28 July 2010

Kilkennys Bow Out After 40 Years Service to Education
Dr. Kevin Connolly Retirment
Updating of Register of Electors
Woodford Gun Club Annual Shoot
The 'Cope with Friends' Carers Support Group
Terryglass Arts Festival
Portumna U12 Camogie Team
Letter of Thanks from Ghana
Wedding Bells
Killimor and Woodford Fresh Water Treatment Plants

Kilkennys Bow Out After 40 Years Service to Education
The conclusion of the school year in Portumna National School and Portumna Community School had an extra special significance in 2010 as it brought the curtain down on the distinguished teaching careers of Mary and Frank Kilkenny. The couple retired from senior positions in their respective schools having given loyal and sterling service to the education process over the past forty years.

Frank, a native of the Kiltormer and a gifted hurler in his youth, was educated at Garbally College, Ballinasloe before graduating from UCC with an Agricultural Science degree. He began his teaching career in Granard, Co. Longford in 1970 and three year later was appointed to the teaching staff of Portumna Vocational School, becoming its Principal in 1983. A talented teacher, communicator and team leader, he brought about much improvement to the school which flourished during his time at the helm. His commitment to hurling was apparent when he trained the school's senior hurlers to win the All-Ireland Vocational Schools Championship in his first year as Principal. In 1990 he played a central role in the amalgamation that led to the founding of Portumna Community School and great credit is due to him for the seamless and efficient transformation of second level education in the area. He has served as the school's Deputy Principal until his retirement and used his unique range of talents to get the best out of students, staff and parents. The huge reception afforded to him by the entire school staff and student body on the final day of term gave due expression to the high esteem in which he is held by all. His approachable style and wisdom will be sorely missed in the staff room and corridors of the school.

Mary Kilkenny, from the townland of Douras, received her primary education at Derryober and Woodford National schools and because there was no second level school in Woodford at that time she completed this phase of her education as a boarder in St Raphael's Convent school for girls in Loughrea. From here she progressed to Carysfort in Dublin where she undertook her teacher training. She began her teaching career in 1970 when she secured her first position in St Ita's National School, Loughrea. She spent four years there before moving to Portumna where she was to spent the remainder of her teaching life. Shortly afterwards she became the school's first Vice Principal., a position she held until she assumed the Principalship on the retirement of Sr. Patrice Coen in 2000. Recognized by her colleagues as a highly intelligent person with a capacity to get things done with the minimum of fuss, Mary upheld the proud tradition and ethos of the town's boys and girls national schools which merged into one around this time. Each morning before school began she was always at the school gate to welcome the children and meet their parents. Mary too was given a rousing send off by the school's parents, students and staff in recognition of her generous spirit and efficient manner. Her successor, Anne Marie Larkin, will have a hard act to follow but will no doubt be influenced in a positive way by her predecessor's effective and caring style.

Because of their pivotal positions in their respective schools Mary and Frank Kilkenny ensured a smooth transition for students into second level education. Frank and Mary Kilkenny can look forward to a long and happy retirement secure in the knowledge that they have made an enormous contribution to education in their area and will be forever held in the highest regard by the countless generations of students whose lives they have helped to shape.


Dr. Kevin Connolly Retirment
Dr Kevin Connolly is retiring after more than 30 years of dedicated service to children and families in the children's unit in Portiuncula Hospital. An open day will be held on Friday 30th July 2010, between 2p.m. and 6p.m. on St. Therese Ward, for those who wish to call in and mark the occasion with Dr Connolly and staff members. All very welcome.


Updating of Register of Electors
Galway County Council are currently updating the Register of Electors, anyone who has just turned 18 or will by 15th Feb 2011 or anyone currently not on the Register can ring John Higgins on 091-872045 or 087-9088388 to be included. Anyone just moved into or out of the area can also have their details amended. Application Forms are also provided at exits of church which can be posted directly into Galway.


Woodford Gun Club Annual Shoot
Woodford Gun Club is holding their annual shoot on Bank Holiday Monday the 2nd August from 11a.m. on. Down the Line and sporting traps are available. 1,000 in Cash Prizes on the day A good day out for all the family with BBQ & beverage facilities. The Woodford area will be signposted leading to the shoot location.


The 'Cope with Friends' Carers Support Group
To celebrate National Carers Week, 'Cope with Friends' Carers Support Group based in Portumna, arranged a Coffee Morning in O'Meara's Supervalu, Portumna. Ann Heagney, Clinical Nurse Specialist, HSE West, Alor Star Day Hospital, Portumna, who coordinates the support group said, "One of the main goals of the coffee morning was to raise awareness of the support group's existence among carers in the area who are caring for a person with a mental health problem". The coffee morning was also an opportunity to officially launch the group's new business cards, that were designed by the carers themselves and which will be disseminated to local health centres, local Public Health Nurses and GP's.

Speaking at the coffee morning, Mr. Brian O'Malley, Assistant Director of Nursing, East Galway Mental Health Services, HSE West, said, "It was imperative to foster partnership between relatives and carers and members of the helping professions. Parents, siblings and friends have a wealth of experience in working with mental illness on a daily basis. Likewise professionals bring indispensable knowledge, which can be a vital resource for relatives. This group has capitalized on the special strengths of each to create a working partnership".

