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Friday was Roscommon Down Syndrome Day!

 

 

Last Thursday (March 21st) may have been World Down Syndrome Day – but Friday proved to be Roscommon Down Syndrome Day!

  To mark the occasion, Roscommon County Council hosted members of Down Syndrome Roscommon branch and their families.

During the afternoon there was a display of artwork and photographs submitted by branch members at the council offices.

  After refreshments were served, members were warmly and eloquently welcomed by Cllr. Ivan Connaughton, Cathaoirleach, and Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive. It was a wonderful event for members who were made feel very welcome by all. 

  The Roscommon branch wishes to thank Creggs National School for their fundraising activities and kind donation on the day. The branch also invited Jackie and Bob McCormack and Caoimhe from Roscommon Special Olympics to the event.

  Down Syndrome Ireland offers support and services to people with Down Syndrome and their families throughout Ireland. The Roscommon branch is one of twenty-five branches nationwide.

  The branch provides members in Roscommon with: speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, home tutoring, cycling lessons in conjunction with Roscommon Sports Partnership, an annual Christmas Party, professional financial and legal advice for parents’ families, workshops for siblings and talks from professionals.

  Members of the branch committee are John Landy, Tom Mulry and Deborah Condron.

 

 

 

Ah go on, go on, go on…and spoil Roscommon’s ‘First Ladies’ this Sunday!

 

 

 

If you haven’t yet managed to select that special gift in order to not only pay tribute to, but show that inspirational maternal goddess in your life, (she-who-constantly-ferries-food-from-oven-to-table-for-you), just how much you appreciate her and all she’s done, we suggest you get a move on!

  Here’s five more top gifts ideas…

 

A novel hamper

 

Remember, showing your mum how much you love her doesn’t have to cost the earth. So, if you’re on a budget, and who isn’t, we’re sure she’d love a scented candle, bathrobe and slippers hamper; and, if you pair this gift with her favourite breakfast in bed, well, you’ll never again have to iron a pair of trousers or a skirt!

 

The personal touch…

 

Now, we all know the quintessential (and much parodied) Irish mammy spends her time panicking about the immersion being left on, what the neighbours will think, and how, when all seems lost, the humble cup of tea can cure everything. So, this Sunday, why not present her with a hamper made up of a personalised Roscommon’s Best Mammy mug, (make sure to include her name), a tea towel, artisan tea and choccies, shortbread biccies, scones and jams, etc. Use your imagination; you know this woman best. You’ve got a couple of days to run ‘round the local shops and pick up all the items she loves, then have them beautifully wrapped in a hamper before heading to the florist and choosing a bouquet of her favourite blooms or a potted plant she can admire and smile at, as she drinks her tea from the mug you, her wonderful child, bought her. Aaah!

 

Jewellery

 

Another great option is a piece of jewellery. There are plenty of jewellers dotted across the county, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing an appropriate (and expensive, because she’s worth it), necklace, pair of earrings, or a bracelet, etc., for the woman who still washes and irons your clothes…even though you’re pushing 40!

 

A tasty option

 

If your mammy enjoys a little tipple, then a bottle of wine will be very welcome. However, instead of grabbing her usual signature brand, (the one that works perfectly with the stew), this year, put a bit of thought into it and select something that challenges her taste buds. It’ll not only be the perfect gift, it’ll also impress her how much you’ve given her the opportunity to explore that new taste experience she’s been going on, and on, about.

 

A trip away…

 

Speaking of new experiences…there’s still time to go to the travel agents and book Roscommon’s fun-loving First Lady on a wine-tasting tour where mammy can acquaint herself with gourmet foods/cheeses and learn how to pair them up with the perfect wines…in addition, she can get a relaxing trip away from you lot into the bargain. 

 

 

All-Ireland Public Speaking win for Castlerea school

 

 

On Saturday, March 9th the Senior Public Speaking team from Castlerea Community School were crowned winners of the fifth annual Knights of St. Columbanus Public Speaking Competition 2018-19. This is a national youth faith initiative supported by the Knights of St. Columbanus, an order of Catholic laymen founded in 1915 by Canon James O’Neill. Runners-up were St. Joseph’s College, Garbally, Ballinasloe and Killina Presentation Secondary School, Tullamore.

  The team from Castlerea won first place at the Diocesan Final held at Abbey Community College, Boyle and progressed from the Connacht Final, held in Knock House Hotel. The successful teams at Diocesan, Provincial and All-Ireland level received trophies and cheques for their school on each occasion, while students on the winning teams received vouchers to the value of €50.

  The Castlerea CS team’s topic was: ‘Living the Christian Life’. The team was Aoibhe D’Arcy, Maureen Quinn, Nathan Green and Ronan Tumbek, with Aoibhe (as captain) starting the day’s proceedings with an eloquent introduction to the issue of World Hunger. Maureen followed with a passionate discussion pertaining to real-world examples of hardship, and Nathan presented a powerful conclusion detailing initiatives that have been put in place to address the issue both in Ireland and internationally. All arguments were supported by the students’ lived faith experiences and their faith formation within family, parish and school.

