The Restaurant Group will have its first meeting on 2nd October. If anyone is interested there are seven places remaining. Contact Jill at 0872138801.
Our first talk of the season is on 16th September, followed by the long-postponed AGM.
The AGM has had to be cancelled until the autumn. Apologies to all. I'll send out the notification later.
New date for the AGM! 16th June, following the talk by Billy Markham.
Don't forget the later start this Thursday. High noon is Cocktail Hour!
The AGM will be held immediately after the talk on Wicklow walks by Dairine Nuttall. The date is Thursday, 3rd June.
How Notre Dame survived a devastating fire in 2019.
Charlie Bird's years as news correspondent for RTÉ meant that he was on site at the most iconic events of the last forty years. He has travelled the world reporting on catastrophes and emergencies. Now he's going to give us an insight into that momentous body of work.
This week Skibbereen to the Moon; next time Mullingar to the Mountains of Heaven. We like to get around!
After some VERY windy weather we are delighted to welcome Met. Eireann's Head of Forecasting.
Home grown talent comments on the international soccer scene.
The new U3A year has started after a long break. We're Zooming for the foreseeable future.
Slowly but surely we are seeing an end in sight. Covid has disrupted all our lives and we cannot even be sure yet about the starting date of our Autumn Schedule. Luckily the speakers we've had to cancel have kindly agreed to attend in the Autumn and I'm very pleased about that. As the restaurants open we will be able to get our Restaurateurs Group up and running, though it make be a much changed experience. As we get closer to reopening I will let you know what changes we will have to make. In the meantime, I wish you all good health and hope that you won't have been too affected by the crisis. Keep well, everyone.
What an entertaining speaker John Lonergan is! I was very sorry to have to call a halt to his reminiscences about his memorable term of office as Governor of Mountjoy Prison. There were many tales of the prisoners John had encountered and how much he had learned from them.
Indeed, learning is the key word. John Lonergan has always advocated education as a way of breaking the cycle of deprivation which sees (mostly) men from the same sectors of society end up in prison. The majority of the country's prisoners have never sat the state exams and over half left school before the age of 15.
He made a distinction between 'career' criminals and the many young people who end up in prison through stupidity and lack of choices.
While providing an amusing insight into prison life there was no doubt that the presentation had an important message and that John Lonergan is a master at keeping an audience engrossed while showing the humanity that is vital in the type of work he pursued. He stressed the many difficulties and indignities of prison life which are often forgotten. Certainly he left us with plenty of important ideas to ponder.
Due to government guidelines we will cease activities till further notice. We ask everyone to take care and we are looking forward to meeting up with you soon.
We are setting up a 'Restaurant Group', so that members can meet up regularly and enjoy meals in various local restaurants. If you are interested please contact Mary or Jill (committee members) after the next talk on March 12th.
Greystones U3A Membership is not operating a waiting list and is open to all prospective members who wish to apply.
21st April at 11am
We are delighted to invite members to a morning with Emma Jane Rushworth in her workshop in Greystones.
Emma Jane is a professional sculptor who works with wire to create magical figures.
For more information about this outing see our 'Events' page.
Frances will be taking the names of those interested at the meetings on 12th and 26th March and will give more details then.
Emma Jane Rushworth's website address is: www.emmajanerushworth.ie
On Thursday, 13th February we were treated to a wonderful evocation of the life and works of Leonard Cohen from his good friend and collaborator, John MacKenna. John is, of course, famous in his own right as a masterful playwright, writer and broadcaster and his presentation of Leonard Cohen left us hungry for more. John's talk gave us a great insight into the man and his music and greatly outshone any written biography. The audience were obviously enthralled and from the feedback we received would have loved more. And John obviously had plenty more he could have told us, as his asides and tangents displayed. He is such an engaging speaker that we got a real sense of the development of the relationship between Leonard and himself and the respect they had for each other. It was very entertaining to hear the reactions of the MacKenna family to meeting Leonard Cohen in the first place but it also gave us a lovely picture of Leonard Cohen himself.
