24 November 2010

Christmas Day Sponsored Swim
South East Galway Archaeological and Historical Society
Santa is Coming to Town
Pink Ribbon Day Collection
Scouting Leadership on the Shores of Lough Derg
Portumna Bridge Club
'Style Steppers' Fashion Show
Ireland Reaching Out Project - Portumna Meeting
'Winning New Opportunities' Training Programme for Job Seekers
Woodford Sale of Work
Portumna Town FC
Portumna Rugby
Presentation to Cancer Care West & Autism Abalta Galway
Rainbow Wools
Portumna & District Lions Club
Vigil Mass in Knock
Beaver Scouts - Mad Hatters Hike

Christmas Day Sponsored Swim
This year's swim is in aid of Western Alzheimer's. Money raised will be donated to the Galway Branch where they provide quality services to people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and their families. The services they provide are an in-home support service; day care facilities, respite, long stay facilities and also they hope to build a new Alzheimer's Centre adjacent to Merlin Park Hospital. They hope to expand and maintain all of these services which will ensure that people suffering from Alzheimer's disease are cared for in a safe and comfortable environment and so assist families to look after their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

Sponsor cards are available from Curley's Pub, Hayes Pub and Shannon Oaks Hotel Leisure Centre, Portumna.


South East Galway Archaeological and Historical Society
South East Galway Archaeological and Historical Society host a lecture by John Joe Conwell MA entitled The Great Irish Famine and some of its local implications in Donie O'Meara's Restaurant, Portumna on Tuesday November 30th at 8.30pm.

The Great Irish Famine of the mid 19th century has been described as the greatest peace-time disaster to take place in modern Europe. It was unusual in that it occurred in the most powerful nation in the world and was caused not by war or drought but by the failure of a single crop – the potato. The catastrophe represented a watershed in Irish history whose course it altered in many significant ways.

This illustrated talk will provide an overview of pre-famine Ireland and the living conditions of the masses that existed then. It will deal with the setting up of the Poor Law System that brought the workhouses into existence. It will investigate the response of the British government of the day to the catastrophe and the attitude various factions within the cabinet to the food shortage. In particular the role of the 14th Earl of Clanricarde as a major west of Ireland landlord and also as a member of the British cabinet will be addressed.


Santa is Coming to Town
The Portumna Christmas Lights Committee would like to remind everyone again of the forthcoming events in Portumna Castle, on Saturday 4 December 2010. Once again, the Castle will become a winter wonderland with a Santa's Grotto, story telling, letter writing, face painting, and more, with all the lights in the town being switched on by the big man himself during the day. A new item this year will be Santa's sleigh, here in the flesh (or the wood, at least), and available for kids to sit in and have their photo taken. It looks absolutely fabulous!

Tickets are on sale at Portumna Post Office right now, and are selling well, so get yours while you can! Every ticket will have a time on it, so you can plan your day, and choose when you want to see Santa. All the details of times available are at the Post Office in Portumna.

Don't forget as well that every ticket is a voucher to a wide range of discounts in shops in Portumna on that day only, Saturday 4 December. All the details of the discounts available are listed in portumna.net, and more are being added every day! Discounts include 10% off in some shops, and even more in others, as well as 3 for 2 offers, and other offers.

All the money from the tickets goes to lighting our town and making a festive atmosphere for us all in these difficult days. So, the Portumna Lights Committee are urging everyone to keep it local, see Santa in our very own Norman Castle, and avail of discounts and offers all over town to boot! Don't forget to look up portumna.net to check out the offers available.


Pink Ribbon Day Collection
Many thanks to everybody who contributed so generously to the Pink Ribbon Day (Breast Cancer Awarness Campaign) on 14th. October last. This was the first time this campaign was launched in the Portumna area and the street collection together with collection at various business throughout the town realised over €2,400-00. A big thank you to the street collectors and the local shops/businesses who put in a big effort. Many thanks also to Ann Tuohy and Marie Gunning who organised the whole event.


Scouting Leadership on the Shores of Lough Derg
Thirty two Scout Leaders travelled from Dublin, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Clare and Galway (including locals Liz Ridge, Chris Finnerty and Henry Mullen Portumna)to participant in Scouting Irelands Stage 6 Leadership Training course which was held in the Shannon Oaks Hotel Portumna from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

This recently restyled course was the first to be launched Nationally and the Training team from the Western Province was given the honour of being the first to deliver it. During the weekend the participants were encouraged to explore many areas including Communications, Core Values, Negotiations, Team Building as well as prepare presentations and engage in numerous debates they worked exceptionally hard all weekend and departed Sunday afternoon tired but extremely happy.