  The standard at the All-Ireland final was commended by both the adjudicators and Co-ordinator of the competition, Seamus McDonald (Knight). On announcing Castlerea Community School as winners of the All-Ireland competition, they were highly commended for focusing on their active faith lives as well as their in-depth knowledge of scripture and church teaching. Their presentation of the topic was outstanding, with balance, depth and excellent teamwork evident throughout.

  There were jubilant scenes among the assembled group from Castlerea CS including the team, their mentors, families and friends and other members of the school community who travelled in support. The immense achievement of this team was noted, as they are the first winners of the Knights of St. Columbanus Public Speaking Competition from Connacht and the first school from the Community School sector to win at this level.

  The Castlerea Community School team are most grateful to Justin Harkin (Diocese of Elphin Education Secretariat), Seamus McDonald (Knight of St. Columbanus) coordinator of the competition, Bishop Kevin Doran, adjudicators, Ms. Eileen Ryan (Principal, CCS) and Jarlath Burke (Deputy Principal, CCS) and the staff and families of Castlerea Community School for their unwavering support and encouragement.

 

 

Glenamaddy group into All-Ireland Drama Finals

 

 

Glenamaddy Players have qualified for the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals in Doonbeg, Co. Clare which will take place from April 5th-April 13th 2019. The draw to determine what night the group will perform their production of ‘Rabbit Hole’ by David Lyndsay-Abaire takes place on Sunday, March 31st in West Clare.

  Throughout the festival circuit the cast have received awards along with many nominations. The cast is as follows: Becca (Tina Ward), Izzy (Anna Flaherty), Howie (Cian Boyle), Nat (Marie Coneran) and Jason (Patrick Coneran). The play is directed by Coman Keaveny and they are ably supported by a diligent backstage crew.

  Rabbit Hole, the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007, tells the story of the Corbett family, who have everything a family could want – until the day their world is turned upside down.
  In the aftermath of a life-shattering accident, a young husband and wife find themselves drifting perilously apart. Rabbit Hole charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back up into the light of day.

  If you have not already seen this production, please note that it will be performed at the Town Hall Theatre, Glenamaddy on Wednesday, April 3rd. Booking on 086-2045896.

Dan’s Irish eyes are smiling…

 

 

 

Many years ago in the ‘Roscommon Champion days’ I used to write a column called ‘Old Dan’. That was fictional; Dan Moran, who won’t mind being called ‘old’, isn’t!

  I was delighted to receive this excellent photograph from Athlone-based photographer Liam Kidney this week. Liam photographed Dan Moran, right, on his 101st birthday, as a present for his family.

  One of ten children, Dan was born on March 15th, 1918 to John and Sarah Moran (nee Morris) of Bushypark, Mount Talbot, Co. Roscommon. Dan and his sister Lizzie Fallon are the only remaining members of the family now and they reside in the well-known Tearmainn Bhríde Nursing Home in Brideswell, Co. Roscommon.

  Dan attended Mount Talbot NS until he was fourteen years of age. He then learned carpentry from his father. In 1935 he emigrated to the UK where he would work for many years. He became an accomplished accordion player, regularly performing in local pubs and clubs. He even played at the London Tube stations when people were seeking refuge from German bombers during the war.

  He met his future wife, Josephine (nee Hanley from Limerick) and they married in Chiswick in 1946. The couple returned to Ireland in 1948, to Dan’s homestead. He continued to work as a carpenter and also farmed. Dan maintained his musical hobby and played with various bands and was a member of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.  

  Dan had a keen interest in Sheep trials and became an expert on the Border Collie breed. He was the first Roscommon man to breed and train Border Collies. He ran the first Sheepdog Trials in Four Roads and completed in trials in Ireland and the UK. Meanwhile, in his workshop he perfected the art of manufacturing Shepherd’s Crooks and walking sticks and distributed them at home and abroad.

  Dan celebrated his 101st birthday on Saturday by entertaining his guests with a great rendition of two of his favourite songs…‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ and ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling’.

  What a great life – and a great man! Congratulations to the original, and real, Old Dan!

* Photographer Liam Kidney is currently involved in a project where he is photographing elderly people in the community and recording their stories. If anybody has an elderly friend or relative that they would like to get photographed please get in touch with Liam Kidney through www.liamkidney.com or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See the acclaimed ‘The 4 Of Us’ at Backstage Theatre

 

The 4 Of Us rocketed to fame in the 1980s with smash hits such as ‘Mary’ and ‘Drag My Bad Name Down’. Heralding from Newry, two of the founding members have continued their musical success and play Backstage Theatre, Longford this Saturday, 23rd March.

  Interspersed by Brendan Murphy’s often hilarious stories and musings on the band’s three decades in music, the band’s set list features all the old hits as well as tracks from their recent critically acclaimed album, Sugar Island – including the radio favourite, Going South.

  The success of this most recent album (hailed by Hot Press magazine as “excellent”) – along with the band’s award-winning back catalogue and inclusion in prestigious lists such as TV3’s Top Ten Irish Bands of All Time and Today FM’s Top Five Irish Singles – has led to a string of sold-out live performances and rave reviews in recent times.

