Recently Leithinis had a trial run at setting up their new gazebos. They did a small, socially distanced, sanitised event - adhering to all Covid guidelines - with a few members. It was the first time people had played together in over a year, so while a bit rusty they rattled of the trad tunes! We want to sincerely thank Fingal County Council for grant aiding our comhaltas group to buy two gazebos. FCC showed great vision in supporting this venture which permits events to take place safely outdoors as soon as lifting of restrictions allow. We hope to be able to allow some other groups, on certain special occasions, to be able to use them also on site at the Parish Hall. We are indebted to Donabate Parish Hall Committee also for their vision, in allowing us to put them up at this location and to hold events of this cultural nature. Keep playing your Irish Traditional tunes and we look forward to good times in the future; as Covid Restrictions abate to many good Gigs in our Gazebos! For further information contact E-mail us to eithinis@comhaltas.net- query to Secretary Jim O Donohoe. Further information re the Autumn programme in the August edition.

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St Pats were delighted to chosen recently to feature in the LGFA County Board’s ‘Club Focus’ series. Pats have grown from a small North Dublin football club set up in 1924 to a 950+ member club covering Ladies Football, Camogie, Gaelic Football & Hurling operating on the ‘One Club’ model sharing Clubhouse and pitches. They are active in the primary and secondary schools where their players enjoy the best of Club & School coaching & fixtures. A Ladies team was begun in 2000 but unfortunately due to emigration, the team folded. LGFA was resurrected later in the 2000s with two juvenile teams A task force was set up to increase the number of LGFA teams with the aim of having a team every 2 years. Injections of fresh blood into the section over the last few years have seen the Club far exceed this goal. Their social media hashtag is #ProudToBePats and they now proudly boast LGFA teams at almost every year. LGFA is the fastest growing section of the Club! They’ve also increased their female representation on the Club Executive and committees; female player representation on player committees now accepted as standard. Their referees all learn LGFA, Football & Hurling rules ensuring that future players are aware of all sections of this growing club. Despite the restrictions, 2020 was a successful year for LGFA in the Club. Their Adult squad – mentored by Aidan Coppinger & Adrian Brophy – only missed out progressing to their Championship Semi Final on goal difference. They went on to beat a strong Kickhams side in the Shield Final. The minors in Division 4, U16s in Division 3 and U14s in Division 3 all fought their way through to their Championship Semi Finals before the season came to a shuddering halt.Their teams are delighted to be back training and that the season has begun for Cup, League and the Championship. The future is the Club is bright – the future is Green & Black! If you live in Donabate/Portrane and you’d like to get involved in LGFA – juvenile or adult – or G4M&O, just contact them at info@stpatsgaa.com. (NB: not accessible through this medium). Similarly if you’d like to get involved with GAA, just drop them a line as new members are always welcome in all ages and codes. Ní neart go cur le cheile.

The Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána Ó Rodaigh was delighted to make a presentation to St Patrick’s Boys National School Donabate this morning as winners of The Battle of the Book 2021. Fingal County Librarian Betty Boardman and author Brian Gallagher were also on hand to meet the winning class and their teacher Sarah Donohoe. The Battle of the Book is an annual competition run by Fingal Libraries. The programme is designed to encourage the children to read and gain confidence, to discuss a common book providing a shared experience of reading and to ignite a reading for life culture.Every year 6 schools in Fingal receive 30 copies of a book by a well know author, this year’s book was “Pawns” by Brian Gallagher to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the Sack of Balbriggan. The other schools that took part this year were Pope John Paul II National School, St. Oliver Plunkett School, St Patricks Boys National School, Castaheany Educate Together, Sacred Heart National School and St. Mary’s National School.

The Peninsula Pacers first walk in a very long time, due to Covid Restrictions, took place in early June on a glorious summers day. We walked through the Portrane Hospital Grounds down the Ladies Walk along the Cliff Walk to the Tower. At Portrane Green we stopped to rest on the new Bleeper Bikees so when we need a quicker way home we can hop on a bike! We ended at the Brook Pub - where we had cool drinks, ice cream & coffees and pizzas & pastas to round off a lovely day. Our next walk will be on Thursday 15th July and we intend maybe having 2 routes - a longer harder walk and a shorter easier walk to facilitate all levels of walkers. For further information please contact: Carolyn on 087 9284307 or Breda on 086 8693243.

