Roscommon Lamb Festival line-up unveiled

Seamus Duke A major new festival – The Roscommon Lamb Festival – will be held in Roscommon town from Wednesday, 30th April to Monday 5th of May. The event was launched at Jackson’s Restaurant, The Square, Roscommon on Tuesday evening last.   The organising committee is chaired by Laurence Fallon who explained on Tuesday what the festival is all about. ‘This is an idea that was under our very noses here in Roscommon for many hundreds of years – relating to sheep and lamb production. This festival will highlight the importance of  the sheep industry to Roscommon and it will also show that lamb as a food product can be far more than just a leg of lamb or a rack of lamb. We have several events that will suit all ages and all nationalities over the six days of the festival’ he said.   There are a huge number of different events planned for the festival. It will open on Wednesday, 30th April at Roscommon Mart and on that night, a special fashion show will take place in the Abbey Hotel featuring all wool products.    An Bord Bia will hold a major lamb promotion in Gleeson’s Restaurant on Thursday, 1st May and that will be attended by Mary Coughlan, Minister for  Agriculture. There will also be a sheep pageant in The Square at 6.30 pm which is not to be missed! Meanwhile a sheep seminar will be held on the issue of world sheep production (Abbey Hotel, Thursday night, 8.30 pm).    On Friday, the 2nd of May the highlights include a farmers market showing all the local sheep and lamb products and also cookery demonstrations. Rugby and GAA tournaments for schoolchildren will also take place that day and on the Friday night celebrity chef Rachel Allen will host a lamb cookery demonstration and dinner in The Abbey Hotel.   On Saturday, 3rd May there will be street entertainment and street art competitions, sheep dog trials, pet lamb competitions and other special stands. Then later that night there is a major Brazilian and Irish open-air barbeque and there will be live music on The Square.   There is a family fun day on Sunday, 4th May, a vintage drive featuring tractors and machinery, a major wool day out and a global kitchen show in the CBS. Festivities finish on Monday, May 5th with a mini-marathon in aid of the Carers Association and those are only a few of the huge number of events that will be held over the term of the festival.   Laurence Fallon thanked all the major sponsors who have generously supporterd the festival and he urged people to go to the various events.    ‘It will be a great celebration of one of our biggest local industries and we think that it will be a big success. We have had great support so far and I want to acknowledge the help of the Mid South Leader and Patsy Daly (who is also secretary of the festival committee) in putting this together.    ‘We have also had a great committee. There are a lot of very busy people on the committee who didn’t want to be going to meetings three or four times a week to do this – but they did – so I want to thank them’ he concluded.