Describing the support group, Eithne Madden, Staff Nurse, Shannon View Day Centre, Portumna & Group Coordinator said, "This group is for informal carers who are caring for people, often family members, with a mental health problem. At each meeting of the support group an information session is provided by a range of health professionals. Topics included in the information sessions cover areas that relate to caring for the carer and helping the carer to deal with an acute mental illness at home, such as, support services, stress management, loss and bereavement, schizophrenia, depression, addictions etc. At each group meeting, time is given for the carers to relax and socialize with each other. The meetings are not only an opportunity to gain information, but also to be a medium of relaxation and a respite break for the carer".

Michelle Harrison, Manager, Carers Department, HSE West, Galway added, "The support group can offer emotional support and an opportunity for carers to share a common or difficult experience. It offers carers a safe environment to express their fears and anxieties and to learn how others have coped in similar situations. This helps to decrease the carers sense of isolation".

New carers who are caring for a person with a mental health problem are always welcome to attend The 'Cope with Friends' Carers Support Group and if you would like to join the support group or to find out more about the support groups activities, please contact Eithne Madden on 090- 9741486 or Ann Heagney on 090- 975 9885.


Terryglass Arts Festival
This year the Terryglass Arts Festival Committee have programmed a very exciting and varied range of arts events which they hope everyone will enjoy during the five day festival, it will run from Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22nd August. The festival is organised by a small voluntary committee who work enthusiastically all year round to make each festival bigger and better and it has now become a unique experience on the arts calendar. The Committee would like to thank everybody who contributed to this year's programme and in turn they would ask people to support their sponsors.

The organizers have catered for all ages and interests this year including a teenage comedy gig called Young, Gifted & Green, Gala Concert in the church with Rebecca Storm, Rebecca known as Ireland's First Lady of Irish Musical Theatre, celebrated 25 years in the music business in 2009. This year, Rebecca and her band will come to Terryglass Church to perform her 'Greatest Hits in Concert'. She will perform some of her most memorable songs from her career such as Tell Me it's Not True, Marilyn Munro from Blood Brothers, Don't Cry for Me Argentina from Evita. Fireworks at the quay, as many workshops as you can imagine. Please take note this year that we have set up online booking for all our events, so don't forget to book early so that you will not be disappointed.


Portumna U12 Camogie Team
Ivan Canning coached the U12 Camogie team and last Thursday evening they were presented with gear bags kindly sponsored by Declan Martin Master Builder. It was an all-family gathering as both the Players and their parents were treated to a sit down meal from Supermacs kindly sponsored by Mary and Billy Horrigan. Donie O Meara sponsored the drinks on the night. The U12 team had a great year getting to the County Semi-final; the future of Camogie at Portumna looks promising.


Letter of Thanks from Ghana
Éadaoin Sullivan, from Clonmoylan daughter of Martin and Lily Sullivan, went to Ghana for 6 monts doing Voluntary work this is a letter sent back by Sr.Pat thanking her for the wonderful work she did.

Eadaoin has spent the past six months with us, living and working with our people. When she arrived she came with Financial, Medical and Educational gifts given by you her community. I am writing this note to acknowledge with tremendous thanks your wonderful generosity. Your financial donations have and will continue to bring change into the lives of the most marginalised in Ghanian society. The village where Éadaoin has lived are trying to complete a community centre, to use as a meeting place and health post. Part of her donations went to that. Some has gone to help a hydrocephalic baby have a shunt fitted. The rest will continue to be used for her special needs children. The rooms she worked in will have new paint and small renovations to the furnishings. Dettol, soap and toilet paper, basic needs for any school but that we can't manage to have for the next academic year without your donations – they will go a long way. Medical supplies are being used from day one. Sr. Monica is constantly needing dressings, medication etc. for our people here and at Enyidakurom (known as camp). We also help the Leprosy hospital and at times the other Mission hospitals. Éadaoin's mum was the main person in networking for our support but you, each and everyone responded. Thank you so much. It is only a day away for our volunteers to leave and they will be missed. Éadaoin has been fortitude to all she has been asked to do and more – seeing needs and getting on with it. She is a credit to her family, her school and to her community – eachone of you who she loves and respects. Thank you for sharing, really being the 'Good News' to so many people. On behalf of our small community here I say thank you and God bless your generosity. Sr. Pat DMJ.


Wedding Bells
Congratulations to Deirdre Conway,Douras Woodford & Michael Keane, Shannon Rd., Portumna who were married on Friday July 23rd. We wish them 'Ad Multos Annos' and God's Blessings for the future. The Wedding Mass was held in Louscan Church, with the Reception in Adare Co. Limerick.

We would also wish Shane O Rourke and Teresa Murray all the best as they are getting Married this coming Friday 30th July.


Killimor and Woodford Fresh Water Treatment Plants
Mayor of Galway County Jimmy Mc Clearn has welcomed the announcement by Galway County Council that contracts have been signed to upgrade the Killimor and Woodford fresh water treatment plants. The works involved will include the installation of new filtrations systems and ancillary works. This work which is due to commence in the near future is being undertaken under the Water Services Initiative Programme and will be on going for a number of months.

Mayor Mc Clearn said that both schemes were in urgent need of up grading as they were now supplying drinking water to a far greater population that they were originally designed for. The two contracts was for a total of €873,000.00. with Woodford at €480,000.00 and Killimor at €393,000.00. Given the present economic difficulties this represents a considerable investment in these schemes and will bring a major improvement to the quality of water available at both locations concluded Mayor Mc Clearn.


Return to Top of Page

Picture This Photography, Portumna
Homepage   -   About   -   Contact   -   Links   -   Site Map   -   Privacy Statement