Memorable Golden Jubilee celebration for Offalians in London

THE big freeze that gripped much of Europe recently failed to spoil the jovial atmosphere that pervaded at the Offaly Association London ’50 Years of Celebrations’ dinner dance in the MacNamara Suite of the London Irish Centre on Saturday week last, February 4.

THE big freeze that gripped much of Europe recently failed to spoil the jovial atmosphere that pervaded at the Offaly Association London ’50 Years of Celebrations’ dinner dance in the MacNamara Suite of the London Irish Centre on Saturday week last, February 4.

“The weather tried its best to be a spoil sport and interfere. Many people missed out on attending owing to flight cancellations and some roads were impassable, however, everyone was very understanding and patient and they put their collective shoulders to the wheel to get over the adversity and we’d a memorable night,” explained Offaly Association London Honorary Secretary & PRO Peter Hynes.

Mr Hynes, who was among the large ‘Faithful County’ contingent that ventured to Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds last Saturday to watch Coolderry achieve an historic win over Gort, added, “We’d 256 guests at the gala dinner and it was a fitting celebration of fifty successful years. It only comes around once and the committee are very proud of the Association and were humbled by the many messages of congratulations and expressions of thanks they received from guest speakers.”

Offaly County Council Cathaoirleach & 1991 NHL winning captain Danny Owens and Cllr Connie Hanniffy paid tribute to the Offaly Association London (affiliated to the County of Irish County Associations London) for their marvellous contribution over the past half century.

Past Chairperson of the Association Ray Digan, past and founder member Paddy Longworth and First Secretary at the Irish Embassy Ms Jane Connnolly also attended.

Offaly Association Chairperson Denis Connolly told guests, “The Offaly Association London is a fantastic forum for people from Offaly based here in the English capital to keep in contact with one another. The Association looks after the welfare of Offaly people and aiding our fellow County Associations. We also play an active role along with the other associations in organising the St Patrick’s Day Parade here.”

There are strong links between Gaelic Games and the Offaly Association London and the GAA fraternity figured prominently as Willie Bryan

(1971 All-Ireland SFC winning captain), Seamus Darby (1982 All-Ireland SFC Final goal scoring hero), Charlie Wrenn, Offaly GAA President Brendan Ward, current hurlers Shane Dooley and Derek ‘Del’ Morkan, along with camogie All-Ireland medal winner Fiona Stephens were present.

“This 50th anniversary celebration marks a massive milestone for the Offaly Association London and I’ve no doubt the Association will continue to make a huge contribution for many more decades to come and I wish to thank all who have served in any capacity with the Association Committee for their commitment and dedication. Your work, enthusiasm and voluntary contribution is much appreciated and I wish you every success with your future endeavours,” commented Cllr Danny Owens.

Meanwhile, people seeking information or wishing to join the Offaly Association London should check out their web-site www.offalyassociation1962.co.uk or contact Chairperson Denis Connolly 020 8200 3039 or Secretary / PRO Peter Hynes 020 8202 2225. E-mail peteroffaly@googlemail.com Offaly Association London Committee Life President Fr Tom Scully OMI, President Frank Ward, Vice President Austin Daly, Chairperson Denis Connolly, Vice Chairperson Liam Gallogly, Secretary & PRO Peter Hynes, Minutes Secretary Raymond Carroll, Treasurer Mary Brigid Eivers, Assistant Treasurer Esther Power. Committee members – Noel Lehane, Pauric Gunning, Ann Evans, Rosemary Porter, Mick Bevans, Marie Connolly and Frank Ward Forthcoming Events

Offaly Association London meetings take place on the 4th Tuesday of each month (no meeting in August) at 8.15pm in the London Irish Centre St Patrick’s Parade on Sunday, March 18 (mass at 9am with traditional Irish breakfast at the London Irish Centre) Offaly Association London AGM on Sunday, March 25 at 3pm in the London Irish Centre Fourth Annual Offaly Association London Golf Classic at Mill Hill Golf Club on April 21 (contact Liam 07814 719 492) CICA

Quiz Evening on Friday, May 18 at 8.30pm in the London Irish Centre. Winners receive the Donie Egan Perpetual Cup 51st Offaly Association London dinner dance on February 2, 2013.