2012 News Stories

17th December 2012

With Christmas just a few days away, the Christmas trees in the village are light up, one at the flag poles with a Crib at the base, one on the Alexander Nimmo triangle, and one at the bottom of the village. All the windows with wonderful decorations and lights, all very jolly.

Time Capsule:

The countdown for those letters to be written for the planting of the time capsule, which is on the 1 January 2013. Just get in touch with Patrick McDonagh of the Shamrock Bar or myself (Richard) for the special envelopes. There are only 13 days to go to have them written.

Radio Christmas Party:

To kick off the season of good will leading up to the Christmas period, the Connemara Community Radio held a Christmas party at the Abbeyglen last Friday for all the staff and volunteers, without a doubt Paul and Brian Hughes put on a very good show for us, excellent food, music and dancing. It really was a good night out.

Rosie’s Salon Pampering Day:

On Saturday, Rosie Mannion opened up her Salon for the ladies pampering day. I must say, after Friday nights entertainment, I could have done with a little pampering myself. However, a busy day in the Salon, serving mulled wine and of course the banter went on through the day, nice of Rosie to carry on the spirit of the lead up to Christmas in the village.

Children’s Christmas Party:

Yesterday, in the top part of the Community Hall, a children’s Christmas party was held, with a visit from Santa and his assistant, a strange looking Elf, where escorted to the hall by one of his reindeer, with James de Courcey’s pony and trap, nice one James. Presents were dished out to the kids in the grotto, while Santa was chatting to them, and then there was a bouncing castle, disco music, food and hot punch. Then there was the draw for the enormous hamper, delighted to say this was won by Josephine Mannion and get this, Josephine also won the lotto hamper, “Josephine guess who is coming to visit to help you sort out those hampers “!. I take my hat off to Maurice Ryan and his group of volunteers in helping to arrange this wonderful annual event.

The Information Evening - Walks:

Wednesday, there was a public information session about two potential new walks for Roundstone, with representatives from Forum and Failte Ireland, giving a talk in various advantages of having walking loops in the area of Roundstone. But of course, crossing land requires permission to be sought from the various owners, hence the reason for this meeting, to explain to the land owners as to what the Failte Ireland criteria for the loops entails. Their main concern was of course insurance, however that was put to rest. The two loops that were discussed were the Fuchsia Lane loop, a 3Km loop and the Giorrán Loop, which is a 6Km loop. There is still a bit more work to bring these loops to fruition. All in all, a positive reaction to the meeting.

Championship of Connemara Card Drive:

As was mentioned over the last few weeks, the 9x9’s Championship Connemara Card drive which was due to take place next Sunday, has had to be cancelled until the 6 January. This is owing to the fact that Renvyle will be holding their card drive on that Sunday. So as I say, ours will be on the 6 January in the Shamrock Bar, Mary Kings Bar and in O’Dowds Bar, €20 per person, with a purse for the winners of €1200. There are a few places left, should you wish to take part, get in touch with Michael King 087 6738198 or Donal Nee 087 8885775.

National School Nativity Play:

One of the highlights of this festive season, is of course, the National School Children’s Nativity play, which will take place on Friday 21st after the school mass, which will be said at 10am, followed by refreshments, then Ho Ho Ho, himself arrives . Busy day for the school. All are welcome to support the kids.

Blessing of the Christmas Tree & Crib:

Will take place one day this week, have to check with Fr Jarleth. We will also have the red ribbons for sale in memory of our deceased to be placed on the tree. These can be found in the shops €2 each and the funds will go towards the school.

And finally, I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped out Fr. Jarleth regarding the church for the year 2012, the Tidy Towns Committee, in fact to all volunteers relating to the village. A particular thanks to Tony Loughnane, who kept the village swept and emptied the bins right throughout the year and also to those that helped me personally, its been quite a tough year for all of us in one way or another, so lets hope the year 2013 will be a good one. Keep up the good work everybody.

By the way, it will be the last of the market stalls next Sunday before Christmas in the top part of the Community Hall. There will be a raffle for one of Siobhan’s home made Christmas cakes, all proceeds will again go to the national School, as new bathrooms are desperately needed.

