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Launch of County Roscommon Fleadh Cheoil 2018


Dr. Labhrás Ó Murchú to perform honours!


Castlecoote-Fuerty Fleadh Cheoil Committee under the auspices of Athleague Branch of Comhaltas Ceolteóirí Eireann are delighted to announce that Dr. Labhrás Ó Murchú, Director General of CCE has accepted an invitation to launch Fleadh Cheoil Co. Roscomáin on Friday, March 2nd at 8 pm in Castlecoote Lodge Bar & Replica Dail & Seanad Lounge, Castlecoote, Roscommon.

  The 2018 County Roscommon Fleadh will take place in Castlecoote/Fuerty on Easter Sunday (1st) and Monday (2nd) of April.

  Committee meetings under Chair of PJ Naughton will take place every Thursday night at 8 pm. The next meeting will take place at Joe Gately’s, Dalton’s Lounge, Fuerty tonight (Thursday 15th).

  At the last meeting, in Castlecoote Lodge, over thirty members of CCE from Athleague, Castlecoote, Fuerty and executive members from throughout the county attended to plan Fleadh Cheoil Roscomáin, 2018.

  There was great enthusiasm when PRO Senator Terry Leyden announced that Dr. Labhrás Ó Murchú, Director General, CCE had accepted an invitation to launch Fleadh Cheoil Co. Roscomáin 2018, the first Fleadh to be held in 2018 throughout Ireland.



Time to clean it up and clear it out!



There is no better feeling than waking up on a Roscommon morning to see the sun shining on the delicate heads of the newly-born daffodils and crocuses whose breakthrough blooms hail the beginning of longer days and shorter nights.  

  However, much as I adore the sun and welcome its arrival it also tends to show up every single dust particle and dog hair that floats around my house meaning my hoover goes into overdrive and my shopping list items consist of dusters, furniture polish, and every other cleaning product you can think of, setting me into Mrs. Doyle overdosing on Pharmaton capsules mode, as I go on a mad bender to get my house ready to greet the sun!

  And so, if you’re looking forward to new beginnings this spring but just lack that bit of  motivation to get you started, don’t worry, we’ve got some useful tips we hope will help.

Festive fallout

If your Christmas decorations are still hidden behind the sofa, get them packed safely into a box and put them in the attic now! I mean, how lazy are you? And no, the green tinsel will not double as a St. Patrick’s Day garland.


Stop avoiding the recycling centre. Nobody believes your “I’m going to create a herb garden with my empty five litre water bottles,” or your “I’m going to make lamps from my recycled wine bottles,” excuses!

  Look, you’ve guzzled down those bottles of delicious Argentinian Malbec, now the least you can do is wash them out and bring them, along with your jam jars and yogurt cartons, down to the local recycling centre.


Your wardrobe looks like an explosion in a charity shop’s store room; meaning you know it’s time to set aside a Saturday, wade in and sort through the detritus before it gets any worse.

  Now while we know parting with that retro winter coat from the 1970s is such sweet sorrow, the fact is you can’t pull it off any longer, let it go and either donate it or bin it.

  While you’re in the bedroom, unless ‘Cousin It’ has come to stay, those hairs in your ensuite shower tray have no right living there. Remove them before they block the drains. Ditto with the soap scum build-up on your shower door. And yes, we know you have ‘hard water’ and we know the kids love etching smiley faces into the dirt, but come on…even you must realise things have gotten out of hand, so clean it now.


If there are more items past their ‘use by’ date lurking in your fridge, now’s the time to bin them because stale food can actually pollute fresh food, and that’s not healthy, nor is it economical. Shame on you.








The inaugural Craig Connolly Memorial Walk/Run



A memorial fun run and 5k walk will take place in Roscommon town on Saturday, February 24th to remember Craig Connolly, a much-loved family man and local businessman who passed away last year following a heart attack at the age of 35.

  The event has been organised by Craig’s wife Tracey and his former business partner and friend Cathal Dineen, who co-owned the Full Body Workhouse gym with Craig.

  Tracey explained the inspiration behind the memorial walk.

  “To tie in all the things that were important to Craig – his children, his family, the business, the gym and health and fitness – we decided to that we would have this family run or walk, whichever people want to do, and that it will be in Roscommon on the weekend of his first anniversary”.

  The 5km run/walk is a family event, which will be staged in a loop around Roscommon town, leaving from the Full Body Workhouse on the Lanesboro Road on Saturday 24th.

  Proceeds from the event will go towards Croí and to Crumlin Children’s Hospital where Craig’s son Senan (2) has been under the care of the respiratory team since he was ten months old.

