13 August 2008


Portumna Scouts at Jam 08
Homeopathy
Big Generator
Portumna Rugby
Wedding Fair
Portumna Arts Group
Youth Theatre
Writing Group
Portumna Camogie Club
Loughatorick Mass Rock
Lifesaving Classes
After-School Clubs Slashed For Lack Of Funding


Portumna Scouts at Jam 08
The Scout Troop departed Portumna on Saturday 2nd August 08 for Punchestown to celebrate Scouting Ireland's 100th anniversary. This event made the headlines on a daily basis partly because it brought 12,500 scouts together to enjoy a Jamboree but also because of the unpredictable and often rapidly deteriorating weather conditions. Kildare Co Co and the Health and Safety authorities were all over the site and on more than one occasion looked fixed upon shutting down the event, this was of course resisted in true scout spirit by the Camp Chief, as youth and adult members worked together to secure safe and dry living conditions. Portumna 1985 a similar Scout Jamboree took place under the most horrendous weather conditions, in fact anyone old enough to remember will recall it was renamed "Port Mud Na". What is often lost on non scouts is how much can be gained from these challenges. Much the same a Hurling team prepare for a match Scouts prepare for camping, it is such events and indeed variants in the weather conditions which assist in the character building of the youth member. It was an exercise in how scouting should work. For 100 years scouting has served its communities but most importantly its youth members and has always put safety to the fore, that is the professional manner in which scouts go about their business. Portumna can be justly proud of their scouts who all performed exceptionally well and have enjoyed a wonderful experience. Congratulations to Mathew Clarke who celebrated his twelveth birthday on the 08.08.08 and even though there was a restriction on visitors to site his Mother Bridie Clarke made the journey to surprise Mathew with a cake. This was not the only surprise Mathew received as earlier that same day he was taken off by the coast guards in their air sea rescue helicopter, we are all still waiting for the smile to leave his face, it could be some time yet. Portumna contributed to the Jamboree on many levels, not alone did they attend, but were responsible for Fire Day and the delivery a full day programme of events on the 5th August to 5,000 scouts. Two items of significant note from that day, were the recording of an album featuring 25 songs which involved over 1,000 scouts. The album which is a wonderful keep sake but also a valuable resource for campfire songs was the brain child of two Portumna Scout leaders, Iain Foulger and Tom Connelly. Tom actually features on one of the tracks and would like to thank Callan studios for all their hard work preparing and recording the children on the day, 5,000 copies of which were returned for distribution on Saturday, they are on sale and all proceeds going directly to the "GET KNOTTED" aid to Africa campaign. Another element of the Fire day progamme which in hindsight proved quite ironic, what with disaster plans discussed on every news channel and the prediction of the evacuation of Punchestown, was ran by another pairing of Portumna's finest who ran a Disaster re-enactment. This included the combined efforts of the Air Corp, Ambulance services, Civil defence, Fire Service, Garda, HSE, Road safety authorities, all of whom came together to perform a major road accident. The re-enactment took place four times over the course of one day and drew thousands of scouts and leaders all of whom applauded the excellent performances of the combined services. The re-enactment which was also held on the 5th August 08 took over twelve months to prepare and would not have been the huge success it was, if not for the determination and hard work of Brendan Murray and Ultan Hynes. So well planned and delivered it was the headline feature on the six o one news. Fire day team leader Dick Ridge also of Portumna said "I was so remarkably fortunate to have so many talented people to call upon. Portumna's contribution to the Jamboree and its success has in no small part been made possible by the contribution of its scout leaders and emerging talents". The day came to a close with a penultimate performance from Pantomime Queen June Rogers. However it was left to the combined forces of Colin Fahy and the Zubes all from Portumna who took centre stage and had the 10,000 strong crowd dancing and singing on the terrace. The Portumna Scouts would like to thank all who helped them get to the Jamboree, all their family and friends, especially Liz Ridge, Marcella Murray, Ita Hynes, Orla Connelly, Garoid Collins and Ethan Copage who all gave up their holidays to assist them at Jamboree 08, also a big thank you to Aidian (Bob) Kelly who drove the bus , sorry about the Mud and grass! it was most unfortunate that due to the declining weather and the sites inability to soak away the heavy rain that fell, a decision was made by the camp chief not to let 3,000 additional Cub scouts to come on site they were due to arrive on Thursday 7th August, sixteen Portumna Cubs plus leaders were amongst those disappointed.

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Homeopathy
Feeling unwell and tried everything, why not try homeopathy. Homeopathy now in Portumna Complementary Health Clinic, Clonfert Ave. For appointment and information please phone Jackie Lally on 086-1965415.

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Big Generator
One of the best known recording and touring bands in the country Big Generator who hail from Portumna are currently seeking a drummer due to the departure of long time friend and colleague Alan Mc Evoy who is getting married in August and is heading to Australia with his bride to be Donna. The band are very sorry to see him leave as he was one the best drummers and vocalists you find anywhere. So if you are a confident drummer with vocal ability contact Big Generator's management company, Real Music Management on 090 9759954 or email info@rmm.ie

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Portumna Rugby
Portumna Rugby Club would like to congratulate John Muldoon on his recent appointment as captain of the Connaught rugby team for the coming season. It is a wonderful honour for John and for the town of Portumna, with so many players coming from outside the province, it really is great to see a home grown talent rising to the top. It also can't but increase the profile of the game within Portumna and with the new Under 18's team due to start training in the coming weeks, it might even help to bolster the numbers when the youngsters can see what can be achieved by one of their own. Well done John.

