23 September 2009

A Christmas Thought
Soccer Talent
Christmas Day Swim
St Stephen's Day Walk
Woodford News
Cross Country Success
Portumna Rugby Club News
Live Entertainment
Portumna GAA News
Events Draw

A Christmas Thought
Christmas is just a glance away. Outside the winter sky is gray, and the chilled fingers of an icy wind blasts through the coats and scarves, but everywhere there is anticipation, excitement, expectancy, despite the uncertainty of the new year shop windows are adorned with holly and mistletoe, festive colour and lights, ribbons of bright pigment, dark green, crimson, scarlet, burnished silk, glittering silver and gold. The entrances to each shop echo with Christmas carols and song, some of local singers such as Mike Denver-what a year he has had.

Last-minute shoppers bustle in and out of shops with renewed energy, swathed in thick coats and brightly coloured scarves, carrier bags filled with shiny gifts. Children faces alight with wonder, (I wish I was young again) tightly clutching hold of their parents with tiny gloved hands. A child looks up to the sky and, illuminated by the streetlights, a few flakes of snow, like tiny pieces of opaque crystal, fall slowly, silently to the ground. Soon there is a crisp layer of snow on the streets and the sky above is filled with a strange other-worldly light.

Inside every home, beside each hearth, the presents are packed, stacked and ribboned, knotted and named, covered with iridescent paper and velvet bows, piled high beside each Christmas tree. An empty glass with a bottle of stout beside it left for the guest of honour, cinnamon and pine needles fills the room, and the ambient flames from the coal fire casts a shimmer of ever-changing shapes against the walls. A time for family, a time to celebrate friendships old and friendships newly-formed. 2009 plays its passing chords and a new decade will soon begin.


Soccer Talent
Conor Barry was selected as part of the FAI Emerging Talent programme in September 2006. This programme was set up by the FAI to provide a nationwide strategy for elite players in all the 32 schoolboy leagues throughout Ireland to receive the same level of coaching following a standard programme set down by the FAI. This initial phase of the emergent talent runs from U11 to U13 level and is run by each schoolboy league.

Conor has captained the Midlands Schoolboy League representative team for U12 (Cashin Cup) and the U13 (Kennedy Cup) and has been selected to attend one of the FAI controlled Regional Centre’s (Tullamore) for the 2009/2010 season. There are 12 regional centres throughout Ireland that caters for the elite 25-30 players within a radius of each centre. The players are selected, based on different assessments undertaken at under 13 age level, and culminating the final selection process at the Kennedy Cup, held in Limerick every year. The under 15 Irish Team is selected from these elite regional centres. Since starting this phase of the emerging talent programme, further assessments have being ongoing and Conor has been selected for U 15 Irish trials, which will take place Christmas Week. Without doubt Conor has a special talent for soccer as he has for many other sports including Hurling and Golf. He is an example to every young person in the parish we wish him well and hopefully will wear the Irish soccer shirt some day soon. Conor is 14 years of age and plays in 2 positions Centre Midfield/Right Back.


Christmas Day Swim
One of the highlights of Christmas morning in Portumna is the annual Christmas day swim at the swimming area, Lough Derg, Portumna at 12noon. It is a focal point for people to meet one another and catch up on the happenings over the previous year. This year’s swim is in aid of providing a heart defibrillator for Portumna Town, which will be located in the front entrance of O'Meara's Supervalu by Spring 2010. Sponsorship cards available from Curley's Pub, Hayes Pub, O'Meara's Super Value, Members of Portumna Red Cross and the Shannon Oaks Hotel Leisure Centre, Portumna. Please help your community and support this worthy cause.


St Stephen's Day Walk
Just to remind everyone about our walk again this year. It starts at the Castle gates at 2 pm. All money raised will cover expenses associated with Pony Riding for adult service users attending St Dympna's Adult Day Service. Pony riding as an activity, has many benefits, it improves balance and coordination. It gives a great sense of achievement and promotes tranquility and relaxation. Your support would be very much appreciated on the day. Come along and bring your friends.


Woodford News
Jesse Tree: Looscaun Church 6 miles from Portumna erected a Jesse Tree beside the alter last weekend it was presented to the Community from Derryoober National School. The Jesse Tree is a unique Advent tree that can be very useful and fun for teaching children about the Bible at Christmas time. The Jesse Tree represents the family tree, or genealogy of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God's salvation plan from creation and throughout the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit." Each day of Advent a homemade ornament is added to the Jesse Tree, a small tree made of evergreen branches. These symbolic ornaments can each represent a prophecy foretelling of Christ.

Special Award: St. Joseph’s N.S. Woodford received a special award at the ‘Gradaim an Phobail’ 2009 for the promotion of the Irish language in the locality. The school was also nominated for a County Heritage Award in The Claregalway Hotel on Wednesday December 2nd 2009.


Cross Country Success
Niall McInerney from Portland Lorrha won an All-Ireland Cross Country Medal in Colraine last week, Niall runs for Nenagh Olympic Athletic Club. Niall has been running for the last number of years with the club he is under 13 years of age and has also a talent for playing golf at Portumna Golf Club along with his older brother Eoin.


Portumna Rugby Club News
Portumna RFC finished off 2009 in great style with a deserved 17-5 away win to table toppers Creggs. Portumna went into this game on the back of a narrow defeat to Loughrea and had all to play for in this fixture. Tries from John Mannion in the first half and Andrew Keary at the re start saw the Portumna lads take control and they were unfortunate not to cross the line for a third try. Andrew Keary added both conversions and a penalty 10 minutes to go converted again by Keary sealed the result. This keeps Portumna well in contention for promotion with only 4 games remaining. Next fixture is a home tie vs UCG on 10th Jan.


Live Entertainment
When all the excitement of Santa’s arrival has subsided a little there is lots of live entertainment at the Shannon Oaks Hotel - the line up is as follows “The Zubes on St Stephen’s Night and Furry Village for a very special New Year’s Eve concert”


Portumna GAA News
Junior News: Portumna junior A team were beaten in the league semi final last week-end in Tynagh by the narrowest of margains one point. Played in very cold conditions Loughrea got off to the better start and went three points ahead without reply. Scores from Brian Dolphin, Paddy Dolphin and a Willie Lawrence free meant Portumna went in at half time four points down on a scoreline of 1-4 to 0-3. Luckily for Portumna Loughrea had a lot of wides or they would have been further down going in at the break. In the second half Portumna battled well and three points from Willie Lawrance and points from Shane O'Rourke, Declan Madden and Shane Connors but Portumna's two goals coming from Johnny Kelly and Willie Lawrance were not enough to see them through to the final and Loughrea won the game by the narrowest of margins. Well done to all the Players who lined out on the day in such freezing conditions.

All Ireland Club Semi-Final: The date for the All Ireland semi final between Portumna and Dunloy has been set for the week-end of 13/14 February. Venue to be decided at a later date.


Events Draw
The long awaited Junior Chamber draw for money and vouchers to the value of €2500-00 took place last Saturday night in the Boathouse Pub. The winners were 1st Michael O Carroll Portland Lorrha €1000, 2nd Rose Gibbons, Tiernascragh €500, 3rd Evaha Lyons, Shragh €400, 4th Collette Burke Killeen €300, 5th Paddy Patterson Gurtaha €200, 6th Eileen Sheehy Portumna €100.

The committee wish to thank everyone who participated and wish everybody a Happy and peaceful Christmas and all the best in 2010. The Chamber are pleased with the response by the public in their uptake of shopping local, and look forward to welcoming all of our Customers again. Thank you.


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