07 December 2011

Santa at the Castle
'Winning New Opportunities' Workshop
Christmas in Portumna
Portumna GAA
Portumna & District Lions Club - Fundraising Calendar
Boot Sale in Portumna Town Hall
Michaela Madden - A Star is Born
Portumna 10th Galway Scout Section
"Widow's Paradise"
Portumna Christmas Cards
Coffee Afternoon - Galway Simon Community Fundraiser
Western Alzheimer's Fundraising
Eyrecourt Village Market
The Ormond Cineplex Nenagh - Movie Times

Santa at the Castle
The Christmas season has officially begun in Portumna, with Santa's arrival in Portumna Castle last Saturday! Once again, the Christmas Lights Committee decorated the Castle wonderfully, and even arranged for more clement weather than last year! The Event last Saturday went very smoothly - the booking system worked very well, so that waiting in queues was kept to a minimum. This year there was a lovely tunnel leading from the main door to the Grotto, where all the magic happened with Santa himself. After that, there was plenty for the kids to do, including a full size sleigh for the kids to sit in, mulled wine at reception to warm up the visitors, face painting, singing and live music, a Christmassy DJ, story telling, colouring in for the smaller kids, letter writing to Santa (with each one personally checked by Mrs Claus). Three hundred kids, and hundreds more adults came along, and the feedback was very positive from everyone.

The Christmas Lights Committee want to thank everyone who helped them stage this event, particularly the OPW and the OPW supervisor and caretaker in Portumna, who were extremely helpful and accomodating. Thanks also to Salmons Newsagents in Portumna and all their staff for all their help with selling the tickets for the Castle. Very special thanks must go to the students from Portumna Community School who came to help during the event - they worked extremely hard during the whole 5 hour event, and were an essential part of the successful day. The Committee want to reserve their biggest thank you for Santa himself - he worked for 5 hours solid, and made 300 kids (and their mums and dads) very happy indeed. And, to top it all, Portumna is now lit up quite literally like a Christmas tree, to add to the festive atmosphere in the town. Roll on Christmas Day and some well needed good cheer for us all!

'Winning New Opportunities' Workshop
Galway Rural Development Company this week facilitated a Winning New Opportunities workshop for people out of work in the Portumna area. Twenty one people took part, and were introduced to CV preparation, Interview Skills, Job Seeking, Networking etc. Galway Rural Development Employment Mediators, Angela Mahon, Loughrea Office and Dawna Concannon, Ballinasloe Office facilitated the workshop.

Christmas in Portumna
Portumna,like many towns of it's size in Ireland is finding it tough at the moment so it is imperative that we shop local. Imagine looking into a crystal ball and seeing Christmas, seeing it could be like that if we shop at home and support local businesses. Imagine this scene, it could be taken from a Charles Dickens Novel, families' walk closely together, coats buttoned tightly, footsteps choreographed, they are excited with the prospect of receiving their presents in just over two weeks. They cut through the streets, festive lights illuminating the shop windows, with an ambient glow, opulent windows full of lovely things and all the trimmings of Christmas. Glossy parcels wrapped and ribboned. A Christmas tree with flickering bulbs stands in the Town Square like sentinels at the doorway. A choir of carol-singers are lined up around the tree, their voices ringing out around the town. Everywhere there is anticipation, expectancy, and excitement.

Christmas is only hours away, 2012 is just around the corner. Like Janus, the Roman god of doorways and beginnings, we are betwixt and between as the first eleven years of the new millennium plays its passing chords.

If we decide not to support local business the scene may be very different next year or in the years to come. The following quote from Charles Dickens "David Copperfield" sums up what we, as shoppers/customers should do this Christmas support local "The most important thing in life is to stop saying 'I wish' and start saying 'I will.' Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities."

Portumna GAA
GAA Calendar: Friday 25th Nov saw the launch in O Meara's bar and Restaurant of the 2012 Portumna GAA calendar. All had a great night. Thanks to our models, the players & management, and to those who supported us on the night. The calendar is on sale through retail outlets around the town as well as contacting the Treasurer, Celia Keane or Steve Killeen (086 6039235).

We would ask club members to get in touch also to help promote its sales. A percentage of all sales are to be donated to charity. We think it would be an ideal stocking filler.

