Spring trip to Birr, Meath and Dublin

The  Spring trip to Co.Offaly and Co.Meath will take place from Monday, April 30th to Friday, May 4th.

Monday April 30th: Depart from Patrick’s Quay, Cork at 10.00.

Visit Roscrea Castle and Damer House followed by lunch in the town of Roscrea.

15.00  Check into the County Arms Hotel, Birr  with dinner at 19.00 hrs.

Tuesday, May 1st: 

10.30 Shannon River Cruise to Clonmacnoise

12.00 Group visit Clonmacnoise Monastic Site

14.00 Back to Birr. Afternoon in Birr town. Visit Birr Castle and Observatory or take an historic walking trail around Birr

Wednesday, May 2nd: 

10.00  Lough Boora Discovery Park

13.00 Tullamore Dew Visitors Centre group visit  followed by lunch

15.00 Depart for Gormanstown, Co.Meath

17.00 City North Hotel check in followed by Dinner

Thursday, May 3rd: 

10.30 Depart hotel heading for Oldbridge House

11.00 Battle of the Boyne Visitors centre visit. Gardens of Oldbridge House and Victorian Walled Garden followed by lunch

14.00 Brú na Bóinne Visitors centre including a visit to Newgrange

19.00 Dinner at hotel followed by music in the bar

Friday, May 4th

10.00 Depart City North heading for Dublin City

11.00 Drop off in Nassau St. for some free time to enjoy local attractions

15.00 Depart Nassau St.

16.00 End of tour dinner in the Westgrove Hotel

22.00 Arrive back in Cork  (approximate time)



Trip to Dubrovnik


Recently 50 RTA Cork members and friends/spouses spent a week in Dubrovnik , Croatia. Exceptional weather ensured we saw the area at its best and let us partake in so many activities. We stayed at the hotel Valamar Club which had a lovely pool area, near a rocky beach. Nightly entertainment was provided but we made our own, Cork style! More anon.

Our brilliant informative guide, Suzanne took us on a half day tour of the old city of Dubrovnik with its spectacular surrounding walls, harbour area, cafe culture, museums,cable car and quirky shops. Some returned later in the week for concerts and other nightlife.

We had a days boat trip to the Eliphite islands with opportunities for walking, swimming and mighty Craic on board singing along with 2 musicians.

The breathtakingly beautiful , long and winding bay of Kotor, Montenegro.( 25km)
Sometimes referred to as a fjord , it is in fact a ria..a sunken river.

A tour to Montenegro brought us to the town of Kotor with its dramatic fortified walls protecting the old medieval buildings and squares within. A magical place indeed.

The Cathedral of St Tryphon, Kotor with Lovcen Mountain of the Dinaric Alps range in the background

The camaraderie among the group was extraordinary. No ‘singleton’was left alone. People grouped and regrouped and shared information on places to go, optional activities, taxi sharing etc.   This resulted in exploring Cavtat,a pretty harbour town reached by bus, taxi or ferry, the latter an experience in itself as we sailed into Dubrovnik harbour. A loop walk, swimming, eating and exploring or people watching kept us enthralled.

Some people went kayaking for some hours, others explored the island of Lopud and went on optional day tours to Mostar and Medugorje.


After a substantial dinner buffet each night, some people went back into the city to attend concerts,listen to musicians outdoors and wander around in total safety. The rest of us made our own music outside a nearby pub and a huge thanks to those who had a vast repertoire of songs.

Hurricane Ophelia seemed so far away as we wallowed in 20 deg pristine clear seawater and 26 deg sunshine but concerns about property/power had to be suspended for the week. We arrived back to Dublin as storm Brian was arriving so reality hit immediately but plans are already being formed for 2018. As go brach linn aris le Cunamh De.

Our Lady of the Rocks Church, on a man made ‘islet’ in Kotor Bay..(Long local legend)!!)Though it’s a Christian Church it looks somewhat like a mosque, this was so that any maritime invaders would mistake it for a mosque and not attack or destroy it.


Here is a slide-show of memories. Thanks to Eileen O’Driscoll and Mary Barnes.



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Events: October to Christmas 2017

October Events

2nd (Monday)   Choir practice 11.20 a.m.  SMA, Wilton.       Mary Fitzgerald

Drama rehearsal 4 – 6 p.m. SMA, Wilton.    Marian O’Callaghan

3rd (Tuesday)   Drama rehearsal 4 – 6 p.m. SMA, Wilton.                           

