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Subliminal Sublime at Lough Key Forest Park





As part of their 2019 Visual Art Programme, Roscommon Arts Centre and Roscommon Arts Office present ‘Subliminal Sublime The Park Project IV’ with Lucy McKenna this Saturday (26th) at 7 pm in Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle.

  This unique event is the culmination of artist Lucy McKenna’s work in the park since August 2018 where, using local history and folklore, Lucy has taken Lough Key Forest Park as a location to peel back a layer of reality and reveal the potential for sublime visions, experiences and information. In the past the Park has experienced sightings of mermaids, UFOs, giants, ghosts, lights in the sky and portals to other places.

  Subliminal messages are stimuli that lie below our threshold of conscious awareness, but if concealed messages are experienced, can our minds construct a hidden world behind the conscious curtain? To experience the sublime is to experience something which is momentarily, paralysingly beautiful, but also evokes fear and commands respect.

  This free event will be a short light-filled experience which brings members of the public inside the Moylurg Tower in Lough Key Forest Park to see whatever they will see, with a hope to invoke the sublime. Access to the tower on the night is limited, and to ensure access places should be booked in advance through Eventbrite.ie. If maximum capacity is reached in the tower, audiences are also invited to view the work from the vicinity of the Moylurg Tower, so all are welcome to attend on the evening.

  Participants are invited to meet at the Visitor Centre in the Park at 7 pm that evening. The event will also mark the launch of a newly-commissioned text by Visual Art Writer in Residence, Joanne Laws.
  This project is commissioned by Roscommon County Council Arts Office. With special thanks to the management and staff of Lough Key Forest Park and Black Powder Monkey. For further information on the event contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Our hot tips for efficient home heating




According to a recent survey carried out by NRG Awareness, ‘nine out of 10 Irish people are worried about the cost of heating their home this winter,’ with a third of those questioned saying they’re expecting to shell out over ‘€500’ on heating bills before the sun starts to shine again.

  If you’re one of those people, (and I am), who finds all of their energy budget is going on keeping your home warm this winter, (and I’ve just paid an ESB bill so large this week, I’m convinced I’m supporting the entire national grid), then, in order to try and help you shave even a little bit off your bills, we’ve put together what we hope are some hot tips…(see what we did there), to help you out.

  Walk around your home with a notebook and pen and, like a forensic auditor, dissect, appraise, evaluate and analyse every single nook, cranny, wall, air-duct, door and window in order to determine where you’re losing your heat. Now, while this should not prove to be a difficult or technical task, if you’re someone who isn’t terribly handy, you could consider engaging the services of a local professional home energy consultant who’ll carry out an expert assessment for you and who’ll also be able to best advise around strategies and solutions for draught proofing, etc.

  If your radiators are showing signs of having cold spots, it’s very likely you have air trapped in your system. This air can cause the radiators to circulate hot water less effectively, meaning less heat is being generated into your room. So, while your heating is turned off and your radiators have cooled down, get your Allen (or radiator) key and bleed them bad boys until the ‘hissing’ sound made by the trapped air escaping has stopped. Our tip: Make sure you have a towel or some sort of cloth sufficient enough to catch any water that may leak out.  For those who are unsure how to carry out this procedure, we’d advise you call your local plumber for help.

  Burst pipes are great fun…said nobody ever! So, as Met Eireann is telling us the cold snap is due to stick around for the foreseeable future, in order to avoid a disaster, we’d recommend the following:

  As the cold weather can prove damaging to pipes, try to avoid totally switching off your home heating system, and instead, keep the temperature on low. You see, even though switching off your heat entirely will save on energy bills, you may end up paying out a fortune replacing the damage done by burst pipes. Our tip: Investing in a programmable timer will give you control over your heating, especially if you’re going to be away from home overnight during a bitterly cold snap.

  Never assume that, just because your heating system is running okay it means there are no underlying issues at play. Remember to book your annual maintenance service in order to avoid that distressful breakdown in the middle of a minus three day in January when you’ll need your heating the most.


Fuel Allowance Scheme

Coping with the bitterly cold weather can prove challenging for our seniors, and there is a fuel allowance scheme in place to help with costs. The 2018/19 fuel allowance season began last October, and, if you wish to find out more about it, or to see if you qualify to receive help, get in touch with your local social welfare office whose friendly staff will be happy to go through the procedure with you.

