• The future of the Rosalie Centre in Castlerea now appears very doubtful. That’s according to Roscommon Fianna Fail deputy Eugene Murphy who was among a group who met with Tony Canavan of the HSE in recent days about the facility.

    A review of the facility that is home to twelve residents with dementia, has been concluded and Mr Canavan told the meeting that it is indicating strongly that the needs of residents are not being met in the Unit as it stands.

    He is now seeking an external view by a medical expert on the reviews findings but there is now a strong indication that the Rosalie unit will be closing down within a few weeks, however, that has not been officially confirmed.

    Deputy Murphy told Midwest News he is astounded and disturbed at the proposal. He says the happiness of the residents should be a top priority and the residents and their families all want the Unit to remain open, but it now looks unlikely.

  • The battle to save the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is over, as the last two residents are being moved out tomorrow.

    A campaign has been ongoing over the past five years to retain the unit, which accommodates people with dementia and other mental health conditions.

    However, following a HSE decision to close the unit, the number of residents had dwindled to two, and they will both be transferred tomorrow to Áras Mathair Pól in Castlerea, a HSE-run community nursing home.

    24 staff currently employed at the Rosalie Unit are being offered redeployment and other options, and talks are ongoing with the unions involved, but there's some concern that a number of the staff will have to travel long distances to take up alternative positions.

    Liam Walsh in Castlerea has spearheaded the campaign over the past 5 years to save the Rosalie Unit which has been home to his elderly mother Breda for over a decade.

    Today, he told Midwest News that it's sad to see the doors closing tomorrow for the final time....

  • The battle of Castlerea will go on in relation to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    That's the message that Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy relayed to Minister Jim Daly recently in the Dáil Chamber.

    Deputy Murphy says people are still very concerned over the future of the centre and believes the HSE sill plan to proceed with the review process which is contrary to the wishes of the families of residents.

    He says all the indications he is getting is that the unit is being wound down.

  • A Roscommon TD has called for an immediate stay to be put on the transfer of residents from the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, pending a full independent inquiry into the treatment of residents by senior management within the HSE.

    The issue was debated as part of a Fianna Fail Private Members motion on mental health services.

    Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy says the motion highlighted the need to respect the wishes of service users and their families in facilities such as the Rosalie community psychiatric unit.

    In April, the HSE announced that the Rosalie Unit would cease to function as a community psychiatric unit, and alternative care plans would be put in place for the residents.

    Speaking in the Dail last night, Independent TD Denis Naughten says issues have arisen since 2015 in relation to the carrying out of clinical assessments on residents at the Castlerea unit, and he now wants an independent inquiry into how the residents have been treated since then....

  • A Roscommon TD has slammed what he calls "continued efforts by the HSE and Government" to close the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Despite a number of promises made by the Government in recent years, the HSE is continuing with its campaign to close the unit and move the remaining residents to other facilities, according to Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

    He's aware of one resident who was taken to hospital, and was told he would not be returning to the Rosalie unit.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice says it's unfortunate that the HSE is relying only on clinical reports, and that the residents and their families are not being listened to.

  • Castlerea woman Mary Coyne, Ireland’s oldest person, died yesterday (Monday) at the age of 108.

    She was a resident of the Aras Mathair Phoil Community Nursing Unit in Castlerea.

    Eight years ago she received the centenarian medal  from President Michael D. Higgins.

    Interviewed by a reporter on reaching her 100th birthday, the mother-of-two,  grandmother and great grandmother, attributed her longevity to “taking life one day at a time”.

    Mary, whose maiden name was Griffin, hailed from the townland of Rathbarna near Castlerea town.

    She was predeceased by her husband, Roger, some years ago.

    Her remains will repose at McDonagh Funeral Home, Castlerea, this (Tuesday) evening prior to removal to St. Patrick’s Church, Castlerea.

     She will be laid to rest  in Castlerea cemetery  tomorrow (Wednesday) following funeral Mass at 11 a.m.


  • Senator Maura Hopkins again today met with Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly, in relation to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Senator Hopkins says Minister Daly has informed her that he very much has an open mind in relation to the unity and advised her that he will be speaking directly this week with Dr Ann Gallagher, Consultant Psychiatrist of Later Life Roscommon, in relation to the clinical assessments.

    Senator Hopkins says she understands that a number of clinical assessments took place last week with the involvement of family members.

  • Sitting Castlerea based Fianna Fail Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice was not selected on the ticket for the party for the local elections at last night’s convention held in the Abbey Hotel.

    Four people were nominated for the convention, sitting Councillors Paschal Fitzmaurice and Orla Leyden, along with Larry Brennan from Roscommon town and Marty McDermott from Oran.

    Cllr Orla Leyden and Marty McDermott were selected at the convention last night.

    So it looks as if Cllr Fitzmaurice will have to be added to the ticket. It was understood prior to convention that while two candidates would be selected, there would be the option of adding to the ticket after that.

