For around 30 years Tom Jebb of Cookstown Rotary Club has organised an annual football competition between Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon and Kilronan School near Magherafelt.

 Following a delay due to Covid, the competition resumed again on Tuesday the 25th of April at Cookstown Leisure Centre. Both schools fielded Junior and Senior teams and the competition and fun were a delight to behold.


The competition between both schools was intense. The outcome reflected the close competition. Kilronan School won the senior and Sperrinview won the junior competition. The runners-up were presented with silver medals and the winners with gold medals and a prestigious cup. The medicals and cups were presented by President Brendan Conway.

After the competition, both teams had lunch in the restaurant at the Leisure Centre provided by caterer Joanne Loughran.

Tom Jebb wishes to thank the teachers that accompanied the pupils,  the staff of Cookstown Leisure Centre and Joanne Loughran for their help in making this occasion fun and memorable for all.

A few photos from the April 2023 luncheon at the Glenavon Hotel.


The members of  Cookstown Rotary Club were saddened to learn of the death of Brian Morris Senior, Director of the Glenavon Hotel. Brian and his family have been closely associated with Cookstown Rotary Club over many years and are held in high esteem by all Club members.

 We send our sympathy and best wishes to Paula, Gerard, Angela, Brian Junor and all the family circle at this sad time.

District Governor Sean Fitzgerald and his wife, District Secretary Liz visited Cookstown on Tuesday the 1st of November to discuss membership and the recruitment of new members.

           DG Sean pictured with President Brendan, guests, and members of Cookstown Rotary Club.

 An event to mark the 50-year anniversary of Cookstown Rotary Club was held in the Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown on the 25th of June. Below is a selection of photographs. Click on the "thumbnails" to view a larger image.


Northern Ireland has an Oxygen Therapy Centre located in the Larne area. While the primary goal of oxygen therapy is to correct alveolar and/or tissue hypoxia some patients particularly those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have found oxygen therapy helpful. The Mayo Clinic has provided some information on oxygen therapy.

CFC Interiors wish to help support the Oxygen Therapy Centre by arranging to act as a drop off centre for used clothes. 

If you have old clothes you don’t need please donate them to help support the running of the Centre.

Drop in your old clothes in a sealed plastic bag to any CFC Interiors Store. The clothes will be sold off to raise money for The Oxygen Therapy Centre.
Please drop clothes off at any CFC Interiors Store by the 31st August 2021

What clothes are suitable?
New/Like New Underwear
Teddy Bears

Where to drop your clothes* Please No towels, blankets, sheets or duvets covers *

Thank you image


Rotary Great Britain & Ireland has joined with the /Together Coalition to ensure we are at the heart of community engagement development across the voluntary and community sector. Rotary is involved in the /Together Coalitions drive towards a national Thank You Day on 4th of July this year, where everyone can get together with neighbours and communities, to celebrate everything that we hold in common. Through food & drink, sport, music, volunteering and more, we want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to each other and everyone who got us through this past year. With so many organisations already involved, it promises to be an exciting day.

Alongside Scouts and Royal Voluntary Service, Rotary is one of ten organisations that will lead a ground-up ‘shout-out’ for Thank You Day.  Sandra McCabe from the Rotary Club of Lisburn is the Irish representative tasked with taking this forward.

To promote this initiative please join the new Facebook group and encourage others to join. The new Facebook public group can be accessed at:

It is with great sadness that we report the death of our esteemed friend and colleague, Alastair Laird. All Cookstown Rotarians extend our condolences to his daughter Emma and son Nick.There will be a private cremation service in Roselawn Crematorium on Tuesday, 16 March at 10.00am, followed by a service of thanksgiving in the summer.

Alastair Laird

Past District Governor Alastair Laird

Alastair joined Rotary in 1984 and became President of Cookstown Rotary Club in 1989/90. Ten years later he became District Governor (DG) of Rotary in Ireland. During his time as DG he visited all 77 of Ireland’s Rotary Clubs developing deep and long lasting friendships with people across the island. He represented Ireland at the Rotary International Conference in Singapore in 1999 where he developed life-long friendships with Rotarians across the globe.

DG Alastair at the Rotary District Conference in Co Clare in 1998

District Governor Alastair at the Rotary conference at the West County Hotel, Ennis, with (from left) Gay Mangan, co-chair, Ennis Conference; Martin Mansergh, guest speaker and special advisor to the Taoiseach on Northern Ireland, Economic and Social Matters; Chief Superintendent Liam Quinn, president, Ennis Rotary Club and Jim Eastwood, co-chair, Enis Conference.

