Log in

€40,000 prize money for 42nd Elphin Show





There was a good attendance at the launch of the annual Elphin Agricultural Show which took place at An Bóthar Rua last Thursday night. The 42nd installment of the show will take place on the grounds of Elphin Mart on Saturday, August 31st with €40,000 in prize money up for grabs.

  Speaking at last Thursday’s launch, Chairman Tommy Gormley welcomed those in attendance including local public representatives, Deputy Eugene Murphy and Cllrs. Valerie Beirne and Joe Murphy.

  “I welcome the elected representatives, elected councillors for the area, representatives from the cattle breed societies, our loyal sponsors, Vice-Chairman John McDermott, Secretary Clare Connellan and assistants Michelle Shiel, Carmel Beirne, Anne Gormley and Pauline Jackson,” he said.

 Mr. Gormley also welcomed Show President Cyril McDermott and “hard-working” committee members, stewards and members of the public before providing an outline of Saturday’s programme.

  This year’s Elphin Show will feature an All-Ireland competition for Pedigree Charolais Baby Calf with a prize fund of €1,500; All-Ireland Baby Beef Heifer with a prize fund of €2,500; All-Ireland Commercial Breeding Heifer un-haltered with €1,500 in prizes as well as the Midland & Western Charolais Calf Final (€1,500) and the Limousin Anglo Irish Youth Finals.

  There will also be the All-Ireland Pony Mare and Foal Championship with a prize fund of €500 and the Elphin Show Mare and Foal Championship (€500).

  Away from the livestock, there are All-Ireland Championships for Treacle Bread, Muffins, Jam, Jack Russells, Puppies and Duck or Drake.

  Meanwhile, the Horse section has 16 classes. Cattle classes include six Angus classes, five Shorthorn classes, five Hereford classes, five Simmental classes, and eleven in the Charolais.

  Commenting on the Limousin Anglo Irish Youth Finals, Mr. Gormley said: “The finals of this annual competition rotates between the five competing teams: Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. It is a great way to increase young members’ knowledge and skills while also giving them the opportunity to visit new areas and make new friends”.

  There are also 20 Sheep classes this Saturday and five classes for Goats. The turf section features three classes, and the Flower section has twelve, while the Farm Produce section has 22 including the Best Scarecrow (sponsored by John Ames Power Washing Services).

  This year’s Show sees the return of popular sections including Cookery, Poultry, Dogs, Adult Art and Handcrafts.

  Mr. Gormley described it as a varied programme which featured several new classes.

  “It’s wide and varied and we hope we have something of interest for everyone - young and old – to make it a great family day out. We finish the night with Sean Fahy in An Bóthar Rua, where the raffle will be held,” he said.

  First prize in this year’s raffle is a weanling heifer, second prize is a one-night stay with breakfast and evening meal at Kilronan Castle, third prize is €100 and winners of fourth and fifth prizes receive €50.

  “Again, we’d like to thank all the sponsors of the show, especially our main sponsors Noel Sweeney and family; Elphin Mart, Fearna Nursing Home; the Callery family; the hard-working committee; stewards; Elphin Mart Manager, Gerry Connellan and his staff; Claire Connellan, Secretary; An Bóthar Rua for providing their premises and offering refreshments.

  “We would also like to acknowledge a grant from the Department of Agriculture administered through the Irish Shows Association to the value of €5,000 and Roscommon County Council for their support,” he said.  


Acrobatic artistry at the arts centre





‘How to Square a Circle’ comes to town



Former Roscommon and Elphin footballer, and Cyr wheel artist, Ronan Brady, was hard at work with performing partner, hoop artist, Aisling Ní Cheallaigh, when I called to the Roscommon Arts Centre on Monday afternoon.

  The pair were busy rehearsing for their show ‘How to Square a Circle’, which takes the stage at the Roscommon Arts Centre on Thursday, August 29th at 8 pm.

  Ronan is no stranger to performing in Roscommon and famously appeared prior to the Connacht Senior Football Championship Semi-Final between Roscommon and Leitrim in 2017.

  However, while Ronan and Dubliner Aisling performed ‘How to Square a Circle’ in Athlone last year, this is the first time the show will be staged in Co. Roscommon.

  The show has been described as ‘Irish Circus’ and features hand-to-hand acrobatics, trapeze, Ronan’s Cyr Wheel, Aisling’s Hoop artistry and a mixture of dance and story-telling.