Lotto: There was no winner of last sat nights lotto jackpot. The numbers drawn were 3 4 8 12. Four people matched three numbers Ian Bloomer, Mike Carty, Vincent Treacy & John Keane. They each receive 25 euros.

Manager's Job: Closing date is drawing near for applications for the senior hurling managers position. Anyone who is interested in applying for the position can do so by contacting club secretary Fiona O Meara 086 3478116. Closing date Tuesday 13th December.

Scrap Metal: The club have decided to continue on with the scrap metal scheme for the next few weeks. Anyone who has scrap metal lying around and who wishes to support the club can do so by contacting Steve Killeen on 086 6039235.

Portumna & District Lions Club - Fundraising Calendar
This year Portumna & District Lions Club have designed and printed a 2012 calendar representing local businesses. Please support the "lions" by purchasing a calendar at many shops within town, 100% purchase price goes to help families in our community.

Boot Sale in Portumna Town Hall
The Portumna Town Hall Committee are holding another Boot Sale in the Town Hall on Sunday 18th Dec. from 12noon to 4pm. Each table will cost €10 all monies raised will go towards upkeep of the hall. For further details you can contact Johnny on 087 2430864.

Michaela Madden - A Star is Born
Thirteen year old Michaela Madden, from Duniry had an extremely successful night on Saturday last at the launch of her debut CD "Where". The Crosscut pub, was full to capacity and the vibe was electric. Michaela wowed the crowd with her unique voice. She sang seven songs which included Dreaming my Dreams, a song made famous by Marianne Faithful, "Her soul Sister", "Butterfly fly Away" and of course her own compostion "Where".

Michaela would like to thank the band on the night (San Antone)Packey, Dave & Stan also John, Brigid and Francis. A huge thank you to Joe & Collette Keary owners of the Cross Cut bar in Duniry and also to all the people who supported her on the night and purchased her CD. Michaelas CDs are available in O'Meara's and High Jinks Portumna, Harneys and Maloneys in Tynagh, O' Donnells in Kylebrack and Music World Loughrea.

10th Galway Portumna Scout Group
Portumna Scouts held their annual Scout investiture in the Old Work House St Bridget's road on the 26 November 2011. The Investiture is a very important occasion in the scout calendar, when new scouts are linked into the section and older scouts make their scout promise and become fully pledged members of the scout section.

On the 26th we welcomed three new scouts, invested eight more and also invested three new Scouters (leaders). Presentations were made by Brian O Sullivan, Donal Donoghue, Ciara Walsh and Liam Connelly well done to all of them, proceedings were conducted by MC for the day Peter Claffey who did an excellent job welcoming everyone and setting the scene for what was a truly wonderful and memorable occasion.

The investiture began with a guided tour of the workhouse thanks to Ursula Marninan IRD who brought the parents, guardians and invited guests around this immensely historic building, Ursula later explained the importance of this building and thanked all the groups and individuals who had worked tirelessly to see it restored to something of its former self. Ursula also made a plea for volunteers as the workhouse required volunteers to act as guides, all volunteers she assured would be fully trained.

The Patrol Leaders Council on behalf of the section paid tribute to members of the community who have given exceptional assistance and cooperation to the scouts throughout the year, friendship Ribbon and Badges were awarded to Jim Hynes for his continued interest and coverage of Scouting events and activities in the local newspapers, Kathleen O' Brien who accepted an award on behalf of the Town Hall Committee for their support during the year allowing the scouts to use the hall and Ann Rabbitte for her support in mentoring the scouts doing their Chief Scout and Gaisce awards.

The investiture concluded with teas and coffees and a mountain of freshly baked cakes, buns and cookies baked by the scouts who were given a Master Chef course under the watchful eye of Margaret Lohan Home Economics teacher Portumna Community College. Thank You Margaret.

The scouts are already making plans for 2012, they are looking forward to lots of camping, hiking, pioneering, water and air activities. The main event of 2012 is most likely going to be the summer camp in July when the troop travel to France for the first time. The Scouters would like to wish each of the scouts doing their Chief Scouts and Gaisce awards every success in completing their final tasks.

