18 August 2010

Portumna Workhouse Documentary
Tiernan Murphy in All China Story Telling Competition
Alisa and Celina Fitzpatrick - Artistic Cycling Success
Heritage Week Celebrations at Portumna Castle
Portumna Arts Group
Portumna G.A.A.
Killimor Scouts Roll Out "One Programme"

Portumna Workhouse Documentary
Filming took place last week for a documentary on Portumna Workhouse. The documentary, which is co-ordinated by SE Galway IRD assisted by the Galway Film Centre, tells the story of Portumna Workhouse in its historical and architectural context. In the making of the documentary, a number of people with memories of the Workhouse were interviewed. People remembered the show being held there; six penny hops; the table tennis club and the Catholic tennis courts. Monsignor Joyce, parish priest of Portumna, was very active in making use of the buildings and the grounds. After he died in 1947, it seems that the Workhouse was seldom used for community activity. A number of companies set up there, though none lasted the test of time. Bord na Mona, the Office of Public Works and the County Council also had space there. From the 1950s, people remember the workhouse as being locked up, not a place you would go. Some people stated that they would have been afraid to go there. They remember Nora Whyte, a caretaker at the workhouse. She dressed all in black and had a big long key dangling at her side. Some of the younger people interviewed equated the workhouse with the Famine. However, Portumna Workhouse did not open until 1852, after the Famine. It was one of 33 opened at this time. People entered the workhouse primarily because they were starving or sick. It was a last resort. One of the most tragic aspects of the workhouse system was that entire families had to enter together. In this way, the landlord, was ensuring that he rid himself of tenants, who could not pay their rent. Upon entering the workhouse, the families were split up. Only children aged two or under could stay with their mother. The men, women, boys and girls had separate quarters. Sometimes, family members never saw each other again.

The Workhouse documentary will be show in the Town Hall Theatre in October this year and at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2011. The documentary will be shown in Portumna at a date to be decided. The IRD would like to thank everybody who helped in the making of the documentary: Mayor Jimmy McClearn, Ivan McMahon, Galway Film Centre, Ursula McGuinness, Vera Burke, Ger Claffey, Eamon Hayes, John Horan, Jim Hynes, Austin Gohery, Martin Ford, Marian Frawley, Dolores Kelly, Mai Ryan, Eileen Purcell, Susan Royston, Ray Broderick, Caomihe Horan, Sorcha Ridge, Ava Flannery, Ger Fahy, John Joe Conwell, Christy Cunniffe, Orla Walsh, Paul, Ronan and Sean Mullins, the Shannon Oaks Hotel, the Portumna Players and Signout Youth Café.

Anybody interested in finding out more about the Workhouse Project can contact Ursula or Eric, SE Galway IRD, Abbey St. Portumna: tel: 090-974187 or 086-3830710. irdsegalway@eircom.net


Tiernan Murphy in All China Story Telling Competition
We pride ourselves in Ireland on our storytelling, never letting the truth destroy a good "yarn" so it is not too surprising when we hear of Irish Nationals excelling in this art of Storytelling. For the first time in it's eleven year history an Irish boy, Tiernan Murphy (aged 9), competed in the final of the All China Story Telling Competition held in Hangzhou on Thursday 12th August. Having come first in several heats, Tiernan competed against 25 other Chinese finalists from all parts of China, including Hong Kong and ended up with a place in the top 5. The competition involves hundreds of participants and started back in March with provincial heats.

Representing his school, Yew Chung International School Shanghai, where he has studied mandarin for 3 years, and Ireland (Tiernan hails from Woodford in County Galway) he was the only non-Asian in this year's event and we believe the only Irish National to have ever made it to the final of this prestigious competition. The competition is organised by the Chinese Government Department for Childrens Education, the Chinese Childrens Publishing House and the Government of Hangzhou.

Eight judges, including amongst others, the Principle of the Children's Art Theatre in Shanghai, a host of China's national TV channel CCTV and a famous actor adjudicated the final.They assessed communication skills, mastery of mandarin and stage talent.

Tiernan and his younger brother Ronan are members of the Le Chéile Kids group in Shanghai that recently sang for the President of Ireland, Mrs Mary McAleese during her visit to World EXPO Shanghai. The group were featured on RTE News and on a recent Céilí House programme.

In March this year the Le Chéile kids sang Amhrán Na bhFiann (the first time it has ever been sung in public in Shanghai) in front of thousands of Chinese and International spectators of the massive Shanghai St. Patrick's Parade and featured on the front page of The Shanghai Daily, several Chinese Television Stations and the Reuters International News Channel.

Both boys have just returned to Shanghai after a six-week break in the beautiful village of Woodford, Co Galway. Eoin, the boy's Dad is from Dublin and their Mother Cliona is from Dunleer Co. Louth they fell in love with the counties Clare and Galway in their teens and decided to set up home there when they are not in Shanghai.


Alisa and Celina Fitzpatrick - Artistic Cycling Success
We have heard of these girls before, Danny Fitzpatrick from Portumna is their Dad and they are living in Germany. Alisa and Celina Fitzpatrick have again been active throughout the first half of 2010 with Alisa competing at junior level and Celina in the under 15's.

Following an injury ridden but successful year in 2009 with the add-on of a planned knee surgery before last Christmas, Alisa wasted no time in getting back on her bike and into competition mode in February this year. Starting her competitive build up for the European Championships she came 3rd. in the Oberbayern (Upper-Bavaria) Championships with a solid 77.77 point performance. This was followed up with 10th. place in the "Sonnenstuhl" Cup and in March she came 12th. in the International Spring Cup in Switzerland. On May 15th. Alsa put in a tremenduous performance in the European Championships in Ludwigslust, Germany. She finished in her targeted 11th. place less than 3 points away from 10th. place. To wrap up the first 6 months, Alisa competed in the Bavarian Cup series held in Munich on June 19th. There she set a new personal best of 89.39 points taking the bronze medal in the process.