The course is the penultimate leg of their personal journey of their Woodbadge training, each participant was asked to select a project which they will work on over the next few months and submit to their mentors for evaluation the project must be challenging and benefit others. On completion the Scout Leader will be awarded their Woodbadge beads a tradition that goes back to 1888 and which became formally recognized in 1919, the Woodbadge beads are internationally recognized and symbolize that an individual's Woodbadge journey is complete. The recipient also becomes a member of the 1st Gilwell Scout Group of which there are over 100,000 members worldwide.

Congratulations to the Training Team who delivered a highly professional course which was fun and informative in equal measure to each of the participants for giving their time and enthusiasm to Scouting Ireland their families for allowing them to do so and finally to the Management and Staff of the Shannon Oaks Hotel who made this course such a memorable and enjoyable occasion.


Portumna Bridge Club
'79 Bridge Club Results
17th November: 1st Geraldine Canning & Liz Ryan, 2nd Nora Flanagan & Mary Rose Cormican, 3rd Mary Jo Kelly & Eileen Smyth

Portumna Contract Bridge Club Results
9th November: 1st Charlie Mullen, Bernie Larkin, 2nd Peggy Whyte, Patricia Eames, Gross, Kaye Duddy, Patsy Hanbury, 3RD Geraldine Canning, Conor Finch, 4th Fr. Bracken, Mary Jo Kelly.

15th November: 1st Fr. Bracken, Mary Jo Kelly, 2nd Kaye Duddy, Patsy Hanbury, Gross, Charlie & Margie Mullen, 3rd Mona Madden, Tommy Goonan, 4th Geraldine Canning, Conor Finch.


'Style Steppers' Fashion Show
The final touches for 'Style Steppers' Fashion Show are well underway. The Shannon Oaks Hotel Portumna will be a hive of activity and a fashion experience on Friday the 26th of November, when Portumna's Sign Out Youth Project hosts its first Fashion Show.

'Style Steppers' will feature local young people modelling from local businesses, Koko, Kitty's, Cul Sports and Sew Malone. Other businesses supporting the venture include Dunnes Stores, Tesco, David Manning, Ballinasloe and Guna Deas, Loughrea as well as Jazz, and Jocks & Frocks of Birr. 'Style Steppers' Fashion Show is an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful collection of glamorous wear brought to Portumna.

Some surprise acts will feature on the night along with a monster raffle which includes a prize of an overnight stay in the 5 star luxury Brooks Hotel, Dublin, meal vouchers and lost more.

Tickets for this convergence of youth, fashion, style and fun experience are only €8 adults and €5 students and are available for sale from Ladies Day, Liz Ridge, Susan Royston or any Sign Out Committee member, a limited number of tickets will also be available at the door. For further information contact 087 6779267.


Ireland Reaching Out Project - Portumna Meeting
The 'Ireland Reaching Out' initiative is an irish government sponsored project enabling parish-based communities to reach out and systematically identify and engage with their Diaspora worldwide. The national pilot project is being developed in south-east Galway from Sept 2010 through to June 2011. The project, which in its first phase is 'reaching out' to those who have left the area, continues its rollout across 30 parishes in the south-east Galway area. To initiate what can become a lifelong relationship, a parish, once it has identified its living descendants, will extend an invitation to a "Week of Welcomes" to be held next June 2011.

An open meeting to establish a working group for the Portumna area will be held next Monday night, Nov 29th, 8pm in the Shannon Oaks Hotel, and the leaders of the project will be in attendance.

Through this pilot project, south-east Galway, and in particular, Portumna, is being given a once-off opportunity to boost tourism and bring economic benefit to the area. We hope you will be able to attend this meeting.

Please tell you neighbours and friends about the project and bring along as many as possible who might be interested in becoming involved locally! Further information available from: 085 1925466 or info@irelandXO.com.


'Winning New Opportunities' Training Programme for Job Seekers
Na Calaí CDP in partnership with Galway Rural Development are planning to roll out the "Winning New Opportunities" Training Programme for job seekers in Portumna this winter. This five day programme will be held in the Shannon Oaks on the week commencing the 6th of December 2010 (Monday through to Friday - 9.30am to 1pm) and will aim to identify one's unique strengths and skills, identify new opportunities and develop plans to move forward. The programme is free of charge.

Positions on the programme are limited and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. For further information or to book your place on the course, please contact Martina Forde in Na Calaí CDP on 090 97 41887 or drop into the Na Calaí CDP office on Abbey Street, Portumna or alternatively, contact Dawna Concannon in Galway Rural Development on 087 2312197.


