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Big American Country Bluegrass Weekend at PJ’s of Castlecoote




An American Bluegrass Weekend is taking place this weekend in PJ’s of Castlecoote. Two top American artists will perform there, one on Saturday the 18th of May and one on Sunday, the 19th of May 2019. They are Rick Shea and Jim Hurst.

  Rick Shea will play PJ’s on Saturday, 18th of May 2019. From San Bernardino, California, Shea is a solo artist, singer, guitarist and songwriter.

  With nine critically acclaimed albums, Rick has performed all over Southern California, the West Coast, and across the USA. His songs reflect the folk, country, rock and Mexican influences that he grew up with.

  His latest album, Sweet Bernardine, is a collection of his own stories and stories of California and beyond – from the train journey he took as a broken-hearted young man in ‘Mexicali Train’ to the harrowing tale of his great grandfather’s time in Civil War prisoner camps in ‘John Shea from Kenmare’.

  Jim Hurst will play PJ’s on Sunday, 19th of May 2019. Born in Kentucky, US, Hurst is an American bluegrass and country guitarist. After a solid career touring and recording with country and bluegrass artists, Jim decided in 2010 to embark on a solo career. Already with seven recordings – ‘Open Window’, ‘Second Son’, ‘A Box of Chocolates’, ‘Intrepid’, ‘Looking Glass’, ‘Atlantic Crossing’, and, ‘JHT-1’ (from his Jim Hurst Trio) – these exhibit his diverse and deft guitar work and soothing vocals.

  Two wonderful and very special nights of Bluegrass brilliance are ahead this weekend – make sure you get to PJ’s of Castlecoote!


Let your imagination run wild this summer



The Roscommon Arts Centre is looking for young people with lively imaginations to join them for ‘Playmaking’, their playwriting adventure for children aged 9-12. Working alongside Maisie Lee and Fionnoula Gygax, they will help make your story into a play.

  You will spend two weeks at the arts centre this summer participating in exciting theatre-making workshops, before returning in September to finalise your script. Professional actors will then begin rehearsing the plays, which will be performed at both Roscommon Arts Centre and Backstage Theatre Longford/Aisling Festival in October.

  To apply to for this free programme, write a short story (300-500 words) and a paragraph telling us why you would like to be one of the playwrights and drop it into Roscommon Arts Centre or email it to at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 24th of May.

  This initiative is part of Backstage Theatre Longford’s 2019 Artist In Residence Programme, supported by Roscommon Arts Centre and Creative Ireland.


Music Generation Development Officer appointed



Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB) and Music Generation have announced the appointment of musician and music educator, Ellen Glennon, to the role of Music Generation Development Officer for Roscommon.

  Initiated by Music Network in 2010, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

  In her new post Ellen will develop and oversee an affordable, accessible programme of performance music education for children and young people up the age of 18 across the county.

  Commenting on her appointment Ellen said: “I’m delighted to take up the role as Music Development Officer in Roscommon. As a performer and music educator I am looking forward to extending the vision of Music Generation across Roscommon”.

  GRETB Chief Executive, David Leahy, said the board said Ellen would bring “a wealth of expertise to the role”. Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Cllr. Ivan Connaughton said the council were delighted to be associated with the initiative.

GRETB Board member Cllr. Kathleen Shanagher, said: “Music Generation will provide wonderful opportunities for young musicians to develop their talents by having professional musicians teaching and sharing their skills”.



‘Living with Dementia’ conference in Boyle



Noticing a much-loved family member or friend’s cognitive decline can prove to be extremely upsetting for us. And, as everyone will experience different levels of emotions when dealing with the many issues, signs and symptoms surrounding dementia, an annual ‘Living with Dementia in Rural Ireland’ conference, being held to specifically address and discuss readers’ concerns, with a focus on ‘Disability and Human Rights with Dementia’, has been arranged to take place on Monday, 27th of May in King House, Boyle, County Roscommon.

  A diagnosis of dementia can place not just an enormous, and often unsustainable financial and emotional pressure on those living with the condition, it can also cause stress and anxiety for those caring for them.

  For this reason, this month’s conference welcomes a range of expert speakers such as John Quinn from Brisbane, Australia and Carol Hargreaves from Scotland, who will share their own personal stories and experiences with attendees. In addition, such intellects as Mary McCarron, Professor of Ageing and Intellectual Disability at Trinity College will provide an expert insight into the area of Down Syndrome, Dementia and Palliative Care.

