Bryan, Miriam and the outdoor cinema…

 

Every day

In case you’re wondering why that big story (you must remember it) – ‘Slightly mad leaders in nuclear war stand-off’ – has taken a back seat lately, it’s all down to the massive new story which has rightfully relegated Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

  Yes, sensationally and dramatically, the RTE Six-One News is getting new presenters! Two of them! And both of them women! And yes, that of course means that King Bryan and Queen Sharon have gone! So many angles to cover!

  For more on this story, see every national newspaper, all television and radio channels, our social media platforms, The Ellen Show, Kremlim Today, Old Moore’s Almanac, vagabonds in the park, the dogs in the street…etc., etc., etc.

 

Saturday

Miriam O’Callaghan may have lost a few Presidential election votes in Roscommon this morning! Chatting to a guest about rural Ireland, the golden girl blurted out: “I passed through Roscommon last week…some of those villages are dead!”

  In a weak moment, I may give her a number three or four.

 

Monday

Huge plaudits to the members of the Roscommon Town Team for both their vision and their voluntary work ethic, the combination of which led to Monday night’s novel event in the shadow of the new Civic HQ in Roscommon. The Halloween ‘Spooktacular’, staged outdoors in the carpark at Áras an Chontae, was a great success, despite quite persistent rain.

  So, what was it? It was innovative outdoor cinema, Halloween-themed, free too, family-friendly, and an insight into the potential of this ‘venue.’

  Roscommon Town Team were our hosts on Monday night. Against the ‘gable’ of the old courthouse in Roscommon town was a large screen. In front of it, hundreds of chairs, a refreshments point, and the great Roscommon public. Master of ceremonies was the suitably enthusiastic and good-humoured performance artist Xnthony Keigher, of the rising profile.

  Beetlejuice, the film shown on the large screen, may be a touch dated by now, but it has its charm, and, after a slow start, it delivers some terrific entertainment, the special effects basic by today’s standards, but still very charming. And the film was worth watching for the performance of Michael Keaton (as Beetlejuice) alone.

   By 9 pm, I was very cold and wet, a part of me tempted to wonder why I was still standing in these elements, but, the weather aside, it was a very nice community event. Indeed, as our photograph on page 21 will illustrate, it was quite a sight: Gathered together were hundreds of members of the local community…outdoors in Roscommon town…in front of the historic courthouse, a giant screen relaying a movie, all underneath the November sky.

  There was something special about this event, something that incessant rain couldn’t dampen. Families merged together. A picnic atmosphere, with wet cups and warm drinks and ‘sambos’ and sweets. Young and old shared the same space in orderly enjoyment, Michael Keaton and the novelty of it all ensuring their full attention. Much better than everyone being at home watching Eastenders/obsessing with mobile phones/arguing over who should be doing the dishes, thinking/saying ‘nothing to do in Roscommon.’

  Impressive. Simple, and impressive. More power to the Town Team, and hopefully it’s the first of many such outdoor events at this location.

 

Last weekend

Pat Kelly bowed out this week after a great era as the genial publican in P. Kelly’s, Castle Street, Roscommon. Pat is stepping out and JJ Cattigan is stepping in. We wish JJ every success. As for Pat, what can we say? An absolute gentleman. We wish Pat every good wish in the future and no doubt he’ll be turning his business flair to some new venture soon.

  Congratulations also to Gerry McNulty who recently celebrated thirty years in business in Roscommon. Incredibly, Gerry started out as a 17-year-old entrepreneur! McNulty’s Furniture is now a thriving, continuously expanding business and a major employer. Gerry has earned his success; his genial nature and hard work ethic have combined to create a remarkable success story. We recently attended the celebration dinner and party in Hannon’s Hotel, hosted by Gerry, his wife Aine and their great staff. Indeed, during his very amusing speech, Gerry was quick to acknowledge the huge input of his staff over the years. It was a great night, a highlight of which was Sean Browne’s video overview of the McNulty Furniture story. It’s a story which shows what can be achieved by entrepreneurs in our midst. We wish Gerry, Aine and all at McNulty’s Furniture continued success.

 

Tuesday

More scrolling newsflashes, on-the-spot reports, twitter updates, witnesses interviewed, another grim-faced Mayor, various news specials. Now, it’s some despicable idiot in New York who has caused carnage. I don’t believe that the world is more dangerous now than in the past, because horrible atrocities feature throughout history. But the random nature of 21st century terrorism is a real crisis for the authorities and the public at large.

  How do you police this new, random mayhem? We are all singing from the same hymnsheet, all repeating the same mantra. ‘You can police all the landmark attractions in New York, but how do you stop a terrorist driving on to a sidewalk in his van and killing eight innocent people?’

  Just before 3 pm on Tuesday, decent, innocent people were walking at the scene in Lower Manhatten. Just after 3 pm, eight of them were dead, many more injured. Families devastated, dreams destroyed. What cause justifies this madness? None. These vicious killers need to be stopped. Our hearts go out to the innocent victims of Manhattan.