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Plenty of laughs in store at Arts Centre

If it’s laughter you are after, then look no further than Roscommon Arts Centre because with names such as Conal Gallen and Seamus O’Rourke making their way there in the coming weeks, you are guaranteed to be entertained.

  The ever popular Seamus returns with Victor’s Dung on Saturday, November  7, at 8 pm.

  Audiences will get to see the extended version of this production where Victor Maguire’s war with the world is interrupted by a call with the news that he hasn’t long to live.

  His existence and the existence of God are called into question in this comic tale about Victor’s love for his deceased wife Josie, his dog, his rooster, his good friend Fr. Johnny, his eccentric neighbours, but most of all his rural life.

  Originally a one-man play with over 130 performances, rave reviews and standing ovations, Victor’s Dung has now been developed and redesigned into a full theatrical production. Hold on to your hats… this could get messy.

  The hilarious Conal Gallen makes a popular return to the arts centre with his new stand up show A Laugh And a Half on Saturday, November 14, at 8 pm. This will be a jam-packed show with over two hours of hilarious jokes, stories and songs which will leave the audience in stitches from start to finish.

  Age recommendation is 16-plus for Conal’s show. Booking for both shows now at 09066 25824 or online at www.roscommonartscentre.ie.



Entertainment at JJ’s

Folk Club featuring Mike Banahan and Brendan Emmett continues this Thursday (November 5) in JJ Harlow’s in Roscommon town. Music is from 9 pm.

  This Saturday Mark Black provides the music for what is sure to be a top class intimate gig in JJ’s. Mark and his band, ‘The Trips’, will bring a very distinctive style of “rootsy blues” combining rock, country and Celtic influences into the potent mix.

  Mark, who has performed at Glastonbury, will be joined on stage by ‘The Trips’ who are Séamus Devenny on drums and Brendan McGlynn on bass as they play an eclectic mix of songs.

  So come down and enjoy a great night of music with our extensive range of craft beers.

Dance the night away at the Tulsk Inn

The Country Ballroom at the Tulsk Inn is the place to be this Saturday night as Eamon Jackson and Carmel McLoughlin take the stage for what will be a great night of dancing. So get down to one of Ireland’s fastest growing live music venues where doors open at 9 pm and there’s dancing from 10 pm ‘til late. Admission is €15 for what promises to be a wonderful night of entertainment.


Mike Denver set for Radisson date

Mike Denver and his band will take to the stage on Friday, November 6, at the Radisson Hotel in Athlone for what promises to be a very special evening of music.

  Fresh from an appearance on the Late Late Show recently, the Thank God for the Radio country star will perform popular hits, with guests on the night including the legendary Philomena Begley, who also appeared on RTÉ’s recent country music special.

  Other guests on the night include Moate country star Ray Lynam and award-winning Gerry Guthrie who complete this wonderful line-up.

  So come join us for a night with legendary country music stars playing hits you’ll know and love.

  The show starts at 8 pm and tickets cost €25 and are available from the hotel reception and ticketmaster.ie or by calling 090-6442600. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night.


Connaughton Fuels delivering warmth across Roscommon

The evenings are getting darker and the days and nights colder as winter fast approaches. It’s that time of year when you look forward to getting home and putting your feet up in warmth and comfort.

  Connaughton Fuels are ready to provide that warmth and comfort in whatever part of Roscommon you call home with special offers and fantastic prices across a wide home-heating range.

  Whether it’s coal, gas or logs Connaughton Fuels has your winter heating needs fully covered with free delivery to all parts of County Roscommon and surrounding areas.

  We are also offering Christmas gift ideas in the lead up to the festive season. Let us design the perfect, practical gift for you by simply providing us with simple information on connaughtonfuels.ie by December 7th.

  Now is the perfect time to get in touch with Connaughton Fuels so we can deliver warmth and comfort to you and your family this winter.


You order online, we’ll deliver!

Online shopping service at Fleming’s SuperValu

An online shopping service which was launched some months ago at Fleming’s SuperValu in Roscommon town is proving extremely popular.

  The service could not be simpler to use. Simply click on the store’s website (www.supervalu.ie) and then click on the county town’s store and you can commence shopping straight away!

  Your products will then be delivered to your home for a cost of just €5; and there is no charge for orders in excess of €100. Alternatively, you can arrange to collect them from the store by selecting the ‘click and collect’ icon!

  While the novel service is popular with all age groups, it is particularly beneficial for older people in the community, some of whom can find it difficult to get to ‘town’ on a regular basis. There is much anecdotal evidence of family members ordering items for elderely relations.

  “Probably the first time doing it, is the most time-consuming,” said Shane Fleming, of Fleming’s SuperValu. “But, once you have done it once, the system will even remember your favourite products.”

  Shane said that, although some people might have concerns about allowing someone else to “do their shopping”, such reservations are unfounded.

  “The people who pick for us are operating as if picking for themselves,” he said. “They always pick the best dates and the best quality.”

  Deliveries take place throughout the day, on an hourly basis from 11 am to 7 pm, Monday to Saturday.

