoping to get it into bookshops in the west of Ireland, including Newsround in Roscommon town. “I am also selling it on buythebook.ie and now we have another author, 95-year-old Roscommon woman, Brigid Kavanagh, who recently

released her beautiful memoir, and will also be selling her book on the website,” she said. Rachel’s book ‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to Rise’ is available to buy on Amazon, www. buythebook.ie and will soon be available in local bookshops.

Two ewes and nine lambs in Athleague! Roscommon People reader Aidan Donohoe from Athleague was in touch with us this week to share some good news from the farm. Aidan said: “I have been sheep farming for over 25 years. This year and this week has been unique and extraordinary for both me and my flock of ewes. “It all started last Monday when checking my ewes I was delighted to see that one had given birth to four lambs. My luck didn’t end there and later in the week another ewe successfully delivered five lambs! “So in the space of a week two ewes have had nine lambs between them, and all are alive and doing well!”

(Above) Aidan, Darragh, Olivia and Laura Donohoe pictured with their quintuplet lambs and the lambs’ mother on their farm in Athleague. (Right) Quadruplet lambs pictured with their mother at Aidan Donohoe’s farm in Athleague.

104-year-old Fairymount native, Michael Coyne, pictured receiving his Covid-19 vaccination from Nurse Mary Doherty at Loftus Medical Centre in Boyle on Thursday last. Pic: Austin Waldron

Jab done for 104-year-old Michael! 104-year-old Michael Coyne was delighted to receive his Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination on Thursday last at Loftus Medical Centre in Boyle.

104-year-old Fairymount native, Micheal Coyne, pictured outside Loftus Medical Centre, Boyle with his nephew Neil McGarry and Yvonne Hourican-Bonnici. Pic: Austin Waldron


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

The National Framework for Living with COVID-19

Safe Reopening of Schools & Childcare Thanks to continued adherence to public health restrictions, we can now plan for reopening of schools and childcare on a phased basis.

Phased Reopening is planned as follows:





12 April

Special Schools at 100% capacity

Early Childhood Care and Education

3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class at Primary Level

Early Learning & Care, and School-age Childcare

1st to 4th years post-primary



Junior & Senior Infants First and Second Class



5th year post-primary

Final Year Leaving Certificate Classes

COVID-19 is still a threat. A careful, gradual reopening of our society will protect our communities while we await supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

In the meantime, financial supports for individuals and businesses will continue up to the end of June. Wellbeing and mental health supports also continue.

Current Level 5 restrictions will continue unchanged until Monday 5th April. The following key factors will be reviewed weekly and will guide the lifting of restrictions after 5th April:

Controlling the Virus We must continue to reduce infection rates in our homes and communities.

Decreasing Hospitalisations We must continue to reduce the pressure on our health system and front line workers.

Securing Vaccine Supply Vaccine supplies are organised on an equitable, EU-wide basis. Once supplied, vaccines are delivered swiftly in accordance with a carefully planned schedule.

Managing New Variants New variants can have an impact on the course of the disease. Surveillance and monitoring of emerging variants will continue during phased reopening.

We must continue to reduce the pressure on our health system and front line workers.

Remember, we are still at Level 5 which requires that we stay at home, with limited exceptions.

Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

More detailed information is available at gov.ie/COVID19 If you need to talk, free text HELLO to 50808 to start a conversation

Wear a face-covering in indoor spaces, on public transport and outdoors wherever you see people gathered. Ensure that your facecovering is clean.

Always keep a distance of 2 metres from others.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021





unique take on life ...

Scourge of dog theft a threat to all (including Lady Gaga) Our man Frank on Lady Gaga’s pet woes; how poor refereeing decisions can affect our enjoyment of sport… and on fielding complaints just before big match kick-off!

Lady GaGa

when insurance premiums were being calculated, and certain jobs automatically led to higher costs. At the time, barmen, security guards, prison officers and builders were considered to be high-risk occupations when it came to motor insurance premiums, and as

a result they were forced to pay more than people who worked in other jobs. When it came to life assurance, other factors came into play –including medical facts, hereditary conditions, weight and smoking habits, and loads of other stuff – but never in my experience was there any red flags against dog walkers. However, in every part of the civilised world today, there is arguably no job more dangerous than dog walking – a fact that is borne out by the recent robbery of Lady Gaga’s three dogs by two armed men. The said robbery resulted in dog walker Ryan Fischer being shot as he struggled with the men in an effort to save the dogs before the robbers made away with two of the three bulldogs. One of the dogs escaped during the robbery attempt, and in fact all three of them have been found in the

Ref justice: Technology not fully crying foul on officials’ errors Human error and controversy have gone hand in hand with sport for as long as I can remember. There are those who would argue that such incidents only add to the excitement of the occasion and are really part and parcel of sporting events. Back in 1986 in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Tunisian referee Ali Bennaceur failed to spot that Argentine legend Diego Maradona had used his hand to steer the ball into the English net, thereby giving rise to the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal which knocked England out of the World Cup – a goal, that to this day, has never been forgotten (or forgiven) by English supporters. In 2008, the Galway hurling referee Jimmy Cooney blew his whistle two minutes early at the end of the All-Ireland semi-final, with Clare leading Offaly by three points. The action led to Offaly supporters converging on the pitch, leading to the abandonment of the U-21 B final between Kerry and Kildare, which led to a replay the following Sunday. In the

end, Offaly won the replay and went on to win the All-Ireland, and Jimmy Cooney retired from refereeing – but he will always be remembered for blowing the whistle two minutes early. Then two years later, we had Joe Sheridan’s last-minute goal in the Leinster football final, when he threw the ball into the net – an action referee Martin Sludden and his umpires failed to pick up on. The goal denied Louth their first Leinster title in 53 years, which led to court cases for alleged assault on the official, and also effectively ended Sludden’s career as an inter-county referee. However, in the meantime there have been huge advances in technology, and nowadays it is meant to be impossible for such errors to be made. The GAA have introduced Hawkeye in some of the major stadia, the football people have VAR, rugby has their TMOs, and there are so many cameras around pitches that every player’s slightest action is picked up on. You would think that everything should

meantime and been reunited with the superstar singer’s family. I suppose the fact that the dogs belonged to such a high profile person – who is wealthy enough to say she’d pay $500,000 for their safe return – would make you think that dognapping would be aimed solely at the rich and famous, but we know of course that nothing could be further from the truth. From big cities like Dublin and London, to little rural areas all over Ireland and England, dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages are being stolen. Though the criminals do not use violence most of the time, on many other occasions they will do whatever is deemed necessary. Only a couple of weeks ago, a woman in Sheffield was pulled clean out through her car window by the hair of her head by a thug who was attempting to steal her little pet dog. I

Tunisian referee Ali Bennaceur and Diego Maradona

be almost foolproof – but that’s where you would be very wrong. This weekend alone, in the big international rugby matches, Wales got two tries that should not have been allowed, and Ireland had at least one perfect try disallowed by the TMO. In the world of football, VAR continues to be the dominant feature of every weekend. How so many mistakes can continue to be made beats me. Every decision is pored over by officials – peering at every possible angle for what seems like an interminable age – and at the end of it all they often come up with totally ridiculous decisions. Manchester United would argue that they should have got a penalty against Chelsea in Sunday’s game. Being a United supporter, I will not comment on that one. But overall, the weekend’s sport left a very unsatisfactory taste, and as in 1986, I would think that England supporters will never forget (or forgive) the decisions in Cardiff in 2021.

know I have mentioned it before, but dognapping is still rife everywhere, so be on your guard, get your doggies microchipped, keep them in your sight, and don’t make it easy for the lowlife thieves to do their work. It is still not known if Lady Gaga handed over the half million to the woman who handed the dogs back, but whether she did or not, the hunt is still on for the armed robbers who shot the walker. Let’s hope the US police get them. Closer to home, the value of our pets has skyrocketed, and dogs are now worth huge amounts of money. So, because there is very little legislation to deal with the crime, unscrupulous thieves see it as an almost risk-free way of getting money. Our Government is supposed to be introducing stronger deterrents to such crimes in the near future, so let’s hope they get it sorted as soon as possible.

A complaint before kick-off… It’s Saturday afternoon, the Ireland-Italy rugby match is just about to kick off, and I am settling into my comfortable armchair to enjoy the game when my phone rings. It is a lady whom I don’t know who wants me to highlight her anger, disillusionment and disgust at the way we as a nation are being treated by our Government, and the total disregard they are showing to citizens with the imposition of (in her words) a police state. Now I have to confess that at that particular time (2.15 pm on Saturday), I was more interested in the rugby than in the lady’s rant. Realising that giving her an opportunity to air her views isn’t really in my power, I told her to give the office a ring and see if the boss thinks she should get some ‘airtime’, and I settled down to watching Ireland’s expected victory. I suppose that would have been that until later that evening when I saw the horrific scenes in Dublin as anti-lockdown protesters rioted on Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green, assaulting Gardaí who were only doing their duty. Whether or not we agree with the actions of the protesters (which I don’t), it did

show that there is an awful lot of resentment and anger out there at our performance in dealing with Covid-19. The lady who rang me will definitely feel that she has been proven right in her reaction to the whole thing, and the truth is that this time we do need to get it right, however long it takes. When we finally get out of this lockdown, we must never face another one.

And finally… Finally for this week, and to end on a positive note… on Sunday afternoon I found myself sitting out in the beautiful February sunshine after a lovely walk in the countryside. For the first time in a long while, I felt that the good times are coming again, and we may have better things to look forward to. Roll out the vaccines, get everyone protected and we will (at long last) have a life!

‘Till next week, bye for now


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Covid, one year on: Heroes, hurt and now… hope < SEAMUS DUKE

This week twelve months ago, the first positive tests for the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19 – a virus we had begun to hear much about – were confirmed in Ireland. Next, on March 12th, speaking from Washington, then acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar explained to the Irish nation that our lives would never be the same again (or words to that effect). He didn’t know what was ahead. None of us did. Twelve months ago I didn’t really have a clue what anxiety was. As far as I was concerned it was something that was discussed on radio and TV shows by fuddy-duddy health professionals – and as someone who would never be affected by it, to be honest, I never paid much heed. I know what it is now. One thing the last twelve months has taught me is that anxiety and depression are real and present problems. There is no doubt that the amount of people affected has grown out of all proportion since the advent of this pandemic. For example, the many people who have lost their jobs and have seen their businesses devastated and who, as a result, have been sitting at home. They have had far too much time on their hands. Time to think. Things that would never have kept you awake at night in the past now seem far more important than before. It’s a horrible feeling. I have met scores of people over the past twelve months who feel abandoned, who are totally distraught since the arrival of Covid. Some of them went to Mass every day, or at least a few times a week. That was their social outing. Some went to bingo or to a dance or drama or night class, or they went to the pub for a couple of drinks. They went to matches on a Sunday. They had friends and family calling to them and they met people out shopping and in other social settings. Now, they are sitting at home scared to even answer the door as they listen to the daily diet of misery and bad news that pours out of the media. This is the hidden cost of this pandemic.

Economic fall-out I shudder to think of what the fall-out will be for the economy when this is all over. The €40 billion or so that it is costing will have to be paid back at some stage. In terms of providing supports, the Government have

actually done well in the prevailing circumstances. But there is not a bottomless pit of money there. The big question is how many businesses will collapse altogether when the supports are withdrawn (as they will be)? For some people who have been lucky enough to hold on to their jobs and for others whose businesses have stayed open, this pandemic has been nothing more than a mild inconvenience. In fact, for some it has been a financial bonanza. With nowhere to go and nothing to spend their money on, their savings have gone through the roof. Good luck to those people too. They are the lucky ones. Twelve months on and now we have household names that were unknown a year ago… Tony Holohan, Paul Reid, Sam McConkey, Cillian De Gascun, Kingston Mills, Luke O’Neill and Catherine Motherway are on the national media day and night and are now celebrities. They have been entrusted in guiding the Government and the people through this health emergency. They have done a good job in tough circumstances, but they are rarely asked hard questions about their strategy. As I write this piece Ireland has had the longest Level 5 lockdown in Europe – by some distance. If someone like me questions their strategy we are totally dismissed because we are not medical or health experts. It’s very frustrating when you have genuine questions to ask. After all, these people are public servants.

The real heroes My idea of the real heroes in all the chaos are the nurses, doctors and other health workers in our hospitals – and particularly in our ICU units. They have had to face the consequences of this horrible disease since last

Now, they are sitting at home scared to even answer the door as they listen to the daily diet of misery and bad news that pours out of the media. This is the hidden cost of this pandemic

If someone like me questions their strategy we are totally dismissed because we are not medical or health experts. It’s very frustrating when you have genuine questions to ask. After all, these people are public servants

Vaccinated: Eileen Connolly (Four Roads) pictured after been vaccinated by Dr. Valerie Morris at the Roscommon Primary Care Centre on Thursday. Picture: Mick McCormack

March. I sincerely hope that they have some respite soon. I am not for one minute underestimating the severity of Covid-19 or the danger it poses. There are three members of my family working on the frontline in the health sector, so I understand what such people are going through. The restrictions have definitely been needed – and like most people I have followed them to the letter of the law – but, like many people, I am getting fed up. For most ordinary people it has been a nightmare year. Friends, neighbours and loved ones have passed away and we have not been able to attend the funerals and give the families the support they so badly need. Some young couples have had to postpone their weddings two or three times, there are no birthday parties, no graduation ceremonies, no nightclubs, no concerts, no socialising, no dates, no holidays, no summer jobs and no sport. My heart goes out to young single people from the ages of 15 upwards who have been the cohort hardest hit by this situation. Parents who have had young children at home for most of the past twelve months have also had a very tough time. Parents and children alike need to see the schools reopening (a process that began this week). People with family members who live abroad have had to

abandon any chance of seeing them last year – and probably this year too. I am in that category myself. It is very difficult. As the crisis continues, I believe that people in authority, whether it’s NPHET or the politicians, should be far more careful about what they say. Recently one of these eminent doctors said that we would have restrictions for three to five years. A prominent politician said that 2021 would be a ‘write-off’. I wonder do these people realise that there are so many in the community who hang on every word they hear on the national airwaves about this virus? They are adding to the tsunami of mental health problems and depression by their pronouncements. They have a responsibility to temper their language. They have to give the people hope. In recent months Government politicians seem to be in a race to be the first to get to the media with the latest news, whether bad or good. One day we hear one story from Micheál Martin, the next it’s a totally different story from Leo Varadkar. Playing politics at a time like this is unforgivable. The ongoing 5k limit is daft and with the weather improving the idea that 30 Leaving Cert students can be in a school hall together but that people cannot go out and play nine holes of golf makes no sense at

all. Surely it would be better to have children out doing a bit of sports’ training in the fresh air rather than them sitting at home on the playstation? Children in Northern Ireland can now go out and train, but in this part of the island the gates remain closed. Try and figure than one out. I read something this morning that has resonated: “We are all NOT in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts. Some have boats. Some are drowning”. We all have to remember that.

