In the Lap(land) of Luxury – written by Darren Martin Region 5

Contribution by Darren Martin, Region 5

The Finland 2018 I.P.A. Adventure

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The Finnish IPA House is in Äkäslompolo village

The start of 2018 brought a new adventure for the members of I.P.A. Ireland.

During the 2017 annual trip to the Aran Islands, it was decided that it was time to visit the most northerly I.P.A. house in the world, located in Lapland.

With the destination decided upon it wasn’t long before enthusiastic I.P.A members from around Ireland signed up for this trip to the top of the world.

The group flew out from Dublin, directly to Helsinki and from there caught a connecting flight to the northern region of Lapland.

Assembled were 22 I.P.A. members, coming from 9 of our Regions, all clad in their winter finest and prepared for the extreme cold of -21 degrees, our final destination being 120 km north of the Arctic Circle.

On arrival at the small regional airport in Lapland, our first sensation on exiting the plane was the blast of cold air. This was quickly followed by everyone making the necessary adjustments to the zip on their coats, leaving no room for the cold to enter.

Our bus was waiting and it was a short drive to the I.P.A house, “Finland” in Akaslompolo, Lapland, the most northerly I.P.A. house in the world. All around, the snow was clinging to the branches of the trees in large clumps, in what looked like imposable weights, but somehow the snow remained fast.

On arrival at the I.P.A. Finland house, we were warmly greeted by our host who works as a detective in the serious crime investigation team. She had driven for over six hours to be with us for the weekend and had prepared a welcoming beverage for everyone.

The I.P.A. house which was to be our home for the next few days has a large central living space with a central fire. Just off the main area is the Sauna and it has ten bedrooms.

As we settled in, bags were stowed away and soon we were enjoying that welcoming drink, which was handed out to all. As we had arrived during the night, the next morning came all too soon but everyone was up early to enjoy the magnificent scenery just outside our door.

First things first and we assembled outside and launched the drone, capturing a picture of our group from above. The day’s activities was about to begin and so we boarded the bus, which brought us to our first activity; Husky Sleighing.

IPA Ireland members with husky dogs and sleighs

As we stepped off the bus, the excited noise of the dogs could be heard at the end of the short track into the woods. Our two person crews were then assigned, instructions received, including the important tip; “don’t pet the dogs, they are eager to get going” and with a shout and a signal we were off, our guide leading the way.

The dogs exploded into action. The trail took us through the frozen landscape, the noise of the crushing snow and the panting of the dogs heralding our journey. An icy fog hung in the air and as we moved along, it became obvious that this was a much colder place than we had anticipated.

Through the winding turns of the trail, the dogs kept pace with a single purpose. Every now and again they would look back with disapproval when the brakes were applied to slow the sleigh.

On our return from the trip, we saw that the frozen fog had formed ice on our eyelashes and clothing but the heated tent and hot berry juice was a real treat immediately after our time out on the frozen trail.

That evening we dined on some of the excellent local cuisine in one of the local restaurants, though it still remains something of a mystery as to what was in the ‘reindeer sauce’ that accompanied the burgers!

When we returned to the house, we discovered that the shed there contained a sleigh, snow shoes and a bike with oversized tyres for the snow and of course, they had to be tried.

It was all going well until someone discovered that using a snow drift as a brake for the sleigh was not the best idea!

With conversation in full swing, the room fell to hushed admiration as a traditional Irish song was sung to the dying embers of the fire and the end to day one.

Day two was to be just as exciting with plans for a 12 km skidoo trip across a frozen lake, to a famous snow village.

Every winter the hotel there is built out of solid ice, with a particular theme and this year the theme was Game of Thrones. With a short instruction of how to drive the skidoo and more importantly how to stop it, we were off again.

Along the way across the frozen lake, we admired the beauty of the frozen landscape. When we arrived at the hotel we had enough time to explore this unique accommodation which even had an ice bar for those not driving home.

Each room was unique in design, the layout depicting images from the show. In the lobby, guests were greeted by the Ice Throne, an ice replica of the iron throne and flanked by an ice statue of ‘The Mountain’.

