Songfest 2016

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Doug Rafter

Donegal Spring break 2016

Spring break in Donegal May 2016

The annual Spring break this year was to the lovely county of Donegal
56 of our members – largest number ever – set off for Letterkenny in glorious sunshine  in McGinley’s brand new coach. It was lovely to see Brian was to be our driver/guide for the duration of the trip.
We were based in the very comfortable Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny and for the next three days we spent touring .We visited the very interesting famine village of Doagh Island on the first day  . Next day we went on a guided Bus tour of Derry city , walked the walls and took many lovely pictures . We continued on then to the American Folk Park in Omagh. It was such a lovely  day wandering around in the beautiful sunshine going back in time and comparing the “then and now”
The trip on the Waterbus on Donegal Bay on the third day was a big success. We were entertained with songs and stories , danced, sang and celebrated a birthday party on board for one of our members. A few German visitors were roped in to join in the “craic”!
Our holiday would not be complete without a bit of retail therapy. So off  went the ladies to McIlhinneys of Ballybofey for some serious shopping.  Don’t know where the men went!
It was with great reluctance we had to leave the beauty of Donegal behind us as we headed south for home.  On the way home,we had a welcome break in Sligo folk park in Riverstown where we were given an enjoyable tour. Ice cream , tea and scones were the order of the day
It was agreed by one and all that Brian, our pleasant driver helped in a big way to make this trip so interesting and enjoyable. He was passionate about his county and was familiar with every nook and cranny .He was happy to share the many stories and jokes with us.
We finished up with a lovely dinner  in Roscommon before heading for home tired but happy.
Thanks to Phil, Bridie and the Social committee for all their excellent work.

 Chris O’Flynn


Please  get the word out to all members and friends

Great night out.      Lets show our appreciation for

all the effort and hard work of our singers.

Combined choirs of BARA Singers &

East Galway Cancer Support Centre &

Ballinasloe Town Band present



THURSDAY 19 TH MAY 2016 8pm

A feast of songs Classical, Contemporary,

Academy Award winners, 1916 across the world

A Bealtaine Festival Cross Community Event to benefit local charities.

The Importance of Physical Exercise

The Importance of Physical Exercise,

I was flattered to be asked to say a few words about the importance of Physical Exercise, especially for older people.
I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject but what I can do is pass on some of what I  have learned from different classes and courses which I have attended through the years.
From an early age I had a great belief in the benefits of keeping fit and active.
The first class I attended was in a ballroom in Harcourt St. in Dublin. When I was 18, I went to work in Dublin. Having come from the country where I was used to the wide open spaces, and where you walked and cycled everywhere in the fresh air, I felt confined and suffocated in the city. I decided to join a class with the fancy name of “the league of Health and Beauty” The dedicated instructor there took us through a wonderful exercise routine for the next six weeks.
The first thing we were asked to do was walk around the room with a thick book – similar to a telephone directory – on our heads without letting it fall.. This is how we learned the importance of good posture. Head up, chest out and walk from the hips!  It took us a few weeks to master it.
There are so many forms of physical exercise available e.g. golf, bowling, dancing, swimming, tennis ,cycling  etc. etc. It is my belief there is no better way to keep fit than walking. It’s low impact, it’s all weather, it suits all ages, and most importantly, it’s free. Being out in the open is far more attractive than sweating it out on a treadmill. It is well documented that it helps 1. to increase bone density thus preventing osteoporosis. 2. It improves overall physical and psychological health. 3. Helps to preserve independent living.  4. It reduces risk of coronary heart disease .5. It helps to control stress, obesity and diabetes
 Because of our changeable climate it is very easy to find  the perfect excuse – “it is too cold, too wet or  windy, or I’m too tired.! We have two dedicated members in our walking club who are  perfect examples of “all weather walkers” They are out every day -hail, rain or snow. They are an example to us all. The important thing is to wear suitable clothing and comfortable supportive footwear. You should always go at a pace that is comfortable for you
Although you not be able to go for a jog or even a walk, there is still a lot you can do. With limited mobility you can do simple chair exercises. These can be done at your own pace at home on your own or with friends. Physical exercise helps build your strength and flexibility, reduces depression , anxiety and stress.
 We are lucky to have a very active walking club in our Active Retirement group so I encourage you all to come to the walking track in Brackernagh every Tues. morning at 10.30 am. The sessions form a healthy as well as an important and enjoyable social occasion.

Aqua aerobics is also another excellent way of keeping fit.  It improves your cardiovascular and respiratory systems without placing stress on the joints. It’s a fun and easy way to exercise, strengthen and tone muscles. Aqua aerobics suits people of all ages with all sorts of health conditions. And you don’t need to be able to swim!
To keep in shape and healthy come along and join the gang in the Coral leisure centre every Mon and Thurs. 2-3 pm.
Enjoy your Summer, keep fit, healthy and well.

Chris O’Flynn , 25th April 2016