4th(Wednesday)  Art Class.   11.00     SMA, Wilton.        Claire Bradley

4th & 5th    Hill walkers:  2 days walking in Allihies, Beara Peninsula.  (Committee)

6th  (Friday)

Social Coffee morning: 11.00  Clayton Silversprings Hotel.    Padraig  O Conaill

Line dancing.      11.00  SMA, Wilton.     Marie Power

9th (Monday)    Choir a.m.       Drama 4/6 p.m. 

10th (Tuesday)   Drama 4pm /6pm

11th (Wednesday)  Art Class

12th (Thursday)  Amblers walk. Rostellan.  (Time to be notified by SMS)

13th  (Friday)     Line dancing.

Oct 13 /20  (Friday/Friday ) Dubrovnik Trip.   Frank Tobin/ Mary Cahill

13th (Friday)      Line dancing.

16th  (Monday)   Choir a.m.       Drama 4/6 p.m.

17th  (Tuesday)   Drama  4/6pm 

 18th (Wednesday)  Art Class

21st (Saturday)  Dinner and Show: Niamh Kavanagh (Eurovision winner) and her band The Illegals, play the  Hotel California album (The Eagles), as well as the Rumours album (Fleetwood Mac) in the Everyman Palace at 8p.m. Group rate €23 per person.

Early Bird options at Isaacs 5.30p.m.

Those attending may choose from 2-course (€23) or 3-course (€26) menu, or a la carte. To be paid directly at Isaacs.

Contact Mags McCarthy

23rd (Monday)   Choir a.m.            Drama 4/6 p.m.

24th (Tuesday)   Drama 4pm /6pm 

 25th (Wednesday)  Art Class

26th (Thursday)  Photography Group. SMA, Wilton. 2 – 4 p.m.   Mags McCarthy

27th (Friday)        Line dancing.

30th (Monday)  Choir a.m.         Drama 4/6 p.m. 

31st (Tuesday)  Drama 4 p.m. /6 p.m.


November Events

3rd (Friday)  Social Coffee morning  in Clayton Silversprings Hotel Padraig  O Conaill

6th (Monday)   Choir a.m.     Mary Fitzgerald

7th (Tuesday) 8 p.m.    “There Goes the Bell.” Performance by our Drama Group, at Cork Arts Theatre (CAT CLUB), Carroll’s Quay, Cork.

8th  Wednesday         Drama “There goes the Bell.” Second performance.

8th  (Wednesday)      Art Class. Claire Bradley

9th  (Thursday)   Amblers’ walk. Mahon. Marie Power

10th (Friday)      Insurance Talk by Dermot Goode.

                              ORIEL HOUSE HOTEL.     1.45 p.m.  Marie Dennehy

 13th (Monday)   Choir

14th (Tuesday)   Hill walkers. Mill Cove Walk.    Rosscarbery.    Committee

15th (Wednesday)       Art Class.

17th (Friday) Camera group shoot in Kinsale.

17th & 18th (Friday & Saturday) Drama. Saved by the Bell, C.A.T. Club. 8 p.m.

22nd (Wednesday)    MASS OF REMEMBRANCE 11 a.m.  ORIEL HOUSE HOTEL

                                      AGM 12.30 p.m.  ORIEL HOUSE HOTEL

                                      LUNCH 1.30 p.m.  ORIEL HOUSE HOTEL

27th (Monday)          Choir

29th (Wednesday)     Art Class

30th (Thursday) Photography group. SMA, Wilton. 2 – 4 p.m.


December Events

1st  (Friday)  Social Coffee morning.  Clayton Silversprings  Padraig  O Conaill

6th (Wednesday)     Art Classes   Claire Bradley

8th  (Friday)            Christmas Lunch. Hayfield Manor.   Marie Dennehy

14th (Thursday)     Amblers’ walk. Regional Park, Ballincollig.   Marian O Callaghan

Nollaig Shona agus Ath-bhliain fé mhaise!


Ar Bhealach an Bhoirinn

On September 5th, a group of approximately 30 RTAI Cork members arrived in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare at lunchtime. Having checked in to our accommodation at the Hylands Hotel, we were ready to head out for our first walk. A short drive took us to Fanore Beach, where we assembled, and after the “Rolla” we set out. After a short walk on road and path we followed our guide Marty Holland, into the Caher Valley. Interestingly, the Caher is the only river in the Burren that runs entirely above ground.

Leaving Cert Geography was brought to mind, as we remembered terminology we hadn’t heard in oh, so many years! The clints and grikes were scattered with erratics! We recalled transhumance, on hearing that cattle are wintered in the Burren to get the benefit of the limestone grazing. Later on we saw plenty of fossils of coral, too.

