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Magical and mystical: Ballaghaderreen ready for ‘Secret Village’ Festival

Over 1,000 people are expected to descend on Ballaghaderreen for the third annual ‘The Secret Village’, an arts, culture and music festival, which takes place in the woods just outside the town centre on Saturday and Sunday August 8/9.

  This scenic area was once used as allotments for many of the town’s residents, but it is no longer used for that particular purpose.

  However, nowadays, the unused land transforms once a year into a roots music extravaganza.

  The stunning setting fills adults’ minds with thoughts of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, while children marvel at this magical place drawn straight out of a fairytale.

  The event was first staged in 2013. Next week’s version is set to be the biggest yet, with an extended site now going deep into the forest.

  A total of 25 acts will perform on two stages over the weekend.

  Adding to the music, countless crafts and trades can be found dotted throughout The Secret Village. In a throwback to a bygone era, wood-turners and blacksmiths will be among those performing demonstrations.

  The event certainly will be child-friendly, with a variety of old-style amusements and treasure hunts among the entertainment on offer. The amusements are built on-site specifically for the festival.

  This ensures that people of all ages will converge on the northwest Roscommon town for the festival, which will run from 2.30 pm to 11 pm on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

  For more information, see ‘The Secret Village Festival’ on Facebook or call Spell’s Bar, the co-organisers, on 094-9860144.




Loughglynn Music Festival takes place this weekend

Incorporates Queen of the Woodlands 2015

This year The Queen of the Woodlands competition will be the opening act to take place on Saturday, August 1st, in what is the culmination of the annual Queen of the Woodlands Festival and The Loughglynn Music Festival.

Nine beautiful young ladies will compete for the title of ‘Queen of the Woodlands 2015’. After an evening of partying and fun the girls will take to the stage at 9 pm sharp to be interviewed by Gerry Glennon of Mid West Radio, our compere on the night.

The crowning of The Queen of the Woodlands will take place at 11.30 pm, with reigning Queen Alisha Callaghan handing over the mantle.

The winning Queen will get to represent us at the Roscommon Selection night for Tralee 2016. The winner will also receive an array of fabulous prizes. Also all the contestants receive a commemorative gift. Come out and support the girls and come early to avail of a special entrance rate.

The Brendan Shine Band will provide the music and non-stop entertainment for the evening. The festival continues with Johnny Brady on Sunday night and Derek Ryan on Bank holiday Monday.

There is a late bar each night during the festival.

Incredible (entertainment) value – Ballygar Carnival – this August Bank Holiday Weekend!

FREE Family attractions at Heritage & Fair Day (Monday)

* Free puppet shows throughout the day

* Stilt walkers, unicyclists, jugglers, balloon modelling, Kiltimagh Pet Farm

* Modelling jumping clay demonstrations available for kids (please note a charge may apply to this per hour)

* Sheepdog trials demonstrations in the Niall Walsh pitch by dog trainer Eamon Egan

* Many craft, stall and basket weaving demonstrations…knitwear, jewellery, wood crafts, painting and bespoke scultures

* Food stalls, Pig on spit. Crepes/butter making

Nathan Carter

Ballygar Carnival has always been noted for its musical flair and this year is absolutely no different.

Perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated musical entertainment of the carnival will be the performance of Irish Country sensation Nathan Carter at the Mattie McDonagh Centre on Friday, July 31st from 11.30 pm. Admission €15.

Preceding Nathan will be up and coming star Aine Crehan, a native of our parish. Country Cowboy will also perform.

Wolfe Tones

Another eagerly-anticipated band is the Wolfe Tones on Sunday night 2nd of August from 11.30 pm. Admission only €15.

Acoustic lined venue for every night’s entertainment at Mattie McDonagh Centre

The Ballygar Carnival committee have once again pulled out all the stops and spared no expense while providing a spectacular venue to host musical acts – in the Mattie McDonagh Centre.

Crystal Swing & Robert Mizzell

The very popular Crystal Swing performs on opening night Thursday 30th July. Admission only €10.

A whole host of entertainment will precede Crystal Swing on this opening night at Mattie McDonagh Centre including Sean Nos Dancing, traditional music group The Bize from Athlone, Seanchai (Storyteller Vincent Pierse). Food and refreshments.

Ballygar Carnival then welcomes one of Irish country music’s greatest stars when Robert Mizzell and his band on Monday 3rd August at the centre. Admission is €15.

Free music on Monday

Monday will see a plethora of FREE music on the street kicking off at 1 pm with traditional music Cara Ceol playing until 3 pm.

Following this, The Big Ideas live band will perform from 4 pm until 6 pm…and the Crossfire live band will round off a fantastic bank holiday Monday with music on the street from 9 pm.

Family fun

There’s a huge array of attractions on offer for a families, with an emphasis on kids ...enjoy!

