Greetings from our B.A.R.A. Chairperson Margret.                                                                                                 
In these uncertain times please keep in contact with each other and should you need it, keep your EIRCODE close to your phone.    

if,you would like to contact another member and do not know their number please contact                                  

Margret 087 7731 707.                                                                                                                                   ]

Bridie 086 0568 221.                                                                                                                                                
Douglas 086 1972 846. and we will provide same.  
                                                         KEEP WELL and  STAY  SAFE.

Annual General Meeting Feb.5th. 2020

Ballinasloe Active Retirement A.G.M 2020

There was a large attendance at the A.G.M of the Active Retirement group which was held in the Library on Wed,Feb.5th 2020
The chairperson, Mgt. Brennan, welcomed everybody especially new members. The Association has been growing from strength to strength and now boasts 230 members.
The Secretary, Deirdre Hogan read the minutes of the last A.G.M followed by a detailed report on the successful activities of the year.
The treasurer, Mary Slattery reported on a healthy Bank balance.
The year 2019 was another successful, action-packed year on the social front.
Phil Kelly, secretary of the Social Club gave a detailed report on all the trips, plays, films and holidays which were well attended and enjoyed by one and all. There was a special thank you to the ever- efficient treasurer, Bridie Whelan for her expert and exact handling of all our finances . She turns over a massive amount of money throughout the year.
Our walking club, said Laura Naughton, were now walking for 12 years!!! The numbers who meet on the track every Tuesday morning at 10.30 were increasing. The exercises which follow the walk help to keep both mind and body healthy
There were good reports also from the Bowls club ,Singing Club and the Book club. New members were invited to join any of these clubs as there is something for everyone, whatever your interest.
The committees were then elected as follows
Chairperson : Mgt. Brennan . Vice Chairperson: Mgt. McDonnell
Secretary: Deirdre Hogan. Asst. Sec. Goretti Fallon
Treasurer :Mary Slattery . Asst. Treasurer: Ml. Colohan
The Social Committee were again elected in block
P.R.O Chris O’Flynn
I.T: Douglas Rafter.    
Deirdre (Sect.)   Margret (Chairperson)  Mary (Treasurer)


Maura     Ann     Douglas     Christina
Social  Committee
            Bridie                    Phil           

Chris  P.R.O.


Christmas festivities 2019

Christmas festivities 2019

Christmas season 2019 began on Wed. Dec. 4thth when about 60 members of our group sat down to a lovely meal in the beautifully decorated Gullane’s Hotel.
The last monthly meeting of the year was chaired by Deirdre Hogan in the absence of our Chairperson Mgt. Brennan. This was followed by demonstrations of festive flower decorations by Rose Hogan. The finished products were raffled later together with many more lovely gifts. Nicholas Power then entertained the group with a story of memories from his young days as a son of a Garda living in a country area.
Kay Murphy, President of Active Retirement Ireland, was our special guest for the day. It was nice to meet and talk to someone from the higher office. She had great praise for all our group’s wonderful work.
The evening was a nice way to finish the year which is our 17th year up and running. We should be very pleased with all we have accomplished over the years.

Christmas Dinner/Dance with Brendan Shine and his band.
Our celebrations continued on Tuesday 10th Dec in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel in Athlone . Again, a large number of our group set off on a very wet afternoon to join a very large crowd from many parts of the country for a most enjoyable evening of entertainment.
On arrival, we were greeted with a very welcome glass of mulled wine which would warm your heart on a cold winter’s day.
After dinner, which consisted of a lovely festive 4 course meal, we sang and tapped our feet to the magical music of (the now) 88 year old Joe Flynn . Looking and sounding as good as ever, we were able to join in and remember all the words of the songs from our era. He brought back many happy memories.
This was followed by Frank Forde, the inimitable comedian. This was the most hilarious half hour of fun and laughter we have had for a very long time. If laughter is the best medicine, then we had plenty of it that day !!!
The ever popular Brendan Shine and his band then took to the stage. He took us back in time as we danced to the music of the fifties, sixties and seventies. We may not be as fast on our feet as we used to be but it didn’t stop everyone getting to their feet to attempt the foxtrot, the quickstep ,the old time waltz and the siege of Ennis. The line dancers were in full flight!!
The evening recalled for many of our age group happy memories of the dances at the cross roads, the Maypole, the Barn dances after the yearly threshing and the carnival dances.
To finish off the evening all voices joined in the singing of all the Christmas songs, - I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, Jingle Bells, etc. etc.
We felt sad as we stood to at the rendering of “Abhrann na fhiann”
It was a very memorable evening and we hope to be able to make a return visit next Christmas p.g.