Well that’s all from me for this week. A very happy and safe Christmas to you all and special Christmas greetings to all those overseas. Speak to you again, God willing, in the New Year.

3rd December 2012

We are now into December and Christmas will soon be upon us Ho! Ho! Ho!

Tidy Towns Certificate:

Galway County Council hosted a civic reception in Galway last week to celebrate the area’s who take part in the Tidy Towns Competition. Roundstone was presented with a very nicely framed Certificate, for the Committee’s excellent work from County Mayor Thomas Welby, which was accepted by Cllr Eileen Mannion on our behalf, as unfortunately no one from the Roundstone Tidy Towns Committee was able to attend the reception. However, last Friday, Eileen Mannion presented the certificate to me on behalf of the County Mayor in Clifden. The framed certificate is now hanging in the village notice board, should any one wish to see it. It’s the first time in years that Roundstone has at long last got some sort of recognition for the on going work in enhancing the village, so well done everybody.

Sewage Manhole:

The Sewage manhole located at the bottom of the village, at long last, after all these years, has now been upgraded, with the work being completed two days ago. Our thanks to the various Councillors’. We are now pushing for an extension of the sewage pipe from the new manhole. At the moment, the waste pipe is less than 20 meters from the road, we need another 40 meters attached to it to bring the waste products further out to sea. Talks for a new sewage treatment system for Roundstone are still on going, this could take some time to come to fruition. However, at least our voices are now being heard. Pressure will be on going from our end until our infrastructure for the village is put right.

Geraldine Coyne’s 50th Birthday:

Good wishes’ to Geraldine Coyne, who celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday. Tara and friends organised a surprise party for her in the Shamrock, and unknown to Geraldine, her other daughter Lisa, who has been in Australia for the last year, arrived home to celebrate her mothers 50th with her. What a surprise that was for Geraldine, you should have seen her face. Nice one!! Anyway, Happy Birthday from us all Ger and may you have many more.

Rachel O’Donnell:

While we are on the subject of birthday’s, Martin & Ellen O’Donnell’s youngest daughter, Rachel, reached her 17th birthday yesterday. Where dose the time go, it seems only yesterday Rachel was a Youth Club member. Best wishes from your Mum and Dad, and of course from me, and may you have many more. Now Martin, don’t be shy sing happy birthday!

Aloe Vera Information Evening:

A note for the Diary, if anybody is interested, The Shamrock Bar is hosting an Aloe Vera Information evening on Friday 14 December at 8pm. Included in the evening will be demonstrations on weight management programs, and lots more. I am also told you can leave your purse at home for that night.

Time Capsule:

The count down has started for the planting of the time capsule on News Year’s Day. There’s plenty more special paper and envelopes are still available, either contact myself or Patrick McDonagh from the Shamrock.

Wind Farms:

Yesterday afternoon down in the community Hall, Erin Gibbons gave a talk and slide show on ‘NO to Sceirde,’ a proposed off – shore wind farm along the Roundstone and Carna Coastline, which will spoil Connemara’s Wild Atlantic Way. These turbines are 40ft high and stick out like sore thumbs. It is quite shocking to think that one day we will see our coastline littered with these turbines, not good for tourism, but also have many more detrimental results. Erin is showing the same talk next Saturday the 8 December in the Clifden Library from 12pm to 1pm. I would strongly recommend you to see for yourselves what I am talking about. We were all asked to sign a petition to Failte Ireland relating to these potential eye sores all along our coast. This signed petition will be handed in on the 8 December. I just have the sneaky feeling the turbines will happen along our coast, as these wind farms are the thing of the future. But not the amount of turbines the powers that be are thinking of and what kills me is that company’s are being granted fore shore licences willy nilly, without looking at the consequences to our coast line, to eventually make money by selling off the surplus of power to other countries. Anyway, that’s just my way of thinking, I just wonder what you think of these wind farms along our coast. The jewel in the crown will be destroyed. I am hoping that Roundstone/ Connemara friends overseas might have the same feelings as I do and make contact with me via a letter or email to express their feelings and have them forwarded to the powers that be. Let the battle commence with your help.


