Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 22 May 2018 were 4, 11, 20 and 26. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €17,800.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Judith Matthews (Promoter Leanne Clifford), Mary Stewart (Ger’s Fruit & Veg Shop), and John Melia (Miriam McDonnell).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Valerie McTernan and John Archbold and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Ronan Murray.

The Parish thanks all who support the Lotto.

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Energy saving expert for Kilcullen Sustainable Energy launch

The author of an important consumer guide to saving energy will be the keynote speaker at the launch of the Kilcullen Sustainable Energy Community this coming Thursday, writes Brian Byrne.

Paul O'Reilly's Watt Footprint — The Smart Citizen's Guide to Save Energy is a seven-step approach to saving energy in buildings by combining energy efficiency and renewable energy systems.

Mr O'Reilly is also the founding director of the ORS project management and engineering consultancy, with over 25 years advising public and private sector organisations on energy saving matters in building.

"The launch event is also an information night where you can learn how to make simple changes to reduce the amount you spend on your gas or electricity bills," says Padraig Maloney of Kilcullen Community Action, who has organised the evening. "Experts will be on hand from SEAI and Kildare County Council to help you make your property more energy efficient and show you how to apply for Government grants to help with the process."

With energy renewable technology evolving all the time and different technologies suitable to different circumstances the night will aim to give an insight into what renewable energy solution best suits people's needs. It is aimed at all community organisations, local businesses and anybody interested in making improvements to how they use energy at home.

The event begins with an informal session in the Town Hall from 7pm, and the main talk will be at 8pm. A case study will also be presented, and there will be an opportunity for questions from the floor.

Paul O'Reilly will also be in Woodbine Books for a short time before the Town Hall session.

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First Aid course for Babysitters

A First Aid Course for Babysitters will be given in the Parish Centre on Friday next, 25 May, writes Brian Byrne.

Organised by the newly-formed Kilcullen Red Cross Youth group, the certified course will teach how to deal with emergencies like cuts and choking, and demonstrate techniques including compression and Infant & Child CPR.

The course is aