Mr Michael Deehan, St Vincent de Paul

Wednesday 18th April 2018, Mr Michael Deehan, St Vincent de Paul 

Michael Deehan
[L – R] Probus Vice-President, Oliver Loughran with Mr Michael Deehan from the society of  St Vincent de Paul and Paddy McGowan, Probus President

Founded in Paris in 1833 by a 20 year old student, Frederick Ozanam, the society exists to provide practical assistance to families in need. Its charitable work in Ireland began in 1844 and today there are branches through the country.   Each branch is referred to as a “conference” and there are seven conferences in to the local area – Omagh, Killyclogher, Strathroy, Beragh, Fintona, Carrickmore and Dromore.   St Vincent de Paul is a cross-community charity which, in addition to material support, provides specialist advice on debt relief and how to become self-sufficient.  It exerts political pressure when possible to alleviate situations creating difficulties for the poor and also collaborates with international organisations in times of crisis to help refugees as in Calais.  Locally SVDP is well known for collecting household goods and clothing which it can pass on to those in need or sell to raise funds. One of its better known projects is the sale of Christmas trees in the car park in Killyclogher.   Mr Deehan was keen to stress that all assistance offered by the society is provided on a non-judgemental basis and is entirely confidential. He was thanked for his address by Probus President, Paddy McGowan.

Inter-club Quiz 2018

Annual Inter-Club Quiz, Wednesday 11th April 2018 

James Eakin Shield
Omagh President, Paddy McGowan presenting the James Eakin Shield to the winning team – Londonderry Probus  Team 1.   Also in the photograph, Omagh Club Secretary, Gerry McGonigle (front-right) and Quiz Master, Joseph Cummings (second row right) 

This year 17 teams participated in the annual Inter-club quiz with entrants from Probus Clubs in Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Londonderry, Strabane & Lifford, and Omagh Men’s and Ladies. The quiz master was Mr Joseph Cummings assisted by volunteers from the Omagh Clubs. The raffle, in the capable hands of John Robson, raised £330.00 – more than enough to cover the costs of hosting the event. After 8 rounds the  Londonderry Probus Club Team 1 was awarded the James Eakin Shield for the 5th consecutive year.  The Bert McCrory Cup for the best performing Omagh Team went to Omagh Ladies who were also runners-up overall. Photographers from the local papers were on hand to record and publicise a very successful event in the Probus Calendar of West Ulster.  Photographs have also been posted on Facebook and can be viewed by clicking on the following link

Ladies Probus members enjoy visit to Florence Court

Ladies pictured at front door of Florence Court

Since the April meeting of Omagh Ladies’ Probus fell during during Easter week this year, a Spring outing to National Trust Property Florence Court House was arranged.

The ladies enjoyed a walk through the grounds followed by a very interesting and informative guided tour of Florence Court House, an impressive 18th century residence which was formerly the home of the Earls of Enniskillen until 1973.

In addition to observing the classical architecture with exquisite Rococo plasterwork and hearing of the history of the building, they were entertained to snippets of the Cole family history and reflections of life above and below stairs in this impressive residence.

The outing concluded with a visit to the Estate tearoom for refreshments.

The next Ladies’ Probus meeting will take place on Thursday 3rd May in Omagh Library at 2pm when the speaker will be Mrs. Anita Robinson.


Mr Geoffrey Simpson: Antiques and Antiquities

Wednesday 4 April 2018: Mr Geoffrey Simpson: Antiques and Antiquities

Paddy Geoffrey
Probus President, Paddy McGowan [left] with guest speaker, Geoffrey Simpson

Geoffrey began his talk by literally blowing his own trumpet – in this case a bronze age ox horn some 3000 years old.   This gave him the opportunity to explain that his interests are in both Antiquities [items that are very old] and Antiques [items around 100 years old].  He had brought with him a number of objects of both types and started by passing round a 200 million year old fossil from the Jurassic Period.   Common in the Lias Clay beds on the Antrim coast it was thought to be one of the Devils Toenails before being properly identified as an early mollusc. This exhibit was followed by a polished segment of dinosaur jawbone [complete with teeth] before showing off some stone-age axe heads crafted from volcanic porcellanite and flint.   The bronze age saw the arrival in Ireland of Celtic smiths and the first jewellery delicately worked in gold and bronze.   Members were enthralled by a beautifully decorated gold ring from this period.   Moving on to the modern era Geoffrey passed around a number of small items, the most intriguing of which was a tobacco box which once contained Dr White’s Glasgow Presbyterian Mixture as smoked by the Rt Hon Stanley Baldwin; at least that is what it said on the tin.   Other items included ivory pill boxes and snuff boxes, suddenly back in fashion in some quarters as receptacles for cocaine.  He was thanked for a most interesting talk by Probian, Michael Cooney.