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

Streete Active Retirement Group enjoy trip to Houses of the Oireachtas

The 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 Creeslough tragedy.

The visit finally went ahead on Thursday October 13 last, though it had originally been planned in 2020. The Covid-19 meant it had to wait, and group leader Kevin Brady said this week that the were “delighted to be back out and about again after being so long cocooned and out of circulation”.

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

“I would like to thank Minister Peter Burke, who made the 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 knowledgeable hands of the tour guide, Paul, who led us through the beautiful government buildings.”

Their first stop was the viewing 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 have to be well read and able to ask and answer parliamentary questions from the benches regardless of which party you represent,” said Kevin.

“That was evident as we entered Seanad Éireann and listened to some lively debate, which was very much enjoyable. It was amazing to watch our public representatives in action.

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

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

Deirdre Levy signing the book of condolences for Creeslough. Photo by Picasa

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

“That was a poignant moment as we reflected on the great loss to the families and friends of the deceased.

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

As they had photos taken on the front steps, Senator Micheál Carrigy, who had just arrived to attend a meeting, stopped for a chat.

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

“It was a great day out and we’d love to go again sometime in the future,” said Kevin. “It is wonderful to be out and about again.

“I urge people to join an active retirement group, a club, or any organisation which helps beat off loneliness and isolation or helps people to focus on the positive side of life.

“It is amazing how being part of something can alleviate the daily stress of living in these trying times, especially for older people – you are 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 just have one rule, our motto is in the words of the great author Helen Keller. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

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