10 August 2011

Michael D Higgins to Open Shorelines Arts Festival
Support the Shorelines Arts Festival
Portumna Lawn Tennis Club
Loughatorick Mass Rock
Caman Abu Squad cruise to victory in Croke Park
Lorrha Lughnasa
Portumna Town FC - Soccer Club Registration
Portumna Bingo
Cancer Care West Fundraiser
Portumna Camogie Club
Portumna on Facebook

Michael D Higgins to Open Shorelines Arts Festival
Presidential candidate, Michael D Higgins on Thursday Sept 22nd, will officially open Portumna's 4th Shorelines Arts Festival. As supporter of the Arts, a Galway man, a poet and writer, Portumna Arts Group are delighted that he has agreed to take time out to launch the Festival and the Art Exhibition. The launch will take place at 7.30pm in the newly refurbished Co Galway VEC building on St Brigid's Rd.

This year's exhibition will feature art from our local people; guest artists including Maureen Connole, Dick Gough, Martin Mc Donnell and Vanessa Patterson. The exhibition will also include over 40 canvases distributed earlier this summer to local voluntary groups with the task of decorating the canvas to the theme "Anything Under The Sun". This will be an exciting and collaborative display of paintings, collage, and innovative and unique canvases. Portumna Community School will also exhibit a project from the 2011 Leaving Cert Class. So an exciting opening is planned for Shorelines Arts Festival Sept 22nd-25th. Artists interested in exhibiting, contact 085 192 5466 or log onto www.shorelinesartsfestival.com for more details.


Support the Shorelines Arts Festival
Fundit.ie - Ireland's "crowd-sourced" funding for the arts website - accepted Shorelines Arts Festival Portumna on to their programme recently allowing us six weeks to raise €3000. The campaign has been going very well, and we are now in our final push to ask you to lend us a hand. We are asking you to pledge whatever your can to Shorelines Arts Festival (€5 would be very good, €10 would be great, €20 will get you a kiss from a committee member of your choice!) to ensure that we can continue to provide the best arts entertainment possible at Shorelines Arts Festival. In return for your pledge, we are giving away some fantastic rewards. http://www.fundit.ie/project/funders/shorelines-arts-festival---portuimna If you need a hand click on this link here: http://shorelinesartsfestival.com/fundit-instructions


Portumna Lawn Tennis Club
Portumna Lawn Tennis Club can be dated back as far as 1880, and in this year six grass courts were established in Portumna. Six grass courts existed to the right of the Church of Ireland, what is now the car park of the Shannon Oaks Hotel. The Rector was instrumental in securing the land for the provision of a club in Portumna. The Tennis club facility also included a wall-ball and a clubhouse where senior citizens would go regularly to socialise and play cards, bridge mainly. The wall ball was made of timber with no sides and this facility allowed patrons to practise their shots while waiting for a game.

In 1913 a British vessel was commissioned to carry out a hydrological survey on Lough Derg; the vessel was known as the "Chanqsha" vessel. A man called Tommy Suggat skippered the crew. Tommy Suggat was captain of that vessel and spent much of his spare time as did the crew playing the game at the club in Portumna. The crew was ordered back to Britain in 1914, when world war one broke out. They donated a cup to the club called the Chanqsha cup, which was made out of sterling silver. There was also a cup donated for the ladies but there was no name given to this cup. Unfortunately both cups were never returned after the last tournaments prior to 1960 and the location of these cups is unknown.

All members of the club wore full length all white outfits. This dress code was strictly adhered to for all practicing members of the club.

In the 1920's the club was again beginning to falter. Many locals of Portumna did not want to see the tennis club faltering so the chairman of the club in 1923 was Mr. Moran who embarked on a campaign to entice more members to join and maintain membership of Portumna Lawn Tennis Club. Membership of the club increased and an offshoot of table tennis came from this. The members used to have table tennis competitions in an upstairs room at Portumna Workhouse during the winter. It is interesting to note that an outdoor court also existed in the grounds of the Workhouse.

The courts were kept in good condition and were taken care of by a man named Joe Coniry. Joe had made a bargain with the club that he would take care of the courts if his donkey was allowed to graze on the courts during the winter months. When there were enough members in the club, a committee was formed. When new members wanted to join the club, the committee would vote by placing white beads if they were in favour and black beads if they weren't in favour into a jar. This was a practice used by the free masons also and the term "black balled" was used when someone was excluded using this process of voting. The black beads and the white beads were counted and if the black beads outnumbered the white beads, then the prospective member could be excluded from joining the club. The Club organised competitive tennis matches against clubs in Nenagh, Birr, Athenry and Ballinasloe.

It was common at the time that the ladies of the town baked delicious strawberry cakes that were consumed in the pavilion and these events became very important socially for quite a number of years. These events added another dimension to the social life of the club.

Portumna Lawn Tennis Club also founded Portumna Players.

The last Chanqsha Tennis Tournament took place in St. Mary's (1960) and the competition was won by Sean O' Dwyer but the cup was never presented because at some stage it had not been returned to the club. There is no known account of the equivalent cup for the ladies.

