The meeting was opened at 1030a.m. with six apologies having been received. Chairman Neil Ramshaw gave a short update on two members and made the third call for the April 26th A.G.M. with any proposals/discussion items/ officers for election to be advised to the Secretary by next Tuesday April 12th latest. There is also an urgent need for a candidate to take up the position of Vice Chairman next year given the changes at Chairman level outlined to members. Details of the Members’ Spring Lunch were provided by John Taylor with a need for bookings and menus to be back with him by April 26th.

The Forum saw returning Speaker Mr Tony Burkitt attend with his talk on ” Ireland–A Green And Pleasant Land”. The audience was then entertained for an hour with an impressive slide show starting in Dublin but travelling around many parts of Southern Ireland including County Kerry and Connemara. Many impressive buildings were shown in Dublin including Customs House, ( originally built in 1791; burnt down by the I.R.A. in 1921 and subsequently restored) Dublin Castle, other splendid examples of Georgian buildings and their coloured doors and some of the statues to be found around the city including James Joyce, Molly Malone, Charles Stewart Parnell and Daniel O’Connell. Other landmarks were illustrated  such as the G.P.O. Building (notable in 1916 Easter Uprising), the Ha’Penny Bridge across the Liffey and Trinity College (University Of Dublin) where the Book Of Kells can be seen. Tony then moved us to the Wicklow Mountains with great landscapes and some fine Mansions to peruse. We called in at Avoca better known as Ballykissangel from B.B.C. T.V.  and were shown castles, churches, ancient ruins and crosses, monk’s retreats and colour washed properties along with pictures of the many varied wild flowers to be found. The talk was underpinned with a flavour of the history of this at times troubled province particularly the longstanding sectarian differences and mention was made of some of the legends that are integral to this country. A short question and answer session concluded the morning’s proceedings.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the thirty-six attendees was given by Mike South.




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