Clement Kennedy: Animal Welfare

Wednesday, 24 February 2016: Clement Kennedy: Animal Welfare
Clement Kennedy has been in local NI government for over 20 years and curently manages the Animal Welfare service in the Western region. With a budget of £1.1m his department is responsible for the welfare of non-farmed animals, with 9 Animal Welfare Officers to cover the whole area. The main offences are causing unnecessary suffering or failing welfare, with distressed horses being the most common cases. Between 2012 to 2016 a total of 21,773 calls had been dealt with, resulting in 57 prosecutions, 88 “disposals” (enforced moving to new home), and the serving of 756 improvement notices. On a lighter note Mr Kennedy appealed to all those who wish to contact the call center to ensure that their concerns are genuine, as it is common for reports of a “dead” horse in a field to turn out to be a healthy horse simply sleeping! Whilst horses are able to sleep standing up, they do like to have a good lie down sometimes! Newspaper reports were not always accurate, but recently they did have a case of 47 cats in a home where the owner had become sick. All the cats were successfully re-homed and the home owner herself was also helped. He was thanked for his talk by Probus member, Desmond Smart

Probus Clubs of Omagh Business Meeting

Wednesday, 17 February 2016: Probus Clubs of Omagh Business Meeting

Ladies President Audrey Hodge with Men's President Paul Gallagher
Ladies President Audrey Hodge with Men’s President Paul Gallagher

On Wednesday 17th February members of Omagh and District Ladies Probus Club joined with members of the Men’s Club for the first joint meeting of the Probus Clubs of Omagh. The purpose of the meeting was to consider a proposition that the Probus Clubs of Omagh might host the next All-Ireland Probus Rally. In 2015 the All-Ireland Rally was hosted by the Probus Clubs of Ennis, Co Clare with the expectation that the 2017 Rally would be hosted by a club in the North of Ireland. The Omagh clubs were greatly encouraged by news that the Silverbirch Hotel was building a new Conference Centre with a seating capacity of 400, this being the number that usually attends these events In preparation for the meeting a delegation from the Omagh Clubs had travelled to Coleraine to meet with the organising committee of the 2014 All-Ireland Rally hosted by the Coleraine Club. The report back was positive and after discussion a committee was formed with members from both clubs to further explore the notion of bringing the All-Ireland Probus Rally to Omagh in May 2017.

Shirley McCay: Playing Hockey for Ireland

Wednesday, 10 February 2016: Shirley McCay: Playing Hockey for Ireland

Shirley McCay
Shirley McCay

Shirley was introduced by Probus Vice-President, John McCandless, who began by congratulating her on being the most capped Irish sports person ever, having played hockey for Ireland 214 times. She proudly displayed her 200th Cap and the shirt which she wore in her 200th game and passed around her scrapbook. She paid tribute to Miss Mary Swan, Head of Girls P.E. in Omagh Academy who had inspired her. As Captain of Hockey, Shirley had led her team to victory in the Senior Schools Cup and gone on to win the All-Ireland Cup. Shirley won her first Senior Cap, aged 18 while a student at the University of Ulster, in a match against Canada. It was the beginning of an international career which took her to countries all over the world. Her only real disappointments came when Ireland twice just failed to qualify for the Olympics in London 2012 and Rio 2016. She currently plays for “Old Alex” in Dublin and works as a Talent Coach for Uster Hockey, in which capacity she continues to meet her many palls in Omagh Ladies and visit her old school where she remains an inspiration and role model. Having answered many questions she was warmly thanked by Probus member, Wilbour Knox.

John McCandless: Environmental Health in Tanzania

Wednesday, 3 February 2016: John McCandless: Environmental Health in Tanzania

John McCandless
John McCandless

Probus Vice-President, John McCandless, delivered a very interesting talk about Environmental Health in Tanzania. He began by relating how a former colleague, Clarence Phenix, had developed strong links with Tanzania. Following his death and in honour of his memory John and his colleagues in N.Ireland renewed contacts with Tanzania, with offers of help. Soon they found themselves assisting with the development of a new BSc. course in Envirinmental Health and with administering a world wide fund to raise money for a new technical reference library. Using his influence as Chairman of the Chartered Institute in the UK and as a member of the International Federation, representing about 40 countries, he was able to raise funds from around the world to create the library in the University of Muhimbili, Tanzania. In addition three graduates from Tanzania were helped to attend university in Manchester where they took Master’s Degrees in Environmental Health, thus enabling them to lecture on degree courses on their return to Tanzania. There is now an intake of 110 undergraduates per year on this course and a further 300 Diploma students in 6 centres around the country. This injection of new graduates has had a significant impact. In 1995 life expectancy at birth in Tanzania was about 39 years; today it is 61. John and his Northern Ireland colleagues were honoured for their work by the people of Tanzania and by their profession worldwide. He was thanked for his talk by Alastair Orr