Sunday, September 24, 2017

A weekend of mindlessness

There's so much to like and admire about Kilcullen, its people, and its community minded organisations, writes Brian Byrne. And then there are the few with tiny minds who don't care about any of that.

This is just to tot up what a short walk this morning adds to the criminal destruction perpetrated on CPC, reported here yesterday morning.

The same night or early morning, a number of the flower boxes placed on the Convent wall by Kilcullen Community Action on behalf of the town and its residents were torn from their spaces and thrown on the road (top and below).

Then there's the cans thrown under the bridge, in what seems to be another popular spot for drinking off the grid.

And finally, this mess at St Brigid's Well in The Valley, where there was an off the grid party around a fire. The sculpture at the well by the late Fr Henry Flanagan is of St Brigid feeding the Poor. The plaque on the wall reminds that the Valley and its stonework was put in place by the former Kilcullen Community Council, all of that stonework done by the late Paddy Brangan.

There's neither poor nor community in this kind of activity.

UPDATE: Just an hour after posting this, here's what people are saying.

Your Town. Your Future. Your Say!

The signs are up, so it will be very hard for anyone in Kilcullen to miss the fact that there will be a fun day for all the family next Saturday, 30 September, writes Brian Byrne, and an opportunity to participate in a replanning of Kilcullen's market square.

It is being organised by a sub-committee of Kilcullen Community Action, with the support of Kildare County Council, and the idea is to gather the suggestions and thoughts of local residents and businesses in advance of preparing a plan for the square, the location of regular Fair Days from the 17th century though until WW1.

"Before any plan is worked on, we want to have the public consultation so that residents and businesses don't feel decisions about the future of market square are by a few people on a committee," says the committee chair Antoinette Buckley. "We will gather all the information from the public consultation and then local architect Laura Bowen will work on a plan."

The committee hopes to have a plan ready for planning application by Christmas, and in January or February they will also submit it with an application for funding under the Town & Village Renewal grant scheme.

The public consultation day will run from 11am-4pm, and will include outside broadcasting from KFM local radio.

Brush back in town next weekend

Brush Sheils will again top the musical lineup for the annual Jimmy Aspell-organised fundraising night in The Spout in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, writes Brian Byrne.

The performers next Friday, 29 September, will also include Jimmy O'Donnell, Colm Cahill, Eric Murnane, and Jimmy Aspell himself.

"A few brave souls will also be getting their heads shaved," Jimmy says. "Along with lots of spot prizes, we're looking forward to a great night."

Things kick off around 9pm. All welcome.

Dementia care workshop on Tuesday

A workshop on caring for people with Alzheimer's and Dementia will be held in McAuley Place in Naas on Tuesday, 26 September, writes Brian Byrne.

Organised by Home Instead Senior Care, it is one of a series being held around the country to provide information to the families touched by dementia suffered by some 55,000 people.

More than 1,000 people attended the workshops last September, according to Amanda Bohan, owner of the Kilcullen-based Home Instead Senior Care Kildare and managing director of the franchise's operations throughout Ireland.

"September is World Alzheimer Month and with a growing number of our clients living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, we have a vested interest in contributing to this important initiative in every locality in Ireland," she says.

The current issue of the franchise's 'Senior Care Connections' magazine is dedicated to Alzheimer's, providing information on the workshops, the availability of dementia care advisers, and the Understand Together programme about dementia care led by the HSE with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Genio Trust.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mary Fogarty celebrates 90th in style

It was a fun time in Walls of The Priory last evening when Mrs Mary Fogarty celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends, writes Brian Byrne.

She's pictured above with her daughters (back) Breda, Josie and Mary, and (front) Phil and Ann.

Below she is pictured with her sister Joan, and (bottom) her grandchildren Maria, James, Megan, Katie, Paula, Lisa, Ivan, Zoe, Amy, Suzanne, Karen, Chloe and Shane.

Criminal damage overnight at CPC

A disgraceful episode of criminal damage was inflicted on the premises of Cross & Passion College last night, with six windows deliberately smashed in around the new extension, writes Brian Byrne.

