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Thanks to ICS's great friends at Malahide Castle and Fingal County Council a hearty group celebrated Canada Day in Plan B indoor comfort. To thwart the day's light, on-and-off rain we had arranged with them fallback use of a Visitor Centre room that came with complementary access to the Castle's renowned Walled Garden.  All the adult attendees recommended that consideration be given to using it as the venue for future Canada Day picnics (more about that below).

We treasure our permission to celebrate Canada Day at Malahide Castle, whose storied history includes many connections to southwestern Ontario through Thomas Talbot, a son of the family that occupied the Castle for some 800 years.

Those who were able to take advantage of ICS's Plan B timetable to enable them to take in both the Picnic and Ireland's most important football game in 28 years were well rewarded. All were able to visit with Ambassador Vickers who adapted his schedule to the revised timetable; there was lots of mixing and mingling; and everyone went home with a prize: draw prizes for the adults and indoor ring toss and horse shoes games prizes for the kids, who also made good use of the colouring table and had great fun smashing a piñata.

In addition to draw prizes from previous donors -- box DVD sets of ICSer Shane Brennan's Moondance Production's hit TV series The ZOO and a wide variety of Canadiana prizes from the embassy and ICS itself there were several new picnic draw prize donors. Air Canada representative and ICS supporter Premair provided a generous number of unique, logo'd items; the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge provided a Lunch with Wine for Two voucher; and AVOCA at the Castle's Visitor Centre provided a goody bag of fresh baked goods and an AVOCA recipe book.


We could not be more grateful to the staff in charge of operating the facility --  their cheerful and accommodating ways not only made the use of the Project Room possible but they also helped with the hanging of the piñata in it and raising the Canadian flag outside the Castle in the rain.

All the adult attendees were taken with the Room, suggesting that it be the main Picnic venue in future years, especially if the complimentary access to the Walled Garden would allow for outdoor picnic games. I have already followed up on that possibility and am delighted to report that we have received tentative approval for that access. I anticipate that being confirmed shortly and have reserved the Room and its amenities for indoor and outdoor use on June 25, 2017.

Dave Wilson, ICS Chair



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