24 August 2011

Fr. Lynch Remembered
Tommy Foley
Gerry Fallon retires from Portumna Fire & Rescue Service
Rose of Tralee Rose Buds
Free Heritage Week Event at Portumna Castle
Coffee Morning
Shane O'Rourke in Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - Abalta School Fundraising
Shorelines Arts Festival
John McNicholl in the Shannon Oaks Hotel
Mike Denver on Stars go Racing
Killimor Camogie Club
Portumna GAA
Portumna on Facebook

Fr. Lynch Remembered
It was with great sadness that the people of Tirnascragh learned of the recent death of Fr. Noel Lynch. It had only been a few short months before that they had wished him well on his retirement after almost 14 years in their midst. At a party in the community centre they had presented him with an engraved clock and a wallet of notes as a token of their appreciation for his goodness and kindness over the years.

Fr.Noel was born in Kilcullen, Co.Kildare in 1930 but his vocation as a De La Salle Brother and subsequently as a Colombian Father took him all over the world. He worked in Malaya, Borneo, The Philippines, Beliize and China as well as parish work in Killala and Ballymun. He was a gifted teacher and especially loved English and Math's. He liked the simple things in life like good food and nature; he liked oriental cooking, he loved to walk in the forest park with his beloved dog Tara. He was a regular visitor to the school where he told many stories of all the faraway places he had been to; He had a great relationship with the school children; he told them stories of all the faraway places he had been to, and as his health failed in later years they looked out for him and helped him out however the could. He was great for visiting the sick even when he wasn't in the best of health himself.

The large numbers from the parish who traveled to his funeral in Navan was a fitting tribute to a man who had become one of their own. May he rest in peace.


Tommy Foley
Tommy Foley had a great 2010 he appeared in the Walt Disney film "Secretariat" which is currently being shown on Sky Premiere. He wrote an autobiography called "The Simple Game" - he hopes to issue the book in soft back, which would include updates to the book. Tommy is also working on developing a number of projects for Television. Apart from his film & television work as well as writing, Tommy has a few horses in training, he trained a horse who was 2nd in a group 2 race last week and he hopes he will win a group 1 at Saratoga on August 25th, the horses name is Decoy Daddy.


Gerry Fallon retires from Portumna Fire & Rescue Service
Gerry Fallon recently retired from Portumna Fire & Rescue Service after serving the community for 35 years.

From an early age Gerry wanted to be a fireman. On a Saturday evening in 1964 he was sent by his Mother to Williams bakery for a loaf of bread, the bakery was only a couple of yards from the fire station. The siren sounded and Gerry forgetting all about the bread, took off on his bicycle up to the scene of the fire which was located in a factory manufacturing fiberglass. At that time it was a major fire as there was over £250,000 worth of wool in a building attached to the fiberglass factory, neighbouring fire brigades rushed to the assistance of the local firemen and succeeded in quenching the fire before it spread to the wool. It was like an action scene from a comic what an introduction to the young Gerry, from then on his sights were set on being a fireman. It was to be another 11 years from that time before a vacancy arose for him to join.

In 1975 when long standing Fireman John Horan stepped down, Gerry applied for the post and got it. Since its inception Portumna Fire Brigade has gone from putting out chimney fires, house fires or bog fires. It is now a first line of response to all sorts of emergencies and is called on to deal with matters such as road traffic accidents, incidents involving dangerous chemicals, pollution and flooding, as well as fires. Gerry was one of the main movers in establishing a water Rescue boat which he hopes will serve the community well. He himself is an excellent swimmer but he was aware that Portumna with the River Shannon at its backdoor needed a rescue service which was based locally and was available when needed. Both swimmers and pleasure craft can get into difficulty on the river so it was a natural extension of the Fire Brigade Service to include a Rescue boat. The annual Christmas Day swim is all the safer now with the Rescue Boat in attendance.

