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Community Projects

Numerous projects for all sectors of the community in Portglenone have been held with great success over the years. Art classes for youth, ceramic classes……………………

The Best of Portglenone

Press Release Please Share and Respond 14th November 2014

Who will be crowned ‘The Best of’ Portglenone?

The Fresh Waters campaign is launching its search to find ‘The Best Of’ Portglenone and three other Ulster river towns. These awards are calling on visitors and locals to nominate their favourite place within Portglenone, Drumaheglis, Belturbet and Kilrea; so that hidden gems and well-deserved service and product providers are rightfully rewarded for their role in promoting the beauty of the River Erne and the Lower Bann.

These awards are set to coincide with the close of the RIVER project; a £1.2m initiative which brought significant investment to the four Ulster river towns. Funded by the European Union under the INTERREG IVA programme and managed by the North East Partnership (NEP), this scheme has regenerated many parts of the Lower Bann, River Erne and their neighbouring towns, by improving and enhancing the facilities on offer.

The Fresh Waters campaign, launched as part of the RIVER project, has been an active driver in growing awareness of the rivers and surrounding towns. As a result, the campaign has revitalised a whole new tourism sector and today, the Fresh Waters’ towns in and around Portglenone Marina, Drumaheglis, Belturbet and Kilrea are being explored by new faces and revisited by those that have fallen in love with what they have to offer.
So whether it is your favourite eating establishments, accommodation providers, beauty spots, geological points of interest and/or heritage attractions, we want to know why they deserve to be crowned ‘The Best of’. Simply email freshwaters@rumourmillpr.co and explain why your attraction deserves to win in no more than 100 words, by Friday 14th November. The categories will be broken down into The Best of; Portglenone, Kilrea, Belturbet and Drumaheglis/Ballymoney.
To find out more information, please log onto to The Fresh Waters Official Facebook page Facebook.com/thefreshwaters or follow @the_freshwaters on Twitter.

Portglenone’s Heritage Walk Success

Saturday 13 September was International Heritage Day and Portglenone joined with the rest of the world by hosting their own event. Organised and led by Damien Clarke the event took the form of a walk which allowed the fifty participates to gain some insights into the concept of heritage and experience local heritage at first hand. The walk was a great success mainly because, as one walker put it, ‘I got to visit places and see things that have been all around me all my life and I had no idea about them!’

The ‘eye-opening’ aspect to the walk was not only due to the great range of significant heritage on view but also to the knowledge and interest of those who presented it. Chief among these was our ‘resident’ archaeologist, Thomas McErlean. Renowned for his work in a range of archaeological areas Thomas was able to give a historical context to the heritage and did much to illuminate the significance of Portglenone in terms of national importance. This was most evident when viewing the artefacts left behind around Portglenone by Ireland’s earliest settlers. A fantastic collection of flint and stone items, collected by Joe Clarke, confirmed the presence of humans here in the area for almost 10,000 years.

The journey through the village allowed the walkers to learn of the ‘laying out’ of the dwellings in a street plan which has changed little in 200 years. It also reinforced the heritage that is retained in the local black stone, Basalt, which is very pronounced in walls and buildings and is seen at its best in the Bann Bridge which was designed by The North’s most important nineteenth century architect, Charles Lanyon.

The scope and variety of heritage from this area was reinforced in a truly outstanding display of war memorabilia. Owned by William Gordon and his son, also William, the items on show illustrated the involvement, sacrifice and valour of local people across the centuries and most of the viewers were fascinated to learn of the Largy man, Bernard Diamond, who won a Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny.

Highlights of the walk were the visits to two of the oldest buildings in the village, the Church of Ireland church and Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey. Almost as interesting as these venerable buildings were our two hosts, caretaker of the church, Hugh Thompson, and Cistercian monk, Brother Finbar. Both men were excellent ambassadors displaying a vast knowledge about, and cherished affection for, the buildings. The intriguing connections between the church and the abbey, formerly Portglenone House, were well illuminated as were the many turbulent times experienced by both.

A big thank you must go to all who so willingly gave of their time to help present the heritage of the village with a special thanks to Samuel Simpson and the Select Vestry of the Parish of Ahoghill and Portglenone for the use of their Parish Hall and permission to visit the church; also to Dom Celsus Kelly of Bethlehem Abbey for the warm welcome given to all the visitors.

The success of the walk and the interest it engendered may well result in similar and connected events in the future.

Fresh Waters Campaign

Please see the launch Press Release for the Fresh Waters Campaign.

The campaign is aimed at promoting the attractions and facilities of four key towns – Portglenone, Drumaheglis, Belturbet and Kilrea – an encouraging more local people and tourists to explore the area.

An investment of £1.29m from the INTERREG IVA Programme, was granted in 2012 and named the RIVER Project. It has been invested by The North East Partnership (NEP), into regenerating parts of the Lower Bann, the River Erne and their neighbouring towns.

As part of the Fresh Waters Campaign we have been tasked with organising and implementing the PR and Marketing. To date we have launched the programme and established a number of online social media channels. Engagement on the social media channels has been fantastic and we would like to continue to build upon this in order to widen out the reach further.Therefore, we would like to extend a request to yourself – for the provision of ‘In-Kind’ sponsorship. This would take the form of a competition prize and allow us to heighten awareness of the campaign and help bring new visitors to your local town. We would feature competitions through local bloggers, social media channels and local trade press. We would ensure your business is promoted heavily throughout the competition and carry your branding etc.I would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your contribution to this campaign.

Please check out the Official Fresh Waters Facebook page. Please log on to www.facebook.com/thefreshwaters Please contact Samantha or Michelle at Rumour Mill PR on the below contact details for more information.Rumour Mill PR Tel: 028 90682185 Email:  michelle@rumourmillpr.co / Samantha@rumourmillpr.co
Web: www.rumourmillpr.co

See all the great article written by the Belfast Times Blogger.

Heritage Walk Portglenone Saturday, 13 September 2014

(Meet at the Marina, Gortgole Road, at 11:00 am)

Come and join us as we walk through the heritage highlights of Portglenone village in the company of renowned archaeologist Thomas McErlean.
Be amazed at just how old and significant our heritage is.
View items that are:
•    10,000 years old
•    unique military memorabilia from 170 years ago
•    thrown away and then become heritage
Learn about:
•    the importance of our bridge, designed by Charles Lanyon
•    the village and its historical importance
•    Portglenone House and how it became a Cistercian monastery.
The walk begins at the Marina, where there is lots of parking. It will last between 1 and 2 hours and extent for about 1 mile of easy walking.
Walk starts at 11:00 am. Everyone welcome (Children must be accompanied by an adult).

Please contact PEG 02825820150 or Damian 07719340808 to register.

Innovative Village Project

Innovative Village Project is a Project funded by DARD and linking Portglenone, Cushendall and Portballentrea with rural villages in Estonia and Finland. The Project will fund small tourist in these villages. PEG are planning to produce a tourism brochure  for Portglenone featuring local places of interest and focusing on the  River Bann.
Nora O’Neill (PEG) and two community members—Eileen McErlean and Carmel Clarke visited Estonia from 21—25 May as part of the Innovative Village Project.  PEG had hosted visitors from Estonia and Finland as part of this project last Autumn.  They visited on going projects and listened to presentations from our counterparts.  It was a very worth while visit—sharing information, getting new ideas and collaborating with other participating groups.


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