Saturday, July 11, 2009Ballyduff ARG holiday in Laios
For the past five years, members of the Ballyduff Active Retirement have been on holiday in many different part of Ireland. These trips have so far taken them to Counties Donegal, Galway, Wicklow, and Waterford, but his year’s visit included no less than four counties – Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny and Carlow.
Part of the reason for the choice of destination was the large number of interesting places to be seen in the midlands. The group stayed in the prestigious Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.
The other reason for the choice of destination was that this region is the birthplace of the chairperson of the group, May Scott. As May explained “When I asked the group if they would like to see the part of Ireland where I came from they were very excited about the idea. Kerry is a very beautiful county, but I wanted to show them some of the beautiful places in my home county." There is a further link with Ballyduff through Bernard Guerin, who was stationed there for part of his career, and who married May's sister, Carmel, R.I.P.
The holiday was a great success. After travelling down and visiting Birr on the way, the first full day was spent in and around Abbeyleix, starting in the Heritage centre. Here members were welcomed by the Abbeyleix Probus Group, who organized the whole day for the group. This link came about through May’s sister Brenda who lives in Abbeyleix.
The day included a guided walk around the town, visiting the beautiful sensory gardens, and the church. In the afternoon the group was taken on a visit to the Italian Gardens at Heywood. Bernard showed the group the church in Spink where he had witnessed an apparition of Our Lady. The following day was spent in Kilkenny, with an opportunity to shop in the town, followed by visits to the Castle and Jerpoint Abbey.
The third day included a visit to Emo Court, followed by a visit to a sensory garden in Carlow town. There was so much more could have been visited. On the way back on the final day the group drove back over the beautiful Sliabh Bloom mountains, and stopped in Limerick for a final shop before heading back to Ballyduff.