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Roscommon OPC meets monthly, either in the Leader offices or in one of Roscommon County Council’s meeting rooms. The OPC meetings serve as a platform for brainstorming, planning, and coordinating an array of social and educational initiatives tailored for groups representing older people across County Roscommon. These initiatives, which are executed on a monthly basis, are designed to enhance the well-being and enrichment of our senior community members.

Our February 2024 meeting, held in Roscommon County Council, had one of the largest attendances of the year due in no small part to the attendance of our Age Friendly Ambassador, Paddy Joe Burke. Paddy Joe spoke eloquently to those present and said he is honoured to be in the role. He stayed for the duration of the meeting and was very impressed with the range of topics that were discussed.

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The April 2024 meeting was held in the County Library in Roscommon. This extremely impressive public building, once used as an infirmary, was built by Mrs. Walcott, sister of the Lord Chief Justice Caulfield in 1783 for the poor of the county. This was a great opportunity for our members to meet in such a historic building and a Library staff member came to the meeting to discuss ways in which Roscommon libraries have made themselves Age Friendly and informed all present what Age Friendly initiatives are happening there.

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In 2024

Post Office
Roscommon’s OPC took a proactive step in February 2024 by submitting a compelling proposal to advocate for the preservation of the Post Office in Roscommon town. Members of the OPC demonstrated their commitment to the community’s needs by engaging directly with decision-makers, including Minister Jack Chambers, local TDs, and councillors.

Through collaborative discussions and advocacy efforts, a consensus was reached to uphold the importance of retaining the Post Office in Roscommon town. This decision reflects the dedication of both the OPC and local representatives to safeguard essential services and maintain accessibility for residents.

The successful outcome serves as a testament to the power of community engagement and collective action. By voicing concerns and working together towards a common goal, the OPC and its partners have made a significant impact in preserving a vital resource for the community.

Roscommon Memory Cafe
Roscommon Dementia Alliance have organised a monthly ‘Memory Café’ which are held in the serene setting of Lough Key Forest Park in Boyle (third Wednesday of every month). These gatherings provide a welcoming space for members of the active age group and families impacted by dementia to come together and connect.

Amidst the natural beauty of the park, attendees there is an array of activities designed to uplift and engage. From live music performances to heartfelt songs, the ambiance will be filled with warmth and harmony. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, sharing stories and experiences in a supportive environment.

In addition to the entertainment, Roscommon Dementia Alliance also offers valuable advice and resources for those affected by dementia and their families. Whether seeking guidance on caregiving or simply looking for a listening ear, support will be readily available.

These monthly gatherings serve as more than just social events; they are a lifeline for those navigating the challenges of dementia. By fostering a sense of community and understanding, the ‘Memory Café’ at Lough Key Forest Park provides solace, companionship and hope to all who attend.

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Roscommon’s Age Friendly Programme Manager attended the March 2024 ‘Memory Café’. This picture shows Leitrim’s Edwina Guckian ‘Sean nós’ dancing on the day.

Roscommon’s Age Friendly Ambassador – Paddy Joe Burke

Every local authority in Ireland has their own Age Friendly Ambassador, we are lucky in Roscommon to have the ever affable and wonderful Paddy Joe Burke! This role is carried out by a local high profile person in each county who represents the local Age Friendly Programme on behalf of the Older Peoples Councils. This is an honorary position that has the potential to have a big impact.

His role includes promoting the need to be Age Friendly, and support the local Age Friendly Programme to raise awareness of Age Friendly initiatives

Since the National Launch of the Ambassadors on Thursday 23rd May 2024 in Slane Castle, County Meath, Paddy Joe’s role as AF Ambassador has been enhanced by lots of coverage in the local newspapers i.e. Roscommon Herald and Roscommon People. They have included many pictures and articles of him as our AF Ambassador thus raising his profile in the County.

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In 2023

Story Telling Event
The storytelling event in Monksland was an absolute triumph! With 40 enthusiastic attendees, the evening was alive with energy and anticipation. Artists from Monksland and beyond lent their talents, weaving tales that captivated the audience and transported them to different worlds. The ambiance was electric, charged with excitement and camaraderie. As the stories unfolded, laughter and applause filled the room, creating an atmosphere of pure joy and connection. It was a night where the troubles of the past seemed to melt away, replaced by the warmth of community and shared experience. During the intermission, attendees indulged in steaming cups of tea and coffee, accompanied by freshly baked scones that melted in the mouth. Conversations flowed freely, friendships were forged, and spirits were lifted.

As the event drew to a close, it was clear that it had succeeded in its mission. Not only had it provided entertainment and inspiration, but it had also served as a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

Harvest Festival
The Harvest Festival, organized as part of a health and wellbeing initiative by the Roscommon OPC, was a resounding success, bringing together various organisations and activities aimed at promoting wellness among older adults.

The event featured information stands from prominent groups such as Alzheimer’s Ireland, Alone, An Garda Síochána, and Roscommon County Council, providing valuable resources and support for attendees. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to avail of blood pressure testing, promoting proactive health management. In addition to the informative aspects, the Harvest Festival offered enjoyable activities to foster social engagement and physical activity. Social dancing provided a lively atmosphere, encouraging participants to move and connect with others. A live cooking demonstration showcased healthy meal options and culinary skills, inspiring attendees to prioritize nutritious eating habits. One of the highlights of the festival was a traditional threshing display, adding a touch of nostalgia and heritage to the event. This display not only entertained but also served as a reminder of the rich agricultural history of the region, connecting attendees to their roots and traditions. Overall, the Harvest Festival exemplified the Roscommon OPC’s commitment to holistic wellbeing, offering a blend of education, entertainment, and community engagement for older adults in the area.

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Age Friendly Train Stations

Late last year, MacDonagh Station, Kilkenny won the Transport Award at the Age Friendly Ireland Annual Awards in Wexford. MacDonagh Station became Ireland’s first Age Friendly Train Station after undergoing the World Health Organisation’s four stage process to be recognised as Age Friendly.  

Building on the success of MacDonagh Station in Kilkenny, Carrick-on-Shannon Station in Roscommon is one of ten stations that have been identified across the Irish Rail network that they want to concentrate on, with a view to also being recognised as Age Friendly.

We are in the consultation stage of this process, many meetings already have taken place. Roscommon looks forward to working with Irish Rail towards having one of the first Age Friendly Train Stations in Ireland.

Creative Ireland Funding

Roscommon County Council’s Arts Office applied for Creative Ireland funding with Mayo County Council for a project titled: Mayo Roscommon: Care & Creativity in Context. Age Friendly/Social Inclusion were included in the application as part of the Creative Ireland Team.

This Creative Health & Wellbeing Application for Roscommon Mayo: Care & Creativity in Context partnering with Mayo CC, Irish Hospice Foundation and Mayo Roscommon Hospice was successful. We have been awarded €140,000 by Creative Ireland for a two-year project to enable creativity in support of individuals at end of life in Hospice/Hospital and Home Palliative Care.

The Irish Hospice Foundation will deliver training in grief and death awareness and support end-of-life care knowledge for artist & creative facilitators. This will lead to artist’s residencies into care settings, in particular end-of-life care contexts: hospice units, private homes and nursing homes in Roscommon and Mayo.


Local Programme Manager
Sheila Coyle
Local Technical Advisor
Patrick Flynn
Local HAFH Coordinator
Local Older People’s Council Chair
Chair: Bernie Kenny
Local Age Friendly Ambassador
Paddy Joe Burke