Next Branch Meeting

Notice from NEC and National Secretary

Dear Branch Secretary

The NEC has decided that the summer meetings scheduled for May and June should be cancelled this year. The NEC is of the view that it is better for the Association to have a unified approach and that all meetings even those planned for late June should be deferred. Hopefully we will have returned to some normality before then, but even if meetings are permitted, it is likely that people will be nervous of public gatherings for some time. We also have to be very mindful of the age and vulnerability of some of our members

It is important in these worrying times to have something to look forward to so perhaps we could hold some meetings or social events in September /October. Our members will welcome an opportunity to get out and. meet their friends by then

Hopefully ,this emergency will be passed by the time our AGMs come around. I will be happy to attend meetings then instead of the summer ones.

I have already sent you out the message of hope from our president Mary Kyne

Best wishes to you all Billy


I have spoken to John Connor our Chairperson and we are complying with the request from Head office

We will reschedule our walks with Ciaran Byrne to Glenmalure and later Ann Savage’s planned walk

Likewise we will reschedule John Finlay’s walking tour of Wicklow town and

we will look into our proposed tour to Dublin Castle etc in late September

Please keep sending me those changes of e mail address.from eircom .net It is important that I have up to date contact details.

I am aware that a number of people have applied to join Wicklow RTAI and I have not been in contact with them because Head office is closed and I have not received the quarterly updated contact details. This will all be sorted in due course.

These are tough worrying times for all of us so lt is important for all of us all to stay connected by phone or email

Some of our members are more isolated than others, Some have stopped driving and some are ill and house bound. Now is the time for all of us to redouble our efforts and ensure all our members are connected and cared for . Pick up the phone today ,send an e mail,

Write a post card or send a letter

If there is someone out there who is in need of some help or feeling disconnected or short of supplies please let me know and we will do our best to help


Gach raith oraibh agus leantar leis an dea obair

MIck O Callaghan

Wicklow Branch RTAI


Wicklow Branch Inaugural Walk, 4 March 2020 Report

The inaugural walk of Wicklow Branch RTAI was held in the Devils Glen , Ashford, Co Wicklow on Wednesday March 4th and a great 22 members turned up on a cold but bright March morning in the hills overlooking Ashford.

It was mighty to see such an attendance start off the walk organised by our Chairman John Connor and vice chair Stephanie Mc Donald who also led the walk. We were lucky to have such a clear day and the view from the top was wonderful .

Afterwards we rolled down into Chester Beatty’s in Ashford for some socialising and refreshments.

I want to thank John and Stephanie for organising this event . We all really enjoyed the walk and appreciate your efforts in preparing it.    

Our next walk will be on March 25th at 10.00 am

We will be walking in Glenmalure and our walk leader will be Ciaran Byrne .

Ciaran will give me details of exact venue, parking arrangements etc and I will post them here for  you all and in addition I will inform you all by email

Below is a gallery of photos taken on our inaugural walk:      (To enlarge a photo, simply click on it!)


Mick O Callaghan

Newsletter March 2020 - Outline of main Events for Planned for the Year

The RTAI Wicklow Branch Committee met in Chester Beatty’s in Ashford on Wednesday, 5th of February. The following is a summary of decisions reached in relation to the year ahead: 

