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Politicians react to 'scandalous' Rosalie decision

 

 

Michael Fitzmaurice

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said the closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea was “absolutely scandalous” and called on elected representatives to band together and fight the decision.

  Reacting to the announcement yesterday (Wednesday), he said: “I am throwing down the gauntlet to all politicians to vote against this Government at every possible opportunity until this decision is overturned.

  “Elected representatives who support this Government, either directly or through the confidence and supply agreement, must now make a choice. Do they support these people or do they turn a blind eye due to party politics?

  “The care that the residents of the Rosalie Unit have received from staff has been second to none and their family members have stated that they are happy there and do not wish to be moved.

  “All politicians must follow through on commitments they made to fight to keep the Rosalie Unit open. The time for talking has passed; it is now a time for action”.

 

‘Predictable but shocking’– Murphy

Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy described the announcement by HSE officials on Wednesday morning in relation to the imminent closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is ‘predictable but shocking’.

  Deputy Murphy confirmed that he has sought a meeting with the Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State Jim Daly in relation to the matter. He added that he would also be speaking to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

  Deputy Murphy slammed the Government’s handling of the situation.

  “The Government has broken their promises in relation to the Rosalie Unit. When An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in the position as Minister for Health he gave a commitment that the Rosalie Unit would not be closed and in more recent times we received reassurances from Minister of State Jim Daly.

  “Going back to July 2015 the then Minister of State for Health Kathleen Lynch told a deputation from Roscommon there were “no plans to close it and there will be no such plans,” he said.

  He said that the HSE should be looking for a way to use the facility, which he described as “desperately needed” in Co. Roscommon.

 

Hopkins pledges to ‘stand with the people’

Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins hinted that she may reconsider her decision to run as a Fine Gael candidate in the next General Election following the HSE’s announcement that will close the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

  Senator Hopkins said she would stand with the people following a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) with Minister for Health, Simon Harris, Minister of State Jim Daly and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue to discuss the HSE’s decision to close the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.   

Kerrane: ‘A shameful decision’

Sinn Fein spokesperson Claire Kerrane described yesterday’s (Wednesday) announcement by the HSE as “shameful” and called on elected representatives to ensure that the decision was reversed.

  “This is a shameful decision after months of the HSE playing games with the families involved. We cannot allow the Rosalie Home to close.

  “Our elected representatives need to do their job. The time for talking is over. I am calling on our three TDs and Senator Maura Hopkins to outline exactly what they plan to do to have this decision reversed now,” she said.

 

Cllr Orla Leyden

Cllr. Orla Leyden is calling on Minister Jim Daly and the Government to take back control from the HSE and stop the Rosalie Unit from being closed.

  She said: “The HSE is hiding behind the Anderson Review and the Government is hiding behind the HSE. Government must govern!

  “The reality is that the Rosalie Unit is a familiar home with excellent care for twelve residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia that do not deserve to be treated like this, it is inhumane. This is a cynical cost saving exercise by Tony Canavan and the HSE with no regard to the psychological well-being of residents who call Rosalie home.

  “I have contacted Minister Daly’s office and asked when was the review completed and when was a copy given to the Minister? What questions did the Minister have in relation to the report and regarding the impact that moving twelve vulnerable residents from their home would have on their health and well-being including mental health? What were the terms of the report? Did the terms include consideration of options to enhance and expand the facility?”

 

 

 

 

Crosby wants urgent response to ATM thefts

 

 

Tom Crosby, an Independent local election candidate in the Boyle Municipal District, has hit out at those responsible for the recent outbreak of ATM robberies across the country and says that senior Garda management must make finding these criminals their priority.

  The former councillor said that he had met many concerned residents on the canvass trail in recent weeks in relation to these incidents and that there is a real fear amongst the public in the aftermath of them.

  “The recent increase in successful and attempted thefts of  ATMs in both the midlands and in the North is highly alarming and raises serious alarm,” he said.

  “It leaves the residents in the towns and villages with an air of fear and dismay. I am calling on the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner to take immediate action to ensure that those partaking in these vile acts are held to account before any more members of the public fall victim to these scurrilous acts of violence”.

Kerrane criticises Murphy and Naughten over stance on evictions

 


A Sinn Féin General Election candidate  has criticised local TDs Eugene Murphy and Denis Naughten for failing to back her party’s Bill which she says would have made it illegal to evict families in buy-to-let properties on the grounds that the property is to be sold.   

  Claire Kerrane said: “The Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael government partnership continue to block additional measures that would have offered support to struggling renters.

