Each year with the Men’s Group we like to take a journey on the water as part of our summer expeditions. This year, we decided to experience the beauty and tranquility of the magnificent Lough Erne. It was an easy journey up to Enniskillen and we received a very warm welcome from the boat-hire company. The two-hour trip around Lough Erne included a visit to the ancient monastic site of Devenish Island. It was relaxing, restorative and a real break from the bustle of ordinary life. We even made a new friend on the journey home!
It was another busy week for the Men’s Group last week.
On Tuesday we took a tour of the newly-refurbished Richmond Barracks, a very historical building and one of the landmarks of 1916. We saw a very moving art-piece created by local women’s groups to mark the impact and legacy of the 77 women who were held in the barracks in the aftermath of the Rising.
On Thursday we took one of our long tours. We started with a visit to No 29, a museum of Georgian life in Merrion Square. In the afternoon we drove down to Glendalough and were fortunate enough to enjoy some great sunshine. We finished the day with a visit to Wicklow Gaol, where we learned of the fates of an earlier generation of Irish rebels. Its a very immersive tour, and a fascinating one, but we were happy enough to get back to the warm light of day and to experience freedom again!
The Ozanam House Summer Project is well underway, and all members are having a great time, Volunteers and the Kids!
We’ve had some great activities, from kayaking, adventure centers, to fun days at the beach, along with art, crafts, sports and even magicians!
We have a few pictures of just some of our activities this year below.
This week the Men’s Group took a trip to Offaly and Westmeath. We visited the wonderful Clara Bog (including the very educational Visitors’ Centre) and the fascinating Ballard Organic Farm.
We learned a lot on our trip: about carnivorous plants and native lizards; the importance of peat bogs in the fight against climate change; the increased mechanisation in farm production over the years; the best way to make sweet-smelling silage; and the connection between elephant dung and organic porridge oats.
It was a great day out and despite the gloomy forecast we were fortunate to have another dry day.
Thanks to Rachel in Clara Bog Visitor Centre and Pat Lalor in Ballard Organic Farm.
The Mens Group visited Arigna Mines yesterday, for a guided tour around the last working coal mine in Ireland to close. It was a very involving experience, led by a former miner, two-hundred feet underground into the tunnels and shafts of this ancient mine. We saw the coal seams and gained some insight into the incredible difficulties the working miners faced.
We’re grateful for the extremely warm welcome we received at the Arigna Mining Experience and for the lovely lunch from the Cafe.
Its a beautiful setting as well, near the shores of Lough Allen, and we enjoyed a walk around the Miner’s Way before setting off for the long journey home.
Not the newest political party on the scene, nor yet the members of the latest Dail, but some images of our Men’s Group visit to Leinster House on Tuesday 12th July! We enjoyed a fantastic tour of the Dail and the Seanad, and were privileged enough to witness both houses at work. We even had a cup of tea in the Visitor’s Bar.
Thank you to our excellent guide and especially to our host Maureen O’Sullivan TD, who organised the tour on our behalf.
Mens Group Window Boxes Project
Back in November, we decided our next challenge as a group would be to construct a window-box.
We started out with some old planks of wood, a few tools, a basic sketch and lots of enthusiasm.
Every Thursday over the next few months, members of the group measured, sawed, hammered, drank tea, consulted the plans, sanded, stenciled and, finally, varnished the completed boxes.
Yesterday we planted a selection of herbs and beans and put the boxes in place.
They’ve found a home at the reception area of Ozanam House, so please remember to look out for them when you are passing.
The boxes look fantastic, and we are all excited about tasting the wonderful herbs when they are ready to eat!
A HUGE Thanks to our amazing volunteers Tom, Eamonn, Jezz and Noreen as well as our members Larry, Jack and Robert for all their work!
We have lots of exciting things going on in our Childcare Centre this week. Check out what the different groups are up to!
Meerkats Group – Playgroup Activities
Sand and water:
Filling containers with water or sand learning to understand full, empty, half full, nearly full, heavy and light.
Using mathematical language to develop understanding of capacity throughout their play
Growing their own grass in individual pots
Explore and experiment with new materials and objects
Meerkats Group – Senior Afterschool
Children will draw or paint pictures about what they would like to do when they grow up.
Things they dream about when sleeping or when day dreaming.
Map out shapes of the body, fill them in either by painting or colour them in, these will go on the wall.
Koala Group – Pre School
Are continuing with the numeracy theme, focusing on capacity.
They are having lots of time outside playing in the sand.
Friday will be cooking day.
Koala Group – Afterschool
Are enjoying skipping and games in the hall.
Taking care of their plants in the garden.
Spending lots of time in the new sandpit in our outdoor area.
Wednesday’s they are creating amazing artwork through “Heads Up” project with an artist facilitator.
Dolphin Group – Pre School
The children are planning to play in the sensory garden with new water area that was created.
They will also be doing lots more threading activities, also doing more cutting with different materials
Dolphin Group – After School
The children are having a slumber party, making tents, playing games and making Rice-Krispie buns.
They will continue to learn and play different card games.