Gerry has many fond memories of the fire brigade and while there have been many happy outcomes there are also sad ones. The most tragic event in recent times that drew attention both nationally and internationally where the Portumna fire brigade played a major role was at an accident scene on Saturday 5th January 1991 when during a major storm a tree fell on a minibus carrying 6 Swiss Nationals and 2 local people. Unfortunately the 6 Swiss Nationals were killed; as was Joe O Meara from Carrigahorig RIP. Tommy McClearn from Portumna was the only survivor. A plaque was erected at the scene of the accident, in January 2008 the unveiling was carried out by the local fire brigade members including Gerry.

Gerry, you can relax now and look back on a job well done, you have left your mark. We wish you, Helen and your family all the best and thank you.

Cormac Horan local man has joined Portumna Fire Brigade, we wish him well. To all those men and women who have served in Portumna Fire Brigade thank you for a job well done.


Rose of Tralee Rose Buds
Joe & Pauline Moore's ( 2 Shannon Park) granddaughter Freya Shanahan (Brenda's daughter, Brenda was the first winner of the Irish version of The Apprentice) is the Rose Bud for Perth in this years Rose of Tralee. She entered a colouring competition and was picked to be a rose bud. Freya is very proud of her Portumna/ Lorrha cousins. Over the past couple of years, the Rose of Tralee committee has introduced young girls who accompany the actual roses during the festival. They are called Rose Buds. They are aged between 6 -11 years old. Freya is the youngest as she only recently turned 6 in July this year. They had a mini Rose of Tralee held in the Carlton hotel. Here Ronan O Gara was one of the special Guests. It was here she was twinned with the Perth Rose Melanie Gore. I hope this explains the Rose Bud and how proud we are of Freya. It is great that there will be such a Portumna influence in Tralee.


Free Heritage Week Event at Portumna Castle
As part of Heritage Week celebrations at Portumna Castle & Gardens, from 2-5pm, Sunday 28th August, experts from the Hunt Museum, Limerick, will present an interactive workshop on 'Historical Costumes' for fashion lovers young and old! Costumes from Medieval times to the 'Roarin 20's' will be on display, and the experts will give the historical background to each garment, fashion faux pas, trends and some gross stories for the younger age group. Audience participation will be encouraged with the opportunity to dress up as Elizabethan nobility or Victorian elites. The workshop begins at 3pm sharp, be early to get a good seat.

From 2pm-5pm, bringing us up-to-date in fashion accessories, you can browse through the 'Hat' exhibition by Milliner, Mark T Burke. Hailing from Caherlavine, Loughrea, Mark is the latest sensation to come out of the West of Ireland. He has designed Hats for musical productions nationwide and was named Accessory Designer of the Year 2010. His pieces are very popular for weddings, along with being spotted at race meetings such as The Galway Races and Royal Ascot.

Throughout the afternoon there will be lots of activities to entertain and encourage participation from young and old alike. This will include archery, a juggler, music, craft and local produce stalls, a Piper, also a chance for a family to win a Family Heritage Card by taking part in the Portumna Castle Quest.

As always, we know the afternoon will provide a forum for people to experience Heritage first hand and we look forward to welcoming everybody once again to Portumna Castle & Gardens.


Coffee Morning
Country Markets are hosting a coffee morning in the Town Hall, Portumna for Roy Stoddart, who is travelling with the Niall Mellon Trust to Cape Town to build houses. Coffee from 8.30am - 12pm


Shane O'Rourke in Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - Abalta School Fundraising
Shane O'Rourke is competing in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 2011 to help with fundraising for the Abalta School for Children with Autism in Galway.

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (www.ultratrailmb.com) starts on August 26th, with 2300 runners completing a full circuit of the Mont Blanc Massif in France, Italy, Switzerland and back to France over a distance of 104 miles. Shane will run for one day and two nights with 9,500m of positive height gain in what is regarded as the worlds toughest trail race.

Donations to Abalta can be made to Treasurer Phil Coleman, Chairperson Aggie Flaherty or to Shane for what is a very worthy cause.


