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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Roscommon Drama Group for All-Ireland One Act Drama Festival




Roscommon Drama Group have entered the All-Ireland One Act Drama Festival after last year’s multi-award winning entry, ‘The Stanley Parkers’, proved to be successful.

  Mary Cox will direct this year’s play, ‘27 Wagons Full of Cotton’ by Tennessee Williams, with this staging of the play featuring Bernie Maher as Flora, Con Connolly as her husband Jake, and Tom Holian as Vicarrio.

  The All-Ireland finals take place in Cork during December and the journey to reach that stage starts in Ballina on Sunday, 3rd of November when this play wil be performed.  

  There will be a performance in Cavan town on Sunday, 10th of November before the group travel to Kiltimagh one week later. The Roscommon Drama Group will perform in Doonbeg on Monday, the 18th of November while they will visit Tubbercurry on Friday, 22nd of November and Manorhamlton two days after that.

  There will be a ground-breaking performance of the play in the Roscommon Arts Centre on Friday, 18th of October when the Lunchtime Theatre visit Roscommon before going on tour. Food, supplied by Molloy’s Bakery, will be served from 12.30 pm and the play will start at 1.10 pm.

  This is a first for drama in Roscommon and there are limited places available. Tickets, costing €16, including lunch, or €10 for the play only, are available from Roscommon Arts Centre at 090-6625824. Tickets are selling fast for this special occasion and booking is advised.

  The club is also producing a three-act play, ‘Forbidden Fruit’, by local writer Tom Costello. The play is a historical drama based on the Talbot family of Mount Talbot and will be staged in the Roscommon Arts Centre at the end of November. The play has recently been cast and rehearsals have started.



2019 Fair of Fuerty promises fun for all!




The 2019 Fair of Fuerty, which takes place this Sunday, 13th of October, promises to be one of the best ever held!

  In addition to all the traditional attractions that ensure this famous fair is always memorable, there are new innovations this year – and increased prize-money!

  It’s over a century since the first Fair of Fuerty was held – and in the subsequent decades, this event has had a special place in the hearts of generations of people in the local community.

  Fuerty is a picturesque, thriving and close-knit area where positive community spirit is very prevalent. This year the organising committee have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the 2019 Fair will be particularly entertaining, family-friendly and enjoyable. They’ve been busy planning an exciting schedule of events for this Sunday. The committee’s focus has been on staying true to the ethos of the traditional fair while adding further variety to the day’s attractions.

  Joe Dolan, of the organising committee, said: “I’d like to thank everyone on the committee for all their hard work. We are really looking forward to Sunday. Hopefully everyone will come along and enjoy the fair. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our generous sponsors and indeed to thank everyone who has helped in any way. Here’s to a great event in Fuerty this Sunday”.

  Please note that admission to Fuerty Fair this Sunday is FREE and entertainment for kids is FREE. Food will be served throughout the day. It promises to be a great day’s entertainment!




Day of destiny for pretenders to the throne





Hodson Bay Group SFC Final

Pádraig Pearses v Roscommon Gaels on Sunday in Dr. Hyde Park at 4 pm



Sometimes this job throws up fixtures that are very hard to preview and this county final is certainly one of those. Views on the new championship format this year are mixed and those arguments are for another day, but I don’t think that too many people will argue with the assertion that the two best teams in the championship are through to the final.

  As to who will win, there are compelling arguments to be made for both sides. Pearses have faced far sterner opposition on their route to the final. They edged past Boyle and Western Gaels in their group before going under to Clann. It has to be said that Pearses knew they were through when they lost to Fergal’s Shine’s men, but it was a shock, and speaking to Pearses players over the past week, I was left in no doubt that it was the wake-up call they needed.

  By contrast, the Gaels have reached this final with the minimum of fuss, winning all their games with a bit in hand. It could well be argued that the opposition the town team have faced has not been anywhere near as good as that played by Pearses. But the Gaels could only beat the teams that appeared in front of them, and they have done that in style.

  Pearses would have been seen as an excellent defensive team but one that needed to improve in attack in order to reach the summit. They have done that in their last two games, putting up big totals and crucially, scoring goals too. The likes of Conor Payne, Hubert Darcy, Paul Carey and Emmet Kelly are chipping in on the scoreboard now.

  Further back, Davy Murray, Mark Richardson, Shane Carty and Ronan Daly have been outstanding in defence and the Gaels will have to be on song up front to get any traction on Sunday.

  There is no doubt that the heartbeat and leader of this Pearses team is Niall Daly. Even though he was named at number 12 for their last three games, the All-Star nominee has been everywhere, blocking and clearing in defence, catching and distributing at midfield, and prompting and scoring up front. It will be a mammoth task for the Gaels to restrict his influence on Sunday. With his brothers Conor and Ronan, and Niall Carty, you have a very strong mix of outstanding experienced performers.

  Pearses play on the edge and will openly admit that. They tackle hard, and every ball is contested with vigour and massive intensity. It has meant that they have received several yellow cards (and worse), finished the semi-final with twelve men. Any repeat on Sunday will be costly. But they know that, and I would be of the opinion that far too much is made out of this anyway. Pearses have the footballers to win this final without any discipline problems getting in the way.

  For the Gaels, the introduction of a couple of young players over the past year or two has given them new energy. Tim Lambe, Peter Gillooly and Richard Hughes have proven outstanding performers.

