First Post Lockdown meeting of SARG

Meeting of Stoneyford Active Retirement Group (S.A.R.G.)
Date: 8th November 2021 in Community Centre, Stoneyford (R95 FCV9) @ 14.30.

Present: Conchubhar & Jackie de Róiste, Paddy & Colette Ganly, Miriam Dowling, Margaret Hogan, Maura Dowling, Audrey & John Hogg, Maura Wallace, Kitty Wallace, Anthony Roche, Angela Hayes, Maura Raggett, Imelda Gillespie, Brendan Murran, Jet & Pat Phelan, Basil Cook, Carole Hennessy, Jo Hudson, Kay O Donnell, Katie Rice, Nuala Donovan Donie Sheridan, Margaret Duggan (26)

Apologies: Mary Fennelly, Patricia Sheehan (2).

1. After such a long break, the Chairperson welcomed everyone. She also welcomed back Basil Cook and a new member Margaret Duggan.

2. Members present & Apologies.

3. Minutes of the March 2020 meeting were circulated to members and were deemed to be read. They were signed by the Chairperson.

4. Treasurer’s Report:

  • SARG Account, €882.88
  • (SARG, €187.61,
  • Fit Club, €695.27).
  • Holiday Fund, €2,782.20.

5. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, on a number of occasions, correspondence was received from Active Retirement Ireland (ARI). Whenever correspondence was received, it was scanned and e-mailed to members. Holiday deals were received from Springfield Hotel in Kilkenny, Treacys Hotel in Waterford and Quality Hotel in Youghal. Correspondence was also received from Home4home re Irish Holiday home swaps, was scanned and e-mailed to members.

6. At the AGM earlier this year, ARI confirmed that affiliation fees would have to be paid if we wished to affiliate. Given that no activities were taking place, it was decided that only one member would be affiliated so that we could vote at the AGM. Recently, correspondence was received from ARI that they were waiving affiliation fees for 2021, so we affiliated anyone who was a member in 2020. Any fees paid will be refunded.

7. The library in the Community Centre is only accessible when the Centre is open. Conchubhar proposed that we put books in the phone box. He is to discuss this with Joe Whyte.

8. On 8th November, a meeting with Madeleine O Brien, Regional Development Officer for the South East region was held in Callan. Representatives of SARG, Danesfort, Callan and Kilkenny attended. She is new to the job, as are all 6 members of the S/E region. She mentioned that grants are available from the PPN for activities.

9. Active Retirement Ireland will be celebrating their 45th anniversary in 2023. There will be activities throughout 2022, commencing with a coffee morning in February. Though it is not necessary, we can use it for fundraising. Further information will be sent to us at a later date.

10. There are a number of additional benefits available from the Department of Social Welfare
➢ Electricity/gas and TV licence is available to those over 70. It is not subject to a means test, nor do you have to be in receipt of a Social Welfare payment. Those aged under 70 may be entitled to it, subject to meeting certain conditions.
➢ In order to receive the fuel allowance, you must be in receipt of a Social Welfare payment. It is also subject to a means test.
➢ Other benefits are Free Travel and Living Alone Allowance.
➢ They can be applied for on line. Alternatively, forms are available from the Department of Social Welfare or from the Citizens Information Centre.

A handout of the conditions to be met was given out.
1. There are a number of comparison websites (,, where you can compare the price of electricity, phone, TV, broadband, insurance. It is advisable to check all sites, as some have different offers.

2. The time machine is a neighbourhood project that connects communities. It pairs young people with senior citizens. They talk to each other about their lives and what community means to them. The young people then do a project of how the community looks now and how it looked in the past. Kilkenny is one of the next counties to participate.

3. Computer classes are held in the Community Centre every Tuesday. Times are 10.00 – 11.30 or 11.30 – 13.00. It is free.

4. A mat for Short Mat Bowling was purchased from the grant of €1,500 that we received. Stoneyford Development Association have placed an order for a roller for the mat, bowls and other equipment. Once this is received, we can decide on when we will play.

5. The Fit Club is run in the Community Centre every Wednesday at 8.15 (cost €7). Conchubhar encouraged members to participate if they can. Exercises can be done at your own pace.

6. Bowling is in KK Bowl in Kilkenny every second Thursday at 11.30 (11th and 25th November). Cost is €5, which includes tea/coffee & biscuits.

7. Cards (25) is in the Community Centre every second Thursday (18th November). Cost is €2 per person for hall rental, plus €2 to play.

8. It was proposed that we could meet up for walking groups. However, given the time of year, it was decided to hold off on this until next year.

9. It is proposed to hold the annual lunch in January, possibly towards the end of the month. Suggestions for where it could be held were requested.

10. Next years holiday is to Westport from 25th to 29th April (5 days/4 nights). The cost is €370 per person sharing or €450 single. There are only 2 double rooms left.

11. Flower arranging classes, run by the ETB have commenced. It is hoped to commence art classes after Christmas, followed by yoga classes.

12. Poetry Readings by Angela Hayes and Paddy Ganly.

13. Thanks to everyone who helped to make our first meeting in a long time a success.

14. Refreshments for December: Committee.

15. Next meeting is on 8th December 2021 @ 2.30.

An enjoyable chat and refreshments followed.

P: S:

Signed as a true record of the meeting:

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