  “Today, the single biggest cause of family homelessness is landlords legally evicting their tenants when selling their properties.

  “Without offering up any other solutions, Fianna Fáil do what they always do and support the Fine Gael-led government in opposing our Bill.

  “This is the second time Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have blocked the amendment originally drafted by Focus Ireland in 2016”.

  Turning her attention to the two local TDs in question, Ms. Kerrane added: “Deputies Murphy and Naughten cannot cry crocodile tears when the homeless figures keep rising and another family has to spend the night sleeping in a Garda Station when they block a measure to prevent one major cause of homelessness. 

  “It’s a great shame to see both local TDs unwilling to support one small measure that would have gone some way in preventing homelessness and in particular child homelessness. It’s beyond me how anyone could oppose this”.

 

News…at a glance - April 12th

 

 

Family carers support group meeting

A support group meeting for family carers, who are caring for all caring needs including special needs, older person and mental health, will take place this Friday (12th) in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon from 11 am to 3 pm. All carers welcome. Please contact Bernie Dowling on 086-8099494 for more information.

LIsacul Tidy Towns’ annual spring clean

Lisacul Tidy Towns’ annual community spring clean will take place this Saturday (13th) at 10 am, meeting at Lisacul crossroads. It is hoped to cover as much of the village as possible on the day so all volunteers are very welcome. If you can’t attend on the day but wish to help out beforehand, contact Mike Carty on 086-8521790.

Good Friday vigil in Glenamaddy

As part of the Good Friday Holy Face national public prayer vigils, a vigil will take place in Glenamaddy Church carpark from 12 noon to 1 pm this Good Friday (19th). All welcome.

‘Work Matters at the library’ events

The following are Work Matters events set to take place in the month of April at Roscommon Library: ‘CV Writing and Interview Techniques’ presented by career coach, Aoife Maloney, on Tuesday, April 16th from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm; ‘Jobseeking – Success depends on clarity – Be clear about what you really want’ presented by Evelyn Cormican, Blueprint Coaching and Training on Tuesday, April 30th from 6.15 pm to 8.15 pm. Events are free of charge and booking is required for both events: call 090-6637277 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Table quiz in aid of Curraghboy NS

Curraghboy NS Parents Association will host a fundraising table quiz in McDermott’s Bar, Curraghboy, this Saturday (13th) at 9 pm. The winning team will receive €100 and there will be a raffle with lots of prizes on the night. €40 per table with four people per team. All support would be greatly appreciated.

IHF Mobile Health Unit to visit Library

The Irish Heart Foundation Mobile Health Unit will visit Roscommon Library on Wednesday, April 24th from 10 am to 5 pm. Don’t miss out on your chance for a free blood pressure check with an Irish Heart Foundation nurse. 

  Roscommon Library will also host free Community CPR training sessions for adults in Roscommon Library on Friday, May 3rd. There are a small number of places remaining for the 2 pm session – register for a place by logging on to www.HandsforLife.ie. For more information, please contact Lorraine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cash for Clothes fundraiser

Ballaghaderreen Community Park committee is organising a clothes collection to raise funds. Reusable clothes, hats, scarves, bed linen  (not duvets or pillows), curtains, shoes (pairs), handbags and belts accepted.  

  Donations can be brought to the Community Park clubhouse this Friday (12th) from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and Saturday (13th) from 10 am-2 pm or contact 085-8492213/087-3425055.  

  Proceeds will go towards the running of the facility, which is used extensively by clubs and individuals. All contributions are greatly appreciated.

Interested in angels, healing and the afterlife?

If you are interested in the afterlife, angels, healings and mediumship and are looking for like-minded people to support you on you journey, then you are welcome to come along to a new monthly discussion group in the West of Ireland.  For more information, please contact Mick on 086-3688604 or Malcolm on 087-4565899.

 

 

Kilduff and Waldron in shock election moves

 

A former Fianna Fáil councillor who left the Council a decade ago, and a son of one of the most colourful councillors of recent times, are both confirming in today’s Roscommon People that they will contest the local elections on May 24th.

  Tony Waldron and Donal Kilduff will run as Independents, in Roscommon and Athlone Municipal Districts respectively. Both were formerly members of Fianna Fáil.

  Mr. Waldron, a Ballintubber-based businessman, was a Fianna Fail councillor from 2004 to 2009. He did not contest the 2009 local elections. In today’s Roscommon People, Mr. Waldron declares as an Independent candidate in Roscommon Municipal District and says that developing Roscommon’s tourism potential and attracting more inward investment into the county are his priorities.

