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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Castlerea family appeal for support on organ transplants



Kidney disease has struck many members of family, but they are resilient and upbeat…


Members of a family from Castlerea, Co. Roscommon are this week highlighting the importance of organ donor awareness. Five members of the Mulligan family have been diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which is a progressive illness which can remain dormant for decades. 

  Now, in conjunction with Organ Donor Awareness Week, the family are telling their story in order to help highlight how vitally important organ donation is.

  Michael Mulligan (70) and his wife Breege live in their native Castlerea. Michael received a kidney transplant 14 years ago, after the death of an organ donor. The transplant was a success and Michael is enjoying retirement with his wife Breege.

  Over the years, four of the couple’s six children have been diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

  Three of the sisters – Pamela, Julie and Paula – live within fifteen minutes’ drive of one another in Co. Wicklow, having married three men who were actually friends before those weddings! A fourth sister, Susan, lives in Islandbridge in Dublin. The oldest sister, Lydna, lives in Rahan, Co. Offaly. All five sisters have received a PKD diagnosis. The youngest member of the family and only son, Mikki, lives in Canada and has not been tested yet for PKD.

  Susan Mulligan was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) when she was in college after she sustained a sports injury. For over two and a half years she has been undergoing haemodialysis treatment at the Beacon in Tallaght.  

  Following Susan’s diagnosis, she managed to stave off dialysis treatment for over a decade as her condition was carefully monitored and treated through medication as well as lifestyle and dietary changes. 

  Three of Susan’s sisters, Pamela, Julie and Paula, live in Wicklow (in Aughrim, Avoca and Arklow) with their husbands.

  Julie went into end stage kidney failure following the birth of her son two years ago. Julie’s declining kidney function is being carefully monitored and she may need to commence dialysis treatment soon. She is currently awaiting her appointment to visit the renal team at Beaumont Hospital for referral onto the transplant waiting pool.

  Pamela and Julie had completed their PKD tests for a medical report which was required for their mortgage applications. Fortunately for Pamela, who lives in Arklow with her husband Neil and three sons, her tests came back negative for PKD. However, another sister, Paula, who lives in Avoca and was diagnosed with the disease, had experienced a temporary dip in kidney function after the birth of her twin boys last year, but her kidney function has since improved and her condition hasn’t progressed.

  The oldest sister in the Mulligan family, Lynda, has also  received a PKD diagnosis, but she continues to enjoy good health while living in Rahan, Co. Offaly with her husband Nicky. 

  Susan and her family are grateful to the family of their father’s deceased donor transplant and are sharing their story in order to publicly support the annual Organ Donor Awareness Week. Organ Donor Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about organ failure and encourage the public to support organ donation for transplantation and tell their next-of-kind their wishes.

  Susan said: “My family are truly grateful to the donor family who gave my father a new lease of life. For the other members of our family who will need organ transplants in the future and for all those other people on transplant waiting lists, we are sharing our story to help raise awareness about how vitally important organ donation is”.

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Padraig’s discovery: An unwelcome visitor from New Zealand…



A local man who was cleaning a water gully at his house recently made a fascinating discovery!

  “I came across a creature that I had never seen before…I thought I had discovered a new Irish species” Padraig Harlow of Convent Road, Roscommon quipped this week.

  Padraig contacted Teagasc in Roscommon to show them what he had found. He was referred on to a Mr. Gaffney in the Teagasc Research Centre in Ashtown, Dublin.

  “I sent him the specimen and researched other images on the Internet myself. We agreed it was the New Zealand flatworm, an invasive species, brought in through Britain via Belfast to Ireland and which is making its way south towards Sligo.

  “They are hermaphrodites (meaning all ‘individuals’ can reproduce) so they could self-fertilise, but would normally pair up…they are predators and feed on earthworms which are important to our ecosystem and fertility of the soil, among other aspects”.

  Padraig said that while he doesn’t want to be alarmist, they are a threat for gardeners, farmers, etc. He advised that all garden centres should be on the look-out.

