IPA Ireland’s Colmcille Region welcome Swedish members to the 2018 Oranmore event in Galway

18 Dec 2018

ir2The Colmcille Region’s annual October weekend break to the Maldron Hotel in Oranmore, Galway, which is now in its 17th year, had a very welcome international element this time round.

This weekend event, organised and developed by regional Chairman Willie Maye since its inception, continues to attract big numbers and the fact that it continues to grow in popularity is testament to the excellent value and hospitality experienced by our members and to the appreciation of our members for the work put into it each year, ensuring that this event remains one of our Region’s most popular activities.

This year, we were delighted to welcome to our shores six IPA members from Sweden, led by Britt-Inger Kihlstrӧm, who had taken up the invitation to join us, which was extended by our group during our regional tour to Stockholm last December.

On Thursday, 18 October 2018, Britt-Inger, accompanied by Katrina Ellstrom, Stig Hagstrom, Tomas Jaenkrok, Roger Ostergren and Johan Kust, arrived by train in Galway city. The second such visit for Britt-Inger, but the first for her five colleagues. We met them that evening in Oranmore and following dinner, enjoyed a relaxing night in the hotel lounge.

Next morning, our visitors headed off to see the rugged landscape of south Galway and west Clare, hoping to take in the views from the Cliffs of Moher, but Mother Nature sent her mist down - our Swedish friends will have to come this way again to get the full benefit of those magnificent views :).

That evening our guests had the opportunity of meeting some forty members in our group following a fine dinner in the hotel.

On Saturday morning, IPA Claddagh Regional Secretary & IPA International Auditor Michael Walsh provided transport for our guests into the city where another Claddagh regional member, John O’Brien, was on hand to conduct a very informative walking tour of the city. This tour was thoroughly enjoyed by our group members and was followed by a relaxed and satisfying lunch in the city, hosted by IPA Ireland.ir3

In the afternoon, our guests enjoyed some free time to further explore Galway city before being transported back to the hotel by Michael Walsh. We were also delighted to be joined on Saturday by former President of IPA Ireland, Billy Saunderson and his wife Pauline, who arrived from Co. Clare to take part in our event. That night we were pleased to welcome back Michael Walsh and John O’Brien to our ‘formal’ dinner of the weekend where the hours just disappeared as we enjoyed a fine meal before presentations were exchanged with Britt-Inger Kihlstrӧm, regional Chairman Willie Maye and Joe Lynch for and on behalf of our Swedish guests.

As is now usual at our IPA events, a collection was made for the benefit of the ‘IPA Laura Fund’. This IPA Ireland support fund assists members and their families who are suffering financial hardship as a result of illness. Our thanks to all of our members for their kind support.

The next few hours disappeared quicker than the mist over the cliffs. Sunday morning was the usual hustle and bustle as we took our leave and bid farewell to our guests from Sweden.

Here’s to next year’s Oranmore event!

Joe Lynch, Editor IPA Ireland