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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Return Of The Discovery Programme

Welcome back to the Discovery Programme led by Dr Niall Brady and the team.

For the past four years the DP have been unearthing a medieval tower house sited on an earlier earthwork that may be on a prehistoric horizon.

The aim of the DP is to discover more about the medieval Gaelic lordship in rural Ireland.

The team have discovered that the tower house was approximately 10 x 20 metres in size and comes after an earlier occupation of 10th to 11th century.
Several episodes of demolition and rebuilding took place over the subsequent centuries and at one stage it was occupied in the 16th century when Tulsk was garrisoned by Sir Richard Bingham ,Queen Elizabeth 1st's governor to Connacht.

Amongst other areas on the site last year the team focused heavily on the garderobe chute (the toilet), sifting and floating the "material" found to extract seeds that our ancestors had expelled.

Why the hell would you want to do that? you may ask. Well, if you can study the seeds expelled you have a good indication of the carbohydrates in the early diet. The garderobe chute was also the kitchen waste disposal so if you look at the animal bones that were thrown out you can also surmise the protein diet.

A dirty job but well worth the effort.

At the moment the guys are removing the back fill placed there at the end of last season to protect the site. Next week will see the arrival of the volunteers from all over Europe and North America so there will be a great buzz about the place.

There are two web sites I can recommend. The first is and the second

Better still why not call into the Cruachan Ai centre for an update on the work, but please do not approach the archaeologists as they have yet to be tamed!!

Talk soon

Mike Croghan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Conference 2008 Schedule

Kindly Supported by Roscommon County Council


Conference can be booked in 3 ways:
In Modules, as below,
Per day, as below,
Entire Weekend, Cost: €190

Friday 16th May 2008
6pm Percy French Hotel Registration

7pm at the Percy French Hotel: Guests Arrive Tea & Coffee
7.30pm Cllr. Orla Leyden - Conference Opening Speech
8pm Brian Leyden - Reading from Works, Q&A
9pm Andy Gowan - Traditional Harpist
10pm Close for the night

Module A Cost: €40.00

Saturday 17th May 2008

10am at the Percy French Hotel: Morning Opening
10.30am Caroline Dove - Irish Traditions in Arts & Crafts
11.30am Tea/Coffee Break
12 noon John Waters - Tradition, why is it Maligned?
1pm Lunch

Module B Cost: €40.00

2pm from the Percy French Hotel: Bus to Cruachan Aí
2.30pm at Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre: Lora O'Brien Welcome Address
3pm Colmán Ó Raghallaigh - Re-discovering the Táin
4pm O'Neill's Café Tea/Coffee Break
4.30pm Dónall Mac Aodha - Promoting the Irish language
5.30pm from Cruachan Aí Centre: Bus to Percy French Hotel

Module C Cost: €40.00

6pm at the Percy French Hotel: Kelly Fitzgerald MA - Meadhbh and the Young Warrior
7pm at the Percy French Hotel: Dinner
8.30pm Caroline Madigan - After Dinner Speaker
9.15pm Trad Music Session - George Eggleston & Andy Gowan
10pm Close for the night

Module D Cost: €40.00
Saturday, Entire Day Cost: €105.00

Sunday 18th May 2008
10am at the Percy French Hotel: Morning Opening
10.30am Cllr. Sean Beirne - Songs and Stories of Percy French
11.30am Tulsk Action Group - Presentations, Thanks
12 noon from the Percy French Hotel: Bus to Douglas Hyde Centre
12.45am at the D Hyde Centre Deirdre O'Gara - Douglas Hyde Centre Tour
1.30pm from the D Hyde Centre: Bus to Cruachan Aí/Percy French Hotel

Module E Cost: €40

Module F is an optional extra for adults – an example of workshops designed for children and attended by local community and schools – to provide the opportunity to observe first hand ‘inspiration’ of the next generation.

2pm at Cruachan Aí Centre: Buffet Lunch
3pm Liam Farrell - "How to Get Started in Writing"
4.30pm Catherine Simon - "Drama for Fun"
Both Workshops most suitable for Ages 10-15
6pm Manager Conference Close

Module F Cost: €40.00
Sunday, Entire Day Cost: €75.00

If you would like any more information on the Cruachan School, please phone us on
071 9639268, or email for booking form.
Contact: Lora O’Brien

The Cruachan School, Conference 2008

Irish Culture & Heritage:
Inspiration for the Next Generation

The Cruachan School was founded following the success of the Charles O’Conor of Ballinagare International Conference. This successful event was run in 2006 by Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre in conjunction with; NUI Galway, Clonalis House, and the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon.

Following traditions established by the ancient Druid school of the Cruachan (Rathcroghan) complex, the Cruachan School aims to explore and develop all aspects of Irish culture and heritage.

