DUNDALK AFTER Dark recently made our way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel where the CIE Social and Activities Club were hosting a Christmas Party for their staff, former workers and pensioners and a large crowd were in attendance by the time we got there.
I wasn't too long in the door when I met up with Dessie and Jean Todd from Blackrock who were up for a major night of it with Stephen and Helen Wilson from Blackrock.
Next I headed over for a word with Teresa Friel from Castleblaney and she was enjoying the craic with Breda McCourt from Point Road and both ladies were looking extremely well.
They were there with respective husbands Niall and Ciaran who were doing the necessary at the bar.
Not too far away I then got talking to Derek and Rhona Ward from Heynestown who were sitting with Liam and Florence Leathem from Oaklawns who told me they definitely up for making the best of the party.
Next I had the pleasure of meeting up with Joan and John McDonnell from Avenue Road whose son Sean had come up from Cork for the CBS reunion a couple of weeks ago and they were looking forward to having a good night with all their friends.
Meanwhile over at another table I got a word with Sean and Geraldine McArdle from Point Road who were enjoying the evening with Eddie and Aileen Conway from Bay Estate who told me they had all been really looking forward to the party because it is always a brilliant night. After this I ventured over for a word with Laura McArdle from St. Ronan's Terrace who was enjoying a drink with Theresa Dullaghan from Castle Park and Lucy and Eddie Lawrence from Dunmahon who told me that once he was out it was guaranteed to be a nice quiet party. Parallel universe, I wondered?
Also at the same table were Maurice and Fiona Murphy from The Laurels who were having a laugh with Barbara and Noel Dunne from Doylesfort Road and Olivia and Anthony Todd who were all in great form and ready to party the night away.
Next I got talking to Danny and Eithne Keenan from Newry who were with Carmel and Dalton McKevitt from Avenue who were looking forward to a good night with all their colleagues.
At an adjacent table I then caught up with John Shevlin from Knockbridge who was sitting with Gerard and Catriona Gerlitz from Bay Estate who assured me it would be ' camping outside Centre Travel' if our numbers came up!
Next I got talking to Mary McArdle form Anne Street who was there to enjoy the craic with her husband Jim.
After this I headed over for a chat with club treasurer Mickey McKeown from Willowdale who was with his wife Lorraine but was busy going round making ure the night was running smoothly.
Another extremely busy man on the night was club chairman Brian McKeown from St. Ronans Terrace who was with his wife Laura and they all wanted a special mention for assistant treasurer Evelyn Begley from Mourne Vale who couldn't make it on the night and everyone wanted to wish her all the best.
I then ventured over for a word with Gerard and Bernie Tinnelly from Mill Road who were sitting with Maria and James Quigley from Heynestown and Stephen and Helen Murphy whom I'd met earlier and they assured me it was going to be an epic night.
After this I got a word with Andy and Phillis Clifford from Woodbury Gardens who were out to make the best of the party. I then headed for a table where the Lennon clan were all sitting and they included Teresa and Kevin Lennon from Haggardstown, Marie and Brian Lennon from Clermont, Brendan and Fionnuala Lennon who were up from Celbridge as well as Mary and Lilly Marcus from Bay Estate and they told me the night was really Lennon's Station Party!
Not too long later I met up with Lorraine McKeown from Bay Estate who was with the very busy Mickey, Brenda and Aidan Daly from Drogheda and Mary and Jim McFaul from Belfry Gardens.
Finally, I met up with Paul Callan from Ashbrook who was with his wife Dympna and he assured me this was going to be one of the best Christmas parties this year.