Log in

Far Flung Trio and an evening of musical delights



Getting 2019 off to a flying start at Roscommon Arts Centre, the Far Flung Trio Katherine Hunka (violin), Dermot Dunne (accordion), and Malachy Robinson (double bass) will take to the stage on Tuesday, February 5th at 8 pm with an irresistible musical programme that is virtuosic and charming – all delivered in their very own signature style.

  On the night, hear the seductive melodies of Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, Rossini’s mischievous ‘Barber of Seville’ overture, jazzy tunes by Gershwin, an original work by Irish jazz giant Ronan Guilfoyle and lots more, all tailored by the Trio and delivered with panache and delight.

  Leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra violinist Katherine Hunka and accordion player Dermot Dunne have been playing together since 2007 and were delighted to be joined by Ireland’s most sought after and versatile double bassist Malachy Robinson in 2014. The trio have performed in many venues and festivals and their concerts include everything from Baroque to Piazzolla, South American, Klezmer music and film classics. Their performances are packed with musical gems and are always very much enjoyed by their captivated audiences.

  Tickets are on sale now from Roscommon Arts Centre’s box office at 090-6625824 and from www.roscommonartscentre.ie.


Roscommon County Council announces funding opportunities for Artists



This month sees the first of the open calls for artists for funding for 2019 from the arts office in Roscommon County Council. The annual Artist Bursaries programme has re-opened, along with the opportunity to apply for the much-coveted Tyrone Guthrie Centre Residency bursaries.

  Both bursary programmes are aimed at professional artists either currently living in the county or who were born here.

  “The bursary programmes provide valuable financial support to Roscommon artists working in all disciplines. The criteria for what the artist bursary awards can be used for are deliberately broad as we recognise that the types of supports artist need can be very different” Majella Hunt, Director of Services for Community and Enterprise at Roscommon County Council told us.

  “In 2018, 21 artists received financial support via the artist bursary scheme and we anticipate supporting a similar number of artists this year. Three Tyrone Guthrie Centre Residency Awards were also made last year and again we hope to offer a similar number this year”.

  The Artist Bursary Awards provide financial support to professional artists to allow them to develop their practice. The award can be used towards the costs of attending courses, mentoring, developing new work, participation in exhibitions and various other activities. Applications are assessed by an external selector and awards made on their recommendation.

  The Tyrone Guthrie Centre Residency Awards provide opportunities for artists to spend a period of time at the world renowned artists retreat in Annaghmakerrig, Co.  Monaghan. The residential workplace for artists is dedicated to supporting and facilitating creativity within a home-like environment. Here, artists can find peace and quiet to develop their work, together with the stimulation of living alongside other artists from all disciplines, enabling a rich cross-fertilisation of ideas.

  The closing date for submissions is Friday, 15th of February 2019 at 5 pm. Further information, together with application forms, can now be downloaded from: Roscommon County Council’s website: roscommoncoco.ie – the Arts Office Page. Enquiries can also be sent via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  These two bursary programmes are the first of the 2019 announcements, with the Artists in Schools call-out and the New Roscommon Writing and Chapbook bursaries also to be announced later this spring as part of Roscommon County Council’s ongoing commitment to supporting artists.







County Photos’ rapid development nationwide!



County Photos has come a long way since Seán and Anne Collins established the business in a shed at the back of their house in Strokestown back in 1979.

  Now the leading schools photography business in Ireland, the company recently expanded its offices in Roscommon town in order to facilitate its rapid growth and accommodate its 20-strong staff.

  Seán now runs the business with his sons, Emmet and Daragh, while Anne is also still very much involved.

  Seán says County Photos has gone from strength to strength since opening its county town office in 2009.

  “The company has come from humble beginnings to now employing 20 staff in our new revamped offices.

  “The expansion of the offices here was vital due to the success and growth of the company over the last number of years,” he said.

  Emmet Collins believes the firm’s growth is due to its forward thinking in the niche market of school photography.

  “This is very much a local success story and the business is now the leading schools photography company in the country, catering for primary schools, secondary schools, pre-schools and childcare facilities nationwide.

  “As well as trebling our office space here, we have invested substantially in new printing machinery and the very latest photo editing software.

  “We will also be expanding our services into the northern part of the country including Northern Ireland in the very near future.

