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Entertainment at JJ’s

Folk Club returns this and every Thursday at JJ’s, The Square, Roscommon featuring Mike Banahan and Brendan Emmett from 9-11 pm.

  Friday night’s entertainment is The Square House Social.

  On Saturday night, Limerick band, Randolf and the Crokers will perform tracks from their latest album, Conversation Amongst the Ruins. Randolf and the Crokers are Shane Storan, Clare O’Brien, Shay Peters, Jarlath Byrne, Dane Staunton and Keith Kelly.

  Together since 2011, they have played throughout their native Limerick and venues all over the country and had support slots with the likes of O Emperor and The Lost Brothers.

  So, come on down to JJ’s, grab a beer from our extensive craft selection and enjoy a performance from this up and coming folk band.

I hate shopping - Cynic Gal

As we will shortly be heading into the season of commercialism and excessive spending, I’d like to take this time to reject a massive female stereotype and make a bold confession: I hate shopping. While I love having new clothes, the act of buying them, for me, is tantamount to torture.

  I don’t understand the gaggles of girls that flit about shopping centres in their droves as a source of entertainment. Shopping is not a group activity. It is not a game: it is a serious mission. You start off the day as glamorous Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and end up as haggard Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way.

  I helped my sister shop for dresses a few weeks ago and after seven unsuccessful hours, I felt like we had just run a mini marathon. I finally understood the universal male agony of waiting outside on the little couch, wondering if we were ever going to eat or be happy again.

  First of all, you have to traipse everywhere, laden with baggage. Ireland being Ireland, rain will undoubtedly have turned your paper bags into brown mush and you’ll have to clutch everything to your bosom. You’re dehydrated from stuffy dressing rooms and starving but you already ate that granola bar at the bottom of your bag and you need to pee but you know if you sit down you’ll never get back up. You curse your foolish decision to wear jeans and boots on your sixth attempt to pull them off and on again.

  What’s more, you have to endure the absolute fakery of shopping room assistants that tell you those leather pants are fabulous even though you know you look like a moose. They ask if you need any assistance and you suppress the urge to ask why all of their stock is sized wrong and if there is indeed a skirt that doesn’t risk a serious wardrobe malfunction, à la Sharon Stone.

  Also, what is going on with the lighting in these dressing rooms? River Island, half of your expenditure must go on lightbulbs and shelling out compensation for blinding customers. I didn’t ask for a filter to be added to my life and don’t appreciate looking like Jennifer Lawrence in the shop and Jo Brand when I get home.

  Back to sisterly shopping day, I was forced to take a photo on my phone to prove to her that one particular dress was deceivingly tight. The shop assistant thought I was a monster which was slightly hypocritical due to her culpability in the realm of evil lighting.

  Online shopping must surely be the answer, right? Wrong. It is my firm opinion that you must try an item of clothing on your own body, not trust the loveliness of the 5’9” Cara Delevingne lookalike on the Boohoo.com ad. Case in point: I ordered a dress online recently in a size 10. It came three weeks late, labelled ‘Medium’ in Chinese, and was shorter than most tops I own. I felt like big Alice when she bursts out of small Alice’s clothes.

  Be safe this season, girls. Wear runners and fat pants. Eat at regular intervals. Avoid Penney’s at rush hour. And bring your mammy; she’ll tell you the truth and fend off fellow shoppers who don’t understand personal space. Happy shopping!


Time Pieces annual pre-Christmas Sale – The sale you’ve been waiting for!

20% discount at renowned shop

The national award-winning shop, Time Pieces, Roscommon, are hosting their massive Pre-Christmas Sale from Friday 13th to Sunday 22nd November inclusive. Customers of this much-loved outlet can avail of some very attractive discount offers as the countdown to Christmas begins.  As anyone who has ever had the pleasure of visiting Time  Pieces will know, this delightful shop – known as an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ – features a wonderful array of items, many of them unusual and unique, all of them eye-catching and appealing. Time Pieces currently have a wonderful selection of Christmas gifts in stock including an amazing selection of jewellery and accessories. Antique clocks adorn the walls, amid paintings, mirrors and prints from local artists.