  • A Special homecoming celebration is planned in Castlerea this evening for new women’s European Boxing Champion Aoife O’Rourke.

    She beat Poland’s Elzebieta Wojcik to become only the second Irish woman to win gold at the Elite Level.

    Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Pascal Fitzmaurice has confirmed to Midwest News that a special celebration will take place on the square in Castlerea this evening at 7pm for Aoife.

  • The sudden death has taken place of Castlerea pharmacist John Tully, who was the secretary and a founding member of the Mayo / Roscommon Hospice.

    Mr Tully died suddenly at his home yesterday at the age of 72.

    He's survived by his wife Maura, three sons Vincent, Ross and Niall, daughter Sheena, his brother Paul, three sisters - Mary, Leonie and Hilary, grandchildren and extended family.

    John Tully was involved with the Mayo / Roscommon Hospice since its foundation in 1992 to provide hospice and palliative care services to the two counties.

    His funeral arrangements have not yet been confirmed.

  • The body of Valerie Hough, who went missing from her home in the Knockroe area of Castlerea, county Roscommon yesterday morning , has been located.

    Gardaí are treating the case as a personal tragedy. A file will now be prepared for the Coroner.

    The gardai have thanked the public for their assistance.

  • Connacht will have 2 Boxers competing in the Finals of the European Junior Championships today in Russia.

    Lisa O’Rourke from Castlerea Boxing Club and Patrick Myers from Sligo will both be in the ring today.

    Connacht had 7 Boxers in these Championships and Mayo’s Joe Hennigan is the Team Manager.

  • Two people were arrested and a car seized in connection with a number of robberies and attempted burglaries in Ballaghaderreen earlier this week.

    Both are due to appear in Ballaghaderreen District court today.

    Gardai have appealed for information after a number of incidents occurred within hours of each other between 11pm on Tuesday night last and 3am on Wednesday morning in the town.

    Two burglaries were reported initially and then later that night two separate robberies occurred.

    A woman sustained minor injuries and had her phone, money and tablet taken after she was robbed outside the Bank of Ireland building.

    Gardai carried out six searches yesterday across counties Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon , working with the armed support unit, and a number of items were recovered.

    Gardai seized a car believed to be connected to some of the incidents, and two people were arrested.

    Garda investigations are ongoing and Castlerea gardai have set up an incident room and are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area to contact them at 094-9620019.

    They have also thanked the public for their assistance.


  • Two men have appeared in court this week charged with conveying drugs into Castlerea Prison.

    The Irish Times reports that John Kennedy, Castleburn, Ballymote Co Sligo is charged with unlawful possession of PVP at Ballisodare Post Office on April 9th 2015.

    He is also charged with conveying the drug into Castlerea Prison on a date between April 9th and April 10th, 2015.

    The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges at yesterday’s sitting of Sligo Circuit Court.

    His co-accused, Brian Duke, of Cois Abhann, Collooney, Co Sligo is charged with unlawful possession of PVP on a date between February 1st and April 9th at Cois Abhann.

    He is also charged with conveying the drug into Castlerea Prison on a date between February 1th and April 10th, 2015. Mr Duke also pleaded not guilty to the two charges.

    The case was due to begin yesterday before a jury of eight men and four women, but has now been put back to next Monday, after some legal issues arose.

  • Unions representing staff at the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea are to return to the Workplace Relations Commission next month, following what they term is a "breach of trust" by the HSE.

    An agreement had been entered into under the guidance of the WRC that would involve the HSE engaging with staff about their future plans, but unions say this has not happened, and staff members are now being asked to apply for a transfer to vacant positions in a number of psychiatric units across Roscommon, Galway and Mayo.

    The staff members are represented by SIPTU, Forsa and the PNA.

    A number of residents in the Rosalie Unit have been transferred to other care settings in recent weeks, and it's understood only 5 residents remain in the Castlerea facility.

    Padraig Mulligan of the Forsa trade union says it's not acceptable to expect a staff member to travel as far as Portumna for work.....

  • Westdoc has confirmed that Glenamaddy, Castlerea and Roscommon have merged since the start of this year, in terms of providing out-of-hours GP services.

    Yesterday, Galway County Councillor Michael Connolly told Midwest New that a Westdoc base had been in operation in Glenamaddy for a number of years, but since Christmas, people in the East Galway region who phone Westdoc for a GP at night or weekends are being advised to travel to Tuam or Roscommon.

    Westdoc has confirmed to Midwest News today that, due to the onerous rota expected of GPs due to the non-filling of vacant posts in rural areas, and the low numbers attending the service, the Glenamaddy, Castlerea and Roscommon cells have now merged.

    In a statement, Westdoc says the GPs are based in the new Primary Care Centre in Roscommon, while patients will also be seen in Glenamaddy or Castlerea as deemed appropriate by the doctor.

    New practice nurses have been employed to operate from the Primary Care Centre in Roscommon at weekends to further enhance the service.

    Westdoc says that, despite the merger, there will be no change in the hours of service provided to patients.