Congratulations to Third Year students who were in attendance live and via Teams at the Third Year Awards ceremony recently.It has been a difficult time for all students, however our Third Year students adapted to online learning not once, but twice over the course of their Junior Cycle studies. We are very proud of them for how they have managed their learning and for the knowledge and skills they have shown. Ms Leahy and Mr Creevey both spoke to the group and praised them for all they had achieved over the course of their Junior Cycle and wished them every success as they moved into Transition Year and 5th Year.Awards were presented to students in subjects, a school spirit award, Student of the Year and Academic Awards.All students then got the opportunity to play some sport or relax with their classmates before being treated to Scrumdiddly’s ice-cream! Congratulations to Third Year students. We hope you have a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you back in the new term!

This years award winners were - English: Maksymilian Okuniewicz - Irish: Dara Heffernan - Maths: Laoise Howe - History: Hubert Wolanin - Geography: Caoimhe Murphy - Tech Graphics: Abigail Shevlin - French: Odhrán O’Connor - Spanish: Ava Pender - Business Studies: Eimear Davey - Home Economics: Lía Bracken - Art: Moya Bishop - Technology: Oscar Donohue - PE: Kyle Cumisky - Sport Award: Lauren Van Druemel, Aliyatt Badmus - School Spirit Award: Finn Donovan, Darragh Brogan, Katie May, Emma Walsh, Jasmin Egan. - Student of the Year Nominees: Aliyatt Badmus, Ruby Corcoran, Ella Nolan, Niamh Gaffney, Moya Bishop - Academic Achievement Nominees: Sophie O’Neill, Jamie Whelan, Odhran O’Connor, Hubert Wolanin, Ava Pender - Academic Achievement Award: Hubert Wolanin, Ava Pender - Student of the Year: Aliyatt Badmus.

When the Leaving Cert Class of 2021 began their Senior Cycle journey in September 2019, they could not have known how the following two school years were going to transpire.

Navigating online learning from March to May 2020 and again from January to March 2021 has without doubt proved challenging.However, the Donabate Community College Leaving Cert Class of 2021 have acquitted themselves admirably. They have developed their resilience, self-reliance, communication skills, all the while covering the Leaving Cert curriculum and looking out for their families and each other. Thus, it is with a great sense of pride we arranged this year’s Leaving Cert Graduation.While we could not carry out our normal ceremony, Sixth Year Year Head Ms Curran ensured no stone was left unturned to make this year’s Graduation special for this year’s graduates.While the year group remained in their classes, they tuned into speeches via Microsoft Teams from Mr Doyle, Mr Creevey, Ms Curran, Mr Henchy and 6th Year student Jessica Dolan. Students were also treated to a video of their memories, before collecting their graduation medal and a specially commissioned booklet. A huge congratulations to Jessica Dolan who spoke on behalf of students and reminded them that perseverance and determination are everything. On behalf of students, Jessica also thanked Mr Creevey, Mrs Flynn, Mr Doyle and the staff at Donabate Community College for their constant support and kindness. Many thanks to Chairperson of the Board of Management, Mr Adrian Henchy who congratulated the students on their achievements and wished them every success no matter where life takes them next. A big thank you to past students Jake O’Toole and Jodie Clinton from ‘The Balloon Basket’ for the wonderful balloon decorations and Megan Hogan of milisbymegan for the beautiful cupcakes each student received.We congratulate each member of this year’s Leaving Cert Class and wish them well as they move on to the next stage of their lives.

As with other community groups, Donabate Portrane Men’s Shed has had to suspend its normal activities over the past year and a half. However, small groups of members have been able to tend our plots at Turvey Allotments while observing all public health protocols; this has been possible with the support of our many sponsors. Fingal County Council, who lease the plots to us, grant-aided materials for a patio so members who are not so physically active can join us; Fingal Chamber paid for our greenhouse and funding from Tesco was used to purchase seeds, plants and other materials.Recently, members have also met outdoors for coffee at the Shoreline Hotel. However, with increasing levels of vaccination and easing of restrictions, we hope in the not-too-distant future to be able to resume our weekly get-togethers at Donabate Scouts’ Den. With this in mind, a Men’s Shed sign, acknowledging all of our sponsors, has taken its place alongside the other signs at the Den. As our sign says, if you wish to join us, please email donabateportraneshed@gmail.com or phone Jim on 086-3694316.

