Section News

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Irish Section News for October journal.

Hope this finds you all safe and well.

Sadly, due to the lock down in Co Kildare, Sean wasn't able to lead out the run from The Spa Hotel in August. His good friend Tony Glaholm took up the challenge at very short notice and led us up some great country roads and through the Gaeltacht area of Co Meath to Lough Crew Megalithic Centre where we were made welcome by Sarah & her staff. We all relaxed with our tea, coffee & cake and had great chats. Thanks also to David Sherwin for doing “tale end Charlie” with the drop off system & keeping us all together. Afterwards Sean Moore brought most of the group to Mullaghmeen Forest for a relaxing walk. It was great to see so many people out and we also had three new members with us, whom I know thoroughly enjoyed their first ride-out with the Irish Section.

Due to the ongoing restrictions, we still cannot resume our Thursday night meetings in The West County Hotel but we will keep you posted as restrictions change.

News from Pat regarding their North West meeting, they had a great turn-out also for their meeting and ride-out from their new meeting place on Sunday 9th August, 10 bikes and 3 pillions.

Also had a note that Fran McCarthy and Gerry Christie organised a run in Kerry on Sunday 9th August and that everyone who took part thoroughly enjoyed it too.

I do hope that those of you who attended the Thatch Rally weekend on Lusty Beg Island in Co Fermanagh with the Ulster Section had a great time. We hope to have a report in next months' journal.

At time of writing (3 September) we have no news yet on the N.W. weekend for October but we will keep you all posted. It is very hard for T.J. our Social Secretary and the committee to make plans for weekends away at the moment, due to the changing restrictions being put in place over the ongoing Covid.19 pandemic.

Due to current Government guidelines and restrictions, the Irish Section AGM will not take place this year, owing to Covid.19. However, the committee will be sending out an email to all members with our end-of-year reports in late October/early November.

In the meantime,

Keep safe and well.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for September journal.

Hope this finds you all safe and well. It is great that we have good news in the Irish Section and that Members are able to meet up again. Sean had a great turn-out to the breakfast in Blessington, Co Wicklow on the second Sunday in July with 18 people coming along, including Fran & John from Limerick and Johnie from Cork, a great distance for them to travel to meet up with the Leinster area members. After breakfast, we all travelled across the mountains over to Glenmalure and into Laragh for coffee before we said our goodbyes. Everyone enjoyed their breakfast and the spin over to Laragh and we are looking forward to meeting up again.

News from Pat regarding their North West meeting. "We had our first ride to meet on the second Sunday in July since the lockdown. On arrival to our usual meeting place Coffey's cafe, Carrick-on-Shannon, to our sadness we discovered it has closed for good, we had been meeting there for over 20 years.

We learnt that the elderly owner has decided to retire, we wish him well, health and happiness.

From there, we had a scout around and stumbled across our new meeting place,

Esquires Coffee Shop, on the Dublin Road, Carrick-on-Shannon (beside Tesco and just across the road from the football pitch). It is more spacious with some outdoor seating and a large car park, so it suits our needs.

We had 6 bikes and 1 pillion and it was great to catch up with everyone again and put the world to right.

Hope to see everyone again soon, it's great to see everyone out supporting the Clubs ride-outs, until next time. Pat."

Tom Mellott's camping weekend in Castlebar went really well, everyone who went along thoroughly enjoyed it. Lots of nice "thank yous" to Tom on the WhatsApp group. As it was such a great success, I think Tom will most likely be asked to organise it again. Well done Tom.

We had some sad news in July with the passing of John Gallagher, a much respected member of the Irish Section for many years. I have put in a special piece separately in the journal to John's memory. He will be sadly missed.

Our next event will be the Thatch Rally weekend on Lusty Beg Island in Co Fermanagh with the Ulster Section and I know those who have booked are really looking forward to it. I hope you all have a great weekend and that the weather will be nice.

At time of writing (3rd August) we have no news yet on the N.W. weekend for October but we will keep you all posted.

I don't think that we will be able to have our annual Christmas lunch in Bray this year. I will have to see how the numbers go with the dreaded virus! I am not sure if Brian is even open I will have to check it out and let you know.