  Donal Kilduff, MD of Kilduff Construction and a native of Glanduff, Kiltoom, says he had decided many years ago that he would not pursue a career in politics. However, he changed his mind in recent days and is today declaring as an Independent candidate in Athlone (South Roscommon) District. His father, Cllr. Paddy Kilduff, who ended his 50-year association with Fianna Fáil last year, is retiring prior to the upcoming elections.

‘I never intended to run for election…but once I made the decision, it felt right’

 

 

Donal Kilduff is probably as surprised as anyone else will be that he is stepping into the political arena. True, the Glanduff man grew up in a political household, and yes, he was a  member of a political party (Fianna Fáil). But, even though his father has been a high profile councillor for many years, Donal Kilduff had decided long ago that he had no intention of getting involved in any of that “nonsense”.

  That was until last week…

 

Even a short chat with Donal Kilduff makes it very clear that, should he be successful in politics, he won’t be the same type of politician as his father has been. He says so himself. “I’m not as outgoing as my father, I’m a bit more introverted!” Neither does Donal ‘shoot from the hip’ in the way his father has always done. His father of course is Cllr. Paddy Kilduff, who is retiring from politics in the coming weeks. Paddy signs off as an Independent, having ended his 50-year association with Fianna Fáil last year.

  Son of Paddy and Teresa Kilduff of Glanduff, Donal Kilduff is a successful businessman and a graduate of University of Limerick (BSc Applied Maths & Computing) and of Smurfit Business School UCD (MSc Project Management).

  Aged 39 and describing himself as an “excellent problem solver”, he is quite unlike the traditional Fianna Fáil politician that his father typified during his successful career. 

  Although he worked closely with his father during the latter’s election campaigns, Donal says he had resolved many years ago that political life was not for him.

  “I’ve always had an interest in politics; I was involved (in politics) in college, and in my father’s campaigns. My father always expressed an interest in me running for election, but I resolved a number of years ago not to. I said ‘this political life is not for me…because of all the nonsense that’s involved’. What is the nonsense? “Oh, the internal wrangling within parties” he says with a sigh. “I’ve no time for it”.

  And that’s how things panned out. Even as Paddy Kilduff’s political career came to a natural end, Donal remained steadfast. No interest. But something changed his perspective, he says.

  He thinks before he speaks. He thinks for a moment or two. Early in March, he received a call from Louise Weir Lawrence, Chairperson of Knockcroghery/St John’s/Rahara Community Games. A standard query about possible sponsorship. Donal, who is MD of Kilduff Construction, happily obliged. Her enthusiasm at his sponsorship was an eye-opener for him. “My sponsorship was greatly appreciated by Louise…there was something about Louise’s enthusiasm that got me thinking…that single interaction reminded me of what local politics should be about. It shifted my perspective away from the negative side of politics”.

  Something else struck a chord with him recently, he says. That was the campaigning by school children on climate change. It’s an area that he is keenly interested in.

  It all got him thinking. He spent a week and a half thinking. And, late last week, he arrived at a decision. He has decided to run as an Independent candidate in Athlone Municipal District, to see if he can make a difference for his community.

  He plans to make a difference. “I intend to win a seat” he says. He had noted that nobody in his father’s area had come forward to try to regain the seat held by his father.

He says he would never have run for Fianna Fáil; nothing to do with the much-publicised falling out between the party hierarchy and his Dad. He says he has strong views on how his father was treated by Fianna Fáil (“it was a very difficult time for the family”) but is not going to air them at this time.

  Fianna Fáil, he says, is part of the nonsense. A party run from the top, with no regard for the views of grassroots. A party, he says, that’s centrally controlled and obsessed with being populist.

  “Fianna Fáil has good people in it, but it is a party which is now almost completely centrally controlled from Dublin, with

zero respect for its membership. Grassroots have no say…we see it all the time at selection conventions” Donal says, witheringly.

  He’s not impressed with Fine Gael either (“they are too far to the right”). He can’t identify with either of the traditional big beasts of Irish politics.

  Ideally, what he would like to do is “problem solve”. And there are lots of problems to solve. He says the single greatest thing a government could do is put fibre broadband in that is accessible to all. “That action alone will save rural Ireland…more and more SMEs will spring up…we need to be able to conduct business at the speed of thought”.