  Those living with dementia will know that adapting to a new lifestyle, which can often include disrupted sleep patterns, medical insurance issues, social isolation, and other dementia-related symptoms, may make the task of managing the condition a particularly arduous one, both for them and for their caregivers. To that end, conference organisers have promised attendees “will hear from family members who live with dementia and how they adapt to the new circumstances in their lifestyle”.

 In addition, London-based Jules Montague, a neurologist specialising in dementia, and NUIG graduate Orna Doris, a Speech and Language therapist, will be on hand to provide their own expert advice.

  All in all, for those who may feel that nobody understands, the agenda, which is set to showcase ‘a day of positive and honest interaction between those living daily with dementia and the researchers, medical professionals and support providers’ will be on offer in order that those living in rural Roscommon who are affected by this serious mental health issue can not just connect with others, but will hopefully get a better understanding of the condition as a whole, with advice regarding supports on offer to help them learn how to work towards living a more balanced and improved quality of life.


Aoife wins RosFM Talent show




16-year-old Aoife Duignan from Arigna was the overall winner of the RosFM Talent show on Friday last as part of the Roscommon Lamb Festival. Aoife is a student at Drumshanbo Vocational School and performed Lady Gaga’s ‘Shallow’ on the night.

  Izbella Rone (11) was second in last Friday’s talent show, singing ‘Your Song’ by Ellie Goulding and Sean Griffin (15), a well-known Sean Nós dancer from Fourmilehouse, was third.

  The standard was extremely high at The Marquee last Friday night with a wonderful variety of talented performers. Pic Michelle Hughes Walsh.



Join in the Táin March Festival 2019 & celebrate the epic tale of the Cattle Raid of Cooley 


The Táin March is a story of envy, honour and military prowess. The armies of Connacht and Ulster met in a titanic struggle over a prize bull called Donn Cúailnge. The Táin March starts in Rathcroghan in Co. Roscommon, where Queen Medb began her quest for the Brown Bull of Cooley and ends in Bush, Cooley, Co. Louth. Over three weekends and twelve walking days, marchers walk from Rathcroghan all the way to Cooley following Queens Medb’s route in pursuit of the Brown Bull.

  ‘FREE events are taking place in Tulsk, Roscommon, Strokestown, Sliabh Bawn, Clondra and Longford to mark the first weekend of the Táin March Festival. Celebrate the Táin March Festival and get involved in the fun!’ said Nollaig Feeney, Heritage Officer, Roscommon County Council. 

  On Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 7pm in Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk hear the story of the Táin in all its gory detail with master storyteller Mike McCarty – this version of the tale is not suitable for kids!  

  On Thursday 16th May 2019 at 6pm in Áras an Chontae, Roscommon there will be a Launch of the Táin Arts Exhibition – childrens art and poetry from 2017 and 2018. There will also be a Launch of ‘The Cats of Cruachan’ – a short animation inspired by the children’s poetry and art. Refreshments served. Followed at 7pm by a Procession from Áras an Chontae to Roscommon Castle for a dramatic presentation on the origins of the Táin Bó Cúailnge. 

  On Friday 17th May 2019 at 11am Queen Medb will assemble her warrior army at Rathcroghan Mound, one of the Royal Sites of Ireland, and dispatch them to retrieve the Brown Bull in Cooley. School children gather at Rathcroghan Mound to greet Queen Medb and send her army on their way. Each school ‘battalion’ will read a praise poem for their warrior Queen. Marchers depart on the first leg of their journey as far as Lissonuffy. At 7pm join Queen Medb’s army in Strokestown as they march down Church Street to Bawn Street for an evening of food, fun, music and entertainment. Winners of local school’s art competition will be announced. 

  On Saturday 18th May 2019 at 10.30am all are welcome to join the marchers as they cross Sliabh Bawn. Use the west entrance to the mountain, meeting point is T20. Bring your lunch! Costumes will be available so come along and get dressed up as a member of Queen Medb’s Iron Age Army. Hear Ancient Music Ireland, greet the marchers with their prehistoric musical instruments as they arrive from Lissonuffy. The tale of the Táin will be told as the march proceeds to Johns of Doughill where there will be a free bus to bring walkers back to their car.  The walk is followed at 2pm by a Warriors Feast with Queen Medb in attendance. Walkers can sample a taste of Táin era food and Mead brewed from the mysterious depths of Oweynagat cave. The fun continues in Longford with family costume design workshops, a talk by Monumental Ireland, Queen Medb ceremony and a performance of the Women of the Woods by Candlelit Tales.

  On Sunday 19th May 2019 at 10am the Marchers depart Johns of Doughill and proceed to Clondra and on to Longford town for a Táin March procession, poetry and art exhibition, storytelling, face painting and music. For details of Longford events follow The Táin March Longford on Facebook. 