  Located on Main Street in the heart of Roscommon town, this family business is full of character and old-world elegance. Once you walk through the door, you experience the calm, friendly ambience that is Time Pieces. A dazzling array of hand-picked jewellery and fashion accessories is beautifully displayed among carefully selected antiques and paintings, chandeliers, mirrors, lamps, dolls, and other decorative objects for your home.

  The philosophy at Time Pieces is to stock items not generally available elsewhere, with something to please every age and pocket – and they are proud to have happy customers of all ages! Great care is taken to include a selection of Irish-made crafts, pottery, paintings including local crafts made in County Roscommon.

  Everyone is welcome at Time Pieces where shoppers are encouraged to browse at leisure in a relaxing, friendly atmosphere. Their personal touch is their hallmark and all their staff has an eye for selecting that perfect gift for you. As a token of appreciation for your loyalty and support over the years, Time Pieces are offering a 20% discount from Friday 13th to Sunday 22nd November inclusive. They also have gift vouchers available, which have no expiry date. 

   Time Pieces is now open each Sunday from 12-6 pm right throughout until Christmas.

  For further information contact the store on 090-6625408, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log onto www.timepieces.ie.  Please like and share us on Facebook at Time Pieces Roscommon.


‘A town that had a love affair with fish’

“I grew up in a town that had a love affair with fish” writes Ciaran Mullooly in his book, ‘Back to the Future.’ In a chapter on Lanesborough’s former status as a world-renowned location for coarse fishing, the RTE Midlands Correspondent reminisces about lively nights in the Lough Ree Arms Hotel in an era when English fishermen visited the area in great numbers. But, with ‘changes in sterling’ and the advent of commercial fisheries in the UK, the good times began to fade…then came the biggest threat of all to an already struggling angling industry in Lanesborough…in the form of an invader from afar. The following is an edited extract from Ciaran’s book in which he addresses the devastating impact arising from the arrival of a most unwelcome visitor…

‘The weeds are least of our troubles now…meet the Asian Clams’

* ‘Back to the Future – Reflections on rural Ireland, recession and renewal around Lough Ree’, a new book by Ciaran Mullooly, will be launched in Roscommon County Library on Friday, November 13 (6 pm) by well-known actor, Roscommon native Enda Oates

Thursday September 11th, 2014 was the day it all began, and I remember it very well. A few locals trying to improve conditions for fishermen near the bridge had contacted John Devanney and Dr Joe Caffrey, a scientist with the Inland Fisheries Ireland agency. We were all asked to meet at the hot-water stretch in Lanesborough to discuss the growth of heavy weeds there that was choking the fishing in recent times.

  Joe Caffrey, being as punctual and efficient as ever, was there long before us and when we arrived at the water’s edge he had a grimace on his face that I will never forget.

  “The weeds are the least of the troubles now,” he told us, taking a handful of what looked to me like shellfish from the river and pouring them out onto the bank. “Meet the Asian clams.” 

  There was at first a kind of an excited rush of adrenaline about the discovery, an uneducated impression that we were to become the beneficiary of some sort of modern phenomenon that would put our fishery onto a new pedestal. How wrong we were!

  The fatal attraction of the invasive species, Corbicula Fluminea, to the hot-water stretch at Lanesborough was explained to us all in great detail and, slowly but surely, the most frustrating feeling in the world began to fall upon us, a kind of a depression over anyone who cared about the value of the fishing to the economy here and could remember those glory days of the 1970s and 1980s.

  The truth is, the day the Asian clams arrived here was ultimately the day when we confirmed, beyond any reasonable doubt, that coarse fishing at the hot-water stretch in Lanesborough would never be the same again.

  With its origin in Asia, adult Corbicula are simultaneous hermaphrodites (both male and female) that are capable of both cross and even self fertilization thus taking only one individual to start a population. Adults can live for three or four years, and typically reproduce twice a year, although some populations have been observed reproducing more often under optimal situations. A single adult can produce 1,000-100,000 juveniles per year and that day we were being told that because of the abundance of hot water we had very close to optimal conditions under our nose for our new visitors.

