17 August 2011

Public Meeting - Discover what is on your Doorstep
Rose of Tralee Escort from Portumna
Toronto Rose's Portumna Connection
The Ultimate Fire Walk Experience
Portumna Branch of St. Vincent do Paul
Davitts Camogie Club
Shorelines Arts Festival events in The Irish Workhouse Centre
Portumna GAA
Circuit Training
Celebrate National Heritage Week in Portumna
Gurteeny Village Enhancement Fundraiser
Portumna Bingo
Lorrha Variety Group Presents 'A Widows Paradise'
Portumna on Facebook

Public Meeting - Discover what is on your Doorstep
Portumna has been offered the opportunity to have a Discover Day in 2011. Organised by Failte Ireland, Waterways Ireland and Galway County Council and supported by Portumna Chamber of Commerce, a Discover Day provides an opportunity to showcase everything that is on offer in the area. Local business has a key role to play in raising awareness of the tourism assets of Portumna and the area. The Discover Day will facilitate them to do that to a wider audience.

The Public Meeting will be held in the Shannon Oaks Hotel on the 24th August at 2pm sharp and will last 1 hour. A presentation by Failte Ireland and Waterways Ireland will be followed by a Q&A Session. All businesses, voluntary groups and tourism and recreation providers interested in taking part should attend on the day.

Fiona Monaghan, General Manager Failte Ireland West, said - Portumna has been chosen to showcase the tourism assets of the area. We hope the event will give local people a greater awareness of what to see and do in their community and therefore, allow them to act as ambassadors for their area with both domestic and overseas visitors.

According to Martin Dennany, Marketing Director for Waterways Ireland - The Discover Days are a hugely successful initiative throughout the Lakelands and Inland Waterways Region. The people and attractions of Portumna make this area stand out. I believe the event will attract 1,000's of visitors. This investment in the development of local knowledge and expertise will impact long term on the visitor experience in and around Portumna, and Waterways Ireland is delighted to have played a part in making this a reality.

Events will be co-ordinated locally via a steering group formed from representatives of local businesses. The initial meeting of the committee will immediately follow the Public Meeting and will focus on gathering activities for the day. Potentially this could include visitor attractions, water activities, arts and crafts, face painting, live music, a historical walking tour of Portumna, boat trips and other land and water activities.

Tony Williams, President of Portumna Chamber of Commerce stated: "Portumna had been presented with a fantastic opportunity to promote local amenities and tourist attractions. Waterways Ireland, Failte Ireland and Galway County Council are investing with local business to promote the area which will help stimulate economic benefits for all involved. Please attend the meeting!"

The Discover Portumna initiative is part of a broader campaign to develop and promote Ireland's Lakelands and Inland Waterways which aims to significantly boost visitor numbers to the Lakeland regions over the next three years.


Rose of Tralee Escort from Portumna
John O'Meara is delighted to be representing Galway at the International Rose of Tralee Festival.

Friends entered Twenty one year old John O'Meara into the East Galway competition and he was delighted to be put forward to the Galway escort competition in the ShearWater Hotel in Ballinasloe. He succeeded there and was chosen to represent Galway in the Regionals, this consisted of a boot camp with 45 other hopefuls where all escorting duties were put to the test. He was then short-listed and is now one of the 32 escorts attending the festival.

John has to fundraise for the Rose of Tralee competition to help prevent suicide. All escorts have to fundraise for a certain charity every year and this year it is for a sucide helpline, 1life. 1life is a 24-hour suicide prevention Helpline and Text Message service, for anyone in suicidal distress. 1life is doing all it can to prevent suicide in Ireland by providing a helpline to support people and prevent such tragedies. John is driving this by selling cards which are available from O'Meara's Supervalu, Bar and Restaurant and from all family members.

John, a past pupil of Cistercian College Roscrea and current student in GMIT is studying Business and works at home in the Family SuperValu. John has four beautiful sisters so he knows how to treat a lady and his etiquette is impeccable. John is very excited about the next few days and would like to thank all those who supported him.

John would love you to call to O'Meara's Bar on Monday and Tuesday August 22nd and 23rd to see the Rose of Tralee live on the Big Screen, snacks will be served in the bar on both nights. We wish him well.


Toronto Rose's Portumna Connection
The Portumna interest in the Rose of Tralee this year is Aileen Doyle, representing Toronto. She is the daughter of Edward and Theresa Doyle. Her father Edward Doyle is originally from Portumna and her mother Therese Doyle is from Kilrush, Co. Clare.


The Ultimate Fire Walk Experience
Thirty five staff from the Retirement Village Portumna took part in an "Unlocking the Power Within Seminar" - The Ultimate Fire Walk Experience. It lasted for two hours prior to the fire walk itself, with the staff engaged in motivational exercises with the facilitator (Brian Moore of Peak Potential), breaking wooden boards with energy, bending steel bars against their throats, and building their adrenalin and energy. It was an amazing experience. At close to 11.00pm, each of the staff walked barefoot across twenty five feet of hot coals. Every staff member succeeded in the walk. It was exhilarating. Last to try was Alana Williams, she's only nine years old, but achieved it in her first attempt. Fantastic stuff.


