Tigh Molaga

The Amblers were blessed with bright sunshine for their trip to Timoleague (Tigh Molaga) on Thursday 14th July.

Meeting below the Abbey, we were greeted by our knowledgeable guide, local RTAI member Dónal Whooley. Dónal is a veritable fount of knowledge about the area and its history. He told us the heritage of the Barry and McCarthy families in the area – some lively stories!


Our walk took us out of Timoleague in the direction of Ummera (well known for its smoked foods). On our way we passed Argideen Lawn Tennis Club, with its immaculately maintained courts for both tennis and croquet.


As we ambled along, Dónal drew our attention to the various points of interest, which could be seen in the distance. The old railway line followed the path of the Argideen river, but is now overgrown in places.

At Inchy Bridge we saw the original railwayman’s cottage. More interesting, at Inchy Bridge, was the specially developed space for disabled anglers. This peaceful spot is wheelchair accessible, and is further enhanced by a beautiful sculpture of a heron.


Following further ambling uphill, we were rewarded with stunning views across the Argideen Valley, and Dónal pointed out certain features of the landscape visible from various viewpoints as we walked along.

Returning to Timoleague, we first of all visited the Catholic church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, to view the Harry Clarke windows and the replica of a chalice. The original chalice dates from the 17th century, and had probably been removed by the monks for safe keeping. It was found some centuries later on Cape Clear Island!



Next we visited the Anglican Church of the Ascension, to view the amazing mosaics and interesting stained glass windows.

Our next port of call was the Abbey of Timoleague. Once more, Dónal gave a detailed guided tour, pointing out unique architectural features and relating the history of the abbey for us. All in all, it was a most interesting and enjoyable walk.

After all that walking and talking we retired for a tasty lunch at Monks Lane!






New event for our July Calendar

A new walk has been added to the July Calendar. This will be for Amblers and Ramblers, on Tuesday 26th July.

There will be a visit to the Sky Garden at Liss Ard Estate in West Cork.

Also on the day there will be a guided environmental walk around Lough Hyne. For some information about Lough Hyne, here’s a link to Skibbereen Heritage Centre .

There will be a text with more information closer to the event.

Garden Centre Visit

On Friday 1st July, we moved our usual coffee morning to Griffins Garden Centre, for a “Magical Morning” with an informative talk from Margaret Griffin, followed by lunch.

About 40 RTAI Cork members, with gardening skills varied on a scale from “Plant-food, what’s that?” to the “Gardening Gifted” were well catered for by Margaret’s presentation. Some brave souls dared to answer honestly to challenging questions like “What compost do you use?”, “Should you water roses?” “What do you feed your hanging baskets?” and then were able to pat themselves on the back when Margaret confirmed their practice. Others, wisely sang dumb! Better to take notes quietly.

Margaret advised on the best types of compost for different purposes. She showed us the various forms of plant food and explained their uses. She showed us how to plant trailing plants in baskets or containers. We got lots of tips on the best plants to use in various parts of the garden. We also learned how to help slugs die happy!

Finally, Margaret planted a beautiful window box, and raffled it among those present. Congratulations to the lucky winner, Anne Lande!

After the session with Margaret, we adjourned to the cafe for a delicious lunch, and a long chat into the afternoon!

July Events

Although the schools are on holidays, the retired teachers never get a break!

Here is the list of events for July:

1st. Friday. Gardening talk and lunch at Griffins Garden Centre 12 noon. Please note time.

14th. Thursday. Amblers’ Walk. Timoleague. See text for details.

26th. Tuesday. Ramblers and Amblers Walk. A  visit to the Sky Garden in Liss Ard followed by a guided environmental walk around Lough Hyne. Further details will be sent by text.

Summer Meeting 2016

The summer meeting of our branch was held at Oriel House on Saturday June 11th 2016.

Our Choir opened the proceedings 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.


  • From 1-1-2017 €26,000 exempt from PSPR
  • From 1-1-2018 €34,132 exempt from PSPR


  • There will be a reduction in the amount of PSPR to be paid.


  • Nil payable at present


  • PSPR payable since July 2013
  • 1 January 2018 – nil payable



  • 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.
  • Teaching Council website
  • For  volunteer work Circular 63/2010 still applies.
  • 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).

Tech-talk! Social media awareness for Seniors.

A most informative, interesting  and pertinent talk was given to our members, by our members in April 2016.

In response to a demand for help with social media, committee members Seán Radley and Marian O’Callaghan gave an excellent presentation to a large group of members, at Oriel House, Ballincollig.

Those attending had various levels of skill in IT, and the presentation catered for all, with ample scope for questions from the floor. From e-mail to Twitter via Facebook, Instagram et al,  we were helped to navigate our way around our devices with advice on the  benefits and possible pitfalls along the way.

All in all, it was a most helpful talk. For many attending, it whet the appetite for more. Due to the positive response, Seán and Marian are looking into putting on Cuid a dó in the autumn.

3RTAI Cork Branch 2016
Enjoying a cuppa while passing on more tips!
2RTAI Cork Branch 2016
“Beginners and experts”, ye know who ye are 😉