Rooskey (also Roosky and Ruskey): Rúscaigh
The River Shannon runs the length of County Roscommon and on its eastern border, the river divides several villages, towns, and counties. One such place is Rooskey, which is partially in Roscommon and partially in County Leitrim.
The original Gaelic name is Rúscaigh, which translates as ‘marshy’ or ‘a marshy place’. It can also refer to a ‘swamp’ or ‘bog’, and is yet another place name derived from its topographical features. The ‘rú’ at the beginning of the word could possibly be from ‘rua’, meaning a ‘browny red’, a colour prominent in boggy or marshy areas. The marshy land was along the banks of the river. Rooskey and its hinterland grew up with the dominance of the Shannon ever present, and it is understandable that this would be reflected in its place name.
It was recorded that St Patrick visited the Rooskey area between 438 and 440 AD. Nearer the present times, local rebels defeated General Lake’s army on the shores of Lough Bofin during the 1798 rebellion.
Rooskey’s earliest GAA club was called the ‘Ruskey Pat Molloys’ and its first recorded meeting was held on January 3rd, 1889. The infamous ‘Black and Tans’ left their mark on Rooskey during the War for Independence, terrorising the village in October 1920.
The County Leitrim side of Rooskey was formerly known as Georgia Village (‘Gorteen Oran’, as Gaeilge – meaning the small (tilled) field of the spring). In 1925, it contained 5 houses and 3 public houses. Also, on the Leitrim side, the Shannon Key West hotel closed its doors in October 2011. This site had previously housed ‘The Beeches’, and when that was demolished it was replaced by ‘The Shalamar’ and then ‘The Marina’.
One of Rooskey’s most famous sons was former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, who was born here on the Roscommon side, as was his father with his mother coming from Cloone in Leitrim. Does anybody remember ‘Hanley’s of Rooskey’ first annual staff dance? It was held in the Cloudland Ballroom on January 9th, 1958 and admission was an extravagant 6/- (shillings -35cents approx.)
Rooskey or Ruskey is also the name of townlands in counties Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan, Mayo, and Fermanagh, and there is a Ruskey townland near Frenchpark.
As well as the attraction of the River Shannon, the region is famous for its lakes and its fishing, and a visit to the Rooskey Heritage Festival (usually in July) is well worthwhile. The lakes in the area are as scenic as any in Ireland.
Cúpla Focal 4 – le Dc
English Gaeilge Pronounced as
How are you? Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú? Kay hee will too?
Please Le do thoil Leh duh hull
I’m well Tá mé go maith Taw may guh mawh
I’m not well Níl mé go maith Neel may guh mawh
I’m reasonably well Tá mé réasúnta maith Taw may ray-zoonta mawh
Good morning Maith duit ar maidin Mawh ditt err mojj-in
Good night Oíche Mhaith Ee-haa whah
Sleep well Codladh sámh Kullah sawve
Well done! Maith thú Mawh hoo.
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