Na Calai CDP
Na Calaí CDP is funded under the National Community Development programme through the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and was officially opened in October 2003. The Project works within Portumna and its environs and is committed to enabling, enhancing and promoting community life by empowering people to participate, be inclusive and work together in partnership.

The Strategic Aims (2007 to 2009) of the Project are:
  • To increase the range of supports and services for people that are experiencing poverty and/or social exclusion in our community.
  • To develop a more vibrant and inclusive community with a strong community spirit.
  • To decrease the levels of isolation that are experienced by the marginalised.
Our key areas of work are health, education, youth, disadvantaged and socially excluded groups, as well as the provision of supports and services to promote community and voluntary activity. Contact Na Calaí or visit our office in Portumna if you have any queries.

For more information you can visit

Na Calaí Logo News Updates
Key Areas of Work
Contact Na Calai
Summer Newsletter 2009
Newsletter Archive
Na Calaí Logo

News Updates

23 September 2010

Active Citizenship Training Programme
Na Calaí CDP in partnership with Galway Rural Development are running an "Active Citizenship Training Programme" which will take place over five Thursday evenings, commencing on the 14th of October at 7pm to 10pm in the Shannon Oaks Hotel, Portumna. The programme is free of charge and will cover topics from committee management to making funding applications. Accreditation is an available option at FETAC Level 5. Positions on the programme are limited and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. For further information or to book your place on the course, please contact Martina in Na Calaí CDP on (090) 97 41887 or drop into our offices on Abbey Street, Portumna.

Course Outline

Thursday, October 14th, 2010 – 7pm to 10pm
Workshop 1: Project and programme planning skills
Thursday, October 21st, 2010 – 7pm to 10pm
Workshop 2: Accessing Funding in a Changing Funding Environment
Thursday, October 28th, 2010 – 7pm to 10pm
Workshop 3: The role of specific agencies in dealing with specific issues
Thursday, November 4th, 2010 – 7pm to 10pm
Workshop 4: Facilitation
Thursday, November 11th, 2010 – 7pm to 10pm
Workshop 5: Committee management and development skills

Active Citizenship Files

The following files are available to download in .pdf format.

Active Citizenship Poster
Course Outline
Application Form

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Key Areas of Work and their Objectives

  1. Management and promotion of Na Calaí CDP:
  2. Objectives:
    • To support the development of the Management Committee of the Project and its associated structures (sub groups)
    • To support the staff of the project and their development
    • To raise the profile and the work of the project in the community and at regional and national forums
    • To ensure the work of the project is driven by the needs of the community

  3. Health and Education:
  4. Objectives:
    • To continue to support the development of the Portumna and District Health Forum
    • To continue to support the development of the Portumna and District Mental Health Association
    • To work in partnership with appropriate educational and health agencies in terms of lifelong education and training available in the area and supports for people accessing same

  5. Youth:
  6. Objectives:
    • To continue the development of the Youth Café project and Youth Development Committee (2008: Youth Café and Astro Turf Facility, in partnership with the Co Galway VEC established – new company: Portumna Sign Out Youth Company Ltd., set up to manage and oversee facility from existing youth development committee)
    • To continue to work in partnership with appropriate youth agencies and groups to increase youth and childcare services and supports available locally.

  7. Support Disadvantaged / Socially excluded groups:
  8. Objectives:
    • To continue to support and develop the SEGTFSP (South East Galway Traveller Family Support Programme)
    • To continue developing and delivering a range of initiatives to support the needs of disadvantaged families and individuals in the project area.
    • To establish the needs of the Non Irish Nationals living in the area and to develop supports and projects from those needs.

  9. Provide supports and services to promote community and voluntary activity:
  10. Objectives:
    • To develop the Na Calaí CDP office further into a one stop shop offering a range of supports, information and resources to the community
    • To keep up to date with regional and national policy developments and inform the community of same
    • To continue to support and develop the outreach services available through the CDP office.

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Contact Na Calai

Project Coordinator Martina Forde
Project Administrator Emma Ryan
Project Support Worker Frances Ortega
Development Worker Teresa Dermody

Na Calaí Community Development Project
Abbey Street, Portumna, Co. Galway.
Telephone: 090 9741887 / 090 9759946
Fax: 090 9741888

Na Calaí Office Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 10.00 am - 1.00 pm & 1.30 pm - 5.00 pm
Friday: 10.00 am- 1.00 pm

Members of the Project Management Committee:
Mary Mitchell, Mary Coghlan, Liz Kelly, Lil Maher, Eileen Whyte, Pauline O’Brien, Sean Murphy and Chris Smith.

Areas Na Calaí CDP cover:
Abbeyville, Ballyglass, Coose, Derrew, Drummin, Eyrecourt, Killimor, Kilmalinogue, Kilquain, Meelick, Moat, Pallas, Portumna, Tiernascragh and Tynagh.

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Na Calaí Community Development Project - Community Newsletter
Summer / Autumn 2009

A Word from the Chair…

Hello to all and welcome to Na Calaí CDP's latest edition of the Community Newsletter.

I would like to begin my input by thanking all the voluntary management committee members for their hard work and enthusiasm in continuing to drive this CDP forward – without them, we would not exist.

In relation to changes on the Management Committee since the last edition of our newsletter, I would like to extend a huge thanks to Majella Kennedy, Patricia Duggan, Mary Smith and Brian O' Malley who left the board and I would like to welcome both Sean Murphy and Chris Smith on board.

