This coming week, local businessman Imran Mani will open his second business in Strokestown. Mr Mani already operates Mobitech, a phone and computer repair shop on Elphin Street in the North-West Roscommon town. He is opening an Indian take-away called Mahi Kebabish. The restaurant will specialise in Indian curries, fresh kebabs, and pizzas. Enquiries can be made to Mr Mani on his mobile number (089) 982 4338.
Long-awaited history book on the Sliabh Bán district to be launched next month
A major new publication is about to be added to the already large collection of Roscommon local histories. Covering a large swarth of the eastern part of the county, Sliabh Bán, A Historical Journey, is a 470-page volume which chronicles the lives and times of generations past who lived on and around the rugged mountain.
This publication is the culmination of twenty-years of research and writing by Henry Owens of Lismehy. He has been assisted in recent years by Mike Lennon, now Dublin-based, but who grew up in Corbohill. Bringing the book to the publication stage was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Ballymore native and RTE Gaelic Games Correspondent, Brian Carthy, and the design and layout staff of Brian’s company, Sliabh Bán Productions.
While individual histories of schools, churches, and GAA clubs in the area have been written, this is the first comprehensive historical account of the greater Sliabh Bán district. It encompasses the modern parishes of Kilgefin, Tarmonbarry, and Strokestown which include the ancient parishes of Cloontuskert, Kilgefin, Bumlin, Cloonfinlough, Lisonuffy along with the northern end of Kilbride; an area of about seventy square miles.
The book is divided into fifteen sections which deal with geography, religion, education, natural history, sport, political history, entertainment, drama, infrastructure, farming, business, prominent people, and families. There is a lengthy memoir written by the late Dr Hugh Gibbons in which he recounts his formative years in Ballybeg while Brian Carthy has contributed an account of family life while growing up in Ballymore.
Thanks to the generosity of many contributors, the book is liberally illustrated with hundreds of old photographs which will evoke memories of events, places, and people who have passed onto their eternal reward. The last section is devoted to a miscellaneous collection of photographs under the title ‘Pictorial journey through the years.’
The publication of this history will help present and future generations discover and reflect on how their ancestors lived through periods of famine, poverty, political subjugation, and unrest while pursuing ordinary day-to-day activities. It also shines a light on how the population around Sliabh Bán evolved from being tenants and cottiers to the modern-day communities.
The launch is scheduled to take place in the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown on Sunday night, December 16th and further details will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Democrat would like to wish all local organisations who are attending the Pride of Place Awards best of luck. The awards ceremony takes place this Saturday evening in Cork City Hall. Strokestown Town Team will be represented by Paula Fitzpatrick, Danny Compton, and Peter Caslin. The event which Strokestown hosted in the Percy French Hotel in July was a great success which showcased the community of Strokestown. Two other groups from Roscommon will be represented at the event, namely; the Tulsk Action Group and Ballintubber Tidy Towns. Best of luck to all groups attending and we hope to bring home an award to Roscommon.
Once again, the people of Boyle and all the surrounding area came out in big numbers to take part in the annual Run, Walk n’ Roll for cancer research. Almost 400 participants of all ages; both young and old ran, walked and, cycled to support the cause. There were children in buggies and even the dogs on the street knew this event was on as the orgnaiser, Damien Regan, was aptly interrupted by a 'woof' when he announced that dogs were welcome on the run. It was a great event which saw everybody out smiling, enjoying themselves, and doing something good for their health.
All participants received a well-deserved medal for participating and refreshments were served in the hall afterwards, so it was a great social occasion for in attendance. First person home was Eastersnow/Croghan man, Paul Little, in a time of 20.10, with local Boyle teen, Daniel Casey - who is getting nearer to winning every year - coming in a close second. Kristy McHenry from Croghan, was the first lady to pass the finish line on the day.
So far this year, almost five thousand euro has been raised, and there are still funds to come in. The organisers thanked all their supporters for their continued generous contributions, and all the volunteers who gave willingly of their time.
This weekend, Strokestown Town Team are presenting the inaugural ‘Nightmare on Bawn Street and Halloween Harvest Festival.’ It is a little-known fact, that the modern-day celebration of Halloween actually originated just a few miles from Strokestown, near Rathcroghan. The sub-committee of Strokestown Town Team who have organised the new festival say that this was one of the main reasons as to why they chose Halloween as a holiday to develop the festival around. Oweynagat, also known as, ‘the cave of the cats’ is the ancient entrance to the ‘otherworld’, and is located near the ancient royal site of Rathcroghan, Tulsk. This site was said to be the home of the Celtic Goddess of Battle, the Morrigan, and is a testing place where ancient Irish warriors went in order to prove themselves. It is from here that the origins of Halloween, the pagan festival of Samhain, developed.
This year, Strokestown is celebrating Halloween in style. The bank holiday weekend will be fun-packed for all the family. On Saturday, 27th October at 3 pm, the festivities will kick-off at the community centre where pumpkin picking and decorating will entertain the many children that are expected to attend until 4 pm, when the newly established Enchanted Croi Theatre will take to the stage. The newly formed theatre company based in Strokestown will entertain the crowds for a couple an hour before at 5 pm, the families in attendance will start to ‘trick or treat’ down Church Street to an evening of entertainment on Bawn Street, where the open-air festival begins. Between 6 pm and 9 pm, there will loads of music, fun, and games for everyone both young and old. Later that evening, the pubs around town will have a selection of music on offer for those who wish to dance the night away.
