16 March 2011

Ireland Reaching Out
An Post Rás
Abbey-Duniry Scout Group
Irish Dancing and Music
William (Willie) Quinn - 2011 Saint Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal
Children First / Child Protection Training
Portumna GAA
Davitts Camogie Club
St Patrick's Day Childrens Disco Cancelled
An Gairdin - Collecting your Rainwater with Muriel Hayden & Michael O'Rourke
St. Patrick's Day Parade

Ireland Reaching Out
Thanks to funding from the Galway County Council and the Galway Heritage Forum, the Ireland Reaching Out (IrelandXO) project is launching a new training initiative: My People, My Place, My Heritage - knowing my place and my people. This is a local heritage training and knowledge initiative to develop and deliver local heritage, genealogy, history and folklore training to the 46 parishes that form the IRO south-east Galway Diaspora Pilot Project area.

An important element of this initiative is that local experts living in South East Galway will be providing this valuable training. This is a terrific opportunity to up skill oneself in a high growth area and the first of further training initiatives that we intend to launch as the rollout of the project continues.

The three evening courses will take place in the Loughrea Spa Hotel from 7.30-9.30 pm on Tues/Wed evenings, starting on 15th March and run until mid-May. Participation is free of charge (incl. a certificate of attendance) and in return we ask for a contribution of volunteer hours to the project. Please visit the website www.irelandxo.com/docs/training.pdf or ring (091) 842013 for detailed information on dates, course descriptions and registration.

Download the IRO Heritage Training Overiew
Download the IRO Week of Welcomes Brochure

This project has also been part-funded by Galway Rural Development under the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas.


An Post Rás
This years Rás should be more exciting than usual as the first stage starts in Dunboyne and ends in Portumna on the 22nd May. It is classed as tough and tactically demanding as it features 28 categorised climbs, of which three are first category ascents, plus eight days of racing and a total of 1247 Kilometers.

This year's race will make history on two fronts: it is the first with new title-sponsore An Post and it will also see a working group take responsibility for organiziang the race. The race itsef is a 2.2-ranked event and begins with a mainly flat, fast 148 Kilometre from Dunboyne to Portumna. Three An Post Hot Spot sprints, at Allenwood, Mountmellick and Clonaslee will shake up the racing and present valuable time bonuses that could prove crucial in the fight for the first yellow jeresey of the first An Post Rás in Portumna.

GAA stars to race The An Post Rás: A major new cycling challenge, Race the Rás, involving some of the best known GAA inter-county stars in the country was launched in Croke Park last week. A core group of 50 Footballers and hurlers will ride the entire eight days of the An Post Rás and will be joined by additional GAA legends for stages into their home county.

The GAA stars will will ride the same route as the An Post Rás riders leaving each stage town roughly 3 hours before the race and will attempt to arrive in the finish town before the real racers. While it's expected the 160 An Post Rás riders representing National teams, pro teams and at least 16 county teams will close the gap over the long gruelling mountain stages the possibility of a hurler or a footballer crossing a finish line first can not be ruled out.


Abbey-Duniry Scout Group
30th Galway Abbey-Duniry Scout Group: All Leaders are looking forward to our training day for the One Programme which takes place on Sunday March 20th in Duniry Hall from 9.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. The training will be led by our mentor Dick Ridge and Miriam Pybus, both members of Scouting Ireland training Team. A number of Cub Scouts will join our Training Day from mid-day onwards. These are exciting times in Scouting as the new One Programme offers a challenging pathway for Scouters of all ages. We are proud to among the first number of Scouting groups in the county to undertake this training to date.

2011 Calendars: 30th Galway, Abbey-Duniry Scout Group produced a beautiful 2011 calendar depicting not only pictures of Scouting's most memorable moments over the past three years but also old school photos from Abbey-Duniry, G.A.A. hurling heroes from the locality and Tidy Town clips of Abbey. This calendar was much sought after with only a few copies remaining. If interested in a copy please contact 0879453304.


Irish Dancing and Music
To celebrate St. Patricks Day, Shragh Hall is holding an evening of entertainment on Sunday 20th of March at 4pm with Irish dancing and music which will be performed by our own young local talent free of charge, though donations for upkeep of the hall are welcome at the door. All are welcome.


