“I have been with Active Retirement Ireland for 15 years.” Nancy Hegarty tell us. “Before we moved to Killarney, we were living in America.
"I am a Galway person originally, so, when we got here, I didn’t really know anybody. To change that I decided to join different organisations in the area and Active Retirement Ireland was one of them.”
“There is great friendship within the group, we go on holidays together, we do outings. There is always an activity going on and always someone to do it with. It is great to be part of a nice big group.”
And, with groups all over the country, that really is what Active Retirement Ireland is – big. But not just in numbers, this group is big in terms of its importance, and in terms of what it does for the community.
“Active Retirement Ireland is very important because we actually take care of our elderly and ensure that they get what they need,” Nancy explains, adding that this extends across numerous areas from social needs to political rights.
“We need to think about things like election times”, Nancy says. “Do the elderly have everything they need to get them to the polling centres and, if not, what can we do to aid that?"
“One of our main aims is to enable people to live in their own homes as they age, rather than nursing homes. Together, in Active Retirement Ireland, we encourage them and fight for their rights as best we can.”
But there's also a fun side to the organisation – one that's abundantly clear as she takes part in the National Bowls Championship in Killarney.
“At the moment I am helping out at the National Bowls Competition. There’s close to 500 people from all over the country here and I know almost all of them!”
“I’ve met so many people through the organisation – and, with that, so many friends.”