01 August 2012

The End of the Counter
Dublin Branch of Garbally College Past Pupils
Celtic Couture - Irish Dance Costumes
Galway Autism Partnership - Lego Appeal
Concert in Portumna Church of Ireland
Special Olympics Athletic Club
Portumna GAA
Killimor GAA
Portumna Town FC
Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) Fundraiser
Woodford Looscaun Annual Vintage Rally
The Ormond Cineplex Nenagh - Movie Times

The End of the Counter
Filmmakers Laura McGann, Newbridge and Aisling Ahmed, Portumna, are currently in production on their short documentary "The End of the Counter" and are looking for people who might be able to help contribute stories and archive to the film.

The End of The Counter goes back in time to tell the story of 1960's Ireland, when over-the-counter grocery shops were transformed into glossy self service supermarkets and how it affected the lives of those in the community.

Up until the 1960's every grocery shop in the country provided an over the counter service, it was the heart of the community with as much chat crossing the counter top as groceries. But Ireland was changing and these local shops were forced to modernise in the face of tough competition from the larger chains, which were spreading throughout the country.

A native of Kildare, Laura's grandfather Matt 'Mattie' Melia, was responsible for changing the lives of countless 1960's Irish housewives by transforming the way they shopped. In 1964 Matt travelled around the country trying to convince local grocers that group trading was the best way to fight for survival.

Mattie transformed at least 11 local shops into supermarkets between Kildare, Westmeath, Offaly, Wicklow and Laois. After a grand opening by the likes of a very youthful Terry Wogan, customers in rural Ireland could for the first time walk into a shop and browse, pick things up, look at them, put them down again and compare products. Heinz or Bachelors? It was glamorous and exciting and along with it came the introduction of queuing; an American phenomenon also only seen before in the movies.

While progress was welcomed by most, in hindsight there are those who would argue that these changes fundamentally altered the social fabric of rural Ireland and paved the way for the must faster paced life we know today.

Mattie was also an avid filmmaker and his Super 8 camera was on hand to record all of these events, leaving behind a beautiful collection of films from a very unique moment in Irish social history.

Laura is now using these films as a basis for The End Of The Counter, which is being produced by Aisling Ahmed, and her Galway based production company Crow Hill Films. It is being produced with support from the Irish Film Board through its Reality Bites scheme as well as Kildare County Council. It will be released in late 2012.

Laura and Aisling are looking to hear from people who might have stories or memories of this time that they would like to share. If there is anyone out there who remembers their local over the counter shop or their first experience of self-service shopping; using a basket or a trolley for the first time and remembers the changes that came once the counter was removed please get in touch with Aisling at 0876728251 or Laura at 087 9749587 or you can email counter@crowhillfilms.com

Matties original films along with more information about the film can be found at www.theendofthecounter.com and you can follow the progress of the film at www.facebook.com/theendofthecounter

Director: Laura McGann: Laura hails from Newbridge, County Kildare. She moved to Liverpool in 2005 to finish a Bachelors Degree in Media and Film and a Masters Degree in Directing Documentary. Laura has previously directed shorts for Channel 4, directed a web series for RTE and shot Lonely Planet series Graham's World and is currently directing her first feature documentary about Roller Derby for the Irish Film Board.

Producer: Aisling Ahmed: Aisling is a native of Portumna, Co. Galway. She has worked in documentary production for over 12 years. She has previously produced Liz Mermin's "Horses", which spent a year following a group of finely tuned racehorses trained by Paul Nolan (Irish Film Board/BBC Storyville/RTE) as well as Cathal Black's "Learning Gravity", an exploration of the life and work of the poet & undertaker Thomas Lynch (Irish Film Board, BBC Storyville / Arts Council/Sound & Vision). Aisling also produced the documentary "Amazing Azerbaijan" which was screened a few days prior to the Eurovision by RTE 1.

Dublin Branch of Garbally College Past Pupils
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD, and the Minister in charge of the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes TD, were at the launch of a new website for the Dublin branch of Garbally College, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, past pupils union. The branch has recently been reformed and is anxious to get in touch with past pupils from the school that currently reside or work in the greater Dublin area. The branch intends hosting a range of activities in the coming year and contact may be made through its website www.garballyppudublin.com.

