Dublin Christmas Trip 2010

Our Trip to Dublin

We are back again after a very enjoyable city break in Dublin. On arrival the Christmas lights and decorations got us all into the festive mood. We stayed in Wynns Hotel on both nights, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th December.
We were entertained at the Grand Canal Theatre on our first night. Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” was a spectacular show. Their performance, stunning costumes, vibrant musical numbers and top class acting, held our attention to the very end. The following evening was spent at the Abbey Theatre. The play “The Government Inspector” provided a contrast to the previous evening. Witty one-liners and excellent comic timing had us all in stitches. We had music in our hotel on both nights.
Our trip came to an end all too soon. We now look forward to our next venture.
Bridie Loughman

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Members Profiles

Members Profiles

Hi Members

The Editor would like to receive articles about the life and times of members who have contributed to our organisation. Also we would like to keep alive the memory of members who have passed on.

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Birthday Greetings

Maisie Rynolds recently celeberated her birthday..








Garda Station Oct. 2011

Our evening in the Garda Barracks

An innocent by-stander would have been forgiven for thinking the members of the Active Retirement Association were in a spot of “bother” as they watched a very large number of their members “traipse “into the local Garda Station on Wed. last 19th October!
I’m glad to be able to report we were there by kind invitation to meet our local members of the Gardai and to welcome the newly appointed Superintendent, Cliona Richardson
After a warm welcome, Sgt. Tom Horkan gave a very interesting and thought-provoking talk on Home Security. We were then issued with a check list challenge. As a lot of our members live alone, this was a stark reminder of what needed to be done in our homes to make it safer in the event of Burglary, Fire, Unknown callers etc. etc.
Afterwards, the Gardai were more than happy to answer questions and allay any fears we may have. They even set up speed dialling on our mobile phones!
Michael Walsh, on behalf of our Chairman, Gabriel Rohan, thanked (in his usual witty fashion) the members of the gardai for making us aware of the dangers of the various crimes which exist in our every day life. He welcomed our new lady Superintendent to town.
After a lovely cup of tea/coffee/buns/biscuits, we went home happy in the knowledge that the strong arms of the law were indeed looking after our welfare. They assured us they were only a phone call away.
It was a very enjoyable and enlightening experience for all of us.

Chris O’Flynn

Garda John Scully, Superintendent Cliona Richardson, Sergent Tom Harkin with A.R.A members

Margaret and Mike in discussion

Sheerwater expo. Oct.2011

Members publicising the A.R.A. email address : ballinasloeactive@gmail.com and their web site : ballinasloeactiveretirement.com in the Carlton Sheerwater Hotel.

This event was organised by the Meadow Cross Cultural Association (MCCA) as part of Galway Social Inclusion Week and coincides with the launch of a new Community website dedicated to the people of Ballinasloe and created to enhance Community cohesion at www.ballinasloecommunity.com.

Activities 2011

Activities Timetable 2011

Social Inclusion Through Companionship

Monthly meetings for all members : 1st Wednesday of every month @ 3pm in Gullane’s Hotel, Main St.

Informal meetings (tea/coffee/chat) every other Wednesday @ 3pm in the Gullane's Hotel

Various courses, Creative and learning programmes and informative talks are arranged throughout the year.

As “Be Active, Be Healthy” remains out motto, members are encouraged to participate in the activity of their choice

Enquiries to :Kaye Killeen, Hon. Secretary. Phone: 090- 9642597 or Chris O’Flynn ( Social Secretary). Phone: 090-9642870

2-3 pm Leisure centre/
Kingfisher club
Monday and Thursday

7.30 - 10pm John Shea Hall Creagh

8pm Bridge rooms Sarsfield Rd.
Monday-beginners Thursday.

Book Club
4pm Library
2nd Tuesday of every month

Singing group
10.30 - 12.30 Family Centre

Knitting /crafts group
(blankets for Belarus)
10.30 - 12.30 Gullanes Hotel

Pitch and Putt (Weather permitting)
Creagh training centre, Creagh Rd.

Walking club
10.30 - 12.30 Pearse’s G.A.A Club,(winter ) and various places of interest (summer)

Knitters celebrate 5th Anniversary.

Members of the very successful knitters group, who over the years contributed many
items of bedding, clothes and toys to the children of Belarus.

the Athlone experience

The last of our Summer day trips on August 3rd, took us to local places of interest. 47 of our
members had a very interesting and enjoyable day in Athlone. Our first port of call was to Derryglad
Folk Museum in Curraghboy. Here there are no less than 5000 items on display dealing with history,
heritage and folk culture. For us , older folk, it was a nostalgic peep into the past as we strolled down
memory lane. Everyone thought it was well worth a return visit.

We then continued on our way to visit the Army Barracks . where we were given a conducted tour
followed by a display of their weapons. Here we were joined by 20 male members of the Kiltoom
retired G.A.A club . It is hoped, in the future, that some of these men may be encouraged to join
forces with Active Retirement groups on a national level.

It was then on to the Leisure centre in Athlone where we spent a few hours Bowling – a “first “for
many of us. We had just mastered the hang of it when it was time for dinner in the Shamrock Lodge
Hotel . After all these activities, we were glad to sit down and enjoy a lovely meal.

Another lovely day!

Chris O’Flynn

Article in BALLINASLOE LIFE magazine


Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association is featured in this issue number #03 August/Sept 2011.