In the meantime, keep safe and well and hopefully we can meet up soon and enjoy our biking.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for August journal.

On behalf of the Irish Section Committee we hope that you and your families are all safe and well. There is light at the end of the tunnel, after all that has happened the past few months with restrictions easing, which is great news.

Many of you are back out on your bikes and I am sure you are all delighted to be able to do so. Miffy tells me that some members have been going back to some of the places that they visited for the Photo Rally in years gone by within their own counties and are enjoying the rides. As most of our biking holidays have had to be cancelled this year, people are also reminiscing about past holidays and Thomas Hannigan sent me a particularly nice photo of himself and his wife Linda with Pete & Brid O'Donohoe on holiday, last year in Morocco. Hopefully we will all be able to get back to our exotic locations on our bikes in years to come.

All of our monthly runs have started up again in July and we are hoping that they can continue. Sean organised the first breakfast run for Sunday 12th July to Baltinglass, Co Wicklow and at time of writing (2nd July) he tells me he is really looking forward to having a "full Irish" and seeing all his friends on their bikes again. Pat is also organising his runs in the N.W. in Carrick-on-Shannon and Fran will be meeting up with his group in Limerick and surrounding areas soon also.

As you probably know, the Ulster Section and the Irish Section are joining each other to take part in "The Thatch Rally" on Lusty Beg Island in Fermanagh. A great venue and booked up in no time at all, I am sure you are all looking forward to that next month. Let's hope the weather will be kind for the first weekend event of the year after the long lockdown.

We are also hoping to organise the NW Hotel weekend and will keep you posted when we have more details.

If you have any photos or news of any nice places you have visited since the lockdown ended, please send them on to me and we can send them to the journal.

In the meantime, keep safe and well..

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for July journal.

On behalf of the Irish Section Committee we hope that you and your families are all safe and well at this very difficult time.

We know that many of you continue to do great work helping "Blood Bikes" and "Bravo Charlie Tango" Open Source Volunteers deliver vital equipment around the country, which is great and well done to you all.

As I write this news for the July edition of the journal on 6th June we all know that the Government have recently announced further gradual opening up of business and allowing us to travel up to 20km within our own county to visit friends and family which is great news. Hotels, Restaurants and Bars are to open shortly also. With this in mind, we are hoping that we may be able to hold our "Thatch Rally" weekend in September and our "N.W. weekend" in October, but we will have to wait until we see how things are, closer to the time. Because of the uncertainty regarding the Virus we cannot yet place an Ad in the journal for our September or October weekends. However, if these events can go ahead, we will email members and also make announcements through the WhatsApp group. If you have not registered your email address with the Irish Section Membership Secretary and you would like to do so, please email Miffy at: irish.membership@bmwclubuk.net Miffy is also the Administrator of the WhatsApp group so you can also advise her if you wish to join that too.

Fran in Limerick continues to keep in touch with Members in his area with WhatsApp and Zoom. Sean tells me that he too has been keeping in touch with members in the Leinster area with WhatsApp and Zoom also.

The Irish Section WhatsApp group have been reminiscing about past events and putting up photos etc. Some members have also been getting out our their bikes in recent weeks. Kevin Tyrrell sent us particularly nice photos of his runs near to home (within his 5km radius), including photos taken of woods and river run of the river Liffey at Straffan Bridge, Co. Kildare.

In the background is the famous “K” club which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006.

Kevin watched this angler fly fishing for twenty minutes.

He says it was a pleasure to see a true artist at work. Other photos of The “ Wonderful Barn”, built in 1743 by Speaker Connolly’s family was used as a Dovecote for the housing of pigeons and doves. It provided a source of sport for shooting parties and protein for all on Castletown Estate. It is situated at Barnhall, Leixlip, Co. Kildare. Photos taken at "Connolly's Folly" This obelisk was built in 1740 by the widow of Speaker Connolly to provide relief of the local destitute by offering them employment. Interred underneath is the resting place of Meriga Guinness, first wife of Desmond, of Leixlip Castle. It is located off road between Celbridge and Maynooth.

We even had a photo of an "escapee" who spent the night under canvas recently and thoroughly enjoyed his biking weekend. If anyone else is enjoying good bike spins near to home and has nice photos, please send them on to me.

