22 December 2010

Portumna Bingo
Mike Denver Launches New Album
Portumna Retirement Village Celebrates 3rd Birthday
Na Calaí Community Development Project
GAA Star Visits Portumna For Charity
Mairead Felle Achieves her Gold Gaisce Award
Christmas Day Swim
St. Stephens Day Afternoon Dance in Woodford
St. Stephen's Day Fundraising Walk
Jimmy McClearn to Run in General Election
Portumna GAA
A Poem

Portumna Bingo
Great news for all you Bingo lovers, Portumna Bingo is starting on Sat 1st January at 3.00pm in Portumna Town Hall. Great Prizes and spot prizes on the day. Opening Jackpot €1500. Running every Saturday night at 8.00pm thereafter.

The Portumna Bingo was always guranteed to be an enjoyable night out, hopefully this tradition will continue. All proceeds will go to Acorn to Oak so please support.

Mike Denver Launches New Album
Local Country singer Mike Fallon aka Mike Denver has launched a new album called "Tradition". This is the album he has wanted to do for a long time, ever since he saw a programme on television called Bringing it all Back Home. It gave a great insight into the link between Irish Traditional Music and the roots of Traditional Country Music.

Today with the Celtic Tiger on leave for a while, a lot of our younger and indeed older generation are leaving our shores to travel the four corners once again. Mike has a song aptly called Paddy written by Gerry Carney a Mayo man, the lyrics are wonderful and the music is a joy to listen to. The video is on YouTube - just type in Mike Denver Paddy and sit back for 4 mins and enjoy the vocals and the images shot on location in and around Portumna.

Portumna Retirement Village Celebrates 3rd Birthday
The residents, management and staff celebrated the third anniversary of the opening of Portumna Retirement Village on the 4th December. Despite the inclement weather, the residents and staff were joined in their celebrations by many relatives and friends.

The afternoon began with mass celebrated by Fr Cathal Stanley and then the celebrations continued with music and dancing. The Portumna Active Retirement Group Choir entertained residents with songs and Christmas Carols. Music for the evening was provided by Richie Burke.

Tributes were paid to Tony and Alicia Williams for their foresight in establishing such a quality facility in the town of Portumna. The nursing home has been supported in its work by so many members of the local community and has also been recognised as the leading nursing home in Co Galway. The day was also marked as very special day for several of the staff and for two of the residents who have been at the retirement village since it opened on the 4th December 2007.

Na Calaí Community Development Project
From the 1st of January 2011, Na Calaí Community Development Project will transfer under Galway Rural Development. Staff will be employed by Galway Rural Development and the limited company that is Na Calaí CDP will be dissolved. The Board of Directors of Na Calaí CDP would like to notify the community that although these changes are taking place we anticipate that the Community Development Project will remain within the town of Portumna, subject to continued Government funding, and that the supports provided to the community will continue in the same manner as they have done since 2003.

GAA Star Visits Portumna For Charity
GAA Star, Sean Og Hailpin, will be coming to 'Picture This', Clonfert Ave., Portumna on Saturday, 15th January, 2011. Come along to pose with the star and get his autograph. Signed photos will be available on the day. All proceeds will go to Volunteer ECO Students Abroad which is a volunteer organisation helping countries such as Figi, South Africa and the Ecuador. All are welcome.

Mairead Felle Achieves her Gold Gaisce Award
I am twenty one years old and I come from a small village in east Galway, Killeen. I attended Killeen National School and Portumna Community School. I am now studying arts in NUIG, I am in my third year. The subjects I am studying are Psychological Studies and Sociology and Political Science.

During Transition Year in Portumna C.S. our T.Y. co-ordinator Mr. James Coughlan presented the idea of taking part in the Bronze Gaisce Award. I was immediately interested and signed up straight away. I found it very fulfilling as I met many interesting people by completing the various aspects of the award.

Once I started fifth year, I decided to ask Mr. Coughlan about achieving the Silver Award. I managed to juggle study and completing each of the challenges successfully. After achieving the Silver award I was determined to achieve the Gold Award. I started it in my Leaving Cert. year I found it very challenging to work around study and completing the various aspects of the challenges however, I am delighted to have finally finished the award this summer. It was very important to me to undergo the Gold Gaisce Award. I started at bronze and I was determined to achieve the gold. There is no word to describe the feeling after achieving the award, it is self-fulfilling. I set this challenge to complete the award on my own, I wasn't pressured by anyone to do it, and this is what makes it very personal to me.

The physical requires one to participate in a physical activity in which one does a minimum of one hour per week for eighteen weeks. I went to Shannon Oaks gym in Portumna, in order to qualify for this. Community involvement required one to do one hour per week for sixty weeks. I helped in the development of Youth Cafe, 'Sign Out' in Portumna. The skill involved a requirement of one hour per week for 52 weeks. I learned the skill of Irish Dancing with the Fraughen School of Irish dancing which is based in Loughrea. I had danced with this school before and the teacher Mary Fraughen was more than happy to take me back. The adventure requires one to stay away from home for four days and three nights. I participated in the Kerry Way Walk with my dad, Charles Felle. My mum, Assumpta drove in order to collect us at the destination point and head to the closest hostel. It is also required that you stay in a self catering facility, and meals must be planned and cooked by yourself. You also have to do physical activity in order to qualify for the award. Each day we travelled approximately twenty kilometers by foot. We travelled through valleys, mountains and forests. The scenery was beautiful however, the weather conditions were miserable! At one point, while we were travelling through the Black Valley water came up to my waist, which wasn't a pleasurable experience as we had another 5 kilometers to travel before we reached our destination point.

