29 September 2010

An Gairdin - National Volunteer Day
Pink Ribbon Day 2010
Shane O'Rourke - Sahara Race 2010
John Joe Conwell - Teaching Legend Retires
Taking the Lead - Team Building Workshops in Sign Out Youth Cafe Portumna
Portumna Arts Group
Portumna Pen Pushers
Inaugural Walk of The Hymany Way
Portumna GAA
Wild West Barn Dance in Aid of Children's Hospital and Children's Research Foundation
Afternoon Dance
Portumna & District Active Retirement Association
J90 in The Shannon Oaks Hotel, Portumna
South East Galway IRD - Upcoming Courses, Tourist Office & Local Bus Information

An Gairdin - National Volunteer Day
A Day in the Woods - Friday 1st October 10am to 4pm: At An Gáirdín we are dedicated to tree planting and over the past few years we have planted approximately 3 acres of trees. During the early years trees need care and attention, so on National Volunteer Day we invite you to come and help. Please contact us beforehand either directly at An Gáirdín on 090 9741689 or angairdin1@gmail.com or through the Galway Volunteer Centre on 091-539930 or info@volunteergalway.ie


Pink Ribbon Day 2010
October is breast cancer awareness month and there will be a `flag` day on Thursday 14th October 2010 in Portumna. If you are available as a volunteer please contact Marie Gunning on 087-2358585. Also Shops are required to sell merchandise from October 8th and we are looking for volunteers in the business sector as well.


Shane O'Rourke - Sahara Race 2010
The Sahara Race 2010 starts on Sunday October 3 when Portumna`s Shane O`Rourke will attempt to complete his third desert endurance event. Over €9000 has been raised for the Abalta School for Children with Autism through the work of Rosaleen O`Rourke, Aggie Flaherty, Phil Coleman, and the Fundraising Committee.

There are 4 events run by the RacingthePlanet company, of these Shane has completed the Atacama Crossing, the Gobi March and is now doing the Sahara Race. The remaining one is the Last Desert (in Antartica). These are all significant events. The Sahara Race is 150 miles in 6 days across the dunes of the Sahara Desert in Egypt, with temperatures exceeding 40º. Each competitor will carry his own food for the duration of the race. Training has gone well and Shane is hoping for a top 10 finish. The event can be followed at www.4deserts.com


John Joe Conwell - Teaching Legend Retires
It was with a sense of shock and disappointment that the students, parents and teachers of Portumna Community School, reacted to the news that John Joe Conwell was retiring from his teaching post from the beginning of September School term.

John Joe, a native of Swinford County Mayo, came to Portumna 30 years ago to take up his Teaching Position at Portumna Secondary School on the same day as Galway Senior Hurlers won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling final in 1980.

John Joe will long be remembered by generations of students for his wit, humour, energy and enthusiasm that he applied in his teaching profession and the extraordinary results his students achieved on a consistent basis in Science, Biology and Maths at leaving certificate level. A true professional, a teacher of excellence and a colleague of integrity. John Joe was a gentleman both within the classroom and outside of it. Students prayed silently that they would be assigned to his classes where to put it into into their own language, "Conwell delivers". Outside of the class John was generous with his time and spent much of his free time mentoring younger teachers and indeed offering solid and 'sound' advice to third level students.

Be it his detailed and interesting lectures on 'my own place history modules' or 'entrepreneurship in the workplace' and wider community, John Joe always stepped up to the mark, and both teacher and student could be guaranteed that they would never be bored as he flamboyantly engaged both in an academic exercise of quality.

John Joe was an academic with a vision for education that is matched by few. To the forefront he tirelessly retained his mantra of 'the student is of primary importance' in any educational system. His management skills were outstanding, his presence was huge as he reached out to students and parents. He was always available to support parents, he quickly and professionally put them at their ease with his open professional approach. His unique charm, his subtle wit and his intelligent approach to life, his belief that there was no problem that couldn't be solved made him above all a people person.

