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‘The First Protestant’ arrives in Tulsk




Playwright and actor, Gerry Farrell, has been a psychotherapist for the past 41 years. He also has a love of the arts and history and is often found with his head in a historical biography. It was his passion for history which led him to renew acquaintances with the formidable, and some would say controversial, historical figure, Martin Luther. This led to the birth of ‘The First Protestant’, a play about the man who made a stand against the overwhelmingly powerful Catholic Church.

  The play, which runs in Macra Hall in Tulsk this Friday night (12th) develops the story through a psychological dual between the pious monk Martin Luther, played by Michael Roper and the atheist ‘Analyst’ played by Gerry Farrell, who is loosely based on Freud.

  The play has been described as “a play for our times” and has received hugely positive feedback including standing ovations on its last outing. The Roscommon audience is certainly in for a treat this Friday.

  The First Protestant, in association with Splodar Theatre Company, stars Michael Roper as Martin Luther and Gerry Farrell As ‘Analyst’ and is directed by Prin Duignan. It will play Macra Hall, Tulsk this Friday (12th) at 8 pm. Call 087-9972770 for booking/further information.






People Watching - October 12th



3 People who made us smile this week…


1. Oisin’s Naughton Award!

Former CBS Roscommon student, Oisín Stephens was awarded a Naughton Foundation scholarship worth €20,000 at a ceremony in Trinity College Biomedical Science Institute in Dublin last Saturday.

  The award was presented by founding patrons of The Naughton Foundation, Dr. Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel, who were joined by Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton.

  Oisín has accepted a place at Trinity College studying Physical Sciences. Oisín’s former school, CBS Roscommon, was also presented with a prize of €1,000 in the day towards science facilities.


2. Harmac’s double celebrations

Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice paid tribute to major Castlerea employer Harmac Medical this week as the firm celebrated 20 years in operation.

  Cllr. Fitzmaurice offered his congratulations to staff on their 20th year and highlighted “the huge role” played by Managing Director Mick McEnroe over the years.

  He said: “The facility in Castlerea has created employment for many people from all over west Roscommon and the boost to the local economy is huge. I’m sure Harmac will keep expanding in Castlerea and we will be back for the next celebration in ten years”.

  It was a week to remember for Harmac CEO and President John Somers, who was honoured by Athlone Institute of Technology with a ‘Distinguished Fellowship’ award at Roscommon County Council offices last Thursday.


3. Gracious winners and losers

St. Mary’s of Tulsk landed the Roscommon Ladies Intermediate title following a 5-13 to 2-4 win over Kilglass Gaels in Ballyleague last Sunday.

  It was St. Mary’s’ Louise Brady and Kilglass Gaels’ Mikaela McHugh who caught photographer Michelle Hughes-Walsh’s eye as they consoled/congratulated each other at the full-time whistle.


Bad Week

It was a bad week for Conor McGregor and his fans as the UFC superstar was defeated in Las Vegas by Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia. McGregor is rumoured to have made at least $3 million from that bout though so perhaps that will soften the blow!


Good Week

It was a good week for seven towns and villages in Co. Roscommon following the announcement of €780,000 in funding through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.


Our person(s) of the week


Our person(s) of the week are the Athleague senior hurlers who ended an 11-year wait for a Roscommon senior title with a win over local rivals Four Roads.


Quote of the week


“I need to consider whether or not to put my name forward. With any such decision…you want what’s best for Fine Gael representation in Roscommon/Galway…ultimately that will be a decision for Fine Gael members at convention…with regard to my own decision, I have to decide what’s best” – Senator Maura Hopkins (See page 18)


Something for the Halloween Holidays…



Roscommon Arts Centre will partner with Ceol Connected to present the first ever Tradoodle Roscommon, an exciting two-day traditional arts event for children which takes place at the centre during the October school holidays.

  On Monday, October 29th there are two performances of A Winter Wish, a theatre piece for ages 3+ set in a magical forest. The shows are at 11 am and 12.30 pm. The 11 am show is a multi-sensory performance for children with special needs and capacity is limited.

  Also taking place on the Bank Holiday Monday is a seán nos dancing workshop entitled ‘Feet To The Beat’ which takes place from 2 pm – 3 pm and is suitable for ages 3+. There will be lots of fun and games and a chance for children to create and show off their fancy footwork.

  On Tuesday, October 30th there are three events taking place at the centre. ‘Deep Sea Shadows’ will show you how to make your very own shadow puppet and it takes place from 11 am – 1 pm for ages 7+. The ‘Under The Sea Session’ at 1 pm – 2 pm encourages all young musicians to bring along their instruments and dancing shoes to this session, where, led by experienced traditional musicians, children can join in the fun while their families watch.

