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Altan set for arts centre debut!






Renowned trad group perform this Saturday (19th)



Traditional music group Altan have played at venues across the globe, from Europe to the US and even Japan. This Saturday evening (19th), however, they are are back on home soil and will take to the stage at the Roscommon Arts Centre from 8 pm.

  Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh founded the group with her late husband, Belfast flute player Frankie Kennedy, in the early 1980s, and the Gweedore native is looking forward to Altan’s Roscommon performance this Saturday.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People this week, Mairéad said: “We’ve never played at the Roscommon Arts Centre before but we have played the Boyle Arts Festival a few times. I’ve also played many sessions in Boyle and other venues in Roscommon.

  “We are out of the country performing most of the time so it’s nice to get the chance to come back and perform in Ireland. We want to play in Ireland, it’s where our music is from and we don’t see why we wouldn’t have the audience here that we have elsewhere in the world.

  “We are very much looking forward to Saturday’s performance. There is a great musical tradition in Roscommon and the surrounding areas and of course we all know local musicians such as John Wynne. I would have known Josie McDermott and of course Matt Molloy too,” she said.

  Altan have been touring consistently since the band’s formation and boast a number of award-winning recordings, from the most sensitive and touching ancient ballads to energetic reels and jigs.

  The group’s current line-up of Mark Kelly (guitar), Ciaran Curran (bouzouki), Daithí Sproule (guitar) Martin Tourish (fiddle, whistles), and Mairead remain at the forefront of traditional Irish music worldwide. Mairead says the group always strives to share their culture to new, expanding audiences through their live performances and albums such as their latest offering, ‘The Gap of Dreams’.

  Altan’s much-anticipated performance in Roscommon Arts Centre takes place this Saturday (19th) at 8 pm, and tickets are available on 090-6625824 or roscommonartscentre.ie.


‘Young Offender’ star Shane brings ‘Wet Paint’ to arts centre






The Young Offenders actor Shane Casey takes to the road in a new show entitled ‘Wet Paint’, which he has both written and performs in.

  It’s 2005 and the country is booming with jambons at an all-time high of €2. That “blind opera singer guy” is coming to Ireland for a special concert in Cork and tickets are impossible to find. Tony has a fresh tan from The Canaries; Pa is wondering how Liverpool will get on in the Champions League, and Barry’s got a secret. Sound familiar?

  Inspired by his time as a painter/decorator himself, Shane Casey’s very funny play depicts a day in the life of two painter/decorators and their boss during the Celtic Tiger era, when anything was possible – at least inside your head.

  Also featuring Michael Sands and Tommy Harris, this show promises a belly-full of laughs as we are all transported back to the golden era of the Celtic Tiger.

  ‘Wet Paint’ comes to Roscommon Arts Centre on Tuesday, October 22nd and tickets are now on sale at box office on 090-6625824 and online at: roscommonartscentre.ie.

Canadian travel professionals visit County Roscommon



Nineteen Canadian travel agents – from British Columbia, Alberta, Québec, Nova Scotia and Ontario – recently visited Roscommon and Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. 

  While here, they attended a B2B workshop, meeting and doing business for 2020 with Irish tourism providers. During their time here, they also took part in an extensive fact-finding visit – to inform and enthuse them about some of the many great things to see and do here for their clients. Their itinerary focussed on Ireland’s ancient history and culinary offering, as well as opportunities to drive business in the off-season months.

  One of the highlights of the group’s action-packed itinerary was a guided tour of Strokestown Park House and the Irish National Famine Museum.


Roscommon County Childcare hosting wide variety of workshops




Roscommon County Childcare Committee (Roscommon CCC) are holding their annual Continuing Professional Development event on Wednesday, the 23rd of October.

  This takes place in the Abbey Hotel and runs from 2 pm to 7 pm. They have a variety of interesting workshops which will support early years and school age childcare services.  

  Participants can attend a variety of workshops for just €10 per person with tea and scones included.

  On the day there will be a Tusla Meitheal workshop from 2 pm to 4.30 pm for all agencies working with children, young people and families.

  A School Age childcare workshop called ‘Taking School Age Childcare Towards a Bright New Future’ will take place.

  ‘Effective Communication with Parents’ will run from 5 pm to 6 pm while ‘Consultation on Draft Childminding Action Plan’ will take place at the same time.

  ‘Tusla Inspection & Corrective Actions Preventative Actions (CAPA) process’ will take place from 6 pm to 6.45 pm. ‘Registration of school-age childcare and re-registration of Early Years services information workshop’ will run at the same time. Roscommon CCC hope this event will inspire those with an interest in the early years’ and school-age sector including educators, owners/managers of early years’ services, students, community employment participants, agency staff and parents.

  For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 094- 9622540.



Highlights of 2019 South Roscommon Singers Festival





Highlights of this year’s South Roscommon Singers Festival include a Soapbox & Songs event at the Harrison Court in Roscommon town, starting at 3 pm on Friday, 25th of October, on the theme of Climate Change/Global Warming. Here the aim is to combine and celebrate the great traditions of Free Speech, Political Oratory, Folk Song, Satire, Drama, Poetry, Mime & Artistry.

