Hardhats Will Be Worn

We’re delighted to announce that Lisacul Childcare have been awarded over €50,000 from the 2018 Childcare Capital Programme which is overseen by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The award will enable us to refurbish the existing classroom in the Community Centre by putting in new windows and a new ceiling, and build a new classroom, so that more children can take advantage of the brilliant start Brightsparks Montessori  gives them.

The work will be carried out over the summer holidays to ensure no schooldays will be lost and we hope no one will mind any of the inconvenience having the builders in will cause.

Huge congratulations, cheers, hugs and thumbs up to the staff and committee of Brightsparks who worked so hard to put the bid together and submitted in time.


Stay Safe in the Sun

We’re reposting this because, once again, we are enjoying a bit of a heat wave.

We’re really not used to the sun here in Roscommon, and it’s so easy to get a sunburn, thanks to our clean air and unpolluted atmosphere. Here’s some advice on how to keep safe in the sun. And a link to a reminder from Sid the Seagull – the face of the Australian sun-safe programme.

The basic message is Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide

Slip on a shirt and trousers, or a dress with a full length skirt. Clothes made of cotton or linen are light enough to wear without being uncomfortableFor children, long shorts and loose cotton tops (you may have to buy these in the ‘boys’ section as some ‘girls’ clothes don’t give enough protection from the sun)

Slop on the sunscreen. The Irish Cancer Society recommend sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher for adults and SPF 30 or higher for children. Apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.

Slap on a hat. One with a brim to give shade to your ears and neck and, for children, a funky Legionnaire hat – the ones with a flap on the back to cover the neck. 

Seek shade or shelter. Put up the (little used) parasol. Take a walk in the woods rather than across the fields. Sit inside (with the doors and windows open) in the middle of the day.

Slide on some sunglasses.

Going, going, gone?

At the last meeting of the Development Committee it was proposed that the Annual Auction had run its course and should be discontinued.

It will be replaced in the calendar with a fundraising tea party.

The reasons for this are:

  • Steady and marked drop in income from the Auction
  • The amount of unsold items that need to be disposed of
  • The cost of disposal

As this is a big decision to make, the Committee are asking for your opinions. You can comment here, on Facebook, by letter to the Resource Centre, Lisacul, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, or by email to lisaculresources@gmail.com.

All opinions received before the next meeting – on June 13th – will be circulated to the Committee to help their decision.

The Committee looks forward to hearing from you.

They’re back! And this time they’re toddling.

The Parent and Toddler group has reformed under the Brightsparks banner.

Meeting every Friday from 11am to 1pm, the group welcomes toddlers from 0 to five years old for play,  the ceremonial eating of toast, and some running around in the New Hall in the Community Centre.

Parents attending the group have praised the timing of the group, as it means they can have Very-Small-Children- playtime, before the Still-Small-But-Not-Really-Big-Children finish their day at Brightsparks Montessori preschool and come to join in the fun, and then everyone can zoom to the National School to collect Big-Children, all in one outing.

All parents and guardians, and their toddlers, are welcome to join the group – it’s only two euro per session per family.

If you’d like more information, contact Stephanie Greene on 087 962 3790. Stephanie is one of the co-organisers of the group so remember to avoid calling during nap time.



It’s time to put on make up, it’s time to light the lights…

“Anyone can Rob a Bank” (Thomas Coffey) performed by Lisacul Players First Night Weds 4th April 2018.

The Lisacul Players have nailed it again. A capacity crowd thoroughly enjoyed a superb night of hilarious theatre based around this story of our three hapless heroes idly planning an imaginary bank robbery and then finding out that the plan was followed to the letter by, as they say, “person or persons unknown” making them the prime suspects.

The excellent programme details the changes in cast vs. last year’s line-up, with Geralyn Gallagher, Suzanne Roddy, Derek Marren and Mike McCarthy remaining from last year’s team, Claire Corrigan and Tom Coppinger making a welcome return to the stage plus two new cast members, Matt Giblin and Steve Wilson.

Tom, Derek and Mike play the would-be robbers who SPOILERS then become would-be un-robbers. Tom (Badger Grey) is excellent as the brains behind the outfit and has some very funny scenes as things unravel. His two helpers are brilliantly inept – you will love ‘Windy’ O’ConneLl (Mike McCarthy) as his digestion self-destructs under pressure and Jerreen Grey (Derek) falling apart as the action heats up.