I would also like to thank all the staff – past and present – for all their hard work so far this year. In particular, I would like to say a very sincere thank you and send my best wishes to both Joan Murray and Mary Foxton who are leaving us in the coming weeks.

On a final note, I would like to wish the project and all involved the best of luck in the future.

Mary Mitchell, Project Chairperson.

Na Calaí CDP — Who Are We??

Na Calaí CDP is funded under the National Community Development Programme through the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and was officially opened in October 2003. The Project works within Portumna and its environs (see back page for areas covered), and is committed to enabling, enhancing and promoting community life by empowering people to participate, be inclusive and work together in partnership.

    The Strategic Aims (2007 to 2009) of the Project are:
  • To increase the range of supports and services for people that are experiencing poverty and/or social exclusion in our community.
  • To develop a more vibrant and inclusive community with a strong community spirit.
  • To decrease the levels of isolation that are experienced by the marginalised.
Our key areas of work are health, education, youth, disadvantaged and socially excluded groups, as well as the provision of supports and services to promote community and voluntary activity.

The project is managed by a voluntary committee of eight members and the office is located on Abbey Street, Portumna.
    Staff Details:
  1. Martina Forde - Project Coordinator
  2. Mary Foxton - Temporary Project Administrator
  3. Joan Murray - Project Support Worker
  4. Teresa Dermody - Development Worker
Alongside providing support to groups Na Calaí CDP offer a range of outreach services including CIC (Citizens Information Centre), MABS (Money, Advice and Budgeting Service) and Waterside House Refuge and Support Services. You will find details on these and other services over the following pages.

If you would like to learn more about the project and its programmes, please do not hesitate to contact us (see contact details on back page).

Portumna & District Health Forum - A Subgroup of Na Calaí CDP

The above voluntary group, a sub group of Na Calaí CDP, was formed in 2005.
    Below outlines a summary of the Forum's work to date:
  • Ran a series of suicide awareness work shops during September and October 2006.
  • Liaised with the HSE Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention and supported the delivery of the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) two day training programme to over forty people in Portumna in March 2007.
  • Liaising with DESSA (the disability specialist support agency to the Community Development Programme) in relation to the delivery of a Disability Programme (a separate article on the Disability Group appears later in this newsletter).
  • Liaised with the local Public Health Nurses on the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Scheme of Community Support for Older People (a grant scheme to improve the security of older people in their homes).
  • Ran a Suicide Awareness Seminar in November 2007, which featured inputs from Governor John Lonergan, Dr. Tony Humphries, Jean Casey, Headstrong and STOP.
  • Facilitated two workshops during October 2008. One of which was a workshop by the Irish Kidney Foundation and another which was a workshop on “The Importance of Self Awareness” facilitated by Kevin Feehan.
  • Liaising with the CDP's Domestic Violence Network and Waterside House in raising awareness of support services for violence in the home.
  • Ran a series of information workshops in Spring/Summer 2009 on a range of topics and services, including an input from the Citizens Information Centre (CIC), the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), Jigsaw – the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, Breast Check, the Corrib Spinal Clinic and presentations from the Social Welfare Office and the Community Welfare Office.
  • The Forum also ran a 6 week course on Dealing with Stress in partnership with the HSE West Health Promotion Services in March and April 2009.
The Forum are taking a break for the Summer and will regroup in September to plan activities for the Winter. We are always looking for new members and new ideas so if you are interested in coming along or want to know further information about any of the above, drop into Na Calaí CDP and ask Martina for information.

Portumna – Pride of Place

Portumna achieved the runner up position in Category 5 at the 2008 Pride of Place Award Ceremony held in Waterford last November.

Portumna – Pride of Place Presentation PhotographThe Pride of Place Competition recognises and celebrates the vital contributions that community partnerships make to society. The focus is on people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their local area. It differs from other similar projects in that they specifically recognise the involvement of the local community in all aspects of rural and urban regeneration including, promoting social cohesion, involvement in planning, the promotion of heritage and environmental awareness (Source:

The presentation of this award was made to the group recently by Mayor Peter Feeney in Na Calaí CDP (please see photo).

At that event, those present decided to conduct a draw, and choose one group as the winner of the balance of the prize monies.

This Pride of Place draw took place on Wednesday the 6th of May in Na Calaí CDP, officiated by the Town Mayor Donnie O'Meara. The winner of the draw was the Portumna Castle Garden and Crafts. Congratulations!

Portumna & District Mental Health Association

This association was formed in early 2005, with support from Mental Health Ireland’s Galway Development Officer. The main aims of the association include the promotion of positive mental health, particularly among the youth population, and to actively support persons with a mental illness in this area. Since its formation, the association has organised successful workshops focussing on “Mental Health through the Life Span”, ran a community course on “Dealing with Stress” and worked on the MHI Public Speaking Competition in conjunction with the local school. The association are now working closely with the Portumna and District Health Forum (see separate article on Health Forum) and are planning activities for Winter, to include an awareness event to mark World Mental Health Day in October.

If you are interested in becoming a member of this association, please call into the Na Calaí CDP office or give us a call (see contact details on back page).

Portumna Camogie Club

Portumna Camogie Club welcome girls from 6 years upwards. Success this year to date has been the Junior A girls winning the Junior A League and the Agnes Keane Tournament in Turloughmore. The U-10's were unlucky to lose out in the Semi Final. The U-13's, U-16's U-18's and Junior A girls are all involved in their respective championship games at the moment. We wish them all well.