  Headlining this event, from the musical perspective, will be The Strawberry Thieves – a socialist choir from London and Ukephoric – Roscommon Ukulele Collective, with a host of guest speakers, balladeers and performance artists also taking part.

  Saturday’s highlight will be the ‘I’ll Fly Away’ Church Concert at St. Patrick’s Church, Knockcroghery. Starting at 8 pm sharp, this is a concert of Gospel songs, Spirituals and songs of inspiration, with headline acts: LANDLESS, an all girl, bi-national, four-part harmony group; London duo Nicola Kearey & Ian Carter, aka Stick in the Wheel with their raw minimalism, setting vocals to simple accompaniments and handclaps and West Virginia girl Alice Wylde and her husband David with their unique style and delivery of Appalachian Church Songs and much, much more.

  Also on the bill are many more local and visiting guests – two hours of inspiring entertainment in the magnificent setting and the acoustic bliss of St. Patrick’s Church.

  On Sunday, the highlight of the afternoon will be a music, song and dance ‘Floor Show’ in Paddy Finn’s in Kilteevan. This will include the presentation of the Roscommon People sponsored ‘Annie McNulty Award’ to An Góilín Traditional Singers Club from Dublin.

  Other events to look out for over the weekend are a couple of very interesting Song Talks, Recitals and Singing Sessions galore at Murray’s and Ned’s Bar, Knockcroghery.


Spooky Storytelling for children at Athlone Castle!




Athlone Castle has announced that its popular annual Halloween ‘Spooky Storytelling’ event will take place on Saturday, October 26th.

  Children and adults are invited to join storyteller and singer Helena Byrne for this special Halloween event at Athlone Castle in the unique atmosphere of a creepy castle, steeped in history. These interactive storytelling sessions will transport children’s imaginations into the magical festival of Samhain, with spooky tales of ghosts, ghouls and fairies.

  Four storytelling sessions will take place in the Upper Keep of Athlone Castle at 12 pm, 2 pm, 3.15 pm and 4.30 pm. The first and second sessions at 12 pm and 2 pm are suitable for children from 3 to 6 years of age and will include fun nursery rhymes and activities suitable for that age group.

  The last two sessions at 3.15 pm and 4.30 pm are suitable for children of 7 to 11 years of age and include fun exercises for children to create their own characters and stories. Every child is a storyteller in the making!

  All children attending the event are encouraged to get in the mood for Halloween by wearing their costumes to the storytelling sessions! Each storytelling session will be followed by a Ghouls Parade around the castle keep (weather permitting).

  Admission to the event for children aged 3 to 11 years is €9, with €5 for accompanying adults. Family tickets are €25 (2 adults with 2 children) and €40 (2 adults with 4 children).  

  Goodie bags with a selection of treats and admission to the Castle Visitor Centre is included in the price. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The event is not suitable for children under 3 years. Places are limited, therefore booking in advance is essential to avoid disappointment. Places for the storytelling sessions can be booked online at www.athlonecastle.ie or for further information telephone 090-6442130.




For a fun, SPOOKY, EERIE Halloween day out – visit Glendeer Pet Farm!





Come along to a Spooktastic Halloween at Glendeer Pet Farm…if you dare!!!

  Looking for somewhere to bring the kids over the mid-term break? This is the perfect day out for kids, both big and small!! With ghosts, ghouls, scarecrows and witches aplenty, you will be guaranteed a Spooktastic time!

  Cast spells with Willow the Witch, toast marshmallows over an open fire and enter the eerie maze…but be warned, it’s at your own risk.

  Follow Pumpkin Passage through the Forbidden Forest to see where it takes you and be scared by lots more ghosts and ghouls this Halloween! 

  Glendeer Pet Farm, Drum, Athlone (take exit 13 off M6 and follow signs for Drum) is suitable in any weather with plenty of facilities under cover. But it’s not all about scares during this Halloween experience as you will also get to interact with the friendly animals on the farm. 

  Children can feed, pet and even hold some of the animals which include puppies, rabbits, deers, pot belly pigs, llamas, alpaches, emus, wallabies, goats, donkeys, sheep, the cheeky monkeys, meerkats and much more!

  Not only will you see all the Halloween scenes but children can race on the double obstacle course and lose themselves in our timber maze along with the slides, swings, seesaws and very popular glider swing in the large outdoor playground.

  They can also avail of the indoor adventure area with lots of slides and bridges, which makes Glendeer Pet Farm a perfect location, even on those wet days. 

  While the big ones are burning off some energy, the little ones will be well entertained in the soft play barn and the all-weather sand pit...just beware of the ghosts and ghouls in the Forbidden Forest on your way there!

  Adults can enjoy freshly ground coffee/tea and home-made treats are available in the coffee shop.

  Groups and birthday parties catered for by appointment. Special rate for 20 or more children.

  We are open from Saturday, the 26th of October until Sunday, the 3rd of November for Halloween. From Monday to Saturday, we open from 11 am-5 pm and from 12 pm-5 pm on Sundays.

