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‘Sister Act – The Musical’ opens





‘Sister Act – The Musical’ is coming to town this week and the stage is set for the entertainment highlight of the year in Boyle!

  The cast are ready to unveil what promises to be another Boyle Musical Society spectacular!

  Venue is St. Joseph’s Hall. Tickets are priced at €15 and €12 for Thursday night (21st) and €18 for Friday (22nd) and Saturday (23rd). Seats can be booked and tickets are available from the Únabhán Craft Shop beside King House

  Tickets can also be booked by telephone on 071-9663033 during booking office hours. There will be tickets available at the venue, each night. For further information please visit www.boylemusicalsociety.com or follow Boyle Musical Society on Facebook.




Wednesday sessions at Foxe’s Bar!



Foxe’s Bar in Roscommon town is set to welcome Michael Banahan and Friends for a new weekly music session each and every Wednesday night, starting on November 27th.

  The music will kick off at 9.30 pm each Wednesday and everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy what promise to be very entertaining sessions.


Roscommon Drama Group present their new play





The cast of ‘Forbidden Fruit’ by Tom Costello are excited and ready to present for the first time ever this new play in Roscommon Arts Centre on Thursday 28th, Friday, 29th and Saturday, November the 30th.

  ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is based on the evidence reviewed by the House of Lords in the notorious Talbot divorce case that brought attention to the rural area of Mount Talbot in the mid-1850s.

  Marie Conroy plays the role of Marianne Talbot and Joe Fahy performs the part of John Talbot. The coachman or groom who is at the centre of the divorce case is played by Aidan Flanagan.

  The strong supporting cast includes Emma Fitzmaurice, Fr. George Agar, Margaret Madden, Anita O’Keeffe, Jim Conlon, Richie Ford, Martina Mulligan, Carol Murray, Michael Oates, Steve Gregory, Kieran Madden and Mairead Nally.

  This is a play that will have a wide appeal and booking is already brisk. To ensure a seat immediate booking is advised on 090-6625824.



‘Tis season to support TNR South Roscommon’s fundraiser





The countdown is on to Sunday, December the 1st when local animal welfare charity TNR South Roscommon will host its annual Christmas sale at the Angling Centre, Athleague from 11 am to 4 pm.

  This much-anticipated event will not only provide shoppers with the perfect opportunity to give something back to their community, it will also help them to enable and support this local charity in their efforts to raise much-needed funds which they use to humanely trap, spay/neuter and feed feral cats in County Roscommon.

  The fair, which will feature handbags, fancy goods, costume jewellery and accessories, toys, beauty items and household goods, etc., will be guaranteed to deliver plenty of bargain buys for discerning shoppers.

  In addition, the event will give families the opportunity to soak up the feelgood festive atmosphere with complimentary refreshments and a Christmas raffle being held on the day! The charity’s stall will be staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers who TNR South Roscommon’s founder Orla Hanley describes as being of “an invaluable help”.

  “Our work would not be possible without the tender and faithful support of our volunteers and those who assist us to save and alleviate a whole lot of heartache in Roscommon’s feral cat population’s lives”.

  Along with the opportunity to purchase that unique gift on December 1st and help a struggling local charity, TNR South Roscommon’s Christmas fundraiser will also serve to provide a family-friendly atmosphere with those dedicated volunteers on hand to offer shoppers advice regarding the care and welfare of the feral kitties they work so hard to help and protect.

  Indeed, they can also provide information on how animal lovers who may be stuck for a unique gift idea can support them throughout the year by perhaps considering making a donation to the charity in someone’s name. Now wouldn’t that make a puuurrrfectly unique and sustainable gift for either a friend or a loved one?

  As 2019 closes and the New Year hails the onset of the 2020 kitten season, the charity would like to thank all of those Roscommon People readers who continue to support them.

  The TNR South Roscommon founder said: “On behalf of myself and all of our volunteers (and the innocent little lives we’ve saved), I would like to wrap a giant present of gratitude for everyone who has supported us and wish you all a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year”.



