S.A.R.G. goes to Connemara Aibreán 2015

On 27th.April 2015 seven members of Stoneyford Active Retirement Group went on a five-day holiday to Connemara. This holiday was organised by the regional ARA and members from Borris, Waterford, Dungarvan, Johnstown and Carrick on Suir joined us. Our first day out was a tiring affair as the trip to Connemara via Limerick was time consuming and unexpected. However our driver Kevin turned out to be more than our driver he was also our tour guide and councillor.Stoneyford Group

Having left Stoneyford at 09.00 hrs. on Monday we arrived at our destination Óstán Cois Fharraige (Connemara Coast Hotel) at 18.00 hrs. tired but in good spirits. The hotel was beautiful and the staff was friendly and accommodating. It goes without saying that the food was plentiful, varied and excellently cooked and presented. The more energetic members of the group availed of the swimming pool, gym and hot tub. What could be nicer than sitting in a hot tub looking across Galway Bay at the mist shrouded coast of Clare.

As we had such a long trip on day one Kevin decided that we should take it easy on Tuesday so a short sight seeing tour of Galway City was laid on. Having driven around to familiarise us with the layout of Galway, we took a boat trip on Lough Corrib where we were treated to an Irish coffee making demonstration by the first female World Champion Irish Coffee Maker, and a demonstration of Céilí dancing. Our own Dónal Sheridan was to the fore in this and led the German learners through the steps. We then disembarked for some shopping therapy. On the second day we visited a replica of the cottage
from which Dan O’Hara was evicted during the last round of evictions in Ireland. He was evicted by the local landlord and though he reached New York he died shortly afterwards in poverty. Nowadays our own banks with the connivance of our own government are evicting Irish people from their homes. They use the same excuses as the landlords of long ago. I would strongly recommend this as a destination of choice for anyone touring Connemara. From there we went to Kylemore Abbey. Unfortunately due to time constraints and inclement weather we had to cut short our visit.

Bog Oak
On day three we visited Foxford Woollen Mills, this was a disappointment as their museum was closed for the day and at this stage we were all shopped out. We did find a lovely walk by the River Moy where the quayside was designed to celebrate the life and times of William Brown. William was a native son who after many adventures all over the world settled in Argentina where he founded their navy. From Foxford we proceeded on to the beautiful village of Cong.
Cong features a ruined medieval abbey, Cong Abbey, where Rory O’Connor, the last High King of Ireland, spent his last years. It also is the origin of a piece of Celtic Art in the form of a metal cross shrine called theCross of cong. The ‘Cross of Cong’ is now held in the National Museum of Ireland. There is also a High Cross in the village.
Cong straddles the point where Lough Mask flows into Lough Corrib. It is a watery place with old monasteries, fisheries, shops etc. For anyone who does not know, this is where John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara made the film “ The Quiet Man”. It is a beautiful village and a must for anyone touring the area.

Dan's Magic Bus

Dan’s Magic Bus

Friday came much sooner than expected and all that was left to do was the return trip home. As everyone knows the journey home is always much faster and more pleasant than the outward one and of course there is no place like home. In summation the scenery was beautiful, the accommodation excellent and above all the company of fellow ARA members was most enjoyable.




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