SNAPSHOTS: The fire that changed the fortunes of a rural village

Sheila Reilly


Sheila Reilly


SNAPSHOTS: The fire that changed the fortunes of a rural village

Picture: Joe McDonagh

SnapShots: A unique trip down memory lane, with loads of fabulous prizes up for grabs. Send us your pictures which hold fond memories!

To show you how SnapShots will work, we have delved into the Leader files for a few pictures that tell a thousand words. You may think your attic is no match for the Longford Leader archive but you'd be wrong because SnapShots is really about showcasing the photos that matter to you.

The photo above is from the day the fire broke out at the Glanbia plant in Rooskey.  Mairead O’Shea former reporter with the Longford Leader was driving home from Carrick on Shannon court on that May afternoon in 2002 when she spotted smoke coming from Rooskey village.

She drove into the village to investigate and discovered that the Glanbia pigmeat factory, known to most of us as Hanly’s Meats, was on fire. She rang the story in to the Leader office and Mary Bracken, photographer, was dispatched to Rooskey to get some pictures.

The pictures from that day are dramatic as the smoke from the fire billowed in the blue sky all over Rooskey. Workers stood around totally dazed and helpless as the fire took hold.

At the time Glanbia indicated that they would reopen the plant. But a year later, the 450 workers were told that Glanbia had decided instead to upgrade its facilities in Edenderry and Roscrea. It was an utterly devastating blow both for the workers and the village of Rooskey.

SNAPSHOTS: Showing the craft of both the blacksmith and the photographer

What is SnapShots?

We have all become used to scrolling through the galleries of photos on our smartphones but what about those much-loved print photographs stashed away in the attic, in a box under the bed or in that “miscellaneous” drawer in the kitchen? Are they destined to be forgotten forever in the digital age? Well, it’s time to dig them out and show them some love.

We want readers to take a photo of those much-loved print photos and send them to us. Whether it was taken a few years ago on an instant camera or a few decades ago, we want the photo that stands out for you. It can be from a social event, a landscape shot, a funny pic or even a holiday snap - we want them all. Yes, even those dodgy “look at the state of my hair” debs photos!

Send us your photos
We want you to dust off the golden oldies, take a picture of your old picture and email it to us at Include the names of anybody pictured and a few paragraphs on the story behind the picture and why it holds fond memories for you. 

We will feature your pictures in both our print and online editions. In addition to running your images on and our social media pages we will also carry two pages of your images every week in the Longford Leader.

We will run a poll every week on and our weekly online readers can vote for their favourite image of the week.

Two winners will go forward every week, leaving six of our readers images going forward to the grand finale with a chance to win our amazing prize package.

The overall winner as voted by the public will win the fantastic prize!

Reminder: Email all entries - with a few paragraphs on the story behind said photo and why it holds fond memories for you- to Hurry up, you don't want to miss out on these prizes!