Irene’s light continues to shine in Knockcroghery





Over €15,000 raised for Hospice since 2011




The ‘Let Love Shine a Light’ tree in aid of Mayo-Roscommon Hospice has been a Christmas tradition in Knockcroghery, raising in excess of €15,000 since 2011. The local committee was first established by the late Irene Beirne, who sadly passed away in October of this year.

  Irene was the driving force behind the Knockcroghery Let Love Shine a Light annual fundraiser after she lost her 15-year-old daughter Sinéad to leukaemia in 2000.

  Tireless in her efforts to raise much-needed funds for local palliative care services, Irene had previously visited national schools throughout the county as the main organiser of a major raffle of Hospice-sponsored Roscommon GAA jerseys in 2012.

  Jackie Doyle of the Knockcroghery Let Love Shine a Light committee paid a glowing tribute to her friend and colleague ahead of this year’s campaign.

  “The Let Love Shine a Light campaign in Knockcroghery was Irene’s idea and we all just rowed in behind her. She was on the road every day of the week selling sponsorship cards and the committee grew from there. She was brilliant but didn’t want to be recognised. She preferred to work away behind the scenes.

  “We’d all be given our little jobs each year and you could be guaranteed that Irene’s jobs would be done before everyone else. She’s sorely missed as both a friend and an important member of both the committee and the community itself.

  “Now the Let Love Shine a Light campaign is established as an annual event and the tree is a focal point of the village. It’s a community event and people know it’s happening every year,” she said.

  While Knockcroghery has sadly lost a shining light this year, Irene’s family will once again play a big part in the community-driven fundraiser. Their hard work will be rewarded when the Tree of Light illuminates the village on Saturday, December 1st ahead of the annual Mass on December 28th in St. Patrick’s Church, Knockcroghery.

  The event on December 1st will begin with carol singing in Knockcroghery Community Centre at 5 pm before the Christmas tree lights are switched on at 6.15 pm. There will be further excitement at 6.30 pm when Santa Claus makes a special pre-Christmas visit to Knockcroghery.

  The committee has called on the people of Knockcroghery and surrounding areas to give the gift of love this Christmas while supporting the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice – you can do so by sponsoring a light on the Tree of Light in Knockcroghery for a friend, family member, someone you know or in memory of a loved one.

  Jackie said: “Once again, we are asking for your support for the Palliative Care services in our area. You can purchase a light for €5 for your family, friends, or in memory of a loved one. The light will shine over the Christmas period and it can be for people who are living or deceased. It’s just a special gesture to let someone know you are thinking about them during the festive season”.

  Sponsorship cards are now available from Jackie on 086-8756797 and Patricia on 087-1252304. A number of Christmas cards are also available and all proceeds go towards Mayo/Roscommon Hospice.

  Names of loved ones will be included in the annual ecumenical service at Knock on the third Sunday in January.




Adrian calls it a day…after 45 years as face of the IFA







Like father, like son (1)


‘On January 9th, 1967 the pent-up frustration finally boiled over as all over Ireland farmers blocked the major roads using tractors and farm machinery. The bridge over the Shannon at Rooskey was the scene of one such blockade. The first to stop his tractor on the bridge and refuse to move it was Hugh Leddy. The second to join him was his near neighbour Tony Gannon. They, in turn, were joined by a hundred more. The Government was alarmed and threatened to proscribe the NFA using the old British laws. The leaders were brought to court and were fined. The fine, imposed by Justice Loftus, was £5 or three months in jail in default. They refused to pay the fine (even after it was reduced). The government found they could not break the farmers and Hugh Leddy was in the next group of many to be sent to Mountjoy/Portlaoise for a few weeks’ 

– Courtesy of The Leitrim Observer (2006)


‘There were so many protests that I remember being on with Adrian Leddy. There was one at the Johnstown Castle Hotel in Wexford. It was getting fairly lively, there was a big crowd of farmers protesting. Suddenly squad cars arrived and there were Gardai everywhere. There was a Garda, now I can’t remember the precise details, but he was quite stern, he meant business, he stood in front of the protesting farmers and he took out a notebook and he starting taking names. He looked like he was going making arrests…all of a sudden a very, very tall man emerged out of nowhere from the back of the group of protesting farmers…and that man (Adrian Leddy) said: “Guard…this is about our human rights! These people are fighting for their human rights…fighting for their livelihoods!”’

