People Platform – January 26th


Des ‘was one us’

GAA chairperson pays respects to Des Whyte

Roscommon GAA Chairperson, Seamus Sweeney, this week paid his respects to Des Whyte, who passed away following a short illness last Saturday night.

  “Des was a very proud Roscommon man who had a great grá for the GAA in the county.  He didn’t always agree with us but he cared enough to say so. He was a man who was exceptionally proud of his own place, Oran and the county that formed him, Roscommon.

  “This pride manifested itself in many different ways but most obviously through his sponsorship of Roscommon teams. The Sierra sponsored jersey on our 2006 minor winning team is forever recorded in the memory of all Rossies and in history through the photographs of that team.

  “Players of that team speak fondly of their memories of him at that time and at the ten-year reunion held last year. That in itself is telling. 

  “Des was Sierra and Sierra was blue and yellow and we all got that feeling of pride when we were delayed at road works when we saw the yellow and blue hoardings and fencing or the Sierra vans proudly wearing our county colours. Des was one of us.

  “Des suffered illness for a while and bore that cross well. On behalf of the County Board, I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends,” Mr. Sweeney concluded.

Sadness at passing of Des Whyte

There was widespread sadness throughout the county and further afield on news of the death last weekend of one of the best-known business and sporting personalities in the county, Des Whyte, of Oran, Donamon. Mr. Whyte passed away peacefully at University Hospital Galway surrounded by his family and following a short illness.

  Aged in his late 60s, Des Whyte worked in construction in the UK for many years before becoming a successful building contractor. He moved back to Dublin where his company, Sierra Communications, became one of the most successful in the metropolitan area.

  Mr. Whyte well-known as a passionate follower and supporter of Roscommon GAA. He was sponsor of the Roscommon minor team that won the All-Ireland title in 2006 and also of the Roscommon senior team that won the Connacht Championship in 2010.

  Along with his son Elliot, Mr. Whyte owned a number of highly successful greyhounds which won races at the highest level, including Oran Express, Oran Majestic and Oran Classic.

  Despite suffering ill health in recent years he returned to live in his native Oran and was a regular at local GAA games and social occasions. He is survived by his son Elliot, daughters Kellie and Ciara and their mother Dot, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, other family members, neighbours and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

– Seamus Duke


‘Even Mugabe would be ashamed of our roads’

Dear Editor,

John Ford directed some wonderful movies, and arguably his best was The Searchers, in which John Wayne played the Welshman Ethan Edwards, whose catchphrase was ‘that’ll be the day’, and given the quotes in The Roscommon People of 12th January by Councillor Paschal Fitzmaurice, he would appear to have hijacked that catchphrase?

   ‘Council anxious to carry out repairs’. Since when? When it comes to highway maintenance, the policy of Roscommon County Council appears to be one of wilful and deliberate neglect. ‘Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice has urged Roscommon residents to inform Roscommon County Council of any roads in need of urgent repair’….  

   Councillor, just look around downtown Roscommon. The junction of Castle Street/Lanesboro Street, Castle Street north of that junction, The Square both east and west, Main Street, Athlone Road, they’re miniature replicas of Passchendaele – even Robert Mugabe would have been ashamed of road surfaces such as these common in our county; and Councillor, even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder could tell how awful are the roads of Co. Roscommon. 

   Eh, just drive down either L1802 or L1808; appalling!!! Avers Cllr. Fitzmaurice ‘…most roads across Roscommon are fine…’

  That’ll be the day… 

Yours sincerely,

Michael Dryhurst,

Roscommon F42 RR04