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Rachel Whelan (Vice Lady Captain – East Clare Golf Club), Oonagh McElhinney & Maureen Clune (Lady Captain – East Clare Golf Club)

A special occasion was celebrated at East Clare Golf club in recent weeks when member, Oonagh McElhinney celebrated her 90th birthday.

The celebrations commenced with a party held in the golf club where Oonagh was joined by family and friends, followed the next day by a family scramble.

More recently the ladies club held a celebration to mark the occasion. Oonagh was presented with a framed letter and Golf Ireland scarf by Geraldine Ryan on behalf of Golf Ireland to honour her special milestone. She wears the scarf with great pride.

Oonagh, originally from Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh, spent 42 years in the UK where she reared her five children with her husband Bill and saw out her career as a pharmacist. She moved to Ogonnelloe 24 years ago and soon became a valued member of East Clare Golf Club. Oonagh held the role of club secretary on the ladies committee and managed interclub teams. She can now be regularly seen on the sidelines supporting the current players.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, part of Oonagh’s regular routine was practicing her golf swing, chipping and putting out in her back garden. Since the re-opening of the club, she can regularly be seen on the putting green and practice area honing her skills. Oonagh continues to take part in the weekly scramble on a Wednesday morning.

When asked what she enjoys most about the game, her answer was, “everything – the people, companionship, exercise and the occasional good shot !!” and her advice for someone taking up the game “play every chance you get, you don’t necessarily have to be good at it to enjoy it”.

Oonagh epitomises the concept that golf is a sport for all ages, and most importantly at 90 years of age, she has no plans to retire any time soon.

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