07 January 2014

Golf Club Ends Centenary Year on a High
Portumna Bingo
Portumna Vintage Club
Portumna & District Active Retirement Association
Shragh Christmas '45 Results
Killimor GAA
Dance Aerobics Classes
Irish Water Safety Courses
Portumna Town FC - Bag Packing
Maria Rossiter & Team Hope

Golf Club Ends Centenary Year on a High
2013 proved to be a very exciting and eventful year for Portumna Golf Club as it celebrated the 100th year of its existence. The Centenary year was celebrated with a larger than usual schedule of events. To commemorate the special milestone in the club's history a Centenary Committee was established in 2012. The hard working committee publicised their plans and had Galway Bay FM broadcast from the clubhouse for the launch of their centenary celebrations schedule.

The year began with the Captains' and President's 'Drive-In'. This was a unique occasion as the principals, Martin Carty, Pauline McEvoy and Suzanne Corcoran, arrived at the clubhouse in a horse-drawn carriage and dressed in period costume.

The Ladies and Gents clubs organised their respective competitions and these included Centenary Medal competitions to celebrate the special year together with extra Open Days to accommodate the big demand created by the club hosting Connacht and All-Ireland golf finals.

The Ladies Club, led by captain Pauline McEvoy, organised a very successful Fashion Show in March with retail outlets from Loughrea and Portumna participating. Progressive 25 card games were also run during February and March. April saw the final of the very popular annual Open 3 Ball competition for prizes amounting to the value of €5,000. These were sponsored by Birr Golf Shop in association with Taylormade.

On Friday 5th July the club hosted an evening for all past captains and presidents and on that same date the club's centenary book launch took place. This proved to be a very successful and enjoyable occasion. The book aptly titled 'From Little Acorns ...' and compiled by author, John Joe Conwell, was officially launched by one of the club's more senior members and trustee, Michael Kelly. The book is on sale at the clubhouse and at other outlets in the town. The evening also saw the positioning of a beautiful, centenary clock, kindly donated by Morgan Claffey, adjacent to the practice putting green. Pauric Murray, the oldest surviving captain in the club, switched on the clock.

The competitions for the three principal officers' prizes were played in June and July. Club President, Suzanne Corcoran, held her prize in mid-June and this saw Anne Fahy winning the ladies' and Eoghan O'Hare taking the gents' prize. Mens' Captain, Martin Carty, ran the competition for his prize over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July. Pat Ryan won Martin's prize. Lady Captain, Pauline McEvoy, held her competition on Sunday 28th July. There were some fine scores and Bernie Kilmartin emerged as winner.

The club's Centenary Open Week was hugely successful, helped no doubt by the wonderful weather conditions. The course was at its very best, thanks to the hard work of the ground staff. A huge debt of gratitude is also due to those who generously sponsored prizes.

The club was well represented in a number of this year's interclub competitions. The ladies Senior Cup team retained the Connacht title in May by defeating Roscommon in the final. The gents won the Galway County Trophy while the mens' Connacht Shield and the Mixed Foursomes teams reached the Connacht Semi-Finals but succumbed in the penultimate rounds.

The club hosted the Irish Mens' Senior Amateur Close competition in July and renowned golfer, Garth McGimpsey, won this competition. Portumna was represented by John Harte and Matt Donohue who acquitted themselves very well. In August Portumna hosted two prestigious golf competitions - the Connacht Cups & Shields finals and the All Ireland Ladies Senior Cup finals in which ladies from Royal Portrush, The Island, Kilkenny, Castletroy, Enniscorthy, Co Louth, Royal County Down and Portumna competed for the title closely followed this event. Royal Portrush won the Cup when they defeated Kilkenny in the final.

The Junior Club and its mentors, worked very hard under the watchful eye of Mike Goode, Audrey McGrath and many other diligent committee and club members. They received coaching from Junior Golf Ireland and two of our young men, Sam Murphy and Conor Goode have qualified on merit for Connacht Coaching in 2013.14.

2013 was a particularly remarkable year for Club President, Suzanne Corcoran. Apart from fulfilling her official duties with great efficiency she also excelled on the golf course and brought great honour to herself and the club. She won the Irish Senior Women's Close Championship at Woodenbridge Golf Club in July. This was an outstanding achievement and it coincided with Portumna Golf Club's hosting of the equivalent men's competition.

Suzanne also represented Ireland at the European Senior Ladies' team Championships in Slovenia in September. Her performance in this competition secured the title for Ireland. In October she played a key role on the Irish team which retained the Senior Ladies Home International in Wales. In November she was awarded the Galway Bay FM Golf Sports award in recognition of her outstanding success. To finish off the year she has been selected to receive an award at the Galway Sports Awards Ceremony which take place in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway on Saturday 18th January.

The final centenary event of the year took place on Sunday 29th December at a ceremony at the Club where a commemorative time capsule was buried on the course close to the 18th tee box. Centenary Committee chairman, John Harte, read a letter to the assembled audience which detailed the contents of the capsule which included the Club's Centenary book 'From Little Acorns', a list of 2013 members and their respective handicaps, a club jumper and tee shirt, a club fixtures booklet for 2013, a score card, photographs of the course, a photograph of past captain and presidents and other 2013 memorabilia. It is hoped that the members will open the letter in one hundred years from now, hopefully in celebration of the continued success of the club. Joe and Lillian Austin kindly sponsored a fabulous oak tree, which was also planted on the course. The ceremony was followed by a social event in the clubhouse for the members who braved the wintery conditions and attended the ceremony.