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Wedding Fair
The Shannon Oaks Hotel & Country Club are hosting their Autumn Wedding Fair on Sunday 7th September. The event will provide inspiration for couples, with an unrivalled list of exhibitors and a bridal fashion show in the afternoon. Visitors can also avail of the opportunity to speak to the hotel's wedding coordinator on the day. Admission is free. The hotel is also proud to announce 'Mike Denver's Dancing Weekend of Country Music' from 14-16th November 2008. The weekend is the first of its kind at the hotel and will also feature Roly Daniels, The Conquerors, Big Chief Noel Brady and Ray Lynam. Special two night accommodation packages - including breakfast and evening meals - are available. With an all-star line up, the weekend is expected to be a sell-out. For further information contact the hotel on (090) 974 1777.

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Portumna Arts Group
The Arts Group are in the final stages of preparation for their Arts Festival. The festival will run from Friday 12th September until Sunday 14th September, featuring a host of events including poetry, music, photography, African drumming, arts-related workshops, and more. Further details will be released closer to the date. For more information see www.portumnaartsgroup.com or call Noelle on 0872931055 or Mark on 0873689507.

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Youth Theatre
All members of Portumna Youth Theatre and young people interested, please watch out for an introductory workshop on Sunday, Sept 13th at 2.30pm in Portumna Town Hall as part of a week-end of arts activities organised by Portumna Arts Group. If you are attending secondary school, interested in drama or just curious, call 087 293 1055 for more details.

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Writing Group
Portumna Pen Pushers now hold their meetings on alternate Thursday nights 7.30-9.30pm. With lots of projects planned for the autumn this vibrant group is thriving with inspiration- call 087 293 1055 for further information

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Portumna Camogie Club
Portumna's Junior A girls lost to Athenry on Saturday evening in the 12 a-side special. Portumna were the only Junior team to make it to the semi final stage as the other three were Senior teams. Well done to all concerned as this was a great achievement for them. The girls will now focus on the upcoming Championship.

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Loughatorick Mass Rock
The annual Mass celebrated at Loughatorick Mass Rock is due to be celebrated on August 15th at 3 o'clock - weather permitting. This Mass has been celebrated on the Feast of the Assumption since the late seventies at what was the site of a Penal church. Mass is celebrated to commemorate the sacrifices made in the past for our Faith. The site of the Mass Rock is approx. 7 miles from Woodford and is well signposted. Appropriate footwear is advisable.

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Lifesaving Classes
Irish Water Safety - The summer season was officially declared open at Portumna on 4th August. When over 50 hardy juveniles converged on the Lough Derg lake shore swimming area for the annual water safety week. Despite fluctuating weather conditions there was a good attendance for 3-2 hour sessions daily 10am-12, 2pm-4pm, 7pm-9pm. The intensive course included graded progressive training for swimming, Safety, Swimming rescue and basic life support. The week long course also provided opportunity for ex water safety instructors and trainee instructors to acquire the experience needed for re validation. Water conditions were good during the week and temperatures satisfactory. Water safety examiner Andrew Lally Galway, who recently returned from Germany following coaching sessions for the International surf lifesaving competitions, carried out the examinations. The results are as follows Rescue 1 Basic Life Support, Naomi Burke, Kieran Dillon. Rescue 2 & BLS Niamh Gordon, David Burke. Rescue 3 & BLS Julie Larkin, Marie Duane, Shannen Larkin. Rescue 4 & BLS Stephanie Blake, Kathy Dillon, Fiona Fahy, Veronica Burke, Anita Burke. Safety 4 & BLS Sinead O Hara, Emilio Burke, Taylor McCrory, Michael Fahy. 34 received passes in swim tests.

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After-School Clubs Slashed For Lack Of Funding
The Study Buddies and the Killimor After-School Clubs may have to close their doors this September if funding is not forthcoming. To date, all submitted funding applications have been unsuccessful. Na Calaí and the South East Galway Traveller Family Support Programme ran Killimor after-school and the Study Buddies operated under a partnership between Na Calaí, the SEGTFSP and Youth Work Ireland Galway. Both clubs were led by an enthusiastic team of youth workers and volunteers. Funders included Galway County Council, Youth Work Ireland Galway, AIB Better Ireland Award, National Association of Traveller Centres (NATC), Department of Social and Family Affairs (School Meals Allowance Scheme), Dept of Rural, Community and the Gaeltacht Affairs (Work Placement Scheme for Travellers). Both clubs, which have been in operation since 2003, welcomed children from Portumna and Killimor National Schools who were referred for extra support. The feedback from parents and the schools has been positive. Some parents, whose children have attended the Study Buddies since the beginning, have contacted Olive Shaughnessy, Youth Worker from Youth Work Ireland Galway to enquire about the future of the club and are anxious to see it resuming at the start of the school year. The clubs have provided a service free of charge, which complemented primary school education and supported families in meeting the needs of their children. The social aspect of the clubs enabled learning to take place in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Activities included homework support, art and crafts, baking and performances (drama and singing). The summer camps which followed in early July provided a welcome outlet for the children and their families. A homework club for secondary level students 1st, 2nd and 3rd years was scheduled to commence in September to support young people during the transition period as they move on from primary to secondary level education. The homework clubs have been instrumental in promoting the value of education and social skills as desirable attributes for children as they develop towards adulthood. Without immediate funding input, this service will be suspended. To offer or suggest any financial support, please contact Teresa or Régine, Na Calaí CDP at 090 9741887 or 090 9759946.

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