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Get off the bus!




Local TD Michael Fitzmaurce has slammed his former colleague Shane Ross – and the Government – over plans to “move away” from diesel-only buses. Fitzmaurice is calling on the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, to clarify why he intends to “fork out millions of euro of taxpayers’ money on buses that struggle to get up hills and spend huge amounts of time parked up awaiting repairs”.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice was commenting on Minister Ross’ plans to purchase a new fleet of hybrid buses which work on a mix of diesel and electricity, as well as comments from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the effect that Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann will no longer purchase diesel-only buses.

  The independent TD is concerned that this move may evolve into “yet another ministerial pig in a poke that will work in theory, but not in practice”.

  He said: “Minister Ross and Taoiseach Varadkar must clarify whether or not we are in danger of buying buses that struggle to get up hills”.

  “Purchasing buses that can’t go up hills sounds like it should be part of an Irish joke; if that is the case, then the Irish taxpayer certainly will not be laughing”.


Murphy slams Government over ‘inaction’ on flooding



Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has said the Government’s “inaction” in terms of maintenance of the River Shannon has led to increased difficulties with serious flooding problems beginning to escalate.

  As Fianna Fáil spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief, Deputy Murphy has highlighted the fact that water levels at Lough Ree are up 50mm, Athlone downstream is up 70mm while Banagher is up 90mm, after several heavy days and nights of rainfall in the middle of March. 

  “I acknowledge that Minister ‘Boxer’ Moran is attempting to be proactive on the issue, but the Government’s response has been abysmal, with little or no maintenance work being carried out on the River Shannon in recent times.

  “We had a very dry summer last year and that was the opportunity to carry out maintenance works but it seems that flooding needs to escalate or reach crisis levels before the Government takes action.

  “An agreement was to be made between the Government and Bord na Mona in terms of removing silt and peat deposits, yet that has not proceeded. 

  “Maintenance of the River Shannon needs to be expedited – it is vital that increased capacity is provided in the River Shannon,” concluded Deputy Murphy.


Mick (80) to cycle 80 km for charity!



Castlerea native and Donamon Dynamos President Mick Harte is preparing to cycle 80km as part of ‘Mick’s 80th Birthday Challenge’ in order to raise funds to send a group of qualified tradespeople to Ethiopia to carry out badly-needed works on the Sebeta Blind School.

  The challenge, which is supported by Roscommon Sports Partnership in association with Donamon Dynamos, will start from Ros Bowl, Lanesboro Road, Roscommon on Sunday, April 28th and take Mick through Castlecoote, Creggs, Glenamaddy, Kilkerrin, Newbridge, Ballinamore Bridge, Ballyforan, Four Roads and back to Roscommon town via Athleague. (Full story in our next issue).




18 new social homes for Ballyleague




Over €3m is to be provided for the construction of 18 new social homes at Meadowbrook, Ballycare, Ballyleague, Co. Roscommon. News of the funding was announced by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy.

  Senator Maura Hopkins said that Stage 1 approval for a capital construction project was issued to Roscommon County Council on March 15th.

  She added: “I know that officials have been working closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government over the past number of months to achieve this outcome. There is a strong demand for social and affordable housing across this region. The allocation of this funding will allow Roscommon County Council to provide new homes for individuals and families in our community”.

Ireland’s largest fast charge point is coming to Roscommon




It has been announced that Roscommon town will soon be home to Ireland’s largest fast charger facility for electric vehicles. The 80kw charge point will be installed at Casey’s Circle K Service Station in May and Cllr. Orla Leyden had high praise for the Casey family and Casey’s Circle K manager, Jim McCausland, earlier this week.

  “I am delighted that Roscommon, the County Town, will have the largest fast charger for electric vehicles in the country installed at Casey’s Circle K in May.

  “Well done to Jim McCausland and the Casey family for their foresight in bringing this EV Fast Charger to the town.

  “This is great for people with EV cars in the area and it is fantastic for promoting more visits to Roscommon by addressing the EV fast charging blackspot. The fast charging point will put Roscommon town back on the map for people with EV cars planning weekends away in Ireland.

  “Jim’s determination in getting the EV Fast Charger unit installed before the summer tourism season is truly commendable. Jim, who is Chairperson of the County Roscommon Tourism Forum, is acutely aware of how this practical measure will improve visitor numbers to the county.

