16 April 2008


Shane O'Rourke

Portumna Players

Andrew Smith

Rugby Club Golf Classic

Beauty Salon

Bridge Results

Saint Brendan’s National School

Social Services AGM

Portumna Chamber of Commerce

The Boathouse Pub

Camogie News


Shane O'Rourke

Shane crossed the Atacama Desert 2 weeks ago crossing the finish line on Sunday 6th of April. This desert is one of the dryest places in the world, with 1cm rain falling in 10 years. NASA use it to test their lunar machines as the undulations are similar to the surface of the moon. Shane trained for this event over the last 12 months, running up and down Keepers Hill in the Silvermines Mountains and on a beach in Wexford. Here is Shane’s story. “The Atacama Crossing was just as difficult as I had I thought with tough terrain combined with searing heat making continuous running very hard during the week. The terrain varies between soft sand and uneven rock and temperatures averaged 35 during the day. Overall I pushed hard throughout and was very happy with my finishing position of sixth and don’t think I could have beaten any of the guys ahead of me. I had one scary moment at the end of day 3 when I threw up and almost passed out while crossing the finish line, but was given some medication from the doctor and was soon able to keep fluids down. I had very little feet problems compared to most people and only lost one toenail during the week – most people lost 2 or 3. Some of the feats of courage by competitors were amazing such as the blind Korean competitor led by his son for the entire race. Also one English man hobbled on man-made crutches for the entire 47 miles of the long stage after injuring his knee the day before. A big part of the race is learning to live in a tent with six other racers at close quarters and sleep is very difficult at times. Also proper nutrition and hydration to enable recovery from the days running is very important and is ongoing throughout the week. I was overall pretty happy with my gear and my pack only weighted 8kg – some packs weighed 15kg. I did not bring long sleeves to save weight and suffered some bad sunburn but will know for again. Most people were very well prepared for the race and those that were not did not last too long. Overall it was a fantastic experience racing against some of the world’s best endurance athletes and was very well run by the “Racing the Planet” organization. I will let the body recover for now but I am hoping to complete another desert some time in the future. I would encourage any able bodied person to have a go at a 4deserts event – physical fitness helps but the main assets needed are strong feet and a big heart.”

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Portumna Players

Portumna Players will stage “Semi-Private” by Mary Halpin for three nights, starting tomorrow night, Friday 18th April, Saturday 19th April and Sunday 20th April, curtain up at 8.30. This promises to be a good laugh with a little drama thrown in! The play is set in a Dublin hospital ward in the 1980`s and as the title suggests, it is a semi-private ward with a mix of personalities including Samantha (Mairead Taylor) a young housewife who is from the inner city Betty (Alma Glynn-Lally) a thirty something journalist and idealist, Mrs. O’Meara-Hardy (Marie Gunning) a fifty something toffee nosed upper middle class housewife from the Southside and Sr. Agnes Paul, a nun who is “not based in Dublin” (played by Eleanor Madden). Other cast members include Louise Bradshaw Evans, Mary Lynch, Tommy Shewebridge, Abe Kennedy, Liz Ridge, Stephen Killeen, Derek Frawley, Eileen Purcell, Conor Robinson, Stephanie Blake Patricia Blehein, and Eugene McEntee. Johanna Burke directs the play and as usual, good attendance numbers are expected over the three nights. This is Johanna’s debut as a Director and she also appeared in the 1993 production of the same play, at that time she played the part of Mrs. O'Meara–Hardy. So we wish her all the best.

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Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith was the Vodafone hurler of the Month in March and the President of the GAA Nickey Brennan presented Andrew Smith of Portumna with their specially commissioned trophy at a ceremony in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel. It is the first time in the modern history of the monthly awards scheme that players have been selected on the basis of performance at club level, further underlining the impact of the success of St Vincent's and Portumna on St Patrick's Day. Andrew Smith also tasted victory before in Croke Park with Portumna when they won the title for the first time in 2006. He was in brilliant form last month when scoring two goals, one in each half, and added two points to his tally as they proved too strong for Birr. Speaking at the presentation Nickey Brennan praised Andrew and his Club Portumna. March 17 has become one of the most important dates on the GAA calendar and that has happened because of the consistently high quality of football and hurling that you produced this year.

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Rugby Club Golf Classic

Portumna Rugby Club are holding their annual Golf Classic on Friday 2nd May in Portumna Golf Club, this is the Friday of the May Bank Holiday and they are very lucky to get such a sought after date. They have organised some fantastic prizes including 2 nights B&B, an evening meal and a round of golf for four at the Sheraton Fota Island Resort Hotel. The entry fee is €200 per team of four and this includes a meal afterwards. There is a time sheet in operation all day and tee times can be booked by calling the Golf Club on 090 9741059. Further information can be got from the classic organiser, Michael Goode, on 086 2715501.

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Beauty Salon

Escape beauty salon is opening this coming Thursday 17th April in what was Taylor’s Auctioneers Office, the proprietor is Amanda Foley, she is well known in the health and beauty department having worked in the area for the past number of years. The salon which is located in Clonfert Avenue straight across from O'Mearas Super Valu, brand new to Ireland Tanzi sun bed, full range of beauty treatments available, tel 0872156333 for more info.

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Bridge Results

Portumna 79 Bridge Club,Results:- 1st. Charlie Mullen Margie Mullen, 2nd. Fr. M, Finneran Kaye Duddy Gross. Anna Moore Teresa Dillon, 3rd. Marian Molloy Joan Ryan, 4th. Pat Flanagan Mary Jo Kelly.

