25 November 2014

Wild Food Night Bonanza - St. Dympna’s Fundraiser
Fit Towns Portumna
Mucky Runners: Thank you
Irish Dancing
Fun Fridays at Redwood National School
Tynagh National School
Killimor 10k: Thank You
Portumna Contract Bridge Club
Coffee Evening - Galway Hospice Fundraiser
Raheen National School Christmas Concert
Portumna Christmas Fair
>Woodford/Looscaun Christmas Lights 2014
Killimor GAA
Portumna 79 Bridge Club
Declen Kelly - 'A Moment’s Memory'
Portumna Angling Presentations 2014
Rates and Irish Water

Wild Food Night Bonanza - St. Dympna’s Fundraiser
This annual Wild Food Night Fundraiser will take place in Paddy’s Bar on Friday 28 November at 7.30pm.
This year’s recipient of the fundraiser is St. Dympna’s in Portumna Co. Galway. St. Dympna’s is an Adult Day Service for people with an intellectual or learning disability and is one of the many services under the auspice of Ability West. Service users from all over South East Galway as well as parts of Clare and Tipperary have greatly benefitted from the professional care of the St Dympna’s staff over the years where the main aim is the provision of supports and opportunities that will add quality and improve their lives.
In its third year this fundraiser is going from strength to strength with a big turnout expected again this year. Kilbarron Terryglass Game and Conservation club champions this event. An array of game is kindly donated such as pheasant, partridge, pigeon, duck, goose, rabbit, venison plus a variety of fish including trout and salmon. A pig on the spit will also be whirling outside on the night.
Alongside the donations from the Game and Conservation Club, the local community have also come on board donating additional game, spot prizes and are providing home cooked dishes to share on the night. The Game and Conservation Club also acknowledge with thanks the support of the local farmers in the area.
After the food has been consumed, Nigel Beers Smith will be giving a presentation of the White Tailed Sea Eagles which are now established on Lough Derg. Nigel came to Mountshannon Ireland in early 2012 when the first sightings of the Eagles were reported. Nigel is a professional photographer, who has spent many years photographing these Eagles all over Ireland, but Lough Derg is now the focus of his work.
So come along to enjoy the best of Nature’s Harvest. Admission is free with all donations directly benefiting St. Dympna’s in Portumna.


Fit Towns Portumna
On the 19 Nov last Fit Towns Portumna was officially launched at a very positive meeting, which held in Portumna Retirement Village and was chaired by Sara Killeen. In attendance were members of various sporting organisations from around Portumna and also in attendance were a number of people who had wonderful ideas about setting up new groups i.e. the walking and running clubs.
This new concept fit towns was recently launched by Galway Sports Partnership its objective is to encourage communities to get fit over a six week period from Jan 2015 to Feb 2015 and the most innovative, active group have the opportunity to win a prize fund of €5000.00.
It was evident from the Committee that a lot of work had gone in to preparing for the night, which was shown from the large turnout. This was a very much an unprecedented meeting where all the various clubs, groups, organizations present supported by the Chamber of Commerce and the Tidy Towns. The Committee is Sarah Killeen Chairperson, Orla Kennedy Secretary, Vincent O Hara Treasurer and Cllr Anne Rabbitte PRO.
The group have launched a face book page 'Fit Towns Portumna' and a Twitter account @fittownportumna. They plan to cater for all age groups, from the children in the crèches to the active retirement and men’s shed, playing bowls, all fitness levels are to be catered for with a wide range of activities from walking to running, from swimming to karate to social and celli dancing, cycling to name just a few of the activities and the plan is to use all pitches and astro pitches, the streets of Portumna, The Engine Room, Portumna Forest Park, Portumna Golf Club and An Gairdin to assist in delivering the programme. Currently the committee are putting the application together and working with everyone present to draw up a fully packed diverse workable diary for the 6-week programme.
Cllr Rabbitte said this was only the spring board - a taste of what was on offer in the town and any of the new groups formed for the purpose of the 6 week programme could go forward to become full time active groups.
Fit Towns Portumna plans to do a little article each week on the various activities and groups planned to support this incentive for the six week programme and communicate it in the Connacht Tribune, the parish news letter face book and twitter. Sarah and the committee thanked all who supported the night the very warm favourable supportive receptions that was shown and looked forward to working with all the groups for the 6 weeks.


