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Harvest Exhibition in Lecarrow on Saturday

The second annual Harvest Exhibition will take place on the lands of James and Eleanor Coffey in Lecarrow on this Saturday at noon.

  Cllr. Paddy Kilduff, the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, will officially launch the event, which is being hosted by the committee of St John’s Community Centre.

  This is a traditional exhibition, with corn being harvested by old-fashioned methods, including the hook, scythe, horse-drawn reaper and binder and by the old-style threshing machine.

  A sheep fair and horse and pony classes have been added to the line-up in recent days and should prove to be a good attraction. Both buyers and sellers of sheep are welcome.

  There will also be a novice horse and tractor-ploughing exhibition, in conjunction with Roscommon County Ploughing Association, in preparation for the National Ploughing Championships.

  Roscommon County Hunt will also hold a jumping exhibition on the day. A tug o’war competition will also take centre stage from 3 pm.

  On the day, refreshments will be served with a barbeque and shop on site. 

  There will also be a harvest prince and princess competition for three to eight-year olds, a ‘guess the weight of the lambs’ competition, traditional stalls, traditional scythe-cutting competition, tying-of-the-corn competition, family scarecrow competition, free horse-drawn carriage rides, pony riding, a traditional funfair and stalls.

  Music and dancing facilities will be provided to add to the atmosphere and that ample car parking facilities are available within the farm itself.

  Trade stands are welcome by prior contact with the committee or by David Diffley, the PRO of St John’s Community Centre, on 086-8952283. 


Cynic Gal ... Shelley Madden

Life in Plastic

So apparently now the world revolves around Kylie Jenner’s lips. Newsfeeds are peppered with as many Kardashian trout pouts as refugee victims and cancer survivors, and the worst thing is, they are presented as images to aspire to, or ‘life goals’.

  I cannot understand the willingness to go under the knife for the sake of a smoother face or bouncier boobs. This isn’t contouring, ladies; this involves scalpels and anaesthetic and robes that show your bum.

  However minor the risk, why do we even consider it for the sake of our vanity?

  It used to be only mature ladies like Sharon Osbourne getting facelifts to combat Hollywood ageism (even if the results were catastrophic) but now it is a circus where younger women are opting for the plastic treatment.

  The likes of Megan Fox and Heidi Montag having numerous cosmetic procedures before the age of 30 is ludicrous. These girls were stunning beforehand, so why did a medical professional not question their reliance on needles and poison for self-esteem?

  Tulisa Contostavlos was awarded the prestigious and not at all sexist title of FHM’s Sexiest Woman in 2012 and two years later, she had a drastic change of face. She was likened to Michael Jackson after a cheek and lip filler procedure went awry. Did she feel compelled to self-improve, to live up to this ridiculous title?  

  This practise of estimating a woman’s worth based on her looks is everything that is wrong with the media today; the pressure on female celebrities is insurmountable.

  We gasp in horror that Lisa Kudrow looks older than the fresh-faced Phoebe Buffay we know and love, but equally lambast Courteney Cox for her decision to overdose on Botox.

  You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you are in the public eye for more than ten years, you are inevitably going to fall victim to the shame brigade that dwell in glossy magazine land.

  For this reason, you can forgive the celebrity omissions of truth when the media tries to attack them for the beauty measures they were forced in to. Baby Jenner initially tried to pass her enlargements as the work of Mother Nature while Roz Purcell is still insisting she hasn’t had her lips done despite going from naturally plump to overstuffed sausage.

  Actresses the world over plaster their names on a moisturiser bottle and attribute their youthful features to good genes and plenty of water. Evian might claim to help you live young but unless it’s holding up the clothes pegs behind your facelift, you cannot deny the telling sheen of a plastic visage.

  I’m not advocating a caveman existence where we all live in a hippie commune without razors and make-up. There is nothing wrong with a little sprucing up: pinning back some sticky-out ears or straightening some unruly teeth. But when we start altering our appearance past the point of recognition, what’s the point? Would you really prefer to look like Janice Dickinson? She’s scary, man.

  Stop telling women they look old. Stop buying magazines with such headlines as ‘Jen Aniston shows new wrinkle lines – is her marriage in trouble already?!’ Plastic fanatics, stop trying to erase every scrap of evidence that you’ve laughed or cried. For the record, you don’t look younger. You look like the little guy on the bike from Saw.



‘Hypnotism is harder than comedy or singing…it’s completely unpredictable!’

Fifteen minutes spent chatting to Jason O’Callaghan goes by in a blur.