  At 2 pm there is a family theatre show called ‘The Wonderful Tune’ which is a captivating, moving show which weaves together traditional music, song, puppetry and animation. Told through the eyes of Maggie Connor and her son Maurice, ‘the king of all the pipers in Ireland’, this is a show which will have everyone singing along!

  For more information on this two-day festival or to book tickets contact the

arts centre on 090-6625824 or check out www.roscommonartscentre.ie





The People’s weekend diary - October 12th




Fuerty Fair this Sunday

The Fair of Fuerty takes place this Sunday (14th) with something for the whole family to enjoy at the fair green opposite Dalton’s Pub. There will once again be food and musical entertain amid an old-style atmosphere typical of fair days gone by featuring horses, donkeys, livestock, pigs, and fowl as well as a large selection of shop stalls and local produce with free admission and prizes up for grabs.

Sound of music in Strokestown

Féile Strokestown returns to the County Roscommon town this weekend with a number of performances and sessions scheduled for venues throughout the town.

  Féile kicks off on Friday with a special concert in memory of the late John Donoghue, and will continue through the weekend with highlights including a Session Trail and a very special concert from the Keane brothers and Garry O’Briain on Saturday night at The Percy French Hotel.

One act plays in Knockcroghery

Roscommon Drama Group will host two one act plays in Culleen Hall, Knockcroghery this Friday night (12th) at 8 pm. Tickets cost €10 and can be purchased at the door. Sean Cox will direct ‘The Stanley Parkers’ by Geraldine Aron and Mairead Nally will direct ‘None the Wiser’ by Anthony Booth. The drama group would appreciate your support!





New project to enhance Suck angling




Inland Fisheries Ireland will support a new project at Athleague, Co. Roscommon which will enhance the river bank on the River Suck. The project, which will be funded under the Midland Fisheries Fund, will be managed by Athleague Tidy Towns and will encourage anglers of all abilities to the site. 

  In June, Inland Fisheries Ireland announced the opening of The Midland Fisheries Fund through the National Strategy for Angling Development Scheme 2018 with a €550,000 fund available for suitable projects. The project in Athleague will see an investment of €14,874 by Inland Fisheries Ireland which will improve the site.

  Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development said: “The National Strategy for Angling Development Scheme supports projects nationwide, such as this one in Roscommon, which is focusing on improving our inland fisheries and sea angling resource. We look forward to supporting the delivery of this project in Roscommon this year”.

Boyle guitarist releases new album





Boyle based guitarist Frankie Simon has released a new 16-track album titled ‘Ireland West Guitar’. The album features original compositions by Frankie along with his own arrangements of traditional tunes.                                                                                                                   

  As a guitarist, he says his technique is to a great extent influenced by players of other instruments, particularly the flute players of north Roscommon/south Sligo. On some tune selections Frankie is accompanied by the excellent musicianship of Padraig McGovern (pipes), Matt McGranaghan (fiddle) and Paul Gurney (accordion).                                                                                                                                       Lending an eclectic dimension to the album are two tracks ‘The Blue Grasshopper’ and ‘The Tempest/The Cherokee’ which nod in the direction of Bluegrass.                                                                     

  Videos of Frankie playing one of the CD’s fiery selections are available on his website. The album is available on CD or as a download with 10 bonus tracks from www.irelandwestguitar.com.


Social Inclusion Week starts Monday!



Roscommon County Council invites you to Roscommon Social Inclusion Week 2018, which takes place from Monday 15th to Saturday 20th. The aim of the event is to promote a greater awareness of social inclusion throughout the county and the organisers have a bumper line-up organised this year.  

  There are a wide array of events covering a multitude of topics over the course of the week including: Mental Health Awareness; Age & Ability Friendly Awareness event; art, creative cooking, fitness and music workshops; nature tours; socially inclusive sports event with Roscommon FAI officer; multi-cultural storytelling; Men’s and Women’s Sheds open days.

  There will also be a number of information sharing events, coffee mornings and open days with socially inclusive groups and service providers across the county.

  For further information contact Colm Kelly, Community Integration Officer, Roscommon County Council at 090-6637259, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log onto www.roscommoncoco.ie for full programme.



Stay safe while getting cosy this winter








Whether you’re living in a state-of-the-art new build or a charming, characterful period property, the fact is, when it comes to heating your home this winter, there are several safety checks that need to be taken into consideration. And so, while we’re no health and safety experts, we have put together a few guidelines regarding what we believe to be some responsible and simple suggestions our valued readers can take on board in order to help raise their awareness when it comes to heating their homes this winter.

