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Campaign Call - County goes to the polls



DAN DOONER asked the various parties to assess how their campaigns have gone…


Frank Curley, Fine Gael Director of Elections

Fine Gael Director of Elections, Frank Curley said he is very happy with how the party’s campaign has gone in Co. Roscommon.

  “We are very confident that we have done everything we could have done in this campaign. We ran six excellent candidates whom I would expect to be elected. They have been well received on the doors and I think it has been a good campaign overall,” he said.

  Mr. Curley said Fine Gael’s election expectations remained very high in County Roscommon.

  “We have six excellent candidates so the expectation is to get six elected,” he said.

  Mr. Curley did however have one complaint when it came to the sheer size of the electoral areas candidates were expected to cover.

  “The areas are so large that it’s almost impossible to cover all of them. For example, from where I am near the bridge at Lanesboro to where (candidate) Gerry Coffey is, it’s 21 miles, so it’s difficult to cover that much ground and to be effective. Having said that, that hasn’t stopped us from going all out to get our people elected,” he said.


P. Burke, Roscommon Fianna Fáil Chairman

Fianna Fáil Comhairle Dáil Ceantair Chairman, P. Burke, is feeling positive ahead of tomorrow’s (Friday) local election vote in Co. Roscommon.

  “We have nine candidates overall with three in each local electoral area. I would say that it has been a very, very good campaign, a lively campaign overall.

  “We have first-timers in two of the electoral areas, and we also have Aidan Sampey, who wasn’t elected last time. All candidates have had very good campaigns. All of them have got out there in the last few weeks. The feedback we’re getting from each of the directors (of elections) is that each candidate has worked very hard,” he said.

  Having received feedback from each of the three local electoral areas in Co. Roscommon, Mr. Burke said he would be “surprised” if Fianna Fáil didn’t win six seats in Friday’s election.

  “We have more candidates than any other party and therefore we will be going out to maximise our vote…while you would hope to get nine, realistically you aren’t going to get nine. There’s a lot of competition out there but I would be surprised if we didn’t get six. That’s my feeling anyway, but you could have one or two more. It is hard to call it though because there are going to be twos and threes and in particular areas it could be tight.

  “All candidates have tried really hard and we have a great chance of maximising our vote,” he concluded.


Claire Kerrane, Sinn Féin spokesperson

Sinn Féin spokesperson Claire Kerrane was pleased with her party’s campaign ahead of this Friday’s Local Elections. The party is running three candidates in Co. Roscommon including outgoing councillor Michael Mulligan and Joe Harney in the Athlone electoral area and Seamus O’Brien in the Roscommon area.

  “We feel we ran a very strong, positive campaign. Our objective at the beginning of the campaign was to knock on as many doors and get to talk to as many people as possible and we feel we did that.

  “Joe Harney had a stellar performance as a first-time candidate in the Athlone electoral area as did Seamus O’Brien in the Roscommon LEA. We are also confident of re-electing Michael Mulligan, this is his fourth election and his record speaks for itself. We are very confident of retaining that seat. We’d be confident of getting three seats,” she said.

  Ms. Kerrane said the majority of issues raised on the doors of Roscommon revolved around investment in rural areas when it came to jobs, infrastructure, broadband and cost of living. She added that while most candidates in this year’s local elections raised the need for more investment, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voted against Sinn Féin’s Rural Equality Bill after the last local elections.

  “Politics don’t happen in a vacuum, these people need to be held to account. We came across so many people who get up early and are at work and who have nothing left at the end of the month. The carbon tax, for example, is just another charge hitting ordinary families and workers who work for everything and get nothing,” she said.

  One of the issues raised in Boyle was wheelchair accessibility, according to Claire Kerrane.

  “We met three people who can’t go into town from their homes in Boyle because they can’t get off the kerbs in some estates. Michael Mulligan has done good work in this regard in Ballaghaderreen and we’ll be looking to ensure that all these towns are made wheelchair-friendly,” she said.






Sod turned on phase two of Community Sports Park





The sod was officially turned on the latest phase in the development of the Roscommon Community Sports Park last Friday which will see the development of new dressing rooms, meeting rooms and toilets at Lisnamult.

  Lisnamult resident Tommy Parker carried out the official sod turning while Fr. John Cullen offered a blessing to the facility and all those who use it.

  Chairman of the Roscommon Community Sports Park committee, Liam Stephens, thanked the “hundreds of kids and adults” who use the facility each week for their continued support.