The Club are at present selling 20 euro tickets for a draw to win a Citroen Car and other prizes. Tickets available from all club members.

Na Calaí CDP - Making Choices Training Programme

A training group for people with Disabilities.

Since the last newsletter, Na Calaí CDP, in partnership with DESSA and the Forum for People with Disabilities have submitted and are awaiting the outcome of a funding application to the Department of Social and Family Affairs to run the last step of the Making Choices Training Programme - “Stepping Out” with our group. This Training Course is scheduled to start this Autumn (subject to funding).

The hope of this course is that it will further the process of inclusion for disabled people through aiming to direct participants to design, deliver and facilitate a disability equality presentation for community and voluntary organisations in East Galway.

We are always open to new members, if you would like further information please contact the Na Calaí CDP office (see contact details on back page). - Portumna’s Community & Tourism Website

The ‘’ website provides regularly updated information for members of the local community and visitors to the Portumna area.

The project started last summer and continues to go from strength to strength. It was set-up to provide a regularly updated, locally run website which provides relevant news and information for the local community and tourists who visit the area. The site also provides a central location for all the local clubs & groups to publish their own news.
    The site is divided into five main areas:
  • The 'News' section includes weekly news updates from the area, the Portumna Parish newsletter from St. Brigid’s Church every Sunday, and a listing of upcoming events in the area.
  • The 'Sport' section features news from a number of the local sports clubs including Portumna Camogie, Portumna G.A.A., Portumna Junior Golf, and Portumna Rugby.
  • The 'Clubs & Groups' section features information from a number of community groups including Country Market, Lions Club, Players, Red Cross, and Tidy Towns.
  • The 'Tourist Information' section presents useful information for visitors to the area including details about the local tourist office, accommodation list, activites / attractions list, and a tourist map.
  • The 'Business Directory' provides an easy to use listing of businesses in the areawith a short description of each. These can be ordered by the service provided orthe business name. Some businesses also have their own full page on the site.
You can support this project by simply visiting the site regularly to get the latest updates from the area.

South East Galway Traveller Family Support Programme

The South East Galway Traveller Family Support Programme (SEGTFSP) on behalf of Na Calaí CDP continues to provide essential services and develop new programmes in partnership with other service providers to meet the needs of the traveller community to empower them to participate equally in society.
It also aims to provide them with the skills that will enable them to advocate on their own behalf on issues that negatively impact on their lives.

Update since our last newsletter......

Music Project: Two groups of youths have completed a twelve week programme of song writing and relevant skills. The final piece of work is a CD with 4 original songs composed by the groups. They were facilitated to share in the planning, creation, and development by Simon Kelly, musician/ singer/songwriter. The recording took place at Wild Island Studios and we are eagerly awaiting the finished product. This was a very successful project which gave us an insight into the abundance of talent, skills and intelligent thinking these young people possess.
This project was funded following a successful funding application by Na Calaí, the SEGTFSP, Galway County Arts Office, and the Galway County Council's Social Inclusion Unit to the Pobal Interagency Fund.
The project has been nominated by Galway County Council for the “Pride of Place” competition, under the Integration Category.
The launch for the CD will take place in sue course.

Education Group: This group has grown from strength to strength, following an 8 week introduction to computers in the spring. They have now completed an accredited FETAC level 3 personal effectiveness course. All participants have passed all the modules and they will be presented with their certificates by the VEC in the Autumn. Our next piece of training/ education will be a FETAC level 3 Retail Training Course which we hope will commence in late summer.
These programmes are funded by the Co Galway VEC who have been extremely supportive and understanding in all aspects of the development of the programmes and facilitating us in the marking of the folders.

Film Project: Following a successful funding application to the National Youth Council of Ireland Artist in Youth Work Residency Scheme, 8 Traveller teenagers have made a film in the form of a DVD. They were facilitated by Paul Murphy film maker at Galway Film Centre. They were tutored in the basics of film making, camera and filming equipment. They were coached in acting, movement and character roles. A wonderful time was had by all and they have tangible evidence of their work and their acting abilities in their DVD.

Summer Camps: 3 Summer camps ran during July for the children: one junior and one senior camp from Killimor and one junior camp from Portumna with a range of activities to delight all participants.

After School Supports: This essential service will resume in September for school going children in Portumna and Killimor.

Getting Started - Age Action Ireland

Age Action is a national independent charity for older people promoting positive ageing and better policies and services for older people. One of the services provided nationwide by Age Action is Getting Started. This is a free programme for older people to help them gain confidence and basic skills in computers and the internet. Training is provided by volunteer tutors in small classes, with an emphasis on encouragement and support for older learners. The classes usually run between 1 and 2 hours a week, over 6 - 8 weeks and take place in venues such as libraries, community centres, schools, colleges and day/residential care centres.

The Getting Started programme is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources through its BenefIT scheme. Regional project officers are based in Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, Kilkenny, Mayo, Tralee and Clare.
Age Action is currently working with community partners in Portumna, including Na Calaí CDP, to offer the Getting Started programme to older learners in the locality. If you would like more information on the Getting Started programme or would like to volunteer as an IT trainer, please contact Justine Delaney from Age Action [087-2625517] or Na Calaí CDP in Portumna (see contact details on back page).