Woodford Sale of Work
Woodford Youth Club Sale of Work takes place on Sun. 5th December with Santa arriving at 3 pm. Lots of Christmas goodies on sale plus an Auction for Loads of timber, silage bales, concrete blocks, briquettes and much much more. Wheel of Fortune prizes includes hampers and Ninetindo DS!! Raffle on the day for 250GB Toshiba Laptop! Come and join us for a day of festivity and fun!!


Portumna Town FC
U11 - Portumna 7 v 1 Keilligh: U11's welcomed Keilligh to Portumna on Saturday. Portumna controlled the game for long periods and ran out the 7-1 winners in this match. Portumna were missing their first choice keeper - Luke Quinn and had Oliver Parry deputised for this match. Davey O'Meara had a great day scoring 5 goals, the other two goals came from Jason Doerflinger and Darragh Barry. Hopefully, Portumna U11's who have been a bit unlucky not to have picked up more points this season will be able to kick on and move up the table over the next few months.

U15 - Portumna 3 v 2 Keilligh: The U15's also welcomed Keilligh to Portumna on Saturday. Portumna were under pressure on a few occasions in this tough game. The team went in at half time 2 - nil down and with all to do for the second half. The second half saw Ronan O'Meara score 2 goals and Niall Concannon 1 goal, making Portumna the winners 3-2 at the final whistle. Well done to all.

AGM: AGM this coming Friday in the Retirement Village at 8pm. All welcome.


Portumna Rugby
Portumna recorded an excellent win vs division 1 side Ballinrobe in the Cawley Cup on Sunday last. Going into this game as underdogs the Portumna team has gained extra confidence from a recent string of good performances in the league and were well up for this contest. Tries from David O Hara, Eoghan O'Toole, Ronan Moore and Ross Brady were enough to see off a very strong Ballinrobe side but it was the boot of O'Toole that was vital to this victory. He added 3 dificult conversions and a penalty to bring his tally to to 14 points for this outing in a man of the match performance.

This win gives the Portumna lads a home tie vs Ballina in the next round on the 12th December.


Presentation to Cancer Care West & Autism Abalta Galway
When Conor O Meara launched his CD 2 weeks ago, it was very well supported, the money raised is going to 2 well deserving charities and a presentation of cheques to Cancer Care West & Autism Abalta Galway from the proceeds of Conor's C.D launch will take place in O'Meara's Bar & Lounge on Friday 26th Nov at 9.30pm. All welcome.


Rainbow Wools
There is a new Wool shop after opening on Brendan St. Portumna, it is called Rainbow Wools and the proprietor is Anne Loughnane, she stocks all you will need to start knitting and has as the name suggests all the colours of the Rainbow. Phone 09097 59501.


Portumna & District Lions Club
Portumna & District Lions Club would like to thank all those who attended the Quiz Night last Friday in the Boathouse. All proceeds collected will support those less fortunate over our busy christmas period. A special thanks to Fergal Coughlan and Derek Frawley for their support. Along with the many people and businesses who sponsored a spot prize on the night. Thank you.


Vigil Mass in Knock
A bus will leave on Tuesday 7th December for vigil mass in Honour of the Immaculate Conception. It will leave the Square at 8p.m. seats are available. For more details ring Kathleen on 97 41235, Maura 97 41204 & Ann 97 41424


Beaver Scouts - Mad Hatters Hike
Beaver Scouts and their Leaders from all over county Galway congregated on Coole Park in Gort last Saturday, November 20th for yet another wonderful event. The theme for this years night hike was Mad Hatters and with 160 Beaver Scouts and 52 Leaders there was some fantastic home made Mad hats on display ensuring a bright future for the art of Millinery.

Following the opening Mad Hatters mega Fruity Treasure hunt the Beaver Scouts were challenged to take part in the dusk to darkness Hike through Pairc Na Carraig, a flooded Inch Wood and back to base through Pairc Na Tarav. On a clear cool night the evening ended with some Christmas Carol singing in the walled garden under the light of the Tea Lights made by the Beaver Scouts themselves to create a warm Christmas atmosphere.

Brendan Murray, County Co-ordinator, thanked the organising Team consisting of Leaders from Craughwell, Knocnacarra, Renmore and Kinvara. In addition the assistance of Hilda MacLochlaon of the National Parks and Wildlife Services was recognised as key to making the event happen.

Congratulations to the Beaver Scouts from St.Nicholas, Kilcunna, Abbey/Duniry/Ballinakill, Portumna, Killimor, Carrabane, Renmore, Knocnacarra, Kinvara and Craughwell for completing this challenge and we look forward to the next event planned for February 2011.


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