Portarlington family fun in the sun

The Child of Prague was credited for the sun that shone on Portarlington Lions Club’s Family Fun day last Sunday.

The Child of Prague was credited for the sun that shone on Portarlington Lions Club’s Family Fun day last Sunday.

President of the club Willie Murphy said it was all thanks to the holy statue he put on his windowsill.

“I never had such an interest in the weather forecast before,” he laughed.

His prayers paid off because it was the best attended in the five years of the fun day, with an estimated 1,500 people enjoying the free bouncy castles, face painting and sporting competitions in the People’s Park. Portarlington Scouts had erected tents in case of rain, but they were merely shelter from the sunshine,

A big hit was the Tug of War, won by the Railway Bar, who retained the perpetual Moss Keane trophy. The club also awarded an engraved trophy to the winners, and medals to the runners-up, Burbages Pub, after a close contest refereed by Liam Pearce.

Olympic style medals and a podium made real heroes of the winners of athletics, goal-scoring and basketball competitions, overseen by Lions members Brendan Flanagan, Matt and Gerry Dunne, Brian Whelan and Marie Molloy.

The popular Mad Scientist exhibition was again on hand with exciting experiments, and puppeteer Julie Rose McCormack wowed children with her show. McDonnell’s school of Irish Dancing were tapping all evening, ClownAround provided a friendly Lion, and Fisherstown Vintage Club displayed a fine array of tractors.

First prizewinner of the Car Trailer of Food Raffle, which pays for the day, was local man James Furlong, and five runners up prizes were provided by Shane O’Neill.

“It was all done free, this is our way of giving something back to the local community, for being so generous all year. The weather made it, right down to dismantling the 35 items, and litterpicking afterwards,” said Willie, who also thanked Terence Lalor for his help in tidying up.