Celina, in the meantime, commenced with her 2010 campaign at the "Sonnenstuhl" Cup on February 20th. There she came in 8th. place with 58.89 points. On to the Oberbayern Championships, Celina set a new personal best of 63.75 points and picked up the silver medal in the process. On May 8th. she competed in the Bavarian Championships in Sulzbach (near Frankfurt) and did very well to come in 9th. place. Like Alisa, Celina competed in the Bavarian Cup series in Munich and although she came slightly below her personal best she was able to secure the silver medal. To wrap up the season before the holiday period, Celina competed in the Untermain Cup in Elsenfeld, Germany on July 17th and finished in 8th position.

Congratulations are in store for both as their performances for the first half of this year have placed them in the top 8th in Bavaria in their respective groups and, as a result, both have qualified for the Bavarian Cup final which will be held in Munich on October 17th. 2010. Alisa, though, is considering opting out so that she can represent Ireland again in the International Youth Competition, which will be held in Worms also on October 17th. and where she came 4th. Last year.

The Girls are on holiday in Portumna at the moment and will be using the Town Hall as their training ground - members of the Public may come in to view them training.


Heritage Week Celebrations at Portumna Castle
Once again Portumna Castle and Gardens, Portumna, Co. Galway, are hosting Free family events at the Castle to celebrate National Heritage Week 2010. This year the celebration commences on Saturday, August 21st (3.00 to 5.00 p.m.) with 'European Wild Child Day' which is a new initiative by the Heritage Council to encourage families and children to get outdoors and to interact with the natural world.

The "Fun Events" will include such things as a Wildlife "Touch'n'Feel" Display and Slide Show, presented by Mags Flaherty, Education Officer, National Parks and Wildlife Service. 'Acorn to Oak' Playschool will display their own artwork and all the children who participate will be invited to come with their families to view their work on show in the Castle. Children will be encouraged to join Roísín in a craft making workshop and to bring home their own creations. An Outdoor and Indoor Team Quiz/Quest Event will take place throughout the afternoon with a prize for the winning teams. Maximum number of children per team will be 4.

A display on Portumna Workhouse by Portumna I.R.D. will be on show in the Castle during all of Heritage Week, Saturday 21st – Sunday 29th August.

On Sunday, August 29th the Castle will be hosting a 'Vintage Garden Party'. The theme for the day is 'Hats' with a prize for the most outstanding hat on the day. Other activities include a Falconer, Childrens Games, Local Produce Stalls, Photo Opportunities, Face Painting and Music.

The aim of National Heritage Week is to build awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation. The Heritage Council in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government coordinates it with support from the Office of Public Works and Fáilte Ireland.
Remember Free Admission for an afternoon of family entertainment. For further information contact 090 9741658, or Email portumnacastle@opw.ie


Portumna Arts Group
Table Quiz: On Fri Sept 3rd. all are invited to the Boathouse for a Table Quiz in aid of Portumna Arts Group and its Shorelines Arts Festival. A fun night out, with lots of prizes to be won. Supporting the Arts in this event will be much appreciated. So gather a few friends and enter the fun!

Art Exhibition: Artists, sculptors, photographers are invited to exhibit their recent works at the Shorelines 3 Arts Festival, Sept 16-19th. Unfortunately, the Nunnery is not available this year and the Dowager house is also not available. But Portumna Arts Group are securing a premises that will house the work of local community based artists and guest artists. The Shorelines Arts Festival recognise the importance of the Exhibition as a core event at the heart of the Festival. Please call Tommy on 0861577038 to register your interest in exhibiting. Despite the closed doors encountered this year, let's open the eyes of the public with Your creative work and show the powers that be that the West is more than awake.


Portumna G.A.A.
Lotto results: There was no winner of last week-ends lotto jackpot. The numbers drawn were 2 11 12 27. Two people matched three numbers Martin Donoghue and Lorraine Starr.

League Win: Well done to our senior hurlers on winning the 2009 League final. The game, which took place in Athenry on Sunday evening against Castlegar, was a very entertaining game of hurling. Joe Canning was the first Portumna player to get his name on the board, points from Ger Kelly Andy Smith Peter Smith Niall Hayes and Joe Canning meant Portumna went in at half time one point down on a scoreline 1-8 to Castlegars 2-6. Portumna goal scorer Niall Hayes. The second half was all to play for with both teams giving it their all, Castlegar added three points to their first half tally while Portumna added 11 points 9 points coming from Joe Canning with Andy Smith and Niall Hayes the other Portumna scorers. Joe Byrne the chairman of the Galway hurling board presented the cup to Leo Smith.

Under 16s: Well done to our under 16 team on reaching the quarter final stages of the competition. Wins over Mullagh and St Thomas last week meant they now are in the last eight.


Killimor Scouts Roll Out "One Programme"
Killimor Scout group are delighted to announce that they will be undertaking Transition training for the new One Programme, which will be held in Killimor in the Town Hall on Saturday 21 August. The Group would like to thank everyone who has helped them to get to this stage and look forward to the challenges that await them.

The "One Programme" holds all the traditional values of Scouting but has been designed to ensure that the youth members have a greater input before during and after each event. It is packed with exciting adventure skills which has been structured so the youth member can enhance these skills throughout their time in scouts.

Killimor will be the first Group in Galway, if not the first group in the Country to roll out the new transition training, it requires 100% attendance from their leaders and representatives from the youth members will attend also and contribute to the day's proceedings.


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