Our Christmas trip to Cork Dec.’18

Instead of going to Dublin for the Annual Christmas shopping/shows trip, a large group of our members headed South to Cork this year for a change.

We travelled in style in Cronin’s luxurious coach to this beautiful county, stopping off for lunch in Bunratty.

We booked into the very comfortable Oriel Hotel in Ballincollig –a lovely village just 15 mins from Cork city. Some of our more hardy walkers availed of the popular recreational Park at the rear of the Hotel while others went off to explore and do their own thing in Cork city

After three days and with all the shopping done, we were ready for home . After our enjoyable break we were now energised , and ready to put up the Christmas tree and decorations which awaited us at home.



Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) Dec. 2018



The Christmas season celebrations started off with a most enjoyable Dinner/Dance on Sunday, Nov.25th.’18

A very large group of party-goers from our Association joined the Western Region members in the Loughrea Hotel

Dressed in our finery and in high spirits, we boarded our coach in the Square. Without the worry of having to drive home, we were able to enjoy our glass of Christmas cheer in comfort.

We were served a lovely four course meal and danced the evening away to music which took us back in time. The aching limbs and tired boned were forgotten for a while as we took to the floor in our attempts to re-visit the old time waltz, quick-step and even the jive. ! Poor patient Anne is still trying to teach us line dancing, we are slow learners but we are doing our best.!!

We arrived home safely having enjoyed another very enjoyable evening,

Thank you to our wonderful social committee

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O.) Nov.’18








Congrats to our knitters.  Beautiful work.

Galway Races 2018

The Galway Races Outing 2018

The annual return visit to Ballybrit this Halloween weekend was another enjoyable outing. 25 of our members –smaller number than usual – boarded our bus on a very cold Bank holiday Monday. A few arrived with their newspapers and seemed to be very determined this time to beat the bookies by studying form. The rest of us were happy enough to take our chances and hope to make a fortune by merely sticking a pin in the right spot.!

After a welcome glass of mulled wine in the comfort of the Millennium Stand, we enjoyed a beautiful four-course meal. Then began the serious business of studying form of horses, trainers and jockeys in an effort to pick a winner. Even though the amount gambled wasn’t too big, it was exciting to watch our horse first past the post.

Everybody was happy as we boarded the bus for home. Even though nobody made a fortune or lost their shirt, it proved to be a very enjoyable way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

Until the next time P.G.

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) 29/10/18

Ennistymon ARA GO ON Festival 2018

On Monday 24th September 35 B.A.R.A. Members boarded  Fahys Bus from the Square and set off on a three day trip to the Falls Hotel Ennistymon for our Annual A.R.A. Go On Festival. On our
 arrival at the hotel we were greeted by the Manager Patrick and Chairperson of the Western Region  Deirdre Hogan followed by Tea Coffee and Scones .As we were familiar with the hotel since last year we weren't long settling in,meeting friends from other A.R.A.s The hotel itself had many activities laid on for us over the three days such as Aqua-aerobics, Social Dancing Card Games etc.
Our day Trips were to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park ,and Shopping Trip to Ennis .Many choose to take advantage of the trips while others stayed at the hotel and take part in the activities ,others went to Lisdoonvarna by  car or bus . On our final evening we had a Gala Dinner Dance and Raffle .Entertainment was provided by the Dillion Family ,Local Musicians and Dancers  .The Hotel Staff were friendly ,kind and caring  .The Food was excellent .We would like to thank the Organising Committee of the Western Region and B.A.R.A. Social Committee for organising another wonderful Break Away . Regards Anne Duffy

Scotland 2th---6th July 2018

Our Trip to Edinburgh 2nd July – 6th July 2018

On a bright sunny morning, 30 members excitedly set off from Ballinasloe to Dublin to get an early flight to Edinburgh. We were greeted by our pleasant tour guide, Mary ,who made all our travel plans and sightseeing so easy for us. We quickly settled into the comfortable Westerwood Hotel nr. Glasgow.