– Des McHugh, Leitrim IFA Chairman, speaking in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon, Saturday, November 2, 2019


Adrian Leddy is sitting across from me in the Abbey Hotel, having accepted my invitation to indulge in some reminiscing. He has reached a milestone in his career. You could say that Adrian is keeping the rugby boots on, but tucking the wellingtons away. He will continue as a leading rugby administrator and supporter (with Creggs, and at Connacht/IRFU level). But he is hanging up his wellingtons with the IFA. He has worked for the organisation for almost 45  years, and has been Regional Development Officer (for counties Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford and Sligo) for over 30 years. He will stay on until the end of the year. There are elections ongoing in the organisation, and a new national President will take up office soon. One of the most recognisable and popular farm leaders in the West (and further afield) has decided to retire after a long and distinguished career.

  The expression ‘Like father, like son’ came to mind when I read the above quotes from a copy of The Leitrim Observer which reported on the passing of Adrian’s father, Hugh Leddy, in 2006.

  Adrian Leddy has spent most of his adult life fighting the cause for farmers, and he certainly didn’t have far to go for inspiration. His late father, a founding member of the IFA, was jailed in 1967 for his prominent role in the historic farmers’ rights campaign. Hugh Leddy was Leitrim NFA Chairman at the time. Father and son were keen sportsmen too…

  He was born in Umera, Annaduff, Co. Leitrim in 1951, one of four children of Hugh and Patricia Leddy. His sisters are Bernadette, Michelle and Patricia. They were tough times. Three generations of the Leddys shared a thatched cottage (an extension was built on when Adrian’s grandparents Michael and Catherine moved in).

  “We had no bathroom, no running water, no electricity…it was the era of the Tilley lamp” Adrian recalled this week. “We’d listen to Michael O’Hehir’s football commentaries on a transistor radio…we used to have to go into Mohill to get the batteries charged for it”.

  Hugh Leddy earned a modest income bringing milk to the local creamery. Life revolved around farming. From the age of nine or ten, Adrian was getting up at around 7 o’clock in the morning to milk “up to ten cows by hand” before walking to school.

  “I loved it. That was the way of life in those days. We were self-sufficient. We had a dairy farm, we were ‘drystock’ too. We had pigs and poultry. Paddy Duignan called once a week with his travelling shop. We bought stuff off him and he took eggs in exchange”.

  His mother was a quiet, hard-working woman who worked on the farm daily. It was a great upbringing in a special place, where neighbours happily invoked the Meitheal spirit.

  Adrian loved the farming way of life, but his father was looking at the bigger picture. One day, when Adrian was about 12 or 13, his father explained that the farm wasn’t big enough for the three men of the house. Adrian would be going to boarding school in St. Nathy’s in Ballaghaderreen. He understood his parents’ reasoning. Besides, rural electrification was coming in, “so now we had a milking machine!”

  After St. Nathy’s, he got a job with FBD in Dublin (1970). He met his future wife, Paula (then working for the Farmers Journal, as secretary to Matt Dempsey) in the Irish Farm Centre. They’ve been together ever since. In 1975 Adrian and Paula were married, and started a new life in Donegal, Adrian with the IFA and Paula working at Raphoe Livestock Mart and also freelancing as a photographer with the Farmers Journal.

  They both loved Donegal, and went on to spend thirteen very enjoyable years there. Then, in 1988, Adrian was appointed IFA Regional Officer, based in Roscommon Town. He pays tribute to everyone he has worked with over the years, particularly Noelle Rogerson in the Roscommon office.

  The years have flown by. New technology brought changes. In the late 1980s very few farmers had a phone in their house. “It meant you had to call to their farm to meet them…you got to know the entire family. You made great friends. Then when the mobile phones arrived, it became less personal, which was a pity really”.

  The other enormous change over the years has been the increased bureaucracy, the form-filling and regulations’ culture which has been so testing for many farmers. Adrian says he hates to see money going back to the EU, and since the direct payment structure was introduced he has always encouraged farmers to apply for all available schemes. But the ‘red tape’ has been a challenge, especially for elderly farmers.