John played a few pieces of Leonard's most recent collections which illustrated his poetry and themes. In particular Leonard Cohen explored ideas about religion, love, depression and sexuality and in his presentation John showed how these were interrelated and how they reflected Cohen's own life and his willingness to bare his soul. It was a fascinating insight.
John's collaborative requiem with Leonard Cohen, 'Between Your Love and Mine' has toured nationally since 2017 as well as being staged personally for the President at Áras an Uachtaráin. He recalled Leonard Cohen wondering how a Jewish Buddhist and a Quaker agnostic would produce a Mass, but as John said, somehow they did.
We were very lucky to have benefitted from John's work with Leonard and to have been entertained by his personal recollections of a friendship that was important to both men.
Charles Egan gave a most heartfelt and absorbing account of the Irish famine from the very personal perspective of his own family records. The research Charles undertook was encyclopaedic and there was no doubt that the time we had available was insufficient for all that he could have told us. Nonetheless, he held us spellbound. One aspect in particular which I, and others, found heart wrenching was the magnificence of the beauty of Mayo in juxtaposition with the information Charles described. His beautiful photography showed the natural splendours of the area as it is now and this made the plight of the famine victims all the more poignant.
Charles took his information from newspapers and records of the time, which carried eyewitness accounts of the spread and devastation of famine and, especially, disease. He recounted the efforts which were made to help and the effects of this pivotal Irish disaster on events both here and in other parts of the world. His talk was very gripping and the feedback we received was extremely positive. Many thanks to Charles and to Carmel, his wife, for giving us a most interesting and riveting morning.
If you are having trouble with emails from Greystones U3A going into your Spam Box (instead of your Inbox) add our email address: email@example.com to your contact list/folder.
Our first meeting of 2020 kicked off on 16th January. The speaker was our own Dolores MacKenna and she reprised a wonderful talk on the writer William Trevor. Dolores met William and worked closely with him and his family when she was researching her PhD, which subsequently became a well-received and comprehensive biography of this distinguished writer. The talk Dolores gave led us into the life of a shy and retiring man, who used all the people and places around him to portray beautifully and sympathetically, the life of Ireland and England during the 20th century and the start of the 21st. More than that she gave us a great insight into the man himself, a man she came to know well.
Her talk was captivating and the feedback we received was extremely fulsome and positive. Included in her images was this wonderful photograph of Dolores with William Trevor when she was researching her PhD and subsequent biography, which I couldn't resist including.
It was the first talk in our new venue and the room was packed, We also had some guests from Bray who had missed the talk when Dolores gave it at Bray Heads U3A and who had heard how enjoyable and sensitive the talk was. Many thanks to Dolores, and to Bernadette who accompanied her as technician. It was a tour-de-force and a great start to the new year.
If you know someone who would like some guidance on accessing the U3A Greystones website could you let them know we now have handouts that explain how to go about it. Printed handouts are available on request, or you can download the handouts from our 'documents' tab in the options menu above.
Happy New Year to all our members. With the new year come some changes. The main one is that we have changed venue and from 16th January will be meeting in DELGANY GOLF CLUB. The setting is spectacular and the clubhouse itself warm and spacious. We have been warmly welcomed and facilitated by Mark and Jamie and I hope that our tenure is long and enjoyable.
So, on the 16th, as we start our new season with a talk on William Trevor from Dr. Dolores MacKenna don't forget to head to Delgany for the 10.30 start!
Secondly, I am delighted that we are now in a position to offer membership to anyone on the waiting list. Our Members Secretary, Jill Mellon, will contact everyone over the next few weeks.
We have had to make changes to our committee. Unfortunately we are losing Honor and Dolores from the committee, but they will be continuing as members. I would like to pay tribute to the work they have already done for us.
Honor has been a member from our very beginnings in March last year and has helped develop our plans for the club. She has been a tireless worker and always very willing to help out where needed. As we all know, every club needs such dependable people. Thank you Honor for your wisdom and dedication.
We are also sorry to say goodbye to Dolores from the committee. Dolores stepped in when another member was needed and has been very proactive in helping us organise events and speakers. We were delighted to have the benefit of her insight, her judgement and experience. Thank you Dolores. I appreciated all the help you gave us as we planned for the year ahead.