William (Willie) Quinn - 2011 Saint Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal
William (Willie) Quinn The first time you talk to William Quinn it is immediately evident that he is proud to be a "Galway Man" and always speaks fondly of the land of his birth. Willie was born in Graigakillen, Portumna, County Galway, the youngest son of Michael (RIP) and Mary Quinn. Willie has three sisters, Patti, Loreto and Marguerite, and six brothers, John, Michael, Frank, Tom, Martin and Pat.

Willie attended Gortanumera National School until the age of twelve and then progressed to Portumna College to obtain his secondary education. From there he studied Science in University College Galway and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1984. With a view to a career in teaching Willie enrolled in the Education Department of UCG and graduated with a Higher Diploma in Education in 1985. In September of that year he was employed teaching Mathematics in Portumna Vocational School and was much respected by his students and colleagues alike. During the summer of 1987 Willie's cousin, Sr. Maureen James, visited Ireland and convinced him to come to the States and teach at the school where she was Principal. Sr. Maureen James O.P. hired Willie to teach in St. Elizabeth's School in Linden, NJ. where he taught Science from 1987 to 1993. During that time Willie received his "Green Card".

As soon as Willie landed in the United States he became an unofficial cultural ambassador for Ireland. He joined the Nugent Association, the oldest Irish organization in Union County and participated in many of their events over the years including the Newark and Union County St. Patrick's Parades. Willie also served as a volunteer for the NJ Irish Festival for several years when it was held in Holmdel NJ.

It was through the Union County Irish events that Willie met Robyn Miller. Robyn was born in Morristown, Tennessee to Tommy Miller and Birdie Mae Hayes. A mutual friend, Willie Lynch introduced them and later played at their wedding. They married on February 5, 1994 and Willie readily admits that this was one of the happiest days of his life. Robyn has always had a love for all things Irish and it was no wonder that she attended many Irish events. Robyn and Willie have two sons and one daughter. Their sons, Thomas and James are attending Pope John XXIII High School. Melissa lives in Rahway with their two grandsons, Griffin and Gavin. Willie is looking forward to marching up South Street on March 12 th 2011 leading the Quinn clan at the head of the parade.

After teaching for seven years, Willie changed his career path and became a Computer Programmer. He attended Chubb Institute where he received a degree in Programming, graduating from the Honors Program. He worked at Prudential Security in New York, NY from 1994 to 1996 and then joined Merck, Inc. in 1996 where he is currently working as a Business Analyst.

Willie is most proud of the fact that his family is "keeping the Irish tradition alive". Both Willie and Robyn are active in many Irish organizations and events while their sons, Thomas and James also volunteer at many of the events. Willie is proud of his Irish roots and his adopted American home and is very active in promoting Irish Culture. He has been a member of the Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey (IAANJ) since 1999. He has served on many committees and was Vice President from 2003 to 2005. He served as President of the Association from 2005 to 2007. Willie was instrumental in establishing the Irish Seisiun (Session) and concerts during his presidency and they are still enjoyed at the IAANJ club today. Willie was also the chairman of the 2008 IAANJ Annual Feis and made his acting debut at the IAANJ in 2002 in the Irish play "The Twilight of the Ivy Leaf".

Willie has served on the St. Patrick's Parade Committee since 2003 and has been the co-chairman of the parade committee for three parades, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Willie and Robyn both serve on the Morris County St. Patrick Parade Board of Trustees and Willie is currently the vice-president of this charitable Corporation that oversees the Annual Parade in Morristown. Robyn has also served as parade Line of March Chairperson for several years and admits that the 2011 parade may hold a special challenge as she may have to 'listen' to advise from Willie on what groups march with him at the head of the parade!

When Willie is not busy working on committees for Irish Culture or helping organize the parade, you will find him wearing a kilt. Willie and his two sons, Thomas and James are active members of the Rory O'Moore Pipes and Drums. Willie and Thomas play the bagpipes while James plays the snare drum. Willie has been a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick since 2004 and he is also a Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus at St. Jude's Church in Hopatcong and a member of the Morris County, NJ, Division One Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH).

Willie left Ireland when he was 23 years old and he has lived in the United States for 23 years and is grateful for the opportunities it has provided him. He became a US citizen in 2001 and is proud to call both countries his home; he has entwined his Irish roots with his American roots. Willie is honored to be selected as this year's Grand Marshall. "This is an honor for me and my family. It is a privilege to work with all of the hard working volunteers who help organize the best St. Patrick's parade in NJ."