  Perhaps he’s hypnotised me over the phone, although I don’t think he did.

  It’s more that he talks quite fast, which is apt, because he’s clearly a very busy, energetic man who doesn’t like standing still.

  After all, he’s packed more into his adult life to date than most people would expect to manage in a long lifetime.

  As a journalist, the Dublin native spent almost a decade writing for the Sunday Independent; later he co-founded the Irish Rat Pack Show and continues to perform as a singer; wrote the best-selling ‘Confessions of a Gossip Columnist’; then reinvented himself as a psychologist – and now tours with a comedy hypnotism show.

  It’s because of the latter that Jason and I are chatting; he brings his unique hypnotism show to Roscommon Arts Centre on this Saturday night, 19th of September.

  Jason speaks with passion about hypnosis and it’s a slight challenge to divert the conversation back to the ‘celebrity journalism’ that first brought him to prominence, or indeed to his acclaimed ‘Rat Pack’ music career.  

  A man who loves taking on new challenges, he says he has always been interested in psychology, and that led him to return to college in 2008. He left with a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology.

  In 2011 Jason opened the D4 Clinic, which is a Psychology/Hypnosis Clinic. Typically clients will want to see if hypnosis can help them to lose weight, quit smoking, boost their confidence, perhaps prove life-changing for them.

  And it can do all of those things, Jason says.

  “People have lost seven or eight stone after they’ve availed of our service” he says of the life-changing potential of hypnosis.   

  Stating that “our aim is to save lives,” he has done ground-breaking research into the effects of hypnosis on cancer patients to help them reduce stress. He also volunteered for over four years in the mental health sector to better understand the workings of the human mind.

  Hailing hypnosis for the significant benefits it can deliver, and for the fun and entertainment that it can create as well, Jason says 80% of people can be hypnotised to a light degree, while 10% of people can be fully hypnotised.

  We’ll talk about this weekend’s visit to Roscommon Arts Centre later, but I want to hear more about his days with the ‘Sunday Indo’ back in the Celtic Tiger years.

  Jason co-wrote a social diary page with Gayle Killilea, who in more recent years has been in the news with her husband, developer Sean Dunne. Working as a journalist in the Sunday Independent at that time brought him into contact with a world of celebrity and glamour.

  “Yeah, it might have looked great from the outside,” he says, and I know there’s a ‘but’ coming. He worked under Terry Keane (the renowned social diarist) but in reality he was answerable to Anne Harris, wife of the then Editor, Aengus Fanning, and herself destined to become Sunday Independent Editor many years later.  

  “Anne didn’t get to where she is without being very, very tough” Jason says.

  Working the ‘celebrity beat’ was not as glamorous as readers might think, he reveals. He felt ongoing pressure to deliver for the paper. When he did an interview with a celebrity, the PR people wanted one thing, but his newspaper bosses invariably wanted something much more salacious: “basically who they were sleeping with!”

  And it was all fiercely competitive too – “not just with other media, in fact you were competing with newspapers all over the world for these celebrities, but even with my colleague, Gayle, on our page!”

  When I say “So it wasn’t all fun?” he fires back with a classic line.

  “No, certainly not. It was like being married to a nymphomaniac; the first two weeks are great but it loses its shine after a while!”

  Okay, we’ll move on, but just before we do, Jason confirms that he and his colleagues in the Sunday Independent knew all about the existence of the relationship between Charles Haughey and Terry Keane.

  “In fairness, I think the dogs in the street knew.”

  Leaving journalism, Jason founded The Irish Rat Pack in 2002. He was producer, director and performer. Singing the classics associated with stars like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Junior, the band has performed to great acclaim. More recently his band has been rebranded as The Speakeasy Band. They are in much demand for weddings and corporate events. Upcoming high profile gigs will see them performing at the Dublin Lord Mayor’s Ball and at the Taoiseach’s Presentation Dinner.

  A busy man, for sure. He lives in Dublin, with his wife Carina and their children, Camille and Ethan. We did this interview on Friday; he had been performing his hypnosis as a comedy act at a wedding the previous night.

  He promises a “breathtaking and hilarious show” in Roscommon this Saturday night.

  “I am pushing the boundaries of hypnotism. I’m different to Keith Barry…I take a much more scientific approach. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it’s also the pinnacle for me. It’s harder than singing, harder than comedy. At least then you know your act. If people don’t laugh or dance, okay. With hypnotism, I don’t know what’s going to happen; it’s completely unpredictable.”