As a senior Rotarian he held several roles in Rotary at District level. He chaired the District Foundation (Rotary’s charity) Committee and was the District Extension Officer. As part of the latter he helped found the Rotary Club of Lagan Valley. This involved attending every meeting each week in the club’s first year and providing mentoring and support. He was passionate about encouraging young people to achieve their best and led and supported Youth Exchange projects that took local students to the US and elsewhere

He had a major role in Rotary Polio, Hope and Homes for Children, and  Mercy Ships projects raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Outside of Rotary he worked tirelessly in the community supporting local community projects including The Hub and The Mid Ulster Stroke Support Group.

Following the death of his wife Carol, Alastair raised thousands of pounds for the Newry Hospice.

Alastair was Cookstown's best known Rotarian and exemplified  "Service above self"  in everything he did. We will all miss his enthusiasm, jokes, WhatsApp videos and most of all his friendship. 

If you want to post a condolence then please write your condolence at .

It is with sincere regret that we note the death of Edward Orr, brother of Past President  Philip. Edward died on the 19th January.

On behalf of all Cookstown Rotarians we wish to convey our condolences to Philip, Edward's wife Zoe and his sons Nicholas and Christopher.

Christmas is traditionally a time for thinking about others who are less well off than us. This year because of Covid-19 people been furloughed or lost their job and the situation is much worse than usual. As part of Cookstown Rotary Club’s Christmas charitable activities, it has partnered with the local St. Vincent de Paul Society to present food and fuel vouchers to struggling families in Cookstown and surrounding areas.  Cookstown Rotary Club is delighted to partner with St. Vincent de Paul, an organization that helps people in need regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, or beliefs.Cheque presentation to SVP

Cookstown Rotary Club President Brendan Conway presents a cheque of £500 to Marian O'Reilly of St. Vincent de Paul.

 Since today is "Giving Tuesday" an anonymous donor is doubling donations to St. Vincent de Paul.

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of our last founder-member, Mervyn Glover PHF. Past President Mervyn died on the 13th November, in his 99th year. Despite his advanced age Mervyn still attended major club functions, his last being to confer John Smyth with his Paul Harris Award.

Past President Mervyn pictured on his 97th birthday

We send our condolences to his sons John, Peter and Malcolm, daughters Valerie and Pamela, sisters Yvonne and Bertha and his family circle.

It is with much sadness that we report the sudden death of our esteemed colleague, Past President, Club treasurer and Paul Harris Fellow, John Smyth.

John had been an active member of the club for many years. Throughout the years' John used his professional knowledge of competitive cycling to help others and was a leader on the Rotary programme supporting the Joel Rider Bikes for Africa initiative. John was tireless in his support of Rotary ideals and his selfless approach at all time exemplified the Rotary aim of “Service Above Self”.

John Smyth

John Smyth (right) pictured with PDG Alastair promoting blood pressure awareness.

John died on the 11 th October 2020. We offer our support and sincere condolences to his wife Eleanor, son Jonathan, daughter Julie, brothers Thomas and Noel, and his sisters Florence, Mary, Margaret, Yvonne and the wider family circle.

He will be sorely missed.

Please give a thought to the scientists who are doing the research and testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus in Italy and elsewhere. Like the front-line doctors and nurses we all owe them our thanks and best wishes at this difficult time.

Dr Giuseppe Aprea and colleagues at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise.

One of our many luncheon visitors was Giuseppe Aprea from the Sorrento area in Italy. At the time he was doing his PhD at Loughry with Dr Michael Mullan. Now Dr Aprea, Giuseppe is currently a Veterinary Manager Officer for the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "Giuseppe Caporale" (IZSAM). He is an expert in virology and he and his colleagues are performing the official analysis of human swab samples for SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causal agent of Covid-19 in the Abruzzo Region. This region has over 1000 cases of Covid-19.

Dr Aprea is personally processing over 100 samples per day. Currently some 30% of the samples tested are positive for the virus.

We regret to inform you that all Rotary meetings have been cancelled as a result of the developing coronavirus situation. This includes the talk by Ewan Butler on Chile on the 24th March. We will keep the situation under review and announce changes as necessary.

Covid-19 virusElectron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2. Copyright  NIAID.

 Ewan Butler and his wife have spent the last 3-years working in Chile and have kindly agreed to talk to Cookstown Rotary Club about their experiences in Chile and their wider travel in South America.

This is an evening event and is open to spouses / partners and friends of Rotary. Please circulate to others.

 The presentation will start at 7 pm and it is suggested that we meet up for an evening meal at 6.20 at the hotel before the presentation. I will circulate the meeting room details at the Glenavon closer to the date.