Mucky Runners: Thank you
Portumna Town FC would like to thank everybody who supported the recent “Mucky Runners” event in the Forest Park. This year’s event surpassed all expectations, with a fantastic turnout of both adults and children. The success on the day was due in no small part to the hard work of the numerous volunteers, to whom we extend our sincere gratitude. Particular mention must be made of the TALL ladies (Teresa, Ann, Lyndsey and Linda) whose brainchild is the “Mucky Runners” and who work tirelessly to make the event the great success that it has become. We extend our deep appreciation to you all for your hard work and tremendous effort in facilitating the Club in hosting the event this year.


Irish Dancing
Congratulations to all the children that took part in the Stephanie Power School of Irish Dancing Feis on Sunday last.


Fun Fridays at Redwood National School
Fun Fridays continue this Friday with the ever popular Kindermusik. 11:00 to 12:00. Everybody welcome! €3.00 per family. Phone Redwood NS on 090 9747186.


Tynagh National School
At Tynagh National School they had a recent visit from 'Jumping Clay' as part of Science Week. Jumping clay is an educational programme for 3D clay modelling. It can be used in animation or just making popular art. Jumping clay is a highly malleable, mess free air dried clay. The children learned how to make different shapes and mix colours and had lots of fun in the process. I've attached a picture of 6th Class students with the models they created.


Killimor 10k: Thank You
Killimor 10k which took place on the 20th July 2014, would like to express their sincere thanks and gratitue to everyone who helped raise €8,416.71 for Galway hospice .


Portumna Contract Bridge Club
Results 3rd Nov 2014 - 1st: Marie O'Meara & Tony Ryan, 2nd: Joan Ryan & Michael Torpey, Gross: Denis Kelly & Iris Dennison, 3rd: Johnnie Cowan & Brid Mc Namara, 4th: Mary Jo Kelly & Fr Bracken.
Results 10th Nov 2014 - 1st: Kaye Duddy & Patsy Hanbury, 2nd: Lorna Stoddart & Bertie Hanlon, Gross: Iris Dennison & Denis Kelly, 3rd: Eileen Tuohy & Marie O'Meara, 4th: Brid Mc Namara & Johnnie Cowan.


Coffee Evening - Galway Hospice Fundraiser
Coffee Evening, Cake Sale & Raffle in aid of Galway Hospice in Day Care Centre, Eyrecourt on Friday 28 November at 7 p.m. All welcome.


Raheen National School Christmas Concert
The pupils of Raheen National School are presenting a fundraising Christmas concert on Monday 1st December in Fahy Hall at 7.30pm. The concert will also feature a Christmas Performance by The Army Band. There will be a raffle on the night and Tea and Refreshments will be served.


Portumna Christmas Fair
Annual Christmas Fair is on this Sunday 30 November in the Town Hall from 12-5pm. Lots of stalls with goodies for Christmas and Santa will be joining us again!


Woodford/Looscaun Christmas Lights 2014
Switch-on of Christmas Lights will take place on Saturday 13th December @ 6p.m. Santa arriving @ 5:45p.m. Open Christmas Street Market from 4p.m. If you have any crafts, home baking, or Christmas produce to sell, feel free to join the market, or just come along and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere! Musicians welcome. D.j. from 5:30 p.m. Help light up our town this year by supporting our Fundraiser on Saturday 3rd January in Walsh's Bar, Woodford. Music, craic and great prizes  guaranteed on the night! Tickets €2, on sale from committee members, in local shops and on the evening of the switch on.


Killimor GAA
Last week’s lotto numbers were 11, 14, 24 and 29. The jackpot was €8,600. Last week’s 5 lucky dip winners (€20) were Phill Haverty, Michael Quinn, AECN Forde, Mark & Oisin Gordon and Austin O Toole. Next week's jackpot is €8,700 which will be held in Treacy’s.
Please note the AGM will be held on Friday the 28th November in the clubhouse at 8.00pm.


Portumna 79 Bridge Club
Results Wed 12 November 2014 - 1st Florence Mc Namara & Bertie Hanlon, 2nd Mary Jo Kelly & Eileen Smith, Gross Patricia Eames & Patsy Hanbury, 3rd Des Lynch & Lorna Stoddart, 4th Sheila Dillon & Patricia Blehein.


Declen Kelly - 'A Moment’s Memory'
Declen Kelly will launch his latest publication “A Moment’s Memory” a Personal and Historical Reflection on Creagh National School and District. The launch will be in The Birchgrove Bar, Ballinasloe at 8pm on Saturday 13 December.


Portumna Angling Presentations 2014
Portumna & District Angling Association presented its' three trophies in O'Mearas restaurant lately. The Smith family presented the 'Boat House Cup' (pike) to winner Martin Harris. The 'Des Murphy Trophy' (trout) was presented by chairmen Edmund Burke to winner David Harris. Niamh O' Meara presented the 'O'Meara Trophy (Under 16's) to joint winners Alanna Larkin and Peter Burke. Thanks to those whom supported the evening.