There are indications that the perpetrators had been drinking in the area, with a number of discarded cans near the points of attack.

In at least one instance, part of an old tree stump that had been left in the area was heaved through the window of a classroom. In another, the remains of a broken bottle suggest it might have been the weapon.

The damage was discovered by members of a local football club which were using the school's pitches this morning for practice.

The Garda have been informed. The area is covered by cctv cameras, and it is hoped that the perpetrators might be identifiable from the footage.

UPDATE: A number of the flower boxes on the Convent Wall were also interfered with last night.

Photos: Brian Byrne/Kilcullen Diary.

St Joseph's NS and real life science

Pupils in St Joseph's NS, Halverstown, are conducting a very practical experiment in how bags of different materials decay in landfill, writes Brian Byrne.

It's part of the Senior Room's study of materials and their properties. For the experiment, the pupils have buried two bags — one plastic, one paper — in a hole in the ground.

They will dig them up in two months' time to see how each have been affected. The bags are of similar size, and in the same place underground, so that the test in under the same conditions.

Well done, St Joseph's … that's real life science.

(Pics from the school's Facebook page.)

History went live in Kilcullen Library

Kilcullen Community Library's contribution to the Culture Night programme yesterday was a very engaging presentation to children and their parents on ancient weapons and dress, writes Brian Byrne.

Michael Moylan of 'Irish History Live' brought along a selection of tools, clothing, and weapons and armour which would have been used by the Vikings and by people of the Middle Ages, and in a very hands-on way those present learned a little bit of what it was like in those par-off times.

Michael Moylan is based in Ballyfoyle, Co Kilkenny, and has been operating his 'The Museum that Comes to You' show since 1999. It is particularly popular with schools, for which it offers a fun way to deal with different periods in history, making them come more alive than just with books.

More information from 087 6803098.

Kilcullen sculptor's latest piece

Noel Scullion with 'Hearts of Oak'.
A sculpture by Kilcullen artist Noel Scullion was unveiled in Kildare town yesterday to mark the town's achievement as 'Ireland's cleanest town 2016' by Irish Business Against Litter, writes Brian Byrne.

The Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Martin Miley Jr; with Cllr Murty Aspell, Kildare-Newbridge MD.
The event was in the presence of Mayor of Kildare Cllr Martin Miley Jr and councillors from the Kildare-Newbridge Municipal District, as well as Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin, and County Arts Officer Lucina Russell. It was also the launch event for County Kildare's Culture Night Programme 2017.

The Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Martin Miley Jr; with County Arts Officer Lucina Russel; Noel Scullion; and Conor Horgan of Irish Business Against Litter.
'Heart of Oak' is made from both Wicklow and Galway granite stone, and is a representation of a split acorn from which another oak will eventually grow.

(Pictures by Pat Foley, Kilcullen.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Brannoxtown NS committee preparing presentation to save school

A committee has been formed by the residents of Brannockstown called Save Our School Brannoxtown (SOSB).

SOSB is exploring a number of possibilities to save the school. It is preparing a presentation for the Department of Education and the Patron which will be delivered to them shortly.

SOSB also sought a meeting with the Patron who declined to meet it before the 30th September. The committee understands that three pupils are attending the school and that it is expected to close on 30 September.

SOSB will keep the local community advised of any developments.

Extra garda for Kilcullen

Kilcullen is getting an extra garda from 9 October, writes Brian Byrne.

The arrival of Gda John Brien, previously attached to Naas, will bring the complement in Kilcullen up to four, with Sgt Mary Mulroe, Gda Joanne O'Sullivan, and Gda Jim Lacey.

The move has been welcomed by Deputy Martin Heydon, who has been working on the issue for some time. "There was a clear need for another garda in Kilcullen, with the closure of Ballymore station," he told the Diary.

The expansion of Garda personnel here also reflects the growth of Kilcullen over the last decade, and the consequent need for enhanced Garda services.