06 January 2010

Christmas Church Choir
Local Girl Makes Irish Karate Team
Safe Tractor Skills for Teenagers
Sign Out Youth Cafe Games Nights
Portumna Players - The Mai
Saint Joseph’s National School Woodford
Afternoon Tea Dance
Camera Club

Christmas Church Choir
The choir in Portumna church have totally outdone themselves this year over the Christmas period with the wonderful singing. Congratulations must be given to all members of the choir for their fantastic efforts all year round. The choir was delighted to welcome back Mary Joyce for the Christmas who very graciously offered her expertise. Thanks also must be given to Anna and Philip Brown for their work in the choir all year.

Over the three masses around Christmas, the variety of Music was exceptional. However to the Young people of Portumna, we must raise our hats. The Family Mass on Christmas Eve could not have gone ahead without the great voices of Portumna Community School. The combined efforts were greatly appreciated but the music could not have gone ahead without the fantastic talent shown by Lisa, Marian and Gary Lynch, Daughters and Son of Mary and PJ Lynch, their fantastic solo’s and excellent organ playing was thoroughly enjoyed. Well Done to Nicola Walsh and Niamh Houlihan who performed excellent solo’s over Christmas with Away in a Manger. Finally, large congratulations must be given to Conor O’ Meara, son of Marie and Donie O’ Meara who performed O Holy Night at all three masses over Christmas. His singing over the Christmas period was outstanding.

Congratulations to all members of the Portumna Choir for their excellent Performance over Christmas, a truly memorable experience. It is magnificent to hear such talent under one roof.


Local Girl Makes Irish Karate Team
Hard work and determination really does pay off as Karen Dolphin proved this year. Karen is a member of Itosu Kai Karate & Kobudo Association of Ireland and has trained in her own club in Kiltormer for the past twenty years. Karen who holds a 4th degree Black Belt was selected by O.N.A.K.A.I. to represent Ireland on the Irish Ladies Kumite Team. O.N.A.K.A.I. is the Official National Amateur Karate Association of Ireland and is the only Irish karate body to be recognised by the European and World Karate Federations. Selections for the Irish Team were made last January and since then Karen has had a very busy training and competing schedule. Karen has competed in numerous countries in Europe including England, Scotland, Holland, France, Germany, Belgium and in the Irish Grand Slam in Dublin in October, where the Irish Ladies were successful in taking silver.

Outside of competing for O.N.A.K.A.I. Karen competed in the Canadian Shito-ryu Itosu Kai Championships in April. These were held in Toronto and Karen won gold in both Kumite and Kata in the Ladies Black Belt division. In July Karen travelled to Kuala Lumpur with 15 other competitors to compete in the I.K.I.F. World Championships where she came 4th in Ladies Black Belt Kata narrowly missing out on a medal with 1st,2nd and 3rd places going to Japan. Karen already holds a bronze medal for Kumite from the I.K.I.F. World Championships in Los Angeles in 2004. Karen is currently based in London and travels over to Ireland to train with the National Ladies Kumite Coach Paul Brennan and National Kata Coach Michael Hogan such is her dedication and desire to compete for her country.


Safe Tractor Skills for Teenagers
With the ever increasing numbers of Farm Accidents in our rural community, Sign Out Youth Co in association with the Farm Relief Services are offering a one day Safe Tractor Skills for Teenagers on Saturday 23rd January '10. The aim of this workshop is to create a safety awareness amongst teenagers working with tractors. The Garda Traffic Corp will also be in attendance on the day. The training programme is designed for the use of tractor/machinery within the farm.

The day will run from 9.30am to 3.30pm commencing in Sign Out Youth Cafe with a presentation and discussion on farm safety, safety checks and safe driving. Followed by a practical driving session in a specially prepared course, taking in reversing, hitching tractors to other implements, PTO safety, operating trailed machinery, setting up a good driving position and safe driving. This workshop is open to members and non members of Sign Out Youth Cafe, both male and female, between the ages of 14 and 17 years. The workshop is part funded by the HSE and Galway Rural Development and is offered at a cost of €20 to each participant. A Certificate will be presented at the end of the day. Places are limited to 15, full payment to either Susan Royston @ Sign Out Youth Cafe, St Brigids Road, Portumna or Tim Walsh, Patrick Street. For further information contact 087 6779267.


