Log in

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.



Strokestown student Estela’s ‘Cool Project’



17-year-old Estela Liobikaite from Strokestown, Co. Roscommon was one of the first makers to enter the brand-new category 3D Animation at last Sunday’s Coolest Projects International which took place in the RDS Main Hall, Dublin.

  Estella was among nearly 1,000 young tech creators from around the globe presented their inventions at Coolest Projects International 2019, the world’s leading technology exhibition for young people.

  Estela began coding at school with her teacher, Ms. Gilleran, and developed a love for animation. She built a special 3D modelled ‘fighter’ game, which she presented at Coolest Projects UK in March and again at last Sunday’s event.

  She says: “I thought it would be amazing to do a video game because video games can be more than educational; they can teach you so much, but they can also be fun and entertaining. The goal of my game is to become the number one fighter.

  “I like coding because it is very entertaining to play to learn about technology. Coding gives a person many opportunities and possibilities. I spend one hour and a half practicing coding every day – sometimes, I fix bugs and glitches, other times, I just improve and make changes. All it takes is one small step forward and (having) a dream.

  “The reason I decided to do my project in 3D was to test the possibilities of Scratch. You don’t have to be an expert in coding to render frames – all it takes is some hard work and knowledge of Unity. So I rendered models in Unity, and then, I rendered them from 3D to 2D to make them work in Scratch and give the impression of 3D models”.

  Estela encourages all girls to start coding, and hopes her game will help inspire other young women to take part in Coolest Projects. “We can code just as well as guys, and I wanted my game to prove girls can be coders and fighters too,” she concluded.

Tree-mendous project at Woodview Court…



Residents of Woodview Court in Roscommon town certainly played their part in support of National Tree Week recently.

  The residents were delighted to plant 19 trees in their estate over the Easter period, in conjunction with National Tree Week.

  Local children made a big contribution, lending a hand on this important project.

  The residents wish to extend thanks to Roscommon County Council for providing nine trees, and a special thank you to Marita Nugent who donated the other ten trees after she won them in a Roscommon Tidy Towns draw! On winning the trees, Marita kindly donated them to the estate.


Gardens are going wild this summer!





According to a report by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in County Waterford, our wild bees are “in decline, because they are going hungry because of a lack of food in the landscape”. In fact, readers who have a keen interest in gardening and in nature, will probably be somewhat concerned to know that there are actually ‘101 bee species in Ireland,’ with ‘19 of them being bumblebees,’ however, sadly, ‘more than half of these bumblebee species are in decline,’ the result of which will see a third of our bee species in this country possibly becoming extinct over the next decade. 

  Statistics like this are not only bad news for our planet, they’re also worrying for those ambitious Diarmuid Gavin wanna-be(e)s among us for the simple reason, in order to thrive, all gardens need pollinators. But don’t panic yet. You see, even though this year’s gardening themes are running to clashing colours and dramatic tropical themes, as luck would have it, for those of us who like to find our joy in the simple things in life, the natural wildflower garden, which is designed to encourage us to dedicate all, or simply just allocate a small portion of our gardens to embrace Mother Nature by nurturing and allowing wildflowers to grow in order to attract pollinators like bees and other flying insects, is now trending as the big story for your 2019 summer garden.

  So, if you want to make your wildflower lawn the talking point of your summer barbeque, we’ve got a few simple suggestions you might like to follow. However, we’re sure your local garden centre will be happy to provide you with more expert advice.

  First of all, bear in mind you do not need acres of lawn in order to grow a wildflower garden. A small patch or even a border where birds, bees, butterflies and wildlife, as well as humans, can relax and enjoy themselves can work just as nicely.

  Give your lawnmower a little rest, and, as the warmer weather arrives, try to resist cutting the grass too often in your wildlife meadow. In fact, if anyone dares to suggest that your garden is looking a tad neglected, tell them it’s a conscious decision on your part because the advice from Dr. Úna Fitzpatrick, a senior ecologist at the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford, is that people are being requested to “delay mowing their lawns,” in order that dandelions get a chance to bloom.

  If you’re not too sure about cultivating the important dandelions to help the bees, (whose nectar will ensure plenty of honey for survival, but sadly is said to be missing certain amino acids needed for the manufacture of protein), and indeed, wish to add more blooms to attract the pollinators, then, bearing in mind that bees find blue, purple and yellow coloured plants appealing, you could pop along to your garden centre and source some bluebells and crocuses. In addition, planting marigolds, poppies, roses, honeysuckle and foxgloves, etc. in large blocks has proven to be more attractive to bees. But do make sure to ask the garden centre assistant’s advice regarding other colourful bee/insect friendly plants. 

  Make a home for insects by sourcing an attractive and vibrant bug hotel and, placing it on a fence post or on a tree trunk, making sure no rain can enter – you’ll be providing a haven where insects can find shelter and make their nests.

  Like us humans, all insects need a fresh supply of water, so, even if you’re only using this information as an excuse to splurge on that new garden water feature, the truth is, you’ll be doing your bit for  Mother Nature by providing a much-needed source of hydration where they can land, rest and revive themselves. Tip: Provide a little island or a shelf where bees can land safely and get a drop of water without drowning by using a wide, shallow dish or food tray, line the edges with flat rocks where bees/insects can land and keep it topped with water.



Seminar boasts a ‘wooly’ good line-up!