Portumna Branch of St. Vincent do Paul
The Portumna branch is open for business as from Monday 8th Sept 2011 in Abbey St. Phone 087-3650922. If you require the services of Vincent De Paul use the telephone number provided, or you may put your request in writing and drop into the office where contact will be made. There will be a Church gate collection in the first week of December please keep it in mind.


Davitts Camogie Club
Davitts teams have being doing well in recent times.

Davitt's u16 team got their championship campaign off to a great start with a comprehensive victory over Clarnbridge. It finished on a final scoreline of Davitts 6-6 Clarnbridge 2-2.

The Senior team continued their winning ways when they defeated Kiltormer in the second round of the senior championship on a score line of Davitts 6-11 Kiltormer 2-4. The Davitts team on the evening were: Sinead Donohue, Orla Watson, Lizzie Flynn, Rachel Duggan, Claire Mchugo, Elaine Brudar, Ailbhe Kelly, Edel Dervan, Lorraine Farrell 0-1, MAry Kelly 0-1, linda Gohery 1-3 , Amy Murphy, Aine Dervan, Maria Brehony 3-3, Claire Ryan 2-2: Subs; Lourda Kavanagh 0-1 for Amy Murphy, Lisa Shiel for Mary Kelly, Niamh Briscoe for Linda Gohery, Amy Comer for Aine Dervan


Shorelines Arts Festival events in The Irish Workhouse Centre
As part of Portumna's Shorelines Arts Festival, Sept 22-25th., a number of events will be held in the reopened visitors' centre The Irish Workhouse Centre, another attraction that makes Portumna now a destination, rather than just a town.

Hunger-a Dramatic Recital For Two Voices performed by Tegolin Knowland & Sean Coyne; devised and directed by Eamon Grennan will take place in the Portumna Workhouse Centre at 7-8pm on Saturday, Sept 24th. Admission: €8. and open to all age groups. The Famine has been for so long in Irish life a literally unspeakable subject. The sense of silence was what prompted Eamon Grennan in the first place to try to centre and orchestrate such a piece through voices. Given the variety of elements involved, what Eamon decided to do, in order to make a "dramatic recital for two voices" was to put together a kind of patchwork quilt, an audio quilt, of the voices of some of those directly involved (whether suffering or helping or hindering) in the catastrophe itself, whether English, or Irish, or indeed American. This performance is ideally suited for the setting of the Workhouse- an event not to be missed.

Members of Portumna Arts Group are working on a project for a number of weeks and on Sunday, Sept 25th at 3pm, a selection of work produced will be presented at "The Silence of Stone and Whisper of Wood". -Reflections on the building in word, music, photography and art. Readers will include Margaret Hickey, Eileen Smith, Noelle Lynskey with music from Joe Casey and piper, Ger Fahy. During this hour's event, Stages a debut drama piece by Ruth Smith and produced by John Smith based on the stages we inhabit, the faces we paint. Ruth invites all into an exploration of life's little mysteries stitched and tugged into a performative tapestry and shadowed by the space Ruth draws us to. Admssion.€8 /€5. Support your local artists by coming along to this unique event.

During Shorelines Arts Festival, Portumna's Workhouse Centre will be open daily 2-6pm where an Exhibition of the Arts Group Project will be housed for the duration of the Festival alongside the Shorelines Art Exhibition at the refurbished Galway Co. VEC St. Brigid's Rd. Visit www.shorelinesartsfestival for full details of all events.


Portumna GAA
Lotto: There was no winner of our G.A.A. lotto worth &euro4700. The numbers drawn were 13 15 21 28. Two people matched three numbers Owen Curly and Niamh Lynch. They each receive &euro50.

Under 16s: Our U16 team had a very convincing win over Cois Fharraige last Thursday evening on a scoreline 8-13 to 2-2. It did not look that way at half time when Portumna went in only a point ahead playing with the breeze with all Portumna's eight points coming from the stick work of Ronan O Meara. Portumna had it all to do in the second half playing against a stiff breeze and they certainly had to up the ante and that they did when O Meara was brought down going through he had nothing on his mind only goal and he duly delivered from a 21 yard free. Minutes later the same player was brought down against and heblasted the ball to the back of the net for a second goal. Two more goals from Ronan and a hat trick from Niall Concannon who was causing problems for the Cois Fharraige backs was to end the game as a contest. Niall Royston was the other goal scorer for Portumna with Darren Dillion adding a point to the score board. Sean Tuohy was outstanding at full back and was well assisted by Simon Curran and Sean Heagney. The half back line lead by captain Colin Burke was very solid with John Madden and James Coughlan holding their own unfortunately James received an injury half way through the second half and had to go off. Darren Dillon and Cormac Tully won the battle in the centre of the field. The forwards lead by Ronan O Meara were causing major problems for the Cois Fharraige backs and they were under severe pressure all through the second half. O Meara had great assistance from Niall Concannon Niall Royston Raymond Broderick Ethan Horrigan and Brian Mulddon.

