10 June 2014

Children’s Art Camp
Cinemobile Visit to Portumna
Birr Union Workhouse Photographic Exhibition
Portumna Vintage Club
Waterways Ireland
Portumna Town FC
Portumna Forest Trails
Portumna Golf Club
Portumna & District Credit Union
Portumna GAA
Matt Fogarty - Birthday Celebration
Kileen National School - Fundraising Table Quiz
Portumna and District Active Retirement Association
Seamus Hayes’ Pub - Double Jubilee
Weight Watchers

Children’s Art Camp
Children’s Art Camp from Tues 5th Aug to Sat 9th Aug, 2014 from 2.15 p.m – 5.15 p.m. Suitable for 5-12 year olds. In Old School House, Tynagh. Places limited. Cost €55 per child. Contact Anne Flanagan-Hickey at (087) 6236907. Activities include:- Painting, design your own T-shirt, braclet making with club/county colours, pottery, bottle painting, hat making, arts & crafts and much more! Family Discounts available.


Cinemobile Visit to Portumna
The Cinemobile will be in Portumna from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July. More details to follow in the coming weeks.


Birr Union Workhouse Photographic Exhibition
"Birr Union Workhouse" a photographic exhibition by Birr Photography Group was originally on show at Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, Oxmantown Mall, Birr, County Offaly, Ireland from 17th August until 1st September 2013. The Exhibition then moved to Birr Library for the month of October 2013. Now, the Exhibition will be on display as part of the Workhouse tour at The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, County Galway from May to October 2014. Birr Union Workhouse, its interior and exterior are the photographic subject for this exhibition with 41 images by thirteen photographers of Birr Photography Group.

Birr Workhouse designed by George Wilkinson was opened in 1842 just 3 years before the famine. Its function as an Institution was to deal with poverty by providing shelter and relief to the poor and destitute. The Portumna Workhouse opened in 1852. So these images of the pre-famine Birr Workhouse are now on display in the post-famine Workhouse at Portumna. Since its closure in 192, the functionality of this great historical building at Birr has been varied. From the 1930s it housed several small factories and was even used as a venue for a few Birr Vintage Week exhibitions.

Now on Birr Photography Groups visit to this Historical vacant site at Birr we discover how the wheels have turned. The Grand Old Building and its environs has now become its own poor and destitute. This Photography Exhibition also featured in the Birr Historical Society’s Conference on “Birr Workhouse” in Birr Theatre on Friday 6th to Saturday 7th September 2013 and The Birr Workhouse Conference talks in Birr Library on 6th and 9th November 2013.

Birr Photography Group has regular meetings, talks, discussions and demonstrations on a variety of photographic topics on Thursday evenings from 8pm at Craughwell’s Bar, Castle Street, Birr. New members always welcome. For more information on Birr Photography Group, please contact Julien on 086 152 0605 or http://birrphotogroup.wordpress.com website.


Portumna Vintage Club
This Sunday, 15th June, Portumna Vintage Club will be taking part in a road run being organised by the Eyrecourt and Ballinasloe Vintage Clubs. Anyone wishing to participate is asked to meet up at O Mearas Restaurant at 10.30am. Further details regarding route etc. available from Walter Burke on 087 8267054.


Waterways Ireland
Waterways Ireland, the all Ireland body with responsibility for inland waterways including the Shannon, advertised for three seasonal general operatives to be based out of Portumna. Unfortunately the advertisement appeared in the Roscommon Herald and the Westmeath Independent, which have no circulation in the general Portumna Area. Councillor Jimmy Mc Clearn said when this matter was brought to his attention he contacted Waterways Ireland to point out their omission, he was told that applications had now closed and they had now moved on to short listing people for the jobs. Despite pointing out to them that this method of advertising was unacceptable and that it precluded workers from Portumna from applying they were not going to revisit the process. Councillor Mc Clearn said that there were many locals who would like to have been given the opportunity to make an application and he now wanted to ensure that this type of situation did not arise in future.


Portumna Town FC
Portumna Town FC wishes the very best of luck to Sean Lynch who is part of the Midlands Under 14 squad heading to Limerick for this year's Kennedy Cup. The Kennedy Cup is taking place at UL from the 16th to the 20th June and features 32 teams from all over Ireland. The Midlands are drawn in Group 1 with Cork, Dundalk and Roscommon. All fixtures are available on www.sfai.ie. We wish Sean and the Midlands squad every success in the tournament. For all your information on the Soccer club go to our new website portumnatownfc.com


Portumna Forest Trails
Portumna has two natural amenities: the River Shannon and a beautiful forest. The tourist trade in the area is built around these two amenities. As a child living in the town many adventures were acted out both in the woods and on the Shannon. The game of cowboy and Indian’s was a regular feature played out amongst the trees and hills. That time in the early sixties the forest was better known as the ‘woods’ it sounded more sinister. The Shannon was and still is a magnificent place to swim for young and old alike. However, the walking and cycling trails in Portumna Forest Park were devastated during the storms back in January and February of this year. Since the storm, the forest trails are still virtually inaccessible for all but the most nimble. An effort had been made earlier to clear some of the trails, but this proved unworkable because the large machines needed to carry out the work were too heavy and cumbersome and would have done more damage to the trees that were not knocked down by the storms.