Light at end of tunnel? But I wanted to end this piece on a positive note. Personally, since March 14th last year, I realised that I would have plenty of time on my hands, so I began walking every day. I was not taking nearly enough exercise. Since then I have missed only one day on the road and now I walk for an hour every day. As a result, I lost a substantial amount of weight. From the numbers of people I see out walking it appears that I am not on my own on this one. Sport has helped to keep me sane in the period since this pandemic started. I actually got a couple of months’ work while the GAA club championships were on last year and it was brilliant to be able to go to the games. Hopefully we will

be able to get back to that very soon. Working on a voluntary basis on the local community radio has also been a very positive way to use up my time and I have enjoyed that immensely. Watching soccer, rugby, horse racing and golf on TV with no crowds is not the same as it was, but it’s better than nothing. Hopefully the GAA scene will be back soon too. Boris Johnson says that in May there will be 10,000 people allowed at sporting events in the UK. We are a long way away from that here, but hope springs eternal. The response to this emergency in many communities, particularly in rural Ireland, has been phenomenal. There is a deeprooted goodness in Irish people which always comes to the fore in times of crisis. Let’s hope that pattern of response remains until we are out of this horrible situation. People’s patience is wearing thin, but hopefully the end line is in sight. The past twelve months have served to underline to us what is really important in life…family, our health, community, friendship, leadership and empathy. Hopefully when this is all over it will make for a better society. Our biggest hope now is the vaccine rollout. We seem to be moving at a snail’s pace here in Ireland so far. We can only hope and pray that things improve as the months go on. A speedy vaccine rollout will save lives and livelihoods. We have to all set our minds to the scenario we are in while also resolving that there are brighter days ahead. I want to go back to regular work. I want to go back to a GAA match, and I want to go for a pint and a chat. We all want our lives back.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021




Words of wit and wisdom with MIRIAM KERINS

18.5 million reasons to be cheerful! As I write, according to reports approximately 5.02% of the population in the Republic of Ireland has received their first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine, or the Moderna Coronavirus vaccine. For those of you who don’t deal in percentages, that’s 238,841 people, with many more having already received their second dose. Indeed, only last week while out for a walk (and maintaining a social distance), I spoke with three lovely people who told me they were waiting on a ‘text message’ to inform them to attend for their second dose. In addition – and for a totally unrelated issue – I rang my doctor’s surgery to try to book an appointment, and was

pleasantly surprised to hear a voicemail recording informing me that the surgery was closed to cater for the vaccination of the over-85s! Well done to you all. I’m way down the vaccine ‘pecking’ order, however I’m absolutely delighted to see that there appears to be light at the end of this nightmare Covid tunnel. Okay, we’re lagging seriously behind our UK neighbours and their super-efficient vaccine administration, and despite what is a global scramble for supplies, the Brits somehow managed to roll that dice, secure those vials and roll out those jabs to their citizens. And yes, it sticks deep in my craw to admit it, but credit where it’s due to those Brexiteers – they’re

kinda deserving of their moment in the spotlight. Even so (and my vaccine-envy aside), for the first time in twelve months, I’m personally feeling a mixture of optimism and, er, confusion. And no, it’s not down to my age; it’s down to Micheál Martin. In self-congratulatory mode, Micheál announced that during this month, ‘100,000 vaccinations’ would be given each week, ramping up to ‘250,000 in April, May and June’. Great news, but given the Government’s historical, let’s say, miscommunications regarding this health crisis, I’m wondering if I should get on board with Micheál’s enthusiasm. Mind you, he’s not nearly as enthu-

siastic as Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, who says Ireland now has ‘total orders in place for 18.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines – enough to vaccinate 10.3 million people’. By all accounts so far, the jabs we’ve been using appear to be a success at protecting us against the virus. Mind you, I’m conscious that this information is of little consolation to those who’ve lost loved ones. Each evening, with an air of trepidation, and in light of our Government mucking about with the mandatory quarantining of those entering Ireland, I worry that a more transmissible strain could flood the country. And yes, I do understand that the civil liberties of those arriving here need

to be protected; but do they have to erode yours and mine in the process? All that said, amidst the gloom, the doom and the past disappointments, there is hope and there are 18.5 million reasons to be cheerful! People I meet say they’re beginning to look at booking family events and holidays, and we’re looking forward to the arrival of our second grandchild. With that in mind, I’d like to ask our leaders to do four simple things: One, don’t let us down. Two, don’t wait to see how things ‘pan out’. Three, don’t use your well-worn ‘new strains’ of Covid excuse to extend the lockdown, and four, please, please, grab this vaccination process by the scruff of the neck and run with it.

Let’s show our hard-working Gardaí some respect While I know how annoying it is to be caught in a line of cars at a Garda checkpoint, can I remind readers that it’s no picnic for the poor officers either? These men and women who, as a consequence of the health restrictions and their jobs, are being forced to stand for hours on end in all weathers, repeating the same boring questions to motorists: where are you coming from, where are you travelling to, are you making an essential journey? I’ve personally been stopped while travelling for essential food supplies to town, or to the vet, etc., and each time, it was by a friendly, extremely courteous local Garda who, despite probably being verbally abused by many irate motorists, managed to smile and wish me a safe trip. It’s time those who are abusive understood that the travel restrictions are set out by the Department of Justice, and not by the poor guard, who doesn’t really give a damn where you’re going. They’re just doing their jobs in the midst of what are extremely stark and uncertain times. The next time the handful who might be disposed towards such behaviour are stopped at a checkpoint, keep your insults to yourself and instead remember that this cold, tired, fed-up human being standing on the road is also coping with their own lockdown woes. I mean, it’s not going to kill you to show this hard-working person who means you no harm the respect they so richly deserve… is it?

Rioters and hoodlums made a distressing situation dire I have plenty of grievances with our Government, one of them being I’m unable to renew my passport at present due to the service ‘suspending all operations due to Covid-19’. I’m not going abroad, but my passport needs to be renewed and it’s my right to carry a valid, irrefutable document to prove I’m a proud Irish citizen. However, when a passport office employee informed me of this deferral of services, did I immediately ‘rally the troops’ and ‘unite the tribes’ via social media posts, directing them to take part in a violent anti-government protest to show how unjust and offensive this decision is? No! Nay! Never! I just sat back, sucked it up and understood that I have to wait for the passport office to resume operations before I can make my application. Why? Because that’s how a right-thinking, law-abiding, rational person behaves.

I know that Articles 40 to 44 of Bunreacht na hÉireann deal with our fundamental personal rights, stating that everyone living in Ireland has the right to freedom of expression, the right to their opinion, and of course, the right to protest in a peaceful manner, etc., if they feel aggrieved. However folks, I firmly believe that anyone – and I don’t care who you are or what you’re protesting about – who took part in last weekend’s display of sheer, bloody-minded thuggery in our capital, is a trouble-making, dim-witted hoodlum. These thickos are the reason we have cautionary instructions written on shampoo bottles and washing detergents. We’re all fed up. We’re all sick of this unprecedented situation. Yet, the vast majority of us are compliant with the regulations, which have, let’s face it, been put in place in the interest of the common good. If these

moronic rioters (they weren’t protestors, they injured Gardaí, making them rioters in my view) had a single discernible brain cell, they’d know that their rights (as dealt with in Articles 40- 44) can be limited or restricted in the interest of public order or for the common good. I’d say a worldwide pandemic fits that bill, wouldn’t you? I hope those who initiated and took part in what was an aggressive, militarised approach of hurling fireworks and other missiles at Gardaí are prosecuted. As for those of you who refused to wear your masks… you should be prosecuted for creating a superspreader situation; you’ve placed your fellow countrymen and women at serious risk of contracting this killer virus. As far as I’m concerned, you’re all a bunch of cretinous hoodlums who’ve made an extremely distressing situation dire.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


B-EXIT: Banks walking away from rural Ireland Paul Healy COMMENT For years, the slick marketing gurus – most of whom wouldn’t know a cow from a sheep – have patronised rural communities, assuring families who have had decades of interaction with the banks that these institutions have some credible social conscience, an unwavering loyalty to their customers, an instinctive empathy with people. Whatever about the dogs in the street, even the cows and sheep knew it was always a dubious claim. This past week we’ve seen all our cynicism about such financial institutions being justified. Sadly, any complaining we’ve done about the ruthlessness and lack of loyalty of banks is now afforded an indisputable credibility by the presence (in the near future) of empty grand old buildings which for many decades were bustling, familiar and comforting hubs where commerce and community successfully blended. I don’t wish to discredit the positive contributions made by banks over the decades, and I certainly have no intention of undermining the excellent service provided by bank employees. I acknowledge also that, historically, the local bank has been an extremely important and supportive driver in the local economy. No question about that. And the greatest strength of those banks has always been their ‘front of house’ staff. They are the friendly faces, the first ‘points of contact’ (to use that rather impersonal phrase). Crucially, for many years these staff brought something very important to their dealings with customers: local knowledge and experience. The decency and friendliness of ‘on the ground’ banking staff never changed over the years, but their working environment did. Increasingly, they came under stress and pressure, as traditional banking went through dramatic changes, many of which were inevitable, and

some of which have been positive. What was inevitable was the embracing, by the banking industry, of new technology/ digital advances. Many of the developments that resulted were positive ones. I certainly won’t deny that day to day banking, at least for most people, is easier now than in the past. But it is not easier for all people. What wasn’t so positive was the deliberate depersonalisation of banking, and the withdrawal of discretion from middle management at local branch level. In recent years – and it hasn’t been helped by the banks’ tendency to move employees between branches and roles – customers have despaired as the traditional type of interaction we enjoyed with familiar staff has faded. These days, even when one does get speaking to a staff member that you know/recognise, there is always the sense that they no longer have any of

the discretion that their predecessors had. Trust me, it’s not us, it’s them – and when I say ‘them’, I mean the institutions, not the front of house staff. While I understand there are inevitable consequences of Internet Banking and the digital drive, the faceless banking chiefs have done nothing to arrest the depersonalisation of their service. This past week or so we are seeing the true colours of banks which have been a bit too hasty to portray themselves as loyal supporters of the communities they are based in. Hot on the heels of the Ulster Bank announcing it is pulling out of Ireland, Bank of Ireland ruthlessly shuts 103 branches on this island…including those in Strokestown, Elphin, Ballygar. These closures, reportedly effective from this September, represent a hammer blow to these communities. Banks are in the business of profits, but does that commer-

cial reality completely absolve them of any obligation to, for example, struggling rural towns and villages? Does the loyalty of generations of families count for nothing? Does the fact that many people have no knowledge of online banking matter? What about elderly people who are living in isolated areas, who’ve always banked in person, many of them now fearful and demoralised over this latest withdrawal of key services in their community? Does the pandemic and the financial stresses it has brought count for anything? And so a landmark, magnificent building in Strokestown – and striking buildings in Elphin and Ballygar – are to close, with all of the negative societal impact. There is also, of course, the concern for the implications for staff. There is, in these sweeping closures, a disregard for rural communities, for elderly customers, for those who are not into digi-

tal banking, for the very fabric and wellbeing of the impacted towns. On Monday, the Bank of Ireland justified its decision to close over 100 branches with reference to the rise of digital banking. The bank lays responsibility for ‘Operation Closure’ at the ‘door of technology’, conveniently overlooking the fact that such banks have very deliberately changed their way of doing business in recent years – blatantly making personal ‘on the ground’ banking less accessible. The Bank of Ireland points to reduced footfall in its branches – something that is hardly surprising, given the cold, more impersonal culture they themselves created. It is also the case that many areas have not been provided with ATM services, the very least they might have expected as the digital rush intensified. We are not mugs. In recent

years, we’ve watched as some bank branches reduced their counter space, scaled back on front of house staff, and generally made what were once engaging, communal environments colder and less inclusive. (One might have phoned in to complain of this trend were it not for the fact that successfully phoning a bank is now more difficult than climbing Everest). The marketing gurus, the highly-paid top brass and the faceless number-crunchers have won the day. A few years on from the great bail-out of Irish banks, we have a banking exodus – this not so grand B-exit. This is a badly timed, harsh, ruthless and disloyal withdrawal by the Bank of Ireland. It is a lamentable disservice to the local economy, and specifically to loyal customers. Our concern now is for the staff, the customers, the communities affected. Rural Ireland must continue to pick up the pieces.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Bank of Ireland to close local branches < DAN DOONER

Green light for two road safety projects Cllr. Marty McDermott has welcomed confirmation of funding approval for two road safety projects he has been working on. Speaking to the Roscommon People, Cllr. McDermott said that he is delighted to be able to inform local residents and motorists of the significant breakthrough. He says funding has now been approved to address issues at Lisadurn Bridge (Roscommon), and on a hazardous stretch of road in the Clashaganny area. Since being elected to Roscommon County Council, Cllr. McDermott has been lobbying for works to be carried out on a narrow road in the Cloonyogan townland (Clashaganny area). He says there has been an issue there for many years, pointing out that when two vehicles meet there, the situation has the potential to be dangerous. Cllr. McDermott says funding for a Passing Bay has now been approved and works will commence shortly. Meanwhile, funding has also been approved for necessary resurfacing works, provision of signage, etc. at Lisadurn Bridge (Golf Links Road, Roscommon). Cllr. McDermott: “These issues were raised with me during the local election canvass and I am delighted to have been able to deliver on them for the benefit of local residents”. Cllr. McDermott said he wished to thank Roscommon County Council and particularly the relevant engineers for all their assistance and support.

No Drama Festival this year The Roscommon Drama Festival, which takes place in March, will not go ahead this year in line with Government guidelines and restrictions. The Festival, which garnered huge support at both a local and national level, helps to showcase the very best in Irish Amateur Drama and is always eagerly anticipated by patrons and groups alike. Allied to this, the Roscommon Arts Centre provides a wonderful backdrop against which the Festival takes place, and serves to highlight the local Government’s commitment and supporting the arts in the community. In the midst of what has been described an “evolving” situation, the Festival wish to thank everybody who makes this festival such a memorable event, and who support us every year without fail. This has been a most difficult year for everyone since last March. There has been plenty of Drama but not the kind we particularly like. As such, the festival committee wish to say ‘well done’ to all those people who work so earnestly during the pandemic to keep the country and our essential services functioning. We owe you all a great debt of gratitude. Thank you! To all our many friends out there and the community at large: please keep safe.

There was widespread anger this week as Bank of Ireland announced on Monday that it would be closing a number of local branches from September. The decision could leave Elphin and Strokestown in Co. Roscommon and Ballygar and Dunmore in east Galway without banking facilities. The local branches are part of 103 closures in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with Bank of Ireland claiming that the acceleration in digital banking has now reached a “tipping point”. Bank of Ireland has said it will work with An Post to continue to provide banking services through local post offices. Public representatives in Roscommon and Galway were highly critical of Bank of Ireland’s decision this week. Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said the decision was another effort to “whittle down services in rural Ireland”. “To announce these closures in the midst of a lockdown heaps further anxiety on the most vulnerable in our society who prefer interacting with a human to complete their transactions rather than a machine,” he said. “While the bank may point towards the uptake in online banking and the surge in use of its app, that will mean little to elderly people or anyone who is not technologically savvy. “The partnership with An Post is welcome…but given the state of play with An Post at present, could you depend on all of these post offices remaining open in the

It has been announced that Bank of Ireland’s Ballygar branch will also close down in September.

long run?” Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane said the closures were “concerning for job creation and the development of rural towns”. “Research has found that bank branch closures reduce SME lending growth by 63% in affected areas rising to 104% when it is the last branch in the area,” she said. “This means a very immediate negative impact on economic growth, something we simply cannot afford in these towns”. Deputy Kerrane added that Irish

people had “pumped €4.7 billion into Bank of Ireland” during the financial crash and echoed calls from the Financial Services Union for a moratorium on branch closures until the end of 2022. Independent TD Denis Naughten said it was a huge blow to local communities and said the Government needed to revisit the establishment of a State bank for SMEs and personal customers. He said: “We need to examine whether this could be done through An Post or the local Credit Union network, both of

which have the infrastructure, facilities, and visibility in our communities. “A new State bank offering low interest rates without personal guarantees is now required to support both businesses and communities as they begin to reopen when we emerge from lockdown”. Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan, has vowed to raise the issue of closures in Sligo, Leitrim and south Donegal with the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

Elphin left ‘high and < DAN DOONER

There was widespread anger in Elphin this week after it was announced that Bank of Ireland would be closing its branch in the town in September. The announcement means that many local customers, with personal and business accounts, may now be forced to travel further afield to do their banking. Local councillor Valerie Byrne accused the bank of leaving local customers “high and dry”. “For elderly people, this

is a terrible thing to have happen and many will be left high and dry by this decision. “It will hit the towns of Elphin and Strokestown because customers will now have to travel to Carrick-on-Shannon or Roscommon and that’s where they will most likely do their shopping so it has a knock-on effect for local businesses,” she said. Cllr. Byrne claims Covid-19 has “bailed out” Bank of Ireland, who had closed both local branches when the pandemic hit

last March. “Both banks closed last year and then reopened without counter services. The people of these areas are very angry because they stood behind Bank of Ireland in the past. “This decision is all about money. Local businesses need cheques lodged straight away and not everyone has the luxury of travelling to other towns or even other counties to do their banking. “This will also lead to people living in fear in their homes because they will have to hang on to

money,” she said. Cllr. Byrne said she is calling on Bank of Ireland to provide proper ATM services in Elphin and also for the bank to give former bank buildings to local communities so they can be put to other uses. The Chairman of Boyle Municipal District, Fine Gael councillor Liam Callaghan, said the decision left a 60km area in the county without a banking service. He called on Bank of Ireland to make the necessary resources available to An Post, as part of its

new partnership, so that it can continue to provide services. “There are still a lot of issues to be sorted out,” he said. “BOI will have to help ensure An Post can cater for an increased footfall, especially on Fridays when pensions are paid out and businesses are lodging their weekly takings. “The staff of these banks deserve special mention also because they have also given customers a very courteous and professional service over the years,” he said.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


The Strokestown Bank of Ireland branch will close in September, leaving locals without a banking service.

Mick Kelly will have to travel to Roscommon when the Strokestown Bank of Ireland branch shuts down.

Closure ‘bad for business’ in Strokestown < DAN DOONER

The decision to close the Strokestown branch was met with anger and dismay by locals earlier this week. Local Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy claimed Bank of Ireland had attempted to use the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse for the closures and expressed his doubts as to whether An Post was in a position to “pick up the pieces”. “The bank has attempted to justify the announcement based on a fall in branch visits over the past year. But this is hardly surprising given the entire population has had their movements significantly re-

stricted in response to a public health emergency so the decision I feel is not based on sound data,” he said. Senator Murphy also said the bank was “punishing customers for following public health regulations”. “It’s a disgrace and shows complete lack of regard for its loyal customers,” he added. “I particularly feel for older members of our society who have already endured so much during Covid”. Independent councillor Tom Crosby said the closure of both Elphin and Strokestown branches would have a negative impact on the economic survival of both towns.