  “The class photograph is a school tradition and we have developed our services over time and now we produce specialty products from large prints to keyrings and everything in between,” he said.

  The team at County Photos offers a huge range of services and maintains full control of their products at every stage of the process from photographer to customer.

  “We are effectively a mobile studio,” said Seán “and we’re on the road nationwide”.

  To find out more about the wide range of services on offer at County Photos, both in Roscommon and nationwide, contact the office at the Racecourse Business Park, Roscommon town on 090-6627444, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log on to www.countyphotos.ie



Library fines are no more!






With fines abolished in all libraries since January 1st, 2019, Roscommon residents are being encouraged to make a New Year’s Resolution to reconnect with their local library.

Library members do not have to pay fines for overdue items and no existing fines will be collected.

  Any library user who has overdue items can return them now, confident that there will be no fines to pay, and their memberships can be reactivated on the spot so they can begin using their local library straight away.

  The removal of fines for library users is one of the actions included in the national strategy, ‘Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities’. The strategy, launched in June 2018, aims to improve access to and increase usage of, the library as a community hub.

  The five-year plan is a joint initiative of the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA).

  Mary Butler, Acting County Librarian, said: “Libraries are an invaluable resource for all in the community and we want to remove any barriers that might prevent people making full use of them. That is why we are eliminating fines and other charges. Libraries are welcoming spaces where all members of the community can access knowledge, ideas and information, and where people can reflect, connect and learn.

  “Research has shown that people view fines as a barrier to membership and usage of libraries. In addition, fines disproportionately affect those on lower incomes and can create a negative association with library use for children. There is evidence that library services which have removed fines see an increase in usage following their removal and we very much hope that will be reflected now in our Library Services”.

  Roscommon County Council Library Service has invited everyone to visit a library during January and see for themselves all that is on offer there, completely free.



ARTS CABARET 18 at Murray’s Bar, Knockcroghery



ARTS CABARET 18 takes place in Murray’s Bar, Knockcroghery on Saturday, 26th of January 2019, starting at 8 pm. The event includes music, poetry, performance art, reading and song.

  The line-up is Dympna Molloy, Patrick Anderson McQuoid, Martin O’Hara (poetry); Declan Coyne and the South Roscommon Singers Circle launch of Interpretations, a vinyl LP of songs and visual art (songs); James Moran, Ian Marks, Frank Carroll (reading); Sáerlaith Molloy, John Murray, Noel Molloy (performance); Ukephoric ukulele group, Matt Rogers & friends (music). Also, the Faxbox project will take place throughout the night – see www.faxboxart.weebly.com for more information on how to participate.

  Admission is free and all are welcome.  


One in three motorists considering new vehicle purchase in 2019



Research by mobility solutions specialist, Easytrip, Ireland’s only electronic parking and tolling tag provider, has revealed that one in three motorists are considering the purchase of a new vehicle in 2019. Those drivers who were seeking to secure a new vehicle this year also highlighted the following engine type preferences: Diesel (43%), Hybrid (27%), Petrol (19%), Electric (9%).

  When it came to where the vehicle would be purchased, respondents to the Easytrip research highlighted a local car dealership as their top choice at 77%. This was followed by 15% of respondents who were considering a UK import purchase, and 5% who would be purchasing the vehicle privately.

  Commenting on the research, Colin Delaney, CEO of Easytrip said: “A new vehicle purchase is a key requirement for many motorists and it’s interesting to see from our research that diesel remains as the most popular option followed by hybrids and petrol models this year. When it comes to where to purchase a vehicle, we would recommend that motorists do their research and select a local dealership who is a member of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI). 

  “Whether it’s a new or pre-owned model purchase, the car market has a lot to offer for those buying and we would advise motorists to shop around and to remind them to update their Easytrip account details when change of ownership is confirmed”.

  Easytrip is urging its customers to update their Easytrip account details if buying or selling a vehicle during the 191-registration period to avoid incurring any unnecessary toll charges.




People Watching - January 18th



3 Things we didn’t like this week…

What Rooskey didn’t need

The fire at the vacant Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey, believed to have been started deliberately, has rightly been widely condemned. It was a deeply unwelcome, and – assuming it was arson – unacceptable act. It is of course an isolated incident which is in no way reflective of the community in Rooskey.