Sign Out Youth Cafe Games Nights
Sign Out Youth Cafe continues as it signed off in 2009 with its regular Friday night drop in youth facility from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

For 2010 the popular Film Club will continue on the 3rd Monday of every month - the film for January is yet to be decided.

Commencing Monday 11th January, Sign Out will host weekly Games Nights from 7.30pm to 9pm. All are invited to enjoy the challenges of Pool Tournaments, Table Tennis Tournaments and Console Games on the high definition screen with surround sound. Fifa 10 is the latest addition to our Xbox collection.

Also, at the end of January, Sign Out plan to deliver regular Music Sessions for Youth Bands and Open Mike Evenings catering for the musical needs of our teenagers. Further updates on this and other workshops on our website.

Sign Out is a purpose built youth facility providing a safe fully supervised space for our young people to gather, host workshops, socialise amongst their own age group while enjoying both indoor and outdoor facilities. For further information contact 087 6779267, email youthsignout~gmail.com Pitch enquiries to 086 2051346.


Portumna Players - The Mai
Portumna Players produced Marina Carrs “The Mai” prior to Christmas which was directed by Marian Frawley. The play deals with the ups and downs of one family who live in the midlands and the West of Ireland. It spans 4 generations and relives their lives over two summers. The conversations and stories of seven women, the history of a family and their broken and cruel love is remembered, recounted and re-lived by The Mai's eldest daughter Millie played by Breda Burke, who fuses past and present, history and lore, into a story as intimate, unique, disturbing, affectionate and recognisable as all family stories. The matriarch of the family is the 100 year old Grandma Friachalan superbly played by Johanna Burke, whose obsession with the “five fingered fisherman” left an indelible mark on her off spring.

Robert, the Mai’s cellist husband of 21 years was portrayed excellently by Derek Frawley, the role of Robert was one of Dereks most challenging as he had to show the awkardness and uneasiness of his return to Owl Lake after an absence of 4 years, the reunion does not go well, and with the rest of the family meddling in his life the reunion stood no chance of surviving, consequently it leads to a tragic end.

Becks and Connie the Mai’s sisters were played by Marie O Donnell and Mairead Taylor respectively. Of the two sisters, Beck is the more frustrated, taking to a short-lived marriage just 'to raise herself a little in everyone's estimation.' Connie on the other hand longs for 'the old days way back before we discovered men.' The two aunts Agnes and Julie ”The Connemara Clique” are lovely parts, the “holier than thou” always disapproving roles were played by Eileen Purcell and Marie Gunning, both seasoned actresses and wonderful in the parts. They were the conscience of the family always correct and had no time for the changes that were coming in their world.

The main character The Mai is an accomplished, beautiful forty-year-old woman, and was a challenging role for Mary Lynch, it was her first major part and she was perfect in the role, Mary has come on in leaps and bounds over the last number of years. The Mai who sets about building a dream house in the hope that Robert will one day return to her, sits by the window looking out on Owl Lake waiting for her prince to come home.

The players wish to thank everyone who attended the performanances, considering the weather conditions and hope to see you in the Spring.


Saint Joseph’s National School Woodford
On behalf of the children and staff of St. Joseph’s N.S., we wish to thank you all most sincerely, especially the parents, for your overwhelming attendance and very generous donations at the Christmas Nativity Play. After expenses €933.79 has been lodged in the school account. This money will be used to purchase new computers for your children in the New Year. The children of St Josephs National School collected €159.34 for GOAL carol singing O’Meara’s Super Valu Portumna on Monday 21st December. Thank you for all your donations


Afternoon Tea Dance
The Portumna Town Hall committee are holding an Afternoon tea Dance on Sunday 24th January 2010, the time is 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm and admission is €5 per person, tea and refreshments will be served.


Camera Club
Portumna Camera Club was formed in October 2007 with the purpose of fostering photographic skills and knowledge in Portumna and the surrounding area. The members are keen amateur photographers with skills ranging from beginner to advanced. We welcome all members who seek to expand their knowledge and abilities as photographers and who are willing to learn from and teach their fellow enthusiasts.

We meet every 2nd Tuesday in Na Calai and arrange occasional talks on topics of interest. We have visiting photographers who give talks on various subjects dealing with the world of Photography.


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