The Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, Co Roscommon is under new oenership and managment and has officially opened for business in the bustling Roscommon town.
Local Mayor, Cllr Tom Crosby has extended his best wishes to the new owners – the Murray Family, who hail from nearby Elphin – and looks forward to integral role that the renowned hotel will play in the local community there.
“It is great to see a local family who are very experienced business people in the local area, take over this fine facility in Strokestown and continue to give local employment in the town,” Mayor Crosby said. “I intend to discuss, with the Murray family, the prospect of having a full County Council Meeting in the Percy French Hotel later on in the year A full council meeting has not taken place in Strokestown for many years, and such an event would provide an opportunity for senior executive staff and the 26 Elected Members of Roscommon County Council to see for themselves, the tourism and business potential that is available in Strokestown. It would also provide an opportunity to promote the Strokestown area.”
William Percy French ( 1854 - 1920 )
William Percy French was born at Cloonyquin, Co Roscommon on May 1, 1854. He was one of nine children and came from a family of landowning Protestants. He displayed creative talent from an early age and when he was ten years old, he was sent to England to attend school. In 1872, he began a degree in Civil Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. During his time at Trinity, he began to develop his musical and artistic talents. Lack of focus on academic matters meant that it took him seven years to complete his degree.
While at Trinity, French wrote his first song called ‘Abdullah Bulbul Amir’. The song was a satirical account of the Russo-Turkish War .and it became a worldwide hit. French sold the song to a publisher for £5 but he was not credited as the writer at the time. As a result, he never received any royalties for the song.