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Naughten seeks reassurances on future of Garda HQ


Independent TD Denis Naughten has sought reassurance from Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan that Roscommon town will retain its status as a Garda Divisional Headquarters in any reorganisation of Garda Divisions.

  “Recent reports on a draft proposal for the Garda reorganisation of the force is suggesting that the Roscommon/Longford Division would be merged with Mayo under the changes which are due to be introduced at the end of the year,” Deputy Naughten said.

  “This would mean that there would be a single Garda Divisional Headquarters for this new super-division and the current Garda HQ in Roscommon town is geographically well suited to service this expanded area.

  “While I understand that no final decision has been made on the reconfiguration of the divisions and any subsequent changes in personnel that might take place as a result, people are naturally concerned that Roscommon could lose out in the process,” concluded Deputy Naughten.

Tragic Debs student Jessica laid to rest today



Loughrea student, Jessica Moore (19), who passed away following a Debs function in Gullane’s Hotel in Ballinasloe on Monday, will be laid to rest today (Thursday).

  The St. Raphael’s College student had been celebrating with friends when she complained of feeling ill in the early hours of Monday morning.

  It is understood the alarm was raised by Jessica’s friends after she fell ill and collapsed. Despite desperate efforts by medics, the tragic student was pronounced dead at Portiuncula Hospital.

  A Garda spokesperson described her death as a “horrific tragedy” and said that statements would be taken from students at the event as well as anyone else who came into contact with Jessica. They confirmed that CCTV would form part of the investigation and that a postmortem was also due to take place.

  A notice posted online alongside funeral arrangements earlier this week read: “To the inexpressible grief of her heartbroken parents Brendan and Catherine. Cherished and much-loved sister of Cian and Ali”.

  Jessica’s father, Brendan, described Jessica as “an angel” in a tribute posted online.

  “My little girl is now an angel. There’s always going to be an irreplaceable hole in our lives.

  “Rest easy Jess, you’ll never be forgotten”.

  Jessica will be laid to rest today following funeral Mass at 1 pm in St. Patrick’s Church, Ballaun.





Multi-million euro sale of Centre Point Retail Park confirmed






• New cinema owner •  Up to 100 jobs expected


The multi-million euro sale of one of the region’s most renowned retail parks is expected to lead to the creation of up to 100 jobs and significant development benefits for Roscommon Town and surrounding areas. 

  The Centre Point Retail Park at Circular Road, Roscommon has been sold to a group of three investors, including a new cinema operator.

  The deal involves the sale of ten substantial shop units (seven vacant and three investment units and a cinema) in what is a primely located 86,000 sq.ft. commercial park. The deal does not include independent shops on site – Brand Max, Lidl, Aldi or the former KFC outlet.

  Since opening a number of years ago, the Centre Point Retail Park has become one of the busiest in the region, with very significant footfall.

  Following confirmation of this week’s purchase, it is now expected that the deal will result in up to 100 new jobs and significant economic spin-offs. The identity of the purchasers and cost of purchase are not being disclosed at this point, but the Roscommon People understands that it is a multi-million euro deal.

  Well-known local auctioneer, John Earley – of Property Partners Earley Roscommon – confirmed that terms had been agreed with “three investors, including a UK company and a new cinema operator”.

  Mr. Earley said that the deal was done in conjunction with Peter Love of Messers Cushman & Wakefield.

  Mr. Earley commented: “We are delighted to announce that terms have recently been agreed…the deal incorporates ten shop units…offering approx. 86,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in total. We are optimistic that this sale will have a major positive effect on Roscommon town and surrounding areas with up to 100 jobs in the pipeline, which will bring new money to Roscommon town and the greater business and housing market”.

  Mr. Earley said that a deal “of this magnitude” highlights Roscommon town as a recognised retail centre.

  He said that Property Partners Earley hope to be in a position to announce the names of the new retailers over the coming weeks.



Fresh probe into murder of Ballinasloe woman?



It was reported on Tuesday that the National Bureau of Investigation’s serious crime review team is expected to carry out a fresh probe into the murder of a Ballinasloe mother-of-one 25 years ago.

  Nobody has ever been charged with the murder of Marie Kilmartin, who was 35-years-old and living in Portlaoise where she was working in an old people’s home when she disappeared in December 1993. Her body was found six months later in a bog near the Laois-Offaly border.

  According to the Irish Independent, a detective made an application last week at the Central Criminal Court for interviews gardaí had with the chief suspect in the case, which were recorded on VCR tapes, to be transferred to DVD. It is believed the tapes contain six interviews conducted between 1994 and 2008. The application to break the seal on the master tape on the VCRs was approved.