  Cathal Dineen also has his own reasons for supporting Crumlin Children’s Hospital. His niece Rebecca was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 7 and sadly lost her ten-year battle last month, aged just 17.

  “I’d like to encourage people to come out and remember Craig next Saturday while also supporting two very worthy causes,” Cathal said.

  As well as the 5k run/walk there will also be a monster raffle on the day with free entry for those who enter the run/walk. Those who sign up for the event online will also be added into a special draw exclusively for online sign-ups where they can win a whole host of fantastic prizes.

  Organisers of the event have said they are deeply grateful to the dozens of businesses who have shown their support in recent weeks. Proceeds from the raffle will also go to Croí and Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The draws will take place following the memorial walk/run back at Full Body Workhouse. Refreshments will also be available.

  A monster auction will also take place on the day with various signed rugby, soccer and GAA jerseys up for grabs as well as tickets for Manchester United v Arsenal at Old Trafford and a Celtic match at Parkhead.

  Sponsorship cards are also available and entry fees are €25 per individual, €40 for a family of two adults and two children and €15 for students and OAPs.

  For further information contact 085-7348000, log onto the Craig Connolly Memorial Facebook page or sign up at https://www.iregister.ie/v2/events/craig-connolly-memorial-walk-run/.


He loves me…he loves me not! Take our (just for fun) quiz!


Shakespeare said…‘the course of true love never did run smooth.’ Well let’s be honest, it doesn’t now, does it! And, for any Shakespeare snobs (like me) who’re reading this, you’ll know the quote is from Act 1, Scene 1, said by Lysander to Hermia, in the Bard’s fabulous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

  Therefore, if you want to find out if the course of your own true love is going to run smooth, or disastrously crash and burn, we suggest you take a look at our (just for fun) top ten guidelines, and decide for yourself if this Valentine’s Day will end in a happy and successful romance or a sad case of kick-in-the-gut rejection!

  First of all remember, he may be the shy type who’s not entirely comfortable dropping the L bomb fifty times a day, and, as actions speak louder than words, in order to know if he’s definitely your Mr Right, just ask yourself these following questions:


Does he send you a text each morning? Are you the first thing on his mind? He loves you.


Does he go out of his way and inconvenience himself just to make sure you’re happy and sorted? He loves you.


Does he make you his priority? He loves you.


Does he give you his undivided attention, so much so, everyone else around you is in no doubt you’re together? He loves you.


Is he okay with public displays of affection (PDAs) such as holding your hand, putting a protective arm around you, staying close to you to show he’s with you and unavailable to others? He loves you.


Does he check up on you several times a day? He’s a manipulative stalker…dump him! Only joking! When your partner wants to know if you got into work safely, how your day is going, how your work presentation went and how you’re feeling, etc., he loves you.


Does he keep you in the loop regarding his own plans? He loves you.


Does he value your opinion? He loves you.


Does he immediately ask you what’s wrong if you’re looking upset? He loves you.


Does he actually tune in and listen to what you’re saying? Really? No…really? Wow, he’s a keeper and…he loves you.

If you’ve answered yes to all of the above…it’s highly likely you’re in the right relationship, (although we are no experts), but we congratulate you because your future looks like it’s going to be full of happiness and romance, and you’re going to have an amazing Valentine’s Day…you lucky sod!



Helping your loved one ease into their new care home environment



If you’re facing the prospect of making the decision to move your beloved, elderly relative from their family home into a care or nursing home, we sincerely empathise because we would imagine you’re facing one of the toughest choices you’ll ever have to make.  However, in order to try and help you to help them make that transition from their own familiar surroundings, friendly faces and regular routines into a totally alien, (and possibly frightening), unsettling  situation, just that bit easier, we’ve put together what we hope are some helpful tips.

Chat with staff and care workers: Take your relative for a cup of tea to chat with the staff and find out about the care home’s routine. Make sure staff know your relative’s little quirks, likes and dislikes. For example, if they like to eat lunch in their room rather than in a dining room, if they don’t like certain foods, if they enjoy reading before they go to sleep, etc. You could, if you had the time, offer to volunteer a few hours a week and get involved in your relative’s new home’s social activities.

Have a checklist: Make a list of questions, and important dos and don’ts. You want this transition to be a positive and happy experience for both of you, but mainly for your relative and if they aren’t one hundred per cent satisfied and content with their standard of care, follow procedure and make a complaint. If the situation that’s worrying you is not resolved immediately, (and it may be hygiene, their personal care procedure and quality, or indeed the staffs’ behaviour, etc.) then please make alternative arrangements for your relative. This may mean their immediate removal from the situation.