Keep safe and well and hopefully we can meet up soon and enjoy our biking.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for June journal.

On behalf of the Irish Section Committee we hope that you and your families are all safe and well at this very difficult time.

We know that many of you continue to do great work helping "Blood Bikes" and "Bravo Charlie Tango" Open Source Volunteers deliver vital equipment around the country, which is great and well done to you all.

As I write this news for the June edition of the journal on 5th May, we all know that the Government have recently announced further gradual opening up of business and allowing people to travel a little more outside their own areas, however, it will be at least August 10th (phase 5) before we can really see a difference and be able to get out on our bikes properly again. With this in mind, we are hoping that we may be able to hold our "Thatch Rally" weekend in September and our N.W. weekend in October, but we will have to wait until we see how things are, closer to the time.

I hear from Fran in Limerick that he has been keeping in touch with Members in his area with WhatsApp and Zoom. Sean tells me that he too has been keeping in touch with members in the Leinster area with WhatsApp and Zoom, we are all learning to use new technology to keep in touch with friends which is great. Sean even had a call from someone recently in Co Wicklow who would like to join the Club and we look forward to meeting our new member when things ease a little.

Unfortunately we have had to cancel events for June & July, including The Boreen Run, The Airhead Camping and B&B weekend in Athlone and our Camping weekend too. I know that Rory & Pat had put a lot of time and effort into planning the Boreen Run and all being well we will have it to look forward to next year. Also Fran McCarthy puts a lot of work into planning the Airhead weekend and this again can be held next year. Tom Mellot had planned our first camping weekend in a long time for July but unfortunately this has now had to be cancelled too.

The main thing is we are all well and hopefully can enjoy all these events next year.

Keep safe and well.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for May journal.

On behalf of the Irish Section Committee we hope that you and your families are all safe and well at this very difficult time.

Who would have thought last month that things would get so bad for us all? (I am writing this news for the May edition of the journal on 30/03/2020 so news will be out of date by the time you read this). As you know, we had already cancelled our Club monthly meetings quite a while ago and because of the more recent Government announcements, no one can go out on their bikes now anyway unless you are an Essential Worker or you need to get essential shopping etc.

However, it is very heartening to know that many bikers including some of our own Irish Section Members are doing great work in helping the HSE and other essential services to get vital supplies to hospitals and clinics. Blood Bikes Ireland have been doing this type of work for quite a while now but as you probably know that not only are they making extra efforts to help the HSE and other vital services, they are also working through the night in some cases which is not easy. Please give them your support if you can by logging onto their website and making a donation. Also the organisers of the Irish Photo Rally have asked for help as they too are helping the HSE at the moment, email: merv.colton@gmail.com for details if you are available to help them, they are looking for volunteers to bring small items throughout the country.

As we advised our Members in recent WhatsApp messages and emails, we cannot predict what is going to happen in terms of our weekends away at the moment. The Committee will be taking the advice of the HSE and the Government so it will be to "wait and see" how the virus continues to affect us here in Ireland. We will keep you posted and in the meantime, it is a great opportunity to get your bike cleaned, polished and ready for the road, so that you can enjoy it when all this is over.

Keep safe and well.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for April journal.

As promised, a report on the Mini Thatch, which was a great success with a full compliment of bookings in the houses in Kilmuckridge. As you all probably know, the forecast had been terrible with yet another February storm on the horizon, however, I am glad to report that the weather was in fact very kind for people riding down on Friday and while out on the ride-out on Saturday to St Mullins in Co Carlow. By all accounts, everyone settled in and had a lovely time and the food was excellent over the entire weekend in the adjoining Hotel. Sean reports that two of our very popular members unfortunately had a tumble off their bike on the Saturday ride-out but I am glad to say on contacting them afterwards, that they are both doing fine and all is well. I also hear that Sean was very inventive when getting donations in for our charity, The Laura Lynn Foundation (The Children's Hospice) and he was delighted to let me know that he raised €205.00 which was lodged directly to their account. Well done Sean and a big thanks to all of you for your kind contributions. Thanks also to Tony Glaholm for helping out at the weekend.

