11 March 2014

The Slow Closure of Portumna Council Office
The Irish Workhouse Centre
The Irish Workhouse Centre - Tour Guides Required
St Patrick's Day Parade
Writing Project for Schools
The Evertides in Concert
Portumna '79 Bridge Club
Killimor GAA
On their Bikes for the All-Ireland Club Final
Forest Park Wall
Day Care Centre
Paul Mullins - Niall Mellon Trust Fundraising

The Slow Closure of Portumna Council Office
Anne Rabbitte the Local Election Candidate for South East Galway has today been informed that the Council office in Portumna is under sever threat of closing. The Town Engineer has been relocated 3 days a week to Loughrea and it is wildly speculated that from June 2014 he will be based fulltime in the Loughrea Office and the Portumna office will close.

The loss of this office is yet another attack on the demise of rural Ireland. It hard to believe says Rabbbitte, that in 2008 we had 23 people working for the council in Portumna in a full time capacity and today there is only 6. The loss of the local office will be a severe blow to Portumna and the surrounding areas. The Portumna Council Office covers Portumna Town and surrounding areas as far a field as Ballinakill, Kylebrack, Killimor, Tynagh and Abbey. With only two weeks to the start of the Tourist Season in Portumna this is a severe blow to the area. We are loosing a vital cog in the operational mechanism in both urban and rural life with the proposed closure of the council office. Cyril and Karl who have worked with a diminishing work force for the last number of years. Despite this they have always managed to assist the Local Tidy Towns, Town Development Company, Portumna Task Force and Chamber of Commerce to address many issues that would arise on a daily and weekly basis.

Anne Rabbitte has sought a meeting with Martina Maloney and Brian Barrett of Galway County Council to discuss the Plans for the Council services and Engineer in Portumna and for surrounding areas to have an understating of what is afoot for this area of South East Galway. Anne has committed to communicating this information asSt Patrick’s Day Parade soon as it comes to hand via the medium of letter, facebook and texts.


The Irish Workhouse Centre
The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna opens on 1st March and will be open 7 days a week until 30th November, 2014. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with last tours at 5 p.m. expect for March, October & November, when the centre will close at  5 p.m. with last tours at 4 p.m. For further information see www.irishworkhousecentre.ie or tel: 090-9759200.


The Irish Workhouse Centre - Tour Guides Required
The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna is currently accepting applications for guides for the coming season. These are part-time paid positions and applicants must be in receipt of a social welfare payment in order to be eligible. The closing date for receipt of applications is Wed. 19th March. People wishing to apply should first obtain a job description and details on how to apply - tel: 090-9759200 or e-mail irdsegalway@eircom.net

The Irish Workhouse Centre is also currently recruiting volunteer guides.  Full training is given and volunteer guides work one day per month. Tel: 090-9759200 for further details.


St Patrick's Day Parade
As the focus of Portumna’s attention will be on Croke Park this St. Patrick’s weekend, the annual Parade will take place on Sunday, March 23rd at 12.30pm from Portumna Mart. Floats are invited to register now for just €5 at Portumna Post Office. There are 6 categories this year: Voluntary Group, Youth, Vintage, Commercial/Business and Visitor. A shop window competition is also in place this year. It is hoped to have a vast array of topical floats. The parade is delighted to have a Colour Party from the Irish Army and the Nenagh Ormond Brass Band will musically lead the parade. Register now at Portumna Post Office or call 087 285 0165 or 087 826 7054 or check out St Patrick’s Day Parade in Portumna on Facebook for updates.


Writing Project for Schools
Over the coming weeks, students in 4th class in the Portumna area will be invited by their teachers to write a poem or prose piece for the 2014 Shorelines Arts Festival in Portumna. The entries will be judged and a shortlist of finalists will be invited to read at this year’s Festival. All entrants will be presented with a cert and awards presented to winners and shortlisted students. The Overall Writer will be presented with the annual Barbara Kennedy Award during the Shorelines Festival September 18th-21st. Barbara was a friend, writer, mother and lover of the Arts in Portumna and this will be the 4th year of this special award.


