As we all know, a few weeks ago the Irish Wheelchair Association dropped the bombshell that Cuisle in Donamon was going to close by the 29th of November, with just over 40 jobs to go.
Along with many others, I wondered if the community was going to take the news lying down – and I am delighted to say that they are not.
Last Thursday night a meeting was held at which it was resolved to try to get the decision reversed. This Saturday, 23rd of November, a major rally will take place in Roscommon town at 1 pm. Everyone is asked to come along and support the organisers and those affected by the heartless announcement.
As Martin Finan, one of the driving forces behind the rally, pointed out to me, Cuisle is not just a wheelchair holiday resort, it is also a major community hub where all kinds of social events take place. Sports clubs, individuals and local organisations have all held functions there over the years.
Saturday’s rally will convene at the new County Council offices and proceed by the back of the Church, up Abbey Street, on to Church Street, and into Main Street, where the rally will be addressed by a number of speakers.
That great Castlerea man, Danny Burke, will be the MC. Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice, Cathaoirleach of Roscommon Co. Council, Keith Swanick, a Belmullet-based Doctor and Senator, as well as a number of our local TDs and Senators will (hopefully) all be in attendance.
I’m sure they will all be only too glad to address the huge crowd that I expect to be there and throw their support behind the vitally important rescue effort.
Of course, what’s needed is a positive outcome, but without a show of strength by the people nothing will happen, so please get to Roscommon in your thousands, show the Government that you will not put up with this outrageous closure, and you – the people – will ensure that Cuisle stays open and continues to look after its holiday makers and the local community for many years to come.
Prevalance of drugs a major concern
A few weeks ago, the Health Research Board (in its annual newsletter) informed us that use of cocaine has now returned to the levels it reached in Celtic Tiger Ireland. The board said that while back in those days the problem was pretty much confined to the bigger cities and urban areas, it is now rampant in rural Ireland and is being used in even the smallest country villages.
In Co. Donegal, a garda in Letterkenny described the problem in the town as rampant, in Mayo the warning is that cocaine use is threatening to spiral out of control, and nearly all regional towns are seeing an increase in recorded drug crime. Once upon a time the common theory was that coke was the recreational drug for the wealthy yuppies of Dublin 4, but now the Gardai say there is no specific group that uses the drug. As my colleague Seamus Duke noted in his column in this newspaper recently, it is now so universally used that the farmer or the nurse or anyone at all can be a user.
Back in my day, when I was a young fellow dipping my toes in the recreational ways of the world, there was really only alcohol, and while nobody should underestimate the danger of alcohol addiction, there wasn’t quite the same threat involved. For a start, there was no such thing as shots. It’s a different scenario now.
All of this came into my head when I read this week that a huge drug seizure (heroin) occurred in the village of Kilmallock in Co. Limerick, and looking back over the last short while I see where there have been seizures in Lanesborough, Longford, Ennis, Enniscorthy, Navan, Drogheda, Mallow, Leixlip, Killaloe, and umpteen ones in Dublin and its environs.
Obviously these seizures are just the tip of the iceberg, as a lot more makes it to the streets than doesn’t, so I suppose the message is that no matter where you are, don’t be surprised if someone near you is using coke or some other dangerous drug. A worrying thought.
Saturday will be a historic day for Creggs RFC
45 years ago a few lads met for a few pints in Dowd’s in Glinsk and decided the time was right to start a rugby club in Creggs.
It turned out to be a rocky road before the young club was up and running, but today it is one of the foremost clubs in Connacht. It has probably the best playing facilities in the province, a huge number of playing and non-playing members, two very successful adult teams, along with loads of underage teams, both boys and girls, and in truth it is almost impossible to believe that the slightly mad dream of all those years ago has turned out so well.
This Saturday, 23rd of November, the club is holding the official opening of the new pitches at 4.30 pm, with games taking place at every age group all day long from 10 am, including a firsts’ league game at 5 pm against our neighbours from Athlone, Buccaneers. It will all finish up with a Dinner Dance in the Abbey Hotel (at 8 pm) on Saturday night. Tickets for the dance are available from any committee member. It promises to be a wonderful celebration of an amazing local success story, so if you are free, put on the gladrags, get out the dancing shoes, and hit for the Abbey where you are guaranteed wonderful food, great music and even better craic – and please God I’ll see you there.
Last night (Wednesday) in Dowd’s of Glinsk, we presented the proceeds of our recent fundraising dance (€5,430) to be divided equally between the Lourdes Invalid Fund and Cancer Care West.
Once again the people of the parish surpassed themselves with both their welcome and generosity. On behalf of everyone, a thousand thanks for all your support. Year in, year out you continue to amaze with your kindness, and we cannot thank you enough.
Finally for this week, I would like to welcome our new parish priest, Fr. Donal Morris, to our parish and wish him well in his new role. The reaction so far is very positive, and I have no doubt he will prove to be a great addition to the area.