  “Since the AstroTurf opened five years ago it has been a huge success with many, many users. I want to thank Roscommon Leader Partnership and Roscommon County Council for making that happen,” he said.

  Mr. Stephens also thanked former chairpersons Orla Leyden and John Horan for all their hard work as well as those who work each week to maintain the facility including caretakers and other officials.

  He added that phase two construction work would be carried out by John Gaynor and overseen by PJ Moran.

  Anthony Doolan, Chairperson of Lisnamult Residents’ Association, said it was a “great honour” for Lisnamult and thanked local residents for sharing the grounds with the people of Roscommon.

  Mr. Doolan also thanked committee members, local councillors, Tomás Beades, Amanda Mee, Projects Officer at Roscommon Leader Partnership and James Rogers and John Hannon for their hard work on behalf of Roscommon Community Sports Park.

  Former Chairperson of Roscommon Community Sports Park, Cllr. Orla Leyden, said she was delighted to play her part in the development, having secured funding for the facility through Roscommon Leader. Cllr. Leyden said she also secured funding of €62,500 under the Sports Capital Grant for phase two.

  She added that “this combined with the sizeable support of LCDC funding with the great work of Amanda Mee and Tomás Beades, Roscommon Leader Partnership, will facilitate the development of these dressing rooms and multi-purpose rooms for the community”.

  Cllr. Leyden concluded by wishing Chairperson Liam Stephens and his hard-working committee as well as Anthony Doolan and the Lisnamult Residents’ Association every success with the project.





Thirty-three candidates contend for eighteen seats




A total of thirty-three candidates are contesting the local elections in Roscommon this week (Friday, 24th of May) with eighteen seats up for grabs in three electoral areas.

  Athlone, Boyle, and Roscommon Municipal Districts will each return six councillors.

  There are twenty-nine male candidates and just four female candidates. Fianna Fáil are fielding nine candidates, Fine Gael six, Sinn Fein three, the HAC one, and there are a further fourteen Independent candidates.

  The people will also vote in the European Parliament elections for the Midlands North-West constituency, to which four MEPs will be elected.

  Polling stations countywide will open at 7 am on Friday and remain open until 10 pm.

  The process of counting of votes will commence on the Dr. Hyde Centre, Roscommon at 9 am on Saturday morning. The Returning Officer is Mr. Shane Tiernan.

            Your candidates, your choice – The candidates contesting the local elections in County Roscommon on Friday, 24th of May are:




Athlone: 6 seats

Ivan Connaughton (Independent)

Laurence Fallon (Independent)

Ger Grehan (Fine Gael)

Malachy Hand (Fianna Fáil)

Joe Harney (Sinn Féin)

Seamus Kelly (Fianna Fáil)

John Keogh (Fianna Fáil)

Donal Kilduff (Independent)

Derek McCabe (Independent)

John Naughten (Fine Gael)

Tony Ward (Independent)

Boyle: 6 seats

Valerie Byrne (Independent)

Liam Callaghan (Fine Gael)

Tom Crosby (Independent)

John Cummins (Fianna Fáil)

Sajjad (Saj) Hussain (Independent)

Michael Patrick Mulligan (Sinn Féin)

Joe Murphy (Fianna Fáil)

Mary O’Donnell (Independent)

Andrew Reynolds (Fine Gael)

Aidan Sampey (Fianna Fáil)

Keith Suffin (Fine Gael)

Roscommon: 6 seats

Gerry Coffey (Fine Gael)

Domnick Connolly (Independent)

Nigel Dineen (Independent)

Paschal Fitzmaurice (Fianna Fáil)

John Groarke (Independent)

Orla Leyden (Fianna Fáil)

Marty McDermott (Fianna Fáil)

Padraig Morris (Independent)

Séamus O’Brien (Sinn Féin)

Kathleen Shanagher (Independent)

Anthony (Tony) Waldron (Independent)

















Seventeen candidates offer ‘Euro vision’


The candidates contesting the European Parliament four-seat Midlands North-West constituency on Friday, 24th of May are:


Cyril Brennan (Solidarity/People Before Profit)

Matt Carthy MEP (Sinn Féin)

Peter Casey (Independent)

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP (Independent)

Patrick Greene (Direct Democracy Ireland)

Dominic Hannigan (Labour)

Fidelma Healy Eames (Independent)

Dr Dilip Mahapatra (Independent)

Mairead McGuinness MEP (Fine Gael)

Saoirse McHugh (Green Party)

James Miller (Independent)

Diarmuid Mulcahy (Independent)

Olive O’Connor (Independent)

Michael O’Dowd (Renua)

Anne Rabbitte TD (Fianna Fáil)

Brendan Smith TD (Fianna Fáil)

Maria Walsh (Fine Gael)

Two entire Apiary wiped out by weed killer spraying



Beekeepers have called on farmers to check before they spray either insecticides or herbicides. Local beekeepers say that two beekeepers in the midlands had their whole apiary completely wiped out when bees went out to forage on dandelions that had been strayed with weed killer.  