In 1967 a number of entrepreneurial-minded businessmen embarked on a very ambitious project. This was the provision of a hotel, 'The Westpark Hotel', to provide for the needs of the thriving local tourist industry. A site was secured but there was a problem with the lack of car park facilities adjacent to the hotel itself. Rev. Fr. Solan, who was curate at the time in the parish of Portumna, negotiated with the Tennis Club to give up their facility on the west side of the hotel and they would get three hard courts and a tennis pavilion further out St. Joseph's Road. The Tennis Club agreed to this and they gave up six grass courts and their pavilion and agreed a hundred year lease with Town Development and the Hotel at that particular time. The Hotel provided the three courts and the Pavilion at no cost to the Tennis Club. The indenture was made on the 26th of November, 1969, between Portumna Hotels Limited and the Portumna District and Development Company. The Hotel would have access to one court for its patrons when not in use by the club.

The future is continuous with the past and a major effort is being made to restore the facility at St. Joseph's Road and provide tennis in Portumna yet again. This is an extremely worthwhile enterprise, which offers to the youth of Portumna an added facility, which will enhance not just sporting skills but also promote healthy activities in an era more and more concerned with healthy lifestyles. The committee has undertaken this initiative with the Portumna and District Development Company so that exercise, teamwork, skills development and social activity can be the hallmark of the club going forward just as it was in the past.

The committee would like to invite all interested members to attend an E.G.M. in the Town Hall on the 22nd August at 8.00 p.m. The committee would also like to invite organizations be they educational or otherwise who may have a vested interest in using the facility when it is upgraded.


Loughatorick Mass Rock
The annual Mass at Loughatorick Mass Rock will take place on Monday August 15th at 3pm. The Mass takes place on the site of an old Penal Church the outline of which is still visible. The Site is approx. 6 miles West of Woodford and access to the site is easy.


Caman Abu Squad cruise to victory in Croke Park
Caman Abu players capped their first ever outing in Croke Park with a victory over the Waterford team. Despite some pre match nerves the team performed very well on the day with Noeleen Fogerty scoring the winning goal. Training on Sign Out All Weather Pitch will commence in September with an introductory evening for new members. For further information contact Susan 087 6779267.


Lorrha Lughnasa
A great day was had by all at the annual Lorrha Lughnasa festival. There were many activities for the family including face painting, children's treasure hunt, demonstration on butter churning and griddle bread demonstration. The aroma of spit roast pig filled the village as it cooked slowly for the day whetting the appetites of the crowd. Music for the day was provided by Al Pinion, DJ Sean O'Meara, Beard of Zeus & Hot fuss.

That evening people were entertained by the Culchie Competition hosted by James Heenan. There was 'rael oul stiff' competition from Carmel Slevin (The oul' housewife), Timmy Reddan & Ute Dugga (The Texan & his Connemara love), Tommy & Comac Houlihan (Greengrass and his dog 'Sooner'), Mark Houlihan (Junior B hurler) & Denis Maher (Hawkeye Healy Rae). The judges Pauline Abbot, Ann Marie Hough, Jayne Walters & David Power had a tough job deciding on a winner. The eventual winner was Denis Maher who won the coveted 'Golden Welly'. Well done to Roland Dyer on guessing the weight of the pig and to Tommy & Kathleen Houlihan on winning a weekend in Glen Eagle Hotel.

Thanks to the afore mentioned people who also helped to organize the event and also to Betty Killeen, Anne Reddan, Alfie McCaffrey , Margaraet Farrell, Paul Houlihan , Bridget Houlihan & Trish Lane.


Portumna Town FC - Soccer Club Registration
Registration for coming season will take place at Power soccer camp this coming week down at pitch starting Monday 8th August. People can register any morning between 9.30am and 10.30am. On Thursday people will also be able to register between 2pm and 3pm for U-7, U-8, U-9, U-10 U-11, U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16 enqueries to 087 6954487.


Portumna Bingo
Saturday night Bingo has reached fever pitch with the Jackpot now at €3150.00 and it could be yours! Come and join us every Saturday night for BINGO! Portumna Town Hall at 8.30pm.


Cancer Care West Fundraiser
Fundraiser in aid of Cancer Care West at the Shannon Oaks Hotel Portumna, it will feature well known singer from Northern Ireland John McNicholl. One of the rising stars of the Country music scene in Ireland, this Derry man recently signed a lucrative record deal with Ceol Music for 3 albums. He was a guest on the Daniel O'Donnell show and was invited to perform on the stage at Dollywood, the home of Dolly Parton and afterwards on to Nashville to perform at several venues.

The doors open at 9.30pm with music by Tom McCarthy until 11.00pm. john will be on stage just after 11pm so a good night of music is guranteed all in a good cause. Tickets available from Phil Loughnane on 087 3550807.


Portumna Camogie Club
Last weekend the U8s and U10s Camogie teams were presented with kit bags kindly sponosred by Mr Tony Williams Portumna Retirement Village. At the presentation of the bags was Deirdre Mitchell Chairperson, Caroline Canning Club Secretary, Padraig Lohan Manager of the teams, Brendan Murray Selector. The club wishes to acknowledge the kind sponsorship by Tony Williams in these difficult times.


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