Roscrea is a relatively small town and many people will know each other on the streets. Thus, it is very common to at least say hello to people you pass by. Certain people may not reply but don't lose heart- most people will react with much friendliness if you do say hello.
Sometimes, the people will initiate a complete conversation on the streets but it is rare to shake hands and unheard of to kiss close friends. Many conversations start with something about the weather and take off from there.
Keeping with the community spirits, events are regularly organised locally and these can only survive if people attend. If you do choose to visit a local event, you will be warmly welcomed and will feel at home immediately. Just show the people some respect, and they will show it to you.
Go for a Hike
The Slieve Bloom Mountains are located in Counties Laois and Offaly and the mountains are within easy driving access of Roscrea. The villages of Camross, Kinnity, Cadamstown, Clonaslee and Rosenallis are all good bases to start from and you can enjoy as long as you want in the region. Whether you just want a short loop walk or a medium length eco-trail or a weekend-long attempt at the famous Slieve Bloom Way, you will be catered for in the SB Mountains. Scouting is very active in the area and you may well bump into some active scouts during your hike.
Don't forget, bring a picnic!
(If you rather public transport, use Bus Éireann route 71 to Birr and get going from there or Bus Éireann route 12 to Borris-in-Ossory or Mountrath- both good bases as well. However, I would recommend driving or cycling out due to the inadequate public transport in the area!)
Fáilte go Ros Cré
"Slap bang in the middle of Ireland"
Roscrea, or Ros Cré (Wood of Cré) in Irish, is a small town located fairly centrally in Ireland, about part way between Limerick in the west and Dublin in the east.
The town first grew out of a monastic settlement and eventually into an important trading centre where cross Ireland trading routes met. The N7 skirts by the town and as a result it's fairly easy to reach Roscrea from other parts of Ireland such as Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Cork. Indeed, while staying near Roscrea, I made daytrips to to visit relatives in Wexford, Lough Derg to the west of Roscrea and a tourist trip round Clare and The Burren.
While it's a small town, there's enough here to be getting on with if you're interested in the archeology of Ireland, from Roscrea's Thirteenth Century Castle, complete with a Queen Anne style house, Damer House, in its grounds from the Eighteenth Century
In Roscrea you can do a self guided heritage walk. I was given a map at the ticket office to the castle. Worth a look are the remains of a 15th century Franciscan Abbey that acts as a portal to the town's main Roman Catholic church and the remains of St Cronan's Monastary - a round tower and the facade of the 12th century church.
Oh, and it's worth popping into Damer House in Roscrea Castle grounds if only to see what is reputedly the oldest piece of butter in the world! No, that isn't a joke....