The ever-reliable Geralyn Gallagher plays Sarah, delightful as the absent-minded wife of Badger as she proceeds through the acts losing and/or finding things, volunteering unhelpful information, failing to remember answers when it would help or sitting to one side leafing through a mag and chopping in little bomb-shells. I heard someone say she was channelling TV’s Mrs Brown but I prefer to say she has a style uniquely her own. Genius.

Suzanne Roddy is inspired as Noreen, dressed in the height of late 50s/early 60s fashion, switching between being ‘love interest’ to the local Garda Sergeant and flirting with the new ‘businessman’ lodger, while finding music to dance to where she can.

New cast member Matt Giblin plays the very convincing and imposing Garda. He’s a big broad lad and had all the cast guiltily searching their consciences when he first donned the uniform. He brings in the superb young trainee boxer, Katie, whom he is mentoring and some glorious scenes happen between them where Katie (Claire Corrigan) has to knock him about a bit. The audience prays that he (Matt) has actually told her to hit him “that hard”. She doesn’t pull them!

Last but not least deserving of high praise is new man Steve Wilson, our lodger and alleged expert scout for the American Syndicate. Again, no spoilers, but he is really good as he gets up to who knows what behind the scenes and ends up with a dose of Katie’s boxing glove action to settle his hash.

The performance is extremely good throughout and the audience loved it. As the programme says, “Sit back and enjoy the mayhem”.

Of course, the play would be nothing without all the hard work by the rest of the team, from Elizabeth Care nailing it as debut Producer, Vanessa Anderson and Michael Muldoon in the “crow’s nest” on lights and sound, Ann Giblin on stage management and continuity, Mary Maxwell slapping on the grease-paint, Cáit Deane managing ‘front of house’ and Pat Carty out front too. Yes, I was there too, with Pat Roddy on curtains and video-ing. The magnificent set and stage were down to Michael O’Neill, Tom Regan and Pat Roddy (with, no doubt, input from John Greene); look for the fake ‘range’ made from the real top and front of a scrap one, fitted to a wooden carcass and set in a brick alcove, plus the very convincing old dresser “for the Delft”.

Thanks as well to all the many who contributed props and costumes, to John Greene and the CE Scheme team who worked so hard, to the helpful sellers of raffle tickets, anyone who donated spot prizes and local outlets who sell tickets. Also to you, the audience, who come to enjoy and love the results. Finally, to the Brightsparks Montessori Pre-School who allow us to commandeer their space for the 2 weeks.

Please do go if you can still get hold of a ticket. You will not be disappointed.

Review by Matt Care


The Annual Review

Lisacul’s Community Development Company finally had their AGM last week after the Beast from the East moved off. Peter McDonagh was re-elected as Chair, Tom Coppinger was re-elected as Treasurer, and with Michelle Mahon stepping down, Elizabeth Care was elected as Secretary. The committee also produced a Review of what was achieved in 2017.

The cold and change of date meant many people couldn’t attend the meeting to hear the Review in person, so it’s reproduced below.

2017 Review


Lisacul Community Development Company (LCDC) is a company limited by guarantee. It operates with a voluntary board of directors who have overall responsibility for the company and its assets and is managed by a committee of volunteers drawn from the local community who meet formally eight times a year to ensure LCDC operates within the remit of its Memorandum and Articles of Association and to plan projects for the coming year.

The company operates as a business, providing employment to seventeen people and generating audited accounts each year, as well as providing, through the community centre, a focal point for activities in Lisacul.

The Community Development Programme

The Community Development programme had its annual audit by the Department of Social Protection and was again approved to continue to operate with funding of €257,000. The programme is overseen by John Greene and employed sixteen people over the year.

Under the programme, employees undertook minor and major awards in a range of training programmes, ranging from boom sprayer, to first aid, to basic computer skills.

Programme participants, in particular Frank McNulty, were heavily involved in creating the memorial at Shannon’s Cross for Detective Garda John Morley and Garda Henry Byrne.

The nature of the programme means there is a regular turn-over of employees and 2017 was no exception. We welcomed Pat Roddy, Gerry Carty, Helena Gill, and Selina Oram and said goodbye to Robert Saunders, John Greene, Elizabeth Care, Andrew Taylor, and Frank McNulty.

The Resource Centre

The Resource Centre provides a focus for the community, enabling voluntary groups to maximise their effectiveness by providing facilities for events, administrative back up, and additional expertise where needed.

The year the resource centre was used regularly by

  • Active Age
  • The Ladies Club
  • Foróige
  • Brightsparks Montessori Preschool
  • Lisacul Players

It was also used by the Parents’ Association for their annual Christmas Fair and the Tidy Towns group for occasional meetings. It provided a venue for the Village Tea Party, for refreshments after the Cemetery Mass, a rallying and refreshment point for the Foróige Tractor Run, and to stage the Village Play.

