Stepping into Tír na n-Óg


I wish to acknowledge and praise all in RTAI who so enrich our retirement.  Through their inspiration and hard work, they provide a varied menu of events and activities that add a spice to our older years. Bringing a new energy to us in a fun way is so dependent on getting the right person.

One activity in particular challenges the sean-fhocal ” Ní thagann an óige faoi dhó d’éinne.”

All thanks then to Mary Fitzgerald, who first brought Helen Conroy among us. Helen is simply the Queen of Line Dancing, first rate comedienne and dance teacher of outstanding ability. We teachers are renowned as a difficult audience to please. We always it seems, have the “biro dearg” to hand but Helen’s ability has hushed us, all the better to getting our feet in motion. As we gather for our class, the chat and excitement builds, the music strikes up, and we are off.

It’s probably true to say that how we dance reflects aspects of our personality. Thankfully, all God’s creatures have a place in the line. Some of us bring the proverbial two left feet.  Others, a grace of movement innate to some of our species. Whatever we bring, Helen soon enhances the whole to a sum way higher than the parts might promise. Her humour gets us over the bumps of new steps and novel weaving patterns.

Then the magic begins to happen, the years fall away and the light-hearted carefree folk we can be emerges. When we finish our session, say with “Zorba the Greek”, or “Lord of the Dance”, we step through the door to “Tír na n-Óg” and enjoy visiting a realm of pure fun and laughter. Sadly, it ends all too soon but we head home with a happy buzz, once more amazed that in 60 minutes, our teacher has uplifted us beyond years, cares or ability, to the joy of dance.

Our thanks to Seán Ó Callanáin for putting pen to paper and submitting this informative and entertaining report.