21 April 2010

Gerard Madden - 'Slieve Aughty Ramble' Book Launch
Portumna GAA
Bridge Tournament at Portumna Retirement Village
Portumna Tidy Towns
Childrens Art Exhibition - Portumna Library & Bramble Art
Portumna Dog Show Results
Portumna Forest Park 8K Walk / Run - Abalta Fundraiser
Portumna & District Active Retirement Association
An Gairdin
IWS Irish Water Safety Certificates
Portumna Community School
Tea Dance - Portumna Town Hall

Gerard Madden - 'Slieve Aughty Ramble' Book Launch
Gerard launched his book Slaibh Aughty Ramble in Woodford last week to a large crowd. He was surrounded by well-wishers and his three lovely daughters Aisling, Caroline and Grainne.

Gerard Madden is a very unassuming person, is an expert on local history and has an unbelievable love of this Sliabh Aughty Area. This is so evident in his book that he has now put it all in print and not only does he want to tell us all about it ...but he wants to show us the importance of the heritage, history and physical landscape that is ours. Gerards generosity with his time, knows no bounds, when even casual visitors to the area are inspired by him concerning it's history. Sliabh Aughty, it's beauty and the richness of its landscape has been far too long forgotten, but surely Gerards 'Sl.Aughty Ramble', will act as a catalyst to draw people, tourists to our region in the future.

An area of 250sq. miles from Woodford to Kilchreest, in the North, to Tulla and Crusheen in the South and all places in between, has huge potential to be explored and enjoyed......some ramble. It has been a huge undertaking to draw together the history, heritage and life of generations of the people of the area- some very renowned people. Ger himself describes the book as 'a unique account of the areas rich and varied history. Part of this uniqueness is the fact that the book takes the form of a diary with an insert for each day of the year-365. The detail and information for each and every day, describing the origins of local townsland names, historic figures, traditions, fokelore, stories and poetry, relating to the region must have been a nightmare of a jig-saw to piece together, to complete this wonderful book. Once you start to read it, it will be hard to put it aside - the variety of events and personalities detailed, leads you further and further into the bowels of Sliabh Aughty.

There is a reference from Padraic Colm's 'An Old Woman Of the Road' it says of the roads " many are fair, most are bad, and some are neither graced by house or bush, some are dried up water courses---one could say that not much has changed!. Another entry for 27th Sept. 1887 is very appropriate here in Woodford, it outlines the part played by Tommy Larkin and others in the defence of Saunders Fort during the evictions. On this date he died in Kilkenny Jail, and is burried in Abbey Cemetry. The local Woodford/Ballinakill hurling club, has honoured his memory as the famous 'Tommy Larkins' club.

Another noticable feature of the book, is the extensive detail to placenames, and the full explanation of how and why they are so named- Sliabh an Oir---if only that mountain could have delivered on it's name we might never have heard of 'NAMA'. Many other place names relate to tree types, lakes and farming activities of the past.
Finally may I say that this book is the product of cooperation and assistance of many people with Ger, These he has acknowledged in the foreword. The Generosity of Ger is seen in his dedication of this book to his wife Olive and to his brother Michael, both recently deceased, May They Rest in Peace.


Portumna GAA
Official Opening of Clubhouse: The official opening of the Dressing rooms and Clubhouse will take place on Sunday 9th May 2010 at 1:30pm. This will be followed by a family fun day with lots of novelty events for children and Adults. Everyone welcome.

Junior A: Our junior A team had a good start to their opening league campaign with a good win over Craughwell but unfortunately our Senior and Junior B teams were not so lucky as they were beaten by Sarsfields and Killimordaly over the week-end.


Bridge Tournament at Portumna Retirement Village
A very successful bridge tournament, sponsored by Portumna Retirement Village was held in the social centre at Portumna Retirement Village on Sunday last (18th April). The tournament was attended by sixty members of the Portumna based bridge clubs and by members of the Banagher bridge club.