On Sunday, 28th October from 12.30 pm, there will be great excitement as the Halloween Harvest Festival kicks off on Bawn Street. The day will have something for everyone, with an old-fashioned thrasher in action all day, alongside what is promised to be a wonderful display of vintage vehicles by the Mid-Roscommon Vintage Club. Children will be entertained all day by a variety of traditional Halloween themed games, trick or treating, sheaf throwing, and berg go-karting. There will also be live music all day at the festival.
The climax of the weekend’s festival will be the fancy-dress ball taking place in the Percy French Hotel on Sunday night. The well-known music group, Late Night Radio Band, are set to blow the roof of the joint. The doors to the ball open at 9 pm, and with an admission charge of just five euro, this renowned and popular band will entertain the crowds until a DJ takes over til’ late. There will be spot prizes on the night and a prize for the best-costumed lady and gent of the ball.
This inaugural Halloween festival weekend in Strokestown has been organised by Strokestown Town Team CLG which is supported by Roscommon County Council. The committee involved has been working tirelessly for the last number of weeks to ensure the weekend is enjoyable for one and all and they hope that the various events which have been organised are supported.
Strokestown Further Education Centre located at the County Roscommon Heritage & Genealogy Centre, Church Street offers a Local Training Initiative course in collaboration with Galway Roscommon Education & Training Board (GRETB) and the Genealogy Company.
The Programme has been running in this centre for the last 17 years and in this time approximately 300 learners have come through our doors. The training programme is offered to learners aged between 16-65 years. The overall aim of our programme is to assist unemployed people to move towards employment or higher education providing community based training and work experience leading to nationally recognised qualifications at QQI Levels 3, 4 and 5. Our courses run for 11 months full time and are continuous intake basis. Our current hours are Monday – Thursday 9.15am – 4.30pm and Friday 9.15am – 1.30pm. Our highly qualified and experienced tutors are dedicated to the educational development and advancement of all our learners. Encouragement and support from tutors allows learners to develop their existing skills and learn new skills in an environment that is tailored to meet their individual needs. Our training courses are free to those in receipt of a Social Welfare Payment. For learners aged under 26 who take up a place on our training course, they may receive a training allowance of up to €198 per week. You can also claim a meal allowance and a travel allowance if you live 5 km or more from the training centre. The Childcare Education and Training Support Programme (CETS) provide free childcare to eligible course participants.Our courses are suitable for, school leavers, mature learners, second-chance learners, long and short term unemployed and learners seeking employment. Our Adult Guidance Co-ordinator/Counsellor from GRETB is available to advise our learners, so that they can make informed choices about their future in relation to employment, education and training.Our Level 3 course in Employability Skills is flexible in structure so that Learners have the maximum opportunity to improve their literacy, numeracy, ICT and career planning skills while participating in the programme. It allows the Learner to explore new areas with a view to developing new skills and exploring things that may interest the Learner in future programmes. It enhances the Learner’s confidence in their abilities to use their skills to reach their potential. Tutors assist Learner’s in developing their interpersonal, communication, team working, time keeping and time management skills. Most importantly it provides a sound base and foundation of learning that will afford the Learner the opportunity for progression. Our Level 4 course in Information and Communications Technology Skills provides the key skills which are most commonly needed to succeed in a range of activities – at work, in education and training and in everyday life. Learners will study current digital media technologies, exploring its role in the creation of an online identity. Use a range of applications to include digital video and audio, social media applications and mobile technologies to create digital media content. Along with Digital Media learners complete Information Technology Skills, Computer Applications, Communications, Mathematics, Teamworking, Work Experience and Workplace Safety modules. For those interested in progression to third level college our Major Award Level 5 in Office Administration allows learners to apply to a number of colleges nationwide. Learners can achieve a maximum of 400 CAO points on completion of this course and we act as a viable route to higher education courses. Our programme also helps learners prepare for college life with teamworking, presentations, office applications, portfolios/projects and gain valuable life experiences in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. Our courses offer practical training, small classes, expert tuition and vital work experience in local businesses. One of the most important elements of our course is the Work Experience module which allows learners to gain on the job practice, valuable skills and knowledge in their chosen area. On this note we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the local business for their continued support by allowing our learners to take up work experience at their premises. We understand this is a big undertaking by you giving your time and providing guidance to our learners and for that we are very grateful. Over the duration of the course we organise many talks and presentations for our learners from external providers. These include MABS, which give a very informative and helpful talk on budgeting and saving money, Citizens Information which provide information on rights and entitlements, Environmental Awareness campaign talks, Career Guidance, general talks and one-to-one sessions. Along with these our learners attend training and education fairs. Yearly team building trips are also a part of our programme which provides an enjoyable day out for both learners and staff. Returning to education can have an impact on learner’s personal development as well. Learners share their time learning with likeminded people from different educational backgrounds. This can help with their social skills and confidence. Often when people study, one of the highlights is the experience gained and the enjoyment of doing something new and meeting new people. Building confidence and being able take part in conversations in ways learners felt unable to previously, indicates a new sense of agency, assertiveness and social participation. Our programme provides daily structure and encourages valuable social contact which some learners have greatly missed since becoming unemployed. Our centre provides a relaxed, friendly atmosphere for learners to enjoy and have a positive learning experience.
“What we learn with pleasure, we never forget” Alfred Mercier
For more information call 071 96 34935
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