We are made up of an entirely voluntary committee, whose interests range from writing to bee keeping to the history of graveyards and much much more......
Our mission is to showcase contemporary poetry, local, national and international, foster the development of emerging writers and consolidate poetry in local cultural life bringing it to the widest possible audience.
Top row L-R: Margaret Hickey, Jacinta Glover, Noelle Lynskey, Shane Lynskey, Gemma Flanagan, Anne O'Leary, Pat Compton,
Seated: Louise Cole, Padraig Holmes, Melissa Newman (missing Mary Dolan and Maria Donoghue)
Padraig Holmes: Chairman
Born in Roscommon Town and a Strokestown resident since 1989 Padraic Holmes joined the committee in 2016. He worked locally as a practicing vet for fifteen years before joining the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine as a veterinary inspector in 2004. He is married to Jacqueline with four daughters. Also serves as a committee member of Strokestown Show, Sliabh Ban AC, Longford Beekeepers Association and school Board of Management.
Maria Donoghue: Treasurer
Maria is a native of Galway and moved to Strokestown in 1979. She practices as an accountant in Longford town and joined the committee in 2018.
Pat Compton: Vice Chairman
Pat Compton is a native of Clooncagh, Strokestown. Together with Merrily Harpur he founded the Strokestown International Poetry Festival in 1999.
He is deeply committed to furthering the social and economic status of the region. He has worked in An Post all his working life and has recently retired and is now spending time paddling the length of the nearby Shannon.
Shane Lynskey: Vice Treasurer
Shane Lynskey is a native of Strokestown. He was educated at Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, Strokestown. He holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) from University College, Dublin (1976) and qualified as Solicitor in 1978. He has practised in Longford Town and Strokestown. He is active in many local organisations. He is an active member of Roscommon Historical Society and is one of the founding members of the Poetry Festival.
Melissa Newman: Director
Melissa is a Forester who was brought up in Dublin and moved to Strokestown with her husband and two daughters nineteen years ago. She lived in New Zealand for six years where she completed a Masters in Women’s Studies. After retiring from forestry several years ago, she now works for the ETB teaching Horticulture and Social Skills. She is committed to recognising the beauty and importance of diversity within not only the environmental world, but also within humanity. She has been a member of the Strokestown Poetry Committee for the past 15 years.
Mary Dolan: Secretary
Mary is a native of Kildare, having moved to Strokestown nearly forty years ago. She and her husband farm close to Strokestown. She works as the secretary in the SCDA Office in Strokestown. She has been a member of the committee for the past sixteen years.