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SI Athlone fund raising lunch

SI Athlone held their Annual Fund raising lunch in the Wineport Lodge, Athlone on 10th November 2018.

Left: Bernie Egan, President SI Athlone and Lisa Merriman, Safe Ireland.

Right: Catherine Milhench, Pres. Northern Ireland, Ann Dwan, Athlone Club.

Public speaking participants Athlone Public speaking participants Athlone
Participants in the local heats of the Public Speaking competition in Athlone, November 2017.

Public Speaking Competition 2015/6 Athlone

Athlone Soroptmists held their annual Public Speaking Competition in St. Joseph's College Summerhill on Tuesday 17th November 2017. It was a wonderfully entertaining and inspiring evening.

L to R: Anne McGlynn (Soroptimist); Emily Farrell, Qualifer Convent of Mercy Ballymahon; Emer Tyrell, Qualifer Convent of Mercy Ballymahon; Peggy Garvey (Soroptimist).

Public Speaking Competition 2015/6 Athlone

L to R: Front Row: Anne McGlynn (Soroptimist); Evie McTague, Reserve Athlone Community College; Emily Farrell, Qualifer Convent of Mercy Ballymahon; Emer Tyrell, Qualifer Convent of Mercy Ballymahon; Peggy Garvey (Soroptimist).

Back Row: Pat Braiden (Soroptimist); Chloe McDonnell, St.Josephs College Summerhill; Anna Egan, Colaiste Naomh Kilcormac; Caoimhe Lennon, Athlone Community College; Aleksandra Karch (Soroptimist).

International Women's Day

SI Athlone celebrated International Women's Day with a flower demonstration of Spring Flowers by Syra Reid. We raffled the arrangements and 8 members went home very happy.

Educating & Empowering women.

Athlone Regional Public Speaking Competition Regional Final

The Regional Final for the Girls’ Public Speaking Competition 2014-2015 was held on Sunday February 8th in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel Athlone. The range of topics covered Human Rights, Health, Education, Democracy and  Empowering Women.  The speakers were all supported by their families and schools, and Soroptimists from many different clubs.  

Girls from the following schools competed  in the Eastern Regional Final, Erica Fenner (Notre Dame, Churchtown, Dublin), Ariana Harris ( Wilsons’ Hospital School, Multyfarnham), Elle Loughran ( Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, Drogheda), Ciara Rigney
(Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone), Andrea Glennon    (Wilsons’ Hospital School, Multyfarnham), Rebecca Ross ( Castleknock Community College, Dublin), Emer Shine ( St Louis Secondary School, Dundalk), Clair Lemass ( St. Joseph’s College, Summerhill, Athlone).

Two winners were Ciara Rigney from Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone and Rebecca Ross from Castleknock Community College in Dublin, who will progress to the final stage of the competition in Bray on the 7th of March 2015

Athlone Regional Public Speaking Competition

Group photo  L to R:

Back: Sile O'Flaherty (Athlone Soroptimist); Chloe Monaghan (Convent of Mercy,Ballymahon); Caroline Kinsella (Our Ladies Bower,Athlone); Ellie Schnackenberg (Colaiste Naoimh Cormaic, Kilcormac); Grainne O'Neill (St.Josephs College, Athlone); Caoimhe Lennon (Athlone Community College); Mary O'Brien (Athlone Soroptimist).

Front: Sinead Gonley (Reserve Qualifer, Athlone Community College); Claire Lemass (Qualifer, St.Josephs College,Athlone); Pat Braiden (Presidenet Athlone Soroptimist Club); Ciara Rigney (Qualifer, Our Ladies Bower, Athlone); Andrea Higgins (Convent of Mercy, Ballymahon).

The winners (qualifiers) were Claire Lemass, St. Joseph’s College, Athlone, and Ciara Rigney, Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone, who will compete in the Regional competition in Athlone on Sunday, February 8th 2015.

Athlone Soroptimists held their third annual fundraising lunch in Lough Ree Yacht Club, Athlone last Saturday, October 18th.

Despite early showers it was a beautiful day and in a very scenic setting.  It was very well supported by members and friends,  and by Soroptimist colleagues from clubs as far away as Wexford. Proceeds of the day in aid of “Join our Boys Foundation” and local charities.  Paula Naughton, mother of Archie, George and Isaac,  spoke movingly of her family’s struggle with the devastating effects of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.