“Both communities were making huge efforts in major projects, which were about to commence, in the upgrading of the streetscape and landscape in order to attract new businesses and employment, and now to be confronted with this is a major setback. “It is critical that our local TDs and Senators arrange an urgent meeting with the decision makers in the Bank of Ireland and the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, to, at the very least, save one of the branches,” he said. Frank Hanly, who runs Hanly’s Eurospar in the town, said he felt the closure had been coming.

“It’s a pity but it was inevitable though really. It’s one less facility in the town especially when we’re trying to encourage as much footfall as possible. “The ATM services will be a big loss because they were accessible for local businesses. Cash services had stopped there a while ago and so if we wanted to lodge cheques we’d have to go to Roscommon anyway. “This closure is definitely harder on older people though because they would have used the bank the most,” he said. Cyril McHugh, whose butcher shop on Church Street overlooks the bank, described it as a big blow for businesses

in Strokestown. “I’m very disappointed. I’ll have to close the shop to go as far as the Roscommon branch now. “It’s bad for business too because it means there are fewer people coming up this street now too,” he said. Bank of Ireland customers were equally despondent with local woman, Alice Brennan saying that she would now have to travel further each week. “I’ll be going to Roscommon or Carrick I suppose. I can do banking online because I’d understand it better than my husband anyway! The bank closing means that less people

will be coming to Strokestown. What’s next?” Local farmer Mick Kelly drove his tractor to the bank on Tuesday to avail of services. He said he may now be forced to switch banks. “The machine does me most of the time but I hear that’s going as well. I’ll have to change to another account because the card they gave me won’t work in other banks’ ATMs. “I’ll still have to go all the way to Roscommon anyway which will take me a lot longer on the tractor! “We used to have two banks in this town and now it looks like we’ll have none in a few months,” he said.

dry’ by bank’s decision The people of Elphin reacted angrily to the news this week with local butcher, Benedict Morris, describing it as “a travesty”. “We’re not happy about it, I suppose it’s lucky that we have the post office beside us here but there was doubt all along when they closed the bank due to Covid-19. Now it’s only open until one o’clock each day. “We were told that they couldn’t put an ATM outside the bank because it’s a listed building. Two banks closing side by side is a travesty and we’ll have

to go to Carrick or Boyle now to make lodgements,” he said. Imelda Fleming works in the local pharmacy and she said the bank would be a big loss to the town. “For older people who are not familiar with online banking, it’s very hard. A lot of people have been talking about it this week and how it will be such a big loss for the area,” she said. Ursula Casserly, who works in Glancy’s Supermarket, said it was “another nail in the coffin of Elphin”.

“There’s very little footfall here as it is and the bank was a lifeline for older people. I was talking to one customer and he comes here once a week to fill up on petrol and then goes to the bank. That’s his only social interaction each week,” she said. Ursula added that the bank was a vital service for workers in the town who had to lodge cash each week. “The post office is a very small building and there’s very little privacy there. Plus, where are they going to get the people to man

those buildings?” Her colleague Mary Finnerty said it was unacceptable that customers could now be forced to travel to another county to bank. “There’s no parking in Carrick, it’s a nightmare. I had to step into the breach when my husband passed away last May and our single farm payments are lodged in the Elphin branch. “The problem is that when a service is here people don’t use it and when it’s gone then they whinge about it,” she said.

The Bank of Ireland in Elphin will close this September which means local customers will have to travel to Roscommon and Carrick-on-Shannon to do their banking.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Pictured are St Joseph’s GAA Club’s new home dressing rooms.

Pictured are St Joseph’s GAA Club’s new referee rooms.

Pictured is St Joseph’s GAA Club’s new away dressing room.

St Joseph’s – A local GAA success story! < DAN DOONER

St. Joseph’s of Kilteevan might just be one of the smallest clubs in the country, but that hasn’t stopped it from punching well above its weight since it was reformed in 1979. This week, club treasurer, Seán Mooney, paid tribute to club members, the local community, and Roscommon County Council following recent work on the club’s dressing rooms. “We have been refurbishing and regenerating the club’s dressing rooms because there was probably nothing done to them since they were built. “The work was possible thanks to Roscommon County Council who gave

us €8,000 though the Community Enhancement Programme. That really got the ball rolling financially and then our Secretary, Jonathan Mannion, set up a Gofundme page which exceeded all expectations and raised €16,000. “We had private donations as well from the wider community so, all in all, the work cost in excess of €30,000 and we have more or less raised that,” he said. Prior to the return of Level 5 restrictions, hard-working volunteers were drafted in to knock walls and prepare the facility for local tradespeople who then put the finishing touches to the project. “This is a success story considering

the climate we are in,” Seán said. “We were officially the smallest club in Ireland at one stage so for us this is a big thing. “We have our identity and we have been battling against the odds since we reformed in 1979. Some people even told us the club was a white elephant back then but here we are, going as strong as ever. “We have a few younger players coming through too which wasn’t always the case. There were times when we might have been pulling the cat by the tail and maybe looking to make up numbers. There were even fellas like me in their 50s standing in to make up teams!”

Seán said the future is bright in Kilteevan and club members have been training online as they eagerly await a return to action. “We’re lucky that we have the bog walks down here and the Cloonlarge Loop where we can do a bit of walking and running. Hopefully it won’t be long until we are back training together,” he said. Seán concluded by thanking Roscommon County Council and the wider community for all their support. The welcome contributions made the recent works possible and will hopefully allow St. Joseph’s GAA Club to continue punching above its weight long into the future.

There were times when we might have been pulling the cat by the tail and maybe looking to make up numbers. There were even fellas like me in their 50s standing in to make up teams!

‘Champion Mike’… in his own words

<The late, great MIKE BURNS on his memories of working with the Roscommon Champion in the 1950s

The following article was written in 2003 by leading journalist Mike Burns, who died at the weekend. At the request of the then Editor of the Roscommon Champion, Paul Healy, Mike kindly reflected on his time working in journalism in Roscommon. The article was first published in the Roscommon Champion’s acclaimed 75th anniversary publication

Looking back is generally a wasteful exercise. Time spent on reminiscing can usually be more productively employed addressing present and future problems. But when the current editor of the Roscommon Champion asks me to take a trip down memory lane, it’s amazing what the long-term memory can produce. Take the newspaper’s Golden Jubilee special edition (1977). Back then, I was recalling my early days in the 1950s in Castle Street; the cycle rides from Ballintubber to and from Roscommon when the train from the now-closed Ballymoe station was a relatively costly alternative on rainy days; the first encounters with the newspaper’s founding father James Quigley, and his sons, the always-entertaining James Junior, universally known as ‘Sainty’, and the remarkably fast – and always so accurate – lino-type wizard, Walter; the back-office works and its battered, flat-bed printer which, by some weekly miracle with which I never became really familiar, produced the

Thursday-Friday ‘bible’ for the majority of people in Roscommon and environs. Tipperary man Gus Smith – later better known as a music critic for the Sunday Independent and, like his late brother Raymond, an eminent author – was then doing the rounds of courts, council meetings, church and school openings, with weekend sports thrown in for good measure. Dominick Noone, who spent his days administering the tricky (mainly overdue!) office accounts and his nights playing in one of Roscommon’s many dance bands, arranged for me to buy my first tenor saxophone for the then princely sum of 28 old pounds. And the ‘rivals’: Aidan Hennigan and Micheál O’Callaghan of the Roscommon Herald and Paddy Leamy of the Connacht Tribune (Paddy boasted the first Crombie coat to be seen in Roscommon). ‘Rivals’ is a perhaps too strong a word: there was an unwritten but productive ‘understanding’, which saw a sharing of non-

exclusive material, but without the acquiescence of our editors. This resulted in no-one being ‘stuck’ for a story (the late Tom Rennick, then with the Longford Leader, told me he spent many productive afternoons in Castle Street reading the Champion’s story proofs with ‘Sainty’ frequently drawing his attention to items he may have missed!). None of the cut-and-thrust of my later days in London’s Fleet Street and international broadcasting, but nonetheless a very pleasant memory – in spite of the difficult times that were in it. Roscommon was then a very simple market town, a very different place to the thriving Roscommon of today. The depression years of the 1950s had hit hard, with commerce in particular suffering the effects of the almost daily haemorrhage of young people to Britain, the United States, and much further afield. No town or village escaped that drain. Almost daily, one witnessed the departure of young men and women, sometimes with entire families waiting on

railway platforms to say farewell, more often families remained at home rather than face the public grief of parting. In later years, many, but not all, returned – frequently for summer holidays and family weddings and funerals, sometimes more happily to put down roots in Ireland again as the Irish economy slowly revived. But you can still meet several of those same emigrants and their families, who never came home, in some of the most unlikely places throughout the world. It was a generally depressing time. But somehow, it didn’t seem like that. Rural electrification and its attendant ‘switch-on’ dances was rapidly changing the home landscape –and not just for housewives who could now experience the joys of washing machines and, for the better-off, even refrigerators. And the electric kettle could now be said to be truly always ‘on the boil’. Television was still a distant dream, and spare money was in short supply, but there was an active social life. Almost every

village boasted its own dance hall – sometimes, as in the case of Ballintubber, two dance halls. Weekend dancing was a ‘must’ for those who could afford it, and if you couldn’t get to the nearest large town, there was travelling cinema, and during the seemingly interminable Lenten period, amateur drama, where many of us cut our acting teeth. And, of course, home entertainment – the frequent visits to ‘rambling houses’, where song and story and the odd cup of tea were part of the late evening menu. All that is now but a distant memory. But it is still part of the life of the county so aptly chronicled by the Champion and its many reporters over three-quarters of a century. The Champion story is one of remarkable success, a tribute in print to its founder and scores of others. With new owners and new technology producing the high quality newspaper of today, may it now march on to even greater successes as it heads for its centenary.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

NewsPeople Memories of ‘The Virginian’…. < PAUL HEALY

I am grateful to JK for reminding me about JD…I will explain. In last week’s ‘Take A Break’ I mused about the number of screen and stage stars whom Roscommon can lay some claim on – amongst the impressive line-up are Gabriel Byrne, Maureen O’Sullivan, Chris O’Dowd and even Tom Cruise. While I did acknowledge that there were others I hadn’t named, leaving out James Drury was an oversight on my part. Therefore I am thankful to local historian John Kerrigan (the JK referred to)…for reminding me about JD (James Drury). Like John – and millions more worldwide – I was a huge fan (in my childhood) of the classic TV western, The Virginian. Drury starred in the title role in 249 episodes from 1962 to 1971. The star’s grandfather came from Boyle/ Frenchpark area of Co. Roscommon. The actor, who died in April 2020, visited Co. Roscommon in 2008, calling to the Drury family homestead. His arrival caused quite

James Drury as ‘The Virginian’.

a stir and it was a very enjoyable occasion, and no doubt an emotional one for Drury. I spoke to another historian, Tony Conboy, on Wednesday. Like John Kerrigan, Tony is a great friend of the Roscommon People and always very helpful. I asked Tony if he could don his ‘Hollywood hat’ and help me with my enquiries! Tony recalled: “I remember when James Drury visited County Roscommon. It was the August Bank Holiday weekend of 2008. We had a ‘Back to Boyle’ Festival on at the time, and having ‘The Virginian’ present certainly lifted its profile! He happened to be in the area

at the time. I remember him calling to the Royal Hotel. I met him there with Sean O’Dowd (father of Chris). He was lovely company. He posed for lots of photos and met all the locals. “At the time, The Saddlers Inn Bar & Lounge in Kingsland was a very popular venue for Country & Western music. Mr. Drury called in and was very well received by proprietor Sean and the locals…he had a great time there”. Loved all over the world for his starring role as The Virginian (a show that is often repeated), Drury had a long and successful career, appearing in several movies and TV shows.

Pictured during the recent snow at the Four Altars in Edmondstown, near Ballaghaderreen. Picture: Mick McCormack

THAT pic features in national awards… Congratulations to James Crombie of Inpho Photography who was revealed to be the ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2021. James’ win was announced in last weekend’s 43rd annual ‘Press Photographer of the Year Awards’, the annual awards of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland. James won for his overall portfolio, described by the judges as a “marriage of superb features work, creative portrait work and solid sports photography”. James also received two category awards – first prize in sports action for his sublime image ‘Foggy Semi-Final’ as fog descended during the AllIreland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final between Mayo and Tipperary – and second prize

in sports non-action for his image ‘He is Risen’ taken as a fan watches St. Brigid’s play Boyle in the Roscommon GAA Senior Football Championship Semi-Final over a

graveyard wall (adjoining Hyde Park). On the latter, the judges said: ‘In this well observed scene, the photographer benefited both from the proximity of

the local graveyard overlooking the pitch and the arm movements of the fan. An unusual and humorous capture of a fan during the Covid sports year’.

TAKE A BREAK The column that smiles through lockdown!

Shannon McCarthy and Geraldine Healy Beirne pictured out for a walk in Castlerea. Photograph: Mick McCormack.

Patrick Corcoran taking care of the new lambs on Mount Plunkett Nature Reserve, Lecarrow. Patrick is 7-years-old and attends Knockcroghery NS. (Picture courtesy of Padraig Corcoran)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO… Famous birthdays today (March 4 2021)


‘A SHARED JOURNEY’ Brooklyn Beckham (model, 22)

Catherine O’Hara (actress, 67)

Emilio Estefan (musician, 68)

Patricia Heaton (actress, 63)

Check out our latest video on Roscommon People YouTube channel


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

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Mother’s Day

Celebrating Mother’s Day in lockdown < ALANNAH HEALY

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Mother’s Day falls on March 14th this year, and with Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions still firmly in place until April 5th, it seems that, similar to Mother’s Day 2020, this year’s celebrations will have to take place remotely. For many – especially those who live far from their family – Mother’s Day offers a chance to get everyone together and show the matriarchs of the family some much-deserved appreciation. While Covid restrictions mean that for a lot of people, the day won’t be spent with the full family, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to make sure that the wonderful mothers and grandmothers in our lives feel cherished; here are some of our ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day 2021, all while abiding by government restrictions.

Send flowers Flowers are often the go-to gift on an occasion like Mother’s Day – they never go out of style. So why not order some flowers straight to your loved

one’s door as a Mother’s Day surprise. With many websites offering bundles to include chocolates and/ or champagne, this is a nobrainer gift. It is worth noting however that it would be best to place your order as soon as possible, while there are still delivery slots available.

Create a photobook/ video compilation Facing into the second Mother’s Day under restrictions, there is sure to be a lot of sentimentally and nostalgia for times before lockdowns and coronavirus. This is exactly why spending the time to create a scrapbook of family photographs, or a video compilation of all the best home videos, would be a delightfully personal, heart-warming gift to the mother in your life – especially for those who have had to go without seeing their children, or grandchildren, for quite some time.

Treat her to Dinner In normal times, going out for dinner on Mother’s Day, or perhaps letting

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Mam sit on the couch while someone else cooks, is a common occurrence. However, since going out for dinner isn’t an option at the moment, consider treating her with a voucher for one of her favourite local restaurants (for use after restrictions ease, or so that she can get her dinner delivered to her door).

Online experiences Of course the usual video call is always good for catching up with family, but if you’re looking to spend some quality time and have some fun with Mam this Mother’s Day, investing in an online ex-

perience for the two of you to do together might be just the right move. With a huge range of different activities to choose from – from cocktail-making classes to online escape rooms, yoga classes to painting lessons – there is sure to be something a little out-of-the-box to surprise Mam with this Mother’s Day.

