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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Emergency Services to host open day

First event of its kind in county next Saturday

Roscommon Fire Station will play host to the inaugural Emergency Services Open Day on Saturday, May 6th.

  On the day the public will be invited to attend and meet members from An Garda Síochána, the Fire Service, Ambulance Service and The Civil Defence. It will also be an opportunity to see the Garda vehicles, ambulances and Fire Brigades up close. The RSA roadshow will also be present with their car and bike simulators as well as their roll-over car, which will demonstrate just what happens when a vehicle is involved in an accident.

  It is also hoped that the Garda Mounted and Garda Dog units will also be in attendance and it is also hoped that the Garda helicopter will perform a ‘hover over’ on the day.

  Members of the public, both young and old are welcome to come along on the Saturday to discover just what the emergency services in Co. Roscommon do and to see some of the resources available to them.

  There will be face painting and other entertainment for children on the day it is hoped that the event will provide the public with an opportunity to meet the ‘human face’ behind the county’s emergency services.

  The event will take place from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, May 6th at Roscommon Fire Station. All are welcome to attend.


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WDC Chairperson’s stinging attack

There are calls this week for Minister Michael Ring to make a full statement after the chairperson of the Western Development Commission wrote to the minister asking him not to re-appoint him to the role.

   In a damning letter to the Acting CEO of the WDC, Paddy McGuinness explained that he believes “strongly that there is absolutely no commitment at either political or administrative level to balanced regional development, nor is there any worthwhile plan to redress rural decline.”  He also details what he terms the Government’s ‘lack of interest in the Commission’s work’.”

  Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy says ‘the lid has been lifted’ on the Government’s “lack of commitment” to seriously tackle the ongoing problem of rural decline following the circulation of the letter.

  Deputy Murphy said:“ The fact that Paddy McGuinness, one of rural Ireland’s greatest advocates, felt that he had to take such unprecedented action is deeply regrettable. It is further evidence of the anger and frustration that exists in rural Ireland at this Government’s complete disinterest and abandonment of communities in the western region.

  “The Western Development Commission has been extremely successful, but in recent years has been starved of resources and Government support.”

  Mr. McGuinness notes that the Commission was left without a board for over three months in 2014 and presently does not have a board since February of this year. The position of CEO has been vacant for almost three years.

  “It simply beggars belief,” said Deputy Murphy. “This Government’s attitude to the Western Development Commission, and rural Ireland as a whole, is a disgrace.”

  Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said: “The letter from Paddy McGuinness is further evidence that the Government is only paying lip service to the development and regeneration of rural Ireland and that it is not serious when it comes to addressing the real problems that exist.

  “When I voiced those views in the recent past, I was slated as being too negative. I am joining in the calls for Minister Ring to make a statement on this most serious matter. Either we are serious about rural decline and regeneration of the regions or we are not. On the evidence of what we have seen so far there is no real commitment, only plenty of waffle and empty promises” he concluded.

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In the pipeline: The €10m Irish Water project extension

Irish Water marked the start of construction on the extension of the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply to Ballinlough in Co. Roscommon and Williamstown in Co. Galway with a sod-turning event on Monday.

  This project represents an investment of €10 million by Irish Water and will ensure a clean and secure supply of drinking water for the 5,000 consumers on the two supplies, while also allowing for the removal of the a long-standing boil water notice in Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon affecting 3,600 of those consumers.

  Both the Ballinlough and Williamstown water supplies are also on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL). Upon completion of these works the existing Ballinlough and Williamstown water treatment plants will be decommissioned.

  Speaking at the event, Michael Tinsley, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Portfolio Delivery Manager commented: “This project will provide a long-term solution to long-term problems experienced by the people of Ballinlough and Williamstown. The good news for the people who are to benefit from this major investment is that they will enjoy a consistent supply of high quality drinking water without the need to boil it.

  “The project outlines the importance of a one-utility approach to the provision of water services where a major source will supply three counties and ensure compliance with requirements set out in the EU Drinking Water Directive and national drinking water regulations.”

  Irish Water has appointed BSG Civil Engineering Limited to carry out the works, which are on track to be completed in one year.

  The works include the construction of over 22 kilometres of new water mains, a new water pumping station at the Ballyhaunis reservoir, and the construction of a new reservoir and control building at the site of the existing Garranlahan water tower near Ballinlough. The existing Ballinlough and Williamstown water treatment plants will be decommissioned as a result of this robust solution to the long-standing water problems experienced in both of these areas.


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Lamb Festival weekend!

There was a good turnout at Roscommon Mart yesterday (Wednesday) for the official opening of the tenth annual Roscommon Lamb Festival and the unveiling of a sculpture by local stonemason, Mark Feeley.

  The official opening was presided over by John Lynskey, IFA Sheep Chairman. Mr. Lynskey was standing in for IFA Chairman Joe Healy who was unavailable as he had been called away for an important Brexit meeting.

  Roscommon Lamb Festival Chairman, Gerry Browne, Roscommon IFA Chairman John Hanley, Cathaoirleach Tony Ward, County Council CEO Eugene Cummins and Jimmy Murray, Chairman of Roscommon Mart each addressed those present before Mr. Lynskey unveiled Mark Feeley’s sculpture of a ewe and lamb, which will be placed in The Square in Roscommon town.

  Festival Chairman, Gerry Browne paid tribute to the “hard-working committee” following a successful decade of hosting the popular event.

  The Lamb Festival opened with music from King Street Bluegrass band from Virginia, USA and will continue throughout the weekend until bank holiday Monday. The festival will feature numerous historical and local heritage events and promises to showcase the very best Roscommon has to offer.

  As part of the festival, numerous walks and exhibitions will take place this weekend including a Leather Design Workshop with award winning designer Una Burke who is originally from Boyle.

   The festival will also play host to a street party on Saturday night in Roscommon town as well as a beer and cider festival at JJ Harlow’s and a family fun day on Sunday at 2 pm in Loughnaneane Park.

  This year’s Roscommon Lamb Festival has something for everyone and the curtain will be brought down on bank holiday Monday with the Carers’ Mini Marathon at Hannon’s Hotel.


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