  “Casey’s Circle K is being proactive and putting the necessary infrastructure in place that will see Electric vehicles fully charged in half an hour. They are also playing an important role in encouraging more people to opt for electric vehicles by improving the supporting infrastructure, thus helping the environment,” she said.

  Cllr. Leyden expressed disappointment however with delays in Government funding of nationwide fast charging points.

  “I am disappointed that we are still waiting on Government to invest in the network of fast charging points in the country and heartened that a local business is taking the initiative and showing their commitment to the area.

  “I would also like to thank John Mockler, Roscommon Municipal District Coordinator, again for his assistance in improving the visibility of the standard (slow charging) EV charging areas in Roscommon town with green marking thus making it easier for people with electric cars to charge their vehicles without obstruction,” she said.

Frenchpark road resurfacing welcomed



Road resurfacing works on the N5 at Frenchpark village are underway.

  Senator Maura Hopkins said: “It is very positive that works are now underway in Frenchpark. They will consist of 2km of excavation, rebuilding and resurfacing works.

  “The poor condition of the road surface in Frenchpark is an issue which many people have contacted me about over the past number of years. I have been consistently raising this issue with Roscommon County Council.

  “I want to commend the contractors for the high standard of work which has been carried out to date on footpath improvements and the pipe replacement works. I know that these works are causing traffic issues at present. I will continue to work with the council and the contractors to ensure that delays can be minimised”.

  Cllr. Liam Callaghan also welcomed the commencement of overlay works in the village. 

  “The works commenced this week and while there will be delays locally it will a major improvement to the village.

  “I have worked closely with residents to resolve safety issues in the village and I want to commend  the contractors (O’Malleys) and the staff of Roscommon County Council”.


Over €2m in funding for local community groups



Over €2 million is being provided to 17 community organisations across Co. Roscommon under the 2019 Community Services Programme. The funding has been announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring.

  Welcoming the funding, Senator Hopkins said: “The funds will support the staffing costs of community organisations which are run on a social enterprise model. This means that local organisations are being supported to provide services in our communities, where it otherwise may not be financially viable to do so”.


News…at a glance - March 29th




Volunteers needed for Organ Donor Awareness Week

Organ Donor Awareness Week will take place from Saturday March 30th to Saturday April 6th. The Roscommon Branch of the Irish Kidney Association are looking for Volunteers to sell forget me not flowers, emblems, etc. in Roscommon town on Friday April 5th. If you are willing to help out please contact Maura at 086 8969670.

Organ Donor cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association – Lo call 1890 543 639 or Free text the word Donor to 50050. Visit websitewww.ika.ie.


Portrun Development Association AGM

The AGM of Portrun Development Association will be held on Thursday, April 4th at 8.30 pm in Paddy Finn’s, Kilteevan. The meeting is open to all and your attendance would be most welcome. This is your opportunity to hear about the many successful developments and achievements Portrunny has had over the past year. It will set out suggestions for the coming year and if you want to be included you need to attend. We also invite participants to share in the benefits of being involved in the community for an hour per week brings.

Áine’s table quiz for India orphanage work

Roscommon student Áine Farrell is travelling to southern India in June with the UCD Volunteers Overseas programme. She will be working as a part of a physiotherapy team in an orphanage for children with disabilities and from underprivileged backgrounds.

 As part of fundraising for this project, Áine is running a table quiz on Friday, April 5th at 9 pm in Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon. A table of four costs €40 or €10 per person.

  All support would be greatly appreciated on the night and all donations welcome through Áine Farrell’s fundraising page on www.altruism.ie.

Roscommon Harriers Race Series back for month of April

The Roscommon Harriers AC 5k Race Series is back! We invite you to challenge yourself each Friday for the month of April. Races starts at 7.30pm from entrance gate to Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon. Register on the evening of each race from 6.30pm. Open to walkers and runners of all abilities.

For further information, check out Roscommon Harriers AC Race Series & Roscommon Harriers 10 mile Road Race on Facebook or www.RunIreland.ie

Roscommon SPCA car boot sale

Roscommon SPCA will host a car boot sale on Saturday, April 6th at Casey’s Londis, Roscommon town from 9 am to 3 pm.

  Admission is €15 per car, and sellers are asked to bring their own tables. All money raised goes directly to animal welfare in the county.


