History of RTAI Laois
There is no evidence of the existence of RTAI (Laois) prior to 1990. Seamus Rhatigan (formerly Rathdowney Branch INTO) was contacted by Denis Desmond call a meeting of retired teachers with a view to setting up a Branch. This meeting took place in The Regency Hotel (Now O’Loughlin’s) Portlaoise in November 1990. Approximately 20 people attended and Seamus Rhatigan was appointed Hon. Sec.
At subsequent meetings guest speakers from An Garda Síochána and Medical Doctor gave advice to members. Denis Desmond also attended the meetings with advice on pensions, medical insurance , medical cards etc. Some of the names associated with those early days are Tómás O Floinn (Hon. Sec.). Chairpersons were Seán Connolly R.I.P., Joan O Riordan (nee Campion), Mary Hennessy, Ena Bergin R.I.P.
The Branch now has 133 members spread all around the County. Chairperson is Catherine Coleman and Mary McCarthy is secretary. Our Committee members are Sheelagh Coyle ( National Executive member)John Mulhare, Catherine O Connor , Joe Hickey ( National Standing Orders) , and Michael Martin. Paddy Bates very kindly and patiently looks after our website www.rtailaois.com
We meet informally once a month for coffee and a chat in the Midway Hotel Portlaoise. We have 2 other annual meetings in The Laois Education Centre.
We have had Yoga and Mindfulness classes. We hope to organise Bridge during the winter. Trips have been organised both in Ireland and abroad. We have a lending Library in Laois Education Centre. We go to the Gate Theatre and Dunamaise regularly. We also have had golf outings. We are very open to suggestions for activities for our members.
(Note:Neither scan does justice to his calligraphy !)