  “They should be destroyed and not mistaken for the earthworms which are native and very beneficial” he concluded.

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Ger Grehan promises to be ‘a voice for every community’



Fine Gael candidate, Ger Grehan (Taughmaconnell), has said that he will work hard for every parish in South Roscommon if he is elected to Roscommon County Council next May.

  Ger Grehan is a farmer and a former agricultural contractor, who is married to Breeda. The couple have four children.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People, Ger Grehan said: “The South Roscommon electoral area is huge, it runs from Shannonbridge to Donamon. I live in the middle of the electoral area in Taughmaconnell, near Dysart. If I’m elected, I will work hard for every community in the electoral area. Every parish deserves a fair chance.

  “For many years I have sought better living standards and better prices for farmers – as an activist for farming organisations and as a regular contributor to farming programmes on Shannonside FM. If people decide to vote for me, I will be a very hard-working advocate for local communities and families”.

  Ger Grehan and Cllr. John Naughten (Drum) are Fine Gael’s two candidates in the South Roscommon electoral area. The party is aiming to secure two seats. Ger Grehan was nominated as a candidate at the recent Fine Gael convention by former South Roscommon Councillor, Ollie Moore (Taughmaconnell) and by Luke Kelly (Castlesampson). Ollie Moore is Ger Grehan’s Director of Elections.

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Once more into the fray…



Crosby launches campaign, says he  puts his money where his mouth is


Former county councillor Tom Crosby has officially launched his campaign for re-election in May 2019. The independent candidate is seeking election to Roscommon County Council in the Boyle Electoral Area.

  Mr. Crosby said that he is standing on his track record in politics which he said “speaks for itself”.

  “I have been elected many times in the past and have vast experience in politics, business and indeed in voluntary community circles” he said.

  Native of Tarmonbarry/Scramogue parish, he is married to Pauline (McDermott) and the couple reside in Tarmonbarry.

  In a press statement, Mr. Crosby said: “I have a deep affection and passion for my area and for Co. Roscommon. I have always believed that politicians should put their money where their mouth is when it comes down to developing in their area and county. That is why, throughout my business and political career, I have always done just that”.

  Asking for voters to “judge me on what I have actually done and not what I have talked about doing,” Mr. Crosby said that he can stand over his “proud record” in this region.

  He pointed to the fact that he had built and developed the renowned and award-winning residential marina known as ‘Tarmon Harbour’, where there are 98 tourist and residential homes and 98 dockings points for pleasure craft on the River Shannon.

  “This development is recognised as one of the best tourist destinations on the River Shannon and in turn has made Tarmonbarry Village one of the most prosperous villages in the West of Ireland, coming from having little or no employment to currently having well over 100 local people employed in its thriving businesses.

  “I recently purchased and began developing the cornerstone building in the centre of Strokestown. A relic of the Celtic Tiger years, it was a blight on the face of an otherwise beautiful townscape. But that’s all changing now, as I am currently upgrading the building and at an advanced stage in talks with a large anchor tenant for one of the four floors on the very large 12,000 sq. ft. property”.

  In terms of political achievements, Mr. Crosby said that when he was a county councillor he was the individual responsible for the establishment of a DNA database for Ireland, his original idea having been followed up by various Justice Ministers.

  He continued: “Now, many politicians will try to garner your support by saying that they’ll be honest with you, and won’t make any promises they can’t keep…well, I put it to them that the real reason they won’t make the promises is because they don’t believe they can deliver!

   “I’m not afraid to make promises, because I know I can deliver as an elected representative. I’m a worker, and have been a worker my whole life. One thing you can be sure of is this, if you put your trust in me, I won’t let you down”.

  Mr. Crosby said that his campaign team will be canvassing all areas over the coming weeks and that he will do his very best to meet everyone personally. He appealed to the people to give him their No. 1 vote.

  “I have a plan for this area, a plan to return it to prosperity…but to do that I need your support. I need you to once again put your trust in me”.




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