Chairperson: Carmel Gleeson

Vice Chair: Michael Minogue

Secretary: Mary Kennedy

Míle buíochas to out-going officers, Martin Hoban and Fidelma Farrell for their wonderful service. We appreciate all the time and effort you have put in on our behalf.


Carmel Gleeson, Michael Minogue, Mary Kennedy and Geraldine McHugh will attend Convention in Croke Park on 28th March. Our branch nomination for President is Mary McCarthy and for Vice President is Charlotte May.



After 8 years of organising tours and trips for us, Rena McAllen is resigning as chief organizer – you’ll be sadly missed, Rena, but I’m sure you will share your expertise with next organizer. Many branches join together to make up numbers for outings and Laois Branch would be happy to join with us if numbers were required. Some of the small branches joined together in September 2022 for a few days in Westport – a great time was had by the 80 attendants and there were lots of activities over the few days.


Mountrath 22nd May with accommodation option in Midland Park Hotel


A Bridge congress is being planned for 2023 – more news to follow


Our Dance Class continues every second Wednesday in the Town House Hotel. Check it out!




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Branch Secretaries Conference Wednesday October 26th 2022

Brief summary of the happenings – I’ll be brief as Billy will brief us all at AGM and it will also appear in the next CONÁSC

  1. Firstly, Money Matters


  • 20% tax band expanded by €3200 (should be worth about €640)
  • Slight adjustment to USC (worth about €40)
  • PAYE and Personal Credits both up by about €75 (worth €150)
  • TOTAL SAVING worth about €830 p.a.
  • PENSION ISSUES – abatement while subbing continues; Retention of age 66 as age for State Pension (higher pension for those working on after 66 to max 70); increases in PRSI to follow; Coordinated Pension – ask Billy about this?

2. Billy’s retirement – his post was advertised in the Times 27th October. but he assured he’s not disappearing immediately. he will be working with his replacement as soon as possible.

3. Three short workshop presentations by members

  • Organising activities for members and connecting with local organisations: Cavan Branch have a committee who link with outside agencies to provide activities and information.
  • Organising Prayer/Remembrance service: Wicklow Branch organised an Ecumenical service after Covid
  • Organising National Events – a very successful outing to Westport was organised by the Kilkenny Branch for small branches as a pilot. There were very positive reports and so it will be extended next year to all branches on a first come first served basis. Vice President Mary McCarthy also organised a very successful Golf Tournament with reps from all branches invited.

RTAI Ireland | Retired Teachers' Association of Ireland

If you need to contact RTAI, it’s best done by email

info @

Also keep an eye on their web page, for all updates.

Summer 2022 Meeting




Wonderful to see so many of you at our Summer Meeting today. Chair, Martin and secretary, Fidelma welcomed us back to Killashee with coffee/tea and cookies and a few snippets of what has happened over the “missing” two years that has kept our branch active. Pádraig Ó Conaill (RTAI President) who had driven all the way from Baile Mhúirne this morning joined us. His report on pay issues had some good news

  • the increase of 1% which is due in October 2022 “may” be increased;
  • sectoral bargaining fund may see the payments (promised in 2008 to Principals and Deputy Principal) being made to retired Principals and DPs;
  • pay rate for substitutes has been increased (and a special thanks to the many retired teachers who assisted in keeping schools open during the pandemic);
  • the Alliance of Retired Public Servants is making its voice heard, focusing on greater representation for retired workers
  • Pilot project by Department of Ed on electronic pay slips (current pay slips cost 2 – 3 million)


Before adjourning for lunch, there was lively conversation about outings, maybe starting with “The Trip to Limerick” that had been deferred due to Covid; but also suggestions for trips further afield – maybe Scotland? Will keep you updated!

Wednesday Dancing is continuing with one more session before the Summer holidays.

RTAI Golf Classic will be held in Kildare in June – more news on that later.




      Craic is aclaíocht

Kildare Retirees’ Dance Group will resume classes in March 2022 once again in the TOWN HOUSE HOTEL, NAAS @ 10.30am till 12.30pm

The group meet every second Wednesday. Any  changes to calendar will be notified by text.

I don’t think anyone is expecting to feature on Dancing with the Stars but it’s  great exercise and very sociable. So get out your dancing shoes and JOIN the group. You’re more than welcome to BRING A FRIEND

Keep fit while having a bit of craic!