  Most gardeners and farmers are aware that insecticides, even in microscopic residual amounts, will kill all insects, including the essential pollinators like bees. Weed killer chemicals also kills bees. The bees bring weed killer residues back to the hive and it also kills the immature and larva bees, wiping out entire hives.  

  One affected beekeeper from Roscommon said: “I had buckets full of dead bees in my hives, it was a complete catastrophe. It was heartbreaking to see so much needless death. If the farmer had sprayed on a cold day or sprayed before the dandelions flowered or told me he was about to spray, I could have taken action.

  “That same farmer or a neighbouring farmer is depending on my bees to fertilise their crops or orchards, that fertilisation will not now happen so two families’ incomes have been destroyed as well as the death of thousands of bees. The farmer did not know there was a hive of bees nearby, but he should have known that a field full of dandelions in full flower would have attracted bees from up to two miles away”.

  Commenting, Patrick Towers, the Chairperson of the Roscommon Beekeepers Association said: “There are two groups of people affected here: the beekeeper loses their hive and their honey crop, and a neighbouring farmer has a greatly reduced income if there are not enough pollinators left alive in that area. Strawberries, beans and peas, apples and pears, blackcurrants and tomatoes are just some of the local crops that will fail if there are no bees to pollinate them”. 

  He continued: “Many people need to take local honey to keep their allergies under control. Antihistamines simply don’t work for them, but honey from apiaries local to them does. If we lose the local beekeepers, we lose access to this local remedy that for many works better than steroids and other pharmaceuticals”.

  Mr. Towers concluded: “Bees can be moved to a clean location or kept in their hive for a day or spraying can be done when the bees are not foraging. All the beekeepers are asking for is some forethought and planning by the farmers prior to spraying”. 



News…at a glance - May 24th


Roscommon MS Church gate collections

Roscommon branch of MS Ireland is holding its annual Church gate collection at 9.30 am Mass this Saturday at Ballinaheglish Church. All donations would be appreciated.

Sunflower volunteers wanted in Roscommon!

National Sunflower Days for Hospice will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 7th and 8th and as many volunteers as possible are needed to help raise funds and make the event a success. Sunflowers will be on sale at stores in Roscommon town and other local towns. Any time you can give on those dates would be most appreciated.

  Make this your special favour to the cause of hospice and call 094-9388666 now or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be included. Your support would be most appreciated.

Upholstery Course in Glenamaddy

Glenamaddy & District Development Company, in conjunction with GRETB Community Training, will host a four-week upholstery course in the Old Tech in Glenamaddy from Thursday, May 30th from 10 am to 12 pm. Spaces are very limited.

  Contact Martina at 094-9638517 or 086-0597444 or drop into the office.

Annual Hospice Social in Hamrock’s

The Athleague Fuerty Hospice Support Group is having its Annual Social at Hamrock’s Lounge, Athleague on Sunday, June 2nd. Music will be provided by The Lancers. There will also be a raffle on the night with lots of great prizes. Please support. All donations welcome.  

Memorial Pool Tournament at The Hollywood

The 12th annual Gerry Mannion Memorial Pool Tournament will take place on Friday, 31st of May at The Hollywood Bar, Roscommon town.  

  Gerard Mannion (RIP, 2002) is the son of Marty Mannion (RIP) and Phil Mannion from Four Roads.

  This is a singles tournament and will comprise of approximately 15 players all of whom are family, relations, friends and associates of Gerry. The first round will be played on a one-frame knockout basis, while the semi-finals and final will be the best of three frames. This year a doubles competition will be introduced to get proceedings underway.

  There will be no entry fee – however donations will be gratefully accepted and all monies collected on the night will go towards Mayo/Roscommon Hospice.

  Last year a total of €500 was raised for The Ronald McDonald House which provides a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children who are hospitalised or undergoing extended treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

  This year’s event starts at 9 pm and everyone is welcome on the night.