Unfortunately Chris & Elaine Wright could not attend The Mini Thatch as planned, owing to the sudden passing of Elaine's Dad, RIP. On behalf of the Irish Section, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Elaine, Chris and Elaine's family on this sad event.

I hear from Fran in Limerick that the monthly meetings are going well and that everyone is eager for the rain to stop so they can get out on their bikes.

Pat also reports that the meetings in the N.W. area are going well too and Sean is delighted with the attendance at the monthly meetings in The West County Hotel.

Both Fran and Sean will be organising the "Airheads & Oilheads" weekend in Athlone in June and they would really appreciate any help that they can get, please contact them (their details are in the journal). They are also looking for contributors for the Saturday afternoon talks.

Our next weekend event will be The Boreen Run from 30 May - 1 June 2020 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. This years leader's will be Rory Bradley & Pat Munnelly. See large Ad in journal and "Around the Compass" for full details. Bookings are now open for this event, email: book@bmwclub.ie.

All of our Club events for the Irish Section are also listed on the Club website: https://sites.google.com/view/bmwclubirishsection

Let's hope the recent storms are behind us so that everyone can get out and enjoy their bikes. On behalf of the rest of the committee, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all our members and their families a very happy Easter.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for March journal.

With spring now in the air, hopefully you are all out enjoying your bikes once again and I hope that those of you who attended the Mini Thatch in Kilmuckridge had a great weekend, I believe at time of writing in early February that it is fully booked and everyone is really looking forward to it.

Pat Munnelly reports that the Northwest second Sunday ride to meet went ahead in January due to the very mild and somewhat dry weather. Four souls turned up, chatted about what Santa brought and what he didn't bring, more importantly. A discussion on cleaning carbon for engines was had, which we will have a report on as one of the lads got his diesel Van done recently which has made a huge difference in performance and fuel efficiency so he's going to get his bike de-carbonated too, (watch this space). Second Sunday meet will go ahead each month from here on as from now on the weather should be okay. Coffey's coffee shop, Carrick-on-Shannon at 11AM

Sean O'Briain tells me that there was a great turn-out at the first monthly meeting of the year in The West County Hotel and everyone is looking forward to the ride-outs and events that have been planned for this year. Sean will be organising his runs from the Spa Hotel (near Lucan) again this month and he would love to hear from members with new ideas or suggestions for Sunday runs. His contact details are below.

Our next weekend event will be The Boreen Run from 30 May - 1 June 2020 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. This years leader's will be Rory Bradley & Pat Munnelly. See large Ad in journal and "Around the Compass" for full details. (At time of writing in early February the Hotel is closed and wont re-open until 1st March which is why we have to wait to finalise prices with them. We will have prices available for the April edition of the journal).

As you probably know, at the AGM, Tom Mellott suggested organising a camping weekend for the Club and he has been to visit the owners of Carrowkeel Camping & Caravan Park in Castlebar, Co Mayo and I am glad to say that this has been organised for the weekend of 24-26 July. Apart from the necessary facilities like a toilet block with toilets and (free) hot showers, they have a clubhouse which opens at night time. They serve pub grub between 7pm and 9pm and drinks from 7pm until late. They don’t do breakfasts. They also have a camper’s kitchen and a games room with table tennis and a pool table. They accept cash and cards for payments. Alex Peters the owner has been in touch with me and he is looking forward to Club members arriving on 24th July. Tom has volunteered to do a run for members on the Saturday. For more details please visit the website www.carrowkeelpark.ie and see the Ad in "Around The Compass" in the journal for contact details re booking.

For anyone interested in visiting northern Spain or Southern France, "Brittany Ferries" have changed their sailing from Cork/Santander to the Rosslare/Bilbao route commencing March 2020.

On behalf of the Irish Section, we would like to give our sincere sympathy to Piers (who does all the Ads for the journal) on the sad passing of his wife Helen, RIP. Piers is always so helpful to us doing the artwork for our ads for the journal.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for Feb 2020 Journal.

First of all, on behalf of myself and the rest of the committee, I would like to thank Pat Munnelly for all his hard work as Irish Secretary over the past 4 years and for keeping us all up-to-date with the news here in the Journal also.