Celtic Couture - Irish Dance Costumes
Award winning fashion designer and Irish dance world champion join forces to take on the world of Irish dance costumes. Tracy Maloney and Stephanie Power have been working together in design and textiles for a couple of years and started up Celtic Couture at the beginning of this year.

Tracy explained how they they have become so successful so quickly. "My background is long and extensive, I studied and have a degree in fashion design and over the last fifteen years I have specialised in design and manufacturing couture costumes."

Stephanie on the other hand has spent her life in Irish dancing, starting at the age of three. She has won accolades and trophies throughout her career, including three World Championship titles! Stephanie who also has her own dance school and teaches classes in Portumna, Loughrea and many other surrounding areas added, "We always loved the idea of doing something with Irish dance costumes, especially because of our combined backgrounds and started to make dresses for some of the local dance schools. It became apparent very early on that dancers were struggling to find high end costumes in Ireland, especially the west. Most dancers are having to book with companies in Northern Ireland, which entails a lot of travel and time out."

With regards to current costumes design, Tracy says, "there's a huge mix of new trends coming through that caters for all age groups; from our Celtic fairy designs for the younger dancers, through to more sophisticated black, golds, silvers and ice whites for our seniors. We like to mix our idea ideas up, combining the Celtic traditions with fashion trends and add a twist, like our Tribal dress in silk velvet, finished with a detachable crimson sash. We think the season ahead will offer more vibrant colours, lots of sequins and even more splashing of bling!" Stephanie added, "the dancers themselves that move on to the higher levels of competition are without doubt on par with Olympic athletes. The hours of work and dedication put into their art is beyond most dance genres. We feel it's important that their costumes reflect this standard of commitment and that the dresses also carry with them the dancer's personality, hopes and dreams."

The company is going from strength to strength, moving into a state of the art studio in Loughrea this month, and have already received orders from both the UK and the US. The girls said that you can keep up-to-date with Celtic Couture on Facebook. "There's lots going on and plenty of competitions and giveaway prizes!"

Galway Autism Partnership - Lego Appeal
If you have any old Lego could you please pass it on to Colette Flaherty 0871373433 who is collecting on behalf of Galway Autism Partnership as they are setting up a Lego club for children with autism and their siblings as a social activity which will aid interaction, confidence, sense of achievement and most of all provide fun for these children. Lego can be dropped off or collected if preferred. Please contact Colette for further details.

Concert in Portumna Church of Ireland
Listen out on radio this week for interviews and performances by UK singer/songwriters Jake Morley & Liz Laurence. They will be in concert in the intimate acoustic setting of Portumna's Church Of Ireland, Christ Church on Saturday Aug 4th at 8.30pm. Local performer, Knoeline Keane will be the support act for what promises to be another unique event for Portumna Arts Group. Due to demand, a limited number of tickets are on sale in Hayes & Hayes Pharmacy, Ladies Day, The Post Office & Palmerston Stores for €10 each. There will also be availability at the door but seating is limited. Doors open at 8pm - bring a cushion and enjoy!

Special Olympics Athletic Club
The newly formed Portumna and District Special Olympics Athletic Club will be holding their first registration evening on Thursday 23rd of August from 7 to 8pm in the Town Hall Portumna. A group of Parents, relatives and friends of people who have intellectual disabilities have formed the club. The club will cater for anyone from 6 years upwards with an intellectual disability. This promises to be a fun evening for everyone. Anyone interested in taking part either as an athlete or as a volunteer are invited to coming along. For further information contact David 087 9837366 or Gayle 086 1672022.

Portumna GAA
Lotto: There was no winner of last week-ends lotto jackpot worth €9800. The numbers drawn were 3 8 10 18. Seven people matched three numbers - Damien Coleman, Ryan Deegan, Maeve Moran, Lee Hogan, Tom Keane, Mary Ryan, Enda Conway. They each receive €20.