Children First / Child Protection Training
Portumna Sign Out Youth Co is running Children First/Child Protection Training on the 29th and 30th April for volunteers working with young people. For further information or to book a place please contact Susan 087 6779267. The training is free of charge, however places are limited and will be offered on a first come basis.


Portumna GAA
Lotto: There was no winner of last Saturday nights lotto jackpot worth 2600 euros. The numbers drawn were 4 17 18 24. Two people matched three numbers. They each receive 50 euros. Saturday nights lotto is worth 2700 euros. Lotto can also be purchased online at www.locallotto.ie

Senior: Our senior team secured another two points in the league when they had a very convincing win over Craughwell on Sat on a scoreline 4-18 0-18.

Under 21: Our under 21 team went out of the championship after a hard fought game against Kilnadeemna Leitrim last Sunday. Kilnadeemna Leitrim was the first to score. Portumna squandered many chances which in the end came back to haunt them. Martin Dolphin was the first Portumna player to get his name on the scoreboard with a pointed free and indeed it was the same player who minutes later added another pointed free. Leitrim came into the game and scored four unanswered points before Owen Treacy scored the only Portumna point from play in the first half. Ger Kelly struck a long range free into the square, which was well fielded by Martin Dolphin who headed straight for goal only to be brought down. When Martin stood over the free he had nothing on his mind only a goal and he duly delivered. Portumna went in at the interval a point ahead on a score line 1-4 to 0-6.

With a strong breeze behind them in the second half Leitrim put over four unanswered points. Portumna kept the cool and scored three frees from Owen Treacy (1) and Martin Dolphin (2). Ronan Hayes scored Portumna's second goal after a goalmouth scramble. Portumna were just coming into the game when disaster struck again a scramble for possession saw one of the Leitrim forwards stick the ball in the back of the net. This was to end Portumna's run in the championship and four points on a scoreline 2-7 to 1-14 beat them. The difference in the two teams were Leitrim were able to take their scores freely while Portumna had to fight hard to get the score and they only managed to score one point from play in the hour. A big thank you to the management team of Johnny Keane, Garret Heagney, Eoin Lynch and Mike Dolphin for their hard work and efforts with this age group.


Davitts Camogie Club
Congratulations: Davitts would like to extend their congratulations to their close neighbours and rivals Killimor C. C on their recent victory in the All Ireland club final. It was a remarkable achievement and hopefully signals the start of a successful year for Galway Camogie.

County U-16: Well done to the Maria Brehony, Aine Dervan, Rachel Duggan and Emma Page on their recent victory over Derry in the first round of the All Ireland u16 championship. No doubt they face a stiffer test against Kilkenny in the second round in the coming weeks.

Presentation of Medals: The presentation of medals to the underage took place in Tynagh last Friday night and a great evening was had by all.

Training: Training for the senior, u16 and u14 teams is in full swing.

Membership: Membership and registration fees are now due.


St Patrick's Day Childrens Disco Cancelled
Kate Gibbs, organiser of the Childrens Disco in the Town Hall on St Patrick's Day would like to apologise to the community for having to cancel the disco due to excessive compulsory Insurance needed to run the event. Apologies to the Children and their parents.


An Gairdin - Collecting your Rainwater with Muriel Hayden & Michael O'Rourke
Muriel will demonstrate how she has devised her own inexpensive method of saving rainwater for her small business. Michael has been equally creative in saving rainwater from his tunnel and from other sources. Given the present phenomenon of water shortage and upcoming water rates, this is a timely workshop. All are welcome.

Date: Monday 21st March 7pm – 9pm, Cost: €15, Contact: An Gáirdín at 090 9741689 or angairdin1@gmail.com or www.angairdin.com


St. Patrick's Day Parade
The St. Patrick's Day Parade is now on the final countdown. Registration will take place in the Mart from 11.30am. Parade commences at 12.30pm. With your support this year's event should be bigger and better than ever. Registration forms are available from the Post Office. Live music on the streets, shop window competition for all the local businesses. There are lots of ideas out there for floats so get your thinking caps on. For further information phone Jim on 087 6411711.


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