Rates and Irish Water
At last Thursday’s Galway County Council budget meeting, Cllr. Anne Rabbitte was asking some tough questions with regards to rates and Irish Water. Cllr Rabbitte said: There is a lot of concern among members of the rural community as to who is going to pay the subsidy to group water schemes? Is Galway County Council going to continue to support Group Water Schemes on an annual basis with grant subsidies for maintenance work, pipe repair work and scheme upgrades as is currently in place? Irish water is not going to substitute hence they are not getting an income from the G.W.S. What does Galway County Council propose to do to address these issues? The answer is that Galway County Council will continue to support GWS.
Another unanswered question is that of the lease agreement between Galway County Council and Irish water. Galway County Council have leased their water treatment and their sewage treatment plants, of which there are 38 and 30 respectively- the largest of which being in Tuam and Limminagh, to Irish Water. Cllr. Rabbitte asks: What does this lease agreement entail? Was this a standard lease agreement drawn up by central government and administered locally then between the various County Councils and Irish Water? No different to any other lease agreement landlord tenant arrangement where the County Council lease the property to Irish Water and then they pay rent and are responsible for all the add on charges i.e. lighting, heating, maintenance, rates? This is a semi state for profit business. They have premises in our city, all our major towns (Loughrea, Portumna, Gort, Tuam, Clifden, Oranmore etc) and in our not so major towns (e.g. Woodford); my question is, since Irish Water has taken over, has Galway County Council being charging rates? If not- then why? Why is Irish Water exempt? This would mean that we, as a council, are endorsing a double standard of equality and fairness amongst business (i.e. semi state versus private business who are struggling to make ends meet on daily basis and in many cases their existence is threatened by the cost and high burden of rates which they pay).

Cllr. Rabbitte continued her questioning; In the document that is before the Galway County Council Budget 2015 under the headings Irish Water we have Income for €9,262.000 and Expenditure of €13,119.00 0 hence a shortfall of €3.857m approx 4 million. Also we can see clearly under Agriculture, Education, Welfare and Health a huge cut of 3.5 million approx. Under recreation and amenity we see a further cut of 5.2 million. So the very fabric of rural communities i.e. the libraries, the playgrounds, the fire stations, the tidy towns are going to suffer- we as a council are further reducing our support to these communities across the county by 4 million, this is simply not acceptable.
We at a municipal level are constantly being told there is nothing in the budget for footpaths, for lights, to address estates that the council built a long number of years ago and are now in serious need of upgrading, in all the areas I mentioned (Shannon Park in Portumna is an example of this). And at the same time, the council are passing the opportunity to collect rates from Irish Water since the 1/9/2014.
Surely this is not the case? I find myself thinking that I must be miss reading this? Cllr Rabbitte said. Think of all the controversy surrounding Irish Water, from the cost to the Tax payer of 5b from 2000 to 2011 and the current cost of installing meters to the tax payer, the cost of consultant fees and the shocking bonus culture that followed and the re hiring of staff that took very lucrative redundancies from councils and then went back to be rehired by Irish Water. That this was allowed to happen, while at the same time our very qualified young men and women were exodusing the county and country through Shannon and Dublin to Australia and Canada to earn a living is appalling. You really can see how young people are disheartened and disilliousned with government, council, and politicians when it clearly looks like it was jobs for the boys endorsed at a very high level and encouraged right down. What was not expected was the back lash from the people, the people who are left to pick up the pieces and the peoples whose very brothers and sisters have immigrated and in many cases entire families, they people who have been hit by property tax, usc charges and families who are struggling to survive?

The response to the above from the executives of Galway Co. Co. Was that the rate valuation office had not yet set a rate for Irish Water, and having rang for clarification to the Ministers office Cllr Rabbite was told when rates would be collected they funds would be returned to central government and they would then decided and would return the funds to Galway co.co.
Cllr Rabbitte felt that the council were loosing another executive function of collecting rates and not keeping control. She felt there was very little forward planning and very little knowledge about the whole administration of the rates. She felt that any new business that sets up must provision for rates and its not based on profit, turnover but on square footage of the area and Irish water had a lot of ground in County Council and they had no rate.
Rabbitte’s proposal is that Galway County Council seeks clarification from the rates valuation office. On receipt of this satisfactory information she proposes that Galway County Council then apply the rate to Irish Water and subsequently collect the rates from Irish water from the 38 water treatment plants and 30 sewage treatment plants and all of the above funds collected be spent on various projects from Amenity grants, recreation grants, education grants, health and welfare within Galway Co Co.


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