Reflections while Cocooning

The present pandemic which has put the whole world in lockdown and all the over 70’s cocooning, made me realise how important my membership of the Active Retirement association is to me. I feel isolated. I miss my family, friends, Grandchildren and my contact with the outside world. I miss my activities, fun and the comraderie of my colleagues in the Active Retirement group.
All our activities and our carefully planned holidays, outings, concerts, plays, indoor and outdoor sports and community work are put on hold. We wait with bated breath and hope and pray the dreaded virus doesn’t darken our door. We fear for our families and friends and all the people bravely working away in the front line. From the safety of our homes we struggle with the fact we cannot invite in or go near the good people who do our shopping and look after our wellbeing, but we do appreciate and thank them. We know it is for our own safety.
While the world is still we have plenty of time to reflect and be grateful for the full and active life we have enjoyed for the past 18 years as members of our Active Retirement. The digital skills and computer courses which we attended enable us now to keep in touch with our friends and the outside world. Communication has never been as necessary as now during this dreadful pandemic. With letter writing a thing of the past and the closing of the local Post office, the small town Banking facilities, the corner grocery stores, not to mention the demise of the local pub. The personal touch and the friendly chat over the garden wall has long gone. The sound of the human voice has been drowned by texting, e-mailing, zooming etc. Hence the importance of the A.R.A in the life of the older person. It provides a place to enjoy a friendly cuppa and chat and to share anxieties with new found friends.
We look forward to the day when this is all over – and hopefully we come through it safely and well – when we can return to our normal daily activities.
We would welcome any new people who may feel lonely or isolated to come and join us any Wednesday in the Library (our temporary home) at 3 pm. All interests are catered for in the various clubs including arts and crafts, walking, singing, book club, bridge and bowls.
Remember that retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of an open highway
Stay safe.
Enquiries to Margaret Brennan , Phone: 0877731707 or Chris O’Flynn (Ph.087 6492466
Visit our website at
Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O)
10th May 2020







Pat Kelly R.I.P. It is with great sadness we say good-bye to one of our members, Pat. Kelly.  Pat was a lovely gentle lady and we will miss her smile and good company in our Active Retirement group. We send our sincere condolences to her family during this very difficult time.
May she rest in peace.


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