  The case is now expected to be investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation’s serious crime review team, also known as the ‘cold case’ team. This is the latest major development in the case since three people – two men and a woman aged in their 40s and 60s – were arrested in September 2008.



Cable fault caused major power outage in Roscommon Town



The ESB confirmed earlier this week that a cable fault was the cause of a power outage which affected around 3,000 customers in Roscommon town last Saturday.

  Many premises were affected by the fault which occurred from approximately 7 am on Saturday morning and resulted in many businesses remaining closed until the issue was eventually resolved at around 12 noon.

  The ESB said that power was restored to most customers within five hours but that unfortunately there was then a second fault on the Roscommon town network which led to further power outages from 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

  Essential works were carried out on the Roscommon town network on Tuesday with no further faults reported.

  The ESB subsequently apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused by Saturday’s power outage.



Hopkins wants clarity on threat to jobs



Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has called for more clarity – including from the Government that her party leads – on the issues which have arisen in relation to ESB and Bord na Móna sites in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge over the past number of weeks.

  Senator Hopkins was one of a number of Oireachtas members who met with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton in Tullamore on Wednesday of last week.

  Senator Hopkins said: “There remains a significant level of uncertainty at present and this is causing distress for many of the affected workers and their families. I have been asking for clarity on the matter and on options available to secure the future of both plants and maintain quality employment for affected workers.

  “Hundreds of workers across this region rely on each of these stations for either direct or indirect employment. They must be our first priority and I have made this point very clear to An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton”.

  Senator Hopkins added: “We know that changes need to be made in the long-term. However, this change so far has not been structured, planned or organised with clear aims and objectives taking account of employees and local communities. It is very important that the Government, Bord na Móna and ESB work out an agreed plan in order to support workers and deal with the challenges of climate change”.

49th Roscommon Show launch is tonight



€50,000 prize fund!


The 49th Roscommon Agricultural Show will take place at Hannon’s Grounds in Roscommon town on Saturday, August 17th.

  The official launch of the show is tonight (Thursday 8th) at 9.30 pm in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon.

  This year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever with a prize fund of €50,000, extra classes and free kids’ entertainment throughout the day at Hannon’s Grounds.

  Among the highlights of this year’s show will be the superb Horse section, which features: the Irish Draught Colt Foal Championship with a prize fund of €1,000; Horse Sport Ireland’s Young Handler Championship Series Qualifier; The A. Browne Limited Filly Foal All-Ireland Championship with a prize fund of €2,500; the Traditional Irish Sport Horse Foal All-Ireland Championship with a prize fund of €2,500 and of course the Irish Draught Yearling Filly All-Ireland which has a prize fund of €2,000.

  Once again, there will also be a wide range of other classes on the day, including Ponies, Donkeys, Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pets, Poultry, Flowers, Farm & Garden Produce, Art, Crafts, Photography, Cookery and events such as ‘Most Appropriately Dressed Lady and Gentleman’. There will also be a craft village for small local enterprises on the day.

  As always, the organisers of this popular annual event still require volunteers on the day. For further information, contact Damian Hannon (Chairperson) on 086-8509845 or Christy Tully (PRO) on 086-2209338.


Farmers urged to reject factory ‘sweetheart’ deals





Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has called on farmers to stick together in an effort to secure a more sustainable income moving forward, and to reject the “sweetheart deals” being offered by some factories.

  Having been in attendance at a number of the protests in recent days, the Roscommon-Galway TD said: “I have called to a number of places where members and supporters of the Beef Plan Movement have been holding peaceful protests.

  “It has been unbelievable to see vehicles, especially lorries, driving through the picket lines with little or no regard for the people holding the peaceful protest.

  “I think it is imperative that the likes of the Road Haulage Association would encourage those people with artics, rigids and trailers to respect people who are taking part in a peaceful protest if they are members of their association”.

  He added: “It would be important for the association to come out and advocate for respect to be shown by drivers to all protestors that are abiding by the law and wearing high visibility jackets.

  “It has also been heartening to see instances where farmers have arrived with their produce and have turned around in support of the movement. This is a difficult time for all farmers, throughout the length and breadth of the country”.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice said “special deals” are being offered to those who pass the picket line, but he urged farmers to stick together.

  “What every farmer in rural Ireland must realise is that it is not sustainable to continue taking the price that is there at the moment.