Take a tour: Walk your relative around the garden, the public areas, the dining room and the manager’s office, etc., and make sure they have their bearings and don’t feel scared they may get lost in this new building that has now become their home.

Visit when you say you will: Don’t let them down and stick to your visiting promises. In addition, take your relative out for a few hours or even take them home for an overnight stay so that they’ll get a change of scene and can be reassured that everything at home remains the same.

Stay connected: Get your relative a mobile ‘phone and make sure they always have plenty of credit in the event they need to contact you in an emergency, or simply because they want to hear your reassuring voice.

Above all: Keep the lines of communication open with both your relative and care staff. If you don’t have regular conversations with both, you’ll end up in a crisis situation resulting in a confused relative and a chaotic mess.

Remember: No parent wants to burden their adult children, meaning they may hide certain issues and health concerns from them. However, if you keep talking, assure them you’re on their side and you’re working with them (not against them), they’ll be more likely to understand you (and the care staff) only have their wellbeing at heart.


Our top five tips for trimming that wedding guest list!


Congratulations, you’ve got everything sorted, now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of planning the all-important (but argument-inducing) guest list; and I for one don’t envy you. You see, if you’re paying for the big day yourself, then of course you have the monopoly, but the second you put down a deposit with mammy and daddy’s money, then I’m afraid you’ve handed over at least half of your guest list privileges to them, the financial contributors, and that’s gonna generate a headache or three.

  However, it doesn’t have to escalate into all-out war, this is meant to be a happy occasion after all, and we believe that with a bit of diplomacy and creativity, as well as round table talks, you can work through your guest list, arriving at a reasonable conclusion that suits everyone. With some tactical (and tactful) planning, research and creativity, you can figure out all of your wedding guest list challenges.

  Mind you, we have no solution for your workmate  who disgracefully arrives in a floor-length white satin gown accessorised with a tiara; or your in-laws who rock up with their badly-behaved triplet toddlers when they knew you had a ‘no kids’ policy on your big day!

Here’s what we do know…

1. The dream team: Forget about your budget and cut-off point, just for a laugh, make a list of your desired guests; you never know, you may not even hit your limit, and if you do, you can always trim it back according to the ‘must haves.’

2. The A Team: When did you last see them, socialise with them, speak with them on the ‘phone? If it’s been more than a year, and you can’t imagine seeing them for another year, then it’s time to delete.

3. The rellies: If they’re immediate family (and even if you can’t stand them), they must make the cut and receive an invitation.

4. The colleagues: I’m afraid it’s all or nothing here. You cannot invite one or two from your office and ignore the rest. Unless one of your co-workers is your BFF, then you could make an exception. Of course if you’re having a big do, then you should always invite your boss. If it’s a small gathering, as in close family only, you could get away with not inviting the man/woman who pays your wages.

5. The kids: I’m a firm believer in the ‘no kids policy’ at weddings, but that’s me. However if you’re going down that route, do make certain to alert parents by clearly marking all invitations with  the names of adults only, and follow that up with a polite ‘phone call or a chat over a coffee in plenty of time to allow them make alternative babysitting arrangements. There should be no ambiguity when it comes to the ‘kids-or-no-kids’ rule, and if you feel an obstinate guest is likely to arrive with the sprogs, buggies, sterilisers, travel cots and car seats in tow, then grow a set and make that (diplomatic) call now!



What’s in a (Confirmation) name?


For those of us born into the Catholic religion, and who receive the sacrament of Confirmation, choosing the name of a Saint is an integral part of the whole process. In a way, it’s meant to help us identify our own strengths and weaknesses.

  For example, when I was confirmed I chose the name Clare in honour of Saint Clare of Assisi whose feast day falls on 11th of August, (by coincidence only days after my own birthday). But my reasons for taking Clare’s name weren’t religious, nor had they anything to do with the August connection, they were actually spiritual and due to the fact Clare was one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

  Now at the time, most of my classmates were choosing the name Thérèse in honour of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, but as I’m actually christened Miriam-Thérèse, after ‘the little flower,’ and I adore animals, (the kids call me Dr Diva Doolittle), Clare was a no-brainer for me. So, now ya know.

  And so, as it’s a custom to choose a Saint’s name, I suppose we really should encourage our kids to try to honour someone who has proved inspirational in their lives, someone whom, if they were alive today, could teach our kids a lot about using their wisdom and insights to try and shape those around us, so that maybe, just maybe, the world would become a better place. Then again, your kid could have fun and choose a name the Bishop will have huge trouble pronouncing! Oops; I’m going straight to hell, aren’t I!

