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Sun set to shine on 2019 Roscommon Easter Parade!




The annual Roscommon Easter Parade which takes place this Sunday (21st) is expected to coincide with an improvement in the weather! Spring will hopefully have sprung by 1 pm in the county town as spectators descend for one of the biggest events of the year.

  The parade will commence from Abbeytown before making its way to The Square via Abbey Street and Main Street.

  Organisers for this year’s parade expect stiff competition for awards in the following categories: Most Environmentally Aware, Best Overall, Best Community/Voluntary, Best Commercial, Most Entertaining, Judges’ Special Award and also a Best Window Display Award.

  Participants are asked to assemble in position at 12.15 pm at Abbeytown on Sunday ahead of the 1 pm start time and a final call for entries was issued earlier this week.

  This year’s parade promises to be bigger and better than ever and parade committee chairman Larry Brennan is looking forward to Sunday.

  “Thankfully, it looks like it will be a fine day on Sunday for this year’s parade. It’s a great opportunity for the different groups and organisations in Roscommon town to showcase all that’s good in the area.

  “We are lucky to have such an extremely hard-working committee who have been very generous with their time. We have been meeting regularly for the past three months and we have spent many hours bringing this parade together.

  “Easter Sunday is normally one of the busiest days in town in terms of the hospitality sector and this Sunday will be no different in that regard.

  “On that note, I’d just like to thank the entire Roscommon town business community for their support on behalf of the Roscommon Easter Parade committee. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Roscommon town this Sunday for another wonderful family day out at the Easter Parade,” he said.

Another vintage Strokestown Easter Parade





Strokestown is revving up for its 23rd Annual Easter Parade which will take off at 3 pm this Sunday (21st) and promises to have a distinctly ‘vintage’ feel. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Tradition’ and there will once again be a sizeable display of vintage vehicles and floats taking part.

  The Mid Roscommon Vintage Club will lead this year’s parade through the town with some very interesting vehicles set to be exhibited. There will be plenty of involvement from community groups also – and they always bring a bit of local pride to the event. Organisers have also confirmed that they are expecting an impressive turnout from the local farming community as well as local commercial interests.

  The Strokestown Easter Parade is once again under the auspices of the Strokestown Community Development Association and its Chairperson, Eugene Murphy TD, is looking forward to welcoming a large crowd to Strokestown this Sunday.

  “We are certainly rearing to go with our Easter Parade and I’m hoping that there will be a great crowd and fantastic atmosphere around town this Sunday. As always, there will be a number of marching bands and as visitors to previous parades can attest, they always add to the occasion and the carnival atmosphere in Strokestown on Easter Sunday,” he said.

  Deputy Murphy said that there would be plenty to see on the streets of Strokestown this Sunday. 

  “The carnival atmosphere will spread to the streets too and Bawn Street in particular will be filled with food stalls as well as some other stalls. In keeping with the traditional theme, there will be many vintage items in the town and we are hoping of welcoming a number of buskers to perform too,” he added.

  Over 30 floats have already been confirmed for this Sunday’s parade and the chairperson  confirmed that entries will be taken right up until 11 am on Easter Sunday. All voluntary groups can avail of free entry of course with a €25 charge for commercial floats.

  “I look forward to welcoming everyone to Strokestown this Easter Sunday for what promises to be another wonderful family day out. It will be a busy day in the town with our wonderful Easter Parade and of course the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Strokestown Park House”, chairperson Eugene Murphy concluded. 


Drama Group plough ‘A Lone Furrow’ at Lamb Festival




To coincide with the Roscommon Lamb Festival on the May Bank Holiday weekend, Roscommon Drama Group are performing ‘A Lone Furrow’, a period drama, in Roscommon Arts Centre on Circular Road.

  The play tells the story of Aleen Cust, the first qualified woman vet in Ireland and Britain. She had problems registering with the RCVS because she was a woman, but the Athleague-based vet, William Byrne, a council member, came to her rescue by employing her as his veterinary assistant. She eventually set up on her own in Athleague and Ballygar.

  The play, of great historical interest, is written by local author Tommy Murray. The premiere of this play is co-directed by Tom Costello and Brigeen Fitzmaurice and features Tom Holian playing William Byrne, Carol Murray as Aleen Cust and Con Connolly as Fr. Conry, the meddling parish priest. The housekeeper to both William and later Aleen is played by Bernie Maher who is also the narrator and the play has a supporting cast of over 25 local actors.