The various uses of wool and opportunities to add value to wool produced in County Roscommon will be explored at a Wool Seminar today (Thursday, May 2nd) as part of this year’s Roscommon Lamb Festival.

  Darren Carty of the Irish Farmers Journal will chair the discussion. Speakers at the event will include wool blogger and sheep farmer from Kilkenny, Suzanne Crampton, sheep farmer and ICSA Sheep Committee Chairman, John Brooks from Taughmaconnell, Kevin Dooley, a wool merchant from Roscrea, and Saoirse McHugh, a Green Party candidate in the European elections in this area. She is an environmental activist from Achill.

  A special guest at this seminar will be Sandra Coote, the owner of a flock of Roscommon Sheep. In recent decades it was believed that the Roscommon Sheep breed had died out, but organisers of Roscommon Lamb Festival recently discovered a small flock of the sheep in the ownership of Sandra from Co. Cavan. She will attend this year’s seminar and will make a contribution.

  There will also be a display of wool insulation and various other wool textiles and wool textile art from a variety of local artists including Frances Crowe.

See ‘ewe’ at the Roscommon Lamb Festival!






The 2019 Roscommon Lamb Festival was launched at Roscommon Mart yesterday (Wednesday) and will run right through the Bank Holiday Weekend (until Monday, May 6th) with events for the whole family to enjoy.

  Today’s events begin with a lecture by Prof. John Feehan entitled ‘The Spirit of Trees’ at 10.30 am in Roscommon Library. This lecture explores the many facets of the role trees and woods play in our lives and will be followed by lunch and a visit to St. John’s Wood. Cost is €30, contact Gerry Browne on 087-2808225 for more information.

  At 11 am, there will be a guided tour of Donamon Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland.

  Later on at 2 pm Curley’s farm at Carntleva, Four Roads will play host to a farm walk in association with Teagasc.

  At 7 pm, Arás an Chontae will host a wool seminar, while at 8 pm this evening, why not head along to ‘A Lone Furrow’ at the Roscommon Arts Centre. This full-length play details the story of Aleen Cust, Ireland’s first female veterinary surgeon.

  Thursday draws to a close in Murray’s Pub, Knockcroghery with the South Roscommon Singers Circle.

  Friday’s highlights include ‘A day with the Feral Spinner’, Debbie Zawinksi at the Sunflower Garden on Antogher Road from 10 am to 4 pm.

  The Farmer’s Market and hand craft stalls will be in place from 10 am to 6 pm in the Lamb Festival Marquee in The Square and the Roscommon Chartrettes 21st Anniversary celebration will take place at 5 pm with the naming of the new walkway off The Square.

  The night will draw to a close with the Ros Youth Talent Show Final in the Lamb Festival Marquee from 8 pm.

  The festival continues on Saturday with the Kilteevan Tidy Towns Cloonlarge Loop Walk from Kilteevan Community Centre at 10.30 am followed by the River Jiggy Mini Orchard launch at 2 pm. You can take a historical tour of Roscommon Town from 3 pm and enjoy Brazilian style spring lamb at the Roscommon Lamb Festival BBQ in the festival marquee at 9 pm.

  International Sheepdog Trials kick off Sunday at Walsh’s Field at 9 am while there are golf competitions at Roscommon Golf Club from 10 am.

  With Roscommon GAA Inter-Club Sheep Shearing and Family Fun Day taking place at Loughnaneane Park, Sunday promises to a day of great entertainment for young and old.

  The 2019 Roscommon Lamb Festival will draw to a close on Monday (6th) with the Carer’s Mini Marathon at 12 pm from Hannon’s Hotel. The healthy way to end another eventful May Bank Holiday weekend in Roscommon Town!








Maura appointed to Rugby Players Ireland board


Rugby Players Ireland, the representative association for professional rugby players in Ireland, have announced that Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, Maura Quinn, is to join its Executive Board as an Independent Board Member with immediate effect.

  Maura is from Roscommon town and lives in Dublin. Her appointment to the Executive Board of Rugby Players Ireland coincides with the appointment of Irish Women’s XV Captain, Ciara Griffin, Irish Women’s 7s player Louise Galvin and Irish Men’s 7s player Greg O’Shea, to reflect the growing remit of the players’ body in light of the continued growth and development of professional rugby in Ireland.

  The four new appointees join fellow players Rob Kearney (Chairman), Darren Cave, Eoin McKeon, Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton on the Executive Committee and existing Independent Board member, Peter McKenna.

  A membership organisation for Ireland’s professional rugby players, Rugby Players Ireland was established in 2001 following the advent of the professional game. Its remit was extended in 2018 to include the Women’s XV International programme and both the Men’s and Women’s 7s teams.

  Speaking at the announcement, Rugby Players Ireland, Chairman, Rob Kearney said: “We are delighted to welcome Maura, Louise, Ciara, and Greg to the Rugby Players Ireland Executive Board. The appointments reflect the continued growth and development of professional rugby in Ireland. It is also particularly pleasing to have an individual of the calibre of Maura Quinn join the board and provide her expertise to the Executive Board as we focus on the delivery of our strategic objective to ensure that Ireland is the best country in the world to play professional rugby”.

  Rugby Players Ireland, CEO, Simon Keogh added: “I look forward to working with our new board members at what is a very exciting time for the development of rugby in Ireland”.

Subscribe to this RSS feed