Josie Mc Dermott 25th Anniversary Commemoration Day 23/07/2019

A celebration day was held at Josie Mc Dermott’s home in Coolmeen and Ballyfarnon over the summer by Josie’s many friends and neighbours.

Proceedings opened at the laying of a wreath on Josie’s Grave with a tune by Tommy Guihen, Lament for a Fiddler, this is the tune Josie had requested be played when he was buried in 1992. A decade of the rosary was recited by Tommie Shivnan and the gathered responded in unison, as Josie was devoted to saying the rosary nightly in his life time.

The musician gathered at the grave side played some of Josie’s tunes “A trip to Birmingham” + many more. The Musicians Tommie Fiachra and Aoife Guihen, Tom O’Gorman, Catherine McEvoy, Brenda Sweeney Martin Sweeney, Maura Donagher, Sean Gilrane, Gerry Harrington for a half an hour before moving off for the walk guided by Peter O Rourke (Carran Walkers) via Barr na Marabh. As we arrived at Josie’s house the chairs were set out with many musicians getting ready to play some of Josie’s tunes and as the music started many more musicians gathered so more chairs appeared from the house in total 28 musical instruments were playing at one-time (Josie must have been smiling in Heaven to see such a gathering on his street outside his house) Songs were sung by C. Donagher and some Sean Nos dancing by Eimear Mulvey. Martin Sweeney gave a very interesting insight into Josie’s life from childhood through his youth and as thing improved for him, he could now travel with is music and song. Josie was a very generous man with is talents and time many of Josie’s students were present they played his music and sang his songs which was enjoyed by all who gathered for the afternoon.

At 3 pm those people who were walking again taking the lead to guide the walkers on the Josie Route to Balyfarnon a route across the fields and crossed drains by a narrow plank Josie would make his way this route when walking to Ballyfarnon with his limited sight and he never went astray, he was a very independent man. On to Ballyfarnon taking in the views of Kilronan Mountain, Lough Skeen and Staunton’s Brae all mentioned in Josie’s song Ballad of the O’Carolan Country. On arrival in Ballyfarnon at Josie’s Memorial chairs surrounded the monument for the musicians to partake it yet another sesiun of traditional music, song and dance.

Aisling Lowe Chairperson of Ballyfarnon Community Enterprise Group Ltd welcomed all to enjoy this special event in honour of Josie Mc Dermott and expressed thanks to the Sweeney family, Keadue Comhaltas, Gerry Harrington and Alderford Furniture. The music started again with some more of Josie’s compositions. Very entertaining and funny stories from another friend of Josie’s who travelled the country was John Keavney. The evening concluded on a high note with tunes from all the musicians gathered.

Ballyfarnon Community Enterprise Group Limited, is supported by Creative Ireland Programme.  Roscommon Co.Co./Creative Ireland Fund.


Ballyfarnon Community Enterprise Group Ltd & Carran Walkers held a very enjoyable Tree Walk to mark the start of Heritage week on 19th August 2017 the walkers meet at the Crescent Ballyfarnon.

The walk was guided by Peter O’Rourke on a bright dry afternoon identifying rare trees planted by the Tennison family in the 1800s.Castletennison Demesne situated on the outskirts of Ballyfarnon and Kilronan Castle, some of finest trees found in Co. Roscommon, with several being champions of their species in terms of height and girth example of some of the trees seen Lime Trees, Western Hemlock, Douglas Firs  Sitka Spruce  A few of the trees are in the top 5 National Champions.  The walk concluded in the village with a cuppa in Killorans Gala which was appreciated by all the walkers who travelled from around to country to celebrate Heritage week.