Meaningful messages for Mother’s Day 2021 For the second year in a row, Ireland is facing Mother’s Day in lockdown, on Sunday, March 14th. So the challenge to mark the occasion in a meaningful way is a big one, says Roscommon artist Rita Oates. “On Mother’s Day, we need something really special for the women who created, nurtured and sacrificed so much for us. If we can’t visit our mothers this year, then our card or gift should say so much more. “The trauma of Covid-19 has rightly restricted our movements, thus limiting our relationships with our families. But it also gives us an opportunity to express our love and gratitude as never before. So, perhaps this year more than any other, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions. Does my mother truly understand how much I appreciate her? Have I emphasised and communicated my feelings enough?” Rita herself is a mother of six, and an American-born daughter of Irish emigrants. She moved to Carrick-on-Shannon as a teenager, and later became a teacher. She and her husband Michael opened a gift shop (ETL) for Irish products in Roscommon in 1984. She sells her own artwork there and opened an online store

‘Mountains of Love’ – pictured is one of the many cards designed by Roscommon artist Rita Oates.

for her work in 2019. She specialises in cards, prints and designer scarves, describing her art as both ‘gentle and thought-provoking’. She combines subtle images with uplifting messages of hope and encouragement – so relevant in the times we live in. Rita works hard to create distinctive and meaningful messages, which go beyond the Hallmark schmalz many people find so unappealing: “I have noticed an increased demand this past year for more insightful, quality, Irish-made cards with positive messages”. For Mother’s Day, her cards have themes that acknowledge our mothers’ love, strength, in-

spiration and support: “I also address the importance of our mothers in creating not just a place but a ‘sense’ of home and of security. And don’t forget, Mother’s Day is not just about thanking your own mother; it can be about sending love to your grandmother, godmother, partner or wife too!” Rita’s work is created using unique images from handdrawn and hand-painted originals: “I combine these images with uplifting lines of love, kindness and respect. The reallife story of the inspiration behind each one is printed on the back”. You can find out more about her on ritaoatesartist.com


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

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Mother’s Day Simnel cake and mothering buns – traditional Mother’s Day treats < ALANNAH HEALY

The history of Mother’s Day in Ireland < ALANNAH HEALY

Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring mothers, maternal figures and motherhood. While over in the USA the day originated in the early 20th century (created by West Virginian Anna Jarvis in honour of her late mother) and is celebrated in May, the Irish Mother’s Day, celebrated in March, has much older ties. Originally referred to as Mothering Sunday, the tradition began as a religious custom. Held three weeks before Easter on the fourth Sunday in Lent, the day coincides with Laetare or Mid-Lent Sunday. Traditionally, Laetare Sunday was a day of respite from fasting, halfway through the penitential season of Lent. The day’s association with motherhood stemmed from honouring Mary, Mother

of God, and from the several references to mothers and metaphors for mothers in texts read in Mass in the Middle Ages. Inspired by one such psalm (‘We will go into the house of the Lord’), people began the tradition of calling to their ‘mother church’ on the day, typically the local cathedral. During the 16th century, people continued to visit their ‘mother churches’ on Laetare Sunday. By this time, ‘mother church’ referred to either the church where one was baptised, the local parish church, or the nearest cathedral (the mother church of all the parish churches in a diocese). Partaking in the tradition was often called going ‘mothering’, a term recorded in 1644. The gatherings reunited families, and also gave children that worked as domestic servants, or as apprentices away from home (sometimes as young as ten years old), the chance

to have the day off to join their family and see their mothers. It was traditional also for mothers to be presented with flowers, picked by children on the way home from church. By the late 18th century, the practice was beginning to die out. However, during WWII, American and Canadian soldiers, feeling a crucial need to give thanks to their mothers whilst away at war, celebrated Mother’s Day, which sparked a revival for the tradition. Today, the day holds a firm place in the Irish calendar. Due to American influence, the celebration is now more commonly referred to as simply Mother’s Day, and its traditions have evolved from presenting mothers with wildflowers picked on the way home, to the giving of cards, bouquets and gifts – and of course, the ever-popular breakfast in bed.

Originating as a day of reprieve from Lenten fasting, and reflecting on the day’s association with the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, the Irish Mother’s Day is a day which traditionally has been occasion for various types of cakes and buns – the most long-standing of which are the Simnel cake and mothering buns. Associated with both Mother’s Day and Easter, the Simnel cake is a light fruitcake, distinguishable by the circle of marzipan balls that top the cake. Due to its Easter ties, it is convention that eleven marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, representing the twelve apostles (minus Judas). However, the Simnel cake also has deep ties to the Irish Mother’s Day – a day sometimes referred to as Simnel Sunday. The custom of live-in apprentices and domestic servants going home to visit their mothers on Mothering Sunday, checking that their families were well, and if needed, taking food or money at a time of year when food stocks were low, meant the high-calorie Simnel


Established: 1986

cake was useful nutrition. Similarly, though some of the ingredients have changed over time (sprinkles are now more commonly used than the original caraway or aniseed), mothering buns remain a specialty for Mother’s Day. The gift of food is never one which goes unappreciated, and these two traditional Mother’s Day desserts – Simnel cake and mothering buns – are sure to prove a treat.

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


IFA: ‘Reduce methane, not cows!’ IFA President Tim Cullinan said that proposals by Prof. John Fitzgerald to reduce suckler cow numbers were short-sighted and failed to take account of the economic and social contribution made by sucklers. Mr. Cullinan said the AgClimatise policy focuses on offsetting emissions from agriculture through better breeding, feed additives and the development of renewable energy. “John Fitzgerald should be using his platform to convince our Government that agriculture has a role

IFA President Tim Cullinan

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in countries that allow the decimation of rain forests. “If John Fitzgerald is serious about climate change, then he should be calling out the lack of cohesion at EU level in environmental policy and trade deals, rather than choosing a simplistic and populist narrative to grab cheap, but very damaging, media exposure for himself. “Beef farmers are the foundation stone of an important export-oriented sector that has a significant reach across the country and in particular in rural communities, adding huge

socio-economic and environmental value to the country while producing beef to the highest standards,” he said. “As an economist, John Fitzgerald might ask why farmers operate below the cost of production when other players in the chain enjoy margins that are not disclosed. “Beef farmers will play their part, but we will not be sacrificed because of an approach to climate action that chases easy options, and popular headlines while ignoring the real facts,” he said.

Ming: ‘Department seeking unprecedented powers’ The Irish Government is seeking unprecedented powers in the negotiations of the new CAP to force farmers on peatlands and wetlands out of agricultural production. This, according to MEP Luke Flanagan, is the ultimate aim of the Council position supported by Ireland based on the amendments they have tabled to the CAP Strategic Plan regulation. Mr. Flanagan said: “The proposed wording contained in the Council definition of ‘eligible hectare’ would give sweeping powers to the Department

of Agriculture to set the bar so high in relation to environmental standards on peatlands and wetlands that effectively farmers could no longer carry out any agricultural activity in order to qualify for the basic payment. “Not only would farmers be forced out of production to be eligible for the basic payment, in doing so they would exclude themselves from the new Ecoschemes foreseen to be introduced in Pillar l and environmental schemes in Pillar ll, as to avail of these you must be an active farmer carrying out an

agricultural activity”. Mr. Flanagan said this would have serious implications for farmers working these lands, and have the potential to be a greater imposition and constraint than the current Natura designations. “We keep hearing that we must have a “just transition,” said Mr. Flanagan, “but we are getting the total opposite. Those that currently farm in an extensive manner on Peatlands and Wetlands will get pushed out, in order that those who farm intensively on mineral soils will get a free pass on their

MEP Luke Flanagan

environmental footprint to facilitate further expansion”. Mr. Flanagan is calling for Minister McConalogue to make a statement on the matter, and is asking all TDs and public

representatives to take this critical issue up with the Minister as a matter of urgency to ensure this provision is taken off the table in advance of the final negotiations on the new CAP reform.

BEAM extension welcome but farmers must have options – Naughten

Daily collection

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to play, rather that relegating our largest indigenous industry,” he said. IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said John Fitzgerald, in his appraisal of beef farming and environmental impacts, applies the same double standards as the EU Commission does with trade deals. “The income difficulties in the beef sector existed before Brexit, and are largely caused by the continual undermining of key UK and EU markets by substandard beef allowed onto the market, produced

Independent TD Denis Naughten.

Independent TD Denis Naughten has welcomed confirmation that farmers can opt for alternative reference dates for BEAM. However, he pointed out that farmers should be deemed to comply if they achieve the 5% reduction in any 12-month period between July 2020 and January 2022 rather than being tied to specific dates defined by the Department of Agriculture. “The Department has now written to farmers participating in BEAM informing them that they can use the existing reference period of July 2020 to June 2021 or an alternative set of dates from January 2021 to December 2021,” Denis Naughten said. “While this flexibility is welcome, it falls short of

the type of flexibility that should be provided to participants”. Deputy Naughten acknowledged that Minister McConalogue has been prepared to listen to the points he made by moving from a rigid cut-off date of July 2021 to seeking flexibility from the EU Commission. “We now need to go a little further by allowing farmers to comply with any 12-month reference period up to 31st December next,” he added. “This would allow farmers who are under the 5% target reduction by next July to be deemed compliant with the terms of the scheme and allow other farmers to reach that target threshold in any 12-month period after that date.

“I want to acknowledge that Minister McConalogue also acceded to my request for farmers to have access to a clear set of figures for their nitrogen reduction from July 2020 with the online BEAM calculator. “Such a move will not only inform BEAM participants as to how much of their target figure they have used but also allow them to predict what changes they need to make to their herd to reach the 5% reduction over any 12-month period “The data presented to date to farmers has been misleading because while they are compliant with the 5% reduction now, they might find themselves in a completely different position next July,” concluded Denis Naughten.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Commissioner called on to defend EU beef

In a recent meeting with Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that Irish and European beef farmers must be protected from the import of beef produced under lower standards than EU beef. Speaking in his capacity as First Vice-President of COPA, Tim Cullinan said there is a serious contradiction between EU Commission’s trade policy and their intent to impose further restrictions on EU farmers here. “The EU Trade Commis-

sioner Valdis Dombrovskis told members of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade that Brazil have committed to carbon neutrality, but there is no evidence of this,” he said. “It’s a stated priority of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU to seek swift ratification of the Mercosur agreement. What is underway now is an attempt to come with a ‘fig leaf’ to save the embarrassment of the Commission and to try to appease opponents of the agreement.

“Brazil has shown a scant regard for protection of the environment and Irish beef farmers will be left to pay the price with cheaper imports, that do not meet EU standards coming into the EU market to undercut EU farmers,” said Mr. Cullinan. Tim Cullinan said the beef and poultry sectors, and beef farmers in particular, are being sacrificed for large industrial vested interests in this deal at a time when Irish and EU farmers are having additional environmental costs and reduced efficiency imposed

on them in new environmental objectives. He added that this contradictory, indefensible and short-sighted approach must be called out. “Europe does not need these substandard imports of beef, Irish and EU farmers are best placed to meet the needs of EU consumers and policy makers must reflect this in cohesive policy development that supports Irish and EU beef farmers and ensures key markets for our produce are not undermined,” he concluded.

Minister launches Marts ICT Infrastructure Scheme

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue

Castlerea MART WATCH The numbers of stock presented for sale at Castlerea Mart continues to grow, and trade remains very strong for all categories of stock presented for sale. The bullock and heifer rings, with farmer, agent and Northern demand evident, witnessed good clearances, while the weanling rings have also noticed price increase this week. Heifer weanlings peaked at €3.57 a kilo, with the bulls peaking at €3.10 a kilo. The demand for suck calves also remains very good, especially for the quality lots, while breeding stock and dry cows returned good clearances. Cows with calves at foot made from €1,190 to €1,660 per head, while springers made from €840 to €1,990 per head. Dairy cross calves made from €10 to €90, Aberdeen Angus and Hereford crosses made from €180 to €345. Sales continue at Castlerea Mart today (Thursday, March 4th) with our usual sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves, runners and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am, with three rings in operation. All Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions are in place. Sample prices for bullocks: Lmx 480kgs €1260, Ch 435kgs €1090, AA 540kgs €1330, Ch 505kgs €1270, Ch 565kgs €1430, Lm 580kgs €1400, AA 605kgs €1430, Ch 665kgs €1510, Ch 705kgs €1540. Heifers: Lmx 400kgs €1150, Ch 415kgs €1090, Lm 390kgs €1090, Lm 470kgs €1200, Ch 485kgs €1200, Lm 460kgs €1150, Lm 715kgs €1640, Lmx 555kgs €1400. Dry cows: Hex 900kgs €1680, AA 825kgs €1660, Lmx 820kgs €1600, Ch 805kgs €1490, Frx 490kgs €640. Weanling bulls: Ch 280kgs €870, Ch 275kgs €840, Ch 260kgs €790, Ch 345kgs €1070, Lm 385kgs €1050, Ch 420kgs €1130, Ch 315kgs €800. Weanling heifers: Sim 260kgs €930, Lm 295kgs €900, Sim 265kgs €800, Ch 335kgs €950, Lm 310kgs €930, Lm 315kgs €880.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has this week announced funding to livestock marts for ICT infrastructure. Livestock marts can now apply to the Department of Agriculture for a grant of a maximum of €5,000 to cover 50% of expenditure by a mart on ICT infrastructure, under the Marts ICT Infrastructure Scheme 2021. Minister McConalogue said: “Each year, nearly three million cattle and sheep are sold through

livestock marts. Maintaining viable sales outlets for livestock is vital to ensuring that the agri sector and the food supply chain are fully functioning. I must pay tribute to marts and farmers for their swift adjustment last year to online sales that Covid-19 public health measures has made necessary. “Now the longer term vision for the sector must be considered. Even when the COVID-19 situation allows for a return to in-person attendance at marts, online sales will

continue to be a significant feature. “The blend of online and in-person sales and are good for competition as more people have an opportunity to bid on livestock than could attend a sale on a mart’s premises”. Marts must ensure that they have high quality ICT infrastructure in place to facilitate online sales in their operations. The closing date for receipt of applications is 15th November 2021. Marts may only apply once for a grant.

Roscommon MART WATCH There were larger numbers on offer this week at our cattle sale with a brisk trade for the stock presented. Bullocks averaged from €2.42 per kilo up to a maximum of €3.06 per kilo, heifers fetched from an average of €2.43 per kilo up to €2.82 per kilo, and dry cows made from an average of €1.80 per kilo up to €2.19 per kilo. This Friday (March 5th), we will have a special sale of heifers and a general sale of bullocks and dry cows. There were good numbers on offer at our spring show and sale of weanlings on Tuesday, with a brisk trade for both bulls and heifers. Weanling heifers fetched from an average of €2.83 to €7.16 per kilo, and weanling bulls made from an average of €2.55 to €4.18 per kilo. There was a good demand from both farmers and agents, resulting in a high percentage of lots. Our next sale of weanlings and suckler cows takes place on Tuesday, March 16th. Bookings will be accepted until 5 pm on Thursday, March 11th. There was a similar entry of sheep on offer at our sale on Wednesday, with an improvement in trade for hoggets and cast ewes. Finished hoggets made up to €170 for 63kgs, and stag ewes made up to €138. There was also a large entry of in-lamb ewes and ewes with lambs at foot. Cast ewes made from €52 to €138 per lot, inlamb ewes made up to €175, ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €295, and ewes with one lamb at foot made up to €210. Our next online sheep sale for lambs and cast ewes takes place on Wednesday, March 10th, at 11 am. The yard opens at 8 am, and all stock must be penned by 10 am. Please note that all sheep must be tagged with a full yellow EID tag set. The sale can be viewed live on livestock-live.com.

Dry cows: Aux 810kgs €1710, Lim X 820kgs €1720, Lim X 695kgs €1520, Lim X 755kgs €1500, Simm X 740kgs €1490, Char X 820kgs €1490, Char 740kgs €1470, Lim X 715kgs €1390, Simm 710kgs €1290, AAX 625kgs €1080, BBX 520kgs €970. Heifers: Simm 600kgs €1150, Simm X 510kgs €1140, Char X 400kgs €1130, Char X 385kgs €1050, Char X 370kgs €1020, Char X 370kgs €990, Char X 355kgs €840, Char X 370kgs €940, AAX 435kgs €980. Bullocks: Char X 855kgs €1950, Lim X 795kgs €1780, Char X 680kgs €1760, Char X 690kgs €1720, 3 Lim X 688kgs €1690, Char X 595kgs €1570, 2 Char X 522kgs €1480, Char X 610kgs €1590, Char X 590kgs €1480, Char X 520kgs €1410, Char X 495kgs €1410, Char X 485kgs €1340, AAX 565kgs €1290, Char X 430kgs €1210, Char 360kgs €1040, 3 Char X 365kgs €1120. Weanling heifers: Lim X 360kgs €1580 - €7.16 per kilo, Lim X 375kgs €1900 - €5.06 per kilo, Lim 365kgs €1800- €4.93 per kilo, Lim X 295kgs €1380 - €4.67 per kilo, Char X 370kgs €960€2.59 per kilo, Char X 335kgs €980 - €2.92 per kilo, Lim X 360kgs €990- €2.75 per kilo, 2 Char X 312kgs €850 - €2.72 per kilo, BBX 350kgs €920 - €2.62 per kilo, Simm X 280kgs €760 €2.71 per kilo. Weanling bulls: BBX 400kgs €1470 - €3.67 per kilo, Lim X 385kgs €1400 - €3.63 per kilo, Lim X 420kgs €1110 - €2.64 per kilo, Lim X 325kgs €1140 - €3.50 per kilo, Lim X 410kgs €1210 €2.95 per kilo, BBX 330kgs €1030 - €3.12 per kilo, Lim X 265kgs €890 - €3.35 per kilo, 2 Char X 332kgs €980 - €2.9r per kilo, BBX 215kgs €900 - €4.18 per kilo. Finished hoggets: 63kgs €170, 55kgs €162, 58.6kgs €162, 52.8kgs €161, 50kgs €161, 52.2kgs €157, 49kgs €159, 49.8kgs €156, 47.5kgs €153.

(Proudly serving farmers for over 61 years) Property Services Providers Licence No. 001373

Covid 19 Level 5 – Mart Restrictions All sales shall be ONLINE ONLY on our LSL App Buyers must register to view stock prior to sale. Sellers must drop off their livestock and leave. Animals will be sold subject and Sellers will be informed of their prices by telephone. ----------------------

Friday, March 5th at 11 a.m.

Springtime Special Sale of Heifers 42 pens of Heifers on offer Also Bullocks & Dry Cows ----------------------

Friday, March 12th at 11 a.m.

Springtime Special Sale of Bullocks Also Heifers & Dry Cows Bookings accepted up to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 8th ----------------------

Friday, March 19th at 11 a.m.