A presentation was made to Nicholas Treacy, a long-standing member of the three clubs. Nicholas is now a resident at Portumna Retirement Village and Nicholas' friends were delighted to once again join him in playing bridge.

The results of the competition were as follows:- 1st Paddy Deegan and Ann McGuckin (Banagher), 2nd Charlie and Margie Mullen, 3rd Bertie Hanlon and Lorna Stoddart, 4th Brendan Dermody and Ann Healy (Banagher), 5th Clive Robinson and Breda Larkin, 6th Teresa Cunningham and Mary Nevin, 7th Tom and Mary McGee.


Portumna Tidy Towns
Tidy Towns Update: The Tidy Towns Committee have been extremely lucky to be chosen, by Galway County Council, as one of the most progressive towns in the County in relation to the work being done. Resulting from this they were afforded an afternoon walk about in Portumna with a number of very experienced personnel both in Galway County Council and also an adjudicator from the Tidy Towns competition. This was a most beneficial exercise and showed the very strong links that have been established with these organisations. This was organised by Ms Eimear Dolan, Environment Section of Galway County Council.

The committee and volunteers continue to work away with preparing for this year’s looming adjudication. Over the last couple of weeks the “Old Boys National School” has seen a complete transformation. Timber hoarding from windows replaced with glass, rubble removed, painting, grass and hedges cut back and flower pots ready for planting. Sean Larkin and his team from “The Galway Rural Development Scheme” are responsible for all this wonderful work. It has taken an enormous amount of hard work and dedication from all concerned to bring this about.

The town has also seen lots of businesses painting, power washing and cleaning up outside their premises. Our community spirit and pride is very evident..

Our beavers from our local scout troop had a busy week this week also and have done some wonderful art work at the community playground while our biodiversity project being run in conjunction with students from the Portumna Community School and our community Creche “Acorn to Oak” is progressing with sites chosen around the town for nest boxes and bird tables.

Community tidy up and litter picks continue on Saturday mornings at 8am – meeting at the library. We would encourage everyone to keep up the fantastic work being done in Portumna and continue to “tidy up” and “think clean”.

April Spring Clean: April is National Spring Clean Month and Portumna Spring Clean is taking place on Friday 23rd April. All volunteers should meet at the Library at 6pm with a view to doing a full clean of the town. Equipment, gloves etc will be provided by the Tidy Towns Committee. Please support and bring your friends.


Childrens Art Exhibition - Portumna Library & Bramble Art
Portumna library is hosting a children's art exhibition of creations by the Students of "Bramble Art" from 21st - 30th April. All welcome.


Portumna Dog Show Results
The local committee that are raising funds for Abalta ran a very successful dog show last weekend, 106 dogs participated in the show. All the dog food was kindly sponsored by “Gain Dog Food”. Etaine O’Connor from “All Creatures Great and Small” in Lorrha sponsored some of the classes, as did Lyons Trophies Quansboro, Killimor who provided the trophies on the day. Noel Madden provided the sound system for the day. We had Paul Flathery who attends the Abalta School there and he picked out the doggies he would like to take home, with the help of his special needs dog and his mum Collette. Thank Liam Keane of the O.P.W. for the use of the ground to provide a beautiful backdrop for the show and the Red Cross for providing personal for the event.