Annual academic conference events will promote interest and enjoyment - both nationally and internationally - in history, Irish language, literature, mythology, folklore, archaeology, art, music, drama and dance.

Our 2008 Conference will be held on Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th May in the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, and the Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon.

There will be talks and workshops, field trips, and musical entertainment throughout the weekend. The cost is €190 for the entire weekend, including dinner on Saturday night, or bookings can be made in smaller portions; with a cost of €40 per module.

Following in the footsteps of historic Roscommon literary figures such as Douglas Hyde and Percy French, we examine how to attract and inspire our children’s love of Irish culture and heritage through literature, art, drama, and mythology; while we can observe these techniques in action with youth workshops on Sunday afternoon.

Experts in the education of Irish youth such as Kelly Fitzgerald MA (Expert in Old Irish and Literature, University College Dublin), Catherine Simon (of Roscommon Co. Youth Theatre, and National Assoc. of Youth Drama) and Colmán Ó Raghallaigh (Award winning bilingual author of children’s books and graphic novels), will explore how to inspire the next generation of Ireland with an appreciation of our heritage and culture.

For more information please email us on
Or phone the Centre: 071 9639268

Local Accommodation

NOTE:  THIS POST IS FROM 2008!  Some of the listings may be out of date!  For up to date accommodation listings please see the 'sleep' section on 

Accommodation within convenient driving distance of Tulsk/Strokestown

Anne's B&B, Tulsk Village 071 9639011 or 087 8208534
Tulsk Lodge B&B Ardkeenagh, Tulsk 071 9639902 (Rooms en-suite)

The Percy French Hotel Bridge St Strokestown 071 9633300

Mrs A. Clyne Lakeshore Lodge Clooneen Strokestown 071 9633966
Meena Martin B&B Church Street Strokestown 071 9633247
Mary and Eamon Sheil Bawn Lodge Strokestown 071 9633124
Maura Reynolds 29 Kildallogue Heights Strokestown 071 9633722
Harriet Cox Church View House Strokestown 071 9633047
Imelda Hanley Parkowen House Strokestown 071 9633732
Breda Moran Cloonshreen Strokestown 071 9633948
Ann Clyne Lake Shore Lodge Kilglass Lake Strokestown 071 9633966
Rooaun Lodge Kilglass 071 9633174

Abbeyfield Hotel Ballaghaderreen 094 9862736 (70 rooms)
Into The West Frenchpark 094 9870391 (7 double rooms, all en-suite)
Durkins The Square Ballaghaderreen 094 986 0305 (14 rooms)
John Spellman Dublin Road Ballaghaderreen 094 9860180 (3 rooms)
Eden House Frenchpark 094 9870658 (2 double , 2 single rooms)
Deirdre O'Gara Ballaghaderreen 094 9870016
Chapel View B&B Cathedral Street Ballaghaderreen 087 2144196
Una Keegan Drumalassen Ballaghaderreen 094 9861393
Willowbrook Park Kittybranks, Ballaghaderreen 094 9861307 (Camping & Caravan)

Adeline Rogers Woodlawn House Drummullin Elphin 071 9635111

Tully's Hotel The Square Castlerea 094 9620200
The White House Hotel Ballinlough 094 9640112
Clonalis House Castlerea 094 9640014
Rita Morgan Armcastel B& B Castlerea 094 9620117
Mrs. M. Dockery Rampark Castlerea 094 9620116
Mary Ronane Williamstown Rd Castlerea 094 9620431

Castlecoote House 090 6663794

Roscommon Town
Abbey Hotel Galway Road Roscommon 090 6626240
Gleeson's Guesthouse Market Square Roscommon 090 6626954
Regan's Guesthouse Market Square Roscommon 090 6625339
The Tatler Inn Main Street Roscommon 090 6625460
The Coachman's Inn Castle Street Roscommon 090 6626459
Hillcrest B&B Racecourse Road Roscommon 090 6625201
CavRos Racecourse Road Roscommon 090 6625881
Westway Galway Road Roscommon 090 6626927
The Gardens The Walk Roscommon 090 6626828
Mollie Scally 34 Lisnamult Roscommon 090 6626980
Noelle Hynes Riverside House Circular Rd Roscommon 090 6626897
The Villa B&B Galway Road Roscommon 090 6625998
Briege O'Brien Golf Links Road Roscommon 090 6626696
Fieldston Lodge Golf Links Road Roscommon 090 6625539
Muireann Sli Golf Links Road Roscommon 090 6626696
Campbells Galway Road Roscommon 090 6626927
Mullach Lodge Galway Road Roscommon 090 6625364
Ross House 090 6628891
Oakwood 090 6637644