Latest RTAI Magazine
  1. It’s always great to get our Cónasc in advance of Billy’s visit. We can then raise issues or concerns brought up by publication.

The historical article by Niamh Puirséil about pensions (or lack of) in the 1800’s made for a good read.

I’m sure those of you doing a bit of subbing (I believe you’re in great demand with the current teacher shortage) have taken note of the changes to INTO Substitute Membership.


Good luck from INTO

Have you heard of the RTAI?

You have probably been a member of the INTO since you started your career in teaching. Now that you are starting a new chapter you might consider joining the RTAI, the retired teachers’ association, becoming part of a long established group of almost 10,000 retired primary teachers in the Republic of Ireland. The association consists of county branches who organise meetings and functions according to demand. This site will give you some idea of what happens in the Kildare Branch. We would love to see you at next meeting.

Your membership will assist and support the core work and activities of the Association which include:

protecting our pensions and social welfare entitlements
securing benefits and facilities for members
providing information and advice to individual members
supporting a broad range of social activities and networking opportunities for members throughout all 32 branches of the Association.
maintain strong links with the INTO especially on matters that can impact on retired teachers.
working with other groups that advocate on behalf of retired workers including the Alliance of Retired Public Servants (ARPS) and the Retired Workers Committee of ICTU
making sure that though we are no longer in the workforce, our voices are still heard and our opinions still count.
We are Better Together!
Please join us and be part of a very vibrant and supportive Association that is doing valuable and important work for its members.

Membership Cost

The RTAI annual subscription is €65, deducted from pension at a rate of €2.50 per fortnight.

How to join

Download the application form:

Download Application Form

Click any of the links below to download the form:

Application Form – PDF: (English | Gaeilge)

Kildare Age Friendly Services

At our last Kildare meeting, Mary McCarthy handed out brochures that Laois County had devised about services in that county. I was unaware that a similar brochure is available in Kildare.

Thank you to Leixlip member who passed on a copy to me.

The directory includes information and contact details on Community Support Groups, Clubs and Societies, Gov Departments, Education and Training, Gardaí in Kildare, GP’s in Kildare, HSE Services, Home Care/Housing/Alarms, Kildare County Council, Kildare Libraries and some other information. The copy I received had updated information including Garda Stations that had closed since original publication.

You can access the Kildare Directory online.
Here is page from website about history of the publication

The Kildare Age Friendly Programme was launched in November 2010 by the then Junior Minister Aine Brady TD.  Following on from the launch an extensive consultation process was undertaken, the outcome of which is reflected in the KAFC Strategy, launched in November 2011.

A significant development has been the establishment and development of engAGE Kildare, the Forum representing older people in the county. Their Executive has worked diligently through their Forums to communicate with the membership on issues of critical importance. Kildare has taken a particular interest in working on improving relations across the generations in the county and this focus on intergenerational best practice has yielded great results.

Kildare Age Friendly County has also been a partner in the Age Friendly Communities (AFC) Project, funded under the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-13. This funding facilitated a range of innovative project work, including the “If You Were In My Shoes”  Arts Project, Mens Sheds Marvellous Meals and the Go For Life Games in association with the Kildare Sports Partnership.


The Bluebell Woods of Killinthomas

Sheila, Nora, Susan, Veronica, Jane and Teresa

Special thanks to Jane for photos and account of May trip

Attached a pic of the lovely ladies in Killenthomas Wood near Rathangan.



On 16th May, the Ballycane retirees took off to Killinthomas Woods near Rathangan.

Killinthomas Wood


The day was amazing and as you can see the woods looked like a Monet painting. The forest floor was covered with bluebells and wild garlic. The wild garlic had the most beautiful white flowers and the fragrance of garlic was delicious. All we needed was a piece of steak and a knife and fork


                    Bluebells in Killinthomas



Wild Garlic

Summer Meeting June 2018



Chairperson, Ted Rooney, welcomed us all to the Killashee Hotel on this gloriously sunny day, promising a short meeting so that we could get back out to the sun! Martin Hoban, Vice Chair was invited to  join the “top table”    personnel in prep for promotion at next AGM. Ted also welcomed the “new” retirees. Fidelma read the minutes of the last meeting which were adapted.


Fidelma gave thorough account of our financial  situation, explaining that this is is how our lovely dinner can be subsidised! Well done Fidelma.


No sign of Billy again, but Mary McCarthy ably accounted for the executive discussions and referred us to CONASC for updates on pay and conditions. Mary advised those retirees who are subbing to take out membership with INTO. A show of hands on who has and uses “MEMBERSHIP PLUS” cards revealed that very few do – it is a hugely expensive scheme that must be questioned as to value!!!! I think a survey is to follow shortly!

