Roscrea People of the Year 2010

The Roscrea People of the Year 24th Awards’ Evening 2010 (Organised yearly since 1987 by Roscrea People) for outstanding service to the community was held at the Damer Court Hotel on Wednesday 12th  January, 2011.  The awards were co-sponsored by Roscrea Credit Union & Bernie’s SuperValu.


Guest of Honour:

Dom Richard Purcell



The 2010 award winners are:

  • John Byrne, recently retired Garda station sergeant at Roscrea, for his community commitment and involvement over many years.
  • The Roscrea Branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association, celebrating its 50th birthday nationally.
  • Coláiste Phobal on the occasion of winning its Green Flag.
  • Billy Hanly, Parkmore Heights, for his commitment, annually for thirty years, in organising and leading the Lion’s holiday week for senior citizens.
  • Paul Spencer, Roscrea Musical Society for winning the National Aims Award for best comedian.
  • Allan Eastwood, Golden Grove Road and Portlaoise, for gaining his international cricket cap for Ireland.


Roscrea People of the Year Citations:

(For people who are already award winners and who now deserve further recognition)

  • All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil winner, Darragh Carey-Kennedy
  • Roscrea Musical Society for its evocative exhibition of seventy years of musicals in Roscrea and for winning the AIMS  national award for best programme for its production of ‘Guys and Dolls.’

 John Byrne

A native of Portumna Co. Galway lives with his wife Anna, on Montevideo Road, Roscrea, where they reared their three children, Gerard, Adrian, and Eimear.  They moved to Roscrea, from Cahir, when John was appointed Sergeant in charge of Roscrea Garda Station in September 1986.  Soon after John arrived in Roscrea, he joined a very dedicated and hard working Tidy Towns Committee, chaired by the late Frank O’Meara.  John continues to be a member of the Board of Youth Reach, which allows young people a second chance at gaining an education that will equip them with life skills. 

 Irish Wheelchair Association in Roscrea 1995-2010

 While IWA celebrated its 50th Birthday nationally, locally they celebrate 15 years of service in Roscrea.  IWA commenced its service in November 1995 in the Abbey Hall not far from where they work now.  The centre was established as a result of a FÁS Community Employment Scheme being granted to provide service to people with Physical Disabilities in North Tipperary.  Activities in the early days included athletics each Friday night, occasional outings and reflexology, but the majority of work involved visiting members in their homes.  Activities currently being offered include Swimming, Computer Training, Basketball and general fitness training, Art, Aromatherapy/Massage, Gentle Exercise, Youth and Sports Club, Daily Resource Centra activities which include recreational and educational programmes, outings and respite. 

 Coláiste Phobal

 Up to November 2008, Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré thought about the environment but never did anything about it.  A time had come to make a change and the Green Schools Project provided the perfect framework within which to work.  A committee was set up comprising of students, staff and community representatives with the Transition Year classes making a major contribution.  The school community now takes a greater pride in their school environment.  In a year that has seen a lot of negative changes, school spirit and morale have improved as everyone is working towards a better school environment.  There is a definite reduction in the amount of waste, recycling has become second nature in the school community.  The school now has two bins in every classroom and thanks to North Tipperary County Council, composting is now part of everyday life in the Coláiste.  A lot of hard work was put in outside the school, old hedges were replaced and a lot of planting was achieved.  A new central recycling area was built, which has proved crucial to the upkeep of the outside grounds.  A new seating area was put outside our canteen so now students can dine the outside grounds.  A new seating area was put in outside our canteen so now students can dine al fresco.  Thanks to the Green Schools Project the school now has a much more attractive and pleasant environment.

 Bill Hanly, Parkmore Heights

 Bill Hanly was born, reared and educated in Sligo.  Married to Annette, they settled in Roscrea in 1968 where they reared their three daughters, Suzanne, Helen and Deirdre, now all happily married.  They have four grandchildren:  Gráinne, Peter, Lucy and Jack.  Bill worked for Calor Gas for thirty six years, retiring in 2001.  He joined Roscrea Lions Club in 1972 and was honoured to be elected President of the Club in 1977.  The Lions Holiday Project started in 1980 with a trip to the old Butlins Holiday Centre in Mosney, Co.Meath.  With the closing of Butlins the project moved to Trabolgan Holiday Village in East Cork in 2001.  Over the past thirty years Roscrea Lions have provided 360 holidays for elderly people from Roscrea and District and each year the project was personally managed and brought to fruition by Bill Hanly.