  Yes, members of the audience in Roscommon will get a chance to volunteer to come up on stage, but he stresses that you have to want to be hypnotised, or it won’t work, adding “it’s very safe and it’s fun!”

  He can hypnotise people to forget their own names, believe they are world famous celebrities, that they can speak to Aliens, that their belt is actually a live snake and that they are contestants on The X Factor!

  Personally, I wouldn’t at all like to hypnotised, but I do find it fascinating and I think this will be an entertaining show and a great night out, ideal for a group of friends.

  Jason asks me to come along and introduce myself to him on Saturday night.

  I might just do that – either before or after the show!

* Jason O’Callaghan is on stage in Roscommon Arts Centre on Saturday, September 19th (bookings on 090-6625824/www.roscommonartscentre.ie). 


Roscommon County Council presents Culture Night 2015

Explore, experience, enjoy!

On Friday, September 18, the whole nation will celebrate its home-grown arts sector.

  As part of this festival, Roscommon will host their very own culture night in various locations dotted around the county. For one night only, treat yourself once again to a free evening of exciting entertainment and culture.

  No matter where you are in the county on Friday, September 18, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find something to entertain and excite the senses.

  Ceol rince traidisiúnta, agus rinceorí seiteanna i gCeiliurlann an Chraoibhín – Traditional Dance Music and Set Dancers in Douglas Hyde Centre, Portahard, Frenchpark. A bilingual event for young and old in the Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre. The event will see audiences experience and participate in traditional Irish music, story-telling, song and dance through the medium of both the Irish and English languages. Commencing at 7 pm, until late. For further information, please contact Deirdre on 087-7823751.

  Early Irish Poetry Recital – Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Cruachan Aí, Tulsk. Early Irish Poetry recital and talk on its interpretations, from 6 pm until 8 pm. For further information, please go to www.Facebook.com/Rathcroghan/Events or contact 071-9639268.

  ‘Ceol do Chuile Duine’ – Traditional Music and Dance in Keadue, from 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm. For more information, please contact Michael Guihen at 087-7900361.

  Tours of King House, Boyle; concert and Yeats poetry readings. Visit the magnificently-restored Georgian mansion in Boyle, with its Interpretative Galleries and Museum. Free tours of the house from 6 pm to 9 pm. Booking essential. Ireland’s leading international female pianist, Thérese Fahy, will play an exciting mixture of old and new piano masterpieces. A highlight will be a piece by Roscommon-based composer, Siobhan Cleary, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats. Concert starts at 8 pm. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to explore Maria McKinney’s new exhibition, which runs throughout the house.

For further information, contact 087-2829425 or go to www.kinghouse.ie

  Library Events. Boyle Branch Library. Crafting demonstrations including Quilting and Basket making from 5 pm to 8 pm. For further information, contact 071-9662800. Roscommon Library will host an Art Exhibition by a local artist from 6 pm until 8 pm. Ballaghaderreen Library will host a Photography exhibition by local Photography Club from 6 pm until 9 pm. For more, contact 094-9877044.

  Culture Night at Historic Strokestown Park House. For more information contact 071-9633013 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Traditional Music, Dance and Food Tasting in Fourmilehouse Community Centre, Kilbride in conjunction with Roscommon Disability Support Group. All traditional music players welcome to come and join in the craic. Calling all Céilí Dancers to come along and show their skills, from 7 pm until 11 pm. For further information, contact Bernie Kearney on 086-6000755 or Mary (Derrane Resource Centre) on 090-6625852.

  ‘Seisiún’ in Athleague Community Centre – Athleague Branch Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann.

Traditional music, dancers, singers and storytellers. All welcome to come and participate. From 10 pm until late. Contact Mary at 086-4022400.

  Art Exhibition in Athleague Angling & Heritage Centre. Exhibition of mixed media paintings by local artist, Anne Rigney from 7.30 pm until 10 pm. Tel: 090-6663602.

  ‘Seisiún’ in Ballybay Parish Hall, Kiltoom-Athlone Branch Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann.

Ceol, craic agus comhrá – traditional music, dancers, singers and storytellers. Contact Nancy at 085-7189132.

  Culture Night is brought to you by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Oireachtas na Gaeilge and Foras na Gaeilge in partnership with Roscommon County Council and supported by The Arts Council. See www.culturenight.ie, www.roscommoncoco.ie.