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) Dec. 2019


Galway Races Oct. 2019
This Halloween weekend, 28 members of the Ballinasloe Active Retirement group headed off to Ballybrit racecourse for their annual visit to the Galway Races.
Excitement was in the air as we boarded our bus in the square – all hoping to pick a winner ! Some of the seasoned, informed race-goers carefully studied the horses form, trainers and jockeys in the “Racing Post”, Others were happy enough to put their money on the horse with the fancy name.
After a lovely four course dinner ( we missed the hot punch this year!) in the comfort of the Millennium stand, we began the serious business of placing our bet on a hopeful winner ..Nobody lost or won a fortune but it was a most relaxing and enjoyable day.
On the way to our bus, we mingled with the multitude of happy students . While their night of partying was just beginning for these young people, we were happy to be on our way home having enjoyed another lovely evening at the races.
We look forward to next year’s outing P.G.
Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O.) Oct. 2019

Ara-Go-On Festival – Galway Bay Hotel. Sept. 2019

Forty members of the Ballinasloe branch of ARA attended the Regional get together in the Galway Bay Hotel . We were the largest group in attendance and it was a great opportunity to meet some of the other members from all corners of Mayo, Roscommon and Galway.

The organised outing to Kylemore Abbey on day one was unfortunately spoiled by the constant downpour. However the weather didn’t dampen our spirits during the next few days as we enjoyed the lovely food, company, fun, films, Bingo, wine-tasting, Aquarobics, etc. and of course danced the night away to the nice music of our era.. The ladies, in particular, made a special effort for the Gala dinner and looked splendid in their best “Frocks”.

As we said good bye to our old and some new friends, we look forward to meeting up again at the next Ara-Go-on outing, P.G.

Many thanks to the Regional Chairperson, Deirdre, who worked so hard to make this such a successful and enjoyable event,

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) Sept 2019


The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna

Burial of Sir John Moore, 1809.

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
 As his corse to the rampart was hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
 O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly, at dead of night,
 The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,
 And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
 Nor in sheet, nor in shroud, we wound him;
But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest,
 With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
 And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
 And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
 And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
 And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
 And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him;
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on,
 In the grave where a Briton has laid him!

But half of our heavy task was done,
 When the clock struck the hour for retiring,
And we heard by th' distant and random gun,
 That the foe was sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
 From the field of his fame, fresh and gory!
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
 But we left him - alone with his glory!"
A British defeat turned into a Dunkirk vicrory.

Cruise 2019

Our Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar Cruise, 2019

On August 9th 2019, 45 of our members set out on a damp morning to begin the first leg of our much anticipated Cruise visiting Spain, Portugal and the Rock of Gibraltar. Organised by McGinleys travel of Donegal, the fact that this cruise was leaving directly from Dublin ,eliminating the hassle of Airports, was a big attraction.

McGinleys coach collected us in Ballinasloe to take us to Dublin Port. This was the last time we saw our luggage until it was delivered safely to our staterooms on the ship” Magellan”.

We quickly familiarised ourselves with the vessel which was to be our home for the next 10 days. As the ship set sail with its 1250 passengers on board, unfortunately there was a storm brewing. As we travelled South on the Bay of Biscay, the weather deteriorated. The next few days proved a scary experience. However, with the aid of sea-sickness pills and with the help of the wonderful staff we weathered the storm .

Gladly leaving the choppy Bay of Biscay behind us, we quickly regained our balance as we sailed into our first port of call, La Coruna in lovely sunshine. La Coruna is the gateway to the pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela . We all went our different ways to explore this busy, spacious city.

Cadiz was our next port of call. There were many shore excursions to choose from including a trip to Seville. After a panoramic tour through the city we enjoyed a wonderful Flamenco show in a small venue followed by traditional tapas and drinks.

The Rock Apes spring to mind at the mention of the Rock of Gibraltar and this is where our next stop took us. While the more adventurous took the cable car or walked to the top of 1400 ft. high Rock, more of us took the coach tour where we enjoyed panoramic views of the busiest shipping lane in the world, the mingling of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and two Continents. We visited St. Michael’s Cave to view a mass of strangely shaped stalagmites and stalactites

Next port of call was Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. There were many tours to choose from here. Some of us decided to take the scenic tour driving over the river Tagus by means of the second largest suspension bridge in Europe. We saw the colossal statue of Christ the King which was erected as a thanksgiving by the women of Portugal that their men folk were not actively involved in World War 11.

After a few pleasant days at sea soaking up the lovely sunshine and mingling with our fellow passengers we had a long day to explore our last port of call,Liverpool, the maritime city in northwest England. Here,we found an unsurpassed range of attractions along the majestic waterfront.There was the Walker Art Gallery , the Beatles Museum and many more which were well worth a visit. The hop- on, hop- off bus took you through the many places of interest. There were some who couldn’t resist shopping in the many large stores while the men-folk sought out the pubs to watch Tipperary beat Kilkenny in the All-Ireland hurling final. Good news !!!

The temperature was gradually dropping as we went on board and headed north for Dublin. Even though we got off to a bad start, our Cruise was most enjoyable. The food and entertainment on board was first class and so also was the company of our fellow passengers. However it was nice to see our coach waiting for us in Dublin port to take us home.

Tired but happy we arrived home safely . Our Cruise was a wonderful experience and will be added to our list of nice memories.

Many thanks to all who helped to organise it.

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) August 2019