I would like to bring to your attention, our defibrillator is now up and running again. Having had to purchase a new battery and new electro pads, the defibrillator has now been put back into Christina and Seamus Lowry’s shop. Eventually, once we have purchased an outside casing for the apparatus, it will be placed on the wall of Beola Restaurant.

Santa Visit:

Santa will make his annual visit to the village on the 16 December, with the Children’s Christmas Party in the Community Hall, with a bouncing castle, raffles and fun for all the family.

Just before I sign off, tune in next Sunday on Connemara Community Radio at 7pm to The Josephine deCourcey program “Senior side of the street”. With Josephine is her guest Kathleen Flaherty from “The West Wind Blows Program”. Kathleen will give the results of the short story competition.

25th November 2012

Inishnee Graveyard

The newly cleaned graveyard was officially blessed today and being the month of The Holy Souls, The Rosary was said in English and in Irish, celebrated with Father Jarleth PP.

This was certainly a unique event. For many years, this was a neglected graveyard, with the ruins of St. Mathew’s chapel on the site, including some very early graves, one of them being dated 1198. This will now become an annual event, just like the blessing of the other graveyards around our area. After the blessing, Barbara and Jim McEleney invited everybody back for tea and sandwiches as part of the celebration of St. Mathew’s graveyard.

I am told locally, that this was the first ever graveyard within our area. This would explain the great turn out, particularly local people from Carna, as there was at that time nowhere to bury their dead.

Two years ago, a TUS scheme was brought into the area, employing some of our own local lads, i.e. John Conneelly, and Paul Keaney, their first job was to clean and open up the path, now known as the Failte Ireland Inishnee loop. This loop passes right by the grave yard. John & Paul also started to trim and tidy up the graveyard. After having completed their term of work, a year later two more different local lads, Morgan Mannion and Damien O’Malley came on the scene. Their target was to finish the clearing of the graveyard. And what an incredible job they have done. The grave yard has completely taken on a new image, the respect for our lost ones is now well in place.

Credit must also be given To Barbara and Jim McEleney, who live on Inishnee, and who were the supervisors of the lads for this project, their dedication to clean up the loop and graveyard has really paid off and we thank them for it.

We are also very grateful to Thomas Welby and to the Heritage Officer Marie Mannion for their cooperation in implementing this project to fruition.

Here are some photos of this unique event, they are not brilliant, but at least you will have some idea of what took place.


19th November 2012

Niall Griffin:

Here is one for the members of the O’Dowds & Griffin family, well perhaps they know all ready, I have just heard that Niall Griffin (obviously from Roundstone) is now with a well known firm of Auditors, Ernst & Young based in Luxembourg. After graduating some weeks back from NUIG with First Class Honours, I might add, with a Bachelor of Commerce with Spanish. So Congratulations Niall, hopefully some day with Niall’s expertise that he has gained, may be brought back to the west, well, Roundstone of course!

Cash for Clobber:

Two weeks ago the Cooks town Textile recyclers, i.e., Cash for Clobber came to collect 38 bags of clothes. I was somewhat concerned whether we would get paid for the bags, so was quite prepared not to collect any more until the first batch was paid for. This morning I received a cheque for one hundred and ninety-two euros for the Roundstone National School, to go towards the up grade of the Children’s toilets, which are in dire need of attention. So people now that we have been now been paid, green light given to collect again, and to use my place as a collection point.

ATM Machine:

Michael Reynolds has just informed me that the ATM machine will be leaving the Post office at the end of this month. I am assuming from the retailer i.e. Michael’s point of view, it’s just not feasible with all the hidden expenses to keep the machine topped up. This will certainly be a loss to the village. Quite what we can do about it to keep in place beats me.

Ryan’s Wall:

With the aid of Galway County Council and our own FAS team, the wall known as Ryan’s wall is being moved a few feet back from the main road towards the Triangle, this improvement is certainly going to help the traffic congestion during the summer, that bit of an area has for years caused many headaches. It’s hoped that it will be completed before the year 2013.

