Pictured is a previous cover of the Roscrea People
IN 1374 the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “There is an end to everything, to good things as well,” and it was with very heavy hearts this week the community of Roscrea learned the Roscrea People annual booklet has come to an end.
Founded by famed Roscrea historian, author, bibliophile, philanthropist and favourite son of the Heritage Town he loves so much, George Cunningham, the Roscrea People has concluded after an incredible 32-year unbroken run of publication.
Originally founded in November 1974 as a monthly and later becoming an annual favourite for families in Roscrea, its annual compilation was a mammoth task and almost all undertaken, bar the printing itself, in the Editor’s Parkmore home in Roscrea - home also of Parkmore Press, the publishing house he founded which has published works by Roscrea authors.
Carmel Cunningham, George’s wife, played an important role in every edition and in recent years became co-Editor, gathering the news and photographs required to create what was a remarkable record of a remarkable town, inhabited by remarkable people.
Initially setup as an almanac recording all the good news to happen in and around the town over the previous 12 months, in recent years the Editor’s foreword in each annual edition took aim at weighty issues neglected, or overlooked, by the local media and prompted real change to happen.
Always complemented beautifully by Brian Redmond’s award winning photography, the Roscrea People captured the essence of community and belonging and reminded everyone in the town that Roscrea was a remarkable place, far greater than the sum of its parts.
Mary Arrigan’s cartoons and PJ Wright’s photography were some of the readers favourite contributions to the Roscrea People, which was always printed in Walsh’s printers in Roscrea.
Marking the conclusion of the publication, George and Carmel Cunningham have arranged a very important book sale and have donated back issues of Roscrea Peoples from 1974 to 2018 to the Saint Vincent de Paul in Roscrea for sale in their charity shop on Church Street. Most years are included in the surviving issues, although some are in very small numbers and in total over 250 back issues have been donated.
These will go on sale at the Vincent’s Monster Book Sale on Saturday 7th December in Church Street from 2pm to 5pm. The sale coincides with the Christmas Festival in the Black Mills at the same time.
“Buy old editions that are now available and immerse yourself in over 45 years of Roscrea history - even to look at the ads, to see the vanished shops is an education in itself,” George Cunningham said.
“By so doing you are helping the less fortunate in our community at Christmas,” the Editor of the Roscrea People said.
Read our comprehensive coverage of the 32-year story of the Roscrea People in the Midland Tribune’s Christmas in Roscrea supplement included in this week’s edition - including old photography and a competition to identify famous Roscrea faces.