People Platform – March 9th



A thank you from Fr Padraig Devine


Dear friends of Shalom,


I send my very good wishes to you all. Concerning the recent Shalom Concert hosted in the Sacred Heart Church in Roscommon and graciously facilitated by Rev. Fr. John Cullen, I want to thank all who attended and were involved in organising the event. 

  The success of the event did not happen by chance. On behalf of tens of thousands of women, children and men here in Africa living in conflict and poverty situations, out thanks goes to the Shalom committee in Roscommon, ably reinforced by support networks throughout the county and beyond. 

  The generosity of the increasingly renowned Solstice Choir in not only giving of themselves but also having the event graced with the excellent St. Brigid’s Choir from Kiltoom, and the presence of  Paul Hennessy, a truly excellent singer, deserves utmost appreciation. 

  Our thanks also goes to all at the Roscommon People newspaper for your promotion of the event. For a county who gives so much to charity it was uplifting to hear the joy and good feeling that all the kind donors had when exiting from the event and knowing that 100% of the donations raised will go to Africa. 

  The impact of the approximate 1,000 people from Roscommon in attendance, and many others who contributed, will be evident in sustainable conflict transformation, new classrooms, solar lighting, books, desks and sanitary facilities in the semi-arid terrains of Northern Kenya bordering Ethiopia and South Sudan. 

  Our appreciation also goes to Margaret Haughey and the Apostolic Workers located in Co. Roscommon, and beyond, who made a large grant to a water project in the same region, an area which is about three times the size of Ireland.  

  Please access our website at, for all the details on our work.

  I wish to say thanks and God’s Blessing of peace to you all in the local Kiswahili language:

“Asanteni sana, Mungu awabariki wote na Amani iwe nanyi, amina”


Yours sincerely,

Fr. Padraig Devine,




Enough of Leo!


Regular correspondent Ian Hester from Roscommon saw more than enough of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in recent weeks!

  Ian writes: “It’s time to get Leo off the stage! We’re fed up looking at him. Maybe his constant media appearances is the reason for Fine Gael’s sudden slump in the polls.

  “He’s been all over the media during the bad weather…maybe he should be expending the same amount of energy trying to fix the HSE woes and the Brexit border impasse.

  “Alleged misuse of Oireachtas facilities by others is mild compared to the extravagant use of taxpayers’ money by Leo & Co. recently, including at the launch of the NDP 2040 in Sligo.

  “It’s nauseating to see this use of taxpayers’ money”.


A query from Australia


Carmel Louise Purcell emails from Sydney in Australia:

  “I am from Sydney, Australia and I am looking for information about my great-great grandmother. Her name was Ellen Rodger, born 1857 in the County of Roscommon.

  “Apparently she was Purcell when she arrived in Australia. She resided in Victoria.

  “I am coming to your amazing country in November and am so looking forward to my adventure. I would love to find our more about Ellen”.

* If any readers feel they can assist, please contact and/or call 090-6634632 and we will put you in contact with Carmel Louise.


Lonely are the Brave…   


Dear Editor,


I’m in my eightieth year. Like millions of others, I lived through the merciless blitz by the Nazis on London, in which were killed some 30,000 Londoners, and millions more injured, many seriously. But did London close down? No!  

  Yesterday, 2nd March, I drove carefully into Roscommon town. Closed were Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Tesco and…the Post Office! Why? Because of what – a small amount of snow?

   But I knew there would be open and trading a supermarket in Abbeytown.

  So a huge ‘Go raibh mile maith agat’ to Annie, Vincent and all their staff at Timothy’s Londis.

  Local enterprise trumps the cowardly multinationals!  


Yours sincerely,

Michael Dryhurst,

Roscommon F42 RR04.


Praise from the hospital


Dear Editor,


On behalf of the Management Team at Roscommon University Hospital I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the following for their invaluable assistance during Storm Emma: Ray Dunne and the members of the Roscommon Civil Defence Team, Roscommon County Council and An Garda Siochána for clearing roads and transporting staff to and from the hospital.

  I would also like to thank all of the individuals and neighbours of our staff who helped to clear local roads.

  I would like to commend the hospital staff, many of whom went above and beyond the call of duty travelling in very poor conditions, working additional hours and staying overnight in Roscommon town to ensure that essential services at the hospital were maintained.

  Finally, my thanks also to the families of our staff members who were ‘holding the fort’ at home during this period. It is much appreciated.


Yours sincerely,

Mary Garvey,

General Manager,

Roscommon University Hospital.


Praise for the hospital



We recently came from the UK to help care for my ill uncle, Anthony Cahill, who was admitted to Roscommon University Hospital on 15th February and who sadly passed away on 27th February, may God rest his soul.

  Anthony’s home is in Brackloon, Ballanagare. The care we gave involved daily visits to the hospital with Anthony’s wife Josie and long vigils by his bedside.

  We were very impressed by the care given to Anthony by the staff at the hospital from the initial reception right through to his final days. All the staff, from Dr. O’Mara to the doctors, nurses and auxiliary nurses were exemplary in the care, attention and patience they showed to Anthony and the wider family.  In particular we were impressed by the auxiliary staff on St Coman’s Ward (room 16) who were very attentive and often aided us in helping Anthony, even though Anthony was not their primary concern. 

  Overall the hospital has a very welcoming atmosphere, is professional, clean and gave us confidence that Anthony was in the right place for the care he needed. In particular we would like to thank Geraldine Keane, the lead palliative nurse, who guided us through his final days. Her experience, advice, care and assured manner were brilliant and invaluable for the family in this difficult time.

  In the UK our own experiences of the NHS are very positive but we doubt that we would receive the same level of care that Anthony received at Roscommon Hospital.

   Once again, our sincerest thanks for all that you did for Anthony and please pass these thanks onto all the staff involved.



Martin and Linda Brennan,