Carlow Trip - May 2019
For our Spring break this year 55 members of our Active Retirement Group headed south -east to Carlow, famous for its many public gardens. Once again the weather man was good to us as we enjoyed glorious sunshine all the way.
After the usual tea/scones break in Portlaoise we travelled through lush green countryside and picturesque riverside towns and villages before arriving at our destination, the luxurious Mount Wolseley Hotel in Tullow.
After a lovely breakfast , our first day touring took us to the Aboretum home and garden haven in Leighlinbridge. This was an excellent place to browse and enjoy the magnificent display of flowers and garden furniture and ,of course, the shops .The bathroom sinks were an amazing piece of art – each one designed in the shape of a flower in various colours. In the afternoon we had a very interesting guided tour of Carlow museum.
Next day, our driver, David, took us through the picturesque Wicklow National Park to Avoca village in Co Wicklow, famous for its Meeting of the Waters . The Ballykissangel T.V. series was filmed in the village. After a tour of the mill, we travelled on to the award -winning Rathwood garden and shopping centre for some more retail therapy.
On our third day, it was time for a beer which we were glad to get after a guided tour of the Smithwicks Experience Kilkenny . We had no worries about being over the limit as we continued our journey for a visit to Borris house and gardens. This was the home of the ancient Kings of Leinster. The present owner, Morgan Kavanagh McMorrough gave us a very informed guided tour of the house and chapel. We were pleased to hear his ancestors had a connection (through marriage) with Garbally College and Lady Cloncarty. They still have weddings in the chapel and cater for wedding receptions in the big ballroom.
Each evening, after dinner, some people adjourned to enjoy the music and sing-song in the bar, while the card players disappeared into some quiet corner until the early hours ( I believe) to enjoy their game of bridge.
After our lovely, enjoyable action- packed four days, it was time to pack our bags for home. There was yet another treat for us on the way home. The highlight of my trip was our visit to the Delta Sensory Gardens in Carlow. It was a haven of peace and tranquility . The tour guide made it all so interesting and it was nice to see some of the special needs people happily helping out in the garden.
We stopped off in Browns Restaurant in Tyrellspass for dinner on our way home. A lot of weary but happy travellers arrived home safely in Ballinasloe after another very successful Spring break. Many thanks to Phil and Bridie for all the organisation.
Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) May 2019
It was standing room only at our Songfest held in Gullane’s Hotel on 10th May 2019.
After months of rehearsing under the leadership, direction and encouragement from the very talented Marie Power .The show consisted of a Revue containing snippets of song and dialogue from the writing of James Joyce. To set the scene, the BARA singers set the scene dressed in their flowing long skirts, frilly blouses, and topped off with wide brimmed flowery hats .
The men looked resplendent in their colourful waistcoats and bowler hats which was the attire of the day in the James Joyce era. John Boland, excelled himself as narrator .
The old favourites such as “Finnegans Wake”, “The Low Backed Car”, “The Croppy Boy “and “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” went down a treat.
The participation of the audience in the Sing a-long and the applause at the finish of the show was an indication of how much it was enjoyed by one and all.
Some lovely prizes were won in the raffle and the proceeds from the night go to local charities.
The night was a wonderful and enjoyable way to end another season of song and fun for the BARA singers. We are indeed very lucky and grateful to Marie Power for her patience and commitment...
Chris O’Flynn (P.R.O) May 2019