We have had a wonderful spring break since I last wrote.  As I mentioned we were in the Falls Hotel in Ennistoymon in Co Clare.  We were blessed with wonderful weather for the three days we were there.  The hotel in Ennistoymon has 140 bedrooms it is a family run hotel very friendly with excellent staff, the hotel was originally centred in the old Georgian mansion and then expanded around the old house without losing the Georgian character.  When you look back from the front door of the old Georgian house you see the majestic and magnificent Ennistoymon falls.  Gordon Thomas the Welsh poet married the daughter of the owner and lived there for a time.  On our first day we went to the Vandeleur Walled Gardens, these were built by a Dutch merchant in the 18th century and were restored by local initiative recently.  Our guide was a Hungarian gardener whose knowledge and passion for his work impressed all of us, we spent a long time there asking questions and receiving many a fascinating story.  One story he told was how when they took to restoring the walled garden how the wall which was twelve feet high and enclosed two acres of land was not damaged in any way, it stood straight without buttresses and was not inclined in any direction, this he said was due to the workmanship of the original builders.  From there we went to Kilrush the beautiful seaside town built by the same Dutch family.  After lunch in Kilrush we went on an Atlantic coast drive with spectacular views of the sea and coast with the many stacks.  There were over fifty of us on the break and we had a lovely dinner that night in the hotel.  The next day we went to Inis Oirr, when we planned this we thought it was very risky planning a trip to the Aran Islands at this time of year, what with wind and rain.  As it turned out the weather was magnificent, sun shining all day and magnificent views of all the islands, stacks and of course the Cliffs of Moher.  The weather was so good that on our return to Doolin from the island we were able to travel very close along the Cliffs of Moher accompanied by a very interesting commentary from the ship’s captain.


Our Chairman Jim McCarthy and I attended the TUI Annual Congress in Kilkenny, Jim gave an address to Congress on the RMA which was much appreciated by the members.  It is very important to keep the current members of TUI constantly aware of the Pensions issues not only because they will be there themselves at some time but because we also need their support.  They were impressed that we now had eleven Branches and how our numbers were growing.


Yes we now have eleven Branches and they are becoming more and more active and developing initiatives themselves on how to attract new members and how to serve their members more.  The website has played a great part in this development and should be used more by all our members, go and see it today check and see if you’re Branch has a meeting coming up.  Meetings are currently arranged for Kerry, Donegal, Carlow and Cork rmatui.ie


The Alliance of Retired Public Servants has had its first meeting with Officials of Minister Brendan Howlin since its official formation in January.  The Minister has accepted that this Alliance is the body that he will recognise for the purpose of dealing with Public Service Pensions.   A re instatement of the pension reductions are on the cards in the future and we hope to be part of the framework to steer and push that reality.   More on this in the next issue.


Our thoughts now are on the AGM which is being held in the City of Culture, Limerick on the 28th May.  You will have received all the information on this by the time you read this and don’t forget to check the website for all the information.


In January we lamented the passing of Dora Weafer our very dear friend and great RMA supporter.  Now we must lament the passing of Liam Carey another stalwart of the RMA and former founder and Chairman.


Christy Conville


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