 Please do not forget about Alastair's Mercy Ships event at Killymoon Golf Club on Friday the 13th March. Again I will circulate time closer to the date.

Mercy Ships logoAn unprecedented Rotary Global Grant application for $1,000,000 is under way to fund vital surgical equipment for Mercy Ships. This funding will enable hospital ships to be fitted with the necessary equipment to deliver free surgeries and medical training across the sub-Saharan region of Africa. For more information on Mercy Ships please see the video below.

Cookstown Rotary Club has already pledged to support this initiative. Past District Governor Alastair Laird is organising a quiz at Killymoon Rotary Club on Friday the 13th March to support this important humanitarian cause. Alastair's last fund raising event for Mercy Ships raised £6000!

I will post more information as details become available. Please visit this page every few weeks.

Club meetings for 2019 ended on the 17th December and will restart on Tuesday the 14th January 2020.


The Club's Christmas Dinner will be held at the Glenavon House hotel on the 10 th December.  The pre-dinner reception will start at 7 pm.

Cookstown Rotary Club as part of the world wide Rotary Polio eradication project purchased crocus corms for sale to generate income to pay for polio vaccine. The Club donated corms to the Phoenix Integrated Primary School in Cookstown so that the P7 pupils could learn about polio eradication and the need to help our declining bee population.

P7 teacher Steven Kelly pictured with Sophie Atkinson, Ranger at National Trust Springhill and Tom Jebb President Cookstown Rotary Club

P7 teacher Mr Steven Kelly pictured with Sophie Atkinson, Ranger at National Trust Springhill and Tom Jebb President Cookstown Rotary Club

Cookstown Rotary Club were assisted in this enterprise by Sophie Atkinson, who is the National Trust Ranger at Springhill. Sophie explained the difficulties bees face in early spring and highlighted the value of crocuses as a source of food for bees emerging from hibernation.

Sophie and the students planted over 250 corms in record time. The students' dedication was so great that even cold and rain failed to deter them! 


Sophie already for instruction in crocus planting!

Sophie already for instruction in crocus planting!


We look forward to returning in the spring to see the bees enjoying flowers. 

It is with much regret that Cookstown Rotary Club notes the death of Past District Governor Gussie Hynes.

Gussie was President of the Rotary Club of Omagh in 1982/83 and District Governor 1994/95. He is best known for his work with the Rotary Jaipur Limb Project, and was a trustee of the project. He was said to be responsible for over 10,000 people receiving limbs.

Gussie will be missed and fondly remembered by Rotarians in Cookstown and further afield. Members send their sympathy to Gussie’s wife Colette.

Mervyn Glover one of the founding members of Cookstown Rotary Club reached the impressive age of 97 on the 7th June 2019. Mervyn has been a member of the Club for some 49 years. All members pass on their best wishes to Mervyn.


Mervyn Glover has reached 97 years oldJohn Smyth pictured celebrating with Mervyn on his birthday!

There will be no Rotary luncheon on Easter Tuesday (23rd April). Thanks to Tony for notifying the hotel. Our next luncheon will be on the 30th April with Tom Jebb in the chair. Enjoy Easter with your families.


We were pleased to meet the current District Governor Monica Robertson on Tuesday the 26th March. DG Monica is the 101st District Governor of Rotary in Ireland and believes that Rotary can "Be The Inspiration". Monica's visit was part of a programme to find out what Rotary Clubs across the Island of Ireland were doing and to provide inspiration. Club members provided feedback on the current Rotary Public Relations programme and on the IT system. Monica reminded members of the 5 Ps that provide the underpinning foundation for all Rotarians: People - Projects - Public Image - Polio and Peace.

Distric Governor Monica

 Alistair Laird, Michael Mullan, Philip Orr and Tony McMinn (L-R) pictured with DG Monica


 Breige Mulholland, Head of Operations and Finance, Air Ambulance-NI Ltd, gave a presentation to Cookstown Rotary Club and guests on Tuesday the 19th March.  Breige explained the role of the Air Ambulance and its successes in saving life and reducing the potential horrific after effects of accidents. The Air Ambulance service costs about £2m a year to run. This cost is just for the helicopter, pilots and servicing. The doctors and paramedics are volunteers and are provided by the NHS.

Breige Mulholland pictured with Cookstown Rotarians( picture courtesy of Norman Bell)

Breige Mulholland pictured with Cookstown Rotarians (picture courtesy of Norman Bell)


President Philip Orr presented a cheque for £500 on behalf of the Club.