Each corridor led to a different room containing everything from a White Walker over the bed, to the wolves of House Stark motif. It is possible to stay in the hotel for a night but for us it was a return journey back across the lake, our headlights lighting a surreal snow-filled wonder as we made our way “home”, under a sky filled with the Northern lights.

That evening after a quick trip to the sauna and a short walk down to the restaurant, some of us decided to dine again on the local specialties and we were not disappointed. That evening we enjoyed conversation with our
hosts and extended invitations to this year’s “IPA Aran Islands Event”.

The next day saw the start of our long trip home. For some, that journey was longer than for others, but that really is another story!

The friendship and generosity of our hosts certainly lives up to the motto of the I.P.A. ‘Servo per Amikeco’ – Service through Friendship.

A return trip to Lapland may be undertaken and this time we may visit that special fella in the red suit for Christmas.

It truly is a magical place where we made amazing new friends. As it turned out our cold weather experience came in handy a short time later when the Arctic snow came to Ireland with storm Emma.

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

IPA Skiing trip to Poland

A group of 16 IPA Ireland members from all around the country travelled to Poland for a skiing / sightseeing holiday and stayed over for six days, 04.03.2019 -10.03.2019.

(We advertised this trip a while ago here, click below to read the older post:)

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The trip was intense from the beginning and followed the busy schedule, which included visiting Wieliczka Salt Mine…

… Kraków city centre, including St. Mary’s basilica, surrounded by medieval architecture…

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… a visit to Wadowice, where Pope John Paul II was from…

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… a trip to Auschwitz Memorial and Museum…

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…meeting local IPA members from Nowy Targ…

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… and finally some skiing!

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Click here to view more photos from the trip on the Facebook page of the Polish IPA section Nowy Targ


Photo Gallery – New York St. Patrick’s Day 2019

IPA Ireland Region 4 members were amongst those who travelled to New York for St. Patrick’s Parade 2019.

Here are some photographs depicting the event, courtesy of Region 4.

Below: Visit to Trump Tower, arranged by an NYPD Emerald Society member.

We met with NYPD counterterrorism bureau, NYPD Intel Division and Secret Service members

Trip to Lower Manhattan

Visit to NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau

Visit to the Bronx, including calling to the local Mounted Unit

Fire House 10 beside the Freedom Tower

Quick stop at NYPD ESU Truck 1 to pick up some goodies…

The trip was a great opportunity to exchange coins, patches, shirts and other memorabilia with other collectors.

NYPD Harbour Tour arranged by a good friend.

We got to see the Manhattan Skyline,  Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.

The benefits of IPA Placement Programme – by Michał Sługocki, IPA Poland

Last October along with my fellow police officer Dariusz Barczyński from Jelenia Góra we had a fantastic opportunity to spend eleven days in Ireland.

It was planned and carried out thanks to IPA Placement Programme.

After landing at Dublin Airport we got picked up by uniformed Garda patrol who brought us to IPA House in Dublin.

We stayed in the Capital for three days and it was time  for exploring the city and visiting.

Thanks to local An Garda Siochana officers we had an interesting tour in Government building, and we also wandered around Court Houses.

We were also taken to Garda facilities to learn about the specificity of service in An Garda Siochana.

In one of the evenings we met with a group of Polish members of IPA Ireland, all  working on different posts in Garda, to exchange experience and compare policing in two countries.

On day four, thanks to a member of IPA Hiking Club Siobhan Ni Firbhisigh, we could admire a picturesque sights during a hike to Tory Hill. In the afternoon we headed to Kilkenny, where had the honour to meet IPA Ireland President Conor O’Higgins.

Mr President gave us a tour around town and told about town’s history. In the evening we enjoyed a night life in Kilkenny, as we got a Chance to visit several pubs with live music and taste some of the local beer.

Next day we went to Birr, where they met Grace Heffernan, IPA Ireland member who we hosted in Poland.

She showed us around Garda Station in Birr, where we met Superintendent Patrick O’Callaghan and IPA Ireland Secretary General Carlo Griffin.

Later we enjoyed beautiful gardens in Birr Castle. After that we headed for a trip to Tullamore and a visited a whiskey distillery Tullamore Dew.

In the evening we spent some time with local Garda officers and discussed police work over few pints.

