2nd. Friday. Our Choir will perform at a special concert in aid of Enable Ireland Respite Bus Fund and L’Arche Community. Venue Way of the Cross Church, Togher, 8 p.m. Various choirs and music ensembles will perform at the concert. A voluntary contribution will be accepted.
6th. Tuesday. Photography Group meet at Ballincollig Park (Western entrance) 11 a.m.
10th. Saturday. Christmas Lunch. Hayfield Manor.
12.30 p.m. Our Choir will perform in the foyer. Mulled wine/juice reception.
The summer meeting of our branch was held at Oriel House on Saturday June 11th 2016.
Our Choir opened theproceedings with a beautiful rendition of “How can I keep from Singing” and the ever-popular “Song for Ireland”. (The Choir is now on summer break, and will be welcoming new members in September).
About 120 members were present at the meeting. We are grateful to INTO Districts 12 and 16 for subsidising the cost of the wonderful meal. We welcomed Mr. John Driscoll CEC rep District 12, Ms. Emma Dineen, past President INTO and Ms. Kathleen Lowney, acting Chairperson District 12.
The meeting was addressed by Mr. Billy Sheehan, President of RTAI.
The most recent Comhnasc has news in relation to many pertinent issues. Billy brought us up to date on these and other issues.
A summary of the points addressed by Billy is given below:
Public Sector Pension Reduction – restoration scales up to and including 2018.
RETIRED BEFORE MARCH 2012 – PENSION UNDER €34,132
From 1-1-2017 €26,000 exempt from PSPR
From 1-1-2018 €34,132 exempt from PSPR
RETIRED BEFORE MARCH 2012 – PENSION OVER €34,132
There will be a reduction in the amount of PSPR to be paid.
RETIRED SINCE 1 MARCH 2012 – PENSION UNDER €32,250
Nil payable at present
RETIRED SINCE 1 MARCH 2012 – PENSION OVER €32,500
PSPR payable since July 2013
1 January 2018 – nil payable
PLEASE CHECK YOUR OWN SITUATION WITH D.E.S. OR RTAI HEAD OFFICE, AS THIS IS A GENERAL RECAP OF THE FIGURES GIVEN.
Since 29th April 2016 all those teaching in schools must be vetted by the National Vetting Bureau. A declaration that vetting is pending will no longer suffice.
VHI DEDUCTIONS – it is essential to complete and return the authorisation form for deduction at source. From January 1st 2017 the DES will only continue deductions for those retirees who have signed the Authorisation form.
MED 1 form for 2015. If you were refunded less than you expected for 2015, this could be because 2015 had a FORTNIGHT 27 in the tax year. If this applies to you, you should contact the Revenue Office telling them that Fortnigt 27 applies in your case. (This occurs in a year when the 1st of January and 31st December fall on a Thursday).
Pension parity/Peer Link. The RTAI and INTO continue to fight for the payment of the benchmark award to Principals and Deputy Principals.
The legal status of the Association needs to be established. This is being undertaken at present.
A Solidarity Fund has been established by the Association.
A survey of members in relation to Comhnasc is being undertaken.
The RTAIreland website is due to be reconstructed, following the survey of members.
Pictured at the summer meeting in Oriel House
Front Row L-R: Clare Bradley (Treasurer), Kathleen Lowney (D12), Marie Dennehy (Secretary), Billy Sheehan (General Secretary) Velda Ó Brádaigh (Cathaoirleach), Emma Dineen (outgoing President INTO), John Driscoll (CEC, D12).
Back row L-R: Committee members, Pádraig Ó Conaill, Derry Keogh, Mags McCarthy, Marian O’Callaghan, Frank Tobin, Seán Radley. (Photo: Bridie O’ Brien).
Our choir recently participated in the St. Patrick’s festival, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. Choir member, Seán Ó Callanáin reflects on their experiences…
… I like to think that exposure to choral music in one’s youth is akin to hosting a recurring “bug”. Ever after, we remain vulnerable to a recall to active choral service.
Mary Fitzgerald deserves much praise for offering RTAI Cork members a happy reacquaintance with choral membership. Our early efforts in 2011 were of the “Ar mhaithe leis féin a dheineann an cat crónán”. However, and somewhat to our surprise, invitations began to arrive, asking us to sing in public.
With the appointment of Mary G O’ Brien as conductor, we began to bloom.
The weekend of March 12th 2016 saw the choir embark on its most ambitious challenge to date. We were invited to participate in a televised St. Patrick’s Day Special in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. In a joint venture with “Cantabile” a leading Cork female choir, we were honoured to give the first performance of our conductor’s commissioned work, “Reflections on Peace“. We also joined the massed choirs for 4 other pieces.
The extra rehearsals required, plus our response to a challenge, brought out in each of us our “Inner Cór – Fhéile – child”, with the expeced adrenaline surge and enhanced performance thankfully delivered.
The long trek to Armagh added to making our choral adventure a tad exotic! To see the inner workings of television content in the making was fascinating. We could but wonder how the overall musical director, John Anderson kept the 450 choral singers at one. Dance, poetry and solo singing were leaven to the choral feast on offer. For RTAI Cork members it was a wonderful opportunity to take part in something bigger than ourselves and be able to hold our heads high.