  He’s very concerned for the future of small farmers, citing the dominance of big farms, the “massive increase” in forestry planting, as well as cultural changes and depopulation. He laments the closure of so many factories throughout rural Ireland.     

  “When places like Hanley’s in Rooskey and Atlantic Mills/Burlington in Clondra were thriving, there was huge employment. Farmers in this region were investing in sheds and farm equipment…the farmers had that income from the day job too”.

  He appreciates that young people now have other career ambitions, but says that large-scale job creation in rural towns and villages could at least breathe some new life into farming communities.


Like father, like son (2)


‘Hugh Leddy lined out around midfield dressed in a pair of old long trousers and with the socks pulled up over the bottom ends. He could have been close to 40 years and was slowing down. We were playing a neighbouring club and rivalry was intense. He started to solo from midfield heading for the town goals. Two hardy looking fellows decided they were going to ‘take him out’. Both converged on him at speed. They hit him with everything they had but their shoulders from each side perfectly cancelled each other out. He took the shock as if nothing had happened. They fell away like rag dolls and he kept up the solo run to thunderous roars, cheers and applause’

– Courtesy of The Leitrim Observer (2006)


‘There were lots of skirmishes in the rugby matches…quite a few of them I created myself! There was no protection in the lineout in those days…fist fights were usual, but it was all forgotten about at the final whistle, we went to the bar then and were the best of friends. I remember playing for Creggs one day, away to Corinthians. I was in a punch-up with an opposing player…next thing his wife ran on to the pitch and started hitting me with an umbrella. Another day, I was involved with another opponent (punches being traded)…suddenly the touch judge came on. HE was with the other team…and he started hitting me with the flagpole! I retaliated and he was spread-eagled. The referee had the touch judge replaced and I managed to stay on the field!’

– Adrian Leddy, speaking in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon, on Monday, November 11th, 2019


Like father, like son. They both played for Annaduff (Hugh also played for Eslin). They were both hard to stop! That depiction of Hugh Leddy as a marauding sportsman on the GAA field also evokes memories of Adrian in his prime as a formidable rugby player.

  The rugby career started by chance. A keen athlete when he was a young lad in Leitrim, he enjoyed great success, winning Connacht medals. Now he was living in Dublin. After lining out in an FBD 7-a-side Business House League, a friend encouraged him to join the Railway Union Club Junior team. He had no idea of the rules, but took to the game straight away (“I was fast with the ball in those days!”).

  When he moved to Donegal, he joined City of Derry Rugby Club. He was one of only four or five Catholics on the team (“We gelled well with the other tradition…until we had a few pints in!”) and ended up playing there for years, including against household names such as Willie John McBride and Mike Gibson. He remained loyal to Annaduff GAA. The late Stanley Cox would send him a postcard with the date of the next match, and Adrian would travel from Donegal to play. He admits (just a touch sheepishly) that when he and Paula were on honeymoon, he drove back to Annaduff for two league matches!

  Rugby has been an enormous part of his life. When the Leddys moved to Roscommon, Adrian joined Creggs RFC, where he made a huge impact as player, coach, administrator. He is extremely proud of all that has been achieved at the club – on and off the field – praising the “great community effort and volunteerism”. Adrian was instrumental in starting the Mini Rugby at the club, and very influential in developing Youth and Ladies Rugby too. He has risen the ranks, becoming President of Connacht in 2014/2015. He currently represents Connacht at IRFU level and remains very involved with Creggs. He loves the way sport – rugby in particular – instills discipline and a sense of respect in young people, greatly aiding their development and life skills.


Adrian and Paula love living in Roscommon, where they have raised four sons and two daughters. There will be more time now to spend with their children (Hugh, Aine, John, Ruairi, Emmet and Aoife) and their three grandchildren (Anna, Harry and Ruby).

  Time to spend with friends too. “We have made great friends over the years” Adrian said this week as he prepares to hand on the IFA baton (his successor is John O’Hanlon, former Manager of Ballymahon Mart).