  Shane added that the ‘click and collect’ option was also popular. “Many of our customers arrange to collect their items on their way home from work on Friday evenings for example” he said.

  “It saves them having to spend half an hour in the store doing their shopping. They just go into the store, collect their items – they’re all ready for them – and bring them home!”



A very Irish Halloween

Once upon a time in Ireland, All Hallows Eve was a pagan festival that celebrated the souls of the dead. Families would traditionally share barmbrack, bob for apples, carve Jack O’Lanterns from turnips and start a bonfire. These days, we smather ourselves in €2 face paint and head out to transform yet another traditional feast day into an annual piss-up.

  Fret not, however, for our Irish culture has entitled us to the most unique of Halloween costumes. Or so we think. Here are the top five Irish personalities you will see on the streets this Saturday night:

5. Bono

Leather jacket and tinted sunglasses are an absolute must. Slick back your hair and rock day-old stubble. Carry a charity tin around for the night and shake it, asking for regular donations while blaming people for Bloody Sunday. If anyone tries to initiate conversation, tilt your head back and scream ‘Wooooah oohh ohhh’ at the top of your lungs. Sneak copies of U2 CDs into every handbag you see.

4. Conor McGregor

Easily the top young lad choice. You even have clothing options; either etch an elaborate tattoo on your bare chest or don a pinstriped three-piece suit. Caveman beard and hipster man-bun are essential. You must adopt a cocky swagger for the evening and repeat to everyone that you are here not to take part, but to take over. Challenge people to shot-drinking challenges and gloat with your hands over your head whenever you win.

3. Father Ted

A classic. Powder and a priest’s collar will help you achieve the illusion and if you can rope in a Dougal sidekick, a ‘Down With This Sort of Thing’ placard would be perfection. Alternative props might include a whistle, a Golden Cleric, or a bottle of Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze. Spend the night refusing cups of tea and trying to get on the television.

2. Hector Ó hEochagáin

Sure look it don’t ya just need a ginger wig and any clothes at all, sure you’re not fussy. Speak a cúpla focail because the teanga is alive and well in the Wesht so it is and we’re all mighty. Hup ya boyo and you’re away! Mad craic altogether.

1. Nidge

Wear a zippie of some sort but include a crown to add a sense of occasion. Scribble King Nidge in marker on the back of your Nikes. Assume a look of general menace for the night, constantly telling your friends “I’ll sort it, Trish, alright?” If anyone suspects you’re a real criminal, just reassure them that you’re only here to update your Bebo page.

  An honourable mention goes to Aengus Mac Grianna. All you need is a compact mirror and to look truly shocked if anyone glances in your direction. ‘WHAT?!’ Happy Halloween, folks!


Comfy by name, comfy by nature

The Comfy Café in the heart of Roscommon town combines a funky interior with an eclectic menu sprinkled with good coffee. One step inside the Main Street premises will prove that it does exactly what it says on the tin.

  Many Roscommon folk as well as tourists like myself have passed through the doors and taken a seat in the warm and welcoming café and frequent return trips usually follow.

  Daire and Oonagh Stephens, brother and sister team from the town, have run the establishment for the past two and a half years with the help of their experienced culinary team – Monika, Olivia, Niamh, Grace, Aga, Arletta, Selina and Ruth.

  “I went from being my own boss to having seven or eight bosses”, jokes Daire.

  The former tiling contracter is a long way from the building sites of Dublin, but seems comfortable in his current surroundings.

  “Myself and Oonagh come from construction backgrounds, although Oonagh had been doing farmer’s markets on the side and when it came to it she was the perfect choice for a business partner.”

  Running a busy café is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Daire insists the little things are the most important. “Customer service is so important, the girls are brilliant when it comes to the customers and that’s what brings people back.”

  The staff is indeed friendly but the food and coffee are also a big plus which is vital in such a competitive business.

  “There are quite a few places in Roscommon now, so you have to be top of your game, and we strive to offer a consistent menu with great food and coffee”, Daire added.

  A new addition in the last couple of weeks has been the take-away window at the front of the store. Perfect for those busy lunch-breaks or early mornings for New York style take-out coffee and food on the go.

  “You don’t really get an hour for lunch anymore so hopefully this will allow people to grab something even if they’re busy,” Daire said, just as a coffee was handed through the window.

  If you fancy a coffee or a bite to eat whether in a rush or with time to spare, Daire, Oonagh and their welcoming staff are on hand to help, sitting nice and comfortable in Main Street.


Nuture’s Best Créche awarded top marks

Nurture’s Best Créche – twice awarded ‘Centre of Excellence’ status – has also been awarded top marks in the ‘Gold Standard Framework for Créches’.

It is one of only ten créches nationwide from the large Quality Assurance Pilot Programme who achieved the highest-level validation in all 75 areas examined.

They provide a full range of childcare, full and part-time, ECCE free pre-school year and an after-school club, where the children enjoy fun-filled days with fun educational opportunities, including music, yoga, French, art, sports and much more to keep their minds and bodies actively developing.