Office opening

RTAI Head Office has now reopened after the Christmas and New Year break. Telephone queries may be made on 01-245 4130 preferably in the mornings. Email queries to

Are you subbing?

There have been welcome changes to the abatement rules. Because of a shortage of substitutes teachers in 2021 retired teachers returning to the classrooms did not have their pensions reduced or abated. Arrangements for 2022 have not been address yet.

You should probably consider substitute memberships of INTO

Just retired?

Welcome and happy active retirement.


Athbhliain faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh uilig

I looked for some wise words to get the new year going positively (plenty of negative media out there) and found a few Maeve Binchey quotes among my WhatsApp posts that I’ll share:

  1. “I don’t have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.”
  2. “The great thing about getting older is that you become more mellow. Things aren’t as black and white, and you become much more tolerant.”
  3. “Nobody is ordinary if you know where to look.”
  4. “We are all the heroes and heroines of our own lives. Our love stories are amazingly romantic; our losses and betrayals and disappointments are gigantic in our own minds.”
  5. “If you don’t go to a dance you can never be rejected, but you’ll never get to dance either.”
  6. “The whole art of life is knowing the right time to say things.”
  7. “We’re nothing if we’re not loved. When you meet somebody who is more important to you than yourself, that has to be the most important thing in life, really. And I think we are all striving for it in different ways.”
  8. “I think you’ve got to play the hand that you’re dealt and stop wishing for another hand.”
  9. “We get courage from other people’s stories. We get consolation from the way they tell about failures, disappointments and crises. It means that we are not alone.”
  10. “Learn to type. Learn to drive. Have fun. Write postcards. (Letters take too long and you won’t do it; a postcard takes two minutes.) Be punctual. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. They are not thinking about you. Write quickly. (Taking longer doesn’t usually make it better.) Get up early. See the world. Call everybody by their first name, from doctors to presidents. Have parties. Don’t agonise. Don’t regret. Don’t fuss. Never brood. Move on. Don’t wait for permission to be happy. Don’t wait for permission to do anything. Make your own life.”


Cárta Nollag 2021 Le gach dea-ghuí ó Cumann Múinteoirí Scortha na hÉirinn

Everyone was disappointed that we had to cancel our annual Christmas get-together. Many thanks to the many of you who replied making the committee decision on action so much easier. Hopefully, we will all meet in 2022.

I’ve done some googling to find a blog entry for Christmas 2021. My favourite Dán Nollag is Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s Le Coinnle na nAngeal … but think that may have featured in a previous blog

So here are a few different writings I found. I’ve also included some photos I took in Russborough yesterday:

(9th century Irish Poem)

I have news for you:

The stag bells, winter snows, summer has gone

Wind high and cold, the sun low, short its course

The sea running high.

Deep red the bracken; its shape is lost;

The wild goose has raised its accustomed cry,

cold has seized the birds’ wings;

season of ice, this is my news


By Tommy Makem

WINTER, a sharp bitter day

the robin turns plump against the cold

the sun is week silver faded from gold

he is late in his coming and short in his stay

Man, beast, bird and air all purging, all cleansing,

earth already purified awaits the rite of spring

Her bridal gown a virgin snow and frosts in her hair

A snowdrop by the road today bowed gracefully

and high upon the wing up in the sparkling nothingness,

a lone bird began to sing

Can gentle spring be far away?


To Know the Dark

by Wendell Berry

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light,

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,

and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,

and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.



by Janet Morley (adapted)

For the darkness of waiting, of not knowing what is to come,

of staying ready and quiet and attentive, we give thanks,

for the darkness and the light are both gifts of the Spirit

For the darkness of staying silent,

for the emptiness of having nothing to say,

for the quiet recognition of needing to say nothing, we give thanks,

for the darkness and the light are both gifts of the Spirit

For the darkness of choosing to speak, to act, and to change,

even when we cannot know what we have set in motion,

but know we have to take the risk, we give thanks,

for the darkness and the light are both gifts of the Spirit.

For the darkness of hoping, wrestling, and laboring

for wholeness and justice and freedom, we give thanks,

for the darkness and the light are both gifts of the Spirit.

For the darkness of loving, in which it is safe to surrender,

to let go of our self-protection, to stop holding back our desire,

we give thanks,

for the darkness and the light are both gifts of the Spirit