YourPhysio – now open in Roscommon Town and Ballaghaderreen

YourPhysio, Roscommon town, is a sister clinic to the Bradley Clinics in Carrick-on-Shannon and Longford Town and also to City Chiropractic in Galway City Centre.  YourPhysio aims to provide a high level of Physiotherapy care to our patients and to give them the results and advice that they require. 

  Primary Physiotherapist, Eimear Delaney of the Bradley Clinics is the Head Physiotherapist for YourPhysio, and Eimear oversees the care of all patients who attend any YourPhysio Clinic, as well as providing continuous training for the Physiotherapists who treat in the YourPhysio Clinics.

  Gavin Horan is our Physiotherapist in Ballaghaderreen and Jennifer Downey is our resident Physio in Roscommon Town. All of our physios are registered with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapy (ISCP). They use a variety of treatments such as dry needling, soft tissue techniques, mobilisations, sports taping and rehabilitation programmes in order to achieve best results with their patients. YourPhysio was born from local GPs asking Dr Paul Bradley of the Bradley Clinics, to provide physiotherapy services in their clinics and over the coming months another branch of the YourPhysio clinics will be opening in the new Medical Complex in Mullingar.

  If you would like to schedule an appointment for one of our Physiotherapists, please contact 1890-815-684 and our reception team will assist you in making an appointment that is suitable for you.


TK Maxx arrives to Athlone Towncentre

After months of speculation and anticipation the opening of the TK Maxx store at Athlone Towncentre Shopping Centre has been confirmed for Thursday 17th of September at 10 am.

  With over 16,000 square ft. of retail space, the opening of the TK Maxx store represents the largest and most significant development for Athlone Towncentre since it opened its doors in late 2007.  

  Spread over 2 floors adjacent to the Gleeson Street entrance, the store will include extensive ladies, mens and childrens departments along with its ever-popular homeware offering.  

  TK Maxx is renowned worldwide for delivering great value on an ever-changing selection of brand name and designer products.  

  Shoppers can expect to enjoy savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price of many products in store.  

  Speaking on behalf of Bannon, managing agents for Athlone Towncentre, Ray Geraghty said: “The opening of TK Maxx represents a major milestone for Athlone Towncentre and will further reinforce the centre’s position as the premier shopping destination in the midlands region.”

  Shirley Delahunt, Marketing Manager for Athlone Towncentre commented further specifically highlighting benefit to the local economy.

  “This represents a huge vote of confidence not only for Athlone Towncentre but for Athlone as a whole. It continues to enhance the retail offering in Athlone and makes us a more attractive destination for customers from far and wide.  

  “Another huge benefit is of course the creation of additional employment in the area & it is fantastic to see so many local people joining the team in TK Maxx Athlone. People who will in turn spend their hard-earned weekly wages in a variety of other local businesses and services.”

  The official opening of the TK Maxx store in Athlone Towncentre will take place on Thursday 17th of September at 10 am and will be performed by the well-known TV3 Xpose presenter, Karen Koster together Westmeath GAA star Ray Connellan.



Imagine ... perfect beginnings at Hodson Bay Hotel

At Hodson Bay Hotel it is the little touches that allow us to create the perfect moments for your wedding day to mark the beginning of your life together.

  As your family & friends raise a glass to you, our dedicated Wedding Management Team will stand proudly by, ensuring no stone is left unturned to provide you with the perfect celebration.

  Hodson Bay Hotel has earned its reputation as one of Ireland’s leading wedding venues. Offering a spectacular location on the beautiful shores of Lough Ree, elegant banqueting suites, excellent food and service combined with the wealth of experience & dedication of our team, Hodson Bay Hotel will strive to create the wedding reception of your dreams.

  We pride ourselves on our superb cuisine and menu offering which is one of the most important aspects of any wedding reception.

  Our award-winning Executive Head Chef Gavin O’Rourke and his team will make sure that no attention to detail is spared when preparing sumptuous meals for you and all of your guests with the very best of fresh local and Irish produce.

  We are delighted to announce our 2015 Autumn Wedding Fair which will take place on Sunday the 27th of September from 3-6 pm.

  Come meet our wedding team with over 22 years’ experience as one of Ireland’s top waterside wedding venues. Meet our range of exhibitors from photographers to bands, florists to videographers, and choose that perfect wedding cake!

  Sample our wonderful wedding menu with a complimentary tasting where you can meet our executive head chef and his team. With live music from the amazing Gospelettes, and an evening showcase by the Bentley Boys, this is an event not to be missed!