Groups and individual used the administrative facilities offered by the Resource Centre – including photocopying, internet research for college projects, administration for Ros Go Run and Village Play ticket sales, poster designs and publicity for local events, and the creation of an order of service for a wedding.

Promoting art, culture and heritage

In addition to the training carried out under the Community Employment scheme, LCDC also sponsored a series of gardening workshops in the early spring and summer. As well as providing training and advice on gardening, the workshops produced planters for the Montessori preschool and a recipe booklet (based on plants cultivated) for the village.

The 365 project came to an end in February of this year with the creation of an archive of photographs documenting a year of in the life of Lisacul and its townlands. Some of these pictures were used to create a calendar and many others were used on the village website.

In March, Brian John Spencer, an artist from Northern Ireland, visited the village and the community centre as part of his project to visit every county in Ireland in 32 days.

We also provided facilities to the Lisacul Players, enabling them to stage a play over three nights in April.

Community Development

LCDC is a member of the Public Participation Network which this year offered training in fundraising for village activities, management committee skills and understanding local government structure. Members of the committee signed up for these courses and the skills gained will underpin future activities.

Information Resource

To fulfil its remit to collate and disseminate useful information to the community, LCDC has accounts with Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, and has its own website – LisaculInfo.ie. These social media accounts, together with other village accounts such as Tidy Towns, Brightsparks Montessori, and Active Age, communicate with a huge number of subscribers, locally, nationally and internationally. The website, Flickr  and Wikipedia account provide a range of static information about the village, its heritage and its activities, while the social media accounts provide a dynamic and interactive means of promoting a dialogue with local groups and individuals.

In addition to electronic means of communication, the Community Centre hosts the community notice board and contributes to the parish newsletter.

Managing Resources

LCDC is charged with ensuring the company has the physical resources necessary to carry out its business. This year we were able to provide insulation for the Community Centre, a complete refurbishment of the kitchen in the Main Hall, new desks in the office and a collapsible stage for the Drama Group. We were also able to purchase sufficient crockery and cutlery to host tea parties for one hundred people (if required) and our tables, chairs and the Burco boiler have been in and out of homes and businesses across Lisacul.

Recreation Space

The company does not have sufficient outdoor space to provide gardens and greenhouses for general use however, through its management of the CE scheme, and cooperation with other local schemes, it looks after many of the greenspaces throughout the village. These include verges, the gardens of the church, graveyards and burial spaces, the handball alley, and the sensory garden attached to Brightsparks Montessori school. This last was formally opened by Denis Naughton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, in July of this year.

However, our indoor space – the Community Centre – is well used. In addition to classes for children and space for rehearsals, the Centre has been used for First Communion parties and as a space for the community to come together after funerals.


We had an exceptionally good year in applying for grants, with €20,134 secured from Municipal Funding and SEAI, and a further €1,000 from Community Facilities for office refurbishment.  Donations from local groups contributed a further €1,350, while annual fundraising events raised €3,767. These funds have been used to refurbish the kitchen, insulate the building, and for the day to day running of the Community Centre. We are grateful to our local councillors, Michael Creaton, Nigel Dineen, and Paschal Fitzmaurice, for their assistance in and support for our grant applications.

Facilities for Children

The Community Centre hosts Brightsparks Montessori pre-school, providing twenty two places for children from 2½ to 5½.

The Centre also provides facilities for the Foróige group, for Bláithín Leonard’s Song and Drama Group, and for Eithne Fahy’s School of Dance, all of which take children of school age.

The Centre hosted communion and graduation parties for children during the year.

Future Plans

After the major works carried out this year, our plans for 2017-2018 are slightly less ambitious. We are also aware that we were exceptionally fortunate in our applications for municipal funding and do not anticipate being quite so successful this year. We will continue to take every opportunity to apply for grant funding to further enhance our facilities, both for the centre and throughout the village.



Diary dates

It’s all getting a bit busy here in Lisacul, so we thought we’d better make a little list. Here are some of the things we have planned for the year – there are some we haven’t put on the list because we’re waiting for a final sign-off. The events all take place in the Community Centre unless otherwise stated.

February 14th: Valentine’s Day at Creaton’s, Lisacul. There will be a raffle for a chocolate and wine hamper.