  Other issues that require immediate attention are the state of roads in South Roscommon and the need for more flood relief measures. He is passionate about climate change and the need for more work to be done in the area of positive mental heath. He says that more social housing is urgently needed, as are measures to reduce construction costs – “currently a couple, where both partners are on the average industrial wage, will really struggle to acquire a site and build a home”.

 

Donal Kilduff has changed his mind. He says he will ignore the nonsense and embrace the positive aspects of politics. “My slogan is ‘Business head, social heart’. I am very pro-business, but also socially conscious. There’s no point in having a successful business in a society that’s falling apart”.   

  He’s different to his father, but very close to him. Donal is very much his own man. He enjoys yoga, mindfulness, travel, photography. Independent thinking, and problem solving. He didn’t expect this turn of events, but now that he’s made the decision, it feels like the right decision. He’s off and running, ready to see where this journey takes him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More to do: A decade on, Tony is back on campaign trail

 

Ten years after he last served on Roscommon County Council, former Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Waldron has dramatically declared as an Independent candidate for May’s local elections.  

  The decision of the well-known businessman and community activist to step back into the political cauldron adds spice to an already intriguing Roscommon Municipal District contest.

  Mr. Waldron, who donated his entire Council salary of €80,000 to the Hub project in Castlerea when he was a councillor, says he is motivated by trying to help develop County Roscommon’s rich tourism potential.

  Mr. Waldron was elected as a Fianna Fáil councillor in the Castlerea electoral area in 2004 and did not seek re-election in 2009. The Ballintubber man, who ceased being a member of Fianna Fáil some years ago, says he is not running for party political reasons.

  “I decided on Monday, after careful consideration, to declare as an Independent candidate. I’m not running on a party political platform because it’s not about Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin or any other party; it’s about County Roscommon. We need to work together and do what’s right for Roscommon.  

  “I want to support the creation of employment in Roscommon by marketing County Roscommon as a tourist destination and a place in which to do business. If that means that we have to go it alone and promote Roscommon then that’s what we will do”.

  On the very successful archaeological digs hosted in Ballintubber in recent years, he said: “Columbia College, New York and Foothill College, California have spent a month every year exploring the ruins of Ballintubber Castle. They have come year in, year out, such is the magnetic force of Ballintubber and the broader community.

  “If we can replicate this, which I strongly believe we can through further development of the Suck Valley Way, historical tours and the promotion of the area as one of the thrones of the High Kings of Ireland, then we will start to see a significant boost in the number of tourists coming to Roscommon”.

  Mr. Waldron said that during his tenure as a county councillor from 2004 to 2009 he had donated his entire Council salary – €80,000 – towards the Hub project at Castlerea Enteprise Centre.

  “I’ve been a community activist all my life” he said this week. “The reason I donated my salary to the Castlerea project was because I wanted to encourage enterprise in our area. By donating my salary I was able to make a tangible difference through the Hub project. Now I want to make the same difference in the area of tourism.

  “I also want to play my part in increasing the amount of inward investment coming into the county. We need to market Roscommon as a place that’s open and easy to do business in. Our improved road network allows people to get to major urban centres in between an hour and two hours. Our local authority needs to promote our beautiful county as a place in which to do business…where the IDA has failed.

  “With the huge cost of living in Ireland’s major urban areas, people are now looking to get out of city living and return to the country to experience a massively increased quality of life”.

  Mr. Waldron says that having confided in a small number of people since Monday, he has received a lot of support for his forthcoming campaign.

  He will host an election launch in Garvey’s of Ballintubber on Saturday, 13th of April next.

 

 

 

 

 

Official opening of North East Roscommon Water Treatment Plant 

 

 

Irish Water and Roscommon County Council have officially opened the North East Roscommon Water Treatment Plant following a €9.5m investment which they say will ensure a clean, secure water supply for the local community.


  Over 7,500 people in Strokestown and the surrounding areas will benefit from a safer and more reliable water supply as a result of this investment.


  Senator Maura Hopkins and Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Cllr. Ivan Connaughton performed the official opening at the plant at Grange.

  Also present were Deputies Michael Fitzmaurice and Eugene Murphy, county councillors, representatives of Roscommon County Council and Irish Water, and other guests.


  The completed project provides comprehensive treatment facilities including a cryptosporidium barrier and has led to the removal of the scheme from the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL), a list which highlights at risk schemes.


  Following an investment of over €40m by Irish Water, working in partnership with Roscommon County Council, there have been six new treatment plants constructed in County Roscommon including Killeglan, Lisbrock, Boyle/Ardcarne, Roscommon Central and Arigna and this one in North East Roscommon. 