  “You may be a winner today for taking a sweetheart deal because you brought sheep or cattle to the factory, but down the road you will get the same treatment as everyone else,” he concluded.



Beef Plan protest not going away – Kerrane 



Sinn Féin spokesperson for Roscommon, Claire Kerrane, has said that the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed needs to “wake up” and realise that without his direct intervention, the Beef Plan protest will continue.

  Speaking having attended the picket line at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis on a number of occasions in recent days, Ms. Kerrane said: “The Beef Plan movement is only beginning. Pickets at factories are now in place in 19 locations across the State with more and more farmers and supporters joining the picket lines every day.

  “I commend everyone who is taking a stand for fair and decent pay for beef farmers – the very least they deserve.

  “As the daughter of a beef farmer, I know the struggles being faced by beef farmers and I am hugely proud of the stand farmers are taking. It’s a stand the IFA would never have the guts to take, not least due to their cosy alliance to the Fine Gael party. That’s now irrelevant because we have a new and growing movement to represent beef farmers and their families.

  “Minister Creed needs to wake up and he needs to do so quickly. He is the Minister for Agriculture and he needs to intervene right now. In the meantime, the pickets will continue with Beef Plan members more determined than ever”.

News…at a glance - August 9th


Keadue to take part in Entente Florale 2020

Keadue has been selected to represent Ireland in the Entente Florale Europe Competition 2020, having been nominated by National Tidy Towns under the Department Rural and Community Development.

  This is Keadue’s second time to be chosen to participate in the competition, having been awarded a silver medal in 2003.

Annual Castlecoote Duck Race this Sunday!

Castlecoote Tidy Towns are holding their Annual Duck Race this Sunday (11th) at 4 pm. This is a fundraiser to help defray costs that are incurred during the year. The committee is calling on everyone to come out and have some fun while supporting this fundraiser.

  Ducks cost €5 each and are on sale in all businesses in the area. Hot food will be on sale during the day (sponsored by Castlecoote Stores).

  This is an event for all the family, so come along and cheer on the ducks as they travel up the River Suck! The local sub aqua club will also be on hand to ‘rescue’ all ducks as they try to escape up the river!

  There will be entertainment afterwards in PJ’s, with music from Woodrush. So head along for what promises to be a very enjoyable evening in Castlecoote this Sunday.

Tour De Western Alzheimers charity cycle

Windmill Wheelers Cycling Club in Elphin will host a fundraising event in aid of Western Alzheimers called Tour De Western Alzheimers this Sunday (11th). The cycle will cover 193km and take in Roscommon, Galway and Mayo.

  You can support the cyclists at the following points: Fourmilehouse (9 am), Maryfield in Athenry (12 pm), Marian House in Ballindine (2.15 pm). The cycle will then return to Elphin.

  This event is in preparation for the final leg of the Windmill Wheelers’ Elphin to Gibraltar cycle which will see them complete 3,000km over the last four years.

  20 members have cycled from Elphin to Paris is 2016, from Paris to Lourdes in 2017 and from Lourdes to Madrid in 2018. They will cycle from Madrid to Gibraltar from August 23rd to 28th this year in order to complete the challenge.

  The cyclists range in age from 17 to 70 and are funding the trip themselves with all proceeds going directly to Western Alzheimers. You can sponsor the cylists in person or online through Facebook or at iDonate. Search for Windmill Wheelers. For further information, please contact John Murray on 086-8174560.

Launch of workhouse booklet at Cootehall

On Sunday, August 25th at 12.30 pm, there will be a launch of a special booklet by historian Steve Dolan focusing on Boyle Workhouse and the workhouses of the region after a free lecture at Cootehall Community House.

  The proceeds will go towards the restoration the former home of novelist John McGahern. This Heritage Week, Steve will be raising €10,000 for charities in the region.

Annual Cemetery Mass in Rahara

The Annual Cemetery Mass will take place in Rahara Graveyard this Sunday (11th  of August) at 10 am. 

Genealogy and Local History Conference

Roscommon Town Team will host its inaugural Genealogy and Local History Conference on Saturday, August 24th in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon. Topics include sources and new technologies in family history research, graveyards as a source of information and how to start researching the history of your own locality. Registration takes place at 9.30 am and admission is €5.

  At 8 pm the organisers will present ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ (DNA analysis and genealogy of a local personality). Come and find out if the mystery man is a true Rossie! 

  For further information, contact Roscommon Tourist Office on 090-6625613; 087-2940544 (Eilish); 087-6335511 (Mary).


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