  He remembers that cold day in January of 1967. He was there, aged 16. There was up to a hundred farmers at the bridge in Rooskey. They had had enough. The leader was Hugh Leddy. Adrian remembers the tension, the atmosphere, the determination of the farmers. His own future flashing before him, as it happens. His father was arrested and taken off to serve a few weeks in jail. Adrian is proud of all the farmers who were jailed; “that’s why we honour them on the big anniversaries of the campaign!”

  A couple of years before he died (aged 83), Hugh Leddy was  badly hurt in a farm accident. Adrian was with his father that day, and was able to come to his assistance, with the help of some neighbours. Father and son remained close. Farming was a common bond between them. As Adrian rose within the IFA, father and son had many long chats about farming, about the issues of the day.

  The years go by. From Annaduff to Dublin to Donegal and Derry, to Roscommon, with great days in between on rugby fields in Creggs, Connacht and further afield. The IFA book is closing, memories to cherish. On now to the next chapter.

Rescue hens flock to Roscommon hunting for happy homes!







On the 16th and 17th of November (this weekend), LittleHill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary will be coming to County Roscommon with hundreds of rescued hens who are seeking their forever homes.

  The animal charity is appealing to kind-hearted people across the county to consider offering a home to these unfortunate creatures, who will otherwise be sent to the slaughterhouse.

  The hens are currently awaiting their fate at a commercial egg farm. At such farms, hens are kept until they reach about 15 months old, at which point their productivity declines slightly. This small reduction means that the birds might lay five or six eggs each week, rather than seven, rendering them unprofitable.

  Therefore, commercial hens are routinely culled at this young age, to be replaced by more productive flock. That is, of course, unless someone steps in to save them. For the past six years, LittleHill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary has been finding caring homes around the country for ex-commercial hens, so that they can save as many as possible.

  Susan Anderson, founder of the Kildare-based charity said: “We started rescuing chickens because I hated the fact that they are killed without ever knowing a moment of compassion, or even experiencing the outside world. They are just over a year old, so most will live for a few more years, providing their new owners with fun, companionship, and delicious cruelty-free eggs”.

  Niamh Hennigan, a hen adopter who lives near Athleague stated: “When I first noticed LittleHill’s ‘hen rescue’ on Facebook I quickly joined their page and signed up to rescue my first six girls. I didn’t really know what to expect, as we so easily disassociate ourselves from the bad choices we make when buying animal products such as eggs, so I never really understood the true reality of what happened behind those closed sheds and cages.

  “What greeted me when I got my first rescues were vulnerable little creatures: dishevelled and afraid to put a foot on the ground”.

  Niamh says her hens soon flourished when given the opportunity to live a truly free-range life, outside of the confines of factory farm cages.

  “They go from pathetic, mostly bald lost little souls to fully-feathered beauties with lots of attitude. Every one of them now has a different personality and they are so obviously grateful that they are finally free!”

  Niamh also discussed how keeping hens has helped her family to reduce their impact on the environment.

  “Large-scale caged farms cause greenhouse gas emissions and are also known to contaminate soil and water”.

  LittleHill’s volunteers will be flocking to Castlerea on Saturday, the 16th of November, and Tarmonbarry and Frenchpark on Sunday, the 17th, with hundreds of rescued hens seeking a better life.

  To adopt your own feathered companions at one of these locations, the charity asks people to send a private message to their Facebook page, ‘LittleHill Animal Rescue & Sanctuary’, stating the number of hens they would like to adopt, and the collection town. Those without a Facebook page can book through a friend or relative’s account. There is a small adoption fee of €6 per hen.



People Platform - November 15th






Tributes paid to ‘people person’ Brian O’Neill


Tributes have been paid this past week to well-known Roscommon town businessman Brian O’Neill, as news of his passing at the age of 60 spread on Monday, November 4th.

  Brian was a native of Derby in the UK but moved to Roscommon in 1999, where he played a leading role at his brother Denis’s Ballymurray-based company Athlone Laboratories up until 2010.

  A larger than life character, Brian went on to set up Roscommon Restoration Services on the Lanesboro Road, a company which specialised in kitchen and furniture restoration and refurbishment.

  Brian was described as a “people person” by friends this week as well as a big fan of live music. He was a regular customer in JJ Harlow’s where he was fondly remembered by co-owners Caitlín McConn and Brian Mugan and their staff.