  This was devastating news. With the support of a continuous flow of hot water from the power station and the gravel base the clams love, the conditions are absolutely spot-on for reproduction on a mass scale, and that’s precisely what had already happened. At the first count the experts estimated that over 30 million of the species were in the stretch, and the implications for the fish are potentially damaging.

  We know now that Corbicula is a filter-feeder on microscopic plants, animals (including bacteria) and in the water column or in the sediments. The clams live, in other words, on the same sort of feed stuff as our beloved bream and roach and, with their numbers growing thanks to what we have now christened our ‘local jacuzzi’, we were told that very first day that there is little chance of the fish coming out on top in this particular confrontation.

  The most frustrating aspect of the last twelve months has been the lack of progress for all the energy and the effort that has gone into trying to find a scientific solution to dealing with this crippling problem, a campaign that now appears to be ultimately doomed because of the scale of the rolling infestation.

  Over weeks and months in 2015, local people who cared sat down with fishermen, tourism providers, state agencies and third parties to try and see if they could come up with somewhat of a non-political solution to this most serious threat.

  I agreed myself to try and help the process during the summer and we sought advice from all corners. There was talk of suction-harvesting, mats on the bed of the river, extractions of all types, redirection of the water outlet from the power station, burning of the shellfish and transport of the critters to approved dumps many miles away, but ultimately no solution that could either guarantee the eradication of the problem or meet the financial constraints set upon those responsible for controlling or removing the Asian clam has yet been found.

  Everybody in Lanesborough has slowly come to terms with the fact that the Asian clam is here to stay. The local fishermen had desperately hoped for a management plan that would have the river bed depopulated every two years and a significant investment made in angling locally. One of the central issues that has emerged has been the lack of clarity over who is ultimately responsible for invasive species of this nature in Ireland. While Inland Fisheries led the multi-agency team over the last two years, it seems the National Parks and Wildlife Service have some responsibility in this general area. The sooner it is confirmed who is to lead the campaign to control and manage this very serious problem the better and, even more critically, the issue of providing the funds that the agencies need to really tackle the problem is surely paramount.

  Without a more energetic approach from central Government, the problem is getting worse and so too is the threat to fishing Lough Ree, such a short distance away. The clams have already been found, albeit in smaller numbers, at the ‘cut’ of the shannon navigation into the bay at Ballyleague on the top of the lake.

  Some of the best fishing experts tell us the very real possibility now exists that one of Ireland’s finest predator lakes could well be sterile within 10 to 20 years if the clams spread and unless a more aggressive attitude is taken to deal with the invasive species. We can only hope that the penny will drop with those who can do most.

  In the meantime, Lanesborough and Ballyleague struggle on in the knowledge that they have been watching this crisis develop, almost in slow motion since September 2014. There’s a sense of helplessness emerging, a feeling among many that they have been watching the car career off the road and into the ditch and that now nothing can be done to save the driver. Let’s hope they’re wrong.

  Either way there will never again be a Lough Ree Arms like the one we drank in during the 1980s. Even with the reversal of fortunes for Sterling, it is hard to see the English angler returning in such numbers. Life has moved on, a great tradition is dead, and we are left to pick up the pieces. I salute Hugh Keane, Philip Gordon, Alan Farrell, Gerald Farrell, Eithne Clyne and the members of the Lough Ree Angling hub who have been trying desperately to re-create the atmosphere for angling to grow again here over the last 12 months. The initiatives on the marketing front in the UK and elsewhere have been very praiseworthy and the fishermen have already returned, albeit in smaller numbers. The challenge they face may well be to find a new ‘hot water stretch’ in the locality where 50-100 stands could well be developed again for coarse angling, hopefully well away from the present invaders and in a corner that will attract both the fish and the fishermen.


A Night at the Opera at Roscommon Arts Centre

Opera Theatre Company are Ireland’s national touring opera company and they are returning to Roscommon Arts Centre on Wednesday, November 18th with two short operas, Susanna’s Secret and The Human Voice both sung in English. 

  To mark the occasion, the evening will commence with a drinks reception for patrons in the arts centre foyer from 7.15 pm, to which all ticket holders are invited.