County Galway VEC ESOL (English as a Second Language)

This has been a successful term for students attending English classes supported by County Galway VEC. Classes are continuing on Mondays and Tuesdays at Na Calaí with students preparing for National and European certification. Congratulations to the 14 students who received their FETAC certificates at an award ceremony held at the Shannon Oaks Hotel. It was an opportunity to recognise their achievement and celebrate with their families. I look forward to meeting new students after the summer break and I can be contacted on 086 4061780.

Pascal Lally, Co Galway VEC

County Galway VEC Tracking Service

Need a Hand Getting Back on Track?
  • Are You an Early School Leaver?
  • Need Advice and Assistance?
  • Need Help Planning Your Future?
We Can Help!

Contact: Ann McCormack, Tracking Officer (Co Galway VEC)
Tel: 087—2851693

Working with young people between 16 and 21 years of age who are at risk of dropping out of education or who have already dropped out!
This service is confidential, friendly and free of charge.

County Galway Adult Education Guidance Service

Co. Galway Adult Education Guidance Service is a service available free of charge throughout Co. Galway.

The Adult Guidance Service provides information and guidance for adults interested in further education and developing their career. Quality one to one guidance and support is given in a relaxed confidential manner.

Contact: Tadhg Crowley at (091) 630647
The Adult Guidance service is provided by the Co. Galway Vocational Education Committee, funded by the European Social Fund.

Sign Out Youth Café

Web: Email:
Phone: 087 6779267 Pitch Bookings: 086 2051346

A vibrant space, a hub of activity, both indoor and outdoor, and a chill-out zone for the young people of Portumna and the surrounding every Friday from 7pm to 9.30pm for all 15 to 19 year olds. Youth Club is open every Thursday from 7.30pm to 9pm for 13 to 15 year olds.

Our Motto: Sign Out aims to provide a friendly, non-judgemental space for young people to meet up, plan both indoor and outdoor activities, have fun, while socialising amongst their own age group in a safe, fully supervised environment.

There are many exciting workshops/activities/clubs planned for 2009/10 including, (full list & dates available in our September brochure):
Healthy Eating, Mental Health for Teens, Child Protection Module 2, Revision & Study Techniques, Beginners Web design, Graphic Design, Importance of Voting, Sports Ethic Training, Music & Voice Training, Certificate Course on Leadership & Committee Skills, Digital Photography, Comhairle na nOg, Health & Beauty Talk, Games Evening, Open Mic Nights, Folk Choir, Soccer Tournaments

Names are now being taken, from adults interested in Beginners' Web Design, Graphic Design and An Introduction to Digital Photography running in Sept over a 6 week period. Limited numbers - places filling fast.

Information on all our workshops can be found on our website, email: or calling 087 6779267

    Sign Out Youth Project acts as an umbrella for many youth activities in the community to operate from:
  • Youth Cafe: Open every Friday from 7pm to 9.30pm. Membership €10 per annum or €2 per night, includes use of all facilities during club hours including the All Weather Pitch.
  • Youth Club: Runs every Thursday from 7.30pm to 9pm, during the school calendar year and is open to all 1st to 3rd year students.
  • Sign Out Readers Group: meet the first Monday of every month. Book for Sept 'A Little Piece of Ground'. Copies available in the Library. New members always welcome.
  • Sign Out Film Club: Watch films, chosen by the Film Committee, on the big screen with surround sound, on the first Wednesday of every month, commencing in September.
  • Sign Out R.O.C. (recreation, opportunities & creativity) Club: is run by the young people of the Portumna area supported by adults within the community and gives our youth a voice in decision making which affects their lives. Meetings held bi-monthly. New members are always welcome.
  • Portumna Youth Democracy Group: The local youth council, which gives young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies and to discuss local and national issues of relevance to them with other like minded groups in County Galway.
  • Comhairle na nOg: is the official structures for participation by young people in the development of policies and services. Delegates from Comhairle na nOg are elected to represent their local electoral area at the annual Dail na nOg (national youth parliament), which is held each year in Dublin in February. Sign Out will host Comhairle na nOg in September '09.
Sign Out: is run on a voluntary basis, providing an alternative for our youth to the 'pub culture', plans are in place to extend opening hours. If you would like to be part of this exciting Community Youth Facility and have a few hours to spare, we would be delighted to hear from you on 087 6779267.

For further information on any Sign out services email, phone 087 6779267 or log onto our website For Pitch information phone 086 2051346

Sign Out 5 A-Side All Weather Pitch

Sign Out 5 A-Side All Weather Pitch, Portumna

Sign Out 5 A-Side All Weather Pitch is available to hire at an hourly rate to groups, individuals, clubs and is an ideal venue for Birthday Parties & Competitions.

For further details/times contact: Tony at 086 2051346.

Prodrift Series Cars at Sign Out Youth Cafe

Recently added to the Sign Out schedule of events for Autumn 2009 is an appearance of Irelands top Prodrift Series Cars at the Sign Out Cafe. Further details regarding the driver line-up and additional activities are yet to be confirmed but it is expected that Prodrift champions past and present will be in attendance. In a co-promotion for Youth Sign Out and Road Safety, the arrival of Prodrift is a first for Portumna and will certainly get the pulses racing of petrol heads, car fans and motorsport enthusiasts in Portumna and the surrounding area. This will be a unique opportunity to get up close to the real Prodrift cars, ask questions of the Prodrift drivers and take photos of these highly tuned performance vehicles.

