08 December 2010

The Ferry Inn - Christmas Party Night
Portumna Camogie AGM
Fahy Annual Bazaar
Prize-giving for Book Week in Portumna Library
Author & Disney Actor Thomas Foley to Visit Limerick
Aughty Public Arts Exhibition
Cake Sale - Portumna & District Lions Club
The Magic of Christmas - Gala Concert
Portumna Book Club
Christmas at the Castle
Portumna Players - Play Rescheduled
Máiread Felle Receives President's Award
Portumna G.A.A Club
Coffee Afternoon in aid of Galway Simon Community
Christmas Shopping in Portumna

The Ferry Inn - Christmas Party Night
The Ferry Inn Christmas Party Night is on Saturday 18th December in our 50ft marquee. Come and enjoy out live music, party games, spot prizes. For more info contact 087 6851116.


Portumna Camogie AGM
Camogie AGM rescheduled for Wednesday 15th December at 8.30pm in Clubhouse.


Fahy Annual Bazaar
Fahy Annual Bazaar in Fahy Hall on next Sunday, 12th Dec. Santa will arrive at 2.00 p.m. Includes: bottle stand; auction of timber & other items; raffles galore for turkeys, hams hampers, Christmas cake and attractive prizes.


Prize-giving for Book Week in Portumna Library
Prize-giving for Book Week in Portumna Library was held Friday Oct 26th. There was a wealth of art on display that was very much admired. This was thanks to the children in the local schools and playschools. A special thanks to the teachers who encouraged and helped all the children. Book Week would not be possible without our very generous sponsors, Gene McEntee, AIB, Portumna Vet Clinic, Portumna Retirement Home, Annmarie Walker, Vincent Shiels and Henry and Eimear Mullen. We are extremely grateful for their generosity. Thanks also to our wonderful volunteers who made Book Week extra special. To Michelle McCormac, Nora Mannion, Frances Miller, Micheal Ryan and Noelle Hayes a huge thank you. County Librarian Pat McMahon was on hand on the night to give out the prizes and we very much appreciate him coming from Galway on such a cold night. Thanks also go to our judges who had the very difficult job of picking winners from the wonderful selection of art.


Author & Disney Actor Thomas Foley to Visit Limerick
Irish jump and flat jockey Thomas Foley will be visiting O'Mahonys Booksellers in Limerick on December 16 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. He will be in town promoting his recently released book, The Simple Game: An Irish Jockey's Memoir and Walt Disney Studios' feature film Secretariat. Foley plays the role of Jimmy Gaffney in the movie. Tommy will be greeting the public and signing copies of his memoir. A complete list of Foley's itinerary while in Ireland can be found on the publisher's website at www.caballopress.com.

Foley's memoir has been praised in the United States and Ireland because of his willingness to share the painful details of his life story. Foley tells of his struggles to recapture the passion for horses and horse racing that he enjoyed as a boy in Ireland and came to despise as a man in America. Writing in the Irish Independent, Kevin Corbett noted that, "From wide-eyed apprentice, to big fish in the small pond of US jump racing, to burnt-out wreck teetering on physical and mental ledges, Thomas Foley reflects on a life lived fast and often heedless in his memoir, A Simple Game.... In it he frankly recounts everything, from the emotional turmoil that sent him down the path to bulimia to the tragicomic circumstances of his confrontation of the problem."

Tommy was born in Portumna, and brought up in Nenagh and Lorrha in North Tipperary. After completing his training as a jockey at the Race Academy and Centre of Education in the Curragh, he moved to America where in his first full year as a professional jockey, he was the leading money-winning apprentice in steeplechase racing and eventually the leading money winner over jumps in 2003. However, the price paid to reach the top of his profession included the loss of his family, his self-respect and his love of the game and the horses that made it all possible.

Since the release of his memoir and the movie Secretariat and with the aid of his partner Kristin Close, Foley has renewed his passion for horses and the sport that continues to define his life. He has turned to training thoroughbreds to run on the flat and over jumps. Most recently, he assisted in preparing the Irish-bred Percussionist for the Colonial Cup in the United States. As far as his acting career, Tom is currently being considered for a number of projects being produced by major motion picture studios in America and he is developing a number of projects for television. Discussions are also underway to turn his memoir into a major motion picture. Most recently, he was invited by Walt Disney Studios Ireland to be a part of the premiere of Secretariat in Newbridge, Kildare. The event was attended by top Disney Ireland officials, as well as by notable members of Ireland's horse racing community. The movie is currently showing nationwide in Ireland.

In addressing his success off the racetrack, Tommy stated, "This has certainly been a year to remember and to cap it all off by coming home is something special. I look forward to discussing and reading from my book, as well as attending various screenings of Secretariat."

Foley's The Simple Game: An Irish Jockey's Memoir can be ordered in Ireland and the United Kingdom through O'Mahonys Booksellers Limerick. Library orders originating in Ireland and the United Kingdom can be made by contacting Frances Tracey at frances.tracey@omahonys.ie.


Aughty Public Arts Exhibition
The Aughty Public Arts exhibition will be on display at the Woodford Heritage Centre and the Credit Union/Library building from the 2nd to 18th Dec 2010 inclusive. The times of the exhibition are: Tue & Wed 2.30 - 4.30pm, Thurs 6 - 8pm, Fri. 11 - 1pm, Sat. 10am to 12pm. All welcome. Galway Hospice Christmas Cards for sale at the Woodford Heritage Centre -for the next 2 weeks.