On day six we were back to Dublin where we visited Guinness Storehouse and enjoyed the panoramic view of Dublin from the Gravity Bar. After that it was time to watch some game at the Aviva Stadium.

Before the match we could observe the briefing of Garda officers securing the soccer game between Ireland and Wales. 

 In the morning of day seven, Carlo Griffin took us to Irish West Coast, to Galway, where we stayed at IPA Apartment.

After an interesting tour around town with John O’Brien, we met IPA Ireland Vice President Michael Walsh, who showed us around one of the Garda stations in Galway.

In The evening, over a pint of Guinness, we were honoured with a membership in IPA Guinness Forum.

Next day we visited Garda College in Templemore, where we had the pleasure to meet with Chief Superintendent, had a tour around College facilities, and observed Garda Students practicing their foot drill.

The evening was an occasion for Garda Students to talk with us about the police work in Poland and the differences in training programme.

Another day in Templemore we spent on a hiking trip to Devil’s Bit and even the rain did not stop us from reaching the top. After a tiring day we met with members of IPA Ireland Gemma Grogan and Chris Verling.

Day ten was with Grace Heffernan who took us to a game of hurling and we could enjoy the dynamics of the fastest team sport in the world. Later we went to Birr, where we spent a nice last evening before returning home.

In the morning Grace drove us to Dublin, where, before boarding a plane, we enjoyed ourselves visiting Teelings Whiskey Distillery. 

It’s needless to say that the time spent in Ireland on IPA Placement Programme was a great adventure for us, which we will surely remember, as it was not only a chance to watch and learn about police work in a different country and to observe how IPA functions and is organized, but also, and mainly, a time spent on making new acquaintances and tightening the cooperation between two countries.

Servo per Amikeco!

Michał Sługocki, IPA Wrocław, Region Lower Silesia, Poland.

IPA Ireland Tour to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Would you like to Join IPA Ireland on a Tour to DUBROVNIK – CROATIA, organised by IPA Travel Officer, Ann Liston?  

Taking in:- The I.P.A. World Congress, 8th – 13th October, 2019 and / or an I.P.A. Friendship Week, 12th – 19th October, 2019.

If you would you like a leisurely week in the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik, staying  in the five star Hotel Croatia Cavtat…

…or a more packed programme that includes guided tour of Croatia, visiting some of the most attractive, natural, historical, cultural and touristic landmarks throughout the area of coastal and inland Croatia, read on for more information.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

See attached Programmes in the links below.

Option No. 1 – Week 8th – 13th October – Programme Price, including flights, €1095 p.p.s.

Option No. 2 – Week 12th – 19th October – Programme Price, including flights, €1230 p.p.s.

Cost of both Options 1 + 2 when booked together is €1975 p.p.s.

Hotel accommodation is on full board basis.

An extra night in hotel at commencement of programme 1 is necessary because of flight times ( Add €60p.p.s) and two extra nights (beginning and end) of Option No. 2, is necessary because of flight times ( Add  €120 per p.p.s. )

A non refundable Deposit of €400 required with booking.

Balance to be paid in full by 19th June, 2019.

Travel Insurance is not included in package and I.P.A. Travel will require confirmation that you have Travel Insurance.

Interested – Please contact me and I will forward full details, together with Registration Form, and will answer any queries you may have.   Or contact I.P.A. Office as per details above.

This is an IPA Members international event and you will be with I.P.A .Friends from around the world.

Places are limited so please do not delay in contacting me to secure your place..

Yours in friendship,

Ann Liston,

Region 8 members tour Áras an Uachtaráin

Aras an Uachtarain Region 8

On Saturday the 23/2/2019, IPA members from Region 8 organised a private tour of the Aras an Uachtarain with the OPW.

Following that everyone enjoyed tea / coffee and scone in the Ashtown Visitor Centre.

Submission by Paul Fanning, Secretary Region 8

Region 8 Aras Tour
Region 8 Aras an Uachtarain Tour

Information about Aras an Uachtarain obtained from

The House

Áras an Uachtaráin had a colourful history before becoming the Official Residence of the President of Ireland. Built in 1751 Situated in the 1,752 acres of the Phoenix Park near Dublin, the original house was built by Park Ranger Nathaniel Clements. By 1782 it had been acquired for use by the Viceroys who oversaw British rule in Ireland. Clements received £25,000 for the house.


