People Platform – August 4th


Rossie fans too meek and mild?

Are Roscommon GAA fans too meek and mild? That’s a question posed this week by our occasional correspondent, one Seamus Thompson, who writes:

Dear Editor,

For all Rossie fans, last Sunday was a dream come true – our heroes performed as if life itself depended on it and were an enormous credit to their team and county.

  No doubt there will be plenty of comment in this week’s ‘People’, but one aspect that saddened me (and I feel should be highlighted) is the lack of ‘corporate’ roar from the supporters. Okay, they were heard aloud at times, but nothing like the Mayo gang who egged on their boys with ‘Ma-yo, Ma-yo, Ma-yo’. Not sure if this was a critical factor but the din of noise from the Mayoers in the final quarter was deafening and must have been a worry to our boys as they dug deep for energy and a plan.

  Can we do anything about this in the few days before next Monday?

  Rossies now don’t need to be so demure and ‘respectful’ to ANY opposition, the lads were nothing short of brilliant and we must have a local chant or song or some identifiable sound that is clearly a response to ‘Ma-yo’ to further encourage the lads on this most important day in Roscommon footballing history.

  We have great musicians, entertainers, activists and some worthwhile entrepreneur expertise in the county. Can heads be knocked together as a matter of urgency to come up with a suitable jingle before next Monday’s battle of the west? Even copy our overseas soccer outfits…anything to put the ‘cream on the cake’ that we so deserve. Our excellent supporters now have a critical role to play!

Yours sincerely,

Seamus Thompson


Thanks to the people of Roscommon

 Dear Editor, 

On behalf of Trócaire I would like to thank parishioners in Co. Roscommon for their support of the national Church collection held on 22/23 July, which was called by the Bishops of Ireland. The money donated to this collection will fund Trócaire’s life-saving work in drought-ravaged east Africa.

  East Africa stands on the brink of catastrophe with almost 25 million people at risk of starvation. The support Trócaire has received from people across the county will enable us to provide emergency food, water and medical care to people across Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. Our health centres and feeding programmes are saving lives but the needs in the region are enormous. The generosity of people in Ireland will allow us to reach even more people with life-saving aid.

  We are very grateful to the Bishops of Ireland for calling for collections to be taken up at all Masses across Co. Roscommon to support Trócaire’s emergency response and I have no doubt that parishioners have responded with their usual generosity. I would encourage readers to visit our website – – or follow us on social media for information about how their support is helping us save lives in east Africa.

  The people of Ireland have shown time and again that they have an amazing affinity for, and solidarity with, people in the developing world who are facing crisis. Governments of the world could do worse than follow this example as the response of the international community to this disaster has just not been good enough. Globally, this crisis has received very little attention. Appeals for aid are under-funded. For example, the UN has received just 37% of the funding it needs to respond to the crisis in Somalia. The world is distracted by the actions of a handful of powerful politicians, while in east Africa millions suffer in silence. It is an absolute scandal that in 2017 that so many are going hungry.

  Thank you once again to all your readers who have donated to our life-saving appeal. Donations can also be made directly to Trócaire at or by phoning 1850 408 408 (ROI) or 0800 912 1200 (NI).

 Yours sincerely,

Eamonn Meehan

Executive Director,



‘Art of conversation at risk’


By Mary Hunt

The orange and yellow buildings beside the Ha’penny Bridge match the colours of the evening sunset. There is something vivid about both the buildings and the sunset, sharp-edged and bright. I remember more muted sunsets, softer colours, pinks and lemon yellows. I prefer the gentler times.

  Everything is brighter now, louder. We don’t have time to do anything but process information in this 21st century, fibre optic broadband world. Life seemed simpler long ago, closer to the earth. I grew up on a farm in Co. Roscommon. We saved the hay, moved cattle from one field to another, looked after the sheep. I went to school, which I hated by the way, but life was slower and information overload, well, that was a future thing.

  Today we have phones and laptops, ipods and kindles, and we are forever “plugged in”.

  Nowadays no-one talks on buses or trains. They have headphones or are tapping or swiping. There is a multitude of information on communication skills in popular psychology sites on the Internet, yet, ironically, we are losing the real skills. The art of conversation is at risk. I’ve always loved the Roscommon sense of humour, where you were easily made laugh or indeed put in your place by a sharp-witted remark. I would hate to see that culture of language and relationships with neighbours diminish.

  During the bus strike by Bus Eireann I had cause to travel on the Local Link Bus to Roscommon town. It was a harkening back to the past in a way. Conversation flowed above the blare of a radio. No-one had headphones. You could be heard at the back of the bus, so I learned the stories of the few passengers. The local link is a great service in rural Ireland. People go to Roscommon for some shopping and a day in the town, or to an appointment at the hospital – and the bus is full of chat. The driver was friendly and knew everyone. I felt transported to another time.

  A few days later, Bus Eireann was back. The 21st century hit me full blast. Headphones in. Tapping on the phone. No conversation and away we go. Something in me was sad. Yes, we had more time for our neighbours before the information superhighway and 21st century life.