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Episode Info: Welcome to episode 6 of the Thin Places Travel Podcast. Today we have Irish American musician, Joanie Madden from the band, Cherish the Ladies as a guest. And we'll be featuring the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway as a thin places travel destination.     Joanie Madden, Irish American Musician   In our last episode, we talked about a connection to the landscape fueling a person’s creativity and passion artistic outlets. We discussed the concept that where you are can have an effect on artistic productivity. It seems that Ireland is full of artists – performing artists, literary artists, visual artists, musicians. Perhaps there is something in the land that stirs the creative soul.   This week as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we were fortunate to be able to chat with Joanie Madden, one of the founders of the all-woman Irish music band, Cherish the Ladies. The group has been actively performing for 33 years, has been nominated for a Grammy and has recorded and released seventeen albums. Their newest album Heart of the Home has just been released this month and it features several tunes written by Joanie Madden.   Joanie is a child of Irish emigrants. She was raised in the Bronx, NY. Her father was from Portumna in the eastern part of County Galway, and her mother was from Miltown Malbay in West County Clare.   Joanie is an All-Ireland flute and whistle champion. She has sold over a half million solo albums and performed on over 200 recordings including 3 Grammy-winning albums. In 2016, Irish America Magazine named Joanie as one of the Top 50 most Powerful Irish Women in the World.   Segment 2 - Interview with Joanie Madden LINKS Cherish the Ladies Cherish the Ladies on Facebook Cherish the Ladies on Twitter  Joanie Madden on Twitter  Cherish the Ladies on Youtube Segment 3 - The Irish Workhouse Centre - Portumna, County Clare To tie in with Joanie’s reflections on her father’s hometown of Portumna, and her moving musical tribute to the Portumna workhouse, we’re highlighting the Irish Workhouse Center in Portumna as our featured destination for this podcast.   Portumna is a town in east County Galway that was established by the Normans in the twelfth century. The town sits on the River Shannon - the longest river in Ireland - and in its day, it was an important river crossing.   A ferry crossing was established in the early fourteenth century and today a dual lane roadway - the N65, crosses the Shannon in Portumna connecting County Galway with County Tipperary.   The name Port Omna means landing place or “port” of the oak. People have been living in Portumna since the late stone age.   Portumna has a castle, part of which is open to visitors - and a forest part with walking and cycling paths pathways through woodlands and along the shores of Lough Derg. In that forest are the ruins of Portumna Abbey, which was founded in 1426 by Murchad O’Madden.   But today Portumna is well known for its restored I...
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