  Speaking of fuel allowances, if at all possible, when having your home heating oil/fuel delivered, try to avoid ordering small amounts and instead, if you can afford it, ask your supplier to deliver the optimum amount your tank/fuel shed can take. Remember, your local supplier will usually offer discounts on bigger orders, so make use of their value for money options.

  Insulate your hot water tank to keep your water warm for longer, and insulate your attic space to reduce any heat loss.








People Watching - January 25th





3 Things we didn’t like this week…


Hard border fears

Brexit: Is this the beginning of a climbdown by the EU on the Irish border issue? First, we had the Polish Finance Minister suggesting that the backstop should have a time limit of five or ten years. A day later, a European Commission spokesman said Ireland would see a new hard border if the UK crashed out of the EU without a deal. Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney responded by saying: “The Irish government will not support the re-emergence of border infrastructure. We’re not planning for it. But certainly, if we don’t have a withdrawal agreement, it becomes very, very difficult to prevent that, and we need to work closely with the European Commission and the British government who have an obligation of course to relationships on this island”.  

  But at this week moves on (and events are unfolding hour by hour at this stage) there is a real sense that Ireland is coming under pressure to soften its position on the border, in order to help avoid a no deal crash out by the UK. We’re being warned that if the UK leaves without a deal in March, a hard border on this island is inevitable. So, what can we do to avoid it? For their part, a rattled Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are still trying to portray that the next move is London’s, while at the same time hoping that the ‘EU 27’ – well, the other 26 – are not preparing to abandon Dublin.

  Serious poker playing now, or as Mick McCarthy might say, ‘squeaky bum time’…


A blow for patients?

The prospect of thousands of hospital appointments being cancelled in the event of a nurses’ strike going ahead is a gloomy one for the public.


Scourge of scammers

Reports of ongoing attempts by ‘scam artists’ to con people through various means (Internet, by phone, etc.) are worrying. See Frank Brandon’s column this week.


3 Things we liked this week…

Triumph in Tuam

Roscommon senior footballers had an excellent and largely unexpected victory over Galway in Sunday’s FBD Final, played in Tuam. In quite demanding conditions, a superb defensive performance was the foundation on which Roscommon built this win against the Tribesman. However there was plenty of positive play further up the field too and Roscommon were deserving and impressive winners on a 0-13 to 1-5 scoreline.


On the right road…

News that An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead for development work on the N5 between Ballaghaderreen and Scramogue is to be warmly welcomed.

  The works will see the proposed development link with the Ballaghaderreen bypass before joining up with the existing N5 at Scramogue, near Strokestown.

  Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Cllr. Ivan Connaughton said that the announcement was a major milestone – and we agree! 


Young at heart (of Oscars)

Congratulations to Boyle native Paul Young, who is on the Oscar trail again. On Tuesday, Paul’s studio Cartoon Saloon was again nominated for an Academy award. That’s the fourth such nomination. We wish Paul and all at Cartoon Saloon the very best of luck at the Oscars when they take place in Los Angeles next month.


Quote of the week


“I slept okay last night but I woke up a couple of times with all sorts going through my head. I could visualise this little one (his daughter) running around on a par three in the middle of the night. That’s how mental this game is…
oh God, I am so happy”


– Offaly’s Shane Lowry speaking to reporters after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at the weekend. It was
his first tournament win in over three years and catapults the popular Irish man back up to number 41 in the world.


Good week

It was a good week for Curraghboy man Ger Cummins, who won a handsome €65,000 on the RTE show ‘Winning Streak’. Nice one, Ger!


Bad week


It was a bad week for the community in Northern Ireland and all supporters of the peace process/normal society, following worrying incidents in Derry. Police believe that republican dissidents were responsible for the car bomb in Derry on Saturday evening and for further subsequent security alerts.


Our person of the week


Our person of the week is Castlerea native Susan Carty who earlier this week was named overall winner of the inaugural Irish Women’s Awards. Susan took the title of ‘Woman of the Year’ at an event held to showcase the contribution of women to various industries and professions such as law, medicine, technology, arts, sports and education. Originally from Trien, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Susan was awarded the title in recognition of her contribution to women’s rugby on a national and international basis over several years. Susan (‘Su’) is a former World Rugby Women’s Development Manager.



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


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