Weekly Activities



Aquarobics Class in action

Keeping in Shape
It is widely accepted that Aqua aerobics is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular and respiratory systems without placing stress on the joints. It’s a fun and easy to exercise, strengthen and tone muscles. Aqua aerobics are for people of all ages with all sorts of health conditions.
So if one wonders why so many members of the Ballinasloe Active Retirement get in shape and stay that way, the answer lies in the Monday and Thursday afternoon sessions in the local Leisure Centre.
Under the watchful eye of Barry, our patient instructor, up to 50 people jog, bend and weave to the strains of “the Fields of Athenry” etc. The Aqua aerobics exercise routines are fun to do and the motivational music keeps you going.
It has also become a great social occasion as you follow up with a session in the steam room or sauna Then there is always time for the welcome cup of tea and chat.
To keep in shape and healthy come along and join the gang in the Leisure Centre on Monday and Thursday afternoons 2 – 3 p.m.
Chris O’Flynn

Our Summer Party 2009

On June 3rd. 2009 our members met for our last meeting of the summer. A short meeting was held. The winners of the photo comp. were Chris O’Flynn - (Photo entitled A lady on an old fashioned bicycle) & Kaye Killeen - (Photo entitled Two horses feeding from one bucket). Congrats to both. All photos were excellent. Anne Keary wrote a super report on our trip to Prague.
All members brought plates of food, the tables were laid with plates, napkins etc. everything looked good.
The “Midnight Melody” band were setting up and members were all eager to start the dancing so we wound the meeting down, the music started & the toes started tapping, everyone enjoyed themselves & danced the afternoon away.
Whilst eating their party food, the team of volunteers came to collect our blankets & teddies etc. knitted by our members for the orphans in Chernobyl. They gave an account of their work refurbishing play rooms, fitting out kitchens & bathrooms for the orphans. Wonderful work – God Bless them.
We wish all members a very happy summer holidays - & we meet again
On Wed. 2nd. Sept.
Margaret McDonnell (secretary)

B.A.R.A. Singers

BARA Singers
In Sept.2005, a small group of singers came together to establish a creative arts activity as part of Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association.
With the emphasis on enjoyment and challenge, a two and three part choral programme was undertaken with the 1st performance in Dec. 2005
BARA singers continue to contribute to their community by singing in local nursing homes and hospitals. They performed in a Western Region Showcase of Active Retirement Activities in Mayo in 2007 to a very appreciative audience.
In 2009,they participated in a local charity concert entitled “A tribute to Ballinasloe Musicals” They performed , dressed in appropriate Mexican regalia, and much to the delight of the huge audience, their very own version of “Viva Mexico”!
BARA welcomes all singers at all times. They meet in the Family Centre, Ballinasloe on Thursday mornings 10.30 – 12.30. Under the direction of the very talented Marie Power, they continue to develop new repertoire, popular and classical. Each session includes fun vocal warm ups, learning new songs and performing known repertoire. It’s a wonderful enjoyable experience.
Chris O’Flynn

Summer Diary 2009

Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association – Social Committee Summer Diary
Dear member,
Following a very successful and enjoyable four day trip to the beautiful city of Prague, we now look forward to our Summer day trips before we head off to “Roses” in Spain for our 10 day Autumn holiday.
Dates to remember
Wed. 24th June ’09 – Trip to the Aran Islands (cost : nil)
We leave on the 9 oc. train to Galway , followed by shuttle bus and boat to Inishmore.
Lunch is booked in the Pier House on the Island for 1 pm at a cost of €14 (at your own expense) There is an optional bus tour of the island available at a cost of €10.
Home : 9.45 train Galway/Ballinasloe.
Wed 22nd July ’09 – Shannonbridge/Clonmacnoise/Athlone Castle.( Cost €40 ) Subsidised.
Bus leaves the square 10.30 am.for Shannonbridge.
11 oc. Enjoy a Shannon Cruise –S/bridge to Clonmacnoise where there is a guided tour arranged for 12.30 p.m.
After a light lunch we continue by bus to Athlone .
At 3 0.c. we have a guided tour of the Castle which features exhibitions and audio visual presentations
To bring an end to a perfect day, we enjoy a Summer Bar-B-Q in the Radisson Hotel,Athlone overlooking the lordly Shannon at 5.30 p.m.
Wed. 19th August ’09 – Trip to the Cliffs of Moher . Details at a later date
Wed. 16th Sept. 09 - Travel to Roses. Final payment to be paid to Keller travel by 1st July next.
Names and monies please to either:
Bridie 090-9643574
Chris 090-9642870
Margaret 090-9643372
We will continue to meet for a “cuppa” and a chat on Wednesdays in the Shearwater Hotel.
Enjoy your Summer!
Chris O’Flynn (Secretary, Social Committee)