Mr Pat Lyons - Operations manager of the Forest Park has stated that that work will begin this week to clear up the trees and hopefully it will done in three weeks. Mr Lyons is determined to make Portumna Forest Park one of the best in Ireland, In order to do this he asks the people of Portumna to be a little patient and to put up with the inconvenience of not being able to access all the walks at this time. Hopefully by the end of June everything should be back to normal. It is a credit to Mr Lyons that he kept the forest park open despite the trees blocking many of the walks and cycle trails. It is the only forest park in Ireland that allows free access. In order to generate money for the parks upkeep timber has to be sold, this work has been on going over the winter month’s which also contributed to the difficulties of clearing the walks. The people of Portumna and surrounding area can look forward to a well-maintained forest park from early July.

Fading Forest
Carefree games we played with ease
Long walks through newly planted trees
Panic moments as workmen made their way
Planting trees day by day

Now I walk the silence broken
Trees being knocked the world has spoken
Carefree games come to my mind
All the years are left behind.
Written Frank Carty.


Portumna Golf Club
Gents Junior Scratch Cup: Portumna Golf Club host Gents Junior Scratch Cup Open competition on Sunday 15th June 2014. Handicap 5 – 9. Log onto www.portumnagolfclub.ie or phone 090 9741059 for timesheet.

Special Olympics: We wish club member Simon Lowry the best of luck in the 2014 Special Olympics Ireland Finals. Simon has qualified in the Pitch & Putt competition and will represent Connacht in the finals, which take place in Limerick from 13 to 15 June.


Portumna & District Credit Union
Galway Bay FM Baycaster will broadcast from the Credit Union office on next Saturday 14th June 2014 from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm with presenters Valeria Hughes & Marc Roberts. This is part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of Portumna District Credit Union: 1989 - 2014. The biannual Car Draw will also take place live on air and the lucky winner of a Ford Fiesta, supplied by Claffey Motors, will be announced. The six finalists are: Ms Pat Geoghegan, Killimor, Mr Gerry Martin, Gurteeney, Mrs Anne Reilly, Killimor, Ms Jane Lynch, Abbey, Ms Mae Carty, Portumna & Mr Patrick G Page, Douras, Woodford. Best wishes to all the finalists.


Portumna GAA
Lotto: There was no winner of last week-ends lotto jackpot worth €19,500. The numbers drawn were 1 5 17 23. Five people matched three numbers.

Golf Classic: The club is holding our annual golf classic on Thursday 26 June and Friday 27 June at Porttumna Golf Club. Team of four €120. Anyone who does not play golf and who would like to support the club can sponsor a tee box - cost €50. Timesheet is available from Celia 087 1342148 or Portumna Golf club 090 97 41059.

Junior C: The junior C team played Athenry at the week-end and were narrowly beaten on a scoreline 1-9 to 2-9. Their next outing is against Tynagh /Abbey Duniry.


Matt Fogarty - Birthday Celebration
Terryglass man, Matt Fogarty celebrated his 80th Birthday last week in the company of his family and friends. To mark this milestone in his life Matt held a party in the local Village Hall and invited a wide circle of friends to a night of dancing and dining. The Melody Makers provided the music.


Kileen National School - Fundraising Table Quiz
Kileen N.S. annual fundraising table quiz will take place on Friday 13th June in Mc Donagh’s Pub Kilcorban at 9.30pm. Tables of 4. €10 per person. Cash prize of €200 for the winning team. Lots of spot prizes and a raffle on the night.


Portumna and District Active Retirement Association
The month of May was a busy and enjoyable month for the members of the Active Retirement Assoc. Their choir joined forces with the Omna singers early on a Sunday morning beside Lough Derg for the annual dawn chorus which is celebrated worldwide for Bealtaine (the season of new light). Sean D Gordon cooked a tasty breakfast at the boat club.

During the month the group held a variety show and exhibition of their member’s art and crafts. Ann Rabittee the newly elected County Councillor launched our reframed writers book The Good Old Days. Siobhan Touhy played a lovely violin solo and Stephanie Power’s dancers performed some Riverdance extracts. To finish off the evening the ARA choir led off with a joyful sing-a-long and Karen Gannon provided a magnificent buffet finishing with tea and members cakes. Richie and Pat provided the dancing music.


Seamus Hayes’ Pub - Double Jubilee
Seamus Hayes’ Pub will have had this dual joy this summer. Firstly his Liverpool, Dublin, Cork, Portumna and hinterland ‘5-a-side’ Soccer Tournament, coupled with a varied sing-song sessions began in 1990. The ‘link’ was and is Billy Hughes- son of Portumna forester Pat and shop, restaurant guesthouse owner Mary - who crowned a successful mariner career with becoming more native than the natives themselves in Liverpool. The Dublin, Cork link was Christy Robinson, sadly deceased, brother-in-law to Billy, keen supporter of soccer and sessions alike!

So on Whit weekend John Mac, Ronnie, Alex, Steve, Bob and Tommy (all Merseysiders) rounded off the quarter-century with a much-enjoyed visit to Seamus’ historic hostelry. Included in the weekend was an entertaining and enjoyable visit to Portumna’s unique Heritage Workhouse Centre. The great Hughes hospitality was kept alive by hearty breakfasts cooked by Frances Hughes Robinson and in Oak Lodge by Mary Touhy Lynch. Keeping the weekend vibrant were organizer Maura Cordell Loughnan and young musicians Conor Robinson and Ryan Hogan son of veteran pop and rock entertainer Tony Hogan of ‘Royal Flush’ and ‘Bog the Donkey’.

The second jubilee is closer to Seamus Hayes’s heart, being the 25 year spread of evenings of sing-songs, debates, board-games and of course cards. Details of those celebrations taking place on July 11, 12 and 13 later. For now, from Seamus Hayes’ pub; thanks for all the memories and you’ll indeed never walk alone!


Weight Watchers
Portumna weight watchers evary monday night from 6.30-7.30 in the social centre Portumna Retirement Village.


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