A noted Footballer, who was a member of the Mayo minor panel in 1972 and played on the Mayo under-21 team in 1975 and also lined out for his former alma-mater National University of Ireland Galway in the Sigerson cup of 1980. John Joe made an enormous contribution to the promotion of Sport in the Area, having trained Tynagh who won the Intermediate Championship in 1987. He also was involved in both Training Portumna Community School teams and Portumna Club teams over the years.

In the late 1990s, John Joe took up an interest in local history and has written three books, Lake Mollassey by the Shannon, Aa Galway Landlord during the Great Famine and his latest publication Hearts of Oak, a well acclaimed history of the Portumna GAA Club. John Joe completed an MA Degree in 2002 at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

John Joe has been at the forefront of Community involvement, giving of his time voluntarily to improving the quality of life in the region, he was a founder member and past Chairman of the South East Galway Integrated Rural Development Organisation, former member Portumna Development Company and represented east Galway on both the County Development Forum and County Development Board.

Suffice to say John Joe will be sorely missed by students, teachers, parents and management of Portumna Community School and from the broader arena of national education. On behalf of the community may we wish John Joe, Mary, Lisa and James every good wish for their future lives. Thank you John Joe for your professionalism, your generosity of spirit and your embodiment of all that is good in teaching.


Taking the Lead - Team Building Workshops in Sign Out Youth Cafe Portumna
Sign Out Youth Project is hosting two workshops in Oct, one for adults and one for young people, both workshops will run from 7pm to 9pm over a six week period.

Staring on Tuesday 12th Oct for 15 to 18 year olds – 'Lets do It for Ourselves' - a fun and active programme designed to encourage young people to become involved in organising activities for themselves. The group of young people will take part in a number of fun activities where they will learn about teamwork, group skills, communication, leadership, planning activities, committee skills while at the same time developing friendships through activities with people their own age. This workshop qualifies for young people undertaking the GAISCE (Presidential) awards. Applications forms available from Heather Burke or in Sign Out any Friday between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

The second workshop for adults, will commence on Wednesday 13th Oct – 'Taking the Lead' for volunteers working with young people or who would like to learn more. This interactive workshop deals with the principles and values of youth work, adolescent development and working in partnership with young people. The course will also cover topics on Leadership, Committee Roles and Responsibilities, Facilitation, Supports & Funding, Communication & the Importance of listening, Group work to defining and understanding roles and dynamics within a group.

Both workshops will be facilitated by Nicola Johnson, who has many years of experience in youth work, training and facilitation, Nicola works in a creative and inclusive way to reflect the ethos and values of youth work and in promoting the social change. Places are limited so get your name down as soon as possible.

These workshops are funded by Galway Rural Development and are an action of CDB County Youth Action Group. If you would like to find out more on any of the above courses or to register an interest contact Susan on 087 6779267, email: youthsignout@gmail.com


Portumna Arts Group
The committee of Shorelines Arts Festival would like to thank all volunteers who helped out from supervising the art exhibition to blowing up balloons for the balloon sculpture, from hanging posters in the rain to delivering programmes to schools and businesses. Also, without the local sponsors and friends of the Festival, the programme would be impossible to fulfill, so a very big thank you is extended to all who contributed. To the local artists who gave their time writing, singing, acting, plating and dancing at the various events, your work and talent are both appreciated and acknowledged. Finally, to the audience who attended the workshops, concerts and performances, the committee hopes you enjoyed each and every moment.

A meeting of the committee will take pace at 8.15pm in Na Calai on Thursday Sept 30th .All welcome!


Portumna Pen Pushers
Porumna's local peer writing group, Portumna Pen Pushers will recommence a series of autumn workshops on alternate Thursdays, commencing on Thursday, Oct 7th 7.30-9.30pm in An Gairdin. Any new writers interested in joining in can call 087293 1055 for further details.


