AGM and Cruinniú na Nollag 2019

Image result for Killashee Hotel

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.

Chrismas 2017 Meeting


A welcoming Tea/Coffee and Biscuits was provided by the committee before the meeting commenced. Ted made mention of this “BLOGGING” effort and a request for any items/photographs/events that you would like included in future publications!!!!


Please contact Breda Fay: phone 087 2417226 / /

Minutes of last meeting

Minutes of the last meeting were read by Secretary Fidelma and adopted and she also covered items of correspondence from the National Executive.

Chairman Ted Rooney congratulated Fidelma on her hard work during the year and in prep for this meeting. He also reported on the activities of the Branch since the Summer meeting.




There were two very enjoyable GOLF OUTINGS and it is hoped to attract some new players to the next outings. A Golf outing is also proposed by Laois Branch and we will be contacted in 2018.




Dancing classes





Brian continues with Dance Classes. Again it is hoped that there might be bigger attendances after Christmas.




The Committee Officers were nominated as delegates for Annual Congress which will be held in the Shelbourne Hotel on the 6th March. Volunteers, Peadair Cunningham, Brian Keyes and Micheal McCarthy can be called on if there is a need for substitute.




Once again Fidelma reports a healthy balance in the books!




Billy Sheehan is advising all branches that he is unable to attend every meeting around the country (naturally!) but  a member of the National Executive will deputise for him at those he misses. Mary McCarthy from Laois, our rep on Executive Committee, updated us on developments:

  • Treasurers’ Meeting where the change of status of the organisation and the changes/improvements in Pension payments (both items described in Conasc) were discussed.
  • Proposals for branches to cooperate in activities, perhaps a list of events to be made available for anyone interested. Mary’s own branch in Laois had a Golf Outing recently attended by some members from the Dublin branches and this “cross Branch” cooperation is being promoted!
  • A reminder us that application for support for a favourite charity can be made to the Solidarity Fund, usually before December; and that applications for Bursaries both academic and non-academic should be made by 8th
  • Noted that INTO is 150 years old this year and a book to honour the occasion is available: a complimentary copy will probably be available to each branch if you want to have a look!
  • Mary also had a sample of “THE MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE” bottle and info on the scheme.

Message in a Bottle is an emergency information scheme. It simply directs the emergency services to information stored in a plastic bottle which is kept in the fridge of vulnerable people and people who live alone or those with medical conditions or allergies.

The information in the bottles will include a photograph, health details, emergency contact, doctor contact, whether there are pets that need looking after and where their medication is kept in the house and much more.

It is hoped this will assist the emergency services responding to a call at homes that avail of the scheme. Stickers are put on the fridge and on the inside of the front and back door to alert the emergency services that the vital information is available in the fridge.

This scheme is free to the user and should save the Emergency Services valuable time identifying you and your emergency contacts by telling whether you have special medication or allergies or not. It is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to users and their friends and families.

One of our Kildare members described his Personal Alarm which has been instrumental in saving his life and suggested that interested members could phone Tunstall Emergency Response Systems, Bunclody 1850 247 999



Great to see Rena back with plans for a trip this year. The Sunny South East in April with Waterford and environs being explored as possible venue!!!! More about this after Christmas.


Once again Fidelma excelled herself with a great number and variety of raffle prizes after which we adjourned to the Dining Room to start to the Christmas festivities with good food and lots of chat.


Go mbeirimid beo ag an am seo arís. Nollaig shona!!!




A large turnout of retired teachers assembled in Killashee House Hotel on Thursday (08/06/2017) for the summer get together.

Cathaoirleach, Ted Rooney kicked off the meeting by introducing Mary McCarthy (Laois Branch) who represents us on the National Committee. Mary gave us a short summation of Mark Morgan’s recent address to the executive on Positive Aging. We know how important exercise is but Mark also stresses the importance of intellectual challenge and social interaction.

strong man


Memory slips should not overly concern us we were glad to hear as there is forgetfulness in all age groups and the brain has great capacity to protect itself.




Ted continued with a report on the social events of the group.


golf ball

Peadar Cunningham, Martin Hoban and Vincent Hogan were the winners of the first golf outing of the season in Millicent – “one hard course” it was reported. The September meeting will be “a champagne scramble” seemingly a far more social event than singles.


dancing shoes


Classes continue in the Town House Hotel every second Wednesday. New members welcome.




Ted encouraged those with other ideas for social engagements e.g. Bridge players to contact branch

Contact Us

086 3705880

086 3141127



Maureen McCormack gave a comprehensive account of the trip.  She thanked Rena McAllen for the wonderful organisation. However she did forget to mention the Raglan Road duet in the Patrick Kavanagh Centre and her very interesting account of life in Monaghan when she lived there.


euro sign


Fidelma Farrell spoke about the healthy finances of the branch.