  Former teacher Ronan, who was a semi-finalist on Ireland’s Got Talent in 2018, is delighted to be bringing the show to his native county.

  “Averyl (Dooher) and Dympna (Cribbin) gave us the run of the place about a month back and have also given us the place for two weeks this month in order to get the show sorted. They’ve really supported us and it’s great to be performing in a local venue and when we’re applying to the Arts Council for funding it’s great to get the backing of theatres and established art centres like Roscommon. I’m particularly chuffed to be bringing this show to Roscommon town!”

  Hoop artist Aisling Ní Cheallaigh studied medieval history in Trinity College and is a self-confessed maths ‘nerd’. It was Aisling who came up with the name ‘How to Square a Circle’

  “We are really excited to be able to tour the show because when we made it we weren’t sure whether it would get to go anywhere again. The reception last year in places like the Dean Crowe in Athlone was really good,” she said.

  For Ronan and Aisling, this is clearly a labour of love, though Ronan believes it’s not always perceived as serious work.

  “It’s a bit of a novelty at the start and unfortunately sometimes it continues as a novelty. There’s this notion that I’ve run away with the circus and while it’s a cool line, the term suggests you’re running away from something. That’s not the case; it’s the same as a freelance salesperson or anything else. Sometimes you’re all over the country with work,” he said.

  “You’re definitely not in it for the money anyway…” Aisling interjects.

  Ronan continues: “It’s such a slog and we wouldn’t be doing this if they Arts Council didn’t fund the tour”.

  Aisling adds: “And if Roscommon Arts Centre didn’t help us out and give us this space and support our application”.

  The training and rehearsals certainly aren’t for the faint-hearted. Aisling said that each session begins with an hour-long warm-up followed by another hour of conditioning and training.

  “Our schedule here is 9 am to 11 am is training skills and then from 11 until 5.30 pm we will be working with a director. Then we warm down for half an hour and then when we’ve finished that there will be meetings and organising until about 9 pm,” she said.

  So what can the Roscommon Arts Centre audience expect next Thursday?

  “This will be like Irish Circus, which is story-telling and spectacle in one,” Aisling said.

  Ronan added: “Images and videos tell a certain amount but there’s nothing as impressive as seeing this in the flesh. You know that someone might do a handstand for example but when you’re actually there and they’re doing a handstand it’s something else.

  “We want to tell a story and we’ll use our physical vocabulary to tell that story. You’ll come away with so much more than seeing ‘cool tricks’,” he said, before Aisling had the final word…“You’ll get the ‘cool tricks’ and a story!”

  Tickets for this one-of-a-kind show are on sale now from the Roscommon Arts Centre box office on 090-6625824 or at www.roscommonartscentre.ie.



A day of ‘Automotive Strokestown Park House





Ireland’s newest car show will debut at Strokestown Park House, Co. Roscommon on Sunday, August 25th. Roscommon Sports & Classic Car Club in conjunction with Strokestown Park House & Gardens will hold their day of ‘Automotive History’ to showcase the progression of the motor vehicle from the 1920s to the current day and all are welcome on the day. The show opens at 12 pm and will run until 4 pm. Registration takes place from 11.30 am on the day.

  There promises to be something for everyone, with sports and classic cars, tractors and bikes from the 1920s right up to the 1980s. Entry to the show will be free for exhibitors and visitors alike.

  Highlights on the day will include some of Ireland’s rarest Mercedes cars including a 1933 Mercedes 200 convertible; an original Roscommon registered 1955 190sl; a 1959 220s convertible and 1963 230sl pagoda. Other confirmed cars include a 1926 Buick; a mk1 Renault 5 Turbo; Ferraris; DeLoreans; Triumphs; BMWs; Austins; MGs; Toyotas and more.

  All owners of vintage and classic cars and retro cars, bikes and tractors are invited to come and show off their pride and joy in a fabulous setting. There will be €500 in prizes for best in class in the various categories. 

  This event is sponsored by Norio’s Takeaway and proceeds will go to support Blood Bike West and Cuisle Accessible Holiday Resort. 

  Blood Bike West is an all-volunteer charitable organisation providing out of-hours transport of urgent and emergency medical supplies, such as samples, equipment, scan discs, human milk and documentation. Their free, fully donation-funded service links hospitals, hospices, clinics, care homes, and laboratories, contributing to patient care in the West of Ireland.  

