Rooskey Heritage Festival 2015 – A Great Success

RHF Committee

The Original Committee

When we formed this committee our goal was to do something positive for our little village.  Local industry and services have been put under increasing strain and it had become noticeable that an air of negativity was around Rooskey and was doing our little village no good.

We wanted to remind people that Rooskey is a wonderful place, with loads of positives.  We have the wonderful river Shannon in the middle of the village, we have fabulous landscapes and scenery, and most of all, we have wonderful people.

Over a period of 18 months we have created and financed the Rooskey Heritage Festival with the generous support of a lot of people. Lots and lots of people helped, some with money, some with expertise, some with just plain old hard graft.  All was (and is) appreciated.

We have learned a lot on this journey. It has been tremendous fun, although there where a few scary moments too and the Rooskey Heritage Festival committee want to thank you all for supporting us from the very start.  We have tried to give value for money with all our activities.  One eye was always on having fun and community involvement in the wide variety of fundraisers we undertook.  That’s what we wanted to promote, fun and community and so it seemed the best way to raise money also.

And so, now we have had the Rooskey Heritage Festival 2015 and by all accounts it has been a wonderful success.

We have extraordinarily talented people who all united to make the Rooskey Heritage Festival a great success. Special thanks again to all the volunteers who gave up huge amounts of time and effort so we can all achieve this success. We want to thank all our volunteers over the weekend. The water sports guys, the scouts and cubs, the sub aqua club Longford, the face painters and the nail artists, the tea makers and of course the wonderful stewards who helped to make the Rooskey Heritage Festival run so smoothly. We have reminded people that Rooskey has a lot to offer, that as a united community we can achieve a great deal.

We in particular want to thank the people who travelled to the Rooskey Heritage Festival, especially from overseas.  It is wonderful that you put your faith in us and we hope we delivered.

Below we are including a summary of some of the successes for the festival.  However, check out our FACEBOOK PAGE for full details and to see the fantastic response we got.

on behalf of Rooskey Heritage Festival Committee


White Chalk @ Rooskey Heritage Festival

White Chalk @ Rooskey Heritage Festival

Night one of the Rooskey Heritage Festival, and the Big Red Barn welcomed one of the up and coming bands of the Irish music scene, White Chalk.

The Reprisal @ Big Red Barn

The Reprisal

Support acts were Big Coat and The Reprisal who both took the opportunity with great aplomb and gave it their all.  As is the nature of these things, the crowd was a bit thin for the support acts which was a pity as both were excellent.

White Chalk have been propelled into the big time by their constant touring, their stagecraft, and their obvious talent. Its not just about the singer in this band, its the ensemble that makes the whole thing tick. Musicianship was high with a wide variety of instrument being played (including a cello and mandolin).

They played a variety of older and brand new songs which all were very well received by the audience, and did a couple of quirky but excellent covers (Taylor Swift and Amy Winehouse).

An excellent gig, and if the rest of the entertainment was half as good – it was going to be a great festival – we were in luck, it was!


Night two of the Rooskey Heritage Festival, and the Big Red Barn welcomed one of the major stars of the Irish music scene, the fantastic Patrick Feeney.

Aidan Quinn @ Rooskey

Aidan Quinn @ Rooskey

Support acts were 4 Degrees West and Special Guest Aidan Quinn, who were both excellent and got the crowd going and ready for the headliner.

As soon as the music started and Patrick let out that first note, the dance floor was full of people dancing away happily.   A wide selection of Patricks popular hits kept them on the floor the whole night.

Even when Patrick let other band members take lead vocal he was electric, either playing the accordion or providing harmonies.
One of the thing the RHF committee (kinda) slipped up on is we don’t have too many photos as we were too busy enjoying the occasion.  We’ll post more as we find them. We’ll do better next time !!!

Remember to check out our Facebook Page for more details and reactions.

Adam and a gaggle ready for the water

Adam and a gaggle ready for the water

Given that one of the best resources Rooskey has is the river Shannon it comes as no surprise that there was plenty of activity in and around the area.
Special thanks must  go to the Shannon River Adventure crew who manned the riverside from early to late.

There were canoe and kayak rides, there were kayak demonstrations which were very impressive.

Dad, he’s under water, Dad quick.. oh he’s back.  Dad, he’s doing it again !!  Wow!!

Four year old at Shannon side

Especially impressive, apart from the high professionalism of all involved, or the obvious respect and love for the water, was the way they coped with, and had fun with, the kids whilst all the time maintaining the highest regards for water safety.11811482_984604794894278_6998518101056470734_n[1]

The great atmosphere on the riverside was enhanced by the rock climbing experience which gave Dads dizzy heads and others a great buzz!  It was busy all day and really stood out as a feature.

The committee had done up the old barge and it looked really festive and was a great start of point for the canoes.

The busking competition ensured there was plenty of live music around for the day, and the Ukulele Band drew big numbers with their upbeat songs (they were eventual joint winners).

Face-painting, the dog show, and Ciaran the Street entertainer all made the river activities sparkle.  And yes, we were blessed with the weather also.

Mr Punch Learns a Lesson

Mr Punch Learns a Lesson

With the terrible Sunday weather many of the outdoor activities were put under terrible strain.  However, the Craft & Food Fair was covered, and the Big Red Barn came into its own.