Billy arrived well prepared as usual with handouts on current issues of interest to us. He had good and bad news.

  • The good news is that under the proposed new pay deal which will kick in from Jan 2018 to December 2020 confirms that pension parity will be maintained between pensions and pay scales. This will benefit those who retired in the last five years initially. Those who retired before that are already on a higher pension.
  • Good news also that the amount exempt from Public Sector Pension Reduction (PSPR) rises from €26,000 (1 Jan 2017) to €34,132 on 1 Jan 2018. The bad news is that for those on a pension exceeding €34,000 they will still have to pay PSPR. It will be a tough battle to move that amount upwards as the number of unions fighting the cause has decreased. The case
  • The first of the RTAI Bursaries under the new criteria (for those engaged in a learning non-academic activity) have been awarded and it was acknowledged that the recognition of such activities was as important to recipients as the financial support.
  • Fitness to teach – Billy informed us that the first case is now in the High Court. This is quite an evolution in the teaching profession, being teacher controlled with licence withdrawal if guilty. The case was heard in private which is a change from initial plan for public hearing.


well done

Before closing the meeting, Ted congratulated Mary, our former branch Secretary who ably served us for 6 years having volunteered for the position. It is due to her excellent skills in communication, finance and administration that our branch is in such a healthy condition. He thanked her on behalf of all members and presented her with a Voucher and Bouquet.



Following a raffle with prizes a-plenty – thanks to Fidelma’s organisation – we adjourned to the older part of Killashee for lunch – fine food in a stately atmosphere.

Well done to Committee.



This is the excerpt for your very first post.

My First RTAI meeting 14/12/2016

I attended my first meeting of the Retired Teachers Association of Ireland (Kildare Branch) in Kilashee House Hotel on Wednesday 14th December. And what a wonderful event it proved to be ….an excellent combination of business and social. So well attended too and a great chance to meet and chat with colleagues!!!



We convened just before 11am (everyone was so prompt) for tea/coffee scholarly muffins (muffins with a chocolate cap but no gown). Everyone was signed in and had received raffle tickets by about 11.20.


DOWN TO BUSINESSDown to business

Business commenced with Ted Rooney offering the Chair’s apologies. An account of the events of the year – tours, activities and meetings followed by the financial statement – all presented in an interesting and lively way.


Touring !!!!!! No Hands!!!!! No Kids!!!!!!

Field trip

Rena gave a comprehensive account of the past outings and the proposed AWAY OUTING 2017 is to beautiful Derry and Seamus Heaney Country, taking in Magherafelt, Castledawson and Bellaghy, including the recently opened Heaney Centre. A discussion on the unsuitability of the dates resulted in Rena (only today) sorting out a change                                                  CHANGE OF DATE: It is now planned for 3rd to 5th April (price the same approx. €299) and bookings to be made yourself through Marathon Travel 01 4755010 ext 4.  Let Rena know you’ve booked (086 8252164)


Keep Dancing


Brian Keyes’ account of the dancing group that meet every second Wednesday in the Town House was lively – new members welcome in January – all abilities are catered for I’m assured – skill and fun for all. The date of the first after Christmas “Strictly” will be notified.


From Head Office


Billy Sheehan’s presentation covered the following topics:

  • Pension – some welcome changes for all,
  • Comhnasc survey – there is value both in hard copy and media access
  • Launch of Website – I’m going to have a go with submissions to keep our branch efforts up to date
  • Solidarity Fund which is now open for submissions according to guidelines
  • RTAI Bursaries – new criteria which will include recognition of Life Long Learning Skills
  • Membership + Card – renewed for 2017/18
  • Teaching after retirement – some guidelines
  • Carecall Counselling Service – 1800 409 773
  • Any clarification on the above from

Following words of high praise from Ted on the solid work done over last number of years by retiring Secretary/Treasurer, Mary Kennedy and Auditors Mícheál Mac Cártaigh and Fidelma Farrell, the election to offices process was painless; after little consideration people volunteered their services readily.


New Kildare Committee for 2017:

  • Chair: Ted Rooney
  • Vice Chair: Martin Hoban
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Fidelma Farrell
  • Auditors: Peadar Cunningham & Paula Watters


Don’t ask me who organised the raffle prizes, but suffice to know they did a brilliant job and there were loads of happy winners of wine, chocs, gifts, …..Well done!

The meeting adjourned to the Turners Restaurant where we had Christmas dinner – time to catch up and make friends.

I heard talk of golf, hill walking, and there are probably other specialist interest activities ….Will try to find out times and dates and contacts.