Streete Active Retirement Group enjoys a trip to the homes of the Oireachtas

Minister Peter Burke, TD, Deputy Minister Robert Troy and Senator Micheál Carrigy with visitors from Streete, Anne Creamer, Dympna Murphy, Doreen Slevin, Marion Dunne, Philomena Parker, Mary Boyhan, Kathleen McGivern, Alice Nerney, Mary McBride and Kevin Brady and (formerly) Brian Nerney.

Members of the Streete Active Retirement Group enjoyed an informative day trip to the Houses of the Oireachtas last week, where they also had the opportunity to sign the official book of condolences for the victims of the tragedy of Creeslough.

The tour finally went ahead on Thursday, October 13, when it had originally been scheduled for 2020. Covid-19 kept it waiting, and group leader Kevin Brady said this week that they were “delighted to be back. after being so long cocooned and out of circulation”.

Kevin said the Dáil trip was the band’s second outing this year.

“I would like to thank Minister Peter Burke, who made this visit possible. He was on hand to welcome us to Leinster House and made us feel at home. He left us in the capable and capable hands of the tour guide, Paul, who led us through the beautiful government buildings.”

Their first stop was the observation balcony, where they watched the Lower House and the proceedings of the Dáil.

“Our guide was magnificent in his knowledge of Leinster House and its history. He left us in no doubt that to be a public representative you need to be well-read and able to ask and answer parliamentary questions from the benches, no matter what party you represent,” Kevin said.

“It was evident as we walked into Seanad Éireann and listened to a lively debate, which was very enjoyable. It was amazing to see our public representatives in action.

“It was a great opportunity to see and understand the hard work of our elected members, and we are grateful for the chance to visit.”

The group had lunch at the Dáil restaurant, in the company of DTs, ministers and senators “all welcoming and friendly”.

Deirdre Levy signing the condolence book for Creeslough. Photo by Picasa

“We are grateful to Peter Burke and Robert Troy, who joined us for a chat and asked if we would like to sign the official book of condolences in memory of the tragic events at Creeslough.

“It was a poignant moment as we reflected on the great loss suffered by the families and friends of the deceased.

“We shared a silent prayer for the community of Creeslough as they face a week of final goodbyes to their loved ones, a community that must face a painful reality as it begins to rebuild its life.”

As they had their pictures taken on the porch, Senator Micheál Carrigy, who had just arrived to attend a meeting, stopped to chat.

The group then went to the National Museum of Ireland (archaeology), where they saw the Ardagh Chalice, made of gold, silver and precious stones, and the Tara Brooch, a jewel-encrusted brooch that the wealthy would have worn at the time.

“It was a great day and we would love to go back in the future,” Kevin said. “It’s wonderful to be outside again.

“I urge people to join an active retirement group, club or any organization that helps combat loneliness and isolation or helps people focus on the positive side of life.

“It’s amazing how being part of something can ease the daily stress of living in these trying times, especially for older people – you’re welcome to join us, you don’t have to be from Streete.

“Our rules are few and we aim to keep it that way. We have just one rule, our motto is in the words of the great author Helen Keller. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do a lot.

A full and happy group at the Dáil restaurant. Photo by Picasa