Whats happening in Kildare?

Kilteel St. Brigids Art Festival hosts a wide range of activities over the first week in February: art exhibition, workshops, trad session, hill walking, drama, stalls, cafe. A full list of activities can be found on Kilteel St Brigid’s Arts Weekend.

I also noticed on Facebook that Burtown House and Garden near Athy

reopens on Feb 3rd. The gardens at Burtown are unusual in that they were worked by three generations of the family; the late Wendy Walsh, one of Ireland’s finest botanical artists; Wendy’s daughter the painter Lesley Fennell, and her son James, a professional photographer.

If you love food, if you love colour and want to spend a tranquil few hours come to The Green Barn at Burtown, open from Wed to Sunday for Brunch and Lunch.

Families of all ages are welcome and believe it or not, the dog can come too. Take a healthy walk in the gardens, view the garden art and breathe fresh air tinted with the wholesome herbs from the kitchen gardens. What an absolute pleasure.




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Dancing with the

Kildare Retired TeachersImage result for stars

I had hoped to call by Town House Hotel, Naas today to see if any of our participants might be of standard to enter next year’s “Dancing with the Stars”. Dance Classes resumed this morning following the Christmas break.

Retired Teachers and friends are more than welcome to join the group for the next session in a fortnight’s time. Classes are every fortnight at 10.30am in the Town House Hotel (on the Newbridge Road)

To a Snowdrop by William Wordworth

Hard to believe, but on this last day of 2018, there’s a tiny little clump of  snowdrops already blooming in my garden. So I thought it would be fitting to include Wordsworth’s poem about these tiny white flowers.


Lone flower, hemmed in with snows, and white as they

But hardier far, once more I see thee bend

Thy forehead as if fearful to offend,

Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day

Storms sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay

The rising sun, and on the plains descend;

Yet art though welcome, welcome as a friend

Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May

Shall soon behold this border thickly set

With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing

On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,

Chaste snowdrop, venturous harbinger of spring,

And pensive monitor of fleeting years.


And with thoughts of January 1st and as gifs and wishes ping on my phone: Athbhliain shona díobh go léir!

Happy New Year 2019m

AGM and Cruinniú na Nollag 2019

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The usual large crowd assembled in Killashee House Hotel on Monday 10th December for Christmas get together of Kildare Retired Teachers.

We moved quickly through reading and adapting of minutes, matters arising, correspondence and Financial Report to election of Branch Officers.


Outgoing Chair Ted Rooney was congratulated on “a job well done” before he introduced Martin Hoban, incoming chair. Martin, Principal of Holy Child N.S. Rathcoole (the only Dublin school with membership in Kildare INTO) has been a lifelong activist with INTO. Carmel Gleeson also well known in INTO circles as well as Cumann na mBunscol was elected to position of Vice Chair. The position of Secretary/Treasurer will remain in the capable hands of Fidelma who was praised highly for her dedication and expertise over the last year. Paula Watters resignation as Branch Auditor due to family circumstances was accepted and our thanks was extended to her for all her work. Paddy Walsh was elected as Auditor with Peadair Cunningham who continues in the Job. Martin thanked all committee members, outgoing and incoming on our behalf.

A number of volunteers to attend RTAI meetings in Dublin were noted.

The branch supported the nomination of Mary Kyne from Galway to Standing Orders Committee of RTAI.


There was one Motions for Congress suggested. I will clarify the wording ASAP.


  1. The number attending Dance class has increased since September. I might do a visit in the new year and if GDPR allows publish some photos or a short article.
  2. Rena McAllen circulated information on our2019 trip: Ljubljana & Lake Bled, Slovenia for 5 days May 23rd – 28th.


Finally, Billy Sheehan addressed the meeting in his usual knowledgable manner,

  • with good news for many (if not all) about PSSA and Pension Reductions. In answer to a question from the floor, Billy agreed that the gains for some could be equalised by their loss of entitlements to Medical/Doctor’s cards.
  • He also lauded the GDPR and encouraged a positive view of it as a method of preserving our privacy.
  • For those who are subbing he explained that from January your INTO deduction will be automatic (just ensure the INTO have your current details).
  • The RTAI office is always available for advice and information but Billy encouraged ringing EARLY (between 9.00am and 1.00pm daily) to talk to a “human”; otherwise you may be answered by a machine!


There were lots of lucky raffle winners (again well done to Fidelma who organises all the prizes) before we ‘retired’ to the Mooreabbey Suite for a lovely lunch. Another lovely pre-Christmas meeting.

SLOVENIA for 6 days/5 nights – PROPOSED 2019 TRIP

SLOVENIA May 23rd – 28th (6 days/5 nights)

€819 per person

  • Contact The Travel Department 01-6371600 for detals and to book. Booking Ref ‘Kildare RTA’. Deposit €200 secures a place.
  • There are a number of single rooms available (5 maybe @  €229 supplement pp)
  • Prices inc of taxes and charges
  • Deposit non refundable
  • Balance due 10 weeks prior to departure.
  • This is a quotation ONLY; no services are being held at present; Price subject to availability at boking date.
  • Not all services are guaranteed until final confirmation is received from Travel Department.
  • Prices and availability are subject to change. E&OE
Return Flights Dublin to Venice Treviso airport

Situated in the heart of Eastern Europe between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Slovenia is a country of astounding natural beauty and cultural wealth. On this 5-night short break, experience the very best of Slovenia, from city to coast and countryside.

From your base in the charming and compact capital of Ljubljana, visit the incredible Postojna Caves in the country’s expansive Karst region.

You will travel to the small stretch of Slovenian coastline on the Mediterranean to visit the picturesque town of Koper, and head up into the breathtaking scenery of the Slovenian Alps to the country’s most famous Lake Bled

and largest Lake Bohinj with cable car ride up Mount Vogel

You’ll also have time to discover Ljubljiana’s green and leafy streets, historic buildings, trendy cafés and markets at your own pace, as well as taking in some of its most popular sites on a half day guided walking tour.



    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)