Disco with iRadio duo

There will be a Disco with iRadio DJ Steven Cooper & renowned DJ Rory Lynam (Wright Venue), who recently headlined Ultra Europe in Croatia. It’s on Saturday night, 1st of August from 11.30 pm at the centre.

Ballygar Truckin’

Ballygar Truckin’ takes place this year on Saturday, August 1st from 12 noon, with fun for all throughout the day. Live music, face-painting, barbecue and lots, lots more!


€5,000 in prizes – Jackpot €1,500. Singles €10; Doubles €15. Flyers €2. It’s on Tuesday 4th of August at 8.30 pm in Mattie McDonagh Centre. Don’t miss it!

Nature Walk with Elaine

For the more easy-going carnival-goer, a Nature Walk and Treasure Trail takes place in the forest with NUIG Ecologist Elaine O’Riordan on Tuesday 4th of August at 1 pm.

Have a great Carnival experience!

We hope you have a fantastic Carnival and we would also like to express sincere gratitude to the sponsors, volunteers and supporters of this Carnival. All proceeds continue to go to local community projects. Enjoy.

Ladies Night in Dalton’s of Fuerty this Sunday in aid of Hospice

A night of fashion and style is what’s in store at Dalton’s in Fuerty this Sunday, 2nd of August when a Ladies Night will take place in aid of the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice.

  On the night there will be advice and tips from experts on hair, nails, make-up, skincare, fashion, jewellery, hats, shoes, patchwork and quality crafts and angel and tarot card readers.

  The fun and festivities kick off at 6 pm when a BBQ will take place and music on the night will be provided by Roscommon’s very own Derek Campbell.

  There will also be a raffle on the night in aid of the future development of the Roscommon Hospice units while there will be a special prize on offer for the Best Dressed Lady.

  So come along with Sunday evening and enjoy the Ladies Night at Dalton’s in Fuerty, all in support of a very worthy cause.



Big post-Galway Race meeting in Roscommon

Racing on Tuesday at Lenabane

It’s already at the halfway stage for the 2015 season at Roscommon Racecourse and the upcoming meeting on Tuesday next, August 4th, is sure to be one of the year’s biggest. Racing gets underway at 5.40 pm.

  Of course, with the Galway Festival currently dominating the racing landscape, it’s well and truly a very significant time of the year for the sport in the west of Ireland.

  Next week’s meeting at Roscommon is traditionally one of the best supported of the year. This is an all national hunt meeting and once again the first three-year-old hurdle race of the year in Ireland takes place at Roscommon. The card is made up of three hurdles races, three steeplechases and a bumper.

  “We'd be hopeful of a very good meeting on Tuesday next, and with the fixture coming just after the Galway Festival, there could be a few pointers at Ballybrit. Horses that run well in Galway are often entered for this meeting," said Michael Finneran, racecourse manager.

  The two-day meeting in July was a great success, despite weather conditions not being very favourable. There was also a healthy turnover in betting, which showed an increase from previous years.

  “It’s great to see the support we got despite the weather taking a turn for the worse at the last meeting and we’re extremely happy with the figures recorded. The trends are positive and we have the racing community, the business community and many, many people to thank for that,” noted Mr Finneran.

  The committee are very encouraged to see a large number of race sponsors for this upcoming meeting. These include The Railway Bar, Eurona BriskNet Limited, The J. F. Hanley Group, Diageo,

Class Grass and Michael Holland Tyres. P & G Cards, Athleague are

sponsoring The Best Turned Out Horse in each race.

There is music in the main bar after the second last race with Billy Garvin. Admission for adults is €13 while for OAP/Student it is €8. There is a Ros Special available: €30 to include admission, race card, two-course meal and a €10 betting voucher.

  Roscommon Racecourse also offer attractive discounts on group bookings.   Further enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 087-2203288 or log onto www.roscommonracecourse.ie for updates. Follow Roscommon Races on facebook:  facebook.com/roscommonracecourse.


Declan Nerney returns for Race Dance

Having recorded numerous top-selling albums to date, and established some great self-penned songs – and many great cover versions like ‘Stop the World’ – Declan Nerney continues to enthrall audiences right across the world.

  The County Longford singer has just this week finalised plans for the annual Marquee in Drumlish Festival which will take place in his home town of Drumlish County Longford in mid-August.

  In September over 300 fans will join him for his ‘Hooley in The Sun’ on the continent, but will he rest up now ahead of this hectic schedule? No, not at all ….Declan Nerney will bring his wonderful live dance show to the Race Dance at The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon this Tuesday night August 4th.

  Doors open at 11 pm with dancing from midnight. Don’t miss Declan Nerney after the races on Tuesday night!



‘Dec’s Bar’ opens at The Plunkett Inn

It promises to be a bumper weekend in the village of Castleplunkett when The Plunkett Inn Bar & Lounge re-opens under the new management of Ballintubber native Declan Conboy.

  ‘Dec’s Bar’ will be officially opened at The Plunkett Inn this weekend and there is a fantastic line-up of musical entertainment lined up to mark the event.