Mid Spring Special Sale of Heifers Also Bullocks & Dry Cows Bookings accepted up to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 15th ----------------------

Tuesday, March 16th at 4 p.m.

Mid Spring Special Sale of Weanlings Also Suckler Cows Bookings accepted up to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 11th ----------------------

Lambs, Cast Ewes, In Lamb Ewes & Ewes with Lambs at foot - Each Wednesday at 11 a.m. Please note no Sheep Sale on Wednesday, March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) ----------------------

Saturday, March 6th at 12 Noon

Organic Sale – Cattle & Sheep Bookings accepted up to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 1st

ENQUIRIES 090 6626352

Email: roscommonmart@gmail.com Visit our website: www.roscommonmart.ie

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


The Bank House, St. Patrick’s St., Castlerea Email: ggreene@gats.ie

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Office: 071 9633666 – Mobile: 086 2588521 Email: info@pksolrs.ie

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One of the most important tools in improving your finances relates to budgeting. With the ongoing uncertainty amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are currently managing their households on reduced incomes, and wondering what the future holds; a budget can help to secure your financial future. Gather up your bank statements, bills, payslips, etc. and calculate your monthly income and expenditure. From here, you can see if it is possible to increase the money coming in, or reduce the

money going out. There are also budgeting tools available online.

Maximising your income Take a bit of time when looking at your entitlements – you may miss something that you have a right to. Take the time to look at the information available under the ‘Social Welfare payments’ tab on CitizensInformation.ie – between tax back, claiming back medical expenses or availing of applicable benefits/packages, there may be something that will benefit you and give your income a little boost.

Shop around An effective way to decrease your spending without making huge sacrifices or significant changes to how you live your life is through ‘shopping around’. Compare prices for food, gas, electricity, phone and Internet, and/or contact your provider to ask what they are offering. If you don’t ask, you won’t know. You could also consider using websites such as Bonkers.ie, which offer several cost comparisons to help you make decisions about your finances.

Start a rainy day fund Though creating a rainy day fund or committing to regular saving is often something that is easier said than done, the benefits of having a reserved amount of money set aside and the value of saving consistently is significant. Even if you are in a comfortable place financially at the moment, it is prudent to make sure that in the case of unexpected financial strain, you have enough to get by. If in need of resources, MABS’s website features a very helpful savings guide.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

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T: 094 9620920 E: reillyacca@gmail.com Barrack St., Castlerea, Co. Roscommon

Jack’s birthday milestone Popular family man, ‘semi-retired’ businessman, and (very) keen golfer Jack Halliday chats to the Roscommon People about his life and times < SEAMUS DUKE

Lanesboro/Ballyleague Credit Union

Tel. (043) 3321431 Email: info@lanesboroballyleaguecu.ie Website: www.lanesboroballyleaguecu.ie OPENING HOURS:

Tuesday & Wednesday 9.30am – 3pm Thursday 9.30am – 5.30pm Friday 9.30am – 7pm Saturday 9.30am – 1pm Closed for lunch Thursday & Friday 2.30-3.45

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Lanesboro/Ballyleague Credit Union Ltd. is regulated by The Central Bank of Ireland


Church Street, Roscommon

Tel: (090) 6626245 or (090) 6626115

DX: 90 004 Roscommon E-mail: pjneilan@securemail.ie Fax: (090) 6626990

One of Roscommon Town’s best-known characters, Jack Halliday, celebrates a milestone birthday this Saturday when he reaches the age of 90. The genial English man, who has lived in the town with his wife June and family for the past 59 years, is enjoying excellent health and indeed is missing his regular golf game during the current restrictions. Jack was born and raised in Shipley, near Bradford in Yorkshire. As a young man he served in the armed forces: “I was in the RAF. I trained as a pilot in Warwickshire. I was also with the Royal Canadian Air Force and I was based in Winnipeg”, he said this week. Jack has had a life-long passion for music and is an accomplished singer: “I sang with the dance orchestra in Bradford for six or seven years before I came over to Ireland. In fact that is where I met June (his wife). We got

married in 1958”. He takes up the story as to how they ended up in Roscommon Town: “I was an engineer with a textile company and I was approached to go to Ireland by a firm I knew over there. They were setting up a factory in Roscommon called Textile Engineering Limited. It later became known as Plastex Limited. I was there until 1976. “I first came to Roscommon Town in 1962, and at that stage we had one child, Karen. My sons Grant and Gary were both born here in Ireland”. Jack says the first thing they did when they came to Roscommon town was join the golf club: “At that stage, we realised that the only real social centre or outlet in the town was the golf club. Ladies did not go into bars at that time, and it was a good way for us to get to know the local community”. Thus began another great passion for Jack and his wife June, as they both became two of the most

prominent members of Roscommon Golf Club. “Over my life, I have been Secretary, President, and Captain, and I represented the club many times. Then, in 2019, the club honoured me by making me an honorary life member, which was nice. June has also been Lady Captain and President, and she is now a trustee of the club as well”. Jack was appointed Managing Director of one of the biggest employers in Roscommon Town at the time, Stainless Steel. “It was a very big operation. There were 270 people working there. But the recession hit in 1980. The parent company had factories in the UK and Malta, but unfortunately they decided to close the Roscommon factory”. Jack went to work for a company in Dublin

Henry asked me to remain on in a consultancy role and I am still there now (laughs)”. Jack’s love of music endured when he came to Ireland: “I was in a show called ‘Glory Be’ with Milo O’Shea, I sang in Tops of the Town when it was on, and I acted in a few plays as well. So I enjoyed that”. Even with his 90th birthday coming up, Jack really misses playing golf as the current restrictions continue. “I really miss going out to play. I miss the social side of it, going out to the club for a cup of coffee and a chat. But hopefully we will be back soon”. Jack and June Halliday will be 63 years married in

saying, “It will probably be a quiet celebration. I suppose the family will be in and out at some stage during the day. We had a big celebration for the 80th, but this will be a quiet one”. He concluded by reflecting on his time spent in the town: “I have loved my life in Roscommon. It’s my home. Grant and Gary and their families are in Roscommon town, and Karen is in Carrickon-Shannon, so they are all nearby. We have lovely grandchildren as well. “When I was 88, the family got me a flight out of Sligo Airport and I really enjoyed that. The pilot let me take control of the plane, and I landed it, which was good! My

When I was 88, the family got me a flight out of Sligo Airport and I really enjoyed that. The pilot let me take control of the plane, and I landed it, which was good!

after that and did some consultancy work. Then, he was invited to meet another Yorkshire man, John Henry, who wanted to set up in Roscommon. “We set up Advanced Couplings together in 1986, and my son Grant came in with me too. Thankfully, that company is still going from strength to strength. Unfortunately John passed away some years ago, but his family retain interest in the company and it is doing very well”. Even though Jack ‘retired’ twenty years ago, he never really stepped away totally: “I kind of semi-retired in 2001, and became captain of the golf club that year. But John

June of this year. “When we were 60 years married, we got a letter and a card from The Queen for our diamond anniversary!” Jack says he and June enjoy good health: “We love playing golf, but at the moment we walk every day and take in a lot of exercise”. The current situation with Covid will, of course, restrict the birthday celebrations. Jack noted this,

RAF training kicked in nicely. The family say that a parachute jump might be next, but not this year”, he laughed. Jack Halliday may be turning 90 on Saturday, but nevertheless, with suggestions people may soon be permitted to play golf again, he and June will surely be found striding the fairways of their beloved Roscommon Golf Club soon – and hopefully for many years to come too!

To Jack, Happy 90th Birthday. We wish we could all be with you to celebrate your special day. Lots of love All your family

c.53 acres of land at Runnabrackan, Donamon, Co. Roscommon ONLINE AUCTION



district set back off the N60 National secondary road w proximity to Roscommon Town. Excellent opportunity for neighbouring farmers t landholding. Attractive lot size will generate interest from the wider agricultural REA Seamus Carthy are delighted to present to the marketplace "Cashlieve House" and lands at Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon. Cashlieve house is on c.55 acres of land and was built in the late said19th lands benefited from a former grant of planning for a substantial “GAA Centr century. The said property is located just off the N60. Ballinlough is located between the larger Final offers on or before Friday the 16th of April. Contact REA Seamus Carthy, Ros towns of Castlerea and Roscommon and is on the main Dublin to Westport Rail route. more information on 090 66 30001 or 0868035538.


Roscommon PeopleSituated Friday 05 March 2021 farming in a good

"Cashlieve House" on c. 55 acres of land, Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon



Weenquiries are now seeking quality family homes in all areas. Reply in confidence to REA Seamus Carthy on 090 6630001. In need of substantial modernisation, the subject property offers fantastic opportunity and are now invited. Interested parties should register in advance of the auction on BidNow.ie.Guide For more Price: €300,000. information or to organise ONLINE your viewing contact10TH REA Seamus AUCTION MARCHCarthy today. NEW TO THE MARKET




REA Seamus Carthy are delighted to present to the marketplace “Cashlieve House” and lands at Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon. Cashlieve House is on c.55 acres of land and was built in the late 19th century. The said property is located just off the N60 between Castlerea Town and Ballinlough Village and is on the main Dublin to Westport Rail route.TO In need of substantial modernisation, the subject property offers fantastic opportunity and enquiries NEW THE MARKET are now invited. Interested parties should register in advance of the auction on BidNow.ie. For more information or to organise your viewing contact REA Seamus Carthy today. c.53 acres of land at Runnabrackan, Donamon, Co. Roscommon AMV: €200,000

Situated in a good farming district set back off the N60 National secondary road within close proximity to Roscommon Town. Excellent opportunity for neighbouring farmers to increase their landholding. Attractive lot size will generate interest from the wider agricultural community. The said lands benefited from a former grant of planning for a substantial “GAA Centre of Excellence”. Final offers on or before Friday the 16th of April. Contact REA Seamus Carthy, Roscommon Town for more information on 090 66 30001 or 0868035538. Guide Price: €300,000.

Situated in a good farming district set back the N60 National secondary road within closeacarthy.ie www.re • W: 30001 66 TOWN T:off090 MMON ROSCO proximity to Roscommon Town. Excellent opportunity for neighbouring farmers to increase their

PSRA Licence No. 002782

landholding. Attractive lot size will generate interest from the wider agricultural community. The said lands benefited from a former grant of planning for a substantial “GAA Centre of Excellence”. Final offers on or before Friday the 16th of April. Contact REA Seamus Carthy, Roscommon Town for more information on 090 66 30001 or 0868035538.

Excellent results via REA Carthy’s online platform BidNow.ie

Guide Price: €300,000.

REA Seamus Carthy have successfully sold an impressive, four-bedroomed, ‘A’rated, semi-detached family home (165 square metres) at 4, The Meadows, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, through their online auction platform, BidNow.ie. The said property sold for €110,000.

Seamus Carthy now urgently requires all types of property for a substantial list of underbidders who are seeking a range of property types – detached houses, land, cottages, etc. Contact REA Seamus Carthy, Roscommon Town, today on 090 6630001, or email info@reacarthy.ie.

Forthcoming online multi-auction at Earley’s

Sale of top quality agricultural land closed This week, Seamus Carthy is pleased to advise that he has closed the sale of circa 28 acres of top quality agricultural land with a traditional-style cottage (uninhabitable) situated thereon, and turf bank at Creevyquinn, Roscommon Town. Seamus Carthy now urgently requires all types of property for a substantial list of underbidders who are all seeking a range of property types – detached houses, land, cottages, etc. Contact REA Seamus Carthy, Roscommon Town, today on 090 6630001, or email info@reacarthy.ie.

On market: circa 53 acres of agricultural land with derelict house Looking to sell? We have buyers! • • •

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REA Seamus Carthy are delighted to present to the market circa 53 acres of agricultural land, with derelict residence situated thereon, at Runnabrackan, Donamon, Co. Roscommon. The said land is situated in a good farming district, within close proximity to Roscommon Town (10km). Set back off the N60 national secondary road, the property benefits substantially from direct access to the N60 Oran realignment project. This is an excellent opportunity for neighbouring farmers

to increase their landholding. Due to the attractive lot size, it is likely that the property will generate a lot of interest from the wider agricultural community. The said lands benefited from a former grant of planning for a substantial GAA Centre of Excellence. Guide price: €300,000. Final offers for this property will be accepted up until Friday, April 16th. Contact REA Seamus Carthy, Roscommon Town, for more information by phoning 090 6630001 or 086 8035538.

Property Partners Earley are presently listing properties for their forthcoming national online multi-auction, and welcome all residential, commercial or agricultural properties. They offer a comprehensive pre-auction, online and newspaper marketing campaign, as well as nationwide market exposure using their network of partner offices. All properties can also avail of a 360-degree walk through virtual tour and drone aerial imagery at no extra cost. For further details or to arrange a free consultation, please contact either John Earley (FIPAV) on 086 2551380, David Diffley (MIPAV, TRV) on 086 8952283, or contact the office, Property Partners Earley, Roscommon, on 090 66 26579/ email jearley@propertypartners.ie.

Clashaganny site new to the market This week, John Earley (FIPAV) of Property Partners Earley, Roscommon is offering, new to the market, a prime building site located at Cloonyogan, Clashaganny, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon. Price guide: €30,000. For further details, or to arrange a viewing, contact John Earley (FIPAV) of Property Partners Earley, Stone Court, The Square, Roscommon on 090 6626579/086 2551380, email jearley@propertypartners.ie, or log on to propertypartners.ie.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


Over €1 million for home adaptations in Roscommon < DAN DOONER

Roscommon County Council will receive over €1 million in funding to provide home adaptations for older people and those living with disability and mobility issues. The announcement made earlier this week as part of a €75 million fund for Housing Adaptation Grants for older people and people with a disability, was welcomed by local public representatives. Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said: “These grants are important as they help

our older citizens and those with disabilities and mobility issues in Co. Roscommon to remain living independently in their own homes for longer should they wish and will also facilitate early return from hospital. “The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority. “Co. Roscommon will receive a combined total of €1,190,393 to support people in County Roscommon with the repairs and other adaptations they need

to live in their homes, which is most welcome”. Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy said a total of €4.1 million is allocated for Roscommon Galway. “These grants also give a real boost to local economies, creating employment opportunities for local contractors. It is important to point out that while the current shutdown in construction remains in place, housing adaptation works can continue with the consent of the homeowner and once public health guidelines are adhered to,” said Senator Murphy. Local Independent Cllr. Anthony Wal-

dron said: “In Roscommon the Government allocation is €952,314 and the contribution from Roscommon county council is €238,079. “I will be contacting Roscommon County Council to urge them to publish details of the application process with a view to progressing a programme of works without delay. “If anyone has any queries or wants to discuss the application process contact me without delay,” he said. Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice said that while the grants are very welcome for those in private

Work to begin on Roscommon town enhancement < DAN DOONER

Roscommon County Council has confirmed that works will commence on Roscommon’s Public Realm enhancement project next Monday (March 8th). The project is supported through Project Ireland 2040 as part of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) from Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

and with matched funding from Roscommon County Council, and the project application was supported by Roscommon Town Team and Roscommon Chamber of Commerce. It will focus on further enhancement of the attractiveness and sustainability of the town centre. The investment is for Main Street and The Square will include a revised traffic layout, new wider granite footpaths, upgraded links

to carparks and lighting, as well as new, shared spaces and planting. The project will also include new signage directing people to the town centre and carparks. The works will initially commence at the top of Goff Street, with a new essential sewer and storm water diversion. A road closure will be in place from March 8th, to April 16th, from Athlone Road to the junction of Main Street at the AIB

bank. The construction works will be carried out by P&D Lydon Contractors from Cong, Co. Mayo and will take place over a twelve-month period. Roscommon County Council says it regrets any inconvenience the works will cause. Updates will be available throughout the project on Roscommon County Council’s website and social media channels.

Fitzmaurice condemns violence at lockdown protest The violence witnessed at the anti-lockdown protest in Dublin at the weekend has been described as totally unacceptable by Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice. Commenting on the matter, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “There is no way to justify the violence or the protest which took place in Dublin at the weekend. “So many sacrifices have been made over the past twelve months to get to this point. Frontline workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty. “Such a large gathering was disrespectful to all the nurses and doctors who have battled so hard to combat the virus in patients, as well as to the rest of the population who have adhered to the restrictions. “And to see the violence breaking out was totally unacceptable, particularly the footage of the fireworks being discharged at members of An Garda Síochána. “While I have made calls for restrictions to be eased to allow certain sectors to get back to work, it is on the premise that all of the relevant social distancing recommendations are followed,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

houses, tenants in local authority housing must rely on a different fund, which is “totally inadequate”. “At present, the Council received just over €200,000 per year for essential disability works on council houses. “This money is easily depleted when you include essential extensions for people. Tenants are also waiting a lot longer than private owners and this, in my opinion, is totally unfair,” he said. Cllr. Fitzmaurice added that he has contacted members of Government and is hopeful the issue will be raised with the Minister of Housing, Darragh O’Brien.

newsbriefs Design team appointed for 50-bed unit Councillor Tony Ward recently contacted the HSE, requesting an update regarding the 50-bed unit for Sacred Heart Home, Roscommon. Following his request for an update, Cllr. Ward received confirmation from the HSE that a design team has now been appointed by Estates for the project. The multidisciplinary team is comprised of O’Briain Beary (architects), Downes Civil & Structural Engineering, Varming (mechanical and electrical engineers), MJ Turley & Associates Quantity Surveyers, Maurice Johnston & Partners (fire safety engineers), and Atkins (PSDP). Cllr. Ward was also informed that an initial meeting was held on Thursday, February 18th of this year, in which all design team members participated.