A reminder to all members that we have our first ever Christmas Party on 12th December.
We begin with a talk on Frankincense and Myrrh by Dr Ronald Draper. Then party like it's 1999! We're asking all members to bring some eats to share, savoury or sweet, and only a small amount. The committee will provide refreshments of a suitably Yuletide nature. We hope as many members as can will attend and make this a lovely end to the first 'term.'
Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin writes Ireland-based crime novels under the pen name, Sam Blake and her latest book is being launched in January. I can thoroughly recommend them as rattling good stories with a feisty Garda, Cat Connolly, as the main protagonist. Vanessa has agreed to come and address one of our meetings later in the year, well, in Spring 2020, about her work as an author and also as a literary agent.
In the meantime she has invited all our members to the launch of her fourth Sam Blake novel!
It will be held in the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on 5th January from 4-6 p.m. Everyone's welcome.
Unfortunately, we have heard from Birdwatch Ireland that the planned walk and wreath-making will have to be cancelled. I'm very sorry to have to pass on the news. Andrew, our contact, and the walk leader, has told us that flooding on the Reserve will now require emergency management of the site and cut into his available time. Perhaps we'll get a chance for a foraging walk next year but in the meantime our plans for 13th December will have to be shelved. Is it significant that it was Friday, 13th? Hmmm. Nonetheless, it's very disappointing for us and a lot of extra work for Andrew.
I'd like to remind everyone that if you wish to set up sub-groups for languages, book clubs etc. you can put the information on the website. Give the details to a committee member and we can put it up in NEWS for other members to see.
And on that point, there was some interest in the French conversation 'Cafe society.' Dominique can be contacted on her mobile, at 086 3556828 Members can access the members' list for her email address if you prefer.
Eva O Hara was our speaker this week. Appropriately for November we were remembering how the First and Second world wars had affected our own families, showing that even neutral countries are not untouched by war. Eva's story about James Lawless was even more poignant. She told us about this Greystones lad who had died in the First World War and whose life story she had researched for a school project. In the typical though uncanny coincidences of these things Eva discovered that James Lawless had lived next door to her own family home!
Three of our members who brought in memorabilia discovered a previously unknown link between them all and the north Antrim coast.
Avril Price Gallagher told an amazing story of someone who turned up on her doorstep and presented her with a trove of trench art in order to keep the knowledge alive.
Andy O'Hara brought us miniatures of Hennessy brandy which he explained were given to coloured soldiers in the war. A very welcome ration, Andy! Dolores MacKenna organised information about both wars which were displayed in poster form. All in all this was a memorable and respectful reminiscence about times which impacted forcefully on the world and through Eva's talk and our memories we saw the effects they had on our own families and the local area.
Thank you Eva for giving the time to talk to us and to everyone who brought memorabilia and presented it so thoughtfully.
This morning's talk was fascinating. Professor Bruce Misstear gave us a great insight into his life as a hydrogeologist and the work he did with wells around the world. The talk was in two parts. Bruce talked first about the need for water and the ingenious means of providing it in many arid and sun-baked areas, especially in Africa. On such a cold day it was blissful to see the sun gleaming on the ancient water channels Bruce told us were called Aflaj or Qanat.
Then Bruce turned his attention to holy wells in Ireland, an area of particular study to him. Again, there was plenty to hold our interest. I had no idea we had over 3,000 holy wells, proving we're either very holy - or very wet!
Thank you Bruce. It was great to hear such an informative speaker and the feedback for the talk was glowing.
We had a treat in store today when Seamus Cannon addressed the group about the career he took up in his retirement. Seamus is a Joycean scholar and, hopefully, will address us at a future date about 'Ulysses'. This time however he gave us a fascinating talk on his new career as a furniture maker. I really admired his dedication in taking up a new course of study after his retirement from academia.
The slides of his beautifully restored or re-imagined pieces were inspiring and to me, amazing. The number of questions from the audience also showed just how much he captured our imaginations, from his description of forays into skips to the magnificent objects in the pictures.
A very entertaining talk indeed. Many thanks, Seamus.