  Cuisle is Ireland’s Premier Wheelchair Accessible Respite Resort and is located right here in County Roscommon.

  Representatives from Blood Bike West and Cuisle will be on-site to gather funds throughout the day.

  The organisers look forward to welcoming everyone to the beautiful surrounds of Strokestown House and Gardens for what promises to be a great day!

  For further details contact event organiser Noel Simpson on 087-2304960 and follow Roscommon Sports & Classic Car Club on Facebook.

Australian resident representing Roscommon in Miss Ireland





Australian resident Luchia Noyes will be Roscommon’s representative in the upcoming Miss Ireland competition, which takes place in Dublin on September 14th.

  Twenty-seven-year-old Luchia, who works in Sydney for an Irish TV and Film company, will fly the flag for Roscommon due to her connections to the Finnerty family located in the Tulsk area.

  Her grand-aunt Mary O’Dwyer of Kilkenny married Tom Finnerty, and they raised a family in Roscommon. Tom passed some years ago, while Mary resides in the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon.

  Luchia has frequented Roscommon on numerous occasions and is looking to drum up some support for the county for the upcoming event. She divides her time between Australia and County Clare and revealed her plan is to return home in the next few years.

  The inspiration behind her entering the competition is to create awareness for the mental health campaign which she has embarked on for suicide prevention, something which she says is very close to her heart.

  “The reason I want to enter Miss Ireland is to try and create more awareness around suicide prevention. Not only does it continue to be a big problem in Ireland but also in Australia with all the ex-pats,” she explains.

  “I have lost some really good friends to suicide in recent years so it is certainly an issue which is really close to my heart,” she added.

  The main focus of her campaign is to add to the important work being carried out by Pieta House in Ireland, but also the Black Dog Institute in Sydney. She has already organised a major fundraising event while in Sydney, with 35 well-known rugby players involved.

  She says she is really looking forward to the event, and hopes to do the county proud.

  “I can’t wait for the event and I hope I can drum up a bit of support from the people of Roscommon as well,” she added.

  Luchia has also set up a GoFundMe campaign page, www.gofundme.com/suicideprevention-campaign039, so if you would like to support her in her exploits you can log on and donate using the link above.


Family Fun Day at Portrun this Sunday!




Event is part of National Heritage Week


As part of National Heritage Week, Portrun Development Association is holding a Family Fun Day from 1.30 pm to 6 pm at the Portrunny shoreline on Sunday, August 25th. Activities start at 1.30 pm with a sponsored 5km walk (Cost is €10 for individuals and €15 per family), which is suitable for all with an option to extend the walk to take in the Portrunny Heritage Trail (maps provided).

  Other activities on the day will include a talk by environmentalist, Billy Flynn, who will speak about biodiversity. On the day there will also be an opportunity to cruise on a Viking ship (preferably pre-booked through East West Travel. Cost €15); take to the water with Splash and Dash Kayaking, and there will also be music and free activities for children throughout.

  ‘Finders and Seekers’ will also allow visitors young and young at heart to find out more about local wildlife and the ecosystem as they explore the shore. Participants will be encouraged to draw what they find using the kit provided.

  Portrun Development Association PRO, Cora Mugan, says the event will highlight the beautiful surrounds of Portrun.

  “Portrun is used in all sorts of weather and it appeals to everyone. The shoreline is quite safe and sheltered and can still be accessed by bigger boats. There are lovely scenic views and it’s been said that it’s like having the lakes of Killarney on our doorstep but we don’t even realise it,” she said.

  Secretary of the committee, Stephanie O’Connor Shaw, said that Sunday’s event would go towards the ongoing work carried out by the hard-working development committee in the area.

  “We are hoping that the money raised will go towards match-funding for activities and developing the area as well as administration costs for the next year,” she said.

  There will be plenty of attractions on offer for the whole family this Sunday with entertainment provided by Knockcroghery’s Ukephoric, St. Dominic’s GAA adult Scór, local traditional musician John Wynne and story-teller Tommy Murray.

  For more information about Sunday’s Family Fun Day as part of National Heritage Week, check out www.portrun.ie and Portrun Roscommon Facebook page. All are welcome.


My helpful productivity hacks for planning ahead



As the summer draws to an end, parents right across Roscommon are busy preparing their home for the back to school season. So, between covering books and ironing school uniforms, sorting out bedtime schedules, planning healthy lunches, and possibly organising responsible childcare facilities, we thought we’d try to provide you with what we like to call our helpful productivity hacks to assist you when planning ahead.