We almost escaped the rain! Fortunately for us, we were beside an old ruin when the heavens opened, so we could huddle together for a bit of shelter! The views across to the Aran Islands left a lot to the imagination, but we could just make them out through the mist. On our final turn downhill, we had a fine view of Fanore below us.

Back in Ballyvaughan, we were glad of a hot shower. Some of us wondered if we would be able to get out of bed the following morning – but never fear, the full compliment of hikers were up bright and early to tackle Mullagh More.



Mullagh More

On Wednesday, we drove out to Kilnaboy, passing the Poulnabrón Dolmen. From here we entered the Burren National Park, and began our steep ascent of Mullagh More. The terrain was much more demanding today, with loose stone and grikes to watch out for.  There were areas near the summit that required a bit of scrambling. With the support of each other we all managed it, though. The views were wonderful. We paused occasionally to take in the vistas below us; lakes, green patches and grey, grey stone. Some sharp-eyed members of our group spotted Fr. Ted’s house in the distance.

There was a palpable sense of achievement as we approached the final kilometre. Some hardy souls considered that a swim in the sea would be a fitting way to celebrate! With time to spare before dinner, some people went to visit the nearby Caherconnell Fort, others to the Dolmen, others enjoyed some retail therapy.

Mary, Angela and Claire at Bishop’s Quarter.

The Flaggy Shore

On the third morning, a leisurely walk was planned along a stretch of coast known locally as the Flaggy Shore. Seamus Heaney’s poem Postscript is all you need to read if you want to know more about this beautiful place.

Thank You

Marty Holland (retired lecturer MICE) was our guide for the two days hiking in the Burren. He has indepth knowledge of the area as he walks there frequently. Marty has walked the coast of Ireland in an effort to raise funds for cancer research. You can read more about that amazing journey here.

Mary Cahill was the organiser of the entire Burren Experience. Hotel, meals, guide, walks and detailed advance information were all co-ordinated efficiently and without fuss. Go raibh míle maith agat, a Mháire.

Clare Shelley supported Mary in the advance preparations, and didn’t forget the whistle! Maith thú, a Chláir.

Go raibh maith agaibh, Pádraig Keating agus Helen Kiely as na griangrafanna a sheoladh isteach.

April Events

The following events are planned for April:

7th. Friday. Social coffee morning. Clayton Silversprings Hotel. 11 a.m. Contact Pádraig Ó Conaill.

11th. Tuesday. Crawford at the Castle. Guided tour of the exhibition of works from the Crawford, which have been on show at Dublin Castle over the winter months. 11 a.m. Guided tour cost €3. Followed by lunch. Venue TBC (optional). Contact Mags McCarthy.

13th.  Thursday. Amblers walk in Doneraile Park. Lunch. Leader: Mary Fitzgerald.

23rd. Sunday. Three night trip to Westport. Contact Frank or Mary, Travel Committee.

27th. Thursday. Hillwalkers hike in Gougane Barra. Lunch. Leader: Joan McCann.

As with all our activities, details will be notified by text message in advance. 

Madeira 2016

Following the trip to Madeira, we are compiling a selection of photos. Here’s a stunning slideshow!

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Pico Arieiro at 1810m, is the highest point of the island of Madeira.

Cabo Girao has the highest cliffs in Europe

Camara de Lobos is a lovely little fishing village, which was about 30 minutes’ walk from the hotel.

Santana Sao Roque do Faial is an impressive volcanic cliff.

Porto Moniz  Here, on the extreme north western point of the island, a huge sea water pool has been created by building a breakwater around it. Some of our group swam there.

October Trip to the North

4 night trip to Donegal / Belfast departing Cork October 24th.

2 nights Silver Tassie Hotel Letterkenny and 2 nights Malone Lodge Hotel Belfast.

Dinner, BnB each day.

Cronin’s Coach from Cork.

Entertainment on 2 nights.

3 day trips to local attractions to be decided, entrance fees not included.

Rates: €349 pps if 20 go…….€336 pps if 25 go…….€299 if 35 go.

€86 additional single supplement rate.

Further enquiries and bookings to Mary Cahill 087 2396758 or Frank Tobin 087 2222129

Family and friends are most welcome.

Booking deposit of €50 pp by cheque made payable to Select Hotels of Ireland will be required by July 26th. Post to Mary Cahill, St Mary’s, 21 Bernadette Way, Boreenmanna Road, Cork.

If less than 20 book the trip will have to be cancelled and cheques will be returned.