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Cosy launch for Roscrea People 2017

Thursday, 7 December 2017

RUDDY CHEEKS, wooly hats and scarves is the traditional dress-code for the annual launch of the Roscrea People - an event which has become a seasonal favourite for so many people in Ireland's third oldest market town.
However, this year's launch was a particularly warm and inviting one, held in the beautiful surrounds of the aptly named Cosy Kitchen in the Bernie's SuperValu shopping centre; where George and Carmel Cunningham launched their much anticipated book looking back on life in Roscrea over the past year.
When one sees the annual almanac on sale in the shops around the old market town, its a reminder Christmas is just around the corner and the book, which as always is lovingly published to a very high standard, is sure to find its way into the hands of many people sitting by the fire with family over the Christmas break.
One highlight of this year's edition is a lengthy reflection on the career of Bernie Colclough, who next year celebrates 50 years of business in Roscrea, a business which has become synonymous with life in the town centre.
In January 1968 Mr Colclough started trading as an independent trader on Main Street and built the businesses into one of the leading rural town supermarkets in the country, which has given over 800 local people their first job.
The Roscrea store was one of the first 27 SuperValu stores to open Ireland, but he first came to Roscrea from Athlone in 1963 to manage the DOS Supermarket, the first superstore of its kind to open in Roscrea.
Today, his son Brian manages the business and has evolved the family company into one which has become the backbone of commerce in the centre of Roscrea and one held in higher esteem than any other because of their unwavering support of local social, sporting and community projects.
Launching this year's edition, Brian Colclough said it was a great honour to be part of the long association with Roscrea People, having advertised in the very first edition in 1974 and every edition since.
“I always associate the Roscrea People with Christmas and its a treat to enjoy over the holidays and I try to keep mine for Christmas Eve every year, when I sit down and enjoy it," he said.
“We also sponsor the Roscrea People of the Year Awards which is one we are very proud to be part of and its an incredible legacy for George and Carmel to leave behind - to publish one hundred books is some achievement, but to collect over 25,000 volumes is just incredible," Mr Colclough said.
Referencing his father's achievement in reaching the milestone of 50 years of successful business, Brian said his continued leadership and way of leading by example has been very inspirational for him.
“Their legacy, both George and Bernie, is that they have left Roscrea better than they found it - neither of them every forgot their roots, or where they come from," Brian said.
Very Rev Dr Tom Corbett, PP for Roscrea, remarked that the staff in Bernie's SuperValu are more helpful than in any other store he has ever visited and that their contribution to so many organisations in Roscrea makes them "truly special".
Acknowledging the quality of the latest edition of the Roscrea People, Fr. Corbett said Roscrea is incredibly lucky to benefit from the work of George Cunningham, adding that if future generations of social historians and local people want to know what life was really like in Roscrea in the past, the Roscrea People will be incredibly valuable for them.
In a short address, Roscrea People Editor, George Cunningham, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Limerick last month, said it would be impossible to publish the book every year without the assistance of his wife Carmel.
Mr Cunningham also thanked photographer Brian Redmond, who has worked on every edition of the Roscrea People since its inception 32 volumes ago and P.J. Wright, who he said has become Roscrea's "most valuable social photographer".
Mr Cunningham said that Andrea and Val in Walsh's Printers are an essential team who play a crucial role in the publication's ongoing success.
The 2017 edition of the Roscrea People is on sale now in all the shops in Roscrea and surrounding areas and is priced €10.

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