  Susanna’s Secret is an uproarious comedy opera built on marital misunderstanding, while Poulenc’s The Human Voice is a deep and moving depiction of the aftermath of a relationship.

  The two pieces explore themes of love, lies and loss: in Susanna’s Secret when a man smells cigarette smoke from his wife’s clothes he suspects she is having an affair, and strives to discover her secret; in The Human Voice, a young woman is driven to the point of desperation as she tries to connect with her ex-lover over the telephone.

  Tom Creed directs and Music Director Andrew Synnott conducts the OTC Touring Chamber Ensemble for Susanna’s Secret and plays piano accompaniment for The Human Voice. Soprano Rachel Croash and baritone Rory Musgrave perform in Susanna’s Secret and Kim Sheehan takes the lead in The Human Voice. 

  A perfect opportunity for opera lovers to enjoy classic 20th century works and for newcomers to discover opera for the first time. Make a date with Roscommon Arts Centre for Wednesday, 18th November. Tickets are now on sale at the box office on 0906 625824/www.roscommonartscentre.ie.

Celebrating 50 years of hurling in Oran

There will be a parish celebration of 50 years of hurling in Oran in The Cuisle Centre,  Donamon Castle on Friday, 4th December  at 9 pm.

  The birth of Oran Hurling Club took place at the first meeting of Coiste Iomana Ros Comain which was held in the CBS Roscommon on 19th February 1965.   

  The meeting was attended by both Michael Kelly N.T. and Gerry Mahon N.T., current club presidents. They introduced the camán and sliotar into their schools. When the club was formed in 1965 it was a juvenile club only and through hard work and games development Oran became the dominating force in underage hurling in Roscommon in the 1970s.

  The first title to come to the club was the 1971 U-14 championship and Oran have subsequently won many titles with the highlight being the winning of the community games Connaught title in 1975 by defeating  Athenry and ending as All-Ireland runners-up to Birr. A further period of underage success followed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

  During these periods the club also won a number of U-16 Connaught titles. The first adult title came in 1978 with the winning of the junior title.

  The football and hurling clubs merged for a number of years and a separate hurling club was established in 1984.

   A further period of development ensued and the senior titles were won in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1998 and 2004. The 2004 win resulted in a Connaught Junior title and Oran defeating Ballygarvan of Cork to reach the All-Ireland Junior Club final in Semple Stadium where they were defeated by Galmoy of Kilkenny. 

  Gerry Fallon created history for Roscommon and Oran in August 2009 when he won the All-Ireland senior Poc Fada competition in the Cooley Mountains by beating Tipperary goalie Brendan Cummins into second place. Gerry became the first Roscommon man to win this title and it is a great honour for the club which has a proud tradition in the Poc Fáda competition with two previous All-Ireland titles at underage level. Michael Cunningham in U-12 Community games in 1975 and Colm Kelly in U-14 in 1986. 

  The club has a proud record of County, Connaught and All-Ireland titles and are continuing to establish a tradition for the game of hurling in the parish.

  The people of the parish are invited to The Cuisle Centre, Donamon Castle on Friday, 4th December 2015 at 9 pm for a social evening of  celebration, chat, refreshments and reunion remembering the development of hurling since it was first established in Oran in 1965.

  This will be an opportunity to meet old friends, reminisce about players, supporters and games of the past; relive the successes, the funny incidents and look to the future. 

  There will be a photo exhibition and slide show with an opportunity to see if you can identify players of old.

  The guests of honour will be the U-14 County Champions of 1971, the first Oran hurling team to win a County Championship. It is also the 25 year anniversary of the 1990 county senior champions.

  On Saturday 5th December, underage exhibition games will be held in Rockfield from 11 am with special memento medals to be presented to our U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16 and minor players. Roscommon Gaels were the opposition in the 1971 U-14 final and we hope to have their present U-14 team compete against us on the day also.

  This will be followed at 1 pm with a game between the Under 30s and Over 30s.




Roscommon Drama Group presents ‘Canaries’

Roscommon Drama Group proudly presents a hilarious night out with their brand new production, Canaries by Bernard Farrell.

