Parents express ‘dismay’ over impasse on Rooskey afterschool childcare service





Calls for public meeting to be held to discuss future of Rooskey Centre


Parents in the Rooskey area are calling on management of the local community centre to hold a public meeting so that people can voice their views on the future use of the facility.

  The parents, who say they are dismayed and frustrated at the loss of long-established afterschool childcare services from Rooskey Community Centre, maintain that a public meeting is now required so that the local community can have more input into the use and management of the centre.  

  Recently, the afterschool childcare service relocated from Rooskey Community Centre to Kilglass GAA Centre. The parents involved say that the loss of the service from the heart of the village has caused “anger and dismay” and that while it is “a stand-alone issue”, it highlights “the need for more engagement by the wider community with the running of Rooskey Community Tourism Centre”.

  The parents who contacted the Roscommon People to highlight this issue say that an afterschool service (non-profit) had operated in Rooskey Community Centre for over a decade. The current issue arose in the latter half of 2018 when an RSS (Rural Social Scheme) – which had facilitated staffing of the service – was no longer viable.

  Faced with the prospect of the afterschool service no longer being available, parents met with management of the centre. For a period of weeks, the parents ran the service themselves (employing staff). Ultimately, protracted efforts to reach agreement on a new license/lease were deadlocked.

  Rooskey Community Afterschool Committee then moved the service to Kilglass GAA Centre, which is 3km from the local school.

  Tom Tully, Secretary of the Afterschool Committee, said that the loss of the service from the centre of the village had angered parents. He points out that the afterschool service has moved from a location which was “about 50 metres from Rooskey National School, to an alternative venue which is 3km from the school”. He adds: “A bus service is therefore required, which means parents are incurring an extra cost, and being inconvenienced”.

  Mr. Tully added that having the afterschool facility in Rooskey Community Centre had brought “activity and social interaction” to the centre of the village.

  “It is very disappointing that the afterschool service is no longer based in the community centre. We feel that this runs counter to what a community centre is supposed to be about. Kilglass GAA Centre has saved the day, so to speak, but it’s an unnecessary inconvenience and extra cost”.

  Mr. Tully added: “We are now calling for management of the centre to organise a public meeting so that the people of the area can attend and air their views. A lot of people in Rooskey would like to have an opportunity to become involved in running the centre”.

  He said that local people want to get involved as volunteers and help out with the running of the centre.

  Mr. Tully said that local politicians are aware of the disquiet in relation to this issue and while some of them have engaged with management of the centre and with the parents who are affected, he was now calling on TDs, senators and councillors to be proactive and to support calls for a public meeting to be held.

  Management of Rooskey Community Centre declined to comment when contacted by the Roscommon People.