On Sunday 8th of May after two long years of isolation and Covid, 42 members of B.A.R.A. boarded McGinleys coach for our long awaited 5 day trip to Clonakilty. We were welcomed on board by our bus driver who introduced himself as Peadar. We set off on our journey, our first stop was Adare where we had a coffee break, after an hour we continued our journey to where we were based at the beautiful Clonakilty Park Hotel. We checked in, had tea/coffee on arrival and relaxed in the hotel where we were joined by two of our members who travelled by car. Dinner was at 7 pm.
Day 2 We travelled to Kinsale, as the weather wasn't kind to us that day we just had lunch, relaxed and returned to our hotel by 5pm to get ready for dinner @7pm
Day 3 our first stop was the birthplace of Michael Collins and his memorial centre, we continued our journey to Union Hall, a small fishing village, and on to Bandon where we had a coffee break and did a little shopping. We boarded the bus again and headed to Gougane Barra. Here we spent some time sightseeing and visited the beautiful church famous for hosting Weddings, we then returned to our Hotel .
Day 4 We travelled to Inchydoney Beach, then on to Cork City where we had lunch and did some shopping, we left Cork after 2 hours and headed to Cobh where some walked the harbour and others visited the Heritage Centre. We returned to the hotel at 5pm
Day 5 Our Final Day had arrived. While we were sad leaving The Clonakilty Park Hotel our trip wasn't over yet, we travelled to Beal na Blagh the ambush site of Michael Collins, then onto Blarney Wollen Mills. We had a coffee break before our next stop at Bunratty, where we had lunch.Our last leg of our trip had come. we arrived back in Ballinasloe @7pm tired & weary after a most enjoyable Spring Break.
By Anne Duffy, 18th May 2022