For more information on Prodrift visit

Portumna Youth Club

Portumna Youth Club is open to all 13 to 15 year olds and meet in 'Sign Out' every Thursday from 7.30pm to 9pm, over the school calendar year. Youth Club members enjoy the facilities of Sigh Out and All Weather Pitch. Outdoor sports, trips and soccer tournaments are an integral part of the club. The Youth club is run by three adult leaders and a parent rota. Registration will take place in September, each member has to be accompanied by an parent/guardian on registration night.

For further details contact 087 9492324

Acorn to Oak: National Crèche of the Month - July 2009

"Acorn to Oak is the only notified full day childcare facility to the HSE and Galway City and Child Care Group in the Portumna area, catering for babies as young as three months. This purpose built crèche and Montessori is a state - of - the - art facility next door to the local national school. It is a non-denominational, multicultural and inclusive service, catering for children of all ages. There are separate rooms for different age groups, all of which have a homely feel and are equipped with age-appropriate toys and activities. Qualified childcare workers help to develop each individual child’s social engagement and nurture their independence. The staff work to specially designed curriculums for babies, toddlers and Montessori right through to children attending after school. Sessional, part-time and full-time childcare is available. Some of the features Acorn to Oak include a newly opened sensory garden, a separate sand and water zone, baby massage and sibling time. An adjoining astro-turf pitch is used for a range of sporting activities. Among the staff are four Montessori teachers and a qualified sports coach and physiotherapist. All staff at Acorn to Oak hold current first aid certificates and a minimum Fetac Level 5 childcare qualification, through to Fetac Level 8. Acorn to Oak is an approved member of the National Children’s Nurseries Association and is affiliated to The Irish Preschool Play Association. A free trial period is offered for new families - contact Manager, Anne Rabbitte for further information at 09097 59595 or by email at"
Source: The Mothers and Babies Supplement in the Independent Newspaper, July 14th, 2009.

What a first 7 months we have had!!!! We have a vast amount of positive news for you to read and dates for your diaries too! The Crèche is ever expanding in numbers and the future cannot look more rosy. With repeated editorials in the Galway Advertiser, April and May, visits from Pre-School services, Breda McCarthy (HSE). Lucy Crawford (Galway City & Childcare) Local Public Health Nurse (Cepta Ryan) Fiona Kelleher (NCNA), Portumna Childcare Facility (Acorn to Oak) is now a flag ship community crèche in the west.

HSE & Galway City & Childcare encourage and advise existing crèche's to visit this flagship. With the duty, care and performance given by every childcare professional within the building.

I would like to thank you the parent for choosing us as your childcare provider "for your most Precious" and would encourage you to promote Acorn to Oak for all of the above reasons. I would like to thank my team of dedicated childcare professionals for their hard work.

GROW - (Community Mental Health)

    GROW (Community Mental Health) is about PEOPLE:
  • Who really understand how you feel because they have been in the same sort of trouble.
  • Who have found a way through distress, depression and other mental health problems to the best in life, love and happiness.
  • Who want to share that way with YOU when you are feeling down or finding it hard to cope.
Free, confidential weekly group meetings take place in Portumna every Wednesday @ 7.30 pm in Na Calaí CDP (Door beside William’s Bakery).
No introduction or referral is needed, just come along.

GROW Galway City & County: Paul on 087 4187714
GROW Infoline: 1890 474 474

Citizens Information Centre

The Citizens Information Officer attends Na Calaí CDP every Tuesday from 10.30am - 1.00pm.

Citizens Information Centres (CIC) provide free, confidential and impartial information on any subject to anyone that asks. The CIC provide information on topics such as social welfare, employment rights, health services, consumer affairs, taxation, family law, local organisations and activities. The CIC stocks a full range of information leaflets and application forms on public services. Portumna Citizens Information Centre is part of a nationwide network of 85 centres. Each Citizens Information Centre is an independent organisation and is registered with the Citizens Information Board, a public service body that promotes information and access to social services.

CIC is supported and funded by the Citizens Information Board
Phone: Lo Call 1890 777 121 / Galway CIC 091 563344

A Good News Story Success of "The Local Bus"

    Do you know that:
  • The Local Bus provides a door-to-door service in your area
  • Over 1,000 passengers per month use the 17 services
  • Services are open to everybody
Fares: Travel pass is accepted, Adult Return €5, Student Return €3, Under 5s free

Portumna Services:
Note the Athlone service is direct and stops in Eyrecourt. The other services will collect you from your door. All seats must be booked in advance.

1st Friday of each month: Portumna to Athlone
Departs The Square 10.30 a.m., Departs Athlone 4.30 p.m.

Fridays: Coose/Woodford to Portumna
Departs Coose 10 a.m., Departs Portumna 2 p.m.

Saturdays: Portumna to Ballinasloe
Departs The Square 10 a.m., Departs Ballinasloe 2 p.m.

Saturdays: Portumna to Loughrea
Departs The Square 10 a.m., Departs Loughrea 2 p.m.

To book your seat, telephone: IRD on 090-9741867

Portumna & District Active Retirement Association

Portumna & District Active Retirement Association has gone from strength to strength since its start in 2004. This year so far has been exceptional, we have had speakers, outings, social nights, and have been networking with other groups. We held the Bealtaine Festival which displayed the skills of our members. On the night, we had arts, crafts, music, song, dancing and poetry reading. We are now on our summer recess but our social club are still very busy organising outings for July and August. New members are always welcome.

