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Minister requests HSE to pause all clinical assessments at Rosalie




Naughten secures written assurances from Government


In a letter sent on Tuesday to Minister Denis Naughten, Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, confirmed that he had requested that the HSE “pause all assessments” of Rosalie residents.

  The Minister confirmed that “there will be no change to the position set out in the 2015 commitment” by then Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

  Minister Daly also confirmed that no decision would be made on the future of any Rosalie resident pending a final decision on the exact future role of the unit. He added that any change of use for the unit “would only be considered in consultation with public representatives and stakeholders in the area”.

  Speaking following the release of the letter into the public domain yesterday (Wednesday), Rosalie campaigner Liam Walsh, whose mother is a resident in the unit, said a lot had been achieved but there was still much work to be done.

  “I think it’s great. Stage one is complete but now we have stage two to make sure this happens but that’s up to the politicians.

  “It clearly states twice in the letter that the commitments made in 2015 would be honoured,” he said.

  Mr. Walsh also welcomed the news that clinical assessments would be paused and described the appointment of an Independent Advocate for residents who didn’t have a next of kin as “huge”.

  “I got a big hug from two of the guys in Rosalie. They’re thrilled. They understood what was going on and they have been stressed by this so it’s good for them. But as Bertie (Ahern) once said: ‘There’s a lot done, but more to do!’”




‘Tony Canavan owes staff an apology’



Fianna Fáil County Councillor, Paschal Fitzmaurice, told those in attendance at Monday’s meeting in Castlerea that HSE Chief Officer Tony Canavan “should apologise to HSE staff” following his assessment that Rosalie residents would be better cared for elsewhere.

  Cllr. Fitzmaurice had earlier said that the HSE would never listen and that local TDs would need to make a stand – before calling for an apology from Mr. Canavan.

  “It’s a disgrace that Tony Canavan would say they’d (residents) get better care somewhere else. He should apologise to the (Rosalie) staff,” he said.

Rosalie meeting hears Leo will stand by 2015 commitment




Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice called for those present at Monday’s emergency public meeting to discuss the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea to “have Minister Denis Naughten’s back”. This followed the Minister’s  announcement that he was expecting a letter from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday which would safeguard the future of the unit.

  Minister Naughten had said he “made it crystal clear to the Taoiseach that the situation was unacceptable”. He said the Taoiseach had assured him that he was willing to stand by a letter he had sent as Health Minister in 2015 that assured the long-term future of the Rosalie Unit.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice welcomed the announcement from Minister Naughten but said he had “no faith” in the HSE.

  “We need to have Denis Naughten’s back and go with him. We draft a letter that every politician, be you Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Independent or whatever. That we say we will not adhere – be it our party or our Government – to what’s being done. We put the Taoiseach on notice, we welcome what’s being given to Denis, but I do think we have to have his back and put the pressure on behind so that he gets that letter that’s been promised to him”.

  Earlier, Deputy Eugene Murphy said “the time for talking was over” and claimed the decision to close the Rosalie Unit “had been made a long time ago”.

  “I welcome the statement from Denis. I want to make it crystal clear that since I entered Dáil Éireann that I have put on the jersey. I have raised this issue on 14 occasions,” he said, before describing Tony Canavan and Minister Jim Daly as “messenger boys” and calling for the unit, which currently has 12 residents, to be reinstated to 33 beds.

  Senator Maura Hopkins said she had been involved in “numerous meetings” with HSE officials and Minister Jim Daly and that she was as frustrated as anyone with the current situation.

  “Anything we hear we are questioning, it is not a good place to be,” she said before adding “nobody has any faith in the process”.

  Sinn Féin spokeswoman Claire Kerrane said that while much of the focus was on what Deputy Murphy and Minister Naughten were doing for the future of the Rosalie Unit, “the party in charge is Fine Gael”.

  “On Monday it’s closing, on Thursday it’s not closing. Which is it? Closing or not closing? Fine Gael need to stand up for this county: Maura (Senator Hopkins), when you go back to Dublin tell them to give Roscommon a break because we’ve had enough!”

  Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice had earlier called on Denis Naughten and Eugene Murphy to “stand for the people of Roscommon” and to “pull the plug” on the current government if they had to.

  “I’d be delighted if you pulled the plug. It’s time to stand up to the HSE because they don’t give a damn about us”.