  See www.tainmarch.ie  and Facebook for more details. Special thanks to the following for all their help: Daniel Curley from Rathcroghan Visitor Centre – on the importance of the tale to Roscommon – 087 9731886; Marie Gilhooly – on how the local community have gotten involved – 087 6890273; Richard Siberry, Black Donkey Brewery – on how they have brewed beer and mead from the mysterious depths of Oweynagat cave – 087 6181690; Tim Mullins, Táin March Festival Committee, Dundalk – on how they have linked-in with communities across the country to celebrate the story of the Táin – 086 8184952 and Danny Compton and the Strokestown Town Team – 086 8091336.



Local Enterprise Office announces Roscommon’s Best Young Entrepreneurs



Roscommon’s ‘Best Young Entrepreneurs’ for 2019 were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Local Enterprise Office Roscommon recently.

  The three winners and three runners-up were chosen from 13 local finalists and will now share a €50,000 investment fund.

  IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide youth enterprise initiative to help 18-35 year olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. In 2019, 1,644 young entrepreneurs entered IBYE, which is an initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.

  The county final was hosted by Louise Ward, Head of Enterprise at LEO Roscommon. Cathaoirleach of Roscommon Cllr. Ivan Connaughton was in attendance to present the awards. Among the special guests at the awards ceremony were Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council, TDs Eugene Murphy and Denis Naughten, Senator Terry Leyden, local councillors and members of Roscommon’s business community.

  The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by Thomas Finucane, founder of License! Learner in Monksland. License! is a platform through which you can find a driving instructor that suits your schedule, budget and location.

  The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Ciaran Feeney of Agrify in Scramogue.

  The winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and the €15,000 investment fund was Wayne Auchmuty, founder of Scaled Rigs Ltd. in Lecarrow. Scaled Rigs Ltd design and manufacture children’s toy ride-on battery powered model trucks for ages 5 to 13 years.

  The runner-up in this category, collecting a €5,000 investment fund, was Peter Kilmartin  of Spicy Dog Media in Roscommon Town.

  Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Darren Kilcoyne, founder of Kilcoyne Tree Surgery Ltd. which provide all aspects of professional tree care, specialising in electrical utility vegetation management and training.

  The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund, was Finnian O’Connor of Craic N Campers in Roscommon Town.

  Wayne Auchmuty was also awarded the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for County Roscommon.

  In the lead-up to the county final, each finalist received targeted business supports through Local Enterprise Office Roscommon.

  Louise Ward, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Roscommon said: “As our winners clearly demonstrate, youth entrepreneurship is thriving here in Roscommon. IBYE is about discovering local potential and nurturing that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. In 2019, Local Enterprise Office Roscommon supported 48 young entrepreneurs through the IBYE competition and over 150 young entrepreneurs in total since the competition began in 2014”.

  Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council said: “We have excellent start-ups and entrepreneurs in Roscommon – we just don’t have enough of them.  It is great to see so many excellent entrepreneurs and business people getting involved in this initiative, and I am delighted to congratulate the 13 finalists here today and wish the winners every success in the later stages of the competition”.

  The county winners from Roscommon will now progress to the regional finals, which take place on June 12th. In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the overall title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’.

  At the IBYE national final on Sunday, 15th of September, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.

* Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and www.ibye.ie.




Great line-up planned for 30th Boyle Arts Festival




The 30th Boyle Arts Festival, which takes place from July 18th to 27th, already includes almost fifty events, including an impressive mix of live music, visual arts, opera, drama, film, comedy, interviews, workshops, storytelling, children’s events, poetry, readings and much more!

  Some of the big names to watch out for include The Riptide Movement, who will perform in The Storehouse on July 20th and The Blizzards, who will play there on July 26th. Tommy Fleming will bring his ‘Voice of Hope ll’ concert to St. Joseph’s Church on July 21st.

  Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their Eurovision win with ‘Rock & Roll Kids’, during a rare performance together in the Church of Ireland, on July 23rd.

  Kieran Goss will be joined by Annie Kinsella for a special late-night show in King House on July 26th and there will also be live music from The Swing Cats, Mules and Men, local bands The Martyrs and Fleetwood Craic.

  Prepare to be spellbound by stunning melodies and harmonies, when Galway three-piece The Whileaways perform in the Church of Ireland on July 22nd, while another Galway legend, Mary Coughlan, will bring Boyle Arts Festival to a close with an intimate performance in The Storehouse on July 27th.

  The classical music programme will include performances by some of the finest contemporary artists in the country. Watch out for soprano, Emer Barry on July 26th, a very special performance of ‘La Boheme’ by the Harlequin Opera Company in the grounds of Boyle Abbey on July 27th.