We had a good turnout for the Christmas lunch in Old Conna Golf Club in Bray with 50 members including family & friends attending this year. As usual, Brian & his staff looked after us very well and I am glad to say that everyone enjoyed the lunch once again.

As I write this it is late December with the days getting longer, hopefully in the coming weeks, we will be able to get out on our bikes and get organised for the season ahead, with the first weekend event this month being the Mini-Thatch (see ad in journal).

Pat has already detailed in the January edition of the journal all of the events which are on the diary for 2020 and all the ads have now been placed in the journal and on the Irish Section website. The one change is that Sean will be organising the Sunday runs from The Spa Hotel from March-November from now on, as the other 3 months, Dec-Feb the weather is too unpredictable and it is hard to organise runs then. Pat tells me that on Sunday 29th December himself and Maurice took a spin down to Carrick, as it was such a mild day and they were glad to get out on the bikes after all the Christmas fare, it was their last run to Carrick for 2019.

T J will be finalising plans for all the events for 2020 and full details will be published in the journal and on the Irish Section website page also.

Miffy will be taking bookings for all events again this year, you can email her book@bmwclub.ie and at time of booking, ask her about payment methods. Although PayPal has proved popular and is an easy method of payment, it costs the Club quite a lot in charges. The cheapest method for all is through internet banking, however, please advise her at time of booking if you would like to use this method and enter your BMW Club Membership Number in the narrative box when making your payment (otherwise she won't know who is paying).

We will have a report on the Mini-Thatch in the April edition of the journal and hope you all have a safe trip down to Kilmuckridge and enjoy the weekend. If you didn't go last year, you take Exit 23 on the M11 and follow the signs for Ballygarret, Killenagh and Kilmuckridge.

As you know we are supporting The Laura Lynn Children's Hospice this year and if anyone has any ideas for fundraising, we would love to hear from you. All monies raised will be sent directly to them.

Anne McDonald

Irish Section Secretary

irish.secretary@bmwclubuk.net

Irish Section News for January 2020 Journal.

Hi all,

Wishing you a healthy and happy new year with loads of biking. I hope all the bike gear fits after the

festive season and if it doesn’t you can take the positive out of it… it’s an excuse to buy new gear.

Easier than dieting!

Not much to report as it is a quiet time of year on the club front.

We had our AGM in Athlone in Nov with 37 members in attendance. A change in the committee with

Secretary Pat Munnelly stepping down having completed his term and Sean O’Briain Social Secretary

also stepping down. The new committee for 2020 is Anne McDonald – Club Secretary, T.J. McHale –

Social Secretary, Charlie Dolan – Treasurer, Miffy Hoad – Membership Secretary, Sarah Vesey –

Committee Member, Mike Nevin – Committee Member.

Next is our diary of events 2020. First is the Mini Thatch Rally 21 st & 22 nd Feb, Cottages of Upton

Court Hotel, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford. €110.00 2 nights B&B + 1 evening meal on Sat night and

lunch on the ride-out. Second is The Boreen Run 29 th , 30 th May & 1 st June, Beach House Hotel,

Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. With 2 or 3 night option. Ride outs on both Sat & Sun – Pat Munnelly leading

the ‘milder’ one and Rory Bradley taking a little more ‘trying’ route! Price tbc. Third event is the

Airhead Weekend in Lough Rea Yacht Club Athlone, 19 th & 20 th June. Fourth event is The Thatch Rally,

Lustybeg, Fermanagh, 18 th & 19 th Sept. 2 nights B&B + 1 evening meal and lunch on the ride-out

staying in timber houses on the island. Price tbc. Last event for the year will be The NW Hotel

Weekend which hasn’t been confirmed yet but is usually the third weekend in Oct. Our AGM will be

held in The Lough Rea Yacht Club Athlone on 22 nd Nov at 11am.

Well that’s it from me and the Journal notes. After four years I’m handing you over to Anne

McDonald our new club secretary.

Safe biking everybody. Pat Munnelly

AGM 2019

AGM was held on Sunday 24th November 2019 in at Lough Rea Yacht Club, Athlone. A new committee was selected. See the Committee page for list of new club officers.