  Cllr. Tony Ward, meanwhile, described the HSE as “not fit for purpose” while Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Ivan Connaughton called for it to be disbanded.

  Cllr. Liam Callaghan accused the HSE of “riding roughshod” over the county. He also highlighted the recent stands taken by both Roscommon manager Kevin McStay and Kildare manager, Cian O’Neill.

  “Let the cry tonight be: Rosalie or nowhere!” he said.

  Earlier, Cllr. Rachel Doherty had taken aim at local representatives and government ministers including An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

  “We’re going nowhere talking to Tony Canavan and Minister Jim Daly, he knows nothing about vulnerable people and shouldn’t be in that position.

  “This is a test case for the HSE. If they do get this closed they’ll move on to the next place.

  “I’m fed up hearing about mental health services, I know how good and bad they can be. The real issue here is that we have three Deputies and three Senators – they should be put on a bus up to Dublin!”

  She then called on Minister Naughten to once again “do the brave thing” before adding that both Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister Jim Daly “should be gone” and that An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar “is there for nothing other than the photoshoots”.

  She added that she regrets Fianna Fáil “didn’t walk out” following the Cervical Check scandal.

  Dr. Greg Kelly, who chaired Monday’s meeting, said that it appeared the HSE was “hell-bent” on closing the Rosalie Unit.

  “It’s good to see local people fighting for a good cause. There have been a number of meetings and trips to the Dáil on a number of occasions to meet the Minister. But there has been no progress,” he said.

  He later went on to question those involved in the decision to close the unit, including HSE Executive Clinical Director, Amanda Bourke: “The lady pushing for this closure is a child psychiatrist with no experience in what we are dealing with. This is a fight we can’t lose – whatever we have to do we will do it!”

  Liam Walsh, whose mother Breda is a resident in the unit, said he had invited both Minister Jim Daly and HSE Chief Officer Tony Canavan to Monday’s meeting but both had declined and had also informed him they wouldn’t be sending representatives.

  Mr. Walsh said: “That the lead guy won’t come and address the people with genuine concerns is hugely damning”.

  A number of contributors to Monday’s meeting raised the recent conflicting comments made by Minister Jim Daly and Tony Canavan.

  Speaking on local radio on Monday, July 2nd Mr. Canavan had intimated that the decision had already been made to close the Rosalie Unit in the long-term. However, speaking at the Dáil just days later, Minister Daly denied that any such decision had been made.

  Anita Flanagan, whose brother Dan Moran is currently a resident in the Rosalie Unit, claimed that Dan was never consulted about his treatment despite being completely aware of what was going on at the unit.

  “Residents won’t get the same treatment in private nursing homes because they won’t have the staff. For Tony Canavan to say they’ll (the residents) have better treatment elsewhere is an insult.

  “The clinical assessments are the biggest hoax of all – there have been no talks and no communications with them at all,” she said.

  Closing the meeting, Liam Walsh called on those present to provide campaigners with contact details so that pickets and protests could be arranged as the battle to save the Rosalie Unit entered a critical phase.

Corcoran turns his back on politics… ‘a very dirty game’





Will support Crosby campaign



A Strokestown man who ran for the Dáil in 2014 says “extremely damaging, hurtful and malicious lies” which he claims were spread about him led to his being hospitalised.

  Describing politics as “a very dirty game”, Emmett Corcoran says he has now decided not to contest next year’s local elections.

  Instead, he is publicly supporting former councillor Tom Crosby, who lost his seat in 2014 but who is now planning a political comeback.

  Emmett Corcoran and Tom Crosby issued a joint statement this week.

  In that statement, Mr. Corcoran said: “Since my Dáil bid, I have continued working in the community and building my businesses. I’ve always seen community work as being the catalyst to getting things done in rural areas, but some see it as a place to consolidate power and stifle progress.

  “I have become acutely aware that politics can be a very dirty game”.

  Mr. Corcoran alleged that there have been “extremely damaging, hurtful and malicious lies” spread about him, his businesses and his family by people “who pretend to have the interests of others at heart”. He added that “the lies were so vile” he ended up in hospital because of the resulting stress. Mr. Corcoran did not elaborate on the nature of the alleged campaign against him. 

  “Thankfully with the support of my family and friends I’m working through these health issues and getting myself back on track”.