  See The Four of Us this Saturday, 23rd March in Backstage Theatre, Longford. Tickets €25 are available on 043-3347888 or backstage.ie

 

 

Critically acclaimed Theatre at Roscommon Arts Centre

 

 

Best New Play and Best Actress nominated ‘Charlie’s a Clepto’ (Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards) takes to the stage at Roscommon Arts Centre on Wednesday, 27th March at 8 pm. It’s written and performed by multi-award nominated actor Clare Monnelly and directed by Irish Times Theatre Awards winning actor and director Aaron Monaghan.

  Charlie is a kleptomaniac – the doctor told her. Reckons it stems from childhood trauma. But she has the robbin’ completely under control these days. For real. She has a bit of a mouth on her, but she’s only trying to be funny, give everyone a laugh, not cause trouble, like. Not today, of all days. She loves that little boy more than she ever thought it was possible to love another human. There’s a lot riding on these 24 hours, and if she keeps her head down, she’ll get him back. 

  Everyone has a story to tell…but…there’s a time and a place. This is neither. Follow Charlie, the queen of self-sabotage, as she tries desperately – for once in her life – to keep her mouth shut long enough to make it count.

  Clare Monnelly’s debut as a writer is a fast-paced, poignant and funny play about motherhood, messing up, and doing your best to make it up. 

  Star of Sky One’s Moone Boy and RTE 2’s Nowhere Fast, Clare says: “I’m delighted to be getting the opportunity to take Charlie’s a Clepto on national tour to 15 venues around the country. This is a story that everyone will recognise, full of characters we all know. Charlie is not perfect, but she is human, and you can’t help but root for her to succeed. I can’t wait for you all to meet her”.

  Tickets on sale now from Roscommon Arts Centre on 090-6625824 and from www.roscommonartscentre.ie

 

 

John’s Croagh Patrick Climb retold on RosFM!

 

 

A radio documentary detailing John Tobin’s ascent of Croagh Patrick in September 2016 will be broadcast live on Ros Fm 94.6 next Wednesday (March 27th) at 4 pm.

  Williamstown native John, who suffers from cerebral palsy, became the first wheelchair user to climb Croagh Patrick on Saturday, September 10th 2016 with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and his specially modified buggy known as the ‘Dream Machine’. Next Wednesday’s documentary will also be available on podcast on www.rosfm.ie.

She will not speak his name…

 

 

A horrible week.

Massacre of the innocents in Christchurch. Appalling tragedy in Cookstown.

Different worlds, not dissimilar emotions.

  Behind the tragedy, human decency. Your heart went out to so many in Cookstown. Friends of the three teenagers who died. Parents and siblings. The shattered community. A devastated hotel owner emotionally speaking to the media.

  A horrible week.

  Heroes emerge. And one hero stands out this week, for she is surely the hero of the world just now.

  I will never speak his name, she said. Her name is Jacinda. Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. I will never speak his name, she said. We should speak the names of the victims, she said.

  The PM’s response to the murder of 50 people in two mosques has been incredibly moving, dignified, assured. Flawless really. It is true that political leaders generally have enough intelligence and empathy (and advice available to them) to respond correctly at times of tragedy and emergency. We expect that; we look to them for leadership when our communities are hurting. But this is greater than that. Jacinda Ardern has not only got everything right in the normal way, she has gone beyond…showing a warm, inclusive, comforting, yet firm leadership that has been deeply, deeply impressive. She is wrapping her embrace around the families of the victims, she is easing fears amongst communities, and still she is sending very clear messages to those who ‘trade’ in terror and hate. Immediately after the appalling attacks, she put extremists and racists in their place with a starkly clear speech – during which she calmly emphasised that New Zealand is and will remain a place of kindness, diversity, compassion and refuge.

  Subsequently, she wore a hijab when visiting members of the Muslim community. And she announced that her government will pay all funeral costs for families of the victims.

  And she said she will never ever say his name. Because he wants notoriety. And because it’s the names of the victims that matter.

  She will never say his name. Her name is Jacinda Ardern and she has been heroic.

 

 

The late Harry Wynne

 

 

I was sorry to hear of the recent passing of a famous figure in Boyle, solicitor Harry Wynne. Mr. Wynne, of Carrick Road, died after a short illness.

  In his mid-80s, he was a highly regarded solicitor and a very prominent Fianna Fail activist over many decades. He was also very involved in community circles.

  He served as legal adviser to Fianna Fáil in the constituency for many years.

   Deputy Eugene Murphy said the late Mr. Wynne was a true gentleman with a great legal mind and a reliable and trustworthy legal adviser to the Fianna Fáil party.

  Mr. Sean Mahon of Mahon Sweeney Solicitors, who is Secretary of the Roscommon Bar Association, described Mr. Wynne as “a gentleman to the tips of his toes” who was admired and respected throughout the legal profession.

  He was a major community figure in Boyle and a very distinguished member of the legal profession.

  Sincere sympathy to his wife Marie, sons, daughter, brother, grandchildren and extended family. May he rest in peace.

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