Their next game is against Clairnbridge away and they are at home to Pearses in their final group game on Monday night a win out of the two games will certainly see them through to the latter stages of the competition. Scorers for Portumna Niall Concannon 3-0 Niall Royston 1-0 Darren Dillon 0-1 Ronan O Meara 4-12


Circuit Training
Circuit training in Tynagh Hall each Tuesday @ 7.30pm, any enquiries call Stephen on 086-6039235, all welcome. Stephen is an excellent coach, its worth giving a go.


Celebrate National Heritage Week in Portumna
Portumna is unique in that both its castle and workhouse are open to the public. These buildings represent two very different stories, the story of the landlord and the story of the destitute poor. On Sunday, 21st August people will have the opportunity to visit both venues free of charge to celebrate National Heritage Week.

Portumna Castle was home to the Clanricardes, descendants of the Norman family de Burgo who came to Ireland with Prince John in 1185. The family became Burkes as the Normans became gaelicised. Portumna Castle was built before 1618 by Richard Clanricarde, then governor of Galway. It was the main seat of the de Burgo family for over 200 years, until it was accidentally gutted by fire in 1826. The Clanricardes still in residence moved to some outbuildings that had been fitted up as a temporary residence for the Countess Dowager. Today these premises are known locally as the Dowager or Dower House.

On the death of the 15th Earl of Clanricarde in 1916, Portumna Demesne was inherited by Viscount Lascelles, the last Marquis of Clanricarde. In 1948, it was sold to the Irish government for a token sum of £12,000 pounds. In 1968, Portumna Castle and gardens passed into the care of the Office of Public Works (OPW) for preservation of a National Monument. Careful conservation work has brought the castle back from ruin and like the workhouse at the other end of town, it is open to the public as a "restoration in progress."

Portumna Workhouse opened in 1852. In total, 163 workhouses were built in Ireland. If families were at starvation level, they could enter the workhouse and work for their food. Life in the workhouse was harsh and disciplined. Entire families had to enter the workhouse together. The system was based on indoor relief only. This was one way of clearing the land of tenants. On entering, family members were segregated. There were separate quarters of men, women, boys and girls. Children aged 2 or less could stay with their mothers. Last July, Portumna workhouse opened its doors to tell the story of the Irish Workhouse. It is the only centre in Ireland where this story is told in a comprehensive manner.

The workhouse system was set up as a result of the Irish Poor Law Act in 1838. This divided the country into 130 Unions. 33 more were added later. Each Union had to have a workhouse, which was to be paid for by a tax on the land. Landlords had an ambivalent attitude to the workhouse system. On the one hand, it helped to clear tenants from the land but on the other, it was a tax on their property.

Ulick John de Burgh (1802-74) was the landlord for this area during the workhouse years. He was largely an absentee landlord and was also a very influential politician. Initially, he was one of the most outspoken critics in parliament of the poor law system for Ireland. However once in government, he accepted it.

On Sunday next 21st, a talk will take place in Portumna Castle at 3 p.m. This will look at landlordism, poverty, emigration and evictions. This will be followed by a walk to the Irish Workhouse Centre through town departing the Castle reception at 3.45 p.m. There will be some stops at heritage spots en route. A guided tour of the workhouse will start at 4.30 p.m. All welcome and no charge.

The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna is open 7 days a week until 31st August. 090-9759200 www.irishworkhousecentre.ie

Portumna Castle & Gardens, Portumna, Co. Galway. Tel: 00 353 (0)90-9741658. Web: www.heritageireland.ie
Opening Hours - 2011 Up to 28th September daily 9.30 to 18.00, October Weekends only 9.30 to 17.00


Gurteeny Village Enhancement Fundraiser
Fundraiser in Gorman's of Gurteeny on Sunday, 21st August from 7pm in aid of Gurteeny Village Enhancement Fund. Tickets on sale for €5, outdoor music, spot prizes and barbecue on the night. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Portumna Bingo
It's getting exciting... Bingo nights in town hall, Portumna every saturday night at 8.30pm. Jackpot of €3,200!


Lorrha Variety Group Presents 'A Widows Paradise'
Lorrha Variety Group is staging "A Widows Paradise" by Sam Cree. This is a comedy play written in the same style as the previous production "A Wake in the West" the action takes place in a Caravan with 5 ladies embarking on a "strictly women only" holiday. Naturally chaos ensues when 5 men appear on the scene. This is a wonderful 3 Act play and will go down well with the local audiences. The played is directed by Jim Hynes.


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