A large crowd of students, teachers, patrons, public representatives and members of the community visited Roscommon Community College last Thursday where the high-profile actor Gary Lydon launched Eolas 2008. The students of Roscommon Community College published Eolas 2008 recently. Gary Lydon is well-known for his performances in ‘Michael Collins’ and ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal’ and for his roles in the Irish television series ‘The Clinic’, ‘On Home Ground’ and ‘Pure Mule’. He conducted a drama workshop at Roscommon Community College last October. Gary is married to Ms. Leah Doherty, Cootehall, Roscommon. Leah is a daughter of the late Seán Doherty TD. Mr. Lydon described the publication of Eolas 2008 as ‘commendable’ and he congratulated everyone associated with the publication. Gary complimented the students and staff of Roscommon Community College for taking time out from their academic interests to produce the magazine. ‘I thank you for inviting me here today for the launch of Eolas 2008. I have thoroughly enjoyed conducting the drama workshop here at this school and today I am delighted to be associated with this magazine,’ said the Irish actor. ‘It is commendable that the students have taken time out from their academic pursuits to produce this magazine of high quality. In this day and age everybody is concerned about exam results and about capitalist pursuits. It is great that the students of this college have taken time to develop interests and talents in the fields of journalism and drama,’ he said. School principal Mr. Frank Chambers lauded those involved in the production of the magazine, and he reserved special thanks for teachers Miss Lohan and Miss Gannon. Mr. Chambers spoke briefly about the content of the magazine, and said that it reflected the interests, talents, and the lives of the school’s students. ‘I welcome you all here to Roscommon Community College today for the launch of what is a magnificent magazine. Eolas 2008 is a collaborative work between staff, students, and other stakeholders in our school. ‘Eolas 2008 is more than just a magazine full of interesting anecdotes; it is a chance for everybody involved in the school to work on an equal footing and where varying ideas are discussed and developed. It is also further opportunity for Roscommon Community College students to have their voices heard and to share their views, opinions, and aspirations,’ said the school principal. Mr. Chambers focussed in particular on the fictional content of Eolas 2008, and warmly congratulated students who have contributed poetry and prose. ‘The fictional stories that feature in the magazine are very well thought out and are cleverly executed. There is a magnificent quality of writing and ideas in the magazine. He singled out ‘Pocket Calculator’ by student Dayna Walker for special praise. Pocket Calculator By Dayna Walker ‘Add them up, Subtract, Divide, Your magic brain is tucked inside, A teeny weenie boxy space, With numbers written on your face. My brain is so much bigger, yet It fumbles answers you can get And you must think it very slow At finding out stuff that you know But when it’s time to read a poem Or dash into the ocean’s foam I calculate, I’ll leave you home.’ The deaths of three Roscommon Community College students in the last 12 months are referred to appropriately in Eolas 2008. Writing in his foreword Mr. Frank Chambers referred to Kieran Kelly RIP, Padraig McHugh RIP, and James Gleeson RIP. ‘The last two years have seen tremendous highs and lows in our school. The loss of three of our fellow students in tragic circumstances has deeply saddened us as a school community. As we try to make sense of our loss we become stronger people and the lessons learned will no doubt influence our thinking as we head into our own futures,’ wrote the school principal. Eolas 2008 features two beautiful poems that were written by students in honour of Kieran Kelly, Padraig McHugh, and James Gleeson. ‘The Three Local Legends’ by David Comiskey is a touching and eloquent poem that pays warm tribute to three boys. Eolas 2008 has a very interesting sports section that details the successes of Roscommon Community College students in athletic events over the course of the past 12 months. There is also a rich intercultural flavour. Eolas 2008 features interviews and submissions by representatives of several of Roscommon Community College’s international students. The Deputy Mayor of Roscommmon, Cllr. Tony Ward, was present at the launch, which was addressed by Mr. Tom Costello of Roscommon VEC and by Rebecca Clapison, Joint Editor. Cllr. Orla Leyden and Cllr. Paula McNamara also attended the launch. Eolas 2008 is available at all usual local outlets and at Roscommon Community College.