Stoneyford Active Retirement Group

2 Bealtaine 2022

SARG monthly meeting

On the 4th of May Stoneyford Active Retirement Group held it’s monthly meeting. As usual the meeting was well attended and there was a lively discussion on all the topics raised. It was decided to do a day trip to the Delta Sensory Gardens, in Carlow, on the 19th of May. It was reported that the trip to Mayo is put on hold for the present.

The meeting concluded with refreshments and chat.

Clashganny Loop Walk

Monday the 2nd of May dawned bright and beautiful, a ray of hope after the dreadful weekend of wind and rain. Spaisteoirí Átha Stúin Walk With Friends group headed off to Graiguenamanagh to partake in the Clashganny loop walk. The ground underfoot was wet but not soggy from the previous day’s incessant rain. There was a good turnout for the walk and the spirits were high, This walk is a mixture of river, canal and wood. As the walk progressed the vista changed continuously from from forest, to flora and eye catching scenery.

On returning to Graiguenamanagh the group adjourned to savour the hospitality of the Waterside Restaurant. As the evening wore on the climate became less hospitable and the Spaisteoirí returned home tired but satisfied having made memories that will stay with them and warm their hearts in the inevitable winter nights to come.

A Skipper looks back.

John Connolly (l902/l985), like other members of his family, spent the greater part of his working life on the Barrow.  For many of those years he acted as skipper of the Grand Canal Company’s barge, ‘”The 79M”.  In retirement he recalled in these verses some of his earIy morning voyages down the beautiful Barrow Valley.  As the 79M with other company boats set out from the quay at Graigue they sought to rendezvous at St. Mullins at high tide with the steamer which would shepherd them all safeIy through the tidal waters to their destination at  Waterford The memories recalled here are all pleasant ones, but life on the Barrow had another side, and the boatman ‘s Iot could often be a difficult and dangerous one.

The early morning tide

By John Connolly, Snr

One evening fair to take the air, alone I chanced to stray
Where by the Barrow's banks as a child I loved to play.
I miss old pals and comrades, where we strolled on, side by side
Watching the boats come sailing down to catch the morning tide.
On every morning early, at the dawning of the day,
Some boats would leave Canal Store and others from The Quay:
They'd steer the bridge in lovely style, sweep by the weir with pride
To navigate the lock; below when going for the tide.
Passing "Michael's" churchyard where underneath the sod
Lies many a stalwart boatman - we'd commend their souls to God
By Uisce Mór and Murray's Lock past Dormer's in our stride,
Bahana's woods and Carriglead –in short we'd meet the tide.
And when we'd meet St. Mullins lock a steamer waited there,
While the lark sang high up in the sky, his sweet song on the air.
The steamer then starts sailing and the boats begin to glide,
A truly lovely picture on the early morning tide.
Poulmounty Woods;, the Cushlawn Rock and Coolhill Castle high  
The stronghold of the de la Rupe's, who thought they’d never die.
The skipper tending to the wheel, his crew on him relied
To steer them through the Ferry Bridge, on the early morning tide.
Now Sundays, on the bridge of Graig, I gaze down at the store
And I think how I’d love to see my mates back there once more,
To hear their happy laughter, completely occupied
A loading up their little boats to catch the morning tide.
Most of these men have now passed on and many years have flown
Since they went to eternal rest, where troubles are unknown.
For them we pray each night and day and think of them with pride,
No more they’ll sail and steer their boats for the early morning tide.


There was a great turnout for Short Mat bowls in Stoneyford Community Centre last week. We had a very knowledgeable new player and everyone agreed that he improved everyone’s performance greatly. The fun begins at 10.30 am. every Wednesday morning. What initially seemed to be a very difficult and even confusing game has revealed itself to be a pleasant game with achievable skills and aims. It is a fun morning and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Fit Club
Fit club had a very successful return to business on Wednesday last 4th May. There was a great turn out and Séamus put us through our paces with humour and at the same time a watchful eye. All are welcome.


If you fancy a pleasant game of cards feel free to join SARG members on Thursday next afternoon @ 2.30 pm. We might even try 45’s next week. Come along and have some fun.

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