People Platform – August 11th


Far from being downhearted by Roscommon’s crushing loss to Mayo on Monday,
TONY FALLON says we should concentrate on the positives from an encouraging season – after all, we are Connacht champions! Tony sent us this poetic reflection on Roscommon’s season….

The Rossies: We love you still

By Tony Fallon

I know you are coming home from Dublin in a bit of a daze
But by God, we love you still and you deserve a lot of praise
Our history has never been great when it comes to replays
We are proud of what you did, there were many great displays

Does it matter who won or lost but how you played the game
You filled the jerseys with pride and sullied no-one’s name

You burst upon the scene when it was least expected

And with your youth and vigour, we all became infected

In those first three games, you really put on a show

But when you had the chance you should have put away Mayo

If Jamesie, Gerry and Dermot had been up there in the crowd

They would have cheered wildly and have been very proud

We Rossies walked a little prouder and we talked a little louder

We banished from our midst those who doubted

And anyone who criticised or those who even pouted

You have no idea the hope you set in motion

At home and in many places far across the ocean

So as you walk the streets you should never be harassed

You have brought back great longings and memories of the past


‘We could be kingmakers’


Reader wants rural Ireland to elect a group of like-minded TDs

We received this interesting proposal from a Galway-based reader who feels a ‘rural platform’ could be formed by electing of group of rural TDs…

Cill Chiaráin,


County Galway

Dear Editor,

The deal struck between the DUP and the British Government has a clear lesson for the people of Rural Ireland. (By Rural Ireland I mean all the areas outside the cities as outlined by the CEDRA Report, which was chaired by Pat Spillane). We, living in these areas, need a similar strategy to wring concessions from a system which is unduly centred on Greater Dublin.

  In April, Paddy McGuinness highlighted the enormity of the problem when he announced he would not be seeking reappointment to the chair of the Western Development Commission after four years in the post: “I believe strongly that there is absolutely no commitment at either political or administrative level to balanced regional development, nor is there any worthwhile plan do address rural decline,” he said.

  I spent two terms as an Independent on Galway County Council, three terms on the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta, as well as being a member of the Western Regional Authority and of the Border Midland and Western Assembly.

  Early on I realised that most of our efforts were in vain. Indeed, at one meeting of the Western Regional Authority I suggested that we should all resign together to expose the whole charade.

Pessimists amongst us say that the power is in Dublin and that we can do nothing about it. Yes, but the balance of power could be in Rural Ireland. Imagine if we organised a movement and got 10 committed TDs elected on a carefully crafted rural platform.

  The days of majority Government in Ireland are gone. Our 10 TDs could very well be the kingmakers after the next election.

  If any one of your readers is interested in the idea please put forward your views in this newspaper or contact me per email

Yours sincerely,

Seosamh Ó Cuaig

Tom Kelly Memorial Lecture in Curraghboy

Noel Hoare has been in contact to tell us about an important Memorial Lecture which is coming up in Curraghboy.

  Tom Kelly was native of Grange, Curraghboy, Co. Roscommon, who passed away seven years ago having reached the age of 93. All who knew him fondly remembers him and his knowledge of local heritage was truly remarkable. He contributed to local publications and others often cite his contribution to the work of the Irish Folklore Commission during the 1960s in preserving local heritage.

  People frequently visited Tom’s home trying to find answers to their family roots and because of his exceptional knowledge of families who lived in the area, he was able to help them with their queries. Tom Kelly also had a deep appreciation for past generations of peoples, which was evident from his understanding of archaeological monuments and his reading of historical sources. 

  As part of Heritage Week 2017, a lecture in his memory will be held on Thursday, 24th of August starting at 7.30 pm in the Handball Complex, Curraghboy, Co. Roscommon. This talk is organised by the Dysart Rural Men’s Group, which is run under the auspices of Roscommon LEADER Partnership. 

  The lecture will concentrate on the archaeology and history of Lough Croan and will be presented by his friend Noel Hoare with whom he shared so much information. As part of this talk, a number of images that have never appeared in the public domain will be shared for the first time. 

  This is a free event but donations can be made in support of the ongoing work of the Dysart Rural Men’s Group and we hope you can share in the remarkable work people like Tom Kelly have done in preserving our heritage for future generations to enjoy. Access to this site is with permission of landowners.


Why we shouldn’t  ‘Repeal the 8th’

We received the following letter from a Ballaghaderreen reader…


Dear Editor,

Before I watched the documentary ‘A world without Down’s Syndrome?’ (shown on RTE 1 last week), I had never heard about the horrifying statistics surrounding the abortion of babies with Down Syndrome around the world.

  I didn’t know, for example, that in England and Wales 90% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the womb are aborted, or that 100% of those babies are aborted in Iceland. This is truly horrific – and it’s something that we have to think about much more in Ireland. People look to us as an exemplary country when it comes to encouraging people with disabilities – they only have to witness the Special Olympics where Irish people bring so much to the table in terms of volunteering and commitment. Are we now going to end this respect for people with disabilities by repealing the Eighth Amendment and introducing abortion?

  I very much hope that all those who think ‘Repeal the 8th’ is a campaign worth fighting for will reflect on how the removal of the Eighth Amendment would do untold harm to the protection that people with disabilities rightly receive from our laws.

Yours faithfully,

Pat Cummins,


Co. Roscommon