On Day 2 we were whisked off to Edinburgh Castle. Climbing those steps up to the Castle was a challenge for our aging limbs, however, when we did reach the top it was well worth it - there was so much to be seen in this mighty fortress which has dominated the skyline for centuries. We marvelled at the nation’s Crown Jewels and we could smell the gunpowder after the One O’Clock Gun fires. We visited St. Margaret’s Church, which holds only 16 people and is very popular for weddings. We went to the National War Museum and learned more history than we ever did at school. We enjoyed lunch under blue sky skies as we admired the panoramic views. We were pretty tired by the time we got to walk down the Royal mile and Princess St. There were many tired ,but happy, bodies glad to get back to a nice dinner in our Hotel that evening.

On Day 3 we went to see Glengoyne Distillery, Stirling Castle followed by a guided tour of the Battle of Brannockburn. This is where Robert the Bruce and Edward 11 changed the path of Scotland’s history in 1314. A great experience.

On Day 4 we had a lovely relaxing day cruising on the amazing Loch Lomond. Met many lovely people and even had a little sing-song!! We then visited the conservation village of Luss where the pretty streets bedecked with flowers were a sight to behold. We enjoyed lunch in many of its pleasant restaurants before returning to our Hotel.

On Day 5 , we prepare for Home. On our way, we were treated to a guided tour of the Kelpies. Never having heard of them before, we were amazed to see the world’s largest equine breath-taking sculptures up close. We went inside and marvelled at the sheer size of these fantastic pieces of art.

After that, we enjoyed the highlight of our trip – the Falkirk Wheel Cruise. The Falkirk wheel is a rotating boat lift that connects two canals. It links the Forth and the Clyde Canal to the Union Canal above. A wonderful experience indeed.

Our weary bodies were glad to board the coach to take us to the Airport and home. We had a wonderful, enjoyable full schedule of adventures in Scotland. Our organisers, tour guide and driver made it all very easy and pleasant. Many thanks to all concerned.

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) July 2018

Belvedere House aand Longford Cathederal June 2018

Our Day trip to Longford Cathedral – June 2018

Our lovely warm sunny weather seemed to have come to an end as 50 of our members boarded the bus on June 13th and headed for Belvedere House and Longford Cathedral. After an hour’s drive we arrived at the home of “that Wicked Earl” the first Earl of Belvedere, Robert Rochford. The house was built in 1740 as a hunting lodge. Robert gained notoriety for imprisoning his second wife , Mary Molesworth ,for 31 years on a spurious charge of infidelity. This magical estate is now owned by Westmeath Co. Council.

The clouds parted and the rain stayed away while we spent some time exploring the old house and lovely gardens. After a welcome tea/coffee break we continued on our journey to Longford.

The beautiful St. Mel’s Cathedral is well worth a visit. It was completely destroyed by fire on Dec 25th 2009. Some of the country’s most priceless artefacts were burned to cinders. One remarkable painting of the Holy Family survived. It was restored at a cost of 30 million and attracts thousands of visitors.

After all this sight seeing, we were ready to enjoy a lovely dinner in the Longford Arms Hotel. For some, I believe the boutiques along the way were too tempting to pass.!!

We arrived home safely having enjoyed another day’s outing in our lovely country. Looking forward to the next one in July P.G.


Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O.) June 2018

Walkers Boat trip on the CORRIB

Our Boat trip on the Corrib

There was a great flurry of excitement amongst the members of the walking club when our good Treasurer announced she had arranged a free days outing for us on Tues.29th May. ’18 .

Once again the weather man was very kind to us.. It was a lovely warm sunny day so we donned the sun hats , sun glasses and rubbed on lashing of sun lotion to protect our pale skins .

We were like little excited children as 30 of us boarded our bus in the Square. First stop was Salthill where we spent two hours walking the prom, enjoying lunch or doing as we please while soaking up the lovely sunshine.

It was back on the bus then again and headed for Woodquay where the “Corrib Princess” was waiting for us. It was a wonderful, enjoyable relaxing trip under clear blue skies. As we cruised along this magnificent lake, taking in the history , scenery and wild life, the day could not have been more perfect.