Cake Sale - Portumna & District Lions Club
Portumna & District Lions Club are looking for donations to their Cake Sale to be held in the Day Care Centre after both Masses this weekend. All are welcome to come along for a cuppa and buy some of our lovely home made cakes. Donations of cakes can be handed in to reception at Emerald Star Line between 10am - 12pm and 2pm to 4pm on Friday Dec 10th or contacting 087152420. Your support is needed more than ever this year.


The Magic of Christmas - Gala Concert
A Gala Concert, The Magic of Christmas, will take place in The Shannon Oaks Hotel at 8pm on Saturday Dec 18th. This family event will include music, song, words and dance with a Christmas Flavour- stories of Christmas, carols with the Portumna Church Choir, Christmas hits from performers like Colin Fahy, Joe Casey, Frank Downey, Pascal Kennedy and seaonal songs withthe Omna Singers. It will also feature ballet from the Cassandra Kenny Ballet School and a Children's Group who will charm all with their Xmas Factor. A miscellany of seasonal prose and poetry will also be featured. A perfect start to the week before Christmas with family tickets at €20 and rates for adults €10. Buy your ticket from Ladies Day, Hayes Pharmacy and other outlets. Get into the Spirit and capture the Magic!


Portumna Book Club
Portumna's Bookworms will discuss Joseph O'Connor's Ghost Light in Portumna Library at 7.15pm on Monday, Dec 13th. This acclaimed novel has met with astonishing reviews and for any avid reader is a must. The discussion is open to all who have read the book - so do pop in!


Christmas at the Castle
The Christmas season has officially begun in Portumna, with Santa's arrival in Portumna Castle last Saturday! Once again, the Christmas Lights Committee did a great job in preparing the Castle for the big man, and they even went so far as to arrange the weather - there was a wonderfully snowy scene in the Castle grounds! The Event last Saturday went even better than last time - this year there was a booking system, so that no-one was waiting for more than about 20 minutes to see Santa, along with a special ice tunnel inside the Castle, mulled wine at reception to warm up the visitors, face painting, singing, Christmas music, storytelling, colouring in for the smaller Children, letter writing to Santa (with each one personally checked by Mrs Claus - a reply will issue soon!), and a full size and very spectacular sleigh where children and grown-ups alike could sit in and have their photo taken. Over 300 kids, and hundreds more adults came along, and the feedback was very positive from everyone. Not only all that, but every ticket was also a voucher to avail of discounts all over Portumna, in a new venture between the Christmas Lights Committee and Portumna Chamber of Commerce, which will no doubt grow and grow in coming years.

The Christmas Lights Committee wants to thank everyone who helped them stage this event, particularly the OPW and the OPW supervisor and caretaker in Portumna, who were extremely helpful and accommodating. Thanks also to the Post Office in Portumna and all their staff for all their help with selling the tickets for the Castle. Very special thanks must go to the students from Portumna Community School who came to help during the event - they worked extremely hard during the whole 5 hour event, and were an essential part of the successful day. The Committee want to reserve their biggest thank you for Santa himself - he worked for 5 hours solid, and made 300 kids (and their mums and dads) very happy indeed. And, to top it all, Portumna is now lit up quite literally like a Christmas tree, to add to the festive atmosphere in the town. Roll on Christmas Day and some well needed good cheer for us all!


Portumna Players - Play Rescheduled
As people may have gathered at this stage, we had to cancel the performances last weekend due to the inclement weather. The play has been re-scheduled for weekend of 14th, 15th, 16th January 2011.


Máiread Felle Receives President's Award
Four NUI Galway students have been awarded the prestigious Gold Gaisce Award. President Mary McAleese presented the awards to the students in recognition of their outstanding contribution to community and personal development at the 25th Anniversary of the Gaisce Award ceremony last week. Awardees included Mary Gavaghan, from Charlestown Co. Mayo, Lauren Martin, from Athy Co. Kildare, Máiread Felle, Portumna, Co. Galway and Lisa Carney from Kiltamagh, Co. Mayo.

Gaisce, the President's Award is Irelands National Challenge Award, the country's most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland, to young people between 15 and 25 years of age. There are four different challenge areas including Community Involvement, Personal Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventure Journey.

Congratulating the NUI Galway students on their success, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said, "The Gold Gaisce Award is bestowed to individuals who have not only took on a personal challenge but make a contribution to their community. We are very proud of these students who have stepped outside their comfort zone and engaged with new challenges and experiences to earn the highest award, the Gold Gaisce Medal. At NUI Galway we seek to engender our students with the characteristics of selflessness and leadership these students emanate."


Portumna G.A.A Club
Portumna G.A.A Club party night will take place in the Shannon Oaks hotel on Sat 11th Dec at 8.30pm. Music & finger food provided. Admission free. All welcome.

Draw for the monster lotto lucky dip will take place on the night. Tickets still available to purchase. Thank you to all who have already purchased a ticket. €5 for a ticket. Thank you for your support.


Coffee Afternoon in aid of Galway Simon Community
Coffee afternoon in aid of Galway Simon Community in the home of John and Angela Cormican, Gortanumea, on Saturday 11th December starting at 1p.m. everyone welcome to participate in the coffee, craic and a chat with all proceeds going to Simon.


Christmas Shopping in Portumna
All the shops and businesses in Portumna are offering bargains this year. It has never been a better time to stay at home and keep your business local. There are prize draw cards in every shop so you may win loads of cash. Please support and shop local.


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