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Case Study: Here's What Liam Did

Written by Marianne Heron with Paul Britton

‘Retirement? I found it monotonous and boring.’ That’s Liam Kenny describing the early days of his retirement after he hung up his ladder and handed over his roof contracting business to his son.

But that was before Liam got involved with Dominic’s Active Men’s Social (DAMS). Four years ago Liam, from Tallaght, who is married with four children and ten grandchildren, was asked to help with setting up DAMS which is affiliated to Active Retirement Ireland. He became DAMS’ secretary.

‘Now I am busy, busy all the time’, says Liam. DAMS turns the joke that ‘the problem with retirement is that you never get a day off’ on its head. ‘We offer a choice of activities. The idea was to have a social club which was into education and literally about going out and having a bit of craic. DAMS’ list of options for their 39 members includes pitch and putt, computer training, walks, a games night, digital photography and group meetings. 

Mondays are dedicated to a once-a-month outing. Among DAMS’ interesting destinations have been trips to Jameson & Bushmills Distillers, Dáil Eireann, Kilmainham Gaol and next March (2016) to Haulbowline Island, County Cork, for a two-night over-stay in Cobh. All of this involved a considerable amount of organisation by Terry Leyden the excursions organiser and other officers. The club got the ETB (Education Training Board) involved in offering courses like Restorative Practices which teaches conflict resolution; useful in all kinds of situations where differences of opinion arise from families to community matters. DAMS were also fortunate in obtaining a hall at St Dominic’s National School from school principal Seamus Vaughan with the backing of the parish priest Father Larry Collins both of whom have been of immense help to the retired men in the area. Also the Local Authority, South Dublin County Council, helped with moral support and some grant aid towards the purchase of sporting equipment.

Computers were always a big interest for Liam. In early retirement he found he was spending a lot of time sitting at his computer, not the best thing for his health, he acknowledges. ’I needed to get out and about.’ Now he teaches computer skills to DAMS members and he has seen the effectiveness of the club develop in the way that men who once might have spent their time in front of the TV, now have the option to do something else every day.

This excerpt was taken from Rewire Don’t Retire, sponsored by Irish Life and Active Retirement Ireland. You can download the full guide HERE