Large crowd attends launch of Mullooly book in Roscommon

Up to 200 people attended the launch of a book by Ciaran Mullooly, RTÉ’s Midlands Correspondent, at Roscommon County Library last Friday night.

  Back to the Future, as it is called, was launched by Fair City actor Enda Oates, who recently won an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA).

  A Lanesboro native, Mr Mullooly reflects on his 30-year career as a journalist, which involved stints with the Longford Leader, Cavan Leader and Shannonside Radio before his elevation to the national broadcaster.

  He was also a columnist for 17 years with the Roscommon Champion and a selection of these columns are featured in the book.

  A part of the book is also devoted to his reflections on two economic recessions, in the 1980s and the one now seemingly coming to a slow end.

  In recent years, Mr Mullooly has been resident in Ballyleague, where he is intimately involved in community life. He reflects on the Shannonside village and the challenges it faces, like countless other such locations, in the book.

  In launching the book, Mr Oates was lavish in his praise of his journalistic pedigree, describing him as “probably one of the best journalists in Ireland”.

  He said: “Through his broadcasts, Ciaran has an ability to tell the story, no matter how big or small, with just enough delivery and performance to make it interesting to the viewer, and he has done the same with the book.

  “It is a narrative of Irish life, which has as much to offer for the city dweller as the fisherman off the south coast.”

  Noting the book marked Mr Mullooly’s three decades as a journalist, he added: “I looked up what a symbol for years is in wedding anniversary terms.

  “There are two: some say pearl; others say diamond.

  “I think that is a good description of what this book is, and indeed himself, because he is a diamond of a man.”

  The leas-cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice, was similarly praising of the author.

  He added: “The publication fulfils an important function in that it shines a light on issues that affect us deeply at local level and also serves to remind us of many of the problems being faced by rural Ireland.”

  The Editor of the Roscommon People, Paul Healy, also spoke. Mr. Healy recalled working with Ciaran Mullooly in The Cavan Leader newspaper in the 1980s, regaling the audience with some anecdotes from that period.

  Mr. Healy added that Ciaran Mullooly is a great family man, a remarkable community activist and a highly accomplished journalist. He said that the peope of Roscommon are fortunate to have Ciaran, in his capacity as RTE Midlands Correspondent, “on our doorstep.”

  Hailing Mr. Mullooly’s community work in counties Longford and Roscommon, Mr. Healy said that if there were more “Ciaran Mulloolys” in the community, rural Ireland would be in a much better place today.

  Back to the Future can be purchased in local bookshops.