Here they are ...

Label everything: Between the journey to school, the classroom activities and the school yard fun and games, things are bound to go missing, or at least, get misplaced, so pop a colourful label onto everything your child owns.

Do a weekly meal prep: If you’ve got the time, try to set aside a few hours to prep and freeze meals on a Sunday. This will do two things, one, give you more time during the week and two, (while we all enjoy our chips, curries and pizzas), planning in this way will prevent you relying too much on take away food.

Keep a Diary: Now, while it may sound a bit regimental, popping a weekly wall planner on the wall and colour coding everyone’s daily schedules, whether this is a game of footie, a dance class or a music lesson, will definitely generate you an A+! You see, a planner will not only remind you where you’ve got to be at any given time, it’ll also help you organise your shopping list, as in do you need to buy snacks to keep them going during soccer/basketball practice etc.,

Post it: I’m a huge fan of post-it notes and regularly write orders, sorry reminders on them before popping them on the fridge door under a magnet. Annoys the hell out of hubby, but it works for me!

Organise your bathroom: It may sound silly, but by streamlining your bathroom products such as shampoo, shower gel, clean towels, toothpaste and make-up etc., into easy to grab areas,  you can save yourself valuable minutes during the morning rush to get the kids to school and yourself to work.

Create a utility space: Clear out a corner in the hall or under the stairs and hang shelves and coat hooks where everyone can disrobe, dump their school bags/laptops and hop into their slippers the minute they enter the house. This will do two things, one, it’ll keep your floors clean and clutter free and two, it’ll provide a central ‘go-to’ area for storage meaning everyone knows where everything is kept.

The car: Provide car seat pocket storage organisers and tell passengers to use them for rubbish and empty water bottles etc., Speaking of your car, as you’re likely to be the unofficial family taxi for the next academic year, consider booking your motor in for a service this weekend.

And finally: This may sound overly organised, but, as I’m someone whom, due to the demands of my job, I absolutely had to stick to strict deadlines while taking care of a family, (and a dog), so I bought a beautiful (and very useful) kitchen cart in my local DIY shop. I parked it in my extension, loaded it with clean mugs, a coffee maker, bottles of water, healthy snacks and a bowl of fresh fruit each evening, so that, come the morning, in the event we were running a bit late, the kids had a ‘grab and go’ selection of nutritious items on hand.  Seriously, I’m wasted here folks…I could give Rachel Allen a run for her money!


Find out if Paddy Joe is a true Rossie!




Paddy Joe Burke is without question Roscommon Gaelic Football’s best supporter. He is known throughout the country and further afield for his enthusiasm and energetic commentary on Roscommon games. He is in every sense a true Rossie! Now Paddy Joe’s ‘Big Reveal’ on Saturday night (24th) in Hannon’s Hotel  will discover if he is indeed a true Roscommon man.

  At 8 pm Paddy Joe’s DNA analysis will be revealed and DNA does not lie! Most of us have watched programmes such as ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and ‘Long Lost Families’ and thought we would like to find out more about our own a by Roscommon Town Team Historical sub-committee and is part funded by Creative Ireland. The Conference takes place from 9.30 am to 4 pm and deals with sources in local and family history and Paddy Joe’s Big Reveal commences at 8 pm. Don’t miss it!


Local woman to abseil Croker in aid of Breast Cancer Services




A Roscommon Town woman will abseil from the roof of Croke Park (about 50 metres) onto the famous pitch on Saturday, October 12th in order to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Services at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

  Twenty-six-year-old primary school teacher Syrea Duke from Antogher Road, decided that she would help out with the fundraising efforts of her aunt Dr. Deirdre Duke, who is a breast cancer consultant radiologist at the hospital. They are raising funds to build a dedicated clinic at the hospital and they are hoping to raise €1 million. A number of fundraising events have been planned including the abseil.

  “It will be a challenge to do it and I don’t really know what to expect but I wanted to do something to help with the fundraising and hopefully it will make a small contribution. The details are on the website and it is very easy to donate. I will be nervous but excited to do it,” Syrea said this week.

  Syrea has undertaken to raise funds prior to her abseil and she has a dedicated page on the ‘Just Giving’ website where further details and ways to donate can be found. 