  1. National RTAI Convention: John Connor and Mick O’Callaghan to attend National RTAI convention on Tuesday, 3rd of March and will feed back to members in due course.
  2. First Tour of 2020: Our first tour of the year will be to Blessington and Russborough House on May 12th. The branch will pay for bus and entry fee along with the tip for driver. Our tour guide, Paul Tyrrell, will bring us on a historical tour of Blessington followed by some free time for tea and coffee. In the afternoon, we will go on a guided tour of the house and gallery. Once again there will free time for meals and conversation. Member’s contribution will be 10 euro each. Full details will be shared in April. Check out https://www.rtaireland.ie/branches/wicklow/ for further updates.
  3. Summer Meeting: Our summer meeting will be held in the Pastoral Centre on the grounds of St. Patrick’s Church on June 10th at 10.00. This will also be the starting point for our Historical walk of Wicklow town with John Finlay starting at 11.00 and finishing with refreshments/food in The Bridge Bar. John is a member of RTAI Wicklow and assures us the walking element will be easy. Eibhlin Kinsella is the organiser here.
  4. September Tour: We are proposing a guided tour of Dublin Castle, Chester Beattys Library at the end of September. We will pay for bus, tips, entry fee to Castle, and Chester Beatty’s Library. City Hall and Temple Bar are in the vicinity here and we will give discretionary time to shop, browse, eat or sip coffee. Full details will be issued in August.
  5. Christmas 2020 Meeting: Our Christmas meeting and dinner will be held in Tinakilly House again this year on December 9th. Our General Secretary Billy Sheehan will be attending. We are currently researching speakers based on your feedback and will share detailed agenda later in the year. As last year’s Christmas meeting / dinner cost approx. 45 euros per person, we are considering increasing the member’s contribution for the 2020 Christmas meeting / dinner to 20 euros per person.  
  6. Walking Group: We have started a walking group, coordinated by John Connor and Stephanie McDonald. Walks will be of varying difficulties. At the moment we have the first walk planned for The Devils Glen on March 4t meeting at the car park at 9.45am. Please contact John by mail at johnconnor3101@gmail.com or text 0860824318. The walk will start at 10.00am.
  7. RTAI Website: Geraldine Lynch is currently investigating the possibility of setting up our own dedicated website for RTAI Wicklow.
  8. New RTAI Wicklow Branch Members: We are appealing to all existing members to recruit new members. We plan to write to INTO Branch Secretaries in March to determine who is retiring in Co. Wicklow this year. Membership forms can be obtained from any branch committee member or online at rtaireland.ie under the join us section.
  9. Pension / Social Welfare Queries: The branch officers deal with tours and events only for members. Please do not ring branch committee members with queries relating to pensions, social welfare entitlements etc. as they are not qualified to answer them. For this service you must ring RTAI Head Office which is open daily from 9.00am to 1.00pm and from 2.00pm to 4.30pm. If you ring in the morning your query will be replied to in the afternoon. The telephone number is 012454130.
  10. Counselling: This service, which is available to all members, is operated by ‘Inspire’, a team of fully qualified professional counsellors. You can ring them on 1800409673 in confidence or go to their website inspirewellbeing.org. 
  11. Current Membership: Our membership now stands at 220 as of 2nd of March 2020. Please refer to https://www.rtaireland.ie/branches/wicklow/ for additional updates and information.
  12. Branch Committee this year:

John Connor – Chair

Mick O’Callaghan – Secretary

Eibhlin Kinsella – Treasurer

Stephanie McDonald – Vice Chair

Kitty O’Connell and Geraldine Lynch – Committee Members

Yours Sincerely,

Mick O’Callaghan


Contact details:

Web: https://www.rtaireland.ie/branches/wicklow/

Email: rtaiwicklow@gmail.com

Mobile: 0870612072

RTAI Annual Convention, 2020 - Photo

Michael O Callaghan Secretary RTAI Wicklow
Matt Reville, president RTAI
John Boyle Secretary INTO
John Connor Chairperson Wicklow
At RTAI Annual Convention, held in the Gresham Hotel Dublin, on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020.

Preview of Branch Activities and Events 2020

The Annual RTAI convention will be held in Dublin on March 3rd with John and myself attending on your behalf.

March 4th. . The launch of our walking group with a walk in the Devils Glen starting at 10.00

Walking tour of Wicklow town in May /June is in the planning stage

MAY 12  Historical guided tour of Blessington and visit to Russborough

June branch meeting to be arranged

September 17th Branch Secretary’s conference in Dublin which I will be attending

End of September /beginning of October; Visit to Chester Beatty Library and Dublin Castle . Proposed date  Sept 26th but this may change slightly

Christmas AGM and dinner on December 9th in Tinakilly House Hotel . Billy Sheehan will be attending.