  He added: “In order to protect my family and my business interests and the livelihoods of those working in my businesses I have taken the decision not to run in the local elections”.

  He has now pledged his support to Tom Crosby, calling on people to elect “a competent, hard-working and successful businessman back onto Roscommon County Council”.

  Tom Crosby wholeheartedly accepted Mr. Corcoran’s endorsement, saying: “Emmett and I have been talking for some time about how we should best approach the elections and while I’m confident we’d have taken two seats if we ran together, I respect his decision not to run and I know well we will work well together to do all we can for this area”.




Kerrane: ‘Shame on Hopkins’



Kerrane in dramatic attack over Seanad health vote


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Roscommon Claire Kerrane has launched a blistering attack on Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins.

  Ms. Kerrane described Senator Maura Hopkins’ vote against mandatory open disclosure in the Seanad last week as ‘shameful’.

  Ms. Kerrane said: “The recent Cervical Smear scandal has raised many questions and highlighted numerous failings within our health service. Glaringly obvious in this is the current voluntary nature of disclosure between medical professionals and their patients.

  “Sinn Féin has always called for disclosure between doctors and patients to be mandatory. Patients should be entitled to be fully informed when it comes to their health.

  “Last week, Senator Hopkins and her party chose to oppose allowing patients full disclosure from their medical professional. Senator Hopkins chose to vote against introducing a practice of clarity and full information for patients when it comes to their health”. Ms. Kerrane added: “Of course, Fine Gael will cite their own Bill which includes provisions around mandatory disclosure but this is only one part of a vast piece of legislation that will take months to get through. The priority should have been to introduce mandatory open disclosure immediately. It could have been done last week”.  

  She concluded: “Talking about accountability within the HSE is one thing, but when it comes to doing something about it, Senator Hopkins and her party have chosen not to. Shame on her and her party”.

Brexit: Leyden calls on EU for full support for Ireland



Speaking at a COSAC Meeting in Vienna, aSenator Terry Leyden, Vice-Chairperson of the Joint Committee On European Affairs, wished

Austria every success on its third Presidency of the European Union, which began on July 1st.

  Senator Leyden also expressed concern at the resignation of David Davis, the Chief UK Brexit negotiator, just days after the British Cabinet meeting in Chequers. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson subsequently stepped down.

  Senator Leyden said Davis’s resignation “has undermined the UK’s white paper on Brexit” which he noted was to be published this week.

  He added that the motto of the Austrian EU Presidency is ‘A Europe that Protects’ and that Ireland would require the full support of the EU during the ongoing Brexit negotiations.


Naughten urges Council to avail of €14m Social Housing Fund



€14 million is being made available to local Councils to improve homes for people with disabilities and older people. 

 “Roscommon and Galway Councils shouldn’t hesitate to access a national fund of €14 million to improve the homes of people with disabilities and those of older people in our communities”, according to Minister Denis Naughten.

  The fund is being made available for improvements such as grab rails, disabled access ramps, and wetrooms in local social housing. The Government will pay 90% of the cost with Councils providing the remaining 10%.

  Confirming the Government’s national allocation of €14 million, Minister Naughten stated: “Living in your own home, in your local community in the company of family, friends and neighbours is the best comfort and security for people with disabilities and older people. This fund will ensure improvements to homes will make them safer, accessible and secure.

  “Grants can also be used for home extensions where there is overcrowding. Roscommon and Galway Councils shouldn’t hesitate to access this fund to ensure our local communities get a fair share so it benefits those in the greatest need. It is important that people see the benefits of this funding as soon as possible”.



New Garda unit to tackle insurance fraud – Hopkins



Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has welcomed the announcement of a new Garda unit which will be tasked with investigating insurance fraud.

  Senator Hopkins stated: “The announcement of this new unit is very positive and I am hopeful that it will ease the pressure on insurance premiums for motorists and businesses who have been most affected by premium hikes in recent years.

  “This new insurance fraud unit will be financially supported by the insurance industry and will consist of up to 15 members of An Garda Síochána initially”.

  Senator Hopkins added: “Over the past number of years, motorists have been subjected to premium increases of up to 70%. The alliance for insurance reform has also strongly highlighted the huge hikes in public liability insurance for businesses.

