30 December 2009

Portumna Community School News
Fr. Brendan Lawless P.P. of Portumna
Derryoober National School's Trip to Dublin
St Dympna's Services - Swimming Pool Hoist
St. Stephens Day Walk
Christmas Day Swim
Shannon Oaks Hotel & Country Club - Furry Village

Portumna Community School News
Portumna Community School's recent "X Factor" style talent competition was a huge success with 15 outstanding performances of singing, dancing and novelty sketches. The overall winner was Pascal Kennedy from Lorrha, a man with a bright music career ahead. His rendition of the Elton John classic "Your Song" would have been at home on any stage, National or International. In second place was Laura Cunningham who gave a haunting rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic, "Suzanne". Another Lorrha man, Michéal Lambe was third with his wonderful personification of Billy Joel's "Piano Man".


Fr. Brendan Lawless P.P. of Portumna
This year, the year for priests( June 2009 - July 2010) has a special significance for very Rev Fr. Brendan Lawless P.P of Portumna. He celebrated the 40th anniversary of his priesthood during the week. He was ordained on the 17th of December 1969 in Newry Cathedral. After ordination he went to Nigeria, West Africa as a missionary Priest where he spent 20 happy and successful years building churches, schools, hospitals, clinics and preaching the word of god.

On his return to Ireland, he joined the diocese of Clonfert, where he has served on Cappataggle parish for four years, Ballinakill/Derrybrien Parish for ten years and is now serving Portumna/Gortanumera/Boula for the past 6 years. During the past 40 years ha has stood and walked with his people. He has stood at the alter of god leading his people, Sunday after Sunday in celebrating the mass, the Eucharist. He has sat in the confessional week by week and brought gods forgiveness to many people. He walked their streets and the highways and byways of many a dusty road in Nigeria. Every first Friday he visited and still visit’s the old, the feeble and the housebound bringing the lord of love.

Many people know him and he knows many of the people where he has served. He is always conscious of the fact we are all of gods family where he visit’s the schools, administers Baptism, officiates at weddings, buries their dead and prays with his people. It is a family, a community centred at home, church and school where the mass, the Eucharist gods love was and is central to it all. To be a priest at this time is a great challenge. It requires commitment and tenacity of purpose and also is very rewarding. It is also a great opportunity to build up the body of Christ, the church.

An evening of thanking and jollification will take place in springtime. At Saturday evening mass, he thanked all the people whom he has served for the last 40 years, for their care, kindness and friendship that they extended to him.


Derryoober National School's Trip to Dublin
On 9th December last Derryoober National School went on their Christmas outing to the National Concert Hall in Dublin to see the animated movie of the Snowman. It was narrated by Brian Ormond and featured live Orchestra and festive Christmas carols. Before the event the group had their lunch in St Stephens Green, after the show all 81 teachers, parents, & children went to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre where they enjoyed a beautiful meal and some festive shopping. Their Parish Priest accompanied them on the outing, members of the Board of Management, Parents Association,pupils and staff. A brilliant day out was had by all, enhanced by the favourable weather conditions.


St Dympna's Services - Swimming Pool Hoist
St Dympna's Services are very pleased that the Swimming Pool hoist, which will enable people with disabilities access the Swimming pool, is now in place. Special thanks to both the management of the hotel and leisure Centre for accommodating this.

We wish to thank very sincerely the following groups whose sponsorship made this a reality: Parents and Families of our Service Users, Sliabh Aughty Cycling Club, Portumna Lions Club, Portumna Credit Union and FBD.

The hoist is also available to any member of the Leisure Centre, or any guest at the hotel who requires thus aid.


St. Stephens Day Walk
The organisers wish to thank everyone who came out despite the inclement weather. The turn out was well down on other years but that was expected due to the dangerous driving conditions on the day. The entrance to the castle gates was treacherous for walkers so the committee didn’t stay there too long. We value your continued support and would like to wish everyone a very happy new year.


Christmas Day Swim
The annual Christmas Day Swim, which is by now an integral part of the festive scene in Portumna, went ahead at the slightly later time of 12.23pm, despite the weather the show went on. To say it was cold would be an understatement; to say it was enjoyable would be nearer the mark. Due to the severe frost the usual spot where the swimmers jumped that’s between the two jetty’s was frozen over by sheets of ice so for health and safety reasons the jump in point had to be relocated to the slipway a little further down from the swim area. A good crowd had gathered to see the swimmers do their piece for Charity as all monies raised would go towards buying a defibrillator for the Town. The youngest swimmer this year was 12 years of age the oldest we can only hazhard a guess? On standby as always was the Red Cross, members of the local Firebrigade & Rescue service. Ann Touhy along with others such as Ruth Carty has been involved in the organizing of this swim since it’s inception back in the early 90s, and manages to get into the water with the swimmers every year to make sure they are safe, she is also the last person to leave the swim area, she turns out the lights as she leaves, and will hopefully turn them back on again in 2010.


Shannon Oaks Hotel & Country Club - Furry Village
Popular Galway band Furry Village have just announced that they will be performing at Portumna’s Shannon Oaks Hotel & Country Club on New Year’s Eve. Lead by Gerald Fahy of Ballinakill, the group were formed in 1994 and continue to be one of the most dynamic bands in Ireland today. The band offers an eclectic mix of Irish traditional melodies and Eastern influences with pulsating percussion. A master on the Uilleann pipes, Fahy's music has been covered by world orchestras and featured in Micheal Flatley's Feet of Flames tour. The group has also performed at the popular Milwaukee Irish Fest. In what is expected to be a sell-out New Year’s Eve concert,. For further information call the Shannon Oaks on (090) 974 1777.


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