The house continued as the official residence of the Viceroys until 1922. For much of the period that followed it was the residence of the Governors General, the Crown’s representatives in Ireland. In 1938 it became the Official Residence of the President of Ireland and has been used for that purpose since.

Developments to House

There have been many improvements and additions to the house over the years, the most noteworthy being:

Establishment of formal gardens by Decimus Burton in the 1840s

Addition of the East Wing in 1849 for the state visit of Queen Victoria

Installation of Dublin mains gas supply in 1852 and electricity in 1908

Extension of the West Wing for the visit of George V in 1911

Present Day

Aras an Uachtaráin is now the official residence of the President of Ireland. The house is open to the public each Saturday and 5 200 people visit the formal rooms and view the grounds each year. In addition to official guests at the many state functions hosted by the President, more than 11,000 visit the house by invitation each year.

Aras an Uachtarain Region 8
Aras an Uachtarain Region 8

IPA Skiing Adventure Poland 2019

IPA National Skiing Trip to Nowy Targ

I.P.A. Ireland is proud to announce the National Skiing Trip to Nowy Targ, Poland

4th to 10th March, 2019

IPA National Skiing Trip to Nowy Targ
IPA National Skiing Trip to Nowy Targ



Departure will be from Dublin Airport to Krakow – Balice.

Accommodation is on a shared basis ( twin/triple ) half board, in Villa Joanna in Bialka Tatrzanska.  This hotel is within walking distance to the ski station.  

Brief outline of Itinerary:

4/3/2019. Depart Dublin Airport RyanAir Flight FR2023 9.55 – 13.55

5/3/2019. Ski Slopes/Ski Lessons.

6/3/2019. Tour of Auschwitz/Brzezinka; Visit Wadowice – Tour of John Paul 11 Family Home Museum.

7/3/2019. Ski Slopes/ Ski Lessons.

8/3/2019. Tour of Salt Mines, in WieliczkaVisit to Krakow City.

9/3/2019.  Ski Slopes/Ski Lessons.

10/3/2019.  Depart Hotel for Transfer to Krakow – Balice Airport.                          

RyanAir Flight FR2024 08.05– 10.15

Price per person, €750.00 – Included in price is the following:-

Return flights ( check-in 10kg bag included. – please familiarize yourself with RyanAir Policy on baggage )

Accommodation – half board.

Airport Transfers.

Skiing Instructors/Ski Passes/Rental of Ski equipment for 3 days.( i.e. helmet, shoes, skis and poles )

Day Trip to Auschwitz.Brzezinka, Wadowice, Transfer by Coach, English Speaking Guide, Admission to Auschwitz, Dinner in Wadowice, Entrance to John Paul 11 Museum.

Day Trip to Wieliczka, Transfer by Coach, English Speaking Guide, Admission to the Salt Mines, Transfer to Krakow City, Walk around old town, Dinner, further sightseeing including Cathedral on Wawel Castle.

Limited Places – email me – to reserve your place.

Servo per Amikeco,

Ann Liston

National Travel Officer,

IPA Section Ireland

IPA Region 1 Tour of Trinity College & Irish Whiskey Museum

IPA Region 1 Trinity College & Whiskey Museum

Shortly before Christmas 2018, members of IPA Ireland Region 1 explored some of the most popular sites in Dublin city centre – The Irish Whiskey Museum and Trinity College.

The Irish Whiskey Museum is a popular place for whiskey connoisseurs, where one can sample some of the finest brands of Irish whiskey, learn about its history, buy souvenirs and simply sit back and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

Trinity College, the best known university in Ireland, dates back to 1592. Located in the historic heart of Dublin City, the campus houses 25 separate schools and departments, each focusing on different aspects of research and sciences.

The IPA tour was concluded with an obligatory visit to the nearby pubs.

The Irish Whiskey Museum
Whiskey sampling
IPA members in The Whiskey Museum
IPA members in The Whiskey Museum
Trinity College
Trinity College IPA Region 1
Trinity College (IPA Region 1)
Trinity College at night
Trinity College at night
The few pints after were mandatory