 Paul Spencer

 Paul was born in 1962, and grew up in Bunkers Hill.  His father was Charlie Spencer, a local building contractor; he used to say he knew every roof in the town intimately!  His mother is Kathleen, formerly Cashin, from Rosemount, who lives with Paul’s sister Valerie, and who recently celebrated her 87th birthday.  Paul is married to Veronica Crowley, a Mallow native, a teacher in Dromakeenan N.S. and they have three sons, Luke, Ben, and Ian.  In 1982, on a quiet Sunday in March, hanging around with nothing to do, Paul met Florrie Spillane ‘coming down Rosemary Street in a bit of a hurry.  When Paul asked him where he was off to in such a rush he informed Paul that he was heading off for rehearsals and that he was taking part in the upcoming musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ being staged by what was then known as the Roscrea Operatic Society.  Florrie persuaded Paul to tag along as, ‘they were looking for men and what else have you planned for the day?’  Paul discovered one of the loves of his life that day, The Stage’.  The first show Paul was in, ‘Guys and Dolls’ also became the show in which he won the AIMS Award for Best Comedian this year.  Paul was previously nominated in 2005 for the same Award for playing Toby the Devil in God Bless Archie Dean.

 Allan Eastwood

 Allan began playing cricket for Ballyeighan Cricket club when he was 15 years of age after being introduced to the game by his cousin David Deane.  With Ballyeighan he won the Middle A Cup, Middle B Cup and numerous Midland and South East Cups.  When Ballyeighan failed to gain promotion to senior ranks due to their lack of facilities, Allan decided after much consideration, to move to Pembroke C.C. in Dublin after he was invited to attend their pre-season training.  In his first season with Pembroke, Allan won the Leinster Senior league, which was a huge achievement as it is a very competitive league with some outstanding players and also numerous Irish internationals and professionals from overseas.  After last season’s relegation to the 2nd division, Allan assumed the Captaincy and led Pembroke to promotion back to Division I for the upcoming 2011 season.  This he believed helped him to get noticed by the Irish selectors and Allan was selected for the Ireland “A” side for a game in College park versus the MCC which took place 3rd-5th August.  In this game Allan impressed the watching Irish coach Phil Simmons and gained selection for the Intercontinental Cup match against The Netherlands in Rathmines which was from the 11th-13th August.  Presently Allan is training with the hope of being included in the final 15 man squad for the World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; this squad will be officially named on the 20th of January.

 Roscrea People Citations

 Citations are awarded to people who have already been honoured as People of the Year

 Darragh Carey-Kennedy

 Darragh Carey-Kennedy went to this year’s All Ireland Fleadh with one ambition, and that was to win the duet with his playing partner Colm Slattery.  He also got a bonus by winning the Rogha Ghléas and was only beaten on a recall for the banjo title that he was defending.  Darragh said that he was ‘very happy’ with his achievements, but ‘was very sad that my Auntie Frances was not around to see me getting these honours, but I know she is looking out for me and helping me in spirit’.

Wonderful 70th Anniversary Celebrations for Roscrea Musical Society

 What a great year it has been with Roscrea Musical Society picking up no less than two AIMS awards this year for their production of Guys and Dolls.  These included Paul Spencer receiving the award for Best Comedian and the Society also picked up the award for the best programme.  A huge amount of time and effort went into the show this year with everyone giving 100% making sure that it was the outstanding success that it turned out to be.  They had packed audiences each night and the great feedback was a pleasure to hear from appreciative audiences.  Celebrating 70 years, 2010 started with a well-documented exhibition in Roscrea Library with photographs and memorabilia on display from years gone by – a real cornucopia of treasures and memories of the musical society over 70 years of work.  Roscrea Musical Society looks forward to the coming year when they will take to the stage from 30th April to 7th May for their 71st Production.

Comments are closed.