  For further information on all of our wedding packages or to book your appointment for the day of the wedding fair, please contact our wedding Co-Ordinator Lisa Wykes on 090-6442000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Celebrate Ireland’s first Nutritional Therapy Awareness Week with Healthy Beings Health Store!

Top advice at Strokestown Store on Thursday

The Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI) is the official association for nutritional therapists and is proud to announce Ireland’s first official Nutritional Therapist Awareness Week, which runs from September 14 to 21.

  Ann Gannon, a member of the NTOI, will be at Healthy Beings Health Store, Strokestown, on Thursday (17th) throughout the day and also Oasis Health Store, Carrick-on-Shannon, on Friday (18th) throughout the day.

  Nutritional therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising one’s health potential through individually formulated nutritional and lifestyle changes.

  Nutritional therapy treats the body as a whole while seeking the root source of health concerns, rather than simply treating the symptoms.

  Whilst there are certain dietary modifications that are likely to benefit everyone, a nutritional therapist recognises that everyone is different, the one size fits all diet does not exist. 

  Rather the diet of most benefit to your health will be the one that is specifically designed to meet your individual biochemical needs (personalised nutrition). 

  Nutritional therapy focuses on natural, wholesome,  unprocessed whole foods for optimal well being, as well as the therapeutic effects of particular foods for specific health conditions  which heal the body and boost overall health. 

  A nutritional therapist will work with the client to devise a meal plan that is nutritionally balanced, practical, enjoyable and sustainable. 

  If any foods need to be reduced or eliminated for a period of time viable alternatives will be suggested that will maintain nutritional needs. The aim is to find a diet and lifestyle that helps you look and feel your absolute best.

  Where necessary, a nutritional therapist may also recommend vitamin and mineral supplements to help alleviate certain symptoms or optimise nutritional status.  However, natural foods are always the first line of treatment.

  Nutritional therapy is not intended to replace conventional medicines but to complement them. 

Major Glenamaddy Show launched

There was a huge turnout at the launch of the Glenamaddy District Ploughing & Agricultural Show at Glenamaddy Equestrian Centre last Thursday night.

  The show was revived last year: the 2014 edition was the first one held in Glenamaddy in 60 years. And this year’s edition will take place in the equestrian centre on Sunday, October 4, from 10.30 am to 5 pm.

  It looks set to be a wonderful event, with a range of competitions, activities and attractions for all visitors. A hugely-dedicated committee are eager to ensure it will rival many more established farm shows nationwide.

  Show chairman Seán Ganley said: “It will be one of the best farming events west of the Shannon.”

  The equestrian centre and 30 acres of surrounding lands will once again play host to a range of attractions, including a top-class ploughing match, an indoor pedigree and commercial cattle show and a free play zone for kids.

  The ploughing championship, an official National Ploughing Association event, will be the centrepiece of the show.

  Mr Ganley said: “We’re fortunate to have access to one of the most ideal venues in Ireland – indeed, the equestrian centre here is the largest indoor arena in the west of Ireland.

  “A great group of volunteers from Glenamaddy, Clonberne, Kilkerrin, Glinsk and Williamstown have been working diligently and it’s great to see such a wonderful event emerging from that work.”

  Mr Ganley said that the show had received a huge boost this year with the addition of the Comer Group, owned by Glenamaddy brother Luke and Brian Comer, as main sponsors.

  Mr Ganley said: “I would like to thank them for their generous support towards the staging of this event. It is greatly appreciated by all involved.”

  The show have named a new perpetual cup, for the overall champion of the livestock show, in honour of the Comers’ generous contribution.

  Mr Ganley added: “I would also like to pay tribute to the many business and families across the area who have so far generously provided additional sponsorship and support to the event.”

  The gate will open for exhibitors on show day at 8 am, with gates opening to the general public at 10.30 am. The official opening will take place at 1 pm.

Weekend entertainment at JJ’s in Roscommon

Michael Banahan will perform in the Folk Club in JJ Harlow’s, The Square, Roscommon town, tonight (Thursday) from 9 pm to 11 pm.

  Founding member of Traditional/Folk group Rig the Jig, Michael has been involved in the music business for many years and has released in total nine critically acclaimed albums.

  He was a founder of GoodWood Music, a record label set up to support original Irish talent from all genres of music. The label release records worldwide through partnerships developed in the UK and the USA. On this Friday night in JJ’s, meanwhile, The Square House Social will take place, while on Saturday, the Junkyard Geordies will perform.

  Finally, on Sunday night, Cara Ceol will perform, concluding a wonderful few days’ music in the top Roscommon town pub.

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