  This comedic tour de force from one of Ireland’s most prolific and popular playwrights transports the audience to the island of Gran Canaria where the sun drenched shenanigans of a group of Irish holidaymakers are explored and exposed in all sorts of ways. 

  Directed by Noreen Hawkins, the action centres around straight talking Tommy (Kevin Woods) and his gregarious wife Marie (Joanne Hone) who with retired docker Dad (Dermot Cox) meet up with fellow Dubs Richard (Kieran Madden) and Jane (Marie Conroy), a social climbing couple all set for a week of party fun in the sun. 

  Enter into the fray seemingly quiet librarian Madalene (Margaret Madden) who has set her sights on the affably enigmatic Fergus (Jimmy Hoban) while Danish professor Hans (Steve Gregory) and his up for anything companion Erica (Bernie Maher) add a dash of international spice. 

  The hotel’s smooth-talking bartender and local lothario Carlos (Alexander McCurley) brings a touch of native colour to the mix, with his grandmother, The Contessa (Mary Cox), rounding out the Spanish contingent.

  Sun, sea, sand and the rest, Canaries has it all!  But before long storm clouds gather, the holiday fizz begins to fade and we realise that nothing is quite as it seems. We are reminded that “we all see what we want to see” as bit-by-bit Farrell plucks away the feathers of mirage, deception and pretense.

  With set and backstage support provided by group members, Canaries is a lighthearted evening with lots of laughs along the way. Performances on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th & Saturday 28th, November starting at 8 pm each night. Tickets €12/€10, now booking at Roscommon Arts Centre, 090-66 25824 or online at www.roscommonartscentre.ie.


‘Indigestion’ comes to Elphin on Saturday

Well-known local performer Seamus O’Rourke will bring his play, Indigestion, to Elphin Community Centre, Elphin, on Saturday, November 14, at 8.30 pm.

  The event is a fundraiser for Elphin SOS (Support to Overcome Suicide), which provides an invaluable service locally.

  The monies raised by Elphin SOS go towards a free confidential counselling service, which can be accessed by anyone in distress. They also provide free confidential counselling for post-suicide trauma.

  To avail of the service, call 071-9635084.

  Seamus’ play has been specifically selected by Elphin SOS as a fundraising event, due to its message.

  Seamus said: “Indigestion came about after a chance meeting with a fella of my age and stature. He had a great story to tell and although it was a tough life he had led, he remained upbeat and positive.”

  There will also be a musical addition to the show by members of Elphin Folk Choir. Tickets for the show are €10 and are available to buy at the Health Care Centre, Elphin, Eternal Giftshop, Elphin, or SOS committee members.

  They will also be available on the door on the night.


Entertainment at JJ’s

Tonight and every Thursday, it’s Folk Club featuring Mike Banahan and Brendan Emmett from 9 pm. Tomorrow night (Friday) come and watch Ireland’s crunch football match against Bosnia.

  On Saturday night, Belfast group, The Hardchargers, bring their unique blues, rock and roots sound to JJ’s. The group, made up of Chris Todd, Richard J Hodgen and David Thompson will be in Roscommon town as part of their Christmas tour, which takes in venues across the country.

  Strange Brew are back in the middle bar with a blues session on Sunday from 6 pm.

  So come on down and enjoy the music while trying out our extensive craft beer selection.


Roscommon Percy French Society concert

The Roscommon Percy French Society is delighted to present a fundraising concert in support of Western Alzheimers on Friday, 20th November at 8 pm in The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon. 

  Entitled ‘An Evening with Percy French’ and performed by The Leitrim Percy French Society under the direction of Tish Dunleavy, it promises to be an unforgettable evening of music, song and recitation.

  Recently performed to great acclaim at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the show features many French favourites including Phil the Fluther, Paddy Reilly, The West Clare Railway, Eileen Óg, McBreen’s Heifer and many more. 

  All proceeds from the evening will support the work of Western Alzheimers in County Roscommon. Tickets, priced €10, are now on sale from Society members and from the Western Alzheimers, Goff Street, Roscommon.

  Telephone 090-66 27816 for more details. Tickets are limited and advance purchase is recommended. The event will also be recorded and televised by Irish TV.


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