LOCAL HEROES: Castlerea community champions

Castlerea has many community champions and characters. In this special celebration, we’re highlighting six local heroes…

Illustrations: Paraic Newman
Words: Paul Healy


Name: Angela Webb

We know her because: She’s a Castlerea Musical Society stalwart (and involved in other community causes, including Daffodil Day)

A phrase that describes her: ‘Dedicated to the performing arts’

What sources told us: “A lovely person” and “A lady with a beautiful smile”

Did you know? Angela is a native of Clonberne, Co. Galway

What she might say: “How’s your people?”

Name: Danny Burke

We know him because: Danny has a remarkable track record of community volunteerism

A phrase that describes him: ‘Irrepressible, a character, fiercely proud GAA man’

Did you know? Danny is a former County Roscommon overall Person of the Year award winner

What sources told us: “A legend”, “A great storyteller”, “A one-off”, “Still volunteering with GAA”

What he sometimes says: “Ladies and gents, boys and girls!”

Name: Benny O’Connell

We know him because: He’s headed up Enterprise Castlerea for many years, and is a well-known businessman in the town

A phrase that describes him: ‘A man who is deeply committed to the development of the town’

Did you know? Benny was a County Roscommon Person of the Year Award winner

What sources told us: Only for Benny the Hub in Castlerea would not be there!

What he sometimes says: ‘White or brown, sliced or unsliced?’

Name: Aoife O’Rourke

We know her because: Aoife is a world class amateur boxer, already a European champion and an Olympian

A phrase that describes her: ‘Determined, focused, a champion’

Did you know? Last week Aoife’s sister Lisa brought further glory to the family, town, county and country when she too won European gold

What sources told us: Aoife is a lovely person who comes from a great family (which we knew!)

What she might say: “I’ll be back!”

Name: Breege Callaghan

We know her because: She’s a driving force behind Trinity Arts Centre and is also involved in Town Team

A phrases that describes her: ‘Very active community person’

Did you know? Breege has been a prominent spokesperson for the PNA (Psychiatric Nurses Association)

What sources told us: She’s a woman of boundless energy with a distinguished record of community involvement

What she might say (according to a source): “Sure we must be mad!”

Name: Tom Flynn

We know him because: He runs a famous, quirky, landmark shop in the town. Tom is a long-time member of the Castlerea Brass & Reed Band, and has also been involved in Castlerea Musical Society

A phrase that describes him: A unique and popular town character

Did you know? According to our sources, Tom rings Gerry Beirne once a week to order sawdust!

What sources told us: “A legend” and “A lovely man” with one source adding “I hope he lives to be 140!”

Do say to Tom: By any chance would you have some fishing tackle…and brussels sprouts?

Don’t say to him: You can’t fit any more in that shop!

What he might say: “Well lad” and “Thank you, lady!”