We will have a couple of guest  speakers during the year and we will post these up as soon as we finalise details

There will be other walks arranged and I will keep you posted as soon as I get details

Please stay in touch with us through following the Wicklow page on rtaireland.ie


Regards and best wishes to you all


Mick O Callaghan




Wicklow Branch RTAI

Launch of Walking Group - Inaugural Walk, March 4th, 2020

We have had very positive feedback to our request for expressions of interest in our Walking Group for RTAI Wicklow members . John Connor, Chairperson and Stephanie Mc Donald, vice chair have both been working on it and are ready to launch with the first walk on March 4th.

Venue;  Devils Glen, Ashford assembling at 9.45 for a 10 am start. Stephanie has kindly offered to lead this walk

Clothing; Please wear appropriate walking gear, have walking shoes or boots, rain-gear and walking poles would also be helpful

Snacks; Everyone should bring their own water and chosen snack

Sign in: All  Walkers will be asked to sign in at the start and sign out at the end

Meeting Point:The carpark at the entrance to the wood at 9.45 as already stated

Dogs: No dogs are allowed for reasons of safety

Meeting: We hope to have a brief meeting at the start to chat about. / frequency of walks / walks in south /north/ east or west Wicklow / Best day for walks /leaders for walks / walks that would be suitable for all members

People will also have an opportunity to discuss the above topics while walking and report back to John and Stephanie to assist with future planning.

We are really excited about this new venture and look forward to walking and trekking through the Garden Of Ireland

If you need any clarification on any of the above please  contact John at johnconnor3101@gmail.com or on 0860824318

If you intend walking please contact John  by email so that we will have an idea of the numbers involved.

I hope the weather will be kind and that we have a good response on the day 

As secretary I , on behalf of all members , thank John and Stephanie for starting up this group  and wish them well

MIck O’Callaghan, Branch Secretary

For Your Diary - save the Date! - May 12th, 2020

The branch plans to go on a guided historic tour of Blessington with Paul Tyrrell as guide.

This will be followed by a tour of Russborough House and gallery with stops for refreshments and Lunch in Russborough.

The walking element will be low.

So now all you need to do is put May 12th 2020 on your laptop or tablet  phone, calendar or diary,whichever takes your fancy.

Full details will be published in the new year


Wicklow Branch AGM – Secretary’s Report for 2019

As we come to the end of another calendar year I look back on the objectives we have achieved together and feel a great sense of pride and gratitude. I often ask myself what is the purpose of RTAI Wicklow and I am sure you all have your own thoughts and ideas. We play a multi-faceted role for our members. We have a social and support role. We keep in touch with fellow retirees. I am always grateful to be able to work with such a great group of people, trying to improve our conditions in pension, quality of life and social life. Two years ago we set out to develop a contact information system for our members in order to store e-mail addresses and phone numbers for all members. We now have 214 members, 190 of those with e-mail addresses receiving regular correspondence. 


So what did we do during the year to improve our member’s lives? We started off the year in Feb with a committee meeting to plan the year’s meetings and tours continuing the theme of annual cultural tours and health talks for our members. On March 4th and 5th, Kitty O’Connell and myself attended the Convention in the Gresham Hotel, which was very stimulating and enjoyable. On Tuesday May 7th as part of our West Wicklow meetings we went on tour to the Japanese Gardens and National Stud. This was a lovely summer day. There was a great social aspect with a nice meal in the beautiful Japanese Gardens Restaurant followed by some retail therapy in Kildare Village. On June 12th for our health promotion talk we had Sabina Brennan in Tinakilly House who gave a very thought provoking address on keeping our brains young, preventing dementia, and improving our physical and mental health. 