Just in time came Bing and Bong, Mr Punch, Judy, a friendly Garda, a Baby, and a Crocodile.  Shakespeare would have been proud. 🙂

Lucy Kavanagh certainly enjoyed it, she kept saying it was “soooo” funny!!

A facebook comment

Thanks to the Custard Pie Puppet Company, who had us all laughing at the antics and the kids hanging on to every word. Just great.

Richie Clarke, THE FISH, Orla King, Joe Rogers.

Richie Clarke, THE FISH, Orla King, Joe Rogers.

Congratulations and thanks to Richie Clarke ( who did a fantastic job creating this beauty over the two days of the Rooskey Heritage Festival.

What will become of THE FISH?  Watch this space……………

Waterways Ireland makes presentation to Enda Beirne

Waterways Ireland makes presentation to Enda Beirne

The village of Rooskey welcomed the 55th Shannon Boat Rally during the Rooskey Heritage Festival.  We we delighted to welcome them to the festivities and thank each and everyone who tool part in any of the activities.

You’re welcome back anytime, we hope you liked our little village.

Raheen Pipe Band

Raheen Pipe Band

The Raheen Pipe Band were the first entertainment for the Rooskey Heritage Festival and drew a big crowd at the opening ceremony.  We’d like to thank everyone of them and they played a succession of popular numbers to everyone’s enjoyment.
The finished off by marching down the village main street to the Heritage Centre, and set up the evening perfectly.

11796471_749460165179426_7984362841205652593_n[1]Special mention MUST go to the street entertainers who were out in force (especially on Saturday) at the Rooskey Heritage Festival.
We had a Busking competition that attracted musician of all sorts, playing everything from rock’n’roll through to traditional Irish.  The standard was very high, and meant that the who village was covered with live music for most of the day Saturday.  It really added to the atmosphere and we’d like to thank them for taking part.

Face Painting

Face Painting

We also had some brilliant facepainters that really put in huge effort, both on the main street, and on the river side.  A big thanks for the effort, its a great talent that makes kids of all ages happy.

If you seem a random 10 ft person walking around, well that was Ciaran, who entertained the crowds on Saturday and Sunday with his stilt walking, juggling, and unicycling for hours on end. Well done sir, and thank you.

Freda, Becky and Michaela

Freda, Becky and Michaela

There was a very special occasion on the Sunday where each and every artist gave there performance for free.  It was absolutely fantastic from start to finish.

You cannot pay for the goodwill displayed by the artists AND the audience, who wanted the whole festival to be a huge success.  There was a wide variety of acts, from old pros to younger acts.  All were great and really entertained the crowd.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre  was in the centre of the town and very much in the centre of the entire festival.  It was a mixture of small and large exhibitions showing people, equipment and household items from yesteryear.
Many people were especially impressed with the fantastic collection of photographs displayed, showing many past residents (current ones too!). People who came back to the village for the Rooskey Heritage Festival could often be heard telling stories and memories provoked by the photos and were fascinating to hear.

Eye, Eye Captin

Eye, Eye Captin

There was a huge amount of organisation required to pull of the Rooskey Heritage Festival.

There was an army on volunteers who I’m sure felt like minions at one stage or another – don’t worry folks we all did, and it was worth it in the end.

Pictured are the REAL MINIONS of the RHF, brilliantly created  by Joe and Conor Rogers (are they self portraits lads??) 🙂

Check out Our Confirmed Schedule for the Rooskey Heritage Festival 2015

Schedule is as follows:Festival-shedule-web

Welcome to the Rooskey Heritage Festival Website

From 24th to 26th July  2015 the Rooskey Heritage Festival will take place.

The village of Rooskey, which is on the Roscommon / Leitrim border is to stage this new festival. 20140618_054527 We hope to bring back to Rooskey some of its glory days, bring fun and activities to the streets of the village.  There will be a focus on providing something for all the family with an emphasis on the cultural, artistic, and heritage aspects of the locality.

From early 2014 we formed an exploratory committee to check the viability of the idea of a Festival based around Rooskey village.  The idea has been embraced by the village and we decided to focus on the historic and heritage aspects of Rooskey village life in the past.

We identified some areas that we believe make Rooskey village ideal to host a Heritage Festival.

Lets Honour The Local Activities of The Past


The River Shannon runs through Rooskey village giving us the opportunity to use this asset to the fullest extent.  Traditionally, the River Shannon was central to the everyday activities our ancestors who did everything from going to work via the Shannon, fishing, rowing races, day trips etc.  The Shannon can be a wonderful resource and we intend to fully utilise it during the Festival.

Lets Bring Visitors Back to The Area

Local talent is luckily in abundant supply and there is a wide10385390_873892685963119_7694848576057861569_n[1] variety of people available to help out and/or take part in the festival.  With a very strong tradition of musicianship and traditional crafts in the area we will focus on events that will be part of the overall concept and yet interesting to all.

Lets Showcase Whats Great About Rooskey and The People

We have very strong community activity groups in and around Rooskey village and we believe very strongly we can improved the overall health of the village by implementing the Rooskey Heritage Festival. Therefore we gladly welcome involvement by interested people and encourage people to help us make it the best we can do.

Lets Make This The Best Local Festival in Ireland

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