  “Fraud continues to be a major issue within the sector and is estimated to amount to €200 million a year, which amounts to almost €50 for every insurance premium. Suspected cases of fraud can be referred to this new unit for investigation and I would call on insurers to actively engage with this new unit to ensure that fraud in the sector can be effectively tackled”.

  Senator Hopkins concluded: “I continue to work closely with Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Michael D’Arcy who chairs the cost of insurance working group. I now want to see further progress on other issues including the difficulties that are being faced by motorists with older cars in securing insurance”.



News…at a glance - July 13th




Kilglass Gaels (Rooskey 5k)  GAA Team Race!

The annual Rooskey 5k in the picturesque village of Rooskey, Co. Roscommon will host its annual 5k on Wednesday, August 1st at 8 pm.

  This 5k is a personal favourite of a lot of runners as it takes in the two counties of Roscommon and Leitrim in the one village.

  This year sees the introduction of a GAA club team race for the first year.

  Clubs can enter both men’s and ladies teams of 5 to compete for two fabulous prizes for their teams or their clubs.

  The normal 5k run and walk will of course have its normal categories for competitors.

  The winning men’s team will win a full day’s team building for their team in the very popular Liliput Adventure Centre outside Mullingar.

  The ladies’ team prize will take them to Shannon River Adventure Centre in Rooskey, a facility that is well known in the surrounding counties for its excellent facilities. Both prizes are worth over €1,000 each.

  Club teams must be made up of members who have played league or championship last year or this year or are a member of the club they are running for since April 2018.

  Entry fee is €100 per team or €20 per team member.

  For more details contact Niall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 087-7640679 or check out The Rooskey 5k on Facebook for more.

RSPCA Church gate collections

The Roscommon Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is holding its annual Church gate collections on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of July at the following Churches: Castlerea, Trien, and Cloonbonniffe.

  If you can volunteer an hour of your time, please contact the society on 085-7473719. All money raised goes directly to animal welfare in County Roscommon.

Frenchpark school funding welcomed

Senator Frank Feighan has welcomed funding approval for works at St. Patrick’s NS, Frenchpark.

  “I am delighted that the Department of Education has approved funding for general works to be carried out at St. Patrick’s primary school.

  “This funding allocation is good news for the school and works will proceed once the tendering process has been completed.

  “Projects such as these also help to stimulate economic activity by supporting jobs in the local economy”.

St. Dominic’s 50/50 winner

St. Dominic’s GAA Club congratulates Mark Miley (Seller: John Corcoran) who won €913 in the club’s weekly draw on Saturday, July 7th.  

  Next week’s draw takes place in Murray’s Bar, Knockcroghery on Saturday. You can sign at any time, please contact 087-3552383 or click www.naomhdominic.ie for details.

Top appointment for Roscommon native

 Irish-owned and Sandyford-based IT services and networking company, Arkphire, has appointed Roscommon man Brendan Martin to head up its networking solutions business, Bootstrap.

  Bootstrap, which was acquired by Arkphire during 2016, was established almost 40 years ago by its original owners, Pauline and Martin White, who have now retired from the business.

  In his new role as Head of Networking Services for Bootstrap, Brendan’s main responsibilities will be to drive sales growth and marketing initiatives in Bootstrap, build customer relationships including the Cisco Gold Partner status, together with the development of competitive strategy for the business. 

  A member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, Brendan is originally from Co. Roscommon, near the town of Carrick-on-Shannon.


Breakthrough in Council strike





Strike action at Roscommon County Council has been suspended following a recommendation issued by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

  Council employees took part in a fourth one-day stoppage on Tuesday of this week. However, strike action scheduled for today (Thursday) has now been suspended. 

  Peter Nolan, head of Fórsa’s Local Government and Services division, said: “Based on the documents received from the WRC and the oversight group, we’re satisfied there’s a clear route to the full availability of flexi-leave for our members”.  

  He said that the WRC document recommends that both parties agree that all staff at the council are allowed to generate flexitime/flexileave, and that council management would have to be satisfied that there is sufficient, productive work to enable the generation of flexitime/flexileave.

  The document also recommends that Roscommon County Council will facilitate the taking of leave, subject to ordinary business needs.

 The union expects to go to the WRC today (Thursday) to finalise the details.

  Roscommon County Council management had not issued a statement by the time we went to press.

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