September 18th and 19th I was in Dublin for the Secretary’s Conference in the Gresham Hotel to keep us focussed on issues affecting us. On Sept 26th we had a Committee meeting to plan the Dail tour, Christmas dinner and looking at planning for 2020 events. On October 16th we had coffee and culture in the National Art Gallery followed by a grand tour of the Dail. We were lucky we had such a beautiful summer day and had a nice time in the Dail and restaurant. This was a particularly relaxing sociable day for, friendly chat and getting to know people and of course the odd photo with TDs on the plinth of the Dail finishing with another bit of retail in the Kilkenny Shop. On December 11th we continued on our health promotion with a talk by Gaye Godkin, Consultant Nutrionist on eating properly as we age to stay healthy.



It was a very busy year with lots of e-mails, phone calls and newsletters and trying to recruit recent retirees. If you know of any retirees please encourage them to join. They can get a form from me or go to the rtaireland.ie website and press join on the home page. We need all the newly retired teachers to become members to keep the branch alive and vibrant.



I would like to thank my wife Margaret for her constant patience and advice and being my general editor. I thank the branch committee for their support and in particular to Eibhlin Kinsella and Kitty O’Connell for their patience dedication and thoroughness in everything they do. 

 I thank you the members for all your courtesy and support and your willingness to come out to events and meetings and really enjoy yourselves. I thank Billy and head office staff, Siobhan and Patricia and our National website manager Mick Mangan who makes sure our webpage looks well at all times

Billy has been and is a dynamic transformational leader. You just have to be inspired by his energy and enthusiasm. He has turned RTAI into a modern forward thinking organisation raising the profile of retired teachers and their pension conditions. It was Billy who spearheaded the forming of RTAI into A Company Limited by Guarantee, which protects us all in the work we do. I post any new notices on our Wicklow Branch page on the www.rtaireland.ie website so I ask you please you follow that for accounts and photographs of past events and any future events we have planned.



Finally, I ask you the members to remember for a few moments those members who died during the year: John Fleming Feb 13, Monina Nagle Wicklow, March5, Maureen Doyle Roundwood, March 28 Ann Lott Arklow May 24, Con Cunningham Bray June 7th Teresa Mc Carthy, Arklow September 13, Frances Allen Donard, October 24th.


Suaimhneas siorai ar a nanmnacha uilig.


Wicklow Branch held its AGM in Tinakilly House Hotel on Wednesday Dec11th with 75 members attending.

The day started at 10.30 with complimentary teas and coffees in the tea rooms

At 11.15 we moved to one of the function rooms to start proceedings.


Officers Elected:

Chairperson:John Connor                           Secretary: Mick O Callaghan

Treasurer:   Eibhlin Kinsella                        Vice chair:     Stephanie Mc Donald

Honorary Auditors: Kitty O Connell  and  Geraldine Lynch

Motion For Convention;

That the members contribution to Solidarity be raised from 2 to 3 euros.


In attendance were Mary Mc Carthy NEC RTAI who spoke about what good branches do

Billy Sheehan our National Secretary spoke about pension increases

Mick O Callaghan asked members to recruit newly retired teachers into the Branch. He also mentioned the Solidarity Fund and how members could apply

The Treasurer Eibhlin Kinsella presented a very healthy set of accounts for the year after a very busy year’s activities.

Our guest speaker was Gaye Godkin, Consultant Nutrionist who advised on improving our DIET, as we grow older.

There was plenty of food for thought in this address

I have been asked for address and phone numbers to contact her and I refer you For further details to  her WEBSITE, which you can access by clicking HERE

After all the talking we adjourned to the luxury of Tinakily house restauant where all 75 tucked into the Christmas Dinner, followed by an evening of great chat and comraderie

A memorable day was had by all

All that remains now is to wish you all a very happy healthy Christmas and we will see you all in the New Year


Mick O’Callaghan


Below is a selection of photos taken at the AGM and the Christmas dinner.

Simply click on a photo to enlarge it!