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Saint Brendan’s National School

The pupils of St. Brendan's National School, Portumna presented Ann Heery with a cheque for €500. This was the proceeds of their Lenten Raffle. The money will be used by Ann's daughter Ruth who works as a volunteer with VSO in Ghana to buy tables and chairs for classrooms. Ruth works in the development of Education in Ghana.

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Social Services AGM

The AGM of Portumna Social Services Committee took place on Thursday April 3 rd in the Day Care Centre on Castle Avenue. In spite of requests for new members it was just the old reliable’s who were present. It was the 33rd AGM of the committee and the core members of that first committee are still the core members of today’s committee. In the early years there were more needs in the community but improved conditions in the country has led to improved conditions in local communities. And while the committee members still keep a keen eye to the needs in the community most of the work of today’s committee is taken up with the running of the Day Centre for the elderly. Ann Callanan the supervisor gave an excellent report on the day to day running of the centre. She said the centre is open five days a week, very busy days. There are 60 people attending, 20 locals; there were seven new members last year, which is on a par with other years. A number of long time attendees died during the year. May they all Rest in Peace. An average of fifty meals on wheels goes out every week; the meals go out five days a week, and they are delivered by volunteers. The attendees take part in many activities the main ones being bingo and cards. But they get involved in exercise routines, the Go for Life routine is a great favourite and most people take part very energetically. The Sonas programme is a more relaxed programme and enjoyed by the less active. Age action week was celebrated by having local musicians, singers, dancers and poetry readers in. Flower arranging days were very much enjoyed. An arts course had taken place and there was an arts outing to Galway where their work was displayed and all had a great day out. There had been various other outings, masses for special occasions and each group attending had a Christmas party. There were three new FAS workers this year, one extra that was a great help, they had all settled in very well and the centre was running smoothly. Ann thanked all who worked in any way with her for their help and support during the year. The outgoing chairperson in her address remarked that in 1994 when the centre opened its main purpose was to provide social contact and stimulation for the elderly. Active retirement groups and local busses were now doing this, and she said we needed to look again at who needs our service. The very frail and disabled need to be provided for. To provide this service we would need to expand our building and our staff. This would be a major undertaking and some land would need to be purchased at the back of the existing building. We do not have the finances to do this. Perhaps there is some young, energetic, enterprising, individual or group of individuals who would relish this undertaking, and be prepared to work to achieve it, and see it through to its worthwhile conclusion. We are an ageing population. The same committee was returned office with a few minor side steps and they hope to extend the building in small way this year. This will give a little more space on the real busy days. The dream for a larger expansion will remain in place. The Centre receives a grant from the HSE but most of the funding comes from the people attending and those receiving meals on wheels and various raffles that are held through out the year. And of course the silver circle, which we hope to run again this year in May or June and we presume support, will be as forthcoming as it always has been. There are many local committees like the bridge clubs, the GAA, Christmas swim, the Lions club and others and indeed many individuals who continue to support us on an ongoing basis. The committee would like to thank most sincerely the local community and anyone who has helped in any way to the very successful running of the centre.

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Portumna Chamber of Commerce

The newly formed Portumna Chamber of Commerce do not intend to let the grass grow under their feet, the recently implemented traffic parking is in operation, and now this Thursday evening there is an information night in the Shannon Oaks Hotel regarding security for local businesses. This will be given by Chief Superintendent Enda Walsh. The meeting was spurned on by recent break-ins and personal attacks on local business people. Although there has been a large uptake to join the Chamber there is still more room, it is important that as many businesses as possible in the area join and act as one committee with a bit of clout.

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The Boathouse Pub

This Thursday and every other Thursday there will be traditional music in the Boathouse Pub, also Fergal has opened an off-license on the same premises.

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Camogie News

Portumnas Junior A girls advance to Co. Junior A League Final. After having won the Junior A Shield final last year the girls got off to a good start this year. The girls lost out to a strong Kiltormer side in their first game narrowly being beaten by four points. Their second outing was more promising as they had a good win over Craughwell away. They met Oranmore in their third match at home and had a good win Portumna 3-10 to Oranmore 1-1. Winning the last two games was enough to see Portumna in the semi-final against Turloughmore who topped their group. Full forward Tara Ruttledge put the opening score on the board for us with a goal while Sarah Kiely added a point. Turlough replied with a point. A point followed by a goal from Tara was answered by two goals from Turlough. Tara finished the scoring in the first half with a point leaving the half time score Portumna 2-3 to Turloughmore 2-1. Turlough started the second half with a point while Tara got three more points and a point from Philippa Coleman. Tara got another point to end the scoring for Portumna while Turloughmore got two late points. Portumna were delighted to get through as Turloughmore were a strong physical side. The final to be played next weekend will see Portumna take on Kiltormer again. Best of luck to Manager Cathal Madden, Koer Electric; Trainers - Johnny Keane and Damien Hayes in next weekends final and to the team: Ciara Molloy, Sile Ryan, Denise Hayes (Capt), Patricia Burke, Lyndsay McClearn, Triona Byrne, Nicola Muldoon, Mandy Moore, Rachel McClearn, Megan Moran, Maeve Moran, Philippa Coleman, Olivia Walsh, Sarah Conboy, Katie O’Brien, Tara Ruttledge, Sarah Kiely, Orla Hayes, Lisa Lynch, Chelsea Starr, Richeal O'Brien. The Camogie Club would like to wish Damien Hayes, Joe Canning, Eoin Lynch, Andy Smith and Kevin Hayes the best of luck with Galway in their League Final on Sunday.

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