Inaugural Walk of The Hymany Way
The Inaugural Walk of The Hymany Way will take place on Sunday, 3rd October departing from The Square in Portumna at 11 a.m. to historic Meelick. This walking route, known as The Hymany Way, is 14km in length. Walkers also have the option of walking 7km to Tiernascragh.

This new walkway forms part of the Beara Breifne Way, which follows the fourteen day march taken by the Irish Chieftain O'Sullivan Beare in 1603 from Beara in County Cork to Breifne in County Leitrim.

Bus transport & refreshments provided free of charge at end of walk. Event details at www.nationaltrailsday.ie. People wanting to walk, should contact Eric at SE Galway IRD, Abbey St. Portumna at 090 97841867 or 086 8725898. This event is organised by SE Galway IRD in conjunction with Galway Rural Development.


Portumna GAA
Weekly Lotto: There was no winner of last Saturday nights lotto jackpot. The numbers drawn were 17 18 19 24. One person matched three numbers Sandra O Brien Wicklow. She receives 100 euros. Next week-ends lotto is worth 7800 euros.

Seniors Win: Well done to the senior hurlers on reaching the semi final stages of the Cooper senior hurling championship. The draws took place on Sunday evening and they play Loughrea on Sunday week.

The game against Mullagh at the week-end did not live up to every ones expectations. Mullagh were the first to score and went two points ahead before Portumna replied with a goal from Conor O Hare. Two goals from Kevin Hayes and points from Niall and Damien Hayes and a point from a free from Joe Canning gave Portumna a six point lead at the interval on a scoreline 3-3 to 0-6.

Portumna upped the ante in the second half and added nine points to their tally with points coming from Joe Canning five points one point from a trade mark sideline cut Damien Hayes two points and Conor O Hare two points. Mullagh added four points to their first half tally. Final score Portumna 3-12 Mullagh 0-11.

Junior A: The junior A team will play Sarsfields at the weekend in the semi final of the competition. Check fixtures for time venue and date.

Coaching Programme: Starting on Tuesday 5th October all boys at under 12 and under 14 level are invited to participate in the ten week hurling coaching programme which will take place in Sign Out astro turf facilities from 5pm to 7pm.

Under 12s: The under 12 team have been invited to Dublin on Sunday to participate in a tournament which is being run by Kilmacud Crokes G.A.A. Club so best of luck to all involved.

Under 10s: The Michael Blake Memorial Tournament will take place in the G.A.A. grounds on Saturday at 1:30pm. Four teams will participate in the tournament - Portumna, Mullagh, Kiltormer and Meelick Eyrecourt. Best of luck to all the under 10 boys involved.


Wild West Barn Dance in Aid of Children's Hospital and Children's Research Foundation
Wild West Barn Dance in Aid of Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and National Children's Research Foundation.

Grab your cowboy hats and head on over to the Ferry Inn where Teresa and her posse will be laying on a rootin tootin shindig! On the night there will be a mighty fine 50 foot marquee fully decked out as a genuine barn, complete with saloon! Live music will be The JD's on the big stage who guarantee to have ya'll swinging from the rafters! Fill your boots with our free BBQ and round off the night with a hoe-down to the thigh slapping tunes of DJ Gavin! Tickets €15 which includes free entry into a draw for a Luxury weekend for two to the 5 Star Muckross Park Hotel Killarney, valued at €700, yee-haw! Tickets on sale Now locally, also available in Ladies Day Boutique and on the door on the night, so round 'em up and move 'em out cowboy!

Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin is an acute paediatric teaching hospital with 243 beds, employing 1200 staff. It is Ireland's largest paediatric hospital and is responsible for the provision of the majority of tertiary care services for children and medical research for childhood illnesses in Ireland. The benefits of supporting are many — knowing your support could change a child's life and supporting life saving research. Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and National Children's Research Foundation are doing everything in their power to help sick children. They support the care for over 100,000 patients every year. They support the purchase of equipment for life saving surgeries on the smallest and most vulnerable of our citizens. They ensure that staff have the very best to treat massive injuries on little bodies. Their researchers invented treatments that 20 years ago people would have dismissed as science fiction. Your support leads to discoveries that mean less pain for children, a higher survival rate and less time in hospital. Your support continues to help fund life-changing equipment and facilities and enables them to attract the best doctors, researchers and nurses in the world.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on Sat 2nd October at the Wild West Barn Dance!