TG4 in town ahead of Fr. O’Flanagan event TG4 will be in Roscommon this Friday as preparations continue ahead of a special talk on the life of Fr. Michael O’Flanagan on St. Patrick’s Day. The TG4 crew will visit Fr. O’Flanagan’s birthplace Cloonfower, the Fr. O’Flanagan Bridge and other local sites for a report that will be broadcast on Sunday, March 14th. The extraordinary life of Fr. Michael O’Flanagan will be highlighted in a special talk to be given by Éamon Ó Cuív TD, former government minister, on St. Patrick’s Day. The talk will be shown on the Suck Valley Way Facebook page and website on St. Patrick’s Day at 7 pm as part of a campaign to highlight tourist and heritage facilities in county Roscommon.

Callaghan welcomes N4 safety measures

Tourism investment a ‘game changer’ for Roscommon County Roscommon and Lough Ree will see major investment as part of a €70 million plan to revitalise tourism within the 10km corridor of the Shannon River from Limerick to Cavan. The investment has been described as a ‘game changer’ and is expected to create 5,000 tourism-related jobs for the Shannon region. Independent TD Denis Naughten said the plan would attract tourism to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. “As part of the ten-year programme that will designate Roscommon Town as one of five hubs for tourism on the River Shannon, we will see investment for the development of facilities at Rindoon, Lecarrow and Portrunny, as well as accessing the islands on Lough Ree,” he said. Deputy Naughten added that adjoining towns such as Boyle, Strokestown and Ballinasloe were included in the plan and that existing facilities such as those as Lough Key Forest Park would be linked to ‘service hub’ towns and villages. “The master-plan includes a list of more than twenty potential sources of funding, including the Government’s investment in cycling and walking, community and rural

development funds and community grants among others”. A further plan, he said, will be published later in the year for the Beara Breffni walkway through east Galway, and west and north Roscommon. Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy has praised the plan as “a real game changer for the region”. “I am particularly delighted to see investment in my own area of Rooskey, with the development of ten cruiser berths in the heart of the village. A canal walk and amenity park at Rooskey will also provide a much-enhanced visitor and tourism experience. “All of these investments will have a knock-on effect through the creation of new enterprises and jobs during the tourist season as well as increased vibrancy in local communities. “In Athlone it is planned to develop a slipway at Golden Island for boaters, canoeists, and anglers. Eight new cruising berths and canoe access at Athlone Railway Bridge will also be provided along with the promotion of the monastic site at Clonmacnoise and a link to the Lough Bora nature park in Co. Offaly,” he said.

Cllr. Liam Callaghan has welcomed the news that road safety measures at the Cootehall/ Croghan turn offs on the N4 between Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon are set to commence. Cllr. Callaghan said significant progress has been made with land agreements and that Roscommon County Council are hoping that all contracts will be in order by the end of March and contract works will commence in June. He said: “There had been numerous accidents at this junction, which led to local residents holding a public meeting in 2019 with public representatives, in order to highlight their concerns”. Cllr. Callaghan paid tribute to local residents, public representatives, Roscommon County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland for their cooperation in progressing the project.

Crosby highlights dumping in Strokestown Independent Cllr. Tom Crosby said he was very pleased with Roscommon County Council’s reply to a motion he put down at the Boyle Municipal District meeting on Friday last, regarding what he described as “appalling and indiscriminate” dumping at a site behind the former Magnet Ballroom in Strokestown. In his presentation to the meeting, Cllr. Crosby had detailed a “very serious health hazard” caused by an accumulation of rubbish within 200 yards of Strokestown Medical Centre. The local authority, in reply, said they would be pursuing the site owner to put into effect a clean-up of the site but in the meantime arrangements would be made to remove all municipal waste with the cost recovered from the registered owner. Roscommon County Council also advised members that the Planning Authority would investigate the reported collapse of the rear of the building to establish whether it was now a dangerous site.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


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090 66 25818 086 0352849 Email: mcgacco@gmail.com Web: www.mcgowanaccounting.com

PODIATRIST Podiatrist/Chiropodist CB.Sc (Hons) Podiatry MScPI at



For all foot ailments Siobhan Murray BSc (Hons) Podiatry M.Ch.S.I.

Department of Health Approved

Kearney’s Chemist Main Street, Castlerea

For appointment: (094) 96 21647 / (089) 4142233 • Home visits • 20 years experience

HSE Trained and Approved l Home visits available For any of your foot issues call:

094 9620009

PODIATRIST/ CHIROPODIST Mark Kilgallon B.Sc Podiatry (Hons) M.Ch.S.I. EVERY FRIDAY St. Joseph’s Resource Centre, Boyle For appointment

085 1503353 086 8538404

Email: m.kilgallon23@gmail.com

• House Visits • Insoles and Orthotics Prescribed • Chiropody Services

Clinics also in Ballaghaderreen and Castlebar

The Galway Podiatrist FOOT AND ANKLE CLINIC

Aoife Reilly BSc Pod, MChSI, SCPI (registered with VHI, AVIVA, LAYA & GloHealth)


Roscommon Physical Therapy Clinic Movement Matters 20 years experience treating babies to adults. Everyday aches & pains to sports injuries. Physical Therapy CranioSacral Therapy Medical Dry Needling Prescription Orthotics Pilates – Small Classes

Can we help you? Call us today to enquire 090 663 0009 Like us on Facebook www.rosptc.com 1 Castleview, Roscommon F42 C902

Complete Chimney Services

Chimney Cleaning


For Bookings Contact:

For Bookings Contact:

(087) 707 5803

College Road, Mountbellew, Co Galway H53 D7W8

(087) 707 5803 (Saturday & evening appointments available)

• Power brush and vacuum technology for cleaning chimneys, stoves, ranges and open fires

• Removes up to 50% more than traditional methods CCTV CAMERA INSPECTIONS • Firebacks replaced and flues repaired • Can be cleaned from the bottom up • Chimney cowels and crow guards fitted Power washing and gutter cleaning services. Telephone:

087 2798704

CONNAUGHT CHIMNEY CLEANING Chimneys Power Sweep ( no mess) - Openfire - Stoves - Ranges Chimney CCTV Inspection OIL BOILERS SERVICED Burners Repaired CARPETS CLEANING Satellite and Digital TV Installation All areas covered Mob: 086 2495851 www.connaughtchimney cleaning.com




By Appointment Only –

087 2982214

Tel: Catriona Byrne DIP CHFP

• Open fire, stove, ranges • All flues and chimneys • Power brushed & vaccumed • No mess, no fuss • CCTV camera inspections • Detailed report and CCTV recording provided for insurance claims • Fully insured Also available for powerwashing and gutter cleaning

Specialising in:

Telephone: 086 8433433

Roscommon West Business Park, Circular Road, Roscommon. David Connor

BSC (Hon.) Chiro. MSc. Chiropractic Association of Ireland

VHI and Laya Covered


COUNSELLING Are you experiencing difficulties in your life? Such as depression, anxiety, life or spiritural crisis. Are you having difficulties in relationships at work? Have you experienced sexual abuse or abuse and need counselling to help you?


Please call Glynis on

Fergal 086 1016899

email: downeyglynis@yahoo.co.uk


Construction General Building l Extensions & Roofing l Groundworks l Renovations l

(Saturday & evening appointments available) Treanrevagh, Mountbellew, Co. Galway H53 D7W8 Open under Goverment + HSE Guidelines

(Monday to Saturday) Also available in Boyle & Athlone -------Chiropody treatment and all aspects of Foot Pain. Orthotics prescribed



Sarah Fleming

Department of Health Approved



Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

087 9268424 stephenrockcasey@ gmail.com

085 2514394




COUNSELLING & HYPNOTHERAPY Are you affected by Anger Issues, Bullying, Bereavement, Confidence/self-esteem issues, OCD, Stress, Depression, Eating disorders Panic/Anxiety, Relationships, Exam pressure, Sexual Abuse Contact: Billy 094 96 59966 Mobile: 086 0675433 or visit www.billybrogan.com

Tree Services


087 2721193

l l

For all your fencing needs. GLAS Fencing Grant Fencing Post Rail l


Providing IT services for Homes, Businesses & Schools. Home Callouts.

< ABATTOIR SERVICE AVAILABLE: Cattle, lambs and pigs. Ready for freezing. Home Cured and Honey Dry cured traditional bacon (not pumped with water) now available. Tel: Webb’s Butcher’s, 094 96 20005 or 086 4094715


Paul McStay

DSA/ADI (UK) RSA MIAM ROSPA Approved Driving Instructor Former BSM Driving Instructor and UK advanced Met. Police Driver. GIFT VOUCHER CARDS AVAILABLE Castlerea & Roscommon

EDT Lessons Available Telephone:

094 96 20099 Mobile:

086 8936012

This driving School conforms for the new RSA regulations & legislation

Comprehensive Insurance Cover. I.S.A. member.


< FOR SALE: Square bales of hay for sale. Tel: 087 2392729

PC Maintenance – Upgrades, Repairs, Virus & Spyware removal. Network Solutions – Cabling, Hardware & Software Installation & Maintenance. Contact David Conboy Tel: 087 7496459

• Certified Arborists • Tree Surgery • Dangerous Tree Removal • Wood Chipping • Leylandii hedges reduced and shaped

• Hedge Cutting • Dangerous Tree Removal • Wood Chipping • Fully Insured

DC Computer Services NO FIX NO FEE



Tel: 087 2172281

Email: info@dccomputerservices.ie Web: www.dccomputerservices.ie



< FOR SALE: Round and square bales of hay for sale. Tel: 086 7396789 < FOR SALE: Hay for sale 20 round bales, saved without rain. 2008 Toyota Corolla 1.4 Dsl, N.C.T. until 2022, very clean car. Tel: 086 0813420 < FOR SALE: Bales of Silage, Haylage and Hay. Ballagh/Kilrooskey area. Tel: 087 2320483


The square downtown, Roscommon Freerange and Organic Eggs/Chickens/Potatoes/ Vegetables/Organic Honey/Kale/Spinach 10 kgs Washed Roosters €3.99 4x7 ozs Irish Chicken Fillets €5.00 30 eggs €2.00 per tray McCains Gluton Free Oven Chips €1.99 per pack

Thank you for keeping us open and keep safe everybody.

CAR FOR SALE < VW GOLF FOR SALE: Mark 6 VW Golf, 2010 model, 3 dr, dark blue in colour, 1.6 Dsl, easy run and insured, taxed and N.C.T. Roscommon town area. €5,700. Phone: 086 1261763

Tel: 086 6077307 or 086 8125165




l General Maintenance Dangerous Tree Removal l Garden Hedges & Trees reduced and shaped l Wood Chipping l Fully Insured Contact Alan on


087 6558597


Des Kelly Fencing Over 20 years in business All types of fencing supplied and erected Including: • Cresoted Posts • Agricultural Fencing • Site Fencing • Security Fencing • Post & Rail Fencing • Concrete Fencing • Grant Approved Fencing No job too big or too small Just give us a call on


Including: • Hedge Cutting • Hedge Planting • Grass Cutting • Spraying • Strimming • Weeding • Garden Tidy-ups • Planting • Gutter Cleaning, etc. Chainsaw work also available

Phone John on


Four Roads, Co. Roscommon • Landscaping • Timber Decking • Patios • General Maintenance Contact Liam on 086 8749550 or 090 66 27496


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

Classifieds GARDENING

ALL ABOUT THE GARDEN • Roscommon Town • Grass and Hedge Cutting • Rotavating • Strimming and Weeding


090 6630879 or Mobile

087 2835742 TREES FOR SALE All types of trees and hedging for sale. Can be delivered.

Contact Tommy: 087 4177148

PROPERTIES TO LET/RENT/WANTED CHAZEY PROPERTIES: We require properties for waiting tenants, we advertise, conduct viewings, arrange references, read meters, set up tenancy agreements and arrange direct debit payments straight into your bank. We charge a one off fee only if we are successful in renting your property. If not no fees are payable. Tel: 086 8212732


Design Consultation Planning Applications New Build, Extend, Renovate Bespoke Design Domestic, Commercial & Agricultural

To advertise, telephone 090 66 34633 or email advertising@roscommonpeople.ie

PLANNINGS ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL We, APK Architects & Engineers are applying to Roscommon County Council on behalf of Emer Casey for planning permission to: 1. Rebuild original front porch, 2. Extension to the side and rear of existing dwelling house, 3. Connection to public sewer and carry out all ancillary site works at Arm Townland, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon

The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed fee, €20, within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning authority in making a decision on the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed:

Cloontrask, Castlerea, F45WV81, Co. Roscommon M: 086 - 2102190 P: 090 - 6665832 E: adam@apk.ie

ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL I, Shane Byrne intend to apply to Roscommon County Council for planning permission for the construction of a dwelling house, domestic garage/fuel store, proprietary treatment system, percolation area and associated works at Ballymintan, Dysart, Ballinasloe, Co. Roscommon

This planning application may be inspected or purchased at the offices of the planning authority during its opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application by the planning authority. Signed: Stephen Blake, M.R.I.A.I., Registered Architect Trihill, Ballinamore Bridge, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway T: 090 6624681 M: 087 6358949 E: sblake2006@gmail.com

086 3482387 info@moleskinarchitecture.com

PLANNINGS ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL I, Diarmaid Connellan am applying to Roscommon County Council for full planning permission to construct dwelling house along with domestic garage, new treatment system and percolation area and all ancillary site development works at Ballyfeeny, Parkowen, Co. Roscommon.

PLANNINGS ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL We, Lesley Wingfield-Bastic and Richard Carberry are applying to Roscommon County Council for full planning permission to construct side extension to existing dwelling house and all ancillary site development works at Kiltultoge, Four Mile House, Co. Roscommon. F42 NX45

The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee, €20 within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning authority in making a decision on the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed:

The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee, €20 within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning authority in making a decision on the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed:

Unit 5, Ballypheason House, Circular Road, Roscommon, F42 C982. Ph: 090 6634365 Mob: 087 8228529 E: james@jlce.ie & aaron@jlce.ie Web: www.jlce.ie Architectural Designers – Consulting Engineers

Unit 5, Ballypheason House, Circular Road, Roscommon, F42 C982. Ph: 090 6634365 Mob: 087 8228529 E: james@jlce.ie & aaron@jlce.ie Web: www.jlce.ie Architectural Designers – Consulting Engineers

ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL We are applying on behalf of John and Marie Carty for planning permission to construct a single storey extension to the existing dwelling house with all associated site development works at Mullymucks Td, Co. Roscommon.

Signed: AOL Design Ltd. Consulting Engineers C/O Albert Looby, Killeenboy, Kilteevan, Co Roscommon. Tel: (090) 66 28184 Mobile: (086) 8167365 The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of a fee of €20 within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the planning authority of the application and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning authority in making a decision on the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

TURF/FUEL/ FIREWOOD < TOP QUALITY TURF: 10x6 Loads of Turf, saved in good weather and stored in dry shed, will deliver. Phone: 083 0684011 < TURF FOR SALE: Top quality black hopper turf, loads and bags, delivered. Phone: 086 2544294 or 086 3903120

WANTED: Fallen trees for firewood. Ash, Beech, Birch and Whitethorn. We are safety certified and insured. Phone:

086 2437376

< TURF FOR SALE: 50 bags of good quality turf for sale, €3 each. Phone: 087 6175160


086 2721812 (All areas)


SITUATIONS VACANT < CHILDMINDER REQUIRED: To look after 2 children aged 4 and 6, in minders home. School runs to Athleague NS and Montessori required. Contact 087 7452038

< TURF FOR SALE: In tonne bags, delivery to Roscommon town and surrounding areas. Price €50. Bag and delivery also included in price. Tel: 086 8534011

< THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL OFFERS: • Bags of seasoned firewood only €2 per bag• Bags of turf only €2.50 per bag, buy 20 get 2 free • Tonne bags firewood/turf €35 per bay, or buy tonne firewood + tonne turf + 2 bags coal 20kg all for €80 delivered. • Stove coal 40kg bags only €14, buy 10 bags get 1 20kg bag coal free. • 8x4 trailer load firewood only €90. All includes free delivery. Contact Tom: 086 2628439

< RECEPTIONIST/OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR: Good English - Excellent Communication Skills - Ideal Candidate should be able to work independently but also as an integral part of the team - Previous Experience is ideal but not essential - Training can be provided to the enthusiastic candidate - Immediate Start Hours 30 + with flexibility. Apply with references to PO Box No 2051 c/o Roscommon People, Abbey Street, Roscommon

Family Notices


Submit your Classified online Send your Classified advertisement to advertising@rosommonpeople.ie or alternatively call 090 66 34633

• Anniversary Remembrance • Acknowledgements • Birthday Remembrance

Call into our office on Abbey Street, Roscommon

Phone: (090) 66 34633 Email: advertising@roscommonpeople.ie



Tried & Trusted Since 1993

Phone JOHN


TELEPHONE MICHAEL HAVERTY: 086 8381227 or 086 1997815

DOMESTIC APPLIANCE REPAIRS: WASHING MACHINE, REPAIRS, DISHWASHER REPAIRS, OVEN AND TUMBLE DRYER REPAIRS Contact Paul on 086 0538977 087 4046478 071 9664207 www.appliance-repairs.ie

Plumbing & Maintenance • Bathroom planning and design to suit you • All aspects of plumbing and maintenance • Boiler Servicing • Heating Installation • Call for FREE QUOTATION

Contact Luke on

085 7359120 Working throughout current restrictions with full PPE equipment.