  Admission is €9 for adults & €9 for children, under 18 months are admitted free. For more information contact us on 090-6437147 or visit www.glendeerpetfarm.ie.

Home heating tips this winter…



Service that boiler!


Getting boilers serviced annually is vital to ensure safe and efficient performance. It will save you money in the long run too.


Twenty’s plenty!


20 degrees Celsius is an ideal temperature for living areas. Lowering your thermostat by just 1ºC could knock up to 10% off your heating bill. That’s a saving of around €150 in a typical family home!


Avoid overheating


Unused rooms can tend to be overheated. If leaving them unoccupied for long periods of time, simply turn down the thermostat or radiator valves to a lower level in order to reduce the risk of condensation.


Avoid frost damage


Likewise, if you are leaving the house unoccupied for extended periods, set the timer and thermostat for a low level of heating in order to avoid condensation or frost damage.


Insulation stations!


Insulate the attic and walls in order to save up to 40% on your heating bill. Heat is lost through windows too so consider upgrading to double or triple-glazed units.


Take control


Remote heating is a handy way to turn on and off your heating from a mobile device, such as a phone, tablet or computer, particularly if you work irregular hours.


Half-hour power


In cold weather, set your heating to come on 30 minutes before you wake up and to go off 30 minutes before you leave the house. In the evening set it to come on for 30 minutes before you arrive home and off 30 minutes before you go to bed.





Exciting line-up for Féile Strokestown 2019 this weekend!





Féile Strokestown returns to the town this weekend with a whole host of events taking place from Friday, October 11th to Sunday, October 13th.

  The official opening will take place at 8 pm in The Percy French Hotel, Strokestown this Friday night and that will be followed by a tribute concert to the late Mairtin Ó Muiri from 8.30 pm.

  The annual Session Trail, which sees music sessions taking place in local pubs and venues, will kick off on Friday evening at 10 pm and continue over the weekend.

  On Saturday (12th), Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown will play host to Master Classes from 10 am to 1 pm. Dr. Geraldine Cotter will lead piano accompaniment, while there will also be a fiddle master class with Eileen O’Brien; flute with Orlaith McCauliffe; concertina with Liam O’Brien and accordion with Danny O’Reilly. The Master Classes cost €25 (family discounts) and registration is online or on Saturday morning at 9.30 am.

  The Hub will host the Flute Forum and Recital at 1.30 pm on Saturday. Admission costs €10 and the event will feature Patsy Hanly, John Carlos, Tommy Guihan and a host of excellent Roscommon flute players. Special guest on the day will be the 2019 TG4 Gradam Ceoil recipient Catherine McEvoy.

  Following this, at 4 pm, will be the launch of three CDs in The Percy French Hotel.

 Shane Meehan’s ‘twill do!’, Páraic Mac Donnchadha’s ‘Not Before Time’ and ‘Carlos Sweeney McCartin’ by Dylan Carlos, Cein Sweeney and John McCartin.

  Later that evening the Carthy family will be joined by Francis Gaffney, Kate McHugh, All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Champion, Dylan Carlos and All-Ireland Senior Sean Nós Dancer Rian Biesty for a concert at The Percy French Hotel from 8 pm. Tickets cost €20. The Session Trail will take place throughout the day and night.

  Féile continues on Sunday with Aifreann na Féile (Mass) at 11.30 am.

  At 12.30 pm Tommy McDermott, Marie Gilhooley and Hilke Billerbeck will present Songs and Stories of Percy French at The Percy French Hotel.

  Mary Corcoran, Majella O’Beirne and Aoife O’Connor or ‘The Dublin Lasses’ as they’re collectively known, will launch a new CD at 1.30 pm.

  At 3 pm, the Joe Donoghue Memorial Open Fiddle Competition will take place with the first prize the Joe Donoghue Perpetual Cup and €200.

  The Percy French will host a Céilí Mór with the Tulla Céilí Band from 4 pm. Tickets cost €10.

  The Session Trail will continue on Sunday night as Féile Strokestown 2019 comes to a close.

Máirtín Ó Muiri Tribute to open 2019 Féile


Féile Strokestown will officially open this Friday evening (11th of October) at 8 pm and will be followed at 8.30 pm by a Tribute Concert to the late Mairtin Ó Muiri.

  Máirtín was a stalwart of the traditional music scene in Longford and Roscommon for almost twenty years, playing guitar and singing with most of the local musicians at the regular sessions and events. He performed both at home and abroad and was always a welcome addition to any session. He played regularly in the Tally-Ho bar in Longford as well as the Shannon Bar, Tarmonbarry and in Rosie’s the Lifebelt in Ballyleague, Co. Roscommon.

  Máirtín was a Monaghan native and taught at St. Michael’s National School in Longford town and is survived by his wife Colette (Meally), son Daire, daughters Alaidh and Molly.

  Máirtín sadly passed away on November 24th 2017, and in honour of his commitment and lifelong connection to traditional Irish music, Feile Strokestown welcomes his family and friends to celebrate in an evening of music, songs and stories.

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