A storm in a temple…

The row over Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visiting a male-only temple in Ethiopia was tiresome. Suffice to say, it raged on social media and on Liveline. Varadkar was criticised for visiting the temple while female members of his entourage had to wait outside. Naturally, several rent-a-quote opposition politicians had a go at him too. The Taoiseach could perhaps have decided not to visit the temple, but that would have offended his hosts. He was, after all, being invited into an Ethiopian Orthodox Church…most people will feel that diplomacy has to prevail in such situations, and that the Taoiseach really had to be mindful of local traditions/beliefs/customs. Bit of a storm in a temple…

Read this and weep…

An inquiry which is investigating write-offs on loans at the former Anglo Irish Bank will itself cost a staggering €30m.

  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar updated the Dáil on the new costs of the Commission of Investigation into Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) – formerly Anglo Irish Bank. The final cost could actually exceed €30m, he indicated.

  The initial ‘transaction’ took three months – the inquiry referred to is now in its fifth year.

  This country? Sometimes it feels like we’re all in a Monty Python sketch (except it ain’t that funny).


3 Things we did like this week…


A win is a win is a…

I didn’t get to the Hyde on Sunday as I was in Rooskey, but I kept in touch via Willie Hegarty. Even when Roscommon were a few points behind, I wasn’t too concerned. Roscommon would have wind advantage in the second half, and it was reasonable to expect that the home team would do the business, which they did. And so, a winning start for new manager Anthony Cunningham. Next up is the FBD Final against Galway this Sunday in Tuam Stadium.

Not quite a shed-load of money…but welcome

Here at the Roscommon People, we’re big fans of Men’s Sheds – and try to promote them when we can. They play a very important and arguably under-appreciated role in society. Many men live alone, often in isolated areas, increasingly with limited social interaction. This at least is the reality for some Men’s Sheds members. We were pleased this week to see some more Government funding for these groups. That great purse string releaser Michael Ring is providing some much-needed funds for Men’s Sheds in Ballaghaderreen, Ballyleague, Boyle and Castlerea (and in Co. Galway, for groups in Dunmore, Ballinasloe and Ballygar).

Ah…the memories!

Absolutely adored Laurel and Hardy when I was a kid. Surely everyone did? Delighted so with the release of a new movie which looks at the lives of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly have been on a media blitz, appearing last weekend on the Graham Norton Show (BBC) and the Late Late Show (RTE). Coogan, who is always happy to highlight his Irish roots (and where better than on the LLS!) is getting better as the years go by – his straight acting/‘serious’ roles (as he has observed himself) further enhancing an already sparkling reputation. If you’re not already a fan, check out his brilliant ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ series on Gold. Anyways, this new film on the great comedy duo Laurel and Hardy is getting very good reviews. Hopefully it will introduce the brilliant double act to new generations of fans!

Good Week

It was a good week for local clubs in Scór as Roscommon won four provincial titles at the Scór finals in Castlebar last weekend: Kilglass Gaels (quiz), St. Dominic’s (figure dancing), Evan Gunn, Elphin (recitation), and St. Dominic’s (Léiriú) can all take a bow. Congrats to all involved!

Bad Week

It was a bad week for Theresa May (oh, you know the rest!). A massive defeat in the House of Commons vote on her Brexit deal has made a big crisis even bigger. Still, she’s shown some great resilience these last several months. It’s easy for critics to shout from the sidelines. Assuming Mrs. May survived the vote of no confidence last night (Wednesday) she will now begin the process of trying to avoid a ‘crash out’ Brexit. Having ‘lost the house’, she’s now reaching out to members of her own party and opposition MPs, in a bid to hatch together a consensus. Er…to be continued…

Our Person(s) of the Week…

Congratulations to Simon Meehan, a transition year student at Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig, who was announced as overall winner at the 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition.

Quote of the Week…

“This is the end of the McBully” – Galway businessman Joe McDonagh reacts to his company (Supermac’s) winning its long running case against McDonald’s


Home care: Some considerations…





Before deciding on appropriate home care for a loved one there are a number of things to consider including type of care, the amount of assistance and supervision required, making your home older-adult-friendly, and will your family be able to adjust to the change?


Kind of care needed

What is the person’s physical and mental condition and what chronic illness does he or she have? These are the first questions you need to answer. It may be an ideal time to make the move if the person is relatively healthy and able-bodied.