Following a delicious lunch prepared by the members,  the audience were entertained by Jean Farrell who read some of her wonderful and amusing stories, ably assisted by Ursula Hanley.  Musical entertainment which followed was by Aileen O’Connor, Edel  xxxx  and Shay Walsh,  who finished the afternoon on a high note.

Sincere thanks to all who supported this deserving cause.

Transfer of Athlone Presidency:

The Athlone International Soroptimists Society held their annual AGM in The Shamrock Lodge Hotel in Athlone on Tuesday the 8th of April 2014.

The presidency was transferred from Patricia Feeney to Pat Braiden and we wish Pat the best in her new role for the following year.

The membership of the club has increased over the years and we are delighted this year to welcome Briqetta McHugh, Ann McGlynn, Mary White, have decided to join our society. Soroptimists aims to inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and partnerships. If you are interested in finding out more please look up www.facebook.Soroptimist-International-Athlone-District and have a look at our activities.

  • Nollaig na mBan lunch, January 6th., in aid of the Simon Community.

  • Athlone & District Public Speaking Competition 2014.

  • Athlone & District Dinner

  • Athlone & District contribute to Samaritans and Croi.

  • Athlone & District Soroptimists organised a fashion show in October 2012 in aid of Pieta House. The proceeds which amounted to 1,000 euro were presented at the event.

  • Athlone & District members attending a coffee morning held in November. Proceeds were donated to The Jack & Jill Foundation.



Athlone Soroptimists celebrations sparkle in April sunshine

Athlone Soroptimist Club celebrates 50 years of its Charter in 2011 and to mark the occasion and pay tribute to the Club, ladies from Soroptimist Clubs around Ireland and many friends converged on Wineport Lodge Restaurant on Saturday 9th April. 

Mayor of Athlone Town Council, Sheila Buckley-Byrne welcomed all the visitors to Athlone and on behalf of the town, praised the Club for its trojan work throughout the years in supporting so many voluntary organisations. The Mayor made particular mention of the Caring for Carers initiative and the support of the Club for the local Carers Group, which was represented on the day by Ms. Margaret Fallon and Ms. Margaret Caulfield.   

Athlone Club President, Breda Crehan-Roche paid tribute to all Athlone Soroptimists from the first President, Dr. Mona Keane and all the Presidents and members of the Club down through the years.  She thanked the current members for continuing the honourable tradition of service to the community and for their hard work in supporting Club initiatives for local, national and international projects.  Club members had put together several collages of photographs and newspaper articles chronicling the work of the Club throughout the years.

These collections provided a trip down memory lane and created great interest among all who attended the luncheon, bringing back proud and wonderful memories of past members and great achievements. 

National President Soroptimist International, Rosalie Byrne-Muir congratulated the Club on this momentous anniversary. As National President, she was very proud of the work of the Athlone Club and mentioned in particular the wonderful record the Club had in hosting the National Girls Public Speaking competitions through the years.  The Club has shown consistent commitment to the quality of the competition and had always had wonderful representatives in the young women who took part in the local, regional and national competitions.  She wished the Club continued success in all of their work. 

Guest Speaker on the day was Kathleen O’Toole, Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate.  She said she was particularly honoured to speak at the Athlone Club celebrations as she and her husband both have Athlone connections and spoke of her respect for the Soroptimist organisation and the contribution made by Soroptimists through their support for each other and for the next generation of young women.  

She went on to speak about commitment and service to the community, be that in public service as her own career path had been or in a voluntary capacity such as Athlone Soroptimist Club and all Soroptimist Clubs around the world, set out to do.

Ms. O’Toole spoke of her own career and about the lessons learned from mentors - the ideals of principled leadership, of facing challenges head on, of following the truth, of ensuring that principle trumps politics and at the end of the day, no matter in what capacity we serve the public good, it is all about people. 

Kathleen O’Toole captivated her audience and her contribution will be well remembered by all who were there for some time to come.   It seemed very fitting that on a day when Athlone Soroptimist Club came together with friends from far and near to celebrate 50 years of women working on behalf of others, the worlds of public service and of voluntary service threaded together as two sides of the same coin – it’s all about people. 

So, as the ladies of Athlone Soroptimist Club celebrated great achievements in brilliant sunshine and as the soft pop of champagne corks rippled across the lake, they prepared to lift the curtain on the next 50 years of Club life.  Here’s to those next 50 years.

Some images from SI Athlone pre-2008.