  We cannot stress the importance of having both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors fitted to your homes. If however, you’ve already installed these devices, make sure to check them regularly and keep those spare working batteries within easy reach.

  When keeping the home fires burning, it’s important to only use the appropriate, manufacturer recommended fuels. For example, if you’re using an open fire/stove, do not burn household waste, especially plastics or magazines which can emit toxic pollutants that can negatively impact on air quality both within your home and in your neighbourhood. We would also recommend you don’t burn any wood from a garden fence/gate/decking you replaced during the summer for the simple reason; you may have treated it with certain chemicals that could be dangerous within the confines of your home.

  In addition, burning waste can actually result in damage to your fire and chimney; which you should have cleaned annually.

  If you live with children/the elderly, please ensure you have a reliable spark guard and never empty ashes into your bins until you are sure they are fully cooled.

  If you want to amp up the heat in a room, using a portable electric heater is a good idea, however, never leave them unattended, and never place them beside anything flammable, for example furniture or curtains or indeed, a full clothes horse! Please do make sure to always purchase a heater that’s been tested, is certified and displays the CE mark which means the product conforms to all applicable health, safety and environmental protection standards of the EU and of the Member State in which it was purchased.

  If you’re someone who uses an electric blanket to warm their tooties, (I prefer my hot water bottle), do bear in mind that, while electric blankets can keep you cosy, like all appliances that generate heat, there are risks involved; especially when they’re either misused, or damaged. With that in mind, please observe the following tips: Inspect your blanket before you plug it in and check for exposed wires, tears, or scorch marks. If there are signs of damage, bin it!

  While we know the newer, more sophisticated electric blanket models come with a timer that allows you to fall asleep before it goes off, we’d advise you make sure yours is switched to the ‘off’ setting before your head even hits that pillow.


Keane brothers and Garry O’Briain in concert




For the first time ever, brothers Seán and James Keane will join Garry O’Briain in concert at The Percy French Hotel.

  James Keane is a composer, storyteller and masterful musician. As one of Ireland’s finest performers, Keane has evolved the standards of accordion playing around world.

  Seán Keane, a native of Dublin, grew up in a home steeped in the traditional music of Ireland. His parents were both traditional fiddlers and he began playing the fiddle at a young age.

  He displayed his talents at an early age and was sent to the Dublin School of Music where he received classical training. However, traditional music began to take over his playing and he soon left the classical.

  He soon became one of the most talented young musicians in Ireland winning a score of awards including first place in the All-Ireland Championships and the prestigious Fiddler of Dooney competition, earning him the title of master fiddler.

  Garry O’Briain is one of the most distinguished and sought-after accompanists in Irish traditional music. His distinctive style on mando-cello, guitar and piano is instantly recognizable.

  He has been a member of a number of landmark Irish music ensembles, including Skylark and Buttons and Bows, and is a member of the legendary Scottish-Irish band, The Boys of the Lough. His list of recordings as a session player is extensive; he has written music for stage, film and television, as well as over a hundred songs.

  This is a concert not to be missed as, for the first time ever, these three wonderful musicians will perform in concert together. Tickets are €20 and doors open at 7.30 pm on Saturday, October 13th at The Percy French Hotel.

  For more information, log onto www.feilestrokestown.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Féile Strokestown returns next weekend



Féile Strokestown will return to the Co. Roscommon town for the fifth year next weekend with a jam-packed programme of events taking place from Friday, October 12th to Sunday, October 14th.

  The festival of music will officially open on Friday, October 12th at 8 pm with a tribute concert to the late Joe Donoghue of the Killina Céilí band. The Raheen Pipe Band, of which Joe was also a member, will march from Bawn Street’s gates to The Percy French Hotel from 7.45 pm.

  On Saturday evening at 8 pm, brothers Seán and James Keane will join Garry O’Briain for a special concert from 8 pm to 11 pm in The Percy French Hotel. Admission on Saturday evening is €20 and doors open at 7.30 pm.

  Sunday, 14th will see ‘Songs and Stories of Percy French’ from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and the final day of Féile will also include a performance from the renowned Tulla Céilí Band from Co. Clare. The band, which has been in existence for over 60 years, will perform a set dancing céilí from 4 pm to 7 pm.

  For more information on this year’s Féile Strokestown visit www.feilestrokestown.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For telephone enquiries call 086-8546433.




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