Contact: 087 3132587 - Get inspired with Active Retired

Money Advice & Budgeting Service - MABS

MABS is a free, confidential and independent community service, providing information, support and advice to individuals and families having difficulty in relation to money matters, including budgeting, paying bills and dealing with debts. The MABS advisor can help with all personal money matters and assist in dealing with creditors, service providers and related legal matters.

This service is available at Na Calaí CDP. Please contact 091 841869 for appointment in Portumna or Loughrea, or for immediate support, supported self help package, or general queries you can also contact the National MABS Helpline on 1890 283438 or visit website

Woodford Town Hall

Woodford Youth Club Hall continues to provide the local community with a comfortable venue for groups and classes and the overseeing committee is delighted that so many have benefited from use of the facility. Many activities including Irish dancing, hip/hop, youth club, basketball, volleyball, birthday parties, indoor soccer, mother & toddler group, Munchkins, Summer Camps as well as parish functions have taken place there. The Committee are hoping to encourage an even greater range of activities in the Autumn and are interested in tutors of Modern Dance for Adults and Martial Arts for teenagers. The hall can be booked by contacting Liz at 090 97 49854 and a small charge applies!!

Galway Rural Development Company Ltd.

Are you looking for work?
    Do you need help with:
  • Your CV
  • Interview Skills
  • Job Identification
    Mediation Service will:
  • Discuss your particular needs
  • Identify skills and abilities
  • Service is free and confidential
Contact: Dawna Concannon, Employment Mediator, Galway Rural Development, Services to the Unemployed, Castle Avenue, Portumna, Co. Galway. 087-2312197 E-mail:

In Portumna every Friday from 10am - 6pm Mon - Thurs. Ballinasloe 090-9645111. Please ring for an appointment.

Portumna Social Services Day Centre

Portumna Social Services Day Care Centre is open 5 days a week - Monday to Friday. Transport is provided on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for local people and people from the surrounding areas. Approximately 65 people are attending the Centre. Services at the Centre include Meals on Wheels daily, Physiotherapy weekly and Chiropody every two weeks. Activities at the Centre include, bingo, cards, exercise programmes, music & dancing, story telling, reminiscence, question time and sing along.
We took part in the “Burning Bright” Art Project which ran over six weeks and culminated with all completed pieces being displayed in the Arts Centre in Galway.
We also took in the Volvo Race in Galway and enjoyed many outings during the summer.
This year there is an extension in progress and hopefully it will be finished by September when we will be celebrating 15 years of a very successful project for older people here at the Centre.
The committee recently ran a golf classic which proved to be a huge success and thanks to the local community for their generous support and their appreciation of Portumna Day Care Centre.
I wish all our older people continued happiness and good times here at the Centre, from the Committee, Anne and the Staff.

Portumna & District Lions Club - "Serving Your Community"

Portumna & District Lions Club is at the heart of the community, fundraising for local charities. Members give of their time and are always on hand to serve their community. Many of you are familiar with the Lions Christmas Food Appeal but we are also involved in many other local projects. The Lions Club meetings are held in the Shannon Oaks on the first Monday of each month at 9pm. New members are always welcome – if interested contact any Lions Club member.

Ordinary People doing Amazing Things

An Gáirdín Organic and Ecology Centre

Well, here we are again at the time of year when we look back at what has been and look ahead to what will be! At An Gairdin we’ve had a year of great variety. We had Gerry Galvin, chef and food consultant, to facilitate a national seminar on Local Organic Food- linking growers, restaurateurs and retailers. We hosted Be the Change Symposium at An Gairdin’s new venue and at other venues around the region. The symposium explores where we are at today on the Planet, in terms of Social Justice, the Environment and Spirituality and how each one of us can actually do something to help. 28 participants will soon have completed their 10 month Organic Horticulture Course. These days also offer the opportunity to savour and appreciate Organic Vegetarian cooking. Hands up now if you haven’t a Polytunnel! This is a very popular course. The young people from local primary schools planted a Native Hedgerow, having learnt a lot about biodiversity from Elaine O’ Riordan, Galway Biodiversity officer. For Earth Day we had a beautiful morning of Dancing the Rainbow with Colette Baynes, with participants looking for more! We had our weekends on Medicinal Herbs and our days on making Rustic Garden furniture. We welcomed the many callers for information, advice and to share friendship. Our new sustainable building has been a great asset during this last season.

Since Na Calaí’s last newsletter the changing economic situation has led us to ask questions that we previously may not have very seriously asked.- like where our food comes from, in fact where anything comes from. We now hear the familiar description 'sustainable economy'. What does that actually mean? The United Nations defines sustainability as: "the ability of the current generation to meet its needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs". The reality is that one generation of humans can exhaust and deplete what took 13½ billion years to create. Could we be that generation or are we coming to realise that Earth’s resources are limited and finite?

Sustainability has been at the heart of who we are and what we do at An Gairdin. We try to live in a way that does not jeopardise Earth’s resources. This is why we promote Sustainable Horticulture, Sustainable Building and sustainability in all aspects of our living. Look out for An Gairdin’s next season’s Programme of Events.

Lets end with a thought for reflection! What would it mean, or how would it change our lives and our behaviour if we were to discard the word ‘resources’ and replace it with the word 'gifts'?

Contact us at 09097 41689

Would you like to get training in computers and get paid for it?