Shorelines Arts Festival
Portumna Arts Group would like to thank each and every individual who contributed to Shorelines Arts Festival through FundIt. Our target was reached thanks to the generosity of the public who appreciate the importance of the Arts in our lives. From the single 5euro pledge to larger anonymous amounts, the Shorelines Arts Festival committee are now in a healthier position to produce a Festival to suit all ages, to make Portumna the place to be in on Sept 22nd-25th. Headline act, Declan O'Rourke, singer/songwriter will be in concert at the Shannon Oaks Hotel on Saturday, Sept 24th.

Galway choir, Cois Cladaigh will entertain in harmony on Sunday, Sept. 25th in St Brigid's Church. Local artist, Ruth Smith, artist in residence at Shorelines 2011, brings the Shoreline Set to the intimate setting of the Church of Ireland on Friday Sept 23rd at 9.30pm where musicians and singers bring contemporary, traditional and jazz together in an eclectic, unique event. Ruth is also facilitator for school and preschool workshops over the Festival, where drama will be brought to life for the students. She will also stage her first performance of "Stages" a dramatic piece written by Ruth and produced by her father, John Smith on Sunday, Sept 25th as well as entertain on violin and piano for residents of Portumna Retirement Village and Day Care Centre.

On Friday, Sept 23rd at 8pm in The Shannon Oaks Hotel, The Delia Murphy Story is presented in song, story and music by her niece Carmen Cullen who is joined by a guitarist and singer for a nostalgic 80 minutes of the renowned name, Delia Murphy. Drama will take place in The Workhouse with "Hunger", a piece on The Famine that will haunt us with the voices of the period- a time not to be forgotten. Presented by Tegolin Theatre Company, and devised and written by Eamon Grennan.

For more information on exhibitions, workshops, events and booking details, see www.shorelinesartsfestival.com.


John McNicholl in the Shannon Oaks Hotel
Fundraiser in Aid of Cancer Care West in the Shannon Oaks hotel on Sat 27th Aug. Music by John McNicholl. Doors open at 9.30pm. Tickets: €15. Tickets can be purchased in the Shannon Oaks hotel.


Mike Denver on Stars go Racing
Ever wondered what you would say if you were asked the question? Would you like to appear on a reality TV Show. When RTE asked Mike Denver Irish Country Star if he would like to appear on Stars go Racing the answer was an unreserved "yes I'd love to", "I didn't know much about horse training or racing" says Mike but I always wanted tp appear in a reality show and he feels privileged that he was asked by RTE. At first he thought it was a friend of his and he almost hung up. He is glad that he didn't as he is having a wonderful time on the set.

The show is broadcast on Wednesday nights at 8.30pm - he is beginning to like the sound of the Camera crew and the Cameras as they roll through different scenes. He is becoming more comfortable in that environment. It is not surprising that he feels relaxed in fromt of the cameras as he has appeared on the Late Late Show, The Miriam O Callaghan Chat Show, Ireland AM and he is also shooting footage with TG4 to be shown later in the year. The TV screen seems to have become his second home these days.

On the recording front Mike has already put down tracks on his new album which is penciled in for release in October next. His last CD, Tradition entered the top 20 on the first week of it's release which is an exceptional achievement for a Country Artist.


Killimor Camogie Club
In association with Killimor Camogie Club - join Phil Coulter for an evening in the Singular Company of Irelands Ambassador of Music with special guests Geraldine Branagan and Chloe Coyle (winner of RTE's All ireland talent show) by candlelight in Killimor Church Friday 9th December 8pm. Tickets €35 available from the Camogie Members, early booking is advisable as limited tickets available.


Portumna GAA
Lotto: There was no winner of the G.A.A. lotto worth €4800. The numbers drawn were 2 7 22 28. One person matched three numbers Gerry Donoghue. He receives €100.

Under 16s: Portumna U16 team had another good win in their competition when they had a very convincing win over Clairnbridge last week. Their final game in the group is against Pearses and a win over them would certainly guarantee them a place in the quarterfinal.

Galway U16: Best of luck to Ronan O Meara on Saturday and to the Galway U16 team and management when they participate in the Tipperary Supporters Club competition, which will take place in venues, around Tipperary at the weekend.


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