  Caitlín said Brian was generous of his time and had many friends in Roscommon town.

  “Brian was someone who would do anything for anyone. He had amazing cars so he did a lot of weddings for close friends; he would have driven the bride, bridesmaids, and others to the wedding.

  “He loved his cars and could be seen driving his Mustang or later his BMW in the town. Last year he bought a big four-wheel-drive jeep before the winter – he wanted it for the snow because he had got stuck the winter before. So he bought this jeep and all he wanted was snow last year so he could help neighbours who got stuck!”

  The bar owner smiled as she remembered Brian’s daily battle with a newspaper crossword.

  “He’d be in here (JJ’s) every day for a coffee and to do the Daily Star crossword…badly! He’d show us the crossword every now and then and it was a case of: ‘Brian, this is wrong and that’s wrong and this is spelt wrong’.

  “He was very much a people person though and his house was always open to people and no matter where a friend wanted a lift, even if it was Dublin, Cork or Galway, he was the man. He loved being able to help people and he was the best man here for every gig…well except for folk music, trad or jazz!

  “There have been so many people coming in over the last few days whom Brian had a connection with. He loved Roscommon even though he was known as ‘English Brian’. He’ll be very sorely missed and he’ll definitely never be forgotten in here,” she said.

  Brian will be very sadly missed by his son Steven, daughter Stephanie, brother Ken, and all his other relatives, neighbours and many, many good friends both in Ireland and in the UK. Brian will be laid to rest in Scotland where he will be reunited with his late father and mother William and Janet O’Neill, and brother Denis (RIP).
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. May he rest in peace.



‘Don’t change traffic system in Roscommon Town centre’


1, Ascaill Chluain Breacna,

Baile Ros Comáin


Dear Editor,

In principle I’m in favour of some revitalisation of The Square, Roscommon, having some type of a limited, continental-style, plaza there – BUT NOT at the expense of the excellent, one-way, free-flowing, very safe, traffic system that has operated there for very many years now.

  If I remember correctly, it was designed by the late Martin Keaveney B.E., with pedestrian safety and free movement foremost in his mind. Prior to that, there had been many traffic accidents in the town centre, involving vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

  At that time, the then 2-way system was chaotic. If one used the street on the west side of the bank, merging with traffic on the other side, it nearly always caused problems/blockages. There are no such problems nowadays. Traffic ‘coming at you’ from both sides caused big problems for less-agile pedestrians trying to cross over to the other side – and indeed there was nothing easy for any pedestrians trying to navigate the same territory with the then 2-way system.

  Another step backwards in the new proposals is the permitting of traffic coming from Castle Street to turn right towards St. Ciaran’s Park, etc., in the face of oncoming traffic from Main Street. This would be a recipe for disaster, potentially a cause of accidents. Why do this when we have a perfectly safe, proven system in place here already? This should be ‘off the table’ instantly in any minor realignment proposals. 

  What’s wrong with the present system? NOTHING, I would suggest. Isn’t having traffic going in the same direction (one-way) the basic principle of road safety the world over? Isn’t that one of the main reasons for building motorways and one-way systems – or should we revert some of them to two-way, and increase our road deaths and injuries to the appalling levels of the past? Such a reversion in Roscommon Town would be just as daft as doing so with any national one-way road.

  In the council’s first proposals there was to be NO TRAFFIC on the West side of the bank and no parking available to its front or rear, so all traffic into and out of town centre would travel on the new 2-way system, East of the bank (Newsround side). Daft, unnecessary and dangerous, I would say. There are 59 parking spaces being withdrawn. To add to the dilemma, there are/will be people who will still park their cars all day in the same places from early morning, while they are at work, thereby blocking spaces for potential customers. How does the council suggest this would improve business, or does it want Roscommon town centre to have ghost town status?

  I believe an overwhelming majority of submissions were against the initial proposal to totally pedestrianise the West side of The Square. Now the revised proposals suggest limited vehicular access there. It is planned in such a way as to make it unattractive to travel on that side of the bank – with a STOP sign facing you at the end of the Post Office, with the inevitable ‘tail-back’ where there is free-flowing traffic at the moment. There you must stay until the way is clear in another new, 2-way stretch between there and junction with Castle Street (in front of Stone Court/Old Jail), where there is another STOP sign. This is done to ensure that all of us would now have little choice but to travel on the East side in the new 2-way system. It was dangerous in the past, it would be dangerous in the future.

