Even with the passing of time it is still a real pleasure to go into Tommy Cox’s in Rooskey. Years ago, in a different time, we used to travel to Rooskey on a regular basis for the craic, and especially coming up to Roscommon v Leitrim Connacht Championship matches.
It is difficult to describe here the extent of the fun we had in those days. The slagging, the jokes, the stories, the songs and the characters will remain with those of us lucky enough to have been a part of it. But as we know, times have changed and we live in a different era. Many of the great local pubs that we used to enjoy are now gone – but thankfully Tommy Cox’s in Rooskey is still there. It might not be as busy as it used to be, but there is still a great buzz in the place in the run-up to a big Roscommon game.
On Monday night, Tommy was there himself – in great form – and looking forward to the big game on Sunday. Charlie Reynolds is still there too, as are Noel Diffley, Leo Cox, Johnny Reynolds, Michael Duffy and Michael McHugh, to name just a few.
Seamus Nugent is the chairperson of Kilglass Gaels and he came in too, adding his wisdom to the conversation. Also present was Natalie McHugh, the captain of Roscommon’s ladies football team. The conversation was serious at times but it was never far away from a joke, a story or a good laugh. There are many great GAA people in Roscommon and there are plenty of them in this neck of the woods. In common with people all over the county, the folks in Rooskey are energised and excited after the thrilling Connacht final win and performance. It has lifted the county.
The most positive thing is that, regardless of how Sunday’s game goes, Roscommon GAA people now have a team that they believe in and a team that they see going places in the next few years.
Having spent a couple of very enjoyable hours in Rooskey on Monday night I have a feeling that our championship summer is not over yet.
The last word to Tommy Cox himself: “It’s about time we beat Mayo in the championship. We haven’t won a championship game in Croke Park for 37 years – why not this Sunday?”
Why not indeed. Keep a seat Tommy, we might be back in a few weeks’ time!