Farrell’s Road:

Talking about improvements, the finest man in Roundstone, our own Bob Woods, has been taken on a TUS scheme for Roundstone, and has been allocated to work on clearing the brambles etc all the way up Farrell’s Road. Well I have to tell you, I went to have a look, and in such a short time, with not much tools, Bob has done a fantastic job of ridding all the brambles, it’s the most lovely pathway. What I love about Bob is his enthusiasm and interest for this project. If we had more enthusiastic people like him, we would be well away. Good on you Bob, you may not know it you could earn us a few more possible points for the tidy towns competition next year.

The Inishnee Loop Walk, Final Inspection Report 2012:

Cormac MacDonnell the National Trails Officer, wrote to Barbara McEleney to inform her that the final inspection of the Inishnee Loop Walk was carried out by the National Trials Office/Irish Sports Council in August 2012. They acknowledge the good work that has been carried out on the trail and are pleased to report that the loop complies with the National standard. The trail will now be listed on the National Trails Register and recorded as accredited. Well done to all involved, including Barbara and Jim for your persistent work on bringing the Inishnee Walk to fruition.

New Roundstone Walk:

A provisional date for an information evening about a new walk in the Roundstone area has been set. We are thinking of other Failte Ireland walks, letterdyph, and Errisbeg Hill in conjunction with Farrell’s Road. This will be a public meeting at 7.30pm Wednesday 12th December, 2012. Marie Louise Heffernan (Ecologist) is available to talk about the ecology of the area. Karen Mannion (Heritage Officer) is free to talk about the economical value and it is hoped to get a landowner from another area which has a similar type walks in operation and who can answer any questions from our own landowners about concerns they may have. Once all the speakers are confirmed, the Rural Recreation Officer, Rosaline Ní Shúilleabháin from Forum will look at the layout for the evening and how to advertise it. More details later as to this Public meeting as it unfolds.

5th November 2012

As is the norm for this time of the year, every thing has gone very quiet, so therefore owing to the Monday of the bank holiday; there was no news from Roundstone broadcasted, so will go back a week of the various events that took place of that Bank holiday weekend to present week.

Bridie Davis, Inishnee:

Congratulations to Bridie Davis who was nominated from Roundstone as the women of the year, Bridie received The Community Appreciation Award on the 27th October for all her work that was implemented over the years to enhance Inishnee, re water, new bridge, electricity, waste bins and roads. Her award was part of the Clifden Bicentenary 2012 presented by DJ Tony Fenton, who by the way was given the freedom of Clifden that same night. For all your work, well deserved Bridie

Table quiz:

As part of the on going fund raising for the tidy towns project, on that same night Patrick and Mary McDonagh from the shamrock hosted a Table quiz with ten tables, a great night all round, which raised €200. Our thanks to all those that sponsored the prizes.

Champion Connemara 25 Card Drive:

Which reminds me, also as part of the Tidy town’s project, a note for the Diary, on 23rd December the Champion Connemara 25 Card Drive will take place, not sure of all the details, Donal Nee and Michael King are the organisers, so just get in touch with them should you want to take part.

Halloween Party, Shamrock Bar:

The Shamrock also hosted a Halloween Fancy Dress party, golly what fun that was, some fantastic imaginative costumes, I suppose the incentive to dress up was the fact that Mary and Patrick put up a purse of €100 for the best costume, which was won incidentally by Katrina Keane, Marion McDonagh, Vivienne Keaney and Amanda McNally, in their home made costumes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Greg Biernacki and Rosie Mannion:

Congratulations to Rosie Mannion, daughter to Joseph and Josephine Mannion of Murvey who got engaged to Greg Biernacki, this weekend. Greg originally from Poland has been a member of the community for a number of years now. We wish them both well for the future.

Mass in Gurteen Graveyard:

On Sunday 11th November as part of the month for all Souls we will be having a mass with Father Jarleth in the Gurteen grave yard at 2.30pm, naturally weather permitting, so this would be a good opportunity this week to have the various graves tidied up.