  You may turn left for St. Ciaran’s Park, etc., just as those coming up Castle Street may turn right at the same junction. Who will have right of way? I can see 2, if not 3 ‘pinch points’ at that end of the Square and tailbacks down past Lanesboro Street, when someone coming up Castle Street wants to turn right but can’t, because of a stream of cars coming in the opposite direction. We’d then have blockages, which we do not have at the moment, with our free-flowing and safe system. Nobody would benefit – certainly not the motorists, cyclists, pedestrians or business people.

  The proposers of this plan may say it’s trying to get people back into the town centre. Well-intentioned as it may be, it’s taking away a huge amount of parking spaces, making crossing the street a hazardous endeavour, and wasting far too big an area (more suited to a very big town or city), where a few people with nothing to do can enjoy being in splendid isolation as they watch the world go by. That’s not the way to create extra business in the town centre. With far less parking bays available, people will ‘vote with their feet’ – sorry, cars – and go elsewhere.

  Having said all that, I do feel that the town could do with a far smaller version of what’s being proposed as a recreational area – maybe in front of the Bank of Ireland and also maybe a part of the area to the rear of the same bank, but in any case, within the parameters of the present, excellent traffic system.

  If Roscommon County Council was serious about how taxpayers’ money was spent, and wanted to make some alterations in The Square, why did it not do so BEFORE the expensive, major upheaval that took place in the very same square in the last year? Now they want to tear it all up again. Would that sort of extravagance/irresponsibility take place in the private sector? Certainly not. What did that cost?

  What is the projected cost of the present proposals? (It doesn’t matter if it comes from central funds and is for a nominated specific project – it’s all taxpayers’ money). There are many other, more worthy projects that could’ve been chosen.

  I’d like to know where our six local elected councillors stand in all of this saga. I emailed my first submission to all six and not all of them acknowledged it. Isn’t it time they made their positions known to the electorate?                    

  Also, should anybody think this letter/submission is full of negativity, it is very serious and full of reality.


Is mise le meas,

Bill Cunningham






‘Waking Woodstock Dream’ exhibition extended…




A collection by local artist James M. Moran which is currently on display in Roscommon County Library will now have an extended run, up to this Saturday, November 16th.

  The ‘Waking the Woodstock Dream: 50 year reflection (1969-2019)’ exhibition opened recently.

  Speaking at the recent launch, Gerry Browne praised James Moran for “assembling this really brilliant and sobering exhibition of the human condition…and the condition of nature”.


Cunningham’s Pharmacy voted the best in Ireland



Cunningham’s Pharmacy, Monksland, Co. Roscommon have been announced as ‘National Pharmacy of the Year 2020’ at a Gala black-tie event in the Great Southern Hotel Killarney.  

  This is Retail Excellence Ireland’s annual showpiece event, honouring all that is great in Irish retail.

  This competition has been a long and rigorous road for Cunningham’s Pharmacy with both their stores making the top 100 after the mystery shopping stage. The newly-revamped and expanded Monksland store made it through to the final top 30 stores on Saturday after a store visit and assessment by retail expert Matthew Brown of London-based Echochamber.

  Matthew has the enviable job of travelling the world studying innovative and cutting edge retail. In his assessment of Cunningham’s Pharmacy he described it as “an absolutely superb store with really strong curation and merchandising that is carefully considered and creative”.

  He also said: “The store has lovely personalised touches with a good focus on gifting and Irish heroes. This is a world class pharmacy and retail offer!”

  Owner Paul Cunningham complimented his pharmacy team.

  “No matter how a store looks it is only ever as good as the people that work there. I am incredibly lucky to have such a great team of people working across both stores whose hard work and endeavour have taken us to this point.

  “Equally, without its customers a store is nothing and a huge thank you is due to all our loyal customers over the years”.

  Cunningham’s Pharmacy operates beside SuperValu in Monksland and on the Dublin Rd. across from Athlone IT.


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