I would also like to thank a few people, as without them it wouldn't have been possible for me to achieve this award. I would like to thank James Coughlan; he introduced me to the Gaisce Award and helped me when I had any queries. I would also like to thank Susan Royston for taking me on and being so helpful with the community aspect of the project. I would like to thank Mary Fraughen for enhancing my skills of Irish dancing. The staffs of the Shannon Oaks Leisure Club were also very nice and supportive. I would also like to say a huge thank you to my mum and dad as without them it certainly wouldn't have been possible. They were a huge support to me and were pivotal in order for me to complete the adventure.

Christmas Day Swim
The Annual Christmas Day swim will take place at the swim area Portumna after 11am Mass (12noon approx). This year's swim is in aid of Western Alzheimer's. Money raised will be donated to the Galway Branch.

St. Stephens Day Afternoon Dance in Woodford
An afternoon dance will take place on St. Stephens Day in Woodford Youth Hall from 3-6pm. Music by 'Irelands Favourite Accordion Player' Declan Aungier. Come along and enjoy this social occassion over the Christmas. Tea will be available.

St. Stephen's Day Fundraising Walk
Just to remind everyone about the walk again this year. It begins as always at 2 pm from the Castle Gates (beside the library). All money raised will help to cover expenses associated with pony riding for Service Users attending St Dympnas Adult Day Service Shannon Road Portumna. All welcome.

Jimmy McClearn to Run in General Election
Killimor based Mayor of County Galway Jimmy Mc Clearn will contest the next General Election on behalf of Fine Gael. At their recent selection Convention he was selected as the Party Candidate for the Southern area of the East Galway constituency. The directive from Party headquarters was to select two candidates one from the North and one from the South. Six people put their names before the seven hundred delegates and at the end of the fourth count the result was announced. Paul Connaughton Junior 257, Jimmy Mc Clearn 208 votes and Tom Mc Hugh 192.

Jimmy Mc Clearn said that he looked forward to the election and hoped to retain the seat that is now held by Ulick Burke who has announced his retirement from national politics. He said in the economic crisis there is a great need to look to our own strengths and ability, we need to make full use of the funding that will be available from Failte Ireland in 2011 to develop Tourism infrastructure. I am working on projects for Portumna, Ballinasloe and South Galway and believe that major funding can be secured. There are many issues in the area that need attention and I will be addressing them in the weeks ahead. In the meantime I can be contacted at 087 2548723. Fax 0909676963 or e-mail jimmymcclearn@yahoo.com.

Portumna GAA
There was no winner of last Saturday nights lotto jackpot worth 8900 euros. The numbers drawn were 11 15 23 26. One person matched three numbers Michelle Donoghue Ballinasloe.

The club would like to wish all players management members and supporters a merry Chrismas and a happy New Year and here's looking forward to 2011 on the sporting field.

A Poem

An Caislean Portomna

The kitchen gardens spread 'oer a plot.
The shadow of the castle does not disturb the merriment,
but merely compliments it with an added layer of beauty and wonder.
I sit on a petite wooden bench on the side
and I hear in a whisper, Portumna.
A shrouded box of a seat, containing several hundred trees of oak,
surrounded by a willow maze.
Is this Heaven? No it is Portumna.

A shrub of holly grows in anticipation of Christmas
in this seemingly, a foreign land.
I wonder if I am still in a little Irish town.
A secret garden wall,
It holds the history of many a man lucky enough to visit.
A lavender walk and a sundial,
and yet another bubble like another world inside.

I have discovered a well
not on the grounds, but inside myself.
The contents, my new found love for a place that I could never have foreseen, from conversation or imagination.
A fire could not bring this place to its knees.
It is so powerful, it stands alone, so proud and
full of true Irish spirit.

I discover a piece of internal wall,
discarded and depressed,
never receiving a shred of attention.
I will treasure it forever more.
I read the words of the 18th century,
they have not been added to.

Fury lies within the building
making up the bones of the castle.
Then I come upon it, graffiti,
It does not disgust me.
But gives me a glimpse of the intimate relationship that this great stone building has had and will forever have with this rural haven.
A lone conker I discover on the fourth step
I shall befriend you.

I have never hugged a tree in my life but I will use today as an exception.
I just feel an overpowering urge to sing and skip through the forest.
I look for a piece of folklore, a sword
that a tree appears to have swallowed, I have a fleeting thought because of the difficulty of the search, was it stolen?
I find it much to my delight almost completely submerged in an overgrown ash.

It is concealing a piece of history for its preservation.
I am inside a ruin.
The devils head is there to greet me,
I shall not spit on him,
for he has served the place well.
He has guarded the abbey for centuries and I am just a visitor.
Alas I have absconded from the land to which my heart belongs.
I hope that she will stay the same and await my return
for I will be back.

Written by - Arron Moloney.

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