February 22nd at 9:00am: the monthly coffee morning at Brightsparks

February 26th at 7:30pm: Our Community, Our Environment – Tidy Towns sponsored talk – all welcome

February 28th at 8:30pm: The AGM – come and hear what we did last year, and what we plan to do next year

March 9th at 9:00pm: Annual Quiz in aid of the Development Company at Creaton’s, Lisacul

April 4th, 6th and 7th at 8:00pm: Lisacul Players present Anyone Can Rob a Bank

September 9th at 11:00am: Ros Go Run – starting from Eire Óg GAA club


You are cordially invited…

Please come along. We want to do some serious showing off and we need an audience.

We’ve had a great year and we want YOU to come and help us plan the coming year. And if you’re abroad and reading this, send us your ideas!

Committee Meeting January

A cold and frosty start to the year – but news from the Committee is good.

We had our January meeting on the fourteenth and the minutes are below.

Remember, anyone in Lisacul is welcome to come to a meeting. We’d be delighted to see you.


Minutes of the meeting held on 17th January 2018

In attendance

Peter McDonagh (Chair), Tom Coppinger (Treasurer), Laura Beirne, Breege Corrigan, Elizabeth Care,  Margaret Tynan.

Apologies: Vanessa Anderson, Patricia Madden, John Greene, Michelle Mahon


  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting and Matters Arising
  2. Recording of Any Other Business
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. CE Scheme Report
  5. Communications Report
  6. Fundraising Report
  7. Any Other Business Discussion
  8. Date of Next Meeting

Minutes of the Previous Meeting and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted and signed by Peter McDonagh.

Proposed by: Breege Corrigan. Seconded by: Margaret Tynan

The class on Christmas decorations had been cancelled due to the unfortunate illness of the tutor.

Recording of Any Other Business

  • A class on winter hanging baskets
  • GIY/Energia Grant (to be discussed under Fundraising)

Treasurer’s Report

Tom Coppinger gave the Treasurer’s Report.

Income:                        €3,636

Outgoings:        €5,059

Current balance:           €4,311.13

Income for the month included a grant from GRETB for training, a donation from Ros Go Run, and the lodging of money raised from the Auction and the Tea Party.

It was noted that the takings from the auction were down on the previous year which, in turn, had been down on the year before. Many lots had been unsold and the organisation had been fortunate that a cost free means of disposal had been secured. It was suggested that consideration be given to the future viability of the auction given the downward trend in benefit and the possibility of incurring disposal charges in the future. This will be set down for further discussion following the AGM.

CE Report

John Green had given his apologies to the meeting. In his absence, Tom Coppinger provided a brief report. Jean Timothy had visited for an audit on Training and Development which had gone well.  The CE scheme is scheduled for renewal in March and, based on the positive audits, it is felt that this will go ahead.

Communications Report

Elizabeth Care presented the Communications Report. The website, Facebook and Twitter accounts continue to work well as an additional means of communication with villagers and the wider community.  There have been several contacts from the diaspora and from people looking for their Lisacul roots.


A bid for funding for raised beds, tools, compost and seeds has been submitted to GIY/Energia.  If successful, the beds will be a useful addition to the village.

The 2018 round of municipal fund grants will begin shortly. LCDC were exceptionally fortunate in applications in 2017, and this may tell against us this year.  However, we will certainly apply. The principal identified needs this year are the replacement of the boiler and built in storage in the new hall.

It was suggested that SEAI/Warmer Homes may also be providing funding this year. This will be explored in the light of the need for a new boiler.

The Montessori school will be resubmitting a bid for refurbishment for their classroom once the Tusla portal is opened.

Any Other Business

Following discussion, it was agreed that Ita McGreal be approached to provide a one-off class on winter baskets or on door wreaths with a St Patrick’s Day theme.

There was some discussion on the date of the AGM. Following discussion with participants, it was agreed that this should remain as previously planned.

There was no other business.

The AGM will take place on 28th February 2018

Men’s Shed Ballaghaderreen

The Men’s Shed movement is coming to Ballaghaderreen and will be welcoming members from the surrounding areas to their new premises – a shed, of course – at the back of Solan’s Pub.

The new venture will kick off with an open afternoon on Saturday 16th December from 12 to 3pm when tea and sandwiches (and coffee and cake if we know the organisers) will be available to anyone who drops by.

The group will be bag packing to raise funds at Supervalu on 30th December so they can begin to furnish the shed properly – and they’re looking for a range so they can heat the shed and, in future, cook on it. They’ll also be looking to get some machinery and tools so they can work on projects further down the line.

You can read more about the Men’s Shed movement on their national website – or you can find out more by coming to the open afternoon on Saturday.

See you there!