Murray’s to host fun table quiz

South Roscommon Singers Circle will host a fun table quiz in Murray’s of Knockcroghery this Friday (29th). There will be eight rounds of questions and the quiz will commence at 9.30 pm. €10 per person and tables will be limited to four participants.  The organisers promise you an event filled with fun and entertainment – with some tricky questions of course! There will be spot prizes galore on the night as well as bonus prizes and raffle prizes on offer. Please support this event as proceeds will go towards the annual Singers’ Weekend in October.


Rooskey asylum seeker centre will not go ahead





The Department of Justice today confirmed that it would now not go ahead with plans to open an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at the Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey. The department issued a statement to the Roscommon People this morning citing “difficulties with the lease agreement” as the reason for its change of heart.

  The statement read: ‘The Department of Justice and Equality regrets that it is not in a position to proceed with plans to open an accommodation centre in the Shannon Key West Hotel, Rooskey.

  ‘The decision was taken following legal advice sought from the Chief State Solicitors Office which found difficulties with the lease agreement between the owners of the hotel, and the operator renting it, which made proceeding with the proposed centre unviable.

The Department is not party to these lease arrangements and these matters are outside our control.

  ‘We remain committed to sourcing suitable premises to meet the accommodation needs of people in the international protection process. A regional procurement process is underway and will continue throughout the year.

  ‘The decision not to proceed was taken solely in relation to the difficulties with the lease.’


Castlerea family appeal for support on organ transplants



Kidney disease has struck many members of family, but they are resilient and upbeat…


Members of a family from Castlerea, Co. Roscommon are this week highlighting the importance of organ donor awareness. Five members of the Mulligan family have been diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which is a progressive illness which can remain dormant for decades. 

  Now, in conjunction with Organ Donor Awareness Week, the family are telling their story in order to help highlight how vitally important organ donation is.

  Michael Mulligan (70) and his wife Breege live in their native Castlerea. Michael received a kidney transplant 14 years ago, after the death of an organ donor. The transplant was a success and Michael is enjoying retirement with his wife Breege.

  Over the years, four of the couple’s six children have been diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

  Three of the sisters – Pamela, Julie and Paula – live within fifteen minutes’ drive of one another in Co. Wicklow, having married three men who were actually friends before those weddings! A fourth sister, Susan, lives in Islandbridge in Dublin. The oldest sister, Lydna, lives in Rahan, Co. Offaly. All five sisters have received a PKD diagnosis. The youngest member of the family and only son, Mikki, lives in Canada and has not been tested yet for PKD.

  Susan Mulligan was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) when she was in college after she sustained a sports injury. For over two and a half years she has been undergoing haemodialysis treatment at the Beacon in Tallaght.  

  Following Susan’s diagnosis, she managed to stave off dialysis treatment for over a decade as her condition was carefully monitored and treated through medication as well as lifestyle and dietary changes. 

  Three of Susan’s sisters, Pamela, Julie and Paula, live in Wicklow (in Aughrim, Avoca and Arklow) with their husbands.

  Julie went into end stage kidney failure following the birth of her son two years ago. Julie’s declining kidney function is being carefully monitored and she may need to commence dialysis treatment soon. She is currently awaiting her appointment to visit the renal team at Beaumont Hospital for referral onto the transplant waiting pool.

  Pamela and Julie had completed their PKD tests for a medical report which was required for their mortgage applications. Fortunately for Pamela, who lives in Arklow with her husband Neil and three sons, her tests came back negative for PKD. However, another sister, Paula, who lives in Avoca and was diagnosed with the disease, had experienced a temporary dip in kidney function after the birth of her twin boys last year, but her kidney function has since improved and her condition hasn’t progressed.

  The oldest sister in the Mulligan family, Lynda, has also  received a PKD diagnosis, but she continues to enjoy good health while living in Rahan, Co. Offaly with her husband Nicky. 

  Susan and her family are grateful to the family of their father’s deceased donor transplant and are sharing their story in order to publicly support the annual Organ Donor Awareness Week. Organ Donor Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about organ failure and encourage the public to support organ donation for transplantation and tell their next-of-kind their wishes.

  Susan said: “My family are truly grateful to the donor family who gave my father a new lease of life. For the other members of our family who will need organ transplants in the future and for all those other people on transplant waiting lists, we are sharing our story to help raise awareness about how vitally important organ donation is”.

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