Congratulations to Lucy Mannion, Fergal McDonagh, Hannah O’Toole, Rebecca Conneelly, Shane Mannion and Tara Coyne on their graduation. Their graduation ball was held at the Downhill Hotel in Ballina. While I think about it, these were the last group that Geraldine Coyne and myself had in the youth club, “Every end has a new beginning”, we are about to re open the youth club again, once the Garda vetting is done and dusted and the leaders training is completed, I hope the new generation will be as great as this chapter closes. So the best of luck guys for the next stage the, Leaving Cert in June.

Marion McDonagh graduates this coming Friday as a Phyiatric Nurse and will be based in the Castlebar hospital and next Saturday James O’Toole will also graduate In Engineering in Dublin. So congratulations to you both

Philip Reynolds:

Philip Reynolds son of Carole and Michael Reynolds, Philip is about to take his leave from Roundstone, he departs Wednesday for Australia for a month then he will then move on to New Zealand for a year. We wish you all the best of luck Philip; try not to go native man!

Keep smiling and have a great week

15th October 2012

Again not much news, but then on the other hand, what with yet another little upgrade of the Community Hall, by having all around the wall sockets for computers, for beginners and advanced students, which is now part of the North West Connemara Adult Education, its great to see the lower hall being used more, what with painting classes on Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm with Cathal O’Malley, Zumba dancing in the top hall starting tonight, Indoor country market this coming Sunday, there are a few more spaces for Pottery classes with Seamus Laffin, Roundstone Pottery on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm, enough to keep us busy for the Winter.


Time Capsule Update:

As time is marching on for the planting of the time capsule in the Alexander Nimmo Triangle on the 1st January 2013, within the next few days flyers explaining this project will be circulated and we have set up a website relating to the capsule www.roundstone.biz with a method to pay for the special envelope and paper online. This website will be linked on to the Roundstone website www.roundstone-connemara.com. Other wise these envelopes are can be sought through Donal Nee, Roundstone Hotel, Patrick at the Shamrock bar, Nicky in O’Dowd’s and of course myself.

Time Capsule


I now have the dates for the annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2013 with the Order of Malta. Last year we took 9 people from Roundstone; this is not by the way just confined to Roundstone. The dates are 2nd May to 7th May 2013. So if anybody would like to join me on this pilgrimage just get in touch with me 086 8215153

The Anglers Return, Toombeola:

Concert & Workshops with John Carty, Arty McGlynn, Jimmy Higgins, Fiachra O'Regan and friends. To end off the weekend i.e. the Sunday 8.30pm there will be a Concert @€15 a head (seating limited; advance reservation/ticket required). Saturday and Sunday features music workshops and concerts with some of Ireland's most distinctive musicians.
For more details ring Lynn Hill at +353 (0)95 31091 or check out her website.


Michael and Nancy King from Inishnee, their Daughter Annette King is getting married next weekend in Kinsale. We wish them all well.

Birthday Wishes:

Belated birthday wishes to John Mongan, who has reached his 60th birthday last week, I hope, John you celebrated the day appropriately with a party, trust me being in our sixties is just great.

Car Boot Sale:

In the new Carna Boat house in aid of the Carna Life Boat next weekend.

Roundstone Lotto:

Now stands at €8’050, with the roll over of €150, Next weeks draw is in Kings Bar

Well, there you have it something for everybody during the week.

8th October 2012

Community Hall:

The work being carried out to date on the Hall Grounds is beginning to look really good. Paddy McDonagh the contractor has made great progress in the past few weeks. He has reduced the side walk in front of the Roundstone sign and this will elevate a lot of the congestion of traffic in that area especially around bus arrival and departure times. He has widened the entrance to the hall area which will be a proper parking area in future with more spaces. A lot of Stone walls have been erected and work is still on going.