The IRD Training & Heritage Project offers a full-time training programme, in a friendly and relaxed environment.
    This training is ideal for:
  • People returning to work
  • People wanting to up skill/improve their employment prospects
  • People who left school early without qualifications
The programme is suitable for absolute beginners, allowing people to progress at their own pace.
    The course content includes:
  • Computer/IT skills
  • Office reception skills
  • Job seeking skills
  • Work experience
Training is certified by FETAC
Trainees receive a weekly training allowance.
Childcare & travel allowances are also available.

This programme is open to everybody and is funded by FÁS.
For further details contact:
SE Galway IRD Ltd (LTI) Local Training Initiative
Abbey St., Portumna.
Tel: 090-9759092

Galway County Council - Community Smoke Alarm Scheme 2009

Galway County Council in association with the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government and The Galway County Community & Voluntary Forum are rolling out the 2009 Community Smoke Alarm Scheme. This is following on from the success of the 2007 and 2008 scheme where smoke alarms were given free of charge to vulnerable members of the community. If you are a person or you know of someone who does not have an alarm in their house, please pick up and complete an application form in the Na Calaí CDP office. The closing date for receipt of Application Forms with Galway County Council is the 21st of August, 2009.

Irish Red Cross - Portumna Branch

Another year of success for the Irish Red Cross in Portumna with some of our members reaching Emergency Medical First Responder Level, Cardiac First Responder and 3 of our members completing Cardiac First Responder Instructor Level. Before Christmas 22 members successfully achieved the Basic First Aid Certificate and in the Spring 18 members upgraded to the Intermediate Certificate. With approximately 80 members at present the Red Cross in Portumna is a thriving society. Our recent Fundraiser held on the 19th of June, 2009 was a great success and we want to thank the Traders of Portumna and everyone who supported it. As always our accommodation is provided by Na Calaí and we wish to extend our thanks to them also. We are closed for our Summer recess although Ambulance duties continue. We are open again on the 1st Monday in September from 8pm to 10pm; everyone is welcome to attend.

Regards, Sean Murphy, CDP, EMT,
IRC Portumna.

Arts in Portumna

Portumna Arts Group
Portumna Arts Group (PAG) was set up as a coordinating organisation for the many arts groups in the Portumna area. Our main objective is to promote awareness of the Arts including Community Arts in Portumna and it's surrounding area, in an environmentally friendly and inclusive way; to develop all forms of art and provide a forum for crafts' people, makers and artists, through Appreciation, Accessibility, Participation, Imagination and Enjoyment. Further information can be obtained from our website: Also, keep an eye on local paper for news of meetings etc as new members are always welcome. Some of the groups involved are listed below. Recent projects include the 2009 Calendar, a joint collaboration of Pen Pushers and Camera Club. This proved a very successful and interesting venture.

Camera Club
Portumna Camera Club began in October 2007, and continues to meet every second Tuesday night. Meetings can take place indoors - Curley's Bar, Portumna, or outdoors if the club are going on a shoot. The Camera Club is a very informal group of enthusiasts, some with very little experience and some with lots. For further details about Portumna Camera Club contact Jim on 087 6411711 or Mark on 087 3689507

Omna Singers
OMNA -  Portumna's Adult Singing Group meet on Monday evenings at 7:45pm in Portumna Community School. Presently, there are about 15 members. New members are always being sought and are always welcome. We would especially love to hear more male voices! To date, the group have performed at the local Craft Fair and in Portumna Retirement Village under the baton of Marie Power.

Pen Pushers
Portumna Pen Pushers is Portumna's Writing Workshop. The group began in October 2006. Pen Pushers meet every second Thursday night, from 7:30 to 9:30pm and it is a peer led group offering encouragement and support to emerging voices in the literary world. For further details contact Noelle on 087 2931055 or Mark on 087 3689507.

Youth Theatre
Portumna's Youth Theatre catering for 12-18 year olds are now looking for NEW members for the current year as workshops and classes are planned to start in September on Wednesday evenings. Facilitator, Fergal Darcy of i102104 fame, enjoyed working with last year’s group and they produced a fine original production in May. Booking is essential in order to make the Theatre viable and commitment from our teenagers in order to sustain the theatre. Portumna Arts Group have a committee of adults to help and support the youth in this venture but it's up to you, the young people to make it happen. So get your name in as numbers are limited. Interested youth are asked to contact Alma @ 086 3196159 or Noelle @ 087 2931055.

Maple Poetry Group
This group’s members have one common interest-Poetry-writing, reciting or listening- we have many who do one or all. Meetings are held regularly where people gather to share their favourite work, their new composition or to just sit and enjoy. Laughter, tears and fun are all mixed in an unfolding evening of shared interest. Upcoming readings will be advertised on our website or on local newspapers.

Shorelines Arts Festical 2009
The festival for 2009 will take place on Sept 17-20th, where Portumna’s artists will once again display their talents. Week-end activities include writing workshops, poetry readings, drama events, dance workshops and children’s events. The highlight will be a Concert by Anuna on Sunday Sept 20th. The committee are very excited to have the group who rose to stardom with River dance and who have become the true voice of Celtic and modern Ireland - an event not to be missed. Tickets will be available shortly. Keep an eye on local press for further details of the programme, look up our website or better still, join the committee and become an active member of Arts in Portumna.