  There have also been two major upgrades in Castlerea and North Roscommon. Ballinlough now receives its water supply from Lough Mask and a project to improve the quality of water for people living in Grangemore is currently underway.

 

Reaction…

 

Speaking at the official opening, Senator Maura Hopkins said: “I am pleased to be here at the North East Roscommon Water Treatment Plant for the official opening of this vital piece of water infrastructure.

  “Providing a secure supply of clean, safe drinking water for local residents and visitors to the area is essential to the quality of life and development potential of the area. This investment in water infrastructure brings very significant benefits to this community now and into the future.

  “This is one of six new treatment plants in Roscommon and it clearly highlights Irish Water’s, and the government’s, commitment to the people of Roscommon and the West of Ireland”. 


  Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Ivan Connaghton, said: “I welcome this investment by Irish Water in North East Roscommon which will ensure that area has a safe, secure and reliable water supply. The completion of this project has facilitated the removal of the North East Roscommon supply from the EPA’s RAL and gives assurances to local people and visitors alike that the drinking water here is of the highest quality”.

  Deputy Eugene Murphy issued a press release, in which he said: “It is great to finally see the results of this project which is extremely important to the North Roscommon Water Supply area which serves a population of approximately 7,726 water customers.

  “I was delighted to attend the official opening as the local TD for the area. This is an issue which I have worked on during my time as a county councillor and more recently since I was elected as a TD, so I am delighted to finally see this project come to fruition. This is a good news story for the Strokestown area”.

 

Heritage Audit of Creggs and Junior Tidy Towns launched

 

 

A new heritage audit of Creggs & District was launched recently by Cllr. Peter Keaveney, Leas-Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council.

  Speaking at the launch Cllr. Keaveney said: “This is a wonderful resource for the local community including the local school, Tidy Towns Group, the Heritage Centre, to name but a few. The heritage audit booklet shows the absolute wealth of heritage that you have here on your doorstep… ranging from woodlands to peatlands, crannógs to estate houses and grain milling to 18th century iron works”.

  The aim of this community-led project was to audit the potentially accessible built, cultural and natural heritage of Creggs with a view to developing interpretative materials and a heritage

trail for residents and visitors. The audit process has successfully identified a wide scope of heritage resources, which in terms of accessibility and intrinsic interest, have the potential for promotion for general visitor interest and educational purposes.

  Dr. Zena Hoctor and Dr. Christy Cunniffe worked with the local community in order to complete the audit.

  Carmel O’Rourke, Secretary of Creggs Tidy Towns, said: “This audit is a very important document in that is provides a framework to assist in the delivery of quality and meaningful local heritage projects in the future by the Tidy Towns Group, the local school and other community organisations and individuals”.

  Creggs Junior Tidy Towns was also launched on the night and coordinator Fiona Brandon said there would be plenty of activities in the area in the coming months.

  “There is great excitement too for the upcoming visits of Gordon D’Arcy, renowned artist and environmentalist. Gordon is coming to Creggs NS to do a series of workshops leading up to the Dawn chorus in May. The Junior Tidy Towns Group is also working on the ‘Focus on our heritage’ project which will be available on Galway Community Heritage website later in the year”.

  Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Galway County Council, also spoke at the launch and paid tribute to Creggs Tidy Towns.

  “To manage and protect our built, natural and cultural heritage we first need to have an awareness, knowledge and understanding of what we have. It is evident from this audit report that Dr. Zena Hoctor and Dr. Christy Cunniffe, working with the local community and undertaking a desktop study and field study left no stone unturned in ensuring that the heritage of the area was identified”.

  She also paid tribute to all the teachers and students in Creggs National School for all their hard work on “creating of awareness and safeguarding the heritage for future generations”.

 

 

 

Five local schools included in energy-efficiency upgrade project

 

 

Five schools across Roscommon/Galway constituency are to be included in a new energy-efficiency upgrade pilot project.

  Senator Maura Hopkins said that she had been informed of the development by Minister Richard Bruton.

  “Local schools included are Cornafulla National School, Athlone; Dunmore Community School; Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew; Colaiste Mhuire, Ballygar and Lawrencetown National School.

  “This is the third year of this pilot scheme and the target is a 33% energy-efficiency improvement for each school. Potential upgrades under the scheme include: doors and windows; insulation; lighting and heating upgrades, as well as renewable technologies.

  “These upgrades, while improving energy-efficiency, will also have a very positive impact on the entire school community, creating a much more comfortable teaching and learning environment”.

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