The Farmers Market:

Which we have had all summer is continuing on a smaller scale fortnightly through the winter, and is coinciding like a car boot sale event. As well as Siobhan’s home baking there were many other stalls selling home knits ,jewellery etc and a free tea and coffee facility is available to all. If you would like to take part in this there are available spaces for some more stalls to enable to be ongoing over the winter. The summer’s Farmers Market returns for one day on the Halloween Bank holiday week-end

Inishnee Loop:

A walk of 13 people took place on the Inishnee Loop yesterday after Mass. This was part of the Failte Ireland all over Ireland walk planned for yesterday. This particular walk was pin pointed as one of the 6th best walks in Ireland, in the Sunday Times paper some weeks ago. New TUS lads have been offered to the community and will be taking over from John and Paul who did such a wonderful job over the last year, clearing and trimming this area to bring it to what it is today. We are looking forward to the continued good work from our new recruits, around Inishnee.

Time Capsule:

On Sunday 28th of October the official blessing of the time capsule will take place at the 12 o’clock Mass with two tables manned after mass with the envelopes and details of what to do to be part of the initial planting of the capsule. As we have already said many times the price is €10 per special paper & envelope. As from Dec 1st there will be a count down and the actual placing of the capsule will take place on New Years day with a grand ceremony on the triangle

Roundstone Lotto Committee:

Would like to apologise to all its lotto participants for not being able to go ahead with the lotto this week-end. Normally the tickets from the shops are left into one or other of the bars and which are collected at 9.30 each Sunday night. Alas, Ferron’s shop omitted to do this, this week, and as we were aware that tickets had been sold in this shop and there was no access to it after 8pm we had no alternative but to postpone until next week. A small draw of two by €50 was made on the night for the people who came out to support it and all tickets were put back for next Sunday.
The Lotto committee members send their apologies for this.

A Tidy Town Committee:

Will take place on Thursday next at 8.30pm and we would love to see some new comers join out group. We are very proud of the extra 9 points which we gained in last year results and what with the extra work going on in the village perhaps next year may bring us a lot more with your help.

1st October 2012

As the season is slowly coming to an end, I have very little news; however here are a few snippets.

Maeve O’Neil:

Congratulations to Maeve 0’Neil who came first in a Seanos dancing competition for the under twelve’s on Saturday in Mayo, and then there was a dance off of all the winners of the various classes, Maeve won this as well and therefore walked off with the championship cup. The one thing about Maeve she certainly is consistent.

Roundstone Faroige Youth Club:

I did announce last week that the Youth Club in Roundstone is going to open on 5th October, but unfortunately this will be not the case. Having met with representatives from Faroige, they informed me that there is now a new process to follow, which could take 6 to 7 weeks before we become affiliated with Faroige. Having not had a Faroige club going for the last two years, we have to start all over again, Garda vetting for all volunteers and Leaders, which could take a few weeks, with a lot more paper work, also all the voluntary leaders will have to have complete 6 hours training which is either going to happen on 20th October or 3rd November from 10am to 4.30pm. However, in some ways it will give me a bit more time to brain storm with the other volunteers to put the club in place and get it on the right path. It’s a shame not to open, but we must have the Faroige Insurance that’s the way the climate is.

Monty Halls:

Monty Halls, marine biologist and TV presenter, was awarded the Freedom of Connemara at a ceremony in Clifden; coinciding with the Clifden Arts Festival. The honour was to thank him for the wonderful exposure Connemara received during his TV series and subsequent book, Monty Halls Great Irish Escapes. This magnificent series; watched by over 2 million viewers in the UK alone, showcased Connemara in all its beauty. So congratulations Monty so well deserved.

Winter Country Market:

It’s good to hear that Johnny Sheehan has 16 stalls interested in attending the winter market in the upper Community Hall which starts Sunday 7th October 11am to 4pm.

Person of the Year:

The Ballot box that Ann had placed in the church, asking people to nominate a person of the year award representing Roundstone, who has dedicated time and energy to making their area a better place. This box of this Connemara project was opened on Friday, the results were passed on to Paul Hugh’s of the Abbeyglen, Paul, I am assuming is a member of the Clifden chamber of commerce who are the instigators for this award.

That’s all I can tell you at this stage, Ann will probably reveal all next Monday.

And just to remind you, don’t forget to get your stories into the Connemara Community Radio story competition, just to let you know that the closing date is 12th October, just make contact with Bridie at the radio with your potential winning story.

Keep smiling and have a great week.