We finished off the day with a very welcome dinner in the Meadow Court Hotel in Loughrea and arrived home safely, sun-tanned , tired but happy.

Thank you to Noelle for a day to remember.

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O ) June 2018



Walkers Celebrate 10 Years ON THE GO

Live of great men ( and women ) all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time.

For members of Ballinasloe Active Retirement walking group, footprints left
ten years were
revisited at Padraig Pearses Club at Woodmount today.
As near to the 8th May as makes no difference, on this day in 2010, James
Lyons organised,
briefed, and encouraged a group of like-minded individuals who appreciated
that walking can be the most beneficial , and cost effective method of
staying fit and healthy. By combining outdoor activities with indoor floor
exercises, and wedding both to tea/coffee/biscuits and chat, the organizers
had hit on a winning formula for healthy , fit , and above all happy lives.
On Tuesday 8th May 2018, BARA retraced their steps. This trip down memory
lane revived many
many happy memories. Photographs and anecdotes were shared, There was also
sad reflection
on those members with us .
BARA has now moved to St. Grellans G AA Centre in Ballinasloe and to the
new all-weather
athletic track nearby. As with Padraig Pearses, we have been warmly
welcomed by St. Grellans.
We can only appreciate the tremendous voluntary work of both clubs and wish
them continued success in the future.
To the 32 members of BARA walkers who turned up today a very sincere thank
you. A very special thank you to the ladies who prepared the beautiful food
which we enjoyed afterward.
A sincere thank you to James Lyons for his well chosen words in memory of
the occasion.

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Sunday 15 th April - .After a long wet, dreary winter it was great to see McGinleys coach

waiting in the Square to take a very large group of us to Belfast for our five day Spring break.

With a very pleasant and obliging Brian McGinley as our driver and guide, we headed north

in bright sunshine . Our first stop was in Kells where we enjoyed lunch in the Headford Arms

Hotel. On arrival in Belfast we booked into the very comfortable Corrs Corner Hotel.

Monday 16 th - After an early breakfast we continued north taking the coastal route through

Carrick Fergus towards Ballycastle. None of us were brave enough to make the terrifying

trip across the famous Carrick -a- Rede Rope Bridge. We continued on to visit the Giant’s

Causeway, one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions which is steeped in myth and legend. The

interactive exhibition in the Visitor Centre helps you to explore the origins and stories of the

Giant’s Causeway. As we travelled through the magnificent scenery along the Glens of

Antrim, Brian entertained us with tales of “Paddy the Pidgeon” . A plaque was erected in

Glenacloy to his memory..We had a brief stop to visit Bushmills Distillery where some of us

enjoyed a free sample of the “good stuff”. After dinner in the Hotel, some stayed on to enjoy

the wonderful entertainment while the card players adjourned to enjoy lively games of “25”

Tuesday 17 th April – We spent some time in Belfast city with a very informative local guide.

We viewed the Albert Memorial, Stormont Castle, the Opera House and the imposing City

Hall. In the afternoon, some went shopping while more went to visit the Titanic visitor

centre, Belfast’s largest tourist attraction.

Wednesday 18 th April – We travelled along the northern shores of Strangford Lough to visit

Mount Stewart, one of Northern Ireland’s most popular National Trust properties. Mount

Stewart is the Irish family home of the Marquesses of Londonderry. It combines the elegance

of impressive Georgian mansion with the 70 acres of beautiful gardens. It houses

Internationally important portraits, stunning silver, sculpture, furniture and many other

family treasures. It was indeed well worth a visit. To finish off our day, we enjoyed some

more retail therapy in an Outlet centre on our way home. Thank you Brian for your


Thursday 19 th April - We pack our bags to-day and head for home after breakfast. We

stopped for a welcome dinner in Tyrellspass Castle. A lot of weary, but happy travellers
arrived back in Ballinasloe after another very enjoyable Spring break. Once again, the

weather was kind to us, we found the people in Belfast very friendly and welcoming. It was

nice to see the economy booming once again .

Thanks to all the Social Committee for the time and effort put into organising these trips.

Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) April 2018