"Widow's Paradise"
Oh what a wonderful evening we had when we went to see Lorrha Variety Group's production of Sam Cree's "Widow's Paradise". Laughter as we all know is a tonic that cannot be bought and in these "doom and gloom" days how great it was to laugh so much that the tears ran down my face and judging from the reaction of the audience I was not the only one "crying". I shouldn't pick out any particular "scene or person" but the entrance; bunk-beds and the "hypnosis" scenes are just a few to mention.

And as for the old TV series "I Love Lucy" how apt indeed to hear that refrain from other attendees of the show for days afterwards. The "set" was indeed very authentic-the interior of a caravan - mind you moving 10 people in and out etc was a feat of "people juggling". Well done "Ruby, Sylvia, Rachel, Vanessa, Lucy, Harry, Ernie, Alan, Wilfred and John" of course we are not forgetting the backstage, front of stage and front of house people. A terrific night out. Last chance to see this show is Sunday 11th Dec. doors 8pm for 8.30 start. Not to be missed.

Portumna Christmas Cards
Portumna Camera Club has some beautiful Christmas Cards on sale at the moment. The cards are available for €1.50 each in the Boathouse and Picture This. There are four local scenes to choose from.

Coffee Afternoon - Galway Simon Community Fundraiser
Coffee Afternoon in aid of Galway Simon Community on this Saturday 10th Dec. in John and Angela Cormican's house Gortanumera, Portumna. This is a wonderful charity to support.

Western Alzheimer's Fundraising
The Annual Swim Committee presented Eileen Kelly, Services Manager, Western Alzheimer's Galway with a cheque raised by the Portumna Christmas Day swimmers. Ms Kelly thanked the swimmers for taking part in the annual swim on Christmas Day to raise funds for Western Alzheimer's. Last year saw the Shannon frozen over and the swim was postponed until New Years Day.

Western Alzheimer's provides home support, day care, respite and long stay facilities to people suffering from the disease. These services are invaluable to families caring for a loved one suffering from this devastating disease.

Eileeen also thanked the Day Care centre for holding an annual Tea Party in April to raise funds for WAA. Portumna Day Care Centre provides a wide range of activities for older people, which includes music, knitting, flower arranging.

This year's Christmas Day swim proceeds will go towards Portumna Tennis Club. Cards available in Hayes's Pub, from Committee members of the Tennis Club.

Eyrecourt Village Market
Eyrecourt Village Market in the Town Hall Eyrecourt on Saturday 10th from 10.00 to 1.00pm

The Ormond Cineplex Nenagh - Movie Times
Programme for Fri 9th to Thurs 15th Dec.

New Years Eve
New York At Christmastime! Hilary Swank Robert DeNiro Katherine Heigl Zach Effron Michelle Pfeiffer Sofía Vergara.
Commencing This Thurs Nightly 8:50 Also Fri Sat Sun 6:30 (12a)

Happy Feet Two
Also Cartoon Tweety Bird – Sylvester The Cat! Voices of Brad Pitt Matt Damon Robin Williams Alicia Moore (Pink)
Fri 4:15 Sat Sun 2:00 4:15 Mon to Thurs 6:30 (G)

Arthur Christmas
With Voices of James McEvoy Ashley Jensen and Singing Voice Of Justin Beiber.
Fri Sat Sun 4:15 6:30 Mon to Thurs 6:30 (G)

Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 - Chipwreaked
Advance Showings!
Sat Sun 2:00 (G)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I
Forever is Only The Beginning - Robert Pattinson Kristen Stewart Taylor Lautner
Nightly 8:50 (12a)

Puss in Boots
Daring, Heroic, Loving – The Cat From Shrek! Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek
Fri 4:15 6:30 8:50 Sat Sun 2:00 4:15 6:30 8:50 Mon – Thurs 6:30 8:50 (G)

The Help
The No 1 Bestseller Now on The Screen! A Favourite Film This Year: Vide Press - Emma Stone Viola Davis Byrce Dallas Howard.
Sun to Thurs 8:40 (12a) Retained 5th Week!

A Classic Story For All Ages! Directed and Produced By Martin Scorsese. Chloe Grace Moretz Jude Law Christopher Lee.
Fri 6:15 8:50 Sat 3:00 6:15 8:50 Sun 3:00 6:15 Mon - Thurs 6:15 (G)

Coming Next: Sherlock Holmes, Mission Impossible, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.

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