Mary had a number of copies of “Laois, Age Friendly County”, an information guide to services for older people in Laois. Mary recommended that much of the information was available from Citizens Advice or Citizens Information


Mary also announced the Laois RTA invitation to a Golf Outing/Scramble on September 13th in Abbeyleix Golf Club (a great course, I’m assured!) Ted is also checking out dates in Athy Golf Club for a Kildare outing.

Brian Keyes gave a short account of the Dancing group which although has dwindling numbers is still great craic! they are taking a break for the summer but will resume mid September and hope that some new people will join.

For an account of Trip to Waterford, Ted referred group to WEBSITE where there is an account and photos of  trip.

A presentation to Breda (me) for work on website was gratefully received. I was also delighted to get some pics of the Ballycane retirees’ Picnic in Bluebell woods for the site!


What is GDPR about?

I’m sure you’re all receiving email about the new GDPR – a new act on privacy and data protection. There was some discussion on contact details for the 349 members in the branch – opt-in/opt-out …. more about that at a later date!


We finished up the meeting with the Raffle – once again thanks to Fidelma – before adjourning to the dining room for grub and chat.

Delicious Lunch


Retired Teachers Kildare trip 2018

Day 1: trip to South East

Sas Malumby, driver par excellence for Kildare Retired Teachers’ trips, collected us promptly at designated meeting spots and with luggage stowed on bus, we hit off for the (reportedly) sunny South East!

On the Barrow

The Waterside Restaurant in Graiguenamanagh on the banks of the Barrow was our first port of call for refreshments. The Brennan brothers had worked with the owner some years ago and the positive results were very obvious.

Examining the model of Duiske Abbey

A tour of Duiske Abbey followed. The abbey originated in the 13th century and is probably the finest f the Cistercians monasteries in Ireland. It is now the parish church of Graiguenamanagh.

Clerical Whisper Project



I was particularly fascinated by the Tidy Towns Committee project “Clerical Whispers” to place 12 life-size granite sculptures of cistercian monks in various locations around the town. Each monk characterises a monastic activity – this lad is a weaver!


Peter Cushen demonstrates the working of his mill, Cushendale

Peter Cushen, the current owner of Cushendale Mills which has been in his family for generations presented a very interesting demonstration of the workings of the mill. I decided to give the hill to the mill a miss and retired to the Waterside and wait for lunch.

Group photo on Dunbrody


Next stop – New Ross and the Dunbrody Famine ship. I had been there a number of years ago but there’s been a revamp of the whole exhibition with a renewed emphasis on emigration linked to the present day! Well worth the visit!



Serious Game

The Tower Hotel Waterford was our final destination. Rena had done her homework well as this is a very centrally located hotel, friendly staff and lovely food. A deck of card was produced after dinner by some of the Bridge enthusiasts.

Day 2: Trip around the city

Touring the city

The South East was anything but sunny on Tuesday but undeterred we hit out for our tour of the city after breakfast. As retired teachers, we are acutely aware that acronyms are  everything in education today and we added some to our store as we heard about the OSIP (????), John Roberts who designed both the Catholic and Protestant Cathedrals; we were also told about some historical fallacies-  poor young John Condon who sadly died at 18  but whose records  mistakenly show him as 14, thereby the youngest casualty of WW1 (a somewhat cynical reason for some politicians to junket to his grave in Europe once a year!) Of course Meaghar and the tricolour were talked about, as were Strongbow and Aoife and Edmund Rice.

Tour of Waterford Glass

No trip to Waterford would be complete without a visit to the Glass factory and that’s where we finished our morning.

Longboat at Reginald’s Tower, Waterford

After lunch we had three excellent guides in  Reginald’s Tower, the Bishop’s Palace and the Museum of Treasures. Many of us are planning a return trip to spend more time at these sites – really interesting. Shopping, walking, resting, swimming followed before we sat down to dinner in the Tower. A group then took off to Tramore, a seaside by night visit – what a crazy crowd!!!

Day 3: Greenway trip

All aboard! Deise Greenway

Some of us had our first taste of  the Waterford delicacy, Blaa, with breakfast (think I’ll stick to Dublin coddle!!!!) before checking out and boarding the bus for the short trip to Kilmeadon Station to experience “the magic of rails’ golden age” and view the stunning Deise greenway on a narrow gauge railway.  We were able to look through the fence as we passed Mount Congreve and view the gardens that had been on our initial itinerary. Curraghmore, the historic home of the Marquis of Waterford was substituted at the last minute.

