A meeting of the Roscrea Community Development Committee (RCDC), heard concerns regarding the fate of Roscrea Garda Station and the Swimming Pool.
Cllr Michael Smith told the meeting that Roscrea had received a Ministerial commitment that there would be a “strong commitment” to better signage coming into town, especially regarding historic sites, and that Tipperary Co. Council would match that funding. This would come in conjunction with a new signage strategy for the town. Secondly, Roscrea will soon benefit from a scheme piloted in Cashel, where visitors who spend at least €15 in shops, would receive a voucher to visit Roscrea Castle, and Damer House.
Sinn Féin representative Warren Dunne said Tour Guides in the Castle are put in the position where they cannot mention the four men executed there in 1923: “that area is where they were shot.”
There had been a “lot of phone calls” regarding the Garda Station, said Cllr Eddie Moran, who called on the Chief Supt. Catherine Kehoe to attend to answer questions. Mr Dunne said RCDC meetings seem to “jump from one problem to the next” without taking a stand. There has been no public rally to defend the Dean Maxwell home, he said. Mr Lee said the planned protest rally for Roscrea Garda Station is due for February 11th, at 3pm outside AIB bank. “I got a lot of phone calls regarding what’s going on. We’re told it’s not being downgraded. Roscrea has a population of 5,500, with a lot of vulnerable people. The doors are closed to the public. The dogs on the street know it’s being downgraded.” Mr Lee said he had gone to the Station to find the doors closed, then rang the Station where he was put through to Nenagh. “They don’t know what you’re talking about. Are we doormats?” RCDC Chairperson John Lupton said they had been told the Station was “24 hours”. Mike Edwards of Roscrea Men’s Shed said it might be that a Garda has to be out of the Station in a patrol car, but if funding is being diverted from the Station, then it’s “fairly serious”. Mr Lee said pressure should be put on Deputies Lowry and Kelly regarding the Station.
Mr PJ Wright called for clarity on Roscrea Swimming Pool and what happened at a recent Board of Management meeting. “There seems to be some confusion between Cllr Smith and Cllr (John) Hogan”. Cllr Smith said there’s “no confusion.” The decision was made by the Board to suspend a plan to reduce hours. “But you have to talk to staff, and that’s what’s being done at the moment.” The decision will take “5 weeks” to implement. Ellen Doherty read a statement issued to the media confirming the Board’s decision regarding the hours of operation. Mr Wright said there should be annual meeting of the Board in public with local residents. Some €30,000 is needed to keep the Pool operating. Mr Dunne said it’s “the people of the town who owned” that pool. People had “fought long and hard” for it, and now find themselves “fighting again to keep it open”. Cllr Smith said “mistakes were made but we learn from those mistakes”, and now it’s “one of the best operated pools in the region.” A subvention for the pool has increased from €60k to €95k, although “other centres get larger subventions”, and “this anomaly needs to be addressed”. “Management need to be given space,” said Cllr Smith.
Mike Edwards said people who want to partake in the upcoming ‘Cycle Against Suicide’, taking in Dublin, Roscrea, and Cork, should call him (0879841033). There will be an Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) meeting next Wednesday (Feb. 8) regarding grief and loss, in Abbey Street, at 7pm. Guest speaker is Breda Carroll from Co. Wexford, of the Wexford Wheelers.
Meanwhile, Ard Ross Residents are holding a fundraiser for a Poly-tunnel in aid of 'Keep The Children Involved Project'. Some proceeds will go to Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin Dublin. This will take place in Biddy's Bar Roscrea on Saturday 4th March. This project will benefit everyone in the area of Chapel Lane Cois Eaglais and Ard Ross.