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Annual Dinner, 24 th & 25 th March 2012, Adare Co. Limerick

Friday 23 rd March saw PCI members from all over the country arrive the picturesque village of Adare Co. Limerick located West of Limerick City for a weekend of socialising , driving, dancing and catching up with good friends. Pulling up outside the hotel on Friday afternoon you could see that many members had availed of the opportunity to make a weekend out of it with Porsches parked almost everywhere you looked.

We were delighted that our good friend and key contact in Porsche AG Ms. Claudia Schaeffner,Porsche Community Management, had agreed to accept our invitation to attend and arrived shortly afterwards with her escorts Ted & Karen Gaffney in the Porsche Center Dublin loan car, a brand new Cayenne.

The bags were swiftly dropped to the rooms and we made our way to the bar to meet all those who had arrived. Within the hour you could sense that this was going to be one hell of a weekend as the craic was mighty but before I knew it, it was time to leave for dinner. Friday night is always a night of leisure and generally dinner arrangements are made on the night. This was no different and Dairin and I found ourselves joining a table of twelve across the road in the Blue Door restaurant which resembles your granny’s house. It has to be said both the food and service were both first class and this restaurant is recommended if you find yourself in the area at some point.

Saturday morning and after a superb breakfast we all gathered in the car park to start to the day’s activities. As we rallied the troops in the car park, we were joined by some more members who were just arriving like Limerick Tom & Colm.

Our guides for the day were to be Michael & Dara Collins, good friends to many of us but at the time they were not club members. That’s all changed since and they are now the proud owners of a very nice 1974 911 T. It’s funny how we can have this affect on some...

After a quick briefing we were out of the car park and heading for our first rendezvous in the beautiful village of Killaloe, on the Tiperrary / Clare border and at the bottom of Lough Derg. Our plan was to circumnavigate the lake in a clockwise direction stopping off at a few of the scenic viewing areas. The first of these was in the village of Mountshannon where we had the opportunity to stretch our legs and photograph the cars with the lake in the background.

The roads around the lake are generally good and allow for good progress to be made. Traffic was relatively light and before we knew it we were crossing the top of the lake at Portumna. Close attention was required the other side as we were met with a very acute right-hand turn for the village of Terryglass and our lunch appointment.

On entering Terryglass, and after briefly losing our way, the enlarged group of cars soon congregated in the car park down by the lake. Here we were met by local historian and guide Mary McGeeney who after discussing some of the local history of the lake brought us for a walk to see two spring wells. One, St Augh's, known locally as the Eyewell, is located at the quay and was named after the saint who lived there in the 9th Century. Some folk even say that the water from this well has curative powers! The second spring, known as the Headache well is located further up the village. As the name implies the water here is reputed to cure migraine

Once we had taken in a bit of local history & culture, it was off down the road to the Derg Inn for lunch. Niall Cunningham, Dealer Principal of Porsche Centre Dublin joined us for lunch and once all the party were finished we went outside only to find the all new 911 991 S. This went down a treat as it was the first time for many members to see the all new 911 in the flesh. After more poking and dreaming it was back in the cars and a quick blast back to Adare, but before we returned to the hotel there was one more surprise in store for us.

We were very lucky to have received an invitation to call to one of our club members homes Denis & Gay Murphy’s, where Denis opened up his garages to give is a glimpse of his cars.

Shortly after back in the hotel the drinks reception was about to start and our annual dinner was to follow. We had an excellent number sit for dinner on the night and the room was quite literally at capacity.

Our chosen charity of the event was Milford Hospice, Limerick which provides excellent care for patients coming from the region. As it happened Milford Hospice had their own fund raising event in the hotel on the same night which allowed us the opportunity to present them after dinner with a cheque for €1000, which we had raised in our raffle. They were truly blown away by the generosity of our members and offered us a sincere, thank you.

On the night members Jon Miller & Denis Murphy received presentations for their help arranging the weekend, committee members Bill Cashman & Denis Collins were given presentations for their support & time given at committee, Niall Cunningham of PCD was also presented with a gift for their continued support of our club & Dave Whelan our outgoing President was presented with tokens off appreciation from the club. Porsche Club GB R27’s Desi Stewart presented Dave with a windscreen for his 993 RSR & Claudia Schaeffner of Porsche AG also made a presentation to Dave. Claudia spoke very warmly about their relationship with Porsche Club Ireland and how grateful they were for all the good work and activity that our Club undertook. She also made presentations to retired Committee Paul Sexton, Neil Lane, Bill Cashman & Denis Collins.

Formalities and presentation dispensed with we moved through to the conservatory for dancing into the small hours.

Sunday was going to be a more leisurely departure from the hotel and once we had breakfast and all had packed it was on the road again for the quick spin, cross country, back to Tarbert. We were due to catch the 12.30 sailing to Killimer, Co. Clare. Once again we were blessed with the weather on Sunday with the sun shining brightly, which made for a great drive along the Estuary from Foynes, through Glen and onto Tarbert.

Once onboard the car ferry many of us stayed on the car deck, to catch up with some more locals who had decided to join us for the days driving. Those who went up onto the top deck were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins as they followed the ferry across the mouth of the estuary.

Disembarking at Killimer we pressed on through Clare and on some quite and scenic roads to our next stop which was going to be for lunch. The Lodge at Doonbeg was our chosen venue and the views out over the rugged coastline were superb. Being Claudia’s first visit to Ireland and she being a self confessed ‘golfaholic’ she said, after seeing doonbeg & Lahinch that she would return someday soon to sample Irelands renowned golf courses.

A quick dart up along the coast, through Lahinch and onto The Cliffs of Moher. Once again the clear views allowed us to see the Aran Islands and Loop Head.

Unfortunately like most of our adventures the time just flew by but the memories remain. While our annual dinners are really the first of our years activities they are really a great way to meet up with friends old and new. They are always great craic and as we move the dinners around the country we get the opportunity to see some parts of the country that perhaps we haven’t seen in some time or that we’ve never seen before.

It is also great to welcome overseas members like the JP & Carmen Mellon from Belgium and Chris Clarke from the UK. It’s the members that really make these events what they are and we thank you for your continued support of our club. Keep attending our events and spread the word amongst those who have not yet attended.

Many thanks to all those who joined us in Limerick in 2012, we love these events and we hope you loved it too.

Neil Lane, President PCI