Posted August 5, 2015
Walt Whitman once said: Ireland is not merely a nation, but a teeming nation of nations – referring to the parishes that make up every county in Ireland – the tapestry of a strong sense of values where everyone shares in responsibility that brings about an inclusive and connected society. Ex-President McAleese also saw this when she set up the GAA Social Initiative for the empowerment and participation of older people in the community.
Rosemount Social Initiative is way ahead of the curve in this regard – a great role model. Winners of the GAA President’s Award for their outstanding contribution to the Social Initiative project, and last month we were delighted to welcome their group to Naomh Mearnóg.
Their coach arrived in Portmarnock at 4.30pm, having got lost on the way. We sent out our scout, Martin Kenny, to locate them at Texaco and escort them to Áras Mearnóg. However, we had to explain that the bunting was flying as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations and not, as they thought, in honour of Westmeath’s great win over Meath the previous week. Rosemount’s Fr. Jimmy Murray celebrated mass in the function room and, after tea and scones, they were taken on a tour of the Clubhouse and facilities in Pairc Mearnóg. It was then back into their coach and our local historian, Garry Ahern, brought them on a tour of Portmarnock’s historical sights.
Back to the Club at 9.30pm where Portmarnock’s community came out in force to join their Rosemount colleagues for a sumptuous BBQ, prepared by Smyth’s Butchers. Afterwards we were entertained to a great sing song, music and stories by both groups. After the speeches, Rosemount S.I. presented their hosts with a picture of our group’s visit to Tullynally Castle last February. Don Powell then presented our visitors with a picture of Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand, but the highlight was the presentation by Tony Larkin to Rosemount’s John Burke and Benny Smyth with a replica of the Sam Maguire Cup. Tony is a Master Craftsman in the art of wood-turning.
After a fabulous night of music, craic and banter, all agreed to make this an annual occasion.