  Below are some of this year’s inspirational front-runners; see if your darling identifies with any of them. And no they’re not Bear or Apple.

Patrick – The whippersnapper patron saint of green Guinness, dodgy hats, colourful parades and scourge of snakes.

Peter – Leader of the pack, well the 12 disciples; he was really called Simon, but apparently Jesus nicknamed him Peter; however, as he became the very first Pope, we could say St Peter was a bit of a trendsetter.

Bridget – Having been stored in the attic since the 1950s, the name Bridget is back with a bang. This solid role model for all young Irish girls is a bit of a latter day Martha Stewart who fashioned her iconic cross from rushes, which is said to ward off evil and hunger. Brigid was also instrumental in persuading so called pagans to embrace Catholicism, making her the Superwoman of her era.

Bernadette Soubirous – A stunningly beautiful teenager who became the media sensation of her time, so to speak. At age 14 when Bernadette witnessed a series of life-changing visions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, her parents were morto and told her to get a grip, however the stubborn teen ignored them and continued to visit what is now a place of worship and miraculous healings. 



Quigleys raise €4,380 for Simon Community


Maria and Catherine Quigley from Weekfield, Co. Roscommon held a 24-hour Sleep-Out Roscommon town in aid of the Simon Community last December.

  The ladies raised €4,380 and were delighted to present the cheque to the Galway Simon Community recently.

  Maria and Catherine would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated and supported them during the sleep-out.

Fundraiser for Blood Bikers West


As part of their Young Social Innovators Project, a group of students from the Convent of Mercy Secondary School in Roscommon town will host a table quiz night in aid of Blood Bikers West on Thursday, February 8th at 7.30 pm in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town. Blood Bikers West is a non-profit organistation in which people volunteer to drive blood units, platelets and other important medical components, out of hours between laboratories and hospitals all around Ireland. Blood Bikers are not funded by the HSE and rely 100% on the generosity of the general public.  The Convent of Mercy’s YSI class want to raise awareness of the vital service the Blood Bikers provide and to raise money so that they can continue with their wonderful work.

  All support would be greatly appreciated on Thursday, February 8th at the Abbey Hotel. Entry is €10 per person (Table of four €40) and there will be lots of spot prizes on the night.



Valentine’s Day is for everyone


Valentine’s Day is not just for those bouquet-carrying, chocolate-binging, champagne-swilling, high on romance junkies; nay it’s for everyone. It’s a day for spreading the love; a day when we should all be able to feel free to tell that special someone just how much we cherish them.

  And so, if you want to express your admiration or esteem for someone this year, whether that’s a friend, a parent, a relative or indeed a work colleague who has helped you out, then why not choose this Valentine’s Day to do it.

 Here are some gift suggestions:

Flowers: While roses are generally linked to romance, seasonal blooms like tulips or daffodils or dainty snowdrops can make for a beautiful way to say ‘I’m thinking of you’ or ‘you make my days brighter,’ or indeed, ‘thank you.’

Dinner: A takeaway from your favourite ‘go to’ local and a bottle of wine, recommended by your neighbourhood off-licence, followed by an indulgent ‘cheat day’ dessert and a good blockbuster on the telly could be the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day with a friend or family member. You see, it’s the little things that often make a huge difference, and we’ll bet this gesture will melt that special someone’s heart at the mere fact you’ve thought of them. 

A parent/grandparent: Your mam/dad/grandparent will always be your first love, your first Valentine, so why not get a nice personalised cushion with a photo of you both on it; or a photo of their favourite pet. Then again, if mammy/nana’s a neat freak, (see self), a set of coasters showcasing her kids’/grandkids’ cherub like little faces will be most welcome. It’s up to you to decide whichever you think will get the most ‘aaaahhhh’ reaction.

Keepsake: A beautiful, sentimental parent/child ornament that mammy/daddy/grandparent can keep on the mantelpiece to remind them how much you love them will defo generate brownie points.

Your bestie: If you’re single (by choice or circumstance), then perhaps the best way to celebrate this day is to go out on the town with your BFF. Have dinner, enjoy a few drinks, take in a show or go to the movies; it’s your choice, it’s your day of fun. Oh but don’t forget to bring along a little ‘I appreciate you’ gift for your pal and partner in crime. What about a quirky, handbag-sized bottle of perfume/aftershave, or a selection of bath bombs in different fruit flavours. Then again, a pair of fluffy jammies and a voucher from his/her favourite takeaway would really say you’re their best bud for life!

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