Our love of Theatre in the Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association has brought us on many wonderful outings. We particularly enjoy our trips to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, where the performances are always outstanding. Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” was one such trip. We attended this famous play last year and found it clever, witty and light-hearted.
We recently travelled to the Abbey again to see “The Three Sisters” by Chekhov, as adapted by Brian Friel. This is quite a thought-provoking play that explores some of the social and political issues in nineteenth century Russia. As always, the quality of the acting, the costumes and the superb sets really enhanced our enjoyment of the play. We particularly enjoyed discussing our varied responses to the play afterwards.
Our love of Theatre has also taken us to plays staged in Athlone, Birr and the Town Hall Theatre in Galway. Other well-known plays we have attended were, “Stones in His Pockets”, “A Month in the Country” and “Dancing at Lughnasa”, to name but a few.
Our next outing will again be to Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in September to see another Oscar Wilde play entitled “An Ideal Husband”. This play features a strong cast of twenty-one, so it’s not to be missed. One of my favourites of course,was the comedy “The Shraughraun”. It was full of intrigue and good humour.
We feel really privileged to be able to attend these excellent performances. It is so inspiring to witness the professionalism of the actors and actresses and we never fail to be amazed by their talent and discipline. Their wonderful performances compel us to return again and again.
Bridie Loughman

Knitting Circle in action

The Knitting Circle
Every Monday morning, come sunshine hail rain or snow the knitting circle meet in Gullanes hotel @ 10.30am and spend 1 ½ enjoyable hours knitting blankets and teddies for the orphan children in Belarus. Our 15 members enjoy it so much with many topics of conversation, and of course tea coffee and biscuits.
At our summer party in June, 12 blankets and teddies were presented to Brendan Fallon, who said some kind words of thanks and appreciation to the knitters, he also told us about their work in Belarus, they are truly wonderful people.
At our Christmas party in December we will present them with more blankets and teddies, so we better get those knitting needles clicking.
Bridie Whelan.

Doing the Polka in Prague

47 members of the Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association recently enjoyed a wonderful three day break in the beautiful city of Prague.
They went on long guided walks through the cobblestoned streets taking in all the principal sights. It was an interactive history lesson in which the buildings, monuments, streets and personalities of Prague told the caDoing the Polka in Pragueptivating story of a city through time.
Exhausted from the heat, they attended a lunchtime concert in the cool of the enchanting Prague Castle. Food for the mind and soul, it was a wonderful experience.
The figures on the Astronomical Clock performed their hourly rituals as the group sipped their lattes and enjoyed the local delicacies i.e. apple strudel in a nearby cafe.
It was then on to the Child of Prague Church and the iconic Charles Bridge offering majestic city views.
The highlight of the trip was a Dinner/Cruise By night on the river Vltava. It was a fun-filled night with music, song and dance. A fantastic fireworks display added to the magic of the evening. Ann danced the Czech polka with a tall handsome young local man. Gradually the entire got into the swing of things and a great night was had by all.
On the final day, the group toured the countryside and visited a magnificent showroom displaying precious stones, jewellery and crystal . However, the smaller souvenir shops were more suited to their pockets!
With aching muscles, they touched down on Irish soil tired but happy. All members feel grateful that the Active Retirement Association provided them with the opportunity to travel and continue to enjoy life as a group.
Ann Betty Maura and Chris happy in Prague May 2009