  The monument in front of the Old Jail in the Square, Roscommon was erected by his friends in memory of William Byrne. The play is on from the 2nd to the 4th of May inclusive and tickets are available at Roscommon Arts Centre costing €14/€12. Early booking is advisable at www.roscommonartscentre.ie or on 090-6625824.



Kathleen’s €70,000 win on Winning Streak



A local woman won a whopping €70,000 when she appeared on the National Lottery Winning Streak TV game show on RTÉ One last Saturday.

  Kathleen Coleman lives in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway but describes herself as a ‘blow-in’ despite living there for more than 40 years. She is originally from Creggs, but she moved to Ballinasloe when she got married to her late husband Danny, who sadly passed away just three years ago.

  Kathleen wasn’t near her phone and she wasn’t watching Winning Streak last Saturday evening week, and when she returned to her phone and saw a dozen missed calls she immediately thought something was wrong. It turned out that this was really good news. Kathleen admitted last week to feeling calm but struggling to get some sleep at night-time such was the excitement ahead of her Winning Streak appearance.

  Kathleen is mum to two adult children: Jason and Sharon, who were both excited to cheer their mum on from the audience. Kathleen is a grandmother to four grandsons, three of whom watched their grandmother from home: Morgan and twins Ben and Sam (8 months old), with the eldest, Charlie, cheering his gran on from the RTÉ audience. Also supporting Kathleen were her sisters, Anne and Margaret, as well as a number of other friends and family.

  Kathleen works in Klassic Cleaners in Roscommon town, where she has worked for more than 20 years.


County Fleadh this weekend in Ballaghaderreen


Ballaghaderreen is set to host its first Fleadh Cheoil in ten years this Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

  The weekend will kick off in Durkin’s at 8 pm on Good Friday with music and dancing with the Salamanca Céilí Band.

  Saturday and Sunday will see music, song and dance as part of the ‘Open Air on the Square’ in Ballaghaderreen Town Square from 4 pm to 7 pm each day.

  Easter Sunday will see the presentation of the Ceol Gradam award to local concert flute player, Kieran Donoghue, from Edmonstown, Ballaghaderreen.

  Bank Holiday Monday is competition day with a huge number of competitors set to take part under one roof at St. Nathy’s College. Craic, ceoil agus ól will flow from all the pubs over the four days and nights.

  Duffy’s SuperValu will also welcome all buskers to the shop throughout the weekend and the best voted act will receive a cash prize of €50!

  Accommodation is selling fast however so if you’re planning to go or have friends or family coming, book your accommodation as soon as possible!

  There are also a dozen food outlets and with everything from á la carte to gastro pubs, coffee shops, fast food and delis, you won’t go hungry!

  The organisers of this year’s County Fleadh cordially invite you to Ballaghaderreen this Easter Bank Holiday weekend for four days of wonderful music and entertainment.

Breakout for Hospice in Castlerea this weekend



The inaugural ‘Breakout for Hospice’ a major fundraiser by members of An Garda Síochána and the prison service in conjunction with Mayo Roscommon Hospice, will take place this Easter Saturday (20th) in Castlerea.

  There will be 120K, 70K and family cycles on the day as part of the day-long event which will also feature a family fun day including bouncy castles, face painting, an Easter Egg Hunt and a BBQ. The Garda Air Support unit will also be landing for a visit and so too will the Garda mounted and dog units.

  Later, the event will move on to Castlerea St. Kevin’s GAA Club for a challenge match between An Garda Síochána and The Irish Prison Service. Organisers will also welcome members of the Roscommon senior football panel who will be there to meet and greet the kids and pose for photos and sign autographs.

  Following the match, the organisers invite everyone back to Hester’s Golden Eagle for a great night’s entertainment with live music, an auction, raffle and food.

  On the night there will be some very special items up for auction including signed Irish and Connacht rugby jerseys courtesy of Connacht and Ireland star Bundee Aki.

  Those who would like to donate to the event or register for the cycle can do so at www.hospice.ie (Just follow the link for ‘Breakout for Hospice’). For more information, call 094-9388666 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Family fun this Easter at the Arts Centre



If you are looking for some fun family entertainment this Easter, check out ‘Princesses Can Be Pirates’ on Thursday, April 25th at 2 pm at Roscommon Arts Centre.

  This production for children aged 4+ years and families is a highly energetic, fun and enjoyable dance performance that seeks to playfully question and explore what is considered ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ behaviour for girls and for boys.