Waterside House Women’s Refuge

Are you sometimes afraid of your partner or anyone else in your home?
Are you constantly being checked up on, having to say where you go, who you see and when you’ll be back? Does your partner humiliate you, shout at you, put you down and call you names? Has your partner ever hit or slapped, kicked punched shoved or pushed you or physically hurt you in any other way? Does your partner control the family finances, take your money, prevent you from getting a job or take your money? Does your partner ever insist that you have sex even when you don’t want to or insist that you do things or view things that you are not comfortable with? Remember that you do not have to be beaten to be abused.
Domestic Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, financial or sexual.
If you are suffering the effects of Domestic Abuse you are not alone. Irish research findings in 1995 showed that the majority of Irish women know of a woman who has been subjected to violence by her husband, partner or ex-partner. The effects of Domestic Abuse can make you feel frightened anxious or trapped. Women in abusive relationships can be very isolated from family and friends this can be part of the abuse. If any of the above sounds familiar to you or you know someone who is experiencing abuse there is help and support available.
COPE Waterside House, women’s refuge in Galway City provides safe temporary accommodation for women and their children living with Domestic Abuse. Waterside House also provides an Outreach Service for Portumna and the surrounding area. An Outreach Worker will meet with women at an agreed safe location to explore her options and offer support. The service also offers accompaniment to Court for Safety, Protection and Barring Orders or legal separation issues. If you believe or suspect that your relationship may be abusive or you know of someone that may benefit from our support, please do not hesitate to call us to book an appointment. This service is free and confidential. If you require emergency accommodation due to domestic violence we are open 24 hrs.

You can contact Waterside House @ 091 565985.

Portumna Town F.C. - Investing in Our Children's Future

Web: Email:

June 2009 marked the 3rd anniversary of Portumna Town FC and once again we are happy to report that the club continues to go from strength to strength both in terms of footballing achievements and development of training facilities.

The club continues to have players selected for the Emerging Talent Programmes run by the FAI from U11 up to U14. This is an indication of the talent there is within the club and highlights the benefits and opportunities the formation of the club has brought to children from the Portumna area. Congratulations to Colin Burke, Ronan O’Meara and Conor Barry who were selected for the Midlands League U13 Kennedy Cup squad. Given the fact that there are approx. 23 clubs in the league, it was a tremendous achievement for these boys to be selected to take part in such a prestigious tournament and an added bonus for Conor Barry who was chosen to captain the team.

Although none of our teams won any silverware this year our U13’s did experience the thrill of playing in a Cup Final where they were narrowly defeated 1- 0 by an outstanding Abbeyleix team. This year has been a significant year of learning for all coaches and players and everyone is looking forward to trying their best again next season.

In June the club held another awards evening in the Shannon Oaks hotel where medals and trophies were presented to a whole host of players from all age groups for their performances and commitment given all throughout the season. This year’s event attracted even more people than last year’s and it was fantastic to see so many families turn up and support their children. Special thanks goes to Thornton Sports for sponsoring the trophies. Thanks also to Dick Ridge for doing a great job as MC and to Mark Finnerty for providing the music.

The club held its first fundraiser in over 14 months in February of this year in the form of The Valentine’s Ball. The huge organisational effort put in by Ann Marie Barry and Maureen Curran together with the service and co-operation of the Shannon Oaks hotel ensured that the night was an unforgettable experience for all those who attended. The club wishes to thank all those who supported this fundraiser in whatever way they could as it brought in some badly needed funds which were required for the development of the synthetic pitch.

On that note we are delighted to announce that we are expecting to open our brand new synthetic pitch in August 2009. In addition to providing two 5-a-side pitches, a new juvenile/training natural grass pitch has been built, as well as a spacious car park. This marks a major milestone for the development of the club which is, lest we forget, only 3 years old. Thornton Sports (from the Tynagh road) have built a truly 1st class facility.

Registration for new players will be held in The Retirement Village at 11am on August 8th. Players must be 6 by June 30th of this year to be eligible.

If anyone is interested in earning some additional income by acting as a referee for matches please contact David Flaherty 087 9837366 or Ger O’Sullivan 086 8167463 for further information.

The club would like to acknowledge that it has received a lot of help from a lot of people during the course of these past 12 months. There are too many names to mention here but we are grateful for all your continued support.

A big thank you to each and everyone of our volunteer coaches for the huge effort they all put in over the season. Lastly I would like to praise all the committee members, Dave Flaherty, Seamus Lynch, Ann Marie Barry and Derek Finnerty. They have worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to help progress the club for the benefit of all children.

If you want to find out more about the club check out our website:

Ger O’Sullivan - Chairman.

Portumna Town and Community Hall

The Town Hall is centrally located in Clonfert Avenue, behind the Court House. We have an active committee and this year we took on a project to:
  • Replace the old windows with PVC
  • Paint the Hall inside and out
  • Upgrade the toilet facilities
All of these wish lists have been carried out and our next task is to sort out the heating system. It is there over 20 years now and we would appreciate any help in that regard.

The Hall is used most days from September to May. It is available to rent most weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

For further enquiries contact Johnny Cowan on 087 2430864.

Finally, we the committee would like to thank Johnny Cowan for all his assistance over the years.

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Newsletter Archive

The following newsletters are available to download in .pdf format.

Na Calai Summer 2009 Newsletter

Na Calai Winter 2009 / Spring 2009 Newsletter

Na Calai Spring 2008 Newsletter

Na Calai Summer 2007 Newsletter

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