They have spacious rooms, a large playground with its safety surface and covered outdoor space for outdoor play on rainy days. They have their pet rabbit, Belle, and their flower and vegetable sections to keep them busy.

Children are also introduced to sports at a young age. They all love the weekly harbour walks down by the marina, observing the boats, Shannon and wildlife.


Fun Filled Days The programme is very much child-led and often includes parents and families becoming involved in projects the children have shown interest in.

They also have themed sessions each day and a visit from a professional, such as a doctor or member of the gardaí.

During Music Week, they had musicians playing in each room. Fun outings also feature theatre, art exhibitions, pet shop, heritage visits etc. OUR


Their staff are all qualified, experienced and friendly. Staff training is of great importance to them and all their staff have childcare qualifications and occupational first aid training to complement our strong Professional Development Policy.

Four of our team have visited Italy for training in the world-renowned Reggio Emilia pre-school methods.

MONTESSORI - ‘Excellent Pre-School Year’

They have a fantastic pre-school year, which gives children a headstart before entering the primary school system.

In the world renowned Montessori system, the children learn in a structured, theme-based environment, using books, art, music and lots of imagination and topics are chosen considering the interests of the children.

The children are encouraged to explore and understand themselves and the world around them while also learning language and maths, as well as practical life skills and cultural awareness.

The Montessori method greatly encourages children to develop a strong sense of individuality, responsibility and promotes their natural strengths. Montessori is a daily three-hour session, which runs during school terms. Children already in our care usually attend Montessori after age three at a greatly reduced rate.


Nutrition is of great importance and our chef serves freshly cooked food from our worldwide menu. Lots of fruit and veg and children are introduced to cous cous, houmous and many flavours and textures.

The crèche have been delighted to see many ‘fussy’ eaters broaden their palettes over the years.


We provide Childcare for Parents on all Training Schemes and will shortly be able to take Children for Parents in the Back to Work Schemes. Why not come and have a look around and see all we have to offer - call Anne Marie on 086 103 7806.

Connacht Early Childhood Educators lobby for better support

After years of lobbying by the Childcare Sector, Budget 2016 has finally brought some much-needed initial investment to families and the childcare sector.

Nurture’s Best Créche, as one of the founding members of the Connacht Early Childhood Educators Group, has been at the forefront of this.

Caroilin Callery, the owner of Nurture’s Best Créche, and her Connacht colleagues have met with a number of Ministers, key politicians and representative groups several times over the past three years.

Details have yet to be released but in relation to the second free pre-school year, many parents have asked whether children over the age of three years and two months can be enrolled this year and avail of the second year next year also. The answer is yes, but parents are advised to do so quickly.

They can also enter under Late Entrants at any time but the earlier the better for the child.

Early Childhood Ireland confirmed: “Children who were aged between three years and two months and four years and seven months in September this year are eligible for late entry into this year’s ECCE programme and also able to continue in the programme in September 2016 – once they are not older than five years and six months at the end of the current pre-school year.”

Nurture’s Best welcomes the investment, as a first step in what they believe must be a five-year programme to create a viable infrastructure that is accessible, affordable and sustainable.

They especially welcome the allocation for children with special needs as they have seen how early intervention makes such a difference to children who need extra support.

There are still many areas still to be addressed and these include: family support for those struggling with under-3s childcare costs and the lack of respect from Government for the childcare workforce evidenced in low levels of capitation in current schemes, low wages in the sector, no allowance for non-contact time, etc.

As members of Connacht Childhood Educators Group, they intend to keep lobbying strongly to ensure the best supports for children, parents, families and their staff.

Roscommon Arts Centre autumn schedule continues

It’s a jam packed theatre programme at Roscommon Arts Centre this autumn and with many familiar plays popping up, it’s refreshing to see some new pieces of theatre in the mix also.  

  November sees two theatre companies make their Arts Centre debuts with two excellent new pieces of writing.

  A relatively new theatre company, Sundays Child Theatre Company, who are making a name for themselves, with two awards from the Dublin Fringe Festival in the last two years, bring their production ‘My Name is Saoirse’ to the stage on Thursday, November 5.

  It’s a coming-of-age story with a great performance. In it we meet Saoirse, who lives with her father and her brother and who looks painfully like her dead mother. Siobhán lives across the road with her five sisters and the “fiery jealousy” that comes with a house full of women. Eva O’Connor portrays both girls – one with a steady flow, the other in bursts of colourful caricature – with plenty of humour and tenderness in a coming-of-age story set in 1980s Limerick.

  On Tuesday, November 17, one of the country’s top theatre companies Rough Magic take to the stage with their latest production ‘How To Keep An Alien’. Audiences are just loving Sonya Kelly in this show, which won Best Production at the 2014 Dublin Fringe Festival and wowed audiences at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

  This is the show about a couple who fall in love but need to convince the Government to let one of them stay in the country, aka the Alien! Join Sonya’s madcap odyssey from the stony townlands of Offaly to the leafy depths of the Queensland bush.

Booking now at Roscommon Arts Centre on (09066)25824 or log onto www.roscommonartscentre.ie.





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