The winners in each category were:
Puppy U.12 months: 1st Eileen Moroney, 2nd Laura Rigney 3rd Emma Flynn
A.V. Spaniel: 1st Katrina O’Donnell 2nd Colleen Curren 3rd Melissa O’Brien
Collies: 1st Belinda McGreal, 2nd Laura Rigney 3rd Emma O’Brien
Labradors/Retrievers: Poraic Burke 2nd Declan Mannion, 3rd Walter Burke
Pointers: 1st Martin Fallon, 2nd Kieran McClearn
Terrier Group: 1st Conor Dolan, 2nd Eileen Moroney, 3rd Oisin Larkin
Jack Russell: 1st Poraic Burke, 2nd Tara Crosby, 3rd John Crosby
Utility Group: 1st Paddy Moroney, 2nd Michelle Donoghue, 3rd Tara Molloy
Toy Group: 1st Mona Goode, 2nd Paddy Moroney, 3rd Mary Higgins
Working Group: 1st Laura Dillion, 2nd Mick Smith, 3rd Tara Grourke
Mixed Ancestry: 1st Caroline Mitchell, 2nd Katherine Gorman, 3rd Stephen McGrath
A.V. Not Mentioned: 1st Vicky Redmond-Cole, 2nd Chloe Brien, 3rd Bernard Burke
Confined To Portumna: 1st Maureen Keane, 2nd Mary Keary, 3rd Molly Fitzgearld
Best Groomed: 1st Poraic Burke, 2nd Mona Goode, 3rd Mary Higgins
Dog I’d like to take home: 1st Pat Finnerty, 2nd Kathleen Gorman, 3rd Leona Donoghue
Fancy Dress: 1st Mary Higgins 2nd Mary Keary, 3rd Tara Molloy
Dog Handled by a child U.14: 1st Shane O’Donnell 2nd Cathal Burke, 3rd Colleen Curren
Dog handled by a lady: 1st Dolores Rigney, 2nd Eileen Moroney, 3rd Mona Goode
Dog handled by a gent: 1st Poraic Burke, 2nd Walter Burke, 3rd Declan Mannion
Champion Dog of the Show: Martin Fallon Claretuam, Tuam
Reserve Champion of the Show: Mona Goode Laurencetown.


Portumna Forest Park 8K Walk / Run - Abalta Fundraiser
8km walk/ run on Sunday April 25th @ 10am in Portumna Forest Park - Adults 10 euro, kids and dogs free in aid of Abalta School, School for Children with Autism.


Portumna & District Active Retirement Association
Meeting on Thursday 22nd April in An Gairdin St. Brigid’s Rd, Portumna at 8pm Sharp. Speakers on the night.


An Gairdin
Earth Day 2010: Each year the 22nd of April is assigned as International Earth Day. We are reminded on this day of the great gift that Earth is and of our responsibility to take care of her. This day is an opportunity to take some time to be with nature.

Wholefood Cookery with Lynda McFarland: Thursday 13th May 7pm-9pm. Lynda will be giving a demonstration workshop on Cholesterol Lowering Cookery. She will offer tasting and recipes to try at home. Cost €20

Introduction to Divining with Ciarán Graham: Saturday 15th May 10am-4pm. This day is an opportunity to learn all about Divining and the divining instrument. We can learn how living in harmony with nature can bring health and healing into our homes and into our lives. Cost €45


IWS Irish Water Safety Certificates
A number of local swimmers received their IWS Irish Water Safety Certificates last week at the swimming area at Portumna. The following people received their Certificates from Henry Mullins: Peter Dillon-received Inland Open water Lifeguard, David Burke-received Inland Open water Lifeguard, Sighle Burke-received Inland Open water Lifeguard, Sarah Mannion.

A special mention to Barney O Reilly who recently retired from water safety after fifty years. Barney has taught many generations of Portumna locals and surrounding areas how to swim, including bringing them to a professional standard and achieving the highest lifeguard awards. Barney has given his time voluntarily for this, We would like to acknowledge his generosity, commitment and dedication to Irish Water Safety and thank him for his work- espeically in Portumna.

Portumna Water Safety Week: Portumna Water Safety Week will be held July 5th - 11th/ contact Sighle Burke @ 0876774734


Portumna Community School
Silver Gaisce Award: Congratulations to David Burke, Maria Dervan, Daniel Eames, Conor O'Meara and Maria Whelan who finished their Silver Gaisce awards over the Easter with an adventure journey covering 50km over three days at Killary Adventure Centre in Connemara. The Adventure involved students having to organise their own trip and mapping out the hike beforehand. Many thanks to Ita Hynes who came as a support.


Tea Dance - Portumna Town Hall
Afternoon tea dance this coming Sunday 25th April from 3pm to 6pm in the Town Hall Portumna, music by Pat Conlon and Richie Burke.


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