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Roosky, on the River Shannon
|County||County Roscommon & County Leitrim|
|Elevation||75 m (246 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Roosky, Ruskey, or Rooskey (Irish: Rúscaigh, meaning "swamp" or "bog") is a village on the River Shannon in the northern midlands of Ireland, near the point where counties Leitrim, Longford, and Roscommon meet. The N4 road from Dublin to Sligo passes by the Leitrim side of the village.
Roosky has a colourful history. St. Patrick is thought to have visited the area between 438 and 440. In 1798 the local rebels defeated the army of General Lake on the shores of Lough Bofin as part of the 1798 rebellion. There was also a 'Pleasure House' on the shores of the same lake, including a man-made beach only accessible to people from the Anglo-Irish Protestant class, which was later burned down. The Protestant church, in the centre of the village, was also attacked at this time .
Roosky was a lively market village in the mid 20th Century. The bridge was the scene of conflict during the Irish Civil War in 1922 and was also an important focal point for the National Farmers Association strike in 1967.
In October 2013 various employees from the Vista Med medical device plant won the National Lottery with another Vista Med plant in nearby Carrick on Shannon, for an amount of €2,000,000.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Roman Catholic church built in 1844, holds regular masses. The village has a supermarket, hairdressers, a Garda Station and bars. The community centre is located on the site of the old primary school.
There are four pubs in business in Roosky; two on the Roscommon side: Noel's and Cox's Bar, and two on the Leitrim side: The Weir Lodge and Reynolds'.
The Shannon Key West Hotel was an entertainment venue in the village, until it went into liquidation, closing its doors on October 18, 2011. Every year, the village holds the 'Rooskey Heritage Festival,' usually in July.
Roosky is a well known tourist destination. It is a popular destination for anglers, as the River Shannon and the nearby loughs are well stocked with coarse fish including roach, perch and bream. The harbour and marina are especially busy in the summer, with cruise vessels regularly stopping by.
The Rooskey Heritage Festival is also held annually in the village. The community festival consists of live music, heritage displays and celebrating all Rooskey has to offer. The festival promotes Rooskey village as a tourist destination. There are also art exhibitions, watersport displays and markets. Proceeds raised by the festival go towards next years festival and community projects which have included commissioning a wooden sculpture for the village, promoting the village's rich history by using plaques near points of interest and organising events all year celebrating heritage.
Outdoor activities enjoyed locally include watersports, horse-riding, pony-trekking and walking.
The village is served by the local primary school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel N.S., which was opened in 1997.
On May 8, 2002, a fire at the Glanbia Factory brought an end to bacon production, which had been the heartbeat of the village for over 50 years. Although the factory will not be rebuilt there is hope that the site itself will create much-needed jobs. On The Leitrim side there is also a test tube making factory.
Roosky is represented in both GAA and soccer by Kilglass Gaels and Dynamo Rooskey, respectively. The village's GAA team was formerly known as Pat Molloy's during the 1910s to 1950s. This club then amalgamated with Slatta Parnellites, Tarmonbarry and Kilmore to form St. Barry's Ruskey. The club won the Junior championship in 1969 when Anthony Mc Hugh led them to victory. The Kilglass Gaels Club was founded in 1983 and celebrated its silver anniversary in 2008. 2007 was a great year for the club, winning 7 county titles at various levels. The club has won championships at every grade, except senior, including the Intermediate Championship in 1999. In 2008 the club claimed the Junior "A" Championship after many years of competing at this level. The club also have recently won a senior ladies county title 2009.
Dynamo Rooskey F.C. was founded in 1978. The club was known previously as Rooskey Rangers. 'The Ger's' had a fierce rivalry with Longford Town F.C., before the latter was admitted to the League of Ireland. Roosky clubs have historically punched above their weight. The club's finest hour came when they shocked the famed Drumcondra F.C. 3-1 in the 1958 FAI Cup 2nd Round. In the next round Rangers were soundly beaten 4-0 by Cork Hibernians at Quinn's Field. Other notable cup scalps include Portlaoise, Tullamore Town and Castlebar Celtic. In 1987 Dynamo lost the League on goal difference to Clones Town, after having what would've been a late winner ruled out for offside against Cavan Town on the final day. In 2000, Dynamo controversially lost 2 cup finals, to Longford Wanderers at Dalymount Park and to Connolly Celtic. Fallout from financial management difficulties caused the club to enter a period of examinership in 2010 and was subject to a winding up order taken by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.
There are three 18-hole golf courses in the area.
References and notes
- Irish Free State (1925). Intoxicating Liquor Commission Report (Report). Reports of Committees. The Stationery Office. Retrieved 21 May 2017.