People Platform – June 9th


Reader’s response on ‘A&E rumours’

We received the following letter in response to an article which appeared in a recent edition of the Roscommon People:

Dear Editor,

I had to laugh at Deputy Fitzmaurice’s imaginary rumours regarding Roscommon A&E and so-called promises to reopen it (Roscommon People 26/5/17).

No promise was made by either Ministers Varadkar or Coveney on any local issue to secure votes during the recent Fine Gael leadership election.

Deputy Fitzmaurice is trying to use the A&E rumours to his own political advantage, just as Denis Naughten did.

If Deputy Fitzmaurice was so concerned about Roscommon A&E, why did he choose to sit on the opposition benches and not name his price of restoring A&E in Roscommon in return for supporting Enda Kenny?!

Both Deputies Fitzmaurice and Naughten had the opportunity but chose not to make the A&E a red-line issue.

Fitzmaurice also says election promises tend to be forgotten. Well he should know…he promised the electorate of Roscommon/East Galway a strong voice, and what do we get? A backbench TD who deals in rumours.

It is time for Independent politicians to stop using Roscommon Hospital for political gain.

If Frank Feighan managed to secure €20 million investment in Roscommon Hospital, imagine what could have been achieved if Deputies Fitzmaurice and Naughten had worked with him – instead of thinking about the ballot box!

Yours sincerely,

Gary Stephens,


Roscommon Town Fine Gael 

Visit of gentleman Ken will evoke happy memories


Here at the People offices, we’re loyal fans of the snooker…all the way back (well, in my case anyway!) to the game’s magical, golden era, i.e. the 1980s.

In the 1980s we were spoilt with snooker ‘characters’, people like Alex Higgins, Jimmy White, Tony Knowles, Tony Meo, Bill Werbeniuk, Dennis Taylor and Kirk Stevens. Then there was Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths and of course the ice-cool Steve Davis.

Stephen Hendry would claim the 1990s as his decade, but in 1997 the Scottish genius was deposed in the final by ‘our own’ Ken Doherty.

Rather like Joe Johnson in 1986, Doherty just seemed to pot everything in sight on his way to a wonderful world title success (he also reached the final the following year).

If I am ever inclined to name drop, I can always say that I had the pleasure of sitting down with three of these snooker greats for a half an hour or so. It happened in the Abbey Hotel a few years ago, when Doherty, Jimmy White and Steve Davis were over for an exhibition. I got to interview the three of them – and what a pleasure it was!

While Davis and White were extremely nice, I was really taken by Doherty’s easy-going nature and his great courtesy. An absolute gentleman.

I now see where the 1997 world champ, a proud Dubliner, will visit these parts again later this month (Saturday, June 17th).

Ken is coming to Eddie’s Bar in Ballymoe – for a pool exhibition. He will play several locals on what promises to be a very entertaining night. The details are on page 10 this week.

Well, we know they’re handy at the soccer down Ballymoe way…can anyone take out the former world champion?

– PH


Coming soon: Pride of Place judging!

Judging in the 2017 Pride of Place Competition will take place between July and the end of August and that’s a timely reminder to the hard-working communities in Lecarrow and Lisnamult!

Pride of Place, an all-island competition, provides an ideal opportunity for community groups to demonstrate their pride in the achievements of their own local community. Roscommon County Council makes nominations to the All-Island competition on the basis of the recent Co. Roscommon Pride of Place competition.

The communities that are being nominated to participate in the 2017 Pride of Place Competition are:

Lecarrow Benevolent Fund (Category 8) Community Reaching Out Initiative and Lisnamult Residents Association (Category 11) Urban Neighbourhood.

If you live in one of the nominated communities (Lecarrow or Roscommon) the Council is encouraging you to get involved in the preparation for judging. If you would like to get involved please ring the Community & Enterprise Department of Roscommon County Council at (090) 6637325. The Council will put you in contact with the local contact person for each group who will be co-ordinating their entry.


Calls for stories of Roscommon’s golden showband era

Local people with memories of the halcyon days and nights of dancing to showbands are being sought to retell their tales as part of a new publication due out later this year.

‘From The Candy Store to the Galtymore’ will chronicle this unique time in rural and urban Ireland through the stories of the young men and women who religiously went to their local Ballroom of Romance each weekend.

The book will be co-edited by PJ Cunningham and Dr. Joe Kearney who are seeking memorable stories from that golden era which saw the beginnings of thousands of romances.

“What we want are the stories of romance, of chance meetings or tales that are funny and maybe even mischievous,” said PJ.

“All human life gathered for the weekly dances in what was a cultural shift away from the more formal céilís which held sway up until then.

“The showband dances were modern and slightly more brash occasions than the country had been used to but, if anything, the number of stories of love and loss, rows and ructions, fun and games grew in the new environment.

“We are seeking particular stories rather than people just remembering the night that Joe Dolan, Brendan Bowyer or Dickie Rock played their local hall.

“Ideally there should be a bit of tension or drama, humour, love or loss involved in what people send in to us.

“With 200 or 300 bands traversing the country every weekend, and dancehalls sprouting up all over the place, everyone has a favourite story from that era.”

Co-author Dr. Kearney remembers the influence that showbands had on his own youth working in London.

“In the 1960s, many of us spent our time in poor accommodation in Cricklewood, Kilburn, Manchester or Liverpool,” said Joe.

“We lived for the visits of the Irish showbands to provide a flavour of the life we had left behind and an escape from the humdrum of ordinary living.

“The Galtymore, The 32 Club, The Gresham and the Hibernian in London were meccas for us.

“They were packed to the rafters every time the showbands came to town.”           

Readers are invited to submit stories for inclusion in From The Candy Store to the Galtymore to before 30th of June.


Team Trojan to race Donegal Ultra Race for Down Syndrome


Preparations are continuing for four local cyclists who will undertake the gruelling 555k Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race in June as a four-person team. Curlieu Wheelers members Declan Noone, Martin Lannon, Des McLoughlin and Eddie Conroy will be accompanied on the race by a very experienced three-man crew, who are crucial for a successful completion of the event, which starts in Letterkenny on June 23rd. Ultra-Race rider Eddie Conroy was a driver for Enda Madden last year, when he completed this event as a solo rider.  This time the roles are reversed as Enda takes over as Crew Chief and is joined by last year’s other crew members, Oliver Donagher (driver) and Michael Sweeney (navigator).

The four cyclists have been clocking up the miles over the last number of months to prepare for this very testing event.

The Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race route follows the Wild Atlantic Way around the stunning coastline of Donegal. Competitors will depart Letterkenny and take on some of the most scenic roadways to be found anywhere in the world.

The Boyle team are hoping to complete the 555 km in under 24 hours and will cycle in a relay format.

Once again, they are cycling the event to raise much-needed funds for Down Syndrome Ireland.

If you would like to support them, their fundraising page is at:

Tidy Towns judging to start soon

Judging for the National Tidy Towns Competition will commence shortly and will continue until the end of August.

Cllr. Kathleen Shanagher would like to wish all members in Tidy Towns Groups around the county the very best of luck in the competition.

As Chairperson of Roscommon Tidy Towns for many years, Cllr. Shanagher says she is very aware of the amount of work which is undertaken by volunteers and workers on schemes, all in cooperation with the staff of Roscommon County Council in preparation for the competition.

She said: “It’s important to have the support of residents and property owners and businesses who can play their part by keeping their own area in order.

“In Roscommon town there are some areas which are privately owned and need attention and I am appealing to owners of property particularly on the approach roads to remove weeds and repair broken signage. 

“The judges will name and shame when a property is in disrepair and praise where praise is due.”