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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

More than we bargained for? Storm Ali packed a punch…




Maybe it’s the changing climate (presumably that’s a big factor!), or maybe it’s due to increased media coverage playing tricks with our minds, but the last few years certainly seem to have presented us with more major ‘weather events’ than in the past.

  Yet, our experience in Roscommon, and in other parts of the country, has often been that the promised storm is never quite as ferocious as had been expected.

  That was certainly the case with Storm Emma, less so perhaps with Hurricane Ophelia. In general, we have become used to the hype before the ‘event’ not quite being fully lived up to by the actual event, which is of course a good thing.

  That wasn’t the case on Wednesday morning however, when Storm Ali – which I certainly thought we had been less forewarned about than in the case of previous ‘weather events’ – fairly battered the county (and country).  

  8.20 am on Wednesday morning in the Healy household, and the fact that our bins were not upside down in the garden was encouraging, but actually gave a false indication of just what was ‘blowing up’.

  On the school run a half an hour or so later, it was very quickly evident that, whatever about the stubborn resilience of our bins, Storm Ali actually packed quite a punch.

  I think just about everyone in Roscommon was taken by surprise. At the Fuerty Road roundabout in Roscommon town, and where it links with the Lough Road, there were a number of trees felled, leading to real concern for early-morning motorists in this busy area (where so many schools are located).

  It was much the same story throughout the county, with reports of several trees succumbing to the fierce winds.  

  Some smaller roads were blocked and early reports suggest that Roscommon County Council and other services were very quick to respond throughout Wednesday.

  All morning the storm raged to the point where it really wasn’t safe for motorists or pedestrians to be out and about. Tragically, as we go to press, the storm has claimed two lives…one in Galway, one in Newry.

  By late afternoon in Roscommon, the weather had changed to intermittent heavy rain.

  Back at the Healy household, the garden was now strewn with several large branches after the winds caused some carnage. Inside, news too…a power cut. By all accounts, a power cut that has affected hundreds of houses and businesses in the area.

  The bins were still standing – but the house was in darkness. Maybe I’ve been following the wrong media the last few days, but it looks like Storm Ali is one ‘weather event’ that has more than lived up to pre-event warnings.

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TD’s personal experience of A&E ‘crisis’



A local TD says his own mother’s difficult experience in a local A&E Unit last weekend has further brought home to him the extent to which the health service is in “crisis”.

  Deputy Eugene Murphy says his 82-year-old mother was left sitting on a chair in the Emergency Department at Portiuncula Hospital for twelve hours.

  The Fianna Fáil TD says overcrowding and long waiting periods continue to be an issue at the hospital where “the trolley crisis is now a year-round emergency”.

  Deputy Murphy: “There was always an issue with overcrowding during winter months due to seasonal flu, but now the trolley crisis seems to be going on throughout the year.

  “Only last week my own 82-year-old mother had to wait for over 12 hours sitting on a chair in the Emergency Department of Portiuncula Hospital. She was sitting from 6.30 pm on a Friday evening until after 7 am on Saturday morning. Apart from the obvious discomfort, there was no vending or coffee machine working in the Emergency Department waiting area and my mother was also very concerned about a number of children who spent the night in buggies waiting in the ED.

  “I must stress that this isn’t just about my mother but it’s an issue for so many families who find themselves or their loved ones in these situations”.

  Deputy Murphy said that the staff, “who are working under extreme conditions” were excellent.

  Deputy Murphy said the process of discharging patients who are well enough to go home or to a step-down facility must be speeded up. He also called for “idle” wards in Irish hospitals to be opened up. Deputy Murphy called on Health Minister Simon Harris and the HSE to outline their plans for the forthcoming winter.


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Clock face removed in nick of time!


The Roscommon Fire Brigade were called to St. Coman’s Church in Roscommon town on Tuesday in order to remove one of the four clock faces in the church’s steeple which appeared to be damaged and in danger of falling.

  The clock face was removed by members of the Fire Brigade after they closed off Henry Street on Tuesday afternoon.

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Peatlands funding to benefit local groups




Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has said that €73,267 is to be provided to seven community groups across Roscommon and Galway under the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme 2018.  “In Roscommon, €20,315 is to be provided to Gorthaganny Community Development Ltd for interpretative facilities at the community centre and local road improvement works; Kilteevan Tidy Towns is to receive €17,000 for upgrades to the Cloonlarge Loop Walk; €2,000 is to be provided for a hydrological assessment of Mount Allen Bog; €4,952 is to be provided for road improvement works at Clooncraff Bog.

  “In Galway, €15,000 is to be provided for educational facilities for Carronagappul; €12,500 is to be provided to Glenamaddy Tidy Towns for a feasibility study for looped walks and trails; Ballygar Tidy Towns is to be allocated €1,500 for an information campaign”.

  Minister Denis Naughten said the funding would promote tourism and recreation on local bogs.

  “The funding will support the work of the Community Wetlands Forum, through the development of walking trails and looped walks, visitor information, bog restoration and local amenity improvements.

  “This initiative, funded by Minister Josepha Madigan’s Department, complements the model developed over the last number of years by the Ballydangan Bog Red Grouse Project in South Roscommon which brings turf cutters in the local community and the State agencies together”.


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