Tour of the Houses of the Oireachtas, October 16th, 2019 - REPORT

Wicklow Branch RTAI had one of their most successful, enjoyable tours so far to the National Gallery and Dail Eireann.

On Wednesday October16th the RTAI tour bus left Gorey at 8.30 and proceeded to Dublin via, Arklow, Jack Whites

Wicklow town, Ashford,Greystones and Bray picking up retired teachers at each stop.

It is nice to report that there were no late comers so no late passes were issued.

Our first port of call was the National Gallery where members were free to browse or just sit down for coffee and scones or just chat with friends for one and a half hours.Most opted for a mixture of both,

Next stop was the Kildare Street entrance to the Dail when all 42 of us were screened through to start our tour.

After a few photos on the plinth and a short initial talk we headed for the Dail restaurant for a beautiful relaxed dinner and glass of wine for two hours which was greatly enjoyed by all.

We then continued our tour watching both Dail Eireann and Seanad Eireann in session and then back to take more  photos on the plinth with some Dail Eireann Luminaries.

A great day was had by all.

Our next major event will be theChristmas dinner in Tinakilly House on December 11th when we will have our General Secretary, Mr Billy Sheahan  who will speak on issues relating to Pensions and current situations affecting us.

Our guest speaker on the day will be Gaye Godkin, nutritionist ,writer and broadcaster. Gaye will speak for about 35 minutes and then take your questions from the floor

All this will be on Dec 11th starting with  registration, coffee and chat at 10.45 and the main event kicks off at 11.15

Below is a selection of photos of the Oireachtas visit. Simply click on an image to enlarge it.

Summer Meeting and Dinner, June 12th 2019

The summer meeting of Wicklow Branch was held in St Bridgets Hall Rathnew on Wednesday June 12th. There was a great attendance of 60 members.

The meeting kicked off with a very interesting talk from Matt Reville, President RTAI bringing members up to date on pension increases and other issues relating to RTAI .

This was followed by a presentation by Dr Sabina Brennan fro Trinity College who covered a wide range of issues on keeping our brains healthy and strategies for avoiding Dementia.

We had Sabina’s  book “ 100 days to a younger brain ‘ on sale at the meeting and Sabina signed all copies.  All members present really enjoyed and benefited  from her excellent presentation.

This was followed by a sumptuous meal in the luxurious surroundings of Tinakilly House Hotel.

Below is a gallery of photos taken on the occasion: To enlarge a photo, simply click on it!

RTAI Wicklow Summer Tour - May 7th 2019 - Photo Gallery


Wicklow members of RTAI enjoyed a great day out on tour to The National Stud, St. Fiachra’s and Japanese Gardens on Tuesday May 7th.

 The sun shone brightly for the occasion and everyone had a great day. This was followed by a lovely meal in the Japanese Gardens restaurant.

 Finally it was time for some retail therapy in Kildare Village and then the long journey home after an excellent outing to Kildare.

 It was a very friendly relaxed day where all involved really enjoyed the day out, as can be seen from the photos below:

(To see a photo in detail, just click on it.)




Fantastic turnout at Dec 12th AGM

We had a fantastic turnout at our AGM on DEC 12th when our guest speaker was Mr Dermot Goode of Total health.

Dermot gave a 95 minute presentation with a very lively and informative question and answer session which was of great benefit to the 60 members present. He dealt with a range of health insurance plans and gave people lots of advice on transferring from one company to another and saving money.

This was followed by a very nice dinner and social Occassion in `Hunters Hotel



History of the Branch: Minutes of Inaugural Meeting, 1977

Below is a link to the facsimile of the minutes of the meeting at which Wicklow Branch RTAI was founded in 1977:

Minutes from Wicklow Branch Foundation 1977

Wicklow Photos 2018/19

Branch Officers

John Connor


Stephanie McDonald


Mick O'Callaghan


Evelyn Kinsella


Kitty O Connell & Geraldine Lynch

Branch Auditors

Contact Us

Michael: 087-0612072