Knitwear for Belarus from B.A.R.A. Knitters

Pat Dillon with some of the children on holiday from Belarus, also in the picture are Maureen Cregg fundraiser and Margaret McDonnell founder of the Knitting Group

Lough Key July 2011

Our BARA July trip on 6th .was to Lough Key Forest Park, situated 3 miles from Boyle on the Dublin / Sligo road. The weather was very kind to us -sunshine all day. The 800 acre park was formerly the home of the Stafford-King-Harman family. We had a boat trip on the Lough with a running commentary on the history of the area. The scenery was stunning, there were wildlife, canooists, Kiddies play areas, BBQ area, wooded walks, A ruined castle on the island in the middle of the Lough. Something for everyone. The cafe provided the tea & scones which were very nice, the shop had gifts & mementoes.

Our next stop was Carrick -on Shannon. A lovely town with a huge Marina with numerous boats docked. The Landmark Hotel provided us with a lovely meal & the bar did a good business!! 53 members travelled on this trip & I'm sure they all enjoyed it as much as I did. Many thanks to the social committee - once again..

Marg. Mac.

Pygmalion Saturday 11th June 2011

We met at Ballinasloe railway station (fourteen fair ladies and one
gallant gentleman) and boarded the train heading to Heuston station.
Very pleasant journey, arrived well on time. Luas down to city centre.
Time to spare so we did some browsing through shops.
Great bargains everywhere! Then to Wynn’s Hotel for lunch, which was very good indeed. We then went to take our appointed seats in the Abbey Theatre. The play was ‘Pygmalion’ by George Bernard Shaw. We
thoroughly enjoyed the production, which was indeed highly
entertaining with an excellent cast. We felt privileged to have had
an opportunity to see such a wonderful play in our National Theatre.
All returned home safely by train to Ballinasloe contented and happy
after a very pleasant day.

Laura Naughton

Coole Park. June 2011

49 members of BARA enjoyed a lovely day trip to Woodville gardens & Coole Park on wed. 8th June. The weather was not too good but it did not dampen our spirits. First stop was Woodville gardens set at the foot of the Slieve Aughty mountains. The gardens were lovely, the doves sitting on the top of the dovecott were eyeing us suspiciously. These gardens were owned by the Darcy family & later by Harry Persse brother to Lady Augusta Gregory. The adjoining the stables exhibit the history of Woodville & very interesting it was. Our next stop was Coole Park, & into the tea rooms for scones & tea /coffee. Then there was a guided tour around the nature trail. There were red deer grazing nearby, the large house no longer there it fell into disrepair & was pulled down in the 1940's . On around the se lovely grounds we came upon the old brown beech tree aprox three hundred years old. The initials of famous people are carved on the trunk. George Bernard Shaw, W B Yates & many more. Back inside we saw a video of the Lady Gregory family in the last century. This was a very good experience for all. Lastly we enjoyed a meal at Lady Gregory hotel. All in all it was a very good day !!
Margaret MacDonnell

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Once again our Active Retirement members were off to Dublin. This time it was to see the show “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on Thursday, 2nd June 2011 in the Grand Canal Theatre.
The musical retells the biblical story of “Joseph” in song. We are introduced to Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours. Their father is Jacob, whose favourite son is Joseph. The other sons become jealous of Joseph and have him exiled to Egypt. He meets the Pharaoh who amazingly appears as Elvis! The singing, dancing, design and lighting are breathtaking. Overall the sound amplification lessens as the show progresses and this makes for a more enjoyable listening experience. Keith Jack is Joseph and he really has a lovely singing voice.
The beautiful sunny day, plus the location and magnificent surroundings of the Grand Canal Theatre, inside and out, all contributed to this most enjoyable day for all of us. The Andrew Lloyd Webber songs such as “Any Dream Will Do”, “Close Every Door” and “One More Angel in Heaven” were unforgettable.
I’ll finish by saying, where next?!

Bridie Loughman

Bealtaine Get-together

Doug Bridie Maura Margaret

Margaret Maura Dorethea Bridie Doug

Bridie as Grandmother from wanderly wagon

Mick and Sheila

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London May 2011

Houses of Parlament

Tower of London

Big Ben

Westminister Abbey

37 members of B.A.R.A boarded McGinley’s coach at 4.30 a.m. on May 16th’11 . Despite the unearthly hour, we were wide awake and eagerly looking forward to our 4 day trip to London.
After our short flight we were met at Gatwick Airport and taken by coach to the “Ibis Hotel” in Earls Court which proved to be very comfortable and central. Having booked in, some were glad to rest while others battled with the tiredness and went on to visit the famous Harrods store mainly to see how the other half lives!. It was an experience not to be missed. The grandeur, the magnificent displays and the exorbitant price tags took our breath away. Then we came across the beautiful monument which was erected in memory of Princess Diana and Al Fayad who died so tragically. This made us realise that extreme wealth does not always bring happiness.
Starting at 9 a.m.next day, we set off by coach on our guided tour taking in the sights and sounds of the Capital. We were accompanied by Andrew, an Oxford graduate , excellent guide and historian. While we attempted to take in some of the history of the Monarchy, we viewed the 320 ft. high Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Sq. St. Paul’s Cathedral etc. etc. That evening we attended the West End sensational show “Wicked” packed with Sorcery, special effects and incredible costumes.
Next day, we travelled to Windsor, home to the Queen for 900 years, just in time to witness the changing of the Guards. We finished off the evening with a cruise on the Thames. Some of the more adventurous went on to experience the panoramic views from one of the world’s tallest observation wheels the “London Eye”
On our last day, there was time for some last minute shopping before bidding farewell to this wonderful, buzzing city of 7.7 million people
All in all it was yet another enjoyable ,successful trip to add to our memories. Once again the weather was very kind to us. It was an added bonus that some of the group had the opportunity to re-unite with friends and relations.

Chris O’Flynn