Curraghmore, home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford


AND was that a treat – situated just outside Portlaw, Curraghmore is the largest private demesne in the country and residence to the 9th Marquis. I don’t know what strings Rena pulled to allow us a guided tour of this private house and the shellhouse “folly”. But it was certainly one of the highlights of the trip for me.


A welcome tea and sandwiches break was organised en route to Dungarvan at the workhouse in Kilmacthomas before travelling onto O’Mahony’s pub at Durrow. The Greenway Man, Garvan Cummins, gave us a short history of the Ballyvoyle Viaduct and tunnel before the “walkers” set off to experience them first hand.  A small group remained to further sample the atmosphere in O’Mahony’s – an extended stay due to a puncture.


The adventures of those who walked, especially the magnificent 7 who were stranded for over an hour on the roadside above the Copper Coast might be recounted at a later date. Suffice to say, it was a pretty cold and hungry group that arrived in Dungarvan for the evening meal.


Rena McAllen: Minister for Tourism and Transport Retired Teachers Kildare


However, all’s well that ends well and there was copious praise for Rena as our “Minister for Tourism and Transport” on the way home. This was my second tour with her and she certainly leaves no stone unturned in the organising of trips. My name is down for next year already!!!!!

What Does INTO Mean to You?

INTO Memories


I’m not sure how many of you follow RTAI Site – following article requesting assistance might be of interest to those of you wanting to share memories. You might also want to have a look at History of our own branch (see ABOUT)



“To mark INTO’s 150th anniversary (1868-2018), a short film is being commissioned to capture the essence of INTO including some of the main events of our history.

It is intended to capture in this short film INTO’s commitment to better working lives and conditions for teachers, to equality, to high standards of education, to professionalism in teaching, and to supporting members in difficulty (whether financial or work related) among other features.

We know that a number of retired members have recollections of events, or have knowledge of people involved in INTO previously, which/who recollect examples to illustrate these and other values represented by INTO.

What does INTO stand for/mean to you? What are your earliest and most valued impressions or memories of INTO’s work and/or value?

Because of severe time pressures related to this project, we invite you to email us within the next week with any contribution you would like to make to this project. Please have a think about the issues above and email us – – with any suggestions, ideas or stories.

INTO is due to have a discussion with a film company within the next two weeks and this entire project has to be completed within a short time so we would urge you to assist us to the best of your ability within the coming week.”

Welcome to the new retirees

Most members of Retired Teachers Kildare Branch were formerly members of three INTO branches – Athy (geographically southern Kildare), Craobh Dárach (Kildare north of Naas) and Curragh. Craobh Dárach and Curragh branches were previously Droichead Nua branch until the growth in membership required a division.

Curragh Branch Retirement

On Friday 13th October in Westgrove Hotel, Clane, the Curragh Branch honoured their retirees.

  • from Scoil Mhuire Junior School, Newbridge: Bríd Leddy and Bryan O’Reilly ( special tribute was paid to Bryan for his outstanding work in INTO, particularly in his position as CEC Rep for District 7)
  • from Bunscoil Bhríde, Rathangan: Mary Kehoe
  • from Scoil Mhuire Senior School, Newbridge: Síle Nolan
  • from St. Marks Special School: Lisa Quinn Berger
  • from Gaelscoil Chill Dara: Helen Doyle
  • from St Brigid’s Primary School, Kildare Town: Aidan McKeon

Special guests at the celebration were INTO President, John Boyle and District 7 CEC Rep, Carmel Browne.

Members of Branch Committee and some retirees

Craobh Dárach Retirement

Craobh Dárach branch  honoured their retired members with a function in Kilashee Hotel on Jan 19th to which friends and colleagues were invited. The function was also attended by INTO officials/representatives from Head Office to acknowledge retirees’ commitment to Irish education and to the many pupils taught by them during their careers.

A certificate of congratulations with good wishes for a long, happy and fulfilling retirement was presented usually by Joe Killeen, Vice President INTO. The retirees received a beautiful Newbridge Silver presentation from the local committee.




  • Back: Carmel Browne, District 7 CEC Rep. Máire Ní Loinn, Breda Fay, Bridget Greaney, Maria Fitzgibbon, Lillian Meaghar, Joan Sweeney, Rita Breen, Mary Kilfeather,  Joe Killeen, Vice President INTO and Derry O’Connor, Chairperson Craobh Dárach
  • Front: Anne Fitzgerald Gifney, Bernadette McAuliffe, Margaret Bradman and Shiela Daly. Also in attendance was Dr Deirbhile Nic Craith from INTO Education Committee.

RTAI Chill Dara welcome you now to our community. We hope you will attend our meetings, join in with some of our activities and maybe suggest other ways of maintaining contact with former colleagues.