On Tuesday morning an intrepid band of members set off for the Seamus Heaney expedition. Speaking personally, I really enjoyed the chat on the train. We were so engrossed we couldn't believe we were only arriving in Bray!
The weather was wonderful as we arrived in Dublin, so we decided to stroll through the lovely grounds of Trinity as a pleasant adjunct to the day out.
On arrival in the Cultural Centre we were met by our guide and shortly after, bedecked in headsets, we set off around the exhibition. Jennifer was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of insight into Heaney's life. It was definitely better having a guide for the tour as she explained the setting of the exhibits and how the arrangement of it was taken from Heaney's own words, "Let everything flow/ Up to the four elements/ Up to water and earth and fire and air." I think we were all impressed by what we learnt.
Many thanks to Mary Hahn who captured us looking captivated by the impressive displays.We all took time at the end to go around again more slowly, now that we had the added insight into the exhibits. It was a delightful way to spend the morning.
A very threatening and blustery Thursday heralded the arrival, not only of Storm Lorenzo, but also of Dr Mary Henry to give us some insight into her life as a Senator and the arcane world of the Senate itself. Lorenzo may not have fulfilled his promise, but Dr Henry certainly did. There was plenty of information delivered in a very warm and entertaining manner and plenty of insight into an obviously very humanitarian life. Many thanks to Dr Henry who, unfortunately, had to dash away to fulfill another engagement. It would have been lovely to have had her company for longer.
Enjoying a cuppa and a chat after the talk from Eamonn.
Eamonn in action at the Opening meeting.
Can you pick yourself out of the crowd?
Many thanks to Frances for a very Informative talk ahead of our proposed visit to Listen Again Now in the National Library. A few places still remain if anyone wishes to attend. The date for the trip is 8th October so you can let us know by the next meeting on 3rd October.
Well, we had an eventful first meeting! It was great to see so many members, despite September being a popular holiday month.
This historic occasion was the very moment the projector decided it wasn't playing! Sneaky little contraptions, projectors.
Our guest speaker, Eamonn Darcy, rose to the occasion wonderfully. Despite being unable to show us the really excellent slides he had available (which the committee had already had the opportunity to see) Eamonn kept us enthralled for an hour with his history of that very enigmatic and controversial figure, Countess Markievicz. Thank you Eamonn. It's no easy task being the opening speaker and you handled it with grace and aplomb.
Thanks also to Phill Devonport who tried to rescue the situation but obviously projectors were on a work to rule and even his trusty appliance was having an off day. Nonetheless, it was great to see the spirit of U3A in action.
Hello again everyone,
As you may recall, Mary (Events Secretary) told us on Thursday about an event planned for 13th December with Birdwatch Ireland.
It's a Friday morning meeting and because it will only be available to 30 members, if you're interested please let us know as soon as possible. Some people signed up last Thursday after the talk but there are still places.
To all those who are inquiring about joining U3A Greystones. I have to advise that our Members List is full.
Should you wish to join at a later date I can put you on the Waiting List and you will be contacted when we have a vacancy.
To be included on our waiting list please contact me with your full name, email address and mobile number.
Membership Secretary U3A Greystones
37 Burnaby Park
Eamonn Darcy will launch our season as our very first speaker on 5th September - more details to follow
On 20th June Greystones U3A held a launch meeting in Charlesland Golf Club.
We were delighted that so many enthusiastic people turned up and we signed up 63 members on the day, with a further 63 subsequently paid up.
We welcomed Annette and Carol from Age Action Ireland (under whose auspices we operate) and were delighted to have a glimpse into the life of two other U3A branches, Blackrock and Bray (Cormac and Joe respectively). Joe Murray gave us a short presentation on the website and he also represented our nearest branch, the Bray Heads U3A which only set up a year ago but is already flying.
We outlined some of our speakers for the year to come and they will be up on the website as soon as dates are confirmed.
The first talk will be on 5th September in Charlesland Golf Club at 10.30 am and we look forward to this being the first of many. The talk will be followed by a short Q&A and then tea/coffee and a chance to chat.
Our first event will be the Preview Meeting on the 20th June. All welcome