Christmas party at last for social group ‘Have Pass Will Travel’
Catherine, Robert, Maura, Sheila, Jimmy, Johnny and Terry in the Tallaght Cross Hotel on Tuesday

Christmas party at last for social group ‘Have Pass Will Travel’

THE members of a social group for people over the age of 66 were in top gear this week when they celebrated being back on the road.

Established in 2010, the Have Pass Will Travel group is made up of people who want to put their free bus pass to good use and together, embark on a range of monthly day trips.

The group was started by Tallaght resident Vincent McNally, who, a retired Bus Eireann conductor, driver and supervisor, runs the group with wife Eilish.

Living in Westpark for the past 53 years, Vincent and Eilish didn’t have much to organise over the past two years.

However, there were smiles all round this week when 80 members of Have Pass Will Travel gathered in the Tallaght Cross Hotel on Tuesday afternoon for their well overdue Christmas get-together.

“There was great enthusiasm about the event taking place and then when we did get together [on Tuesday] the buzz was unbelievable,” Vincent said.

“Everyone was excited to see people they hadn’t seen for two years…it was so joyous.

“The lifting of most of the restrictions encouraged people to come, encouraged people to get out-and-about.”

Looking back over the past two years, Vincent said: “The anticipation of going places was gone for many and some of us wondered if we were ever going to get back going again.

“There was a few more walking sticks in the group on Tuesday, including Eilish… there were times [over the past two years] that people didn’t get out of the house.”

However, Have Pass Will Travel is going again, and so too is their charitable efforts, with almost €1,000 raised through a raffle on Tuesday for Saoirse Domestic Violence Services.

The group had its first official outing in two years on February 1, when they travelled to the St Brigid’s Day celebrations in Kildare, with a mystery tour on the cards for March.

“We have a plan in place for the coming months…and are always welcoming of new members”, Vincent said.

For further information on the group contact Vincent and Eilish on 087 1232234.

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