Choirs, Marty and glossy magazines…



Well done to our great friends in the Roscommon Solstice Choir, who – entirely predictably – lived up to the high standards they’ve set in recent years with a beautiful, moving and wonderfully evocative festive concert in Roscommon last week.

  The Sacred Heart Church was a simply sensational and sacred venue for the concert. Packed to capacity, the Church looked fantastic. Well done also to the St. Brigid’s Choir (guests on the night) who contributed handsomely to a very enjoyable evening.

  Mindful of what would be entirely reasonable reservations about my credentials as a music critic, and in the hope that the two choirs in question will forgive me for singling this gentleman out, I take the liberty of suggesting that probably the most memorable contribution on the night was that of special guest Paul Hennessy, whose version of ‘Oh Holy Night’ attracted a merited standing ovation.

  Paul, St. Brigid’s, the wonderful Solstice folks, and not forgetting Choir Conductor Andrew Reynolds and MC Eugene Murphy…they were all superb on what was a very special night. Obviously the Solstice Choir members greatly enjoy what they do, but we should never underestimate the hours they put in and the fact that this is an entirely voluntary effort.

  The concert was in aid of the Shalom Charity and the genial Fr. Padraig Devine made a fine speech, during which he expressed his great appreciation to all concerned – the huge attendance included – for their great support.

Friday night

Another horrendously tedious Late Late Show (or certainly the bits and pieces that I endured were).

  No disrespect to Marty Morrissey or Norah Casey, but if I’m interested in them signing up for some dancing reality show – and I’m not – I’m certainly not interested in half an hour of the Late Late being dedicated to their utterly dull observations on same. I like both Marty and Norah, but please RTE, what’s with the embarrassing attempts to create a persona around Marty beyond what he actually is?

  Marty’s a sports commentator/presenter, can’t we just leave it at that? I’ve no problem with him doing reality shows – fair play and all that – but why is some ‘legend’ being created around the man? Actually, how long to go until he’s introduced on some show as a legend? Has it happened already? I know I’m beating an old drum here, but does anyone else remember when the Late Late Show had guests like…Peter Sellers, David Niven, John Cleese, Spike Milligan, Tony Curtis, Billy Connolly…Mother Teresa?

  Mind you, while I’m prone to the odd bit of Late Late/Tubridy bashing, fair is fair, he’s brilliant at the Toy Show. He was born for it! (If he ever gives it up, we can always line up Marty!).


I’m glad that it’s not considered in any way unfashionable to hail the slightly difficult-to-define but undeniable impact that the late Keith Chegwin had during our youth.

  I’m in good company in fondly remembering the man who, while never an ‘A list celeb’, was an infectiously happy presence in our lives in the era of ‘not many tv channels.’

  Here, for example, is a tweet from RTE man Ciaran Mullooly, of these parts:

  Sad news. So many memories of this man presenting SWAP SHOP segment on Noel Edmonds Saturday morning show on the Beeb: TV star Keith Chegwin has died aged 60

   I agree with Mr. Mullooly. Like millions of people of the proverbial ‘certain age’, I have very fond memories of the always-happy Mr. Chegwin from his television glory days.

  And by the way, if you haven’t seen Keith’s performance in Extras (with Ricky Gervais), it’s well worth checking out on Youtube.

  Now, having rightly paid tribute to Keith Chegwin, we can reluctantly return to the ‘real world’ and issues like Trump, Brexit and that damned weather…


This week sees the birth of a new Roscommon publication. We’ve enjoyed putting together ‘Roscommon People Plus’. The magazine features a number of interesting interviews and opinion pieces. We were delighted to receive contributions from guest writers Denis Naughten, Paul Hickey, Mary Gallagher, Paul D’Alton, Brendan Cox and Nicole Glennon. Their contributions compliment the articles of regular People writers Dan Dooner, Miriam Kerins and Seamus Duke.

  We’ve tried to produce something a bit different; a relaxed read, a celebration of Roscommon, a seasonal ‘plus’ for our loyal readers. There are some really nice articles that can be enjoyed over the Christmas period, when reading ought to be a priority!

  The magazine also showcases much of what’s available in County Roscommon in terms of shopping options, dining out, socialising, things to see, services, etc. In this regard, we appreciate the support of our advertisers. We are confident that this bright and breezy magazine, a new concept for Roscommon, is a great medium for these businesses.

  As ever, we urge the public to support our advertisers, to support local businesses generally. You only have to browse the pages of Roscommon People Plus to be reminded of all that’s on offer in our great county.

Another thought…

I often (well, occasionally) think there might be merit in living in a media-free zone. Fair enough, it might not suit me, given my career choice, but it would be an interesting existence.

  Imagine, for example, if, during that relatively recent mother of all recessions, a person lived in a small cottage in a remote area – managing to be self-sufficient – with minimal contact with the outside world, and no radio, television or papers?

  In this Morning Ireland-less existence, our hero would have been largely oblivious to the constant negative narrative that gripped our country, also the talking down of our economy, and the ‘bad news’ that invariably happens but which is often pounced upon with an unseemly enthusiasm by the media.

  ‘Our hero’, spared all of the stuff the rest of us had to listen to/see/read, would almost certainly have had a considerably less stressful existence than if exposed to the outside world.

  On encountering a stranger, they might even have been in a position to say ‘What recession?’ – or, these days – ‘What is Brexit?’