The Ballinrobe Active Retirement Writers’ Group are members of the Ballinrobe Active Retirement Association who created their writing group in 2001,
The South West Mayo Development Company provided funding and appointed a tutor to facilitate writing and presentation skills, which culminated in the publication of their book Red Shoes and No Clichés in 2011.
The current members are Claire O’Malley, Averil Staunton, Mary Tiernan, Imelda Hughes, Bernadette Moran, Marion Doyle, Ellen Finnerty, Anne Patterson, Bridie McMahon, Mary Joyce and Margaret Twibill.
We miss the original members, who are no longer with us. New participants bring fresh contributions to the meetings, as they share their stories, poems, memories and life experiences. Indeed, some members have their own work published.
All members of this group are gifted creative writers, and they put their skill and imagination to work in order to create characters and stories that could illustrate the daily reality of life in the workhouse. The historical background of the stories were gathered with the help of Averil Staunton, who is a published local historian. She is currently working on her own book, which will relate the history of the workhouse and situates it in a broader local and national background.