Evo Roofing & Guttering Experts CONNAUGHT AREA

Call on 091 734122 or 085 2427727 evoroofingandguttering.com

• All types of roof repairs • Gutter cleaning from €49 • PVC fitted • Roof moss removal • Chimney repairs • Power washing • Ridge Piping • Lead valley repair • New tiles • Quality work, guaranteed

No job too big or too small

Electrician Available Safe Electric Registered. Domestic and Industrial, All work considered. No Job too small. Phone Paul 086 2553153 or 090 666 3053 or Email p0862553153@ gmail.com.



086 4679798 PAINTER & DECORATOR Private & Commercial Power washing 25 years experience Free Estimates Given

Phone Alan on:

090 6661635 or Mobile:

087 2683079

To have your advert seen by over 70,000 people every week advertise with us!


The local paper! OUR DEADLINE IS STRICTLY 2PM ON TUESDAY We cannot guarantee publication after this time TEL: 090 66 34633 EMAIL: advertising@roscommonpeople.ie


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


To advertise, telephone 090 66 34633 or email advertising@roscommonpeople.ie


NEARY Willie & Una

MENTON Bridgetta

Curraghboy, Athlone, Co. Roscommon

Grange, Four Mile House.

John Murphy (Castlerea) Ltd Wholesaler of fasteners and fixings and ea) Ltd hardware. (Established 1992). rs and fixings and hardware. (Established Location:1992). Castlerea Two Vacant Positions:

Operations and Warehouse Manager vise a full warehouse team.


Warehouse Manager

ge goods in, •goods out and stock control in 35,000 sq.team. ft. warehouse. Supervise a full warehouse e 3rd party freight/logistics. • Manage goods in, goods out and stock edge of fasteners and fixing beneficial. control in 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse. ee operations.

• Manage 3rd party freight/logistics. • Knowledge of fasteners and fixings ser beneficial. • Oversee handising and tidying operations. of displays in store

p and installation of new store displays el to Stores Nationwide.

Store Merchandiser

ew@jmcallgrip.ie • Merchandising and tidying of displays

in store. • Set up and installation of new store displays. • Travel to Stores Nationwide. Applications to: andrew@jmcallgrip.ie

In loving memory of Claire, Lisgobbin, Roscommon who died on 4th March 2014. Softly the leaves of memory fall, gently we gather and treasure them all.

Lovingly remembered by her husband Sean, daughters Lorraine and Alma, sons John and Gary, granddaughter Laura, John’s partner Jannette, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. Anniversary Mass on Sunday, March 7th at 11.30am in Strokestown Parish Church and will be streamed live on churchcamlive.ie/ strokestown

Tots Haven Creche

RATTIGAN Ann Bernadette

Early Year’s Practitioner

Ballinagare/Roscommon Town. RATTIGAN Annon Bernadette Who died 7th March 2020 Ballinagare/Roscommon Town (1st Anniversary)

Dromod, Co. Leitrim Requires an

Minimum of Fetac Level 5 essential Please apply to: totshaven42@gmail.com Or post to: The Manager, Tots Haven, Shannon Haven, Dromod, Co. Leitrim

Who died on 07th March 2020 (1st Anniversary) Lovingly remembered by her family

Require a

SALES EXECUTIVE/ STORE MANAGER • Full Time Position • Experience desirable but not essential as training will be provided • Excellent Working Conditions Send CV to: info@lynchflooring.ie or by post to: Lynch Flooring, Golf Links Road, Roscommon

Lovingly remembered by And wide circle of friends her family and wide circle of Mass will be celebrated in the friends. Sacred Heart Church Roscommon town Mass will be celebrated in On Friday March 5th at 11am the Sacred Heart Church www.churchtv.ie/roscommon Roscommon Town on Friday, March 5th at 11am www.churchtv.ie/ roscommon

THANKSGIVINGS PRAYER TO ST. EXPEDITE For urgent need... Our dear martyr and protector, Saint Expedite, you who know what is necessary and what is urgently needed. I beg you to intercede before the Holy Trinity, that by your grace my request will be granted. (Clearly express what you want and ask him to 
find a way to get it to you.)

May I receive your blessings and favours. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. If Saint Expedite grants your request, place fresh flowers beside his statue in your home or in the church. Also place an ad in the newspaper thanking Saint Expedite, so that his name and fame will grow. M.P.

Bridgetta’s heartbroken parents Gerard and Caroline, sister Edel, brothers Thomas and Eoin, together with our extended family, would like to acknowledge and convey our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the countless expressions of sympathy and tremendous support shown to us over the past year on our devastating loss. A sincere thank you to those who attended Bridgetta’s mass on Monday 9th March and were with us at her Funeral Service. Thanks to everyone who sent flowers, Mass cards, enrolments, sympathy cards, letters, phone calls and messages of condolences. We will be forever indebted to our precious relatives, neighbours and friends, who brought food and refreshments, helped in our home and continue to be a great source of support to us. Thank you to Fr. Michael McManus, Fr. Sean Neylan, Fr. Evaristus, Fr. Michael Donnelly and Deacon Willie Gacquin for offering prayers in our home and celebrating Bridgetta’s Funeral Mass, which was so personal and meaningful. Sincere thanks to Joe and Aoife Healy for their beautiful music and song, which strengthened our hearts on this most difficult day. To all of Bridgetta’s work colleagues at NHS Grampian and her many friends in Aberdeen and afar, who were unable to be with us in person, we thank you for joining with us online for her Funeral Service and for your continued acts of kindness and support. Thank you to Bridgetta’s former St. Brigid’s Ladies Team and extended club members, who formed a guard of honour from our home to the Church – your sign of respect and loyalty was incredibly moving and greatly appreciated. To Bridgetta’s lifelong friends who shared their wonderful cherished memories with us and have been a constant support to us over the past twelve months – we will be forever grateful to each and every one of you. A special thank you to our neighbour and good friend Enda McHugh (Funeral Director) for his professionalism, attention to detail, care and respect in the kind handling of Bridgetta’s funeral arrangements. We would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust for their immense help in arranging repatriation from Aberdeen for our beloved Bridgetta and to the gravediggers who prepared her final resting place in Cam Cemetery. As it would be impossible to thank everyone individually please accept this acknowledgment as an expression of our deepest gratitude. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for your intentions. Bridgetta’s First Anniversary Mass will take place on the 14th March at 10.00 am and can be viewed on the Kiltoom Parish Facebook page ‘Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard but always near, so loved, so missed, so very dear’

THANKSGIVINGS THE MIRACULOUS PRAYER Dear Heart of Jesus in the past I have asked you for many favours. This time I ask this special one. (mention it). Take it Dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour, not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times, for three days, promise publication and favour will be granted. A.K. THE MIRACULOUS PRAYER Dear Heart of Jesus in the past I have asked you for many favours. This time I ask this special one. (mention it). Take it Dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour, not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times, for three days, promise publication and favour will be granted. M.K.

(26th Anniversary) (3rd Anniversary) In loving memory of our dear parents Una who died on 6th March, 2018 and Willie who died on 15th June 1995 We hold you close within our hearts, and there you shall remain, To talk to us throughout our lives, until we meet again. So Rest in Peace dear loved ones, and thanks for all you’ve done. May God grant you the place, you have truly won.

Always remembered and sadly missed by their loving family. Anniversary Mass will be held in St. Brigid’s Church, Four Mile House on Saturday, 6th March at 7pm and Mass on Kilbride Parish Radio at 95.0

DORAN Tommie Golf Links Road, Roscommon. (3rd Anniversary)

BROTHER Tommie You went away so suddenly No time to say goodbye But brothers can’t be parted Precious memories never die Until we meet again

Davie, Doran Bros.


He lived, and laughed, and loved, and left Sad and sudden was the call His memories are our keepsake for all.

Always in our thoughts and prayers Pat, Denise, Hillary and Lisa. ~~~~~~~ No farewell words were spoken No time to say goodbye You were gone before we knew it God only knows just why.

Fondly remembered Alan, Gráinne, Charlie and Teagan. ~~~~~~~ You will always and forever be loved and remembered by your sister Rachel, brother-in-law John, nephew Gary and niece Chloe. ~~~~~~~ Also remembering Tommie’s Mom and Day (Etna and Denis) who have also passed away.

Locally owned ... in the heart of the community


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


To advertise, telephone 090 66 34633 or email advertising@roscommonpeople.ie

FAMILYNOTICES ....ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND ANNIVERSARIES GROGAN Ger-Michael Who died 10th March 2002 R.I.P. (19th Anniversary)

MARTIN Francie (nee Gordon)

Bushfield, Castleplunkett, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon. Who passed away on 5th March 2020.

CARR Michael Caldra, Strokestown (20th Anniversary)

SHERLOCK Patrick (Pat) Walk Road, Roscommon Town (3rd Anniversary)

BRIAN MURRAY MEMORIALS • Superior Quality Headstones • Restoration work carried out • New Inscriptions added


Always in our thoughts, forever in our hearts.

Sadly missed by his parents, brother, sister, sister-in law, nephews, niece, aunts, uncles, relatives and friends. Masses offered.

GALVIN John Cloonloughlin, Mount Talbot, Roscommon (19th Anniversary) In loving memory of a dear husband and father who died on March 8th 2002 R.I.P.

No special day is needed, for us to think of you, You are always in our thoughts, no matter what we do. Your resting place we visit, and say a little prayer, but no one knows the heartache, as we turn and leave you there.

Sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all your family. Masses offered.

CONNOLLY Phillip Barnacullen, Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon (4th Anniversary)

In loving memory of Michael Carr, Caldra, Strokestown Died March 2nd 2001 As we lovingly remember Francie on her first anniversary, we her heartbroken family, daughters Anne and Teresa, sons Noel and David, daughters in law Kate and Jessica, sons in law Marty and Michael, cousins John and Patsy, sisters-in-law Freda and Teresa, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family would like to thank all who called to our house, telephoned, sent messages, mass cards, floral tributes and all who attended Francie’s Funeral Mass on 9th March. Thank you to all who made donations to the Patient Comfort Fund at Roscommon University Hospital. Thank you to all her many friends, relatives and neighbours who visited her in hospital and to all who sent her cards and well wishes. Our deepest gratitude to Dr. O’Mara and his team and all the Nursing and Caring staff at Roscommon Hospital for your expert and kind care. Thanks to Dr. John Keenan and staff at the Medical Centre, St. Coman’s Park, for your care of Francie over the years. Sincere thanks to Niall and Rena Flanagan who carried out the funeral arrangements in such a caring, dignified and professional manner. Thank you to the grave diggers who prepared her final resting place with such great care and attention. Thank you to Fr. Irek who visited her regularly in hospital and for your kind words and prayers while celebrating her Funeral Mass and to Fr. Donal Morris, Fr. Francis Glennon, Fr. Joseph Gormley and Fr. Michael Gilroy who concelebrated her Funeral Mass. Thank you to Michelle and the Oran Parish Choir for the beautiful singing in the church and to Claire who played an instrumental on the concertina. Thank you to Anne Shaughnessy and Anne Staunton who beautifully recited Legion of Mary prayers at her Funeral Mass. Thanks to Fr. Joseph who offered Holy Mass in Derry for Francie’s Month’s Mind Mass so that we could participate on line. A very special word of thanks to the many neighbours and friends who helped out with food and catering at our house and to all those who helped with parking and traffic management. Thank you to Gleeson’s Restaurant for providing a beautiful meal after the Funeral. As it is impossible to thank everyone individually, please accept this acknowledgement as a token of our sincere gratitude and appreciation for your support over the past year. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been offered for your intentions. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Francie’s First Anniversary Mass will take place in private on Sunday, 7th March at 11am.

In loving memory of Phillip who died 9th March 2017

Submit your Classified online

Another year gone. The pain lingers on. For our Phillip so dear, we wish you were here. Your smile we can not see your hand we can not touch but our heats are full of memories of our Phillip we loved so much.

Send your Classified advertisement to advertising@rosommonpeople.ie

Loved and missed every day Dad and Mam.

or alternatively call 090 66 34633

Time helps to heal life’s sadness, like a smile hides many a tear, but memories keep us very close, despite the passing years. It does not take a special day to bring you to our minds, for a day without a thought of you, would be very hard to find.

Lovingly remembered by Genevieve, Emma, Ruth, Michael, Fergal and James.


087 6758874

Scrine, Athleague, www.brianmuraystone.com Co. Roscommon E: brianmurraystone@gmail.com In loving memory of our dear brother Pat who died 6th March 2018 R.I.P. Loving memories never die, as years roll on and days pass by. In our hearts a memory is kept of a dear brother we loved and will never forget.

Always loved and remembered by his loving brother Martin, sisters Mary, Philomena, Patricia and all the family.

SHERLOCK Patrick (Pat) Walk Road, Roscommon Town (3rd Anniversary)

CONNAUGHTON (nee Fannon) Josephine (Josie) Main Street, Athleague, Co. Roscommon. Josie, on your first birthday in heaven, 3rd of March 2021. What once was such a happy day brings many painful sorrows. A day when silent tears are shed for all your lost tomorrows. No special birthday cards or gifts just a message fond and true. To say that not a day goes by without precious thoughts of you And as time passes by, it seems that you’re missed more and more. But we know you’re with the angels and you are being cared for.

Loved, remembered and sadly missed by Martin, Paul, Neil, Aoife, Mervyn, Ivan, grandchildren and extended family.

In loving memory of our dear cousin Pat who died 6th March 2018 R.I.P. He always had a smile to share a laugh a joke a time to care, a wonderful nature warm and kind these are the memories he left behild.

Always remembered and never forgotten by his cousins Philomena and Roseanne.

THANKSGIVINGS GRATEFUL THANKS Grateful Thaks to Our Lady, St. Anthony, Padre Pio and the Holy Souls for many favours received. E.L. THE MIRACULOUS PRAYER Dear Heart of Jesus in the past I have asked you for many favours. This time I ask this special one. (mention it). Take it Dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart where your ather sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour, not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three days, and promise publication and favour will be granted. Never known to fail. Thank you. E.L.


Lough Ree Park, Ballyleague, Roscommon/Castlecoote. (1st Anniversary) Who passed away on 6th March 2020

We, the family of the late Paddy Neilan wish to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all the kindness shown to us on the sad loss of our beloved husband and father. Thank you to all who attended the reposing at our home, Funeral Mass and burial, all who sent mass cards, sympathy cards, made phone calls and left messages on RIP.ie. It was heart-warming to read the memories recalled by his former colleagues and friends. Thank you to our extended family and friends. A special thanks to our neighbours in Lough Ree Park and Shannon Heights who supported us in every way, from comforting us, to managing traffic and parking, providing food and refreshments for all who came to the reposing and supporting us on the morning of the removal to the church and the burial afterwards and have continued to support us over the past year. A sincere thank you to Canon Liam Devine who supported us spiritually by praying with us at the reposing, as we removed Paddy’s remains to the church for the Funeral Mass, offering the mass and praying with us at the graveside. The Homily was personal, comforting and meaningful. Thank you to Fr. Dusmanta and Fr. Sean Beirne for assisting at the Funeral Mass. Thank you to Theresa Donlon Costello for the beautiful singing and music at the mass. Thank you to the medical professionals who were involved in Paddy’s care, his G.P. Dr. Colm Farrell, staff of Portiuncula Hospital and staff of the Corrib Ward in U.C.H.G. To Gareth Johnston (Pharmacy), who happily supplied Paddy’s medication, often out of hours and for providing hand sanitiser. Thank you to the caretakers and gravediggers for organising and preparing Paddy’s final resting place. Thank you to Mike and Sharon Conneelly, Bridge House, Athleague and James and Marie Nolan, Rosie’s, Ballyleague, for providing food and catering equipment. Thank you to the management and staff of Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon, for the lovely meal provided after the burial. Thank you to the management and staff at Casey’s Londis, Roscommon, for their support throughout Paddy’s illness and for their continued support over the past year. Thank you to An Garda Siochana for traffic management. Thank you to Peter Keenan O N E group, Longford, who organised a military send off for Paddy. Sincere thanks to Smyth’s Funeral Directors for their professionalism, care and respect in the handling of Paddy’s funeral arrangements. Finally, to those who helped in any way, your help is appreciated. As it would be difficult to thank everyone individually, please accept this acknowledgement as an expression of our heartfelt gratitude. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been offered for your intentions. Paddy’s 1st Anniversary Mass can be viewed on churchservices-/ballyleague from Ballyleague Church on Friday, 5th March at 10am.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021


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The Walk, Roscommon (1st Anniversary) Who passed away on 5th March 2020

KELLY Vincent (Twin)

McCORMACK Ronan Patrick

1st Anniversary 4 March 2020

37th Birthday Remembrance 7th March 1984

(11th Anniversary) 8th May, 2010 Gortgallon, Lanesboro & Roscommon. Cherished memories of Dear Ronan I thought I saw you in the crowd. He walked like you, his stance was proud. His hair the same, his profile too, I really thought, it could be you. Then I remembered, you were eternally gone. My heart fell flat, as I walked on. I see your face, wherever I go I just thought, that you should know. Still hear your laugh and see your smile, though you’ve been gone, for quite some while. I miss you more, than words can say. One wish, that it was you, Ronan, I saw today.