The Club has recently been awarded the accolade of the 'Best Tournament Venue' at the Connacht Branch Golf Awards. According to the organisers 'the 2013 recipient club set the benchmark very high for all to follow as it provided a most splendid championship golf course, first class clubhouse hospitality and facilities, excellent pre event communications and practice arrangements for not one but two major events on both the National and Provincial golfing calendar in 2013. Their attention to detail in ensuring the competitors, visitors, press and GUI were perfectly looked after in equal measure was simply outstanding as was the manner in which they presented their practice facilities, clubhouse and its environs and the golf course itself'.

Portumna Golf Club is beautifully situated within the tranquil environs of Portumna Forest Park and lies close to the river Shannon and Lough Derg. This 18-hole, par 72 parkland course is recognised as the best of its type in Connacht and it is rated 53rd in Ireland's top 100 courses and 24th in the top parkland courses in Ireland by Golf Digest. It is renowned for its warm welcome for visitors and new members alike.

Single membership is available for €495 (ex GUI levy) and most attractive rates exist for family category membership. With green fees ranging from €20 - €30 (depending on time of year), Portumna Golf Club offers excellent value for a course of its calibre. It also offers very competitive rates to societies and visiting clubs. On completion of your round of golf excellent restaurant and bar facilities are at your disposal and are enjoyed by all members, visiting golfers and their friends.

Portumna Golf Club is in the safe hands of the 2014 officers: Captains Leslie O'Meara and Brid Kelly, and Club President, Gerard Lynch, and their committees.


Portumna Bingo
Bingo is on in the town hall every Saturday night at 8.00pm and this weeks jackpot is €4900 in 45 numbers or less.


Portumna Vintage Club
The Annual general meeting of Portumna Vintage Club will take place in O Mearas bar Portumna on Wednesday 15th January at 9pm. New members welcome.


Portumna & District Active Retirement Association
Special meeting on Friday 10th Jan at 2.30pm in Portumna Retirement Village. Regional officer Walter Mc Donagh will be attending. The associations A.G.M. will take place on Thursday 16 January at 7.30 in the social hall.


Shragh Christmas '45 Results
The annual partners '45 game was held recently and there was a great attendance with a full hall on the night. Winners, joint 1st/2nd on 10 Games were Dinny Conway & Brendan Brudar and Paul Hickey & Michael Fahy. Joint 3rd was shared 3 ways all on 9 games, Anthony McGann & Pat Hickey, Sean Brogan & Harry O'Meara, John Donnelly & Kevin Rourke. The organiser's wish to thank all that assisted in any way to make the night possible.


Killimor GAA
Last weeks lotto numbers were 3, 5, 9 and 30. The jackpot was €4,000. Last weeks 5 lucky dip winners (€20) were Brendan & Kitty Concannon, Maeve Kelly, Thomas Moran, Johnnie Lyons, Joe & Teresa McLearn. Next week's jackpot is €4,100 which will be held in Kirwan's.

Please note that the juvenile club AGM has been fixed for Friday 10th January at 8.30pm.


Dance Aerobics Classes
On Thursday nights in Shragh Hall starting on the 9th January at 7.30pm. Contact Enda at 086 8139599.


Irish Water Safety Courses
Irish Water Safety Courses from Safety 2 to Pool Lifeguard are being held in Balllinasloe Kingfisher Swimming Pool from Saturday 18th January for 10 weeks starting at 4.15pm from €50/person. For further information contact John Jordon on 085 174 1979 or Emer Durkan on 087 3165991.


Portumna Town FC - Bag Packing
Portumna Town FC would like to thank the people of Portumna and the surrounding area who contributed so generously to the recent bag-pack which took place at O'Mearas Supervalu. Thank you also to the parents and children who gave of their time to pack the bags and sincere thanks to Donie O'Meara and staff who facilitated the bag-pack during the busy festive season.


Maria Rossiter & Team Hope
Team Hope visited Oradea in Romania to distribute Christmas shoeboxes to needy children. A group of seven people arrived at Dublin Airport to begin an incredible journey on 12th December. It was a four hour flight and four hour drive from Budapest airport to their destination. The first stop was to a children's hospital where there was great excitement at the arrival of the boxes. We sang carols to the children and spent time with them while they opened their gifts. The hospital also cared for abandoned babies a lot of whom had disabilities or were very ill. The nursing staff was so dedicated and worked extremely long hours to care for the children. It is common for the mothers to live in the hospital during the child's stay to help look after them.

After a meal and good rest we were on the road again early next morning. We worked in partnership with local organisations and interpreters. Romanian and Hungarian were the languages most commonly spoken.

During our five day visit we went to local orphanages, schools, Roma communities, street children and carried out house visits. We came across appalling living conditions and poverty the likes of which is hard to comprehend in 2014.

In all of these places we were welcomed with smiles, songs and good humour and through our translators learned how much the small gift of a filled shoebox means to these families. Quite often the child would not open the box in school or the community centre as it was so precious they wanted to go home and share it with the whole family.

When they were opened it was wonderful to see the joy on the child's face as they realised all of these items were for them to keep.

One of the happiest memories I will always have is of our visit to a local orphanage where twenty-six children lived. In fact they did not call it an orphanage but their home. They were so loved and well cared for it went a long way to banish the shocking images from the documentaries we saw on TV of care institutions during the reign of terror of Ceausescu.

My visit to Oradea with Team Hope was a wonderful opportunity to learn about another culture and to experience first hand how we can make a difference by showing we care through a Christmas shoebox.


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