The Evertides in Concert
Portumna's Christ Church was a wonderful backdrop for a night of music with the new name on the Irish music scene - The Evertides. Filling the intimate setting with novel arrangements and refreshing harmonies as well as a number of original songs, Ruth Smith, Alma Kelliher and Ruth McGill gave all present a night to remember. With guests, Anna Browne and Steve Killeen, the audience was enthralled with a night of magic supported by Portumna Arts Group in a Village of Culture event.


Portumna '79 Bridge Club
Results for the 5th March 2014: 1st Frances Mc Crory & Mary Connolly, 2nd Patsy Hanbury & Patricia Eames, Gross Sheila Dillon & Patricia Blehein, 3d Bernie Larkin & Brid Mc Namara, 4th Eileen Tuohy & Marie O'Meara.


Killimor GAA
Last week's lotto numbers were 3, 10, 13 and 14. The jackpot was €4,900. Last week’s 5 lucky dip winners(€20) were Nigel/Marion/Ally/Ava/Freya, Margaret Blaney, Dermot Donohue, Shane McCLearn and Brendan Daly. Next week's jackpot is €5,000 which will be held in Duffy’s.


On their Bikes for the All-Ireland Club Final
Members of Portumna Cycling Club led by their Chairman John Joe Conwell will re-enact a piece of history by cycling to the All-Ireland Club final at the weekend. Inspired by the practice from the early days of the GAA when supporters would make their way to headquarters on two wheels, a group of locals will set out early on Sunday morning to cycle all the way to the Capital. The route will take the cyclists through Carrigahorig, Ballingarry and Roscrea before following the old N7 to Dublin.

Speaking about the plan John Joe, author of Portumna GAA club's history, stated that this would be "an appropriate gesture for the newly formed cycling club to add support to the extraordinary group of talented hurlers who have brought so much to the parish over the last 10 years". It is planned also for the remaining members of the cycling club to give a send-off to the Dublin bound group by travelling with them as far as Ballingarry as part of their now regular Sunday morning spins. The group will leave from outside Country Lane Cycles at 9am sharp and it is hoped that a few special guests will also be on hand to wish them on their way.

Portumna Cycling Club is very much in its infancy but already has over 20 members with numbers growing on a weekly basis. For more information logon to www.portumnacc.com


Forest Park Wall
Councillor Jimmy Mc Clearn has again raised the condition of the Forest Park wall along the Woodford Road with Galway County Council. This wall is in a dangerous condition and in the interest of Health and Safety it is important that the County Council and Coillte come together to undertake repairs or replace to ensure that sections of the wall does not collapse as has happened previously.

Decisions need to be made if the wall is to be repaired and restored to its present height or lowered to the level of St Joseph’s Road Section. Councillor Mc Clearn said that this will be a labour intensive project and will require the use of a Community Employment Scheme to carry out the work. In the past Galway County Council and Coillte have cooperated to carryout much needed improvements and I am confident that level of cooperation will again be in place for this project.


Day Care Centre
You will recall the great upset caused to Portumna and its surrounds when the Day Care Centre was closed for a number of weeks last year. We were honoured by the support shown and help offered at that time. We are now pleading that you will "Step up to the Plate" and acknowledge the seriousness of the following request: It comes in 3 parts. Firstly, we need volunteers for our committee - The AGM is on Wednesday 19 March at 8pm. Secondly, Nurses (unpaid) who will allow their names to go forward in order to form from which we may call on to cover the hours from 10am to 3pm, on the rare occasion that the regular nurse may take a day off. Thirdly, all kinds of entertainment - musicians, singers, etc needed from 2pm-3pm Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

If you think you can help please ring or call into the Centre on Castle Avenue the number is 09097 41740. The future of the Day Centre is very much reliant on your positive response to this request.


Paul Mullins - Niall Mellon Trust Fundraising
Paul Mullins and his helpers will be bag packing in O'Meara's this coming Saturday 15 March in aid of the Niall Mellon Trust. Paul hopes to go to Africa for a week to help out with the building of schools there.


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