Level of assistance and supervision

You must be realistic about what you can and can’t do while also taking into account that the person’s needs may increase over time. Your loved one may need help dressing, bathing, using the bathroom and other day-to-day tasks. This can be difficult if you’re working full-time or already looking after a young family.


Is your home older-adult-friendly?

Is there a bathroom available on the floor the older adult is on? Is it big enough to handle a wheelchair or walker if necessary? Will everyone have a level of privacy they’re comfortable with? What renovations will be necessary to make your home older-adult-friendly, and how will you pay for it?


Adjusting to the lifestyle changes involved

There are a number of changes involved in offering home care for a loved one such as noise levels, meals, etc. Your loved one will need to feel comfortable in their new surroundings so therefore a collective family effort is required.


Will your elderly relative have a social network?

Uprooting your loved one may mean moving them away from friends and an established day-to-day routine. This is difficult at any age but particularly so in later years. An empty house during the day may also lead to added alone time for your elderly relative. Identifying Active Retirement groups and daily activities will be vital in helping with the big move.



Mental health takes centre stage at arts centre





Roscommon Arts Centre have announced that Belfast-based theatre company, Prime Cut Productions, are bringing their critically acclaimed theatre double bill featuring Fintan Brady’s ‘East Belfast Boy’ and John Patrick Higgins’ ‘Every Day I Wake Up Hopeful’ to the arts centre stage on Friday, February 1st at 8 pm.

  This double bill explores the complexities of male mental health in contrasting performative styles.

  Emma Jordan, Artistic-Director of Prime Cut Productions says: “I am so delighted to be able to bring these two plays, by two unique Northern Irish writers, back to share with more audiences. The subject of mental health and fractured masculinity have never been more topical and yet we still lack the skills to tackle the issues appropriately. I hope these productions will help create more dialogue and a better understanding”.

  The performances will take place on Friday, February 1st from 8 pm. Tickets are €16/€14 and are

available now from Roscommon Arts Centre on


East Belfast Boy

Meet Davy. The things he sees. His streets. His mates. His girl and…the boys. With pumping techno, pulverising movements and street sharp poetry, East Belfast Boy is a rollercoaster ride and a cliche-free zone. Written by Fintan Brady, East Belfast Boy is a thrilling spoken word show by Ryan McParland and set to an original soundtrack by internationally acclaimed DJ Phil Kieran with choreography by award-wining dancer, Oona Doherty.

Every Day I Wake Up Hopeful

Malachy has made a decision, perhaps for the first time in his life. Tonight is the night. He has six bottles of wine, a bucket of chicken and he wants to talk about it. He really wants to talk about it.

  Poignant and confessional, Every Day I Wake Up Hopeful is also desperately funny. Funny to the bone. Written by John Patrick Higgins, this is a powerful story about Malachy, a man facing an epic mid-life crisis. It stars Simon O’Gorman and is directed by Rhiann Jeffrey.







RWN Intercultural project hits the Big Screen!



Roscommon Women’s Network brought integration to a whole new level as they hit the ‘big screen’ in C&Lplex recently. There was a hive of activity as crowds gathered from every corner of the globe, many hoping to get a glimpse of themselves on the big screen.

  Maria Harris, Development Worker at Roscommon Women’s Network – who coordinate RWN’s 2018 Intercultural Programme – explained that the project started in late 2017. She said that through funding received from the Department of Integration and Roscommon County Council “we were able to meet in different places around the county, engaging with men, women and children from many different and diverse nationalities”.

  “On the big screen we had project participants from all cultures living in the county who could sit back and reflect on the year’s activities viewed on the documentary produced by Mimar Media. The documentary includes interviews with participants from soccer, Irish dancing, drama, sports day, capoeira, BBQ, among others, including a full performance on Culture Night at the Roscommon Arts Centre”.

  Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Cllr. Ivan Connaughton and Cllrs. Orla Leyden and Valerie Byrne joined in with the celebrations. 

  Nora Fahy, Manager of RWN, thanked all who made this project possible and also congratulated all who took part in it.

* Snippets of the documentary can be seen on www.rwn.ie and rwn facebook page (call 094-9621690 for more information).

Subscribe to this RSS feed