   Play is everything and everywhere, so brave or foolhardy, the two extraordinary performers join forces as they journey into unknown territory. In a series of lively scrapes and escapades, they swap toys and activities, in their question to defy stereotypes and break the norm. The world has much to offer and this duet celebrates it in a dynamic and humorous performance. Great for young and old alike.

  Tickets are €5 and are on sale now from box office on 090-6625824 and from roscommonartscentre.ie.

War of Independence Easter Commemoration



The Co. Roscommon IRA Commemoration Committee are holding their annual Easter Commemoration at the grave of Capt. John McGowan in Tibohine Cemetery on Easter Sunday, April 21st.

  John McGowan was taken from a neighbour’s house in Rathkeery, Frenchpark by Black and Tan forces a few nights before Christmas 1920 and brutally shot dead on the doorstep. John McGowan was captain of the local Tibohine IRA company and was 26-years-old when he was killed.

  The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Easter Sunday afternoon when a parade will assemble at Tibohine NS at 3.30 pm and, headed by a Colour Party and the Raheen Pipe Band, will then proceed to the graveside of John McGowan in Tibohine Cemetery. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place, the Roscommon Roll of Honour will be called out, and the Proclamation will be read. A piper’s lament will be played as the flags are dipped and raised and an oration will be delivered.

  The commemoration ceremony will also remember Capt. Thomas McDonagh, a native of Co. Sligo, who was killed in action in the Ratra Ambush near Frenchpark in 1920. Thomas McDonagh was shot dead in the ambush 99 years ago on September 1st, making him the first casualty as a result of the War of Independence in Co. Roscommon. The remains of Thomas McDonagh were buried in Temple Ronan Cemetery, Co. Sligo.

  Earlier in the day there will be a wreath-laying ceremony in Ballinlough. This ceremony will take place at the Republican Memorial after 12 o’clock Mass in the village.



Castlerea director brings ‘Furniture’ to the Arts Centre




Castlerea native, Cathal Cleary, will enjoy a homecoming of sorts next Tuesday and Wednesday (16th and 17th) when the Druid Theatre Company brings its production of Sonya Kelly’s ‘Furniture’ to the county town.

  37-year-old director Cleary studied drama at NUIG.

  “I was studying English and didn’t want to leave university. Drama had started at NUIG a couple of years earlier I think, so I said I’d give it a go. Over a year I got into it – I had fallen in love with it really. I saw a practical way of doing it as a director when I had finished at university,” he said.

  Cathal set up a company in 2006 with some friends and started honing his craft at Town Hall Theatre in Galway.

  “Mike Diskin, who has since sadly passed away, was always encouraging young directors and provided us with a stage there,” he added.

  Ireland in recession was a difficult place to forge new opportunities and so Cathal left for London in 2009.

  “I felt I had to learn a lot more about what it takes to be a director. I got my first job in 2010 and was involved with ‘Disco Pigs’ in 2011 and that gave me a foothold over in London.

  “I haven’t been back (with a production) for a long, long time and so I’m delighted that Druid and the Arts Centre are staging ‘Furniture’ over two nights. I was previously in the Arts Centre with ‘Factory Girls’ in 2007 and they always have a brilliant programme so I’m only delighted to be part of it,” he said.

  ‘Furniture’ is written by Sonya Kelly and features three 25-minute plays which delve into three different relationships. It has been described as “wickedly insightful” (The Irish Times), “laugh-out-loud funny” (The Sunday Times) and “whip smart” (The Irish Independent). 

  Original cast members Niall Buggy and Garrett Lombard reprise their roles of George and Michael respectively, with Kate Kennedy, Ruth McGill, Rory Nolan and Helen Norton completing the stellar cast.

  ‘Furniture’ is expected to sell out fast so contact the booking office at Roscommon Arts Centre on 090-6625824 now.


What’s the story, Rory?


Rory’s Stories in Roscommon Arts Centre


Rory O’Connor is Ireland’s favourite online funnyman and a best-selling author, otherwise known through his social media sketches as Rory’s Stories. 

  Rory’s Stories takes a hilarious and frank look at every aspect of Irish life. From the GAA to the Gardaí and everything in between, Rory’s quick comedic wit perfectly captures what it means to be Irish. 

  Bringing his sketches to life in his stand-up shows, he has sold out venues across Ireland, and even as far as Australia and the Middle East.

  Don’t miss Rory’s Stories, live at Roscommon Arts Centre on Wednesday, May 15th at 8 pm.

Tickets are on sale now from box office on 090-66 25824 and from www.roscommonartscentre.ie.



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