Retired nurses support group marks 23 years and welcome new members

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Retired nurses support group marks 23 years and welcome new members

Members of the Retired Nurses Association Laois Offaly branch

The Retired Nurses Association of Ireland (RNAI) is marking 23 years of being a support system for retired nurses locally through the Laois/Offaly branch and all around the country.

Members of the RNAI Laois Offaly branch meet up regularly in Portlaoise Parish Centre to discuss ongoing issues in the lives of retired nurses.

It is a social group which organises many outings and events during the year including Christmas nights out every December and they hold special mass during the year for deceased colleagues and friends.

The group first met on September 3, 1996, and is still going strong 23 years later.

The RNAI was organised as a result of like-minded nurses at a meeting in the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise in 1996.

The late Mr Tom Colgan who was a psychiatric nurse at St Fintan’s Hospital, Portlaoise was the chief convener of this inaugural meeting.

Most of the attendees were known to each other from other psychiatric hospitals throughout the country by way of their participation in the hospital football league and Connolly Cup competitions.

From this meeting in Portlaoise, the association grew and several trained nurses came together to form branches in almost every county in Ireland.

The aims and aspirations of the association involve promoting and protecting the interests of retired nurses of all disciplines, protecting pension rights and entitlements and negotiating group rates in the commercial, leisure and health areas.

The association also works to form a social link and support for all nurse pensioners.

At the local branch level, they organise social outings, Christmas parties, mass for the deceased colleagues and friends. New members are always welcome, regular meetings are held in the parish centre, notification of meetings are included in the local paper.

Issues they tackle include hospital parking, health insurance, safety in your home, home heating and insulation.

Anyone interested in joining can contact Teresa Lynch 0872068974 or Moira Costigan 0876219253.

MORE: Garda update on teenager missing from Laois