Ros Cré, a town known for its wonderful tourist attractions and it’s sports is located in North Tipperary. A town steeped in tradition and history with its Castle, Damer House and many more fantastic sights, has been decimated by a string of suicides and anti social behaviour, but this story will tell of a towns desire to rise from the ashes as one.
On July 10th of this year another death in the town prompted a string of social media statuses that seen devastated people, young and old, speaking of their grief. One status in particular caught the eye from a grief stricken resident who had seen this only too often in his town.
” Not a man that likes posting about deaths but this goes out to every young person in Roscrea. I know it’s hard in life at the moment but I’m begging you all if ye have any problems open up their is nothing to be ashamed of. I would personally give my own number to anyone who needs to talk. R.I.P”
This prompted a reaction from people far and near and it was here that local activist Derek Russell suggested a town meeting to discuss all the problems it was facing. On the 21st of July the Abbey Hall in Roscrea was the stage for what the organisers thought would be a meeting with “hopefully 30-50 people”. But the hurt the town was going through was underestimated and a 500 strong contingent attended.
Harrowing stories were to follow, suicides, drug problems, dealers, alcohol, anti social behaviour, diminishing Garda presence and many more. Heartbreaking stories of the realities that families were facing brought tears to most eyes but it also put fire in the eyes of most. As the meeting ended with people none the wiser on what step would be next the crowd jumped at the chance to march to the Garda station and express their anger at the lack of progress regarding these matters. After a long stand off Gardaí finally announced that they would be present at another public meeting a week later.
It was here that the town showed true grit and determination as 1200 people in a town with 5000 residents, many of whom are kids, turned up in solidarity with one another. Gardaí, Politicians and local residents spoke once more, some angry, some hurt, some with renewed hope and plans were afoot to build a movement that would be a people’s movement.
In meeting that came after it was to be known that this movement would be simply called “Roscrea Stands Up”. In this movement many internal groups were formed to tackle the problems at hand.
1. Mental Health
2. Drugs and Alcohol
3. Youth Action
4. Business and Environment
5. Non Nationals
6. Town Enhancement
7. Junior Tidy Towns
To name but a few.
In these groups their are 50+ people who are volunteering to make their town a better place and in recent weeks rumours are surfacing that huge strides have been made and on this Friday the 21st of December the people of Roscrea will attend another meeting again in the Abbey Hall to decide on many factors for the future.
This a is a story that every rural town in Ireland can relate to and hopefully this story will show that with Heart, Energy and Goodwill no darkness is impossible to overcome.
We at the Tipperary Times would like to Congratulate Ros Cré and it’s people for Standing Up and we hope that in time to come the country sees this beautiful town for what it really is and we will hopefully cover all the good that is sure to come to this magnificent town.