Newsdesk – February 9th



Council: ‘Road works were in the pipeline!’

Roscommon County Council has confirmed that planned resurfacing work on the N61 into Roscommon town had been delayed because of the Irish Water upgrade which is due to begin next Monday (12th).

  Irish Water announced last week that it would be carrying out a water main rehabilitation project, in conjunction with Roscommon County Council, on the Athlone Road from St. Coman’s Cemetery to the junction at Hannon’s Hotel. This work is due to commence next week and is expected to last eight weeks with an overlay of the N61 as well as upgrades to Lanesboro Street and The Square to follow.

  Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Orla Leyden described the Irish Water announcement as “a good news story” for the town, adding that the completion of the work would enable the council to finally carry out resurfacing work on the Athlone Road and in the town itself.

  “The county council had been prepared to carry out badly-needed road works on the N61 but we had been waiting for the pipes to be completed first.

  “Roscommon County Council understands people’s frustration, we were frustrated with the situation ourselves. We have to work with Irish Water and there was no point in doing the overlay of the road until the water main work had been completed,” she said.

  Cllr. Domnick Connolly welcomed news of the water main upgrade on the N61 and called on local people to be patient while the “very necessary” upgrade was being carried out.

  “I’m happy with the announcement because I was very worried that lead pipes were bringing drinking water into homes in Roscommon town. It was dangerous for residents. The drinking water will be much safer after the upgrade.

  “Unfortunately, the work will be an inconvenience during the time it takes to be completed and I would ask people to have patience while this very necessary work is being carried out,” he said.

  The road improvements which follow the Irish Water upgrade will include Lanesboro Street and The Square in Roscommon town and will lead to traffic delays.

  Cllr. Kathleen Shanagher said councillors in the area were pleased that work could begin but advised those working or commuting through the town to take possible delays into account.

  “This work is badly needed and will provide a boost to the town. There will be a phased traffic management plan in place on the N61 but people will have to be mindful that road works will be in place and to give themselves more time when travelling to work or school.

  “Hopefully, the upgrading work in Roscommon town, which will begin at Castle Street and take in Lanesboro Street and The Square, will encourage people to use off-street parking such as the council car park. The one-hour free parking spaces will also help to alleviate congestion and feedback suggests they have been a welcome addition the town”.


191 patients on trolleys in Portiuncula Hospital during January


There were 191 patients on trolleys in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe during the month of January.

  This compares favourably with the corresponding month last year but unfavourably when compared with some previous years.

  Nationally, January 2018 is being described as “the worst ever month” for hospital overcrowding in Ireland, with 12,201 people on trolleys.

  In January of 2017, INMO (Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation) figures showed that there were 379 patients on trolleys in Portiuncula that month.  

  However the figure was as low as 46 in January of 2009, 71 in January 2007 and 63 in 2016.

  Records are no longer required in the case of Roscommon Hospital since the closure of the A&E Unit in 2011. In the month of January of 2011, prior to the closure, there were 191 patients on trolleys in Roscommon.

  The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) says the figures for January 2018 isolate it as the worst month for hospital overcrowding since records began. Those figures showed that 12,201 people were on trolleys in Emergency Departments or on additional beds placed throughout hospitals, during the month of January.

  This is an 18% increase over the numbers for January 2017 – which themselves were a record high – and a 128% increase on the numbers recorded in 2007. 

  The most overcrowded hospital in the country in January was University Hospital in Limerick, with 1,003 patients on trolleys that month.

   Phil Ni Sheaghdha, INMO General Secretary said: “This is an incredible level of overcrowding and the appalling conditions experienced in Emergency Departments are now beyond anything we have ever seen.

  “It now amounts to a humanitarian crisis for patients and a risk-rich environment for those trying to work in such chaotic conditions”. 

 Rosalie public meeting tonight!

A public meeting to discuss the future of the Rosalie Unit as well the future of mental health services on Co. Roscommon will take place in Hester’s Golden Eagle Bar & Restaurant this evening (Thursday) at 8 pm.

  The meeting has been organised by concerned families and constituents and the organisers have confirmed that HSE Chief Officer Tony Canavan will be in attendance while Minister Jim Daly and Minister Denis Naughten have also been invited to the meeting.

  The public meeting aims to address the very serious concerns raised by a recent meeting between family members, local representatives, the HSE and Minister Jim Daly and the future of services in the county in general.

  All are welcome and encouraged to attend on the night.

€2.18m for schools in Galway and Roscommon

Minister Denis Naughten has confirmed that the Government has allocated €2.18m for primary and post primary schools in Counties Roscommon and Galway to purchase equipment which will enable them to integrate digital technology into teaching and learning.

  The news has also been welcomed by Fine Gael Senators Frank Feighan and Maura Hopkins.

  “A total of 90 primary schools throughout County Roscommon and 228 in County Galway will benefit from funding of €2,000 per school plus €21.47 per mainstream pupil in primary schools, with additional per capita payments for pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special Schools,” explained Minister Naughten.

  “The additional funding for pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special Schools clearly highlights how technology can be of huge benefit to children with learning difficulties.

  “A further eight second level schools in Co. Roscommon and 42 Co. Galway second level schools will also receive funding of €2,000 per school plus €31.22 per student, with an additional per capita payment for students in DEIS schools”.

  Senator Maura Hopkins has welcomed news of the funding which has been announced by Minister Richard Bruton.

  She said: “This funding will enable them to integrate digital technology in teaching and learning.

  “These grants will benefit schools across the county and will allow for the purchase of equipment such as computers, laptops, tablets, projectors, etc., as well as software to support teaching in our classrooms. They are being made available to all schools built before 2014”.

  Senator Feighan said: “I know this funding will make a huge difference to school communities at both primary and secondary level and will help equip children and teenagers with the digital skills they need for the future”.

Hopkins “cannot support unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks”

Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins says she cannot support unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks. However, she is in favour of terminations in cases of rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormalities and when a woman’s life or health is at risk.

  In a statement issued to the Roscommon People this week Senator Hopkins said that she has reflected on the Joint Oireachtas Committee Report on the Eighth Amendment and has also consulted with many people on this contentious issue ahead of this summer’s Referendum.

  “Following much consideration, my personal view is that I will not be supporting the proposal to allow for unrestricted abortions up to 12 weeks.

  “I do support terminations in cases of rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormalities and when a woman’s life or health is at risk. However, I cannot support abortion without any restriction up to three months. I believe that it is important women receive the necessary care and support in these difficult circumstances. I also believe that we have a responsibility to protect the rights of the unborn child”.

  Stating that it was important that people know her view as she is a public representative, Senator Hopkins added: “It is important that everyone should have their voice heard on this issue. As a young representative, I am very aware that many people have not had the opportunity to express their view on the 8th amendment. This is why I will be supporting the Government’s decision to hold a referendum later this year on the matter in order to allow the Irish people to have their say”.