Afternoon Dance
An Afternoon Dance will be held in Woodford Youth Hall on Sunday 3rd October, from 3-6 pm. Music by Class Act. Adm. 6 euro and all are welcome


Portumna & District Active Retirement Association
It is good to see all our members back and that we started with an excellent talk from Wolf Lorrien on Art. Members who are going to the A.R.A. 'Go On Festival' in Co. Galway are asked to come in early for singing and dancing practice at 7 pm for the next 2 nights the 30th September and 7th October. Any member interested in going to Punchestown races on the 26th of October please leave deposit of €30 if possible in a named envelope for the 7th October.

Dates for your diary:
Thursday 7th October - Irish Night open to non members - a night of Music, Dance and Craic
Thursday 14th October - Exercise games and Bingo
Thursday 21st October - Our speaker will be Tony Williams on Positive Thinking


J90 in The Shannon Oaks Hotel, Portumna
Saturday 9th October will see the long awaiting return of one of Irelands most popular and successful bands J90 to Shannon Oaks Hotel Portumna. Many of you who hit the major clubs, pubs and parties in Ireland may have already experienced a night with J90, but for those of you who haven't... J90 are a 5 piece band based in Cork that play to thousands of people every week nationwide, at a rate of over 250 gigs per year. Away from their hectic gigging schedule they recently released their 3rd single "Take Control" which entered the official irish chart at 24 and the download chart at No:1 and stayed in the top 40 for four weeks and is still getting great radio play nationwide. J90 will be supported on the night by local band Sub Zero who are based in Woodford, Loughrea. This is one of J90's only Galway appearances this year and promises to be a great night, so get yourselves to the party on October 9th with your hosts J90. www.facebook.com/j90music www.j90.ie


South East Galway IRD - Upcoming Courses, Tourist Office & Local Bus Information
Part-time Computer Courses: Two computer/IT courses, Computers for Absolute Beginners and IT for Improvers will be held at the IRD centre over the winter. Both courses will run for two and a half hours a week over eight weeks from 7.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Beginners Course will be held on Tuesdays, starting on 12th October. It will cover Internet, e-mail and word processing. The Improvers Course, starting on 13th October, will also cover Internet, e-mail and word processing in more dept as well as introducing the learner to spreadsheets, an application which is useful for doing accounts. Both courses will concentrate on the practical application of computers in everyday life. After Christmas, courses will be run for people who need more advanced computer skills. The IRD centre is FETAC approved and certification is awarded. Places for all courses are allocated on a first come/first served basis. To book or for further information, contact SE Galway IRD, Abbey St. Portumna 090-9741867.

Start your Own Business Courses: South East Galway IRD in conjunction with Galway City and County Enterprise Board is holding a "Start Your Own Business" course, commencing in October in Portumna. This course will take place two evenings per week over five weeks in the Shannon Oaks Hotel. It is intended for people who may have a business idea and/or want to become self-employed. There is no exam. This is a very practical course. Content will include developing a business idea, doing a business plan, raising finance, grant aid, marketing, health and safety and accounts. There will also be the opportunity for one-to-one consultation. The course is free of charge. Places are limited. To book and for further information, contact SE Galway IRD 090-9741867.

Tourist Information: While the dedicated Tourist Office opens only during the Summer months, visitors may still call to the IRD Centre, Abbey St. Portumna for information. Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Closed lunch 1-2 090-9741867

Local Bus Service: New Monday to Friday Bus Service Portumna to Loughrea.

Departs the Square, Portumna 8 a.m.
Departs Supermac's, Loughrea 8.30 a.m.

Departs the Square, Portumna 4 p.m.
Departs Supermac's, Loughrea 5 p.m.



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