  But it is the more experienced players that the Gaels will be relying on to get them over the line on Sunday. Paul Gleeson, John McManus, David O’Gara, Cian Connolly and Mark Healy will have to play out of their skins .

  Scott Oates and Cian Connolly have been coming back from the Middle East for the Gaels this summer and both have made huge contributions. The Gaels’ full-forward line of Gillooly, Connolly and Mayo man Ronan Carolan will have a huge role to play on Sunday. They have scored freely so far.

  The return of Brian Kelly and Kieran Kilcline from injury this year has been a huge boost to the Gaels and both players will be under the spotlight on Sunday.

  I’m assuming that John McManus will be marking Hubert Darcy and that Paul Gleeson will be on Paul Carey. Those clashes will be very important. Mark Healy and Kieran Kilcline will have the job of trying to keep Niall Daly and Niall Carty in check around the central area. As always, the midfield battle will be absolutely critical. I presume we will see Davy Murray on Cian Connolly with Anthony Butler on Ronan Carolan and Mark Richardson shadowing Peter Gillooly.

  In a county final, the heroes could come from anywhere. It could be Kevin O’Gara or Tim Lambe or Brian Kelly. It could be Gavin Downey or Lorcan Daly or Conor Payne. That’s the beauty of the club final – anything can happen!

  Another unknown is the psychological aspect to this game. There is no doubt that Pearses have the players to win this final, but they are bidding to become the first group to ever win a senior football title for the club. Great Pearses teams of the past have failed at the final hurdle. It has to be a factor. Can they banish over a half century of hurt? 

  Roscommon Gaels have been at the business end of the championship for the past five years. They’ve been close, not close enough. They will need a huge performance to break that 15-year hoodoo stretching back to 2004.

  There is so little between these two teams that I would not be one bit surprised if it takes a second game to sort it out – but I am paid to predict a winner! If Roscommon Gaels can get their running game going with the likes of Tim Lambe, Scott Oates, Mark Healy, David O’Gara and Kieran Kilcline, they might just have enough to shade it. Pearses feel that their long, long wait is finally over. It is beautifully balanced. A very hesitant nod to the Gaels.

Prediction: Roscommon Gaels by a point.


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McNeill hoping Gaels can rise to occasion




Liam McNeill was already a Roscommon Gaels legend before he took on the job of managing the senior team. In each of his five years he has watched his side miss out at the latter stages of the championship. Two years ago they were pipped in the final by St. Brigid’s and last year they lost to Clann by a single point in the semi-final.

  His charges have been impressive this year, remaining unbeaten on their way to Sunday’s final. However, the former midfielder knows that Pádraig Pearses will pose a significant challenge for the town side as they attempt to bridge a 15-year gap since they last won the Fahey Cup in 2004.

  “We’ve played a lot of hard games and you need a few breaks along the way. We had a lot of injuries in our first game against Strokestown but as the weeks have gone by, the injuries seemed to have cleared up. A few lads were away through their careers and college, but we have them back now and hopefully we can get them to a level of fitness that will suffice,” he said.

  Liam doesn’t agree that losses in the recent past will affect this Gaels team.

  “I don’t buy into the theory that losing a final is a bad experience. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Brigid’s won an All-Ireland title and Clann na nGael have won a few county championships but those teams endured knocks along the way.

  “From my own experience, when I won my first county title as a player I had had four or five tough years before that. Winning finals doesn’t come easy. You’re handed a medal for a reason, it’s because you earned it over a period of time.

  “When we started off this project, the first aim was to get competitive again. Mike Ryan and Mike McHale had done great work to get us out of the intermediate league. They took the baton when we were at a very low ebb. They got us back playing senior league. David Kelly stepped in and brought us back to being competitive in the senior championship. The baton was passed on to me then, and we’ve stayed competitive. We’ve probably upped it a little bit every year, and hopefully we might up it a bit more this year”.

  The Gaels committed to bringing home Scott Oates and Cian Connolly from Dubai for their championship games this year. Liam says that the players concerned are giving massive commitment to the cause.

  “It’s unbelievable what the lads have committed to. Once the game is over, they’re back in a car and on to a plane, 11 or 12 hours travelling and straight into school to do a full day’s work. They might get to bed on a Sunday or Monday evening after 35-40 hours on the go. They’ve been brilliant,” he said.

  McNeill also has huge respect for Sunday’s opponents from Taughmaconnell and Moore.

  “They are a phenomenal team. They’re just so far ahead of where they were 12 months ago. They’ve a super manager, they’re very well coached and have huge experience. Five of their team were on the Roscommon team that won a Connacht final against Galway. That experience is invaluable. They’re very strong and physical, but they can also play football. They’ve racked up huge scores this year,” he said.

  Liam added that he believes that all the experiences over the past few years have stood to him personally.

  “I think every experience makes you better. We were fierce disappointed to lose to Clann last year, but that stands to players and management. Maybe you’ll deal with situations differently than you did twelve months previously. I’m very lucky to have a very good management team behind me but once the lads cross the white line, the baton is passed to them and they take over.

  “Having said that, if we don’t improve by 30 or 40 per cent this Sunday, we won’t win. Pearses have beaten Brigid’s in a tough quarter-final, they beat Boyle in a tough semi-final, and they’ll be a better team again on Sunday. If we don’t improve, we’ll be found wanting and we’ll come up short,” he concluded.



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