  “Just Google ‘Just Giving’ and put in the name Syrea Duke and the page will come up with all the details. Anything we get, however small will be much appreciated,” she said.

  In the past decade, the number of patients diagnosed with breast cancer annually at Beaumont Hospital has grown from 89 to 400. Approximately 9,000 patients are seen in the breast clinics annually putting huge pressure on hospital capacity. The need for a dedicated clinic is urgent, both to alleviate the patient volumes in the main hospital and to allow the hospital shape and define a uniquely, patient-focused service for people with breast issues.

  There are several ways you can support the Breast Clinic Appeal: You can make a donation; You can take part in one of the fundraising events or you can organise your own. Whatever you can do to help the organisers reach the €1 million target will be greatly appreciated. For full details on the fundraising campaign go to  beaumontfundraising.ie.

49th Roscommon Show takes place this Saturday









There was a good turnout for the official launch of the 49th Roscommon Industrial & Agricultural Show at Hannon’s Hotel last Thursday night. The show takes place this Saturday, August 17th at Hannon’s grounds on the Athlone Road in Roscommon town with a prize fund of €50,000 up for grabs across all classes.

  Special guest at last Thursday’s launch was Roscommon footballer Conor Devaney who praised the Roscommon Show committee for the hard work they do throughout the year.

  “I used to work with Damien and Ursula here at Hannon’s for a few years so I suppose I have an insight into the hard work and dedication that everyone here puts into making a show like this successful and it is always a huge success.

  “It’s amazing to see how all the sections (cattle, horses, home and farm produce, etc.) can come together. An event like this is usually the highlight in a rural town like Roscommon. There’s a sense of community here that everyone needs to engage with and we need to support events like this because it’ll be sustainable farming and small rural farming that is highlighted on weekends like this and that’s what we should be proud of.

  “I know that it’s going to be a great success because it always is and I’m honoured to be asked to come here,” he said.

  New Roscommon Show President Christy Tully welcomed those in attendance at last Thursday’s launch before highlighting the efforts being made by the show committee ahead of this year’s event.

  “I’d like to thank Chairman Damien Hannon and the Roscommon Show committee for nominating me as president. I have great confidence in Damien and the committee that this will be on of the best shows yet.

  “I would like to thank our main sponsors, committee members, exhibitors, HIS, ISA, Mayo/Roscommon Breeders’ Group and all breeder societies, and everyone else who helps in any way,” he said.

  Mr. Tully thanked the show’s sponsors including All Creatures Veterinary Clinic and the Hannon family for their continued support. The new President also paid tribute to former president and founding member, the late Joe Murphy, who passed away in October 18th 2018.

  Damien Hannon is in his second year as chairperson of Roscommon Show and he was once again effusive in his praise of the show’s committee.

  “Last year saw one of the biggest turnouts of spectators and exhibitors to date and was without a doubt a huge success for which we are all very proud. I would like to congratulate Christy (Tully) on his appointment as our new president and to sincerely thank our committee members for their hard work throughout the year in getting all the background work completed and our grounds ready for our big day,” he said.

  Mr. Hannon also expressed his gratitude and “sincere appreciation” to the show’s sponsors without whom he said, the show “could simply not survive and our day would not be viable”.

  “To our exhibitors, competitors, judges, stewards and spectators who together make our hard work worth all the sweat and tears,” he said.

  The chairperson added: “Finally, (thanks) to the many volunteers who are willing to give up their time in the days leading up to and on show day. We strongly believe that local shows have a valuable place in our community. I would like to wish you all a safe and successful year ahead and look forward to seeing you all on the 17th”.



Slow news story of the week: Murphy’s CAP reform



Local Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy nearly broke the Twitter machine on Tuesday when he took to the social media platform to issue some heartfelt encouragement to the nation’s students as they anxiously awaited their Leaving Certificate results.

  The Strokestown TD flicked the Caps Lock on for maximum effect and his message was received loud and clear across the country.

  Fellow Twitter users weren’t long in letting the TD know how they felt about his abbreviated message but Deputy Murphy took the feedback well and appears to have earned himself some new followers as a result.

  Reply of the day came from Jamie O’Keeffe (@jamieokeeffe73) who Tweeted: ‘CAP reform needed’.

  Eugene took to Twitter later that evening to assure his new fans that despite his new-found fame, he would continue to do Tweets his way!

– DD



Subscribe to this RSS feed