  On this Friday night the grand opening will take place while on Saturday night the 1st of August there will be music featuring a host of talented local artists. On Sunday night DJ Cush will be providing the entertainment.

  The Plunkett inn will also be catering for all types of celebratory occasions including birthday, communion and confirmation parties and is the ideal place to host your special occasion.

  New proprietor Declan Conboy has gained substantial experience in the pub industry – having working in bars for many years – and he is now embarking on this exciting new project and looking forward to receiving the support of locals.

  It promises to be a great weekend in Castleplunkett with the official opening of ‘Dec’s Bar’s’ at The Plunkett Inn. Make sure to call in!


Castlerea Rose Festival & Show to attract crowds

The 27th annual Castlerea Rose Festival got underway with a spectacular opening parade on Wednesday night.

  Colour and theatre paraded through the streets in a carnival atmosphere to officially launch the festival, which will run until Sunday, August 2.

  A variety of different events will be held over the next few days, including a traders’ market, a photo exhibition and an open-air concert.

  Sunday promises to be a particularly exciting day. A family fun day will be hely from 1 pm in The Demesne, which will include a BBQ, sports day, penalty shoot-out, bouncy castles and face-painting.

  The Rose of Castlerea Selection Night, the centrepiece of the festival, will be held in Trinity Arts Centre at 9 pm. This promises to be a fantastic night’s entertainment, with the crowning of the 2015 Rose of Castlerea.

  Meanwhile, the Castlerea Agricultural Trade and Craft Show will place in Castlerea Mart on Monday, a bank holiday, from 11 am.




Legends of music in Arts Centre stage this August!

It’s all about the music this August at Roscommon Arts Centre as they prepare for music legends Dervish on August 6th and Brendan Bowyer on August 15th to delight audiences.

This will be Dervish’s debut performance at the Arts Centre and with Strokestown native Cathy Jordan leading the troupe, audiences are in for a fantastic evening of music with one of the leading Irish bands on the folk/roots circuit worldwide.

Meanwhile, enjoy an evening of nostalgia and great music with Brendan Bowyer at Roscommon Arts Centre on Saturday 15th August at 8 pm.

The legendary Brendan Bowyer and his Band will perform all of his many hits in this Concert Show of pure nostalgia.

Brendan has the same high energy today as he was renowned for in the exciting days of The Royal Showband and The Big Eight.

He will be joined on stage on the night by his daughter Aisling who is fresh from her own highly-rated show in Las Vegas, ‘The Hucklebuck’, the title of course of the biggest of her dad’s six No. 1 hits, which went platinum internationally, and is still as popular today.

Tickets for both events are available from Roscommon Arts Centre on 090-6625824 or log onto www.roscommonartscentre.ie.

Ballintubber Heritage and Eileen Óg Festival Weekend (24-26 July)


Ballintubber Heritage and Eileen Óg Festival weekend activities start on Friday the 24th of July at 7 pm with a Celtic spiritual religious service at St. Bride’s Well in The Old Graveyard. At 7.30 pm Con Connor will give an illustrated demonstration of ancient cobbling techniques in The Old School House. Evening entertainment is provided by traditional music from Claremorris Ceoltas, set dancing with Mildred and storytelling in Garvey’s starting at 9.30 pm.


Saturday’s events start at 11 am with a tour of The Old Graveyard by archaeologist Mary Timoney, where she will share her vast research on the stone masonry and symbolism of historic headstones.

The official opening of the festival weekend by Eileen Óg and McGrath is at 1 pm and traditional farming methods will be demonstrated by scythe cutting of the meadow in the bio-diversity garden at 2 pm.

There will be butter churning and displays of homemade breads in The Old School House from 11 am to 6 pm, and also various craft demonstrations such as St. Bridget’s cross making, with refreshments served.

Throughout the village all day there will be displays of vintage cars and machinery, farm animals and fowl, bouncy castle and pony rides. Traditional music and Irish stew will also be served all day in Garvey’s.


Sunday’s events start at 2 pm with a historic walk of the village and dancing at the crossroads. Horse shoeing will be demonstrated at The Old Forge at 3 pm and traditional hay making will also be demonstrated.

The trail of The Willsgrove Mile will start from The Old School House at 4 pm. There’ll be a cake sale and refreshments served all day in The Old School House.

Guided tours of Ballintober Castle will be given on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and any finds will be displayed in The Old School House. There will also be food and craft stalls throughout.


On Monday morning at 11 am Ballintubber will welcome American ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley. Ambassador O’Malley will be given a tour of Ballintober Castle and he will plant a ceremonial tree in the village.

There will be a medieval workshop for children aged 7-12 at 2.30 pm at The Castle, costumes will be provided.

In the evening there will be a farewell party for the American guests in Kenny’s Lounge, with barbeque and music by Moonlight Serenades and special guest.

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