Lovingly remembered forever in our hearts and prayers, your dear Mum Jeanette, Granny Margaret, Godfather John, uncles, cousins, extended family and all our friends. “A Mother’s Prayer” Masses offered.

Moira and the family of the late Gerry Mahon would like to express their deepest gratitude and appreciation for all the kindness, support and sympathy shown to us on the sad loss of Gerry, devoted husband, father, brother, father-in-law and grandfather. The letters, cards and expressions of sympathy provided great comfort to us as a family. It was heart-warming to hear the many memories recalled by relatives, past pupils, colleagues and many friends. Our thanks to the staff, medical teams of Roscommon University Hospital, St. Vincent’s Private Hospital, Palliative and Homecare teams who looked after him so well. Special thanks to Gerry’s close friends, neighbours, past pupils, Lisaniskey N.S., INTO and members of Roscommon Golf Club who provided Guards of Honour. Our gratitude to the Roscommon Church choir where Gerry was an active member, who provided the wonderful music. A special word of thanks to Fr. Joe Fitzgerald and clergy who celebrated Gerry’s Funeral Mass. Thank you to Smyth’s funeral directors and cemetery staff for your professional and personal service. As it is not possible to thank all individually, please accept this acknowledgement as an expression of our family’s deepest gratitude. Mass will be offered for all your intentions. Anniversary Mass will be celebrated on March 6th, 2021 at 7pm in The Sacred Heart Church Roscommon and available on churchtv. ie/Roscommon or www.facebook.com/ roscommonandkilteevan/ Remembering your smile, always in our hearts.

MANNION James (Jimmy)

Grove House, Barrymore, Kiltoom, Athlone, Co. Roscommon (1st Anniversary) Who passed away on 9th March 2020

THANKSGIVINGS UNFAILING PRAYER TO ST. ANTHONY Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints Oh Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me (request). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle, even so, you are the ‘Saint of Miracles’. O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. E.L.

Mote Park, Roscommon

The family of the late Jimmy Mannion would like to express their sincere gratitude to all who helped and supported them throughout the difficult time of his illness and funeral. Thank you to those who sent mass cards, messages of sympathy, visited, gave donations to St. Vincent’s Care Centre and to those who attended the Funeral Services, many who travelled long distances. A special thanks to our wonderful neighbours, friends and extended family for all their help and support. We would like to thank Fr. McManus and all who officiated at his Requiem Mass and to Aileen O’Connor for the beautiful singing and music. The care and attention Jimmy received in his final year from Julie Butler and her amazing staff in St. Vincent’s Care Centre will be forever appreciated. To Pat, Regina and Tom Smyth for their respectful and sympathetic handling of Jimmy’s funeral. To all who assisted with traffic management, Guard of Honour and to the grave diggers for preparing Jimmy’s final resting place. As it is impossible to thank everyone individually for their kindness please accept this acknowledgment as an expression of our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for your intentions. MAY HE REST IN PEACE.

In loving memory of Vincent Kelly, Borefield, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, who died on 4th March 2020. God saw you getting tired. a cure was not to be. He put his arms around you and whispered ‘come to me’. With tearful eyes we let you go and watched you fade away. Although our hearts were broken we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating. Hard working hands at rest. God knows why he took you. He only takes the best.

Lovingly remembered by Annette, Mary, Joseph, Ben and family, neighbours and friends.

The family of the late Vincent wish to express our gratitude and appreciation to all who sympathised with us on our sad loss. To all who called to our home, attended the removal, Funeral Mass and burial, and sent Mass Cards and floral tributes. To the clergy who celebrated the Funeral Mass, especially Fr. Eamon O’Connor, who was so kind to Vincent and spent special time with him every day over the last two weeks of his life. To Andrew Reynolds and Kiltrustan Choir, Raymond Diffley and Shirley Rogers for the beautiful vocal and instrumental solo’s. Thank you to Pat, Marian and John McHugh, Undertakers, for your professionalism and kindness and to the team of men who prepared Vincent’s grave. Thank you to Strokestown Show Committee for organising the Guard of Honour, Vincent would have been so proud, as the show was a big part of his life. We thank all the medical staff who cared for Vincent over many years. Dr Hugh O’Donnell GP, Dr Gerry O’Meara and his team in Roscommon, all the Public Health Team and the wonderful nurses from the Roscommon / Mayo Hospice, who took care of Vincent in his final week. Thank you to the McAuliffe family pharmacy, who were such a support to us over the years and particularly during Vincent’s final days. Vincent was blessed to be able to remain in his own home and this was possible due to the professional care of the Home Help Team. We were so privileged and thankful to have Breege Fahy looking after him for many years, and thank you to Linda Flanagan who, with Breege, was with Vincent in his final week. To the Kelly and Gillooly families, thank you for your love and kindness to Vincent and all your visits. A special thank you to Vincent’s twin brother’s family, Margaret, Michael, Mona, Eugene and Paul. We could never thank you enough for all you did for Vincent. To the community of Strokestown, thank you for all your help to Vincent over the years. Vincent was blessed with wonderful family, neighbours and friends, thank you to all for your visits to him. As it would be impossible to thank everyone individually, please accept this acknowledgement as a token of our gratitude. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for all.

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In loving memory of Delia also remembering our father Tom and our sister Kathleen Lohan McCarthy whose anniversaries occur around this time. Time may pass and fade away, but silent thoughts and memories stay.

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Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

Sports PEOPLE Local winners of GAA President’s Awards < DAN DOONER

Anne and Michael Naughton pictured with their GAA President’s Awards for handball earlier this week.

Congress opts for July All-Irelands! < SEAMUS DUKE

In one of the most fundamental changes ever to be agreed at an annual GAA Congress, from 2022 there will now be a split season for Gaelic games in terms of fixtures. It means that the inter-county season will be played in the first half of the year, with the All-Ireland final taking place in July. The club season will then follow. The situation with regard to 2021 is still unclear, as the GAA await the latest public health advice from the Government and NPHET as to when training and games might be allowed to take place. A decision is expected towards the end of March.

Jenny on team of the year!

Roscommon player Jenny Higgins was chosen on the TG4 Intermediate Football team of the year at the annual Ladies Football awards over the weekend. The former Western Gaels player, who now plays for Clann na nGael, was chosen at midfield.

There were three local winners of GAA President’s Awards which were Anneounced on Sunday last on TG4. Peter Joe Fitzmaurice of Kilmore GAA won the Connacht award while Michael and Anne Naughton of the St. Coman’s club won the award for handball. The Gradaim an Uachtaráin 2021 is sponsored by AIB and allow GAA President John Horan to acknowledge outstanding commitment and long service in the GAA. The winners of the award for handball, Michael and Anne Naughton, have served St. Coman’s club, Roscommon and Connacht since 1980, and say they were “overwhelmed” with the number of messages they have received this week. Anne, who has served as team manager to official Irish teams at various World Championships, said: “It’s a great honour. Most of the young players we’ve coached down through the years have been sending their congratulations to us. We’ve had a great time travelling over the years with teams and we appreciate all the awards we have won but this is the biggest and the best. It’s the icing on the cake”.

Michael said he was “very happy” to have won the award and that it was great recognition for the success St. Coman’s and Roscommon handball has enjoyed over many years. Michael has served as club and county PRO and has also had lifelong involvement in ladies football. He won a number of Masters titles in both 40x20 and 60x30 and had a long playing career. He continues his promotional work for handball through the Roscommon GAA History Committee and is still coaching at the St. Coman’s Handball Club. Together, the Naughtons have coached many young players in the county and an incredible haul of honours has followed including titles in Féile na Gael, Community Games, TailteAnne Games, All-Ireland 40x20 & 60x30, Girls Team of 10, World Championships, USHA Nationals, 40x20 and one-wall Nationals were brought back to the club and county during their time. Winner of the Connacht award, 90-yearold Peter Joe Fitzmaurice, became vicechairperson of Kilmore GAA Club when it was formed in 1972 and has been involved ever since. He said: “There have been constant phone

Bronze for Aoife at Strandja tournament Castlerea boxer Aoife O’Rourke, right, returns home with another bronze medal from the Strandja International Tournament in Sofia, following her semi-final defeat to American fighter, Naomi Graham. O’Rourke had impressed in earlier rounds against Bulgarian and Turkish opposition and continued her brilliant form against the 31-yearold US Army fighter. However, Graham’s experience as well as her power and precision had Aoife on the back foot in the early stages. Four of the five judges saw it that way too and awarded the American the first two rounds. O’Rourke stepped forward more in the final round and landed some big shots but Graham used her ringcraft to pick her opponent off and come out on top on the scorecards once more. Aoife’s bronze was just one of two medals landed by Irish boxers in Bulgaria with flyweight Brendan Irvine also clinching bronze despite having to withdraw from his semi-final with injury.

calls all week. The best part was when the cousins in America saw it! “It’s a great honour for both myself and my family after being involved in the GAA for so many years”. Peter Joe is still active in Kilmore and on the farm and says he’s looking forward to the end of Covid. In Peter Joe’s time, Kilmore have won the County Junior championship in 1975, Intermediate championship in 1981 and Roscommon senior championship in 1983 and Peter Joe has been an ever constant and was a selector on all three occasions. He has held many roles within the club including vice-chairperson, treasurer, assistant treasurer and is President of Kilmore GAA for over 20 years. Peter Joe also served as a selector on many underage teams down the years. He was a crucial part of the club drive back in 1979 when Kilmore acquired a new ground and developed the current pitch and facilities which were opened in 1982. He has also given over 20 years of service to Roscommon GAA as a loyal gate collector on gates for club and intercounty games.


Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021

SportsPeople Exercising during lockdown!

Grace Kelly pictured with daughter Chloe, Loughglynn. Picture: Mick McCormack

Eileen McGoldrick was out for a walk with her granddaughters Saoirse and Hannah, in Boyle. Pic: Mick McCormack

Melissa Ryan and Mary McCormack pictured in Ballinameen. Photograph: Mick McCormack.

Horses for Courses by Tom Red

Today, racing is on at Clonmel in Co. Tipperary with a 2.20 pm start for an all-chase card. Tomorrow, racing takes place at Fairyhouse at 1.35 pm with an all-hurdle card, and on the flat at the all-weather Polytrack surface in Dundalk, first race at 5 pm. On Saturday, they race at Navan featuring the Grade 3 Flyingbolt Novice Chase, first race at 1.40 pm and Leopardstown have racing on Sunday with the Grade B TRI Equestrian Handicap Steeplechase at 2.10 pm and race again on Monday at 2.20 pm. Television coverage this weekend is on TG4 who will be covering six races from Leopardstown on Sunday. ITV4 will be covering Kelso and Doncaster with the feature Grade 3 Gold Cup Handicap Chase from Newbury.

Racing Review

There were three Grade 3 races at Fairyhouse on Saturday with the opening Norman Colfer Juvenile Hurdle going to Teahupoo with Robbie Power on board for Gordon Elliott, the Red Mills Trial Hurdle to Jason The Militant for Henry de Bromhead and Rachel Blackmore and the Bobbyjoe Chase to the WP Mullins trained Acapella Bourgeois ridden by his nephew Danny. The winner of the Paddy Power Grade 2 Novice Hurdle at Naas on Sunday, Echoes In Rain, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend, took over going to the secondlast flight, and went on beat Belfast Banter and Desir du Large easily by 8l and 2½l. Mullins and Townend were completing a Grade race double having won the opening Grade 3 Chase with Cilaos Emery. On Monday, in Punchestown, the Grade 3 Quevega Mares Hurdle was won by Elliott and Jack Kennedy with Black Tears. The pair completed a treble with Papal Lodge and Coach Carter

and Jamie Codd made it a fourtimer for Elliott winning the bumper with Mighty Potter, a horse more will be heard of.

Racing News

The whole racing scene in Ireland this week is taken up by the Gordon Elliott photo and the Rob James video. Both will have to live with their mistakes and will probably have to pay dearly for them. Gordon Elliott is 43 and his incident only happened about eighteen months ago, and he should have known better. The Rob James video was recorded in 2016, some five years ago and while he was a young man. He was in his early twenties and had ridden his first point-to-point winner in 2012, four years earlier. He was Champion Novice Rider two years before the incident in 2014 and also should have known better. While I am not condoning either man’s actions, most people are complaining about how they treat their horses, which, with living horses, is second to none. Both of the horses died suddenly while being exercised on gallops specially built for horses, both horses were fit and well fed and neither showed any signs of maltreatment or abuse. Where are all these voices when horses, thoroughbred and non-thoroughbred, who are not good enough for their owner’s intentions are culled by euthanasia or worse, just abandoned to fend for themselves? I have been racing all my life, have been involved in ownership and in the point-to-point sphere of racing and I love all horses just as much as anybody but what has happened here is that two individuals did not treat the remains of two dead animals with the respect they should have. There are a lot more ills in the game such as abandoned, mistreated and skeletal animals who

have not been fed properly and abused, these are not isolated cases. Let us hope that all the people, especially the persons who took and/or posted the photograph and video involved, are called to give evidence to the Referrals Committee on Friday to establish the exact context which caused Elliott and James to sit on equine corpses. Why is there no investigation into who took or posted the images on social media? Those people, whoever they are, just as guilty as Elliott and James by their failure to publish or report the incidents at the time that they were recorded. They are just as guilty because the non-posting indicates that they did not find anything wrong with and condoned the actions at that time they occurred. Finally, there is no mention or consideration given to the many staff, over 90, from assistant trainers to stable boys and girls at Cullentra, most of whom are on wages that give them a reasonable living. Where will they earn a living if Cullentra Stables are closed not to mention the jobs they indirectly support in the area? It will be similar to losing a large factory in a town and Roscommon knows too well what that is like. I know both men and I know that, like all involved in racing, they would never abuse horses in their care but would ensure that they are looked after sometimes better than themselves if need be. Gigginstown House Stud have stuck to their guns and removed the dual National hero Tiger Roll from this year’s steeplechase. They had said that the Gordon Elliott-trained 11-yearold would not take his chance at Aintree next month unless Tiger Roll was rated in the 150s and after he was given a mark of 166 when the weights were officially unveiled last month and on Tuesday he was scratched.

Echoes In Rain

Cheltenham News Chevely Park Stud had eight horses with Elliott, and they are gone to Henry de Bromhead and Willie Mullins. Their four Cheltenham Festival contenders, the Marsh Novices’ Chase favourite Envoi Allen will join De Bromhead, along with Supreme Novices’ Hurdle contender Ballyadam and possible Triumph Hurdle hope Quilixios and their bumper hope the unbeaten Sir Gerhard will be trained by Mullins, who already houses the favourite for the race in Kilcruit. Noel and Valerie Moran, who own leading JCB Triumph Hurdle fancy Zanahiyr and could have as many as nine runners at the Cheltenham Festival have told the Racing Post that their horses remain in the care of Gordon Elliott despite rumours suggesting otherwise over the last 24 hours. The yard sponsor, eCOMM

Merchant Solutions, of which Noel Moran is CEO, announced on Tuesday that it had terminated its contract with the stable. Moran and his wife Valerie are awaiting the decision of the IHRB hearing on Friday before making any further comment or decisions. Leading bookmaker Betfair have discontinued their association with Gordon Elliott acting as an ambassador after the image that emerged over the weekend. Willie Mullins, meanwhile, has confirmed Kemboy is likely to join stablemate Al Boum Photo in this month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo will be bidding for a hattrick of victories in the blue riband and Kemboy is out to make it third time lucky, having unseated his rider at the first fence in 2019 and finished only seventh in last year’s race. Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse expects

the ground at Prestbury Park to be mainly good to soft for the start of the four-day Festival Tuesday week.

Point-to-Point News The Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee confirmed that they had received clarification from Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that the point-to-point season would remain suspended until at least April 5th at this time. In the meantime, there will be a number of track meetings for point-to-point horses in which handlers as well as trainers can enter and run horses who will be still qualified when to run when racing between the flags returns provided, they do not win. The meetings will be at Punchestown on 15th March, Wexford on 20th March, Navan on 22nd March and Tipperary on 24th March.

Roscommon People Friday 05 March 2021





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