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The Keep Well campaign has been running since October 2020 and covers the following headings – Keeping active; Switching off and being creative; Eating Well; and Staying connected- staying connected with people, addressing isolation, supporting volunteerism and initiatives that support person-to-person connection is important to our wellbeing.It really has become clear since the start of Covid that we have a cohort of members who are not connected and who have not been able to stay in touch fully with the weekly emails or zoom classes. While committee members have been trying to stay in touch with everyone, it has been really difficult – and it is very hard to say much in a text message! AAfA were thrilled to hear that they have been successful in receiving funding for 10 ACORN tablets. We hope to start this project in the next 2 months and it will be an opportunity for members to have the use of one of these tablets and to be trained how to use them. You will then be able to see if it is right for your use. Donabate Portrane Community Centre are also working with us on this project and we really appreciate their assistance. The ACORN has been designed in Ireland specifically to be easier to use than a computer and to give the user real access to much useful information AND, perhaps most importantly, the ability to stay in touch with ‘smart phone’ style. You can read the local papers, see family photos and much, much more. The Companion app can be downloaded for free by family and friends and when this is used to call you, or you call them, you both can see each other. The companion app allows your family to add in appointments etc., into your diary. We already have members who have expressed interest in becoming more connected and we have members who are willing to assist with training. Some will be on traditional computers and now this will be available for those who may be complete beginners. More information will go directly to member over the next few months. PLEASE NOTE: NEW MEMBERS WELCOME (OVER 55) REGISTRATION JULY, CLASSES START AUGUST. QUERIES TO CAROLYN 0879284307, OR PHILLIPPA 0874118335

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Cllr Adrian Henchy has welcomed news of progress on the sporting and recreation campus at Ballymastone. He said, “Since 2014 this has been a project that started from the ground up with Lambay Sports Athletics club joining with the existing sporting clubs at Ballymastone, St. Ita’s AFC and St. Pats Gaa in creating a vision for a truly world class sporting and recreation campus to serve the needs of our 3 local clubs, our local schools and indeed the wider Donabate Portrane peninsula. In recent weeks this project took a major step forward through the direct intervention of Fingal County Council Chief Executive Ann Marie Farrelly and my colleague and Minister for Housing, Local Government & Heritage Darragh O’Brien who negotiated and agreed the service site funding of €11.5 million towards Infrastructural improvements within Donabate Portrane to include the early delivery of the Ballymastone Sporting, Recreational & Educational Campus which is an enormous boost to the local community and shows lessons have been learned where we are now delivering much needed infrastructure in advance of additional housing in the area.

This project would not have happened without the outstanding work, goodwill, cooperation and ability to always see the bigger picture for all all of our local community from all three of our local clubs, St. Ita’s AFC, St. Pats GAA and Lambay Sports Athletics Club who will now finally have a home and be able to move in beside the already wonderful facilities provided by both St. Ita’s and St. Pats. When delivered this top class campus will greatly add to the already wonderful facilities that have been developed & provided for the local community by both St. Pats Gaa and St. Ita’s AFC. The addition of a fully Floodlit 8 Lane running track including a grass soccer pitch as well as a Full size All Weather GAA and Soccer pitches along with improved access and parking at Ballymastone is long overdue. I am also particularly pleased that an issue close to my heart and something that has regularly been raised with me the needs to also provide for younger people outside of formal sports will also see the campus provide a Junior & Senior playground as well as a large scale Skatepark which will ensure it is truly a campus for all of our local community.

Finally I want to especially recognise the enormous efforts on behalf of St Patrick’s GAA Club from Brian Mc Grath and Felim Mc Allister, St Ita’s AFC, Conor Tonra and Brian Tighe and Lambay Sports & Athletics Club, Dara Carr and Sonia Francis who have all represented their clubs with utmost professionalism, goodwill along with an ability to always see the bigger picture on behalf of their club members and the wider Donabate Portrane area. I now look forward to over the next 12-18 months to finally see construction getting underway on what will truly be a World class sporting/recreational campus at the very heart of the Donabate Portrane community”

Corina Johnston Labour Party Local Area Representative welcomes a recent commitment given by Fingal County Council on a Garda text alert initiative for the Donabate peninsula. Johnston said; “I am very pleased to have been informed that a verbal commitment was given by Fingal County Council at the May JPC (joint policing committee) meeting to the introduction of the See Something Say Something text alert initiative on the Donabate peninsula on a trial basis.” Johnston added; “Duncan Smith TD and I first proposed that this text alert initiative be introduced on the peninsula at a meeting with Superintendent O’Neill to discuss Garda resources in Donabate and Portrane a number of months ago. At the meeting Superintendent O’Neill gave his support to our proposal. Duncan Smith TD subsequently proposed this at the March JPC meeting. A similar scheme was introduced in Swords last year and was deemed successful.“Johnston continued; “At a follow up meeting on Garda resources for the area with the Assistant Commissioner and Ronan Barry the new Superintendent for our district full support was given for the introduction of this initiative on the peninsula. This text alert initiative will enable members of the public to confidentially report incidents that might need Garda intervention. “ Johnston concluded; “ Details have yet to be finalised but it is hoped to introduce this text alert initiative on the peninsula in the coming months.We look forward to it’s introduction and hope it will act as a deterrent against anti social behaviour and other criminal activities and bring about a much quicker response from the Gardai.”