County Minors: Well done to Ronan O Meara & to the Galway minor team on a great performance against Wexford last Saturday.

Minors: Our minor team's unbeaten run in the championship came to a halt last Sunday when they were beaten by a strong Mountbellew side. Playing with a strong breeze in the first half Portumna lead by five points. All Portumna's first half scores came from Ronan O Meara 1-6 (3 frees)to Mountbellews 1-1. Mountbellew had the better exchanges in the second half adding 3-7 to their first half tally while Portumna added 2-1 the goal scorers Conor Barry & Niall Royston while O Meara added a point to his first half tally. Portumna are now in a quarter final but need to improve if they want to progress any further as alot of players did not step up to the mark last Sunday but I know management will work on this over the coming weeks.

Wedding Bells: Congrats to Leo Smith & Elinor Cunningham who were married on Thursday.

Killimor GAA
Last weeks lotto numbers were 10, 16, 23 and 30. The jackpot was €6,400. Last weeks 5 lucky dip winners( €20) were Ciarán Mooney, The Kirwan Clan, Kate Moran, Savina Broderick and Maeve Muldoon.

Next week's jackpot is €6,500 which will be held in the Hurler's.

The club would like to extend congratulations to the under 13's management and players on winning the under 13 championship.

Portumna Town FC
A reminder to all parents and children that the Club is hosting the Power Soccer School of Excellence, for a summer soccer school once again this year. The soccer school will take place from 13th to 17th August and is open to all children aged from 3-13. Places may be booked through either www.powersoccer.ie or www.mykidstime.ie and there is a special discounted rate for all bookings made prior to 10th August.

Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) Fundraiser
Tony Monaghan is having his head shaved in memory of a friend of his who died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Her name was Debbie Carney and she was 29 when she died in January of this year. Debbie had worked as Cabin Crew Staff with Ryanair for 6 years, based in Stansted. She worked with Tony's wife Lisa, who is also based in Stansted. She was originally from Shinrone in Offaly and it's at her home there where the shaving will be taking place. Debbie's mother Sally will do the shaving.

The idea for the headshave came about because Debbie, who was also a trained hairdresser, was the last person to cut Tony's hair back in December, he thought it would be a good idea to grow it for charity until what would have been Debbie's 30th birthday on the 3rd August coming. Tony has not cut his hair or shaved since December last year!

Debbie's family picked CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) who are based in the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin,as the charity all monies raised would go to. Anyone who would like to donate can do so online at www.cry.ie or by sponsorship card, these can be got at Tony's parents house in Portumna. The headshave itself is taking place in Shinrone on the 5th August. One of Debbie's cousins, Kevin Gaffney, has recently decided to shave his head and goatee, which he has had for over 10 years, also on the day.

Woodford Looscaun Annual Vintage Rally
Woodford Looscaun Annual Vintage run takes place this Sunday 5th August. Starting 11.30am from the school. Tractors, Cars and surprises!. Proceeds in aid of MS Ireland. Further info contact Anthony Hooban 086 6388722 or Gerry Lyons 086 1736254.

The Ormond Cineplex Nenagh - Movie Times
Programme for Fri 3rd to Thurs 9th August

You Must Meet Ted – Comedy Of The Year! Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane.
Opens Today Daily 6:30 8:50 (16)

From Disney/Pixar – Enchanting For All Ages Also Pixar Short Film La Luna. Voice Of Kelly McDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters.
Daily 2:00 4:15 6:30 8:15 (Pg)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Schools Out For Summer – The Holiday Begins! Zachary Gordon, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick.
Daily 2:00 4:15 6:30 8:50 (G)

The Dark Knight Rises
The Legend Ends. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman.
Daily 4:45 8:20 (12a)

Dr. Seuss: The Lorax
The Movie That Captivated America – From the creators Of Despicable Me! Voices Of Zac Efron, Taylor Swift.
Daily 2:00 4:15 (G)

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Filmdoms Most Beloved Trio – Manny, Diego, Sid In Their Greatest Adventure!
Daily 2:00 (G)


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