Special Mass for Healing in Curraghboy

A Special Mass for Healing will take place at Our Lady Star of the Sea Prayer Centre, Curraghboy this Friday (24th) commencing at 8 pm.

  The celebrant will be Fr. Tony Emeka, MHF. Confessions will be available from 7 pm prior to the commencement of Holy Mass. Individual Blessings for Healing and Benediction will take place after Mass. All are most welcome. Contact 086-4054489.


Blood Donation Clinic at Abbey Hotel

A blood donation clinic will take place at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town on Tuesday, May 28th, Wednesday, 29th and Thursday, 30th from 5 pm to 8.30 pm.

  All support would be greatly appreciated. For more information, LoCall 1850-731137 or check out Facebook and Twitter.


Flooding threat  ‘hasn’t gone away’



Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Eugene Murphy, has highlighted the growing flood risks in towns and villages across the country – saying the government’s actions are too little too late for many businesses and farming communities.

  Deputy Murphy said that the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have launched their public consultation on their climate change adaptation plan to address impacts on built and archaeological heritage. Highlighted in the draft report is a number of serious flooding risks for areas nationwide.

  “Farm land is at particular risk. I have met with many members of the farming community who yearly have their lands put out of use due to flooding. Not only is there damage done to lands, there is a risk to livestock and farm buildings.  

  “We cannot have a repeat of the scene over previous years which seen many businesses in the Roscommon-Galway area closed during the last period of flooding. I would encourage those under threat from flooding to make their views known to the report through submissions” concluded Deputy Murphy.



Do you struggle to get good Broadband in your area? Imagine Broadband is the solution you are looking for

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Imagine believes that ‘fast reliable broadband shouldn’t just be for some, it should be for everyone’ which is why they cover homes and businesses in underserved areas across Roscommon and the surrounding areas using 5G ready fixed infrastructure.


Their much lauded commitment to supply fast, quality broadband to people across the country has been a focal point of Imagine’s business and their ambitious plans have paid off for their many satisfied customers in the midlands already.


Using the very latest 5G innovation means Imagine can bring fibre to a mast and from there use wireless technology  to connect directly to homes, guaranteeing coverage in 155 sites across the country by June this year and 325 sites by June 2020.


To check if Imagine offers availability in your area simply follow this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7xZFKr5_jk

Man dies following alleged Lanesboro assaults



Gardaí are investigating the circumstances around an incident in Lanesboro earlier this week in which three people were allegedly assaulted by a man, who later died in hospital.

  The incident occurred on Monday afternoon when two men, aged in their 70s and 80s, and a woman in her 50s, sustained injuries at two properties in Lanesboro.

  It is believed a man in his 20s, who was known to the female victim, was restrained by a number of bystanders following the incident. Emergency services were alerted and the man was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway but subsequently passed away.

  A postmortem was due to take place on Tuesday and the results are likely to impact on the Garda investigation into the matter.


Brave campaigner Tracey laid to rest




There were emotional scenes in St. Patrick’s Church, Cloverhill and Ballinderry Cemetery on Monday afternoon as brave cancer care campaigner, Tracey Brennan (33), was laid to rest.

  Family, friends and fellow campaigners gathered to celebrate the life of the Cloverhill mother-of-one, who passed away at Galway University Hospital last Friday (10th) following a long and brave battle with cancer.

  Having been diagnosed with stage two cancer in 2017 following a smear test, Tracey had campaigned with Galway woman Áine Morgan and Vicky Phelan from Limerick so that the immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab would be made available to all cervical cancer patients. Tracey was unwavering in her fight to ensure access to the drug.

  During their tireless campaign, the group had met with representatives from the HSE and the Department of Health last December. They received word earlier this year that the drug known as Pembro would be made available to cervical cancer patients.

  Tracey’s colleagues from Roscommon University Hospital formed a poignant guard of honour as the funeral cortege made its way to St. Patrick’s Church on Monday. The Funeral Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Jerry Lannigan  from Donamon, Deacon Sean Talbot and Fr. Raymond Browne, Parish Priest of Fourmilehouse, where Tracey lived with her husband Aidan and three-year-old son Evan.

  Tracey is survived by her husband Aidan, son Evan, parents Pauline and MJ, sisters Amanda, Emma and Laura, brothers Michael and Tommie, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, niece, nephew, relatives, extended family, neighbours and friends.


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