  The RTÉ Contempo Quartet will be joined by the Choir of St. Joseph’s Church for a unique concert in the Church of Ireland on July 25th. Also look out for classical music performances by Michael McHale and Patrick Rafter during BAF 2019.

  Two Divas & a Piano are singers Flo McSweeney & Carmel McCreagh, joined by pianist Fiachra Trench. Together, they will take a wry look at love through blues and jazz standards, classic pop and contemporary songs. They will perform in King House on July 23rd.

  A specially commissioned tradional piece entitled ‘Portal’ will celebrate the first 30 years of BAF, with a performance by Cathy Jordan, Vincent Woods, John Carty and Siobhán Cleary on July 20th.

  Watch out for interviews with David Norris, Carole Coleman, Horslips legends Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin, spoken word events with Pat McCabe, Eoin McNamee, The Naggin of Knowledge, Moylurg Writers, Paul Connolly, Jane Clark and Brian Leyden.

  There will be comedy from Alison Spittle and atmospheric drama from Beezneez Theatre Company along with many more events still to be announced!

  Tickets for a selection of events will soon be available to purchase via our website www.boylearts.com and www.eventbrite.ie.

  King House will again house the centrepiece of Boyle Arts Festival – the main visual exhibition. Curated by Paul McKenna, the theme this year is ‘Legacy – 30 years of Boyle Arts Festival’ and the exhibition features almost 100 of the very best artists from all over Ireland.

  For more information on Boyle Arts Festival 2019 please visit www.boylearts.com email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter.




River Jiggy biodiversity project unveiled




The River Jiggy Biodiversity Orchard Project, a Roscommon Tidy Towns project on the Golf Links Road, was unveiled last weekend by Tidy Towns member Christine Walker.

  The project was undertaken in order to create awareness about the River Jiggy which flows through Roscommon town. The planting of trees will enhance the local biodiversity and provide a source of nectar for insects and bees which are vital to the ecosystem.

  The main group and funding provider was The Local Authority Water Programme (LAWPRO) which consists of a team of 58 people operating from 13 separate Local Authority centres across the country. Funding for the project was granted through the Community Water Development Fund 2019. The group would like to thank Catherine Seale and Mick Keane (Community Water Officers) for their assistance on the project.

  Noreen Shryane from the Local Authority Water Programme was present on Saturday and informed the group that she will be working on the River Jiggy in the coming weeks and would welcome those with information about the river to contact her.

  There were a number of people who assisted the group with their expertise for the information sign. Ecologist Michael Bell provided information and photos on the flora and fauna and Delcan Skehan provided a photo of an otter. Oisin Naughton from Inland Fisheries also provided information about the River Jiggy.

  The information and map for Jiggy was provided by the staff in the Environment Section, Roscommon County Council, Kieran Madden, John O’Gorman, and Gerard Hannon. John Mockler and David Macklin from the area office assisted with the erection of a sign at the bridge.

  The planting of the trees and roses was undertaken by the members of Roscommon Tidy Towns under the guidance of Richard Waters. The committee would also like to thank Gerry Browne and Feargal Beattie for supplying materials as well as the Kennedy family for allowing the use of their land.


Chartrettes visitors given warm welcome



Roscommon Town Twinning Committee PRO, Cllr. Orla Leyden, said that she and her fellow committee members had been “so happy” to welcome 31 visitors from Chartrettes to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the twinning between the two towns last weekend.

  The Roscommon committee welcomed the Chartrettes committee including President Linda Lauro and Chartrettes Deputy Mayor Pascal Gros to the unveiling of a new street sign for Aleé De Chartrettes by French Ambassador Stephane Crouzat last Friday prior to a reception at Arás an Chontae.

  The group also visited Padraig Corcoran’s Organic farm in Lecarrow on Saturday and the Roscommon Lamb Festival Barbeque.

  Cllr. Leyden paid tribute to fellow committee members and added: “The Roscommon Twinning Committee would like to thank the principals, teachers and children of St. Coman’s Wood Primary School and Gaeilscoil de hÍde for the wonderful music and dancing performances they put on Friday for our visitors as well as Gerry Shannon for the Town Walk and Roscommon Castle tour.

  “Sincere thanks also to Roscommon County Council CEO Eugene Cummins, elected members and staff including Christina Fannon for funding and the support to make this event possible”.

  Roscommon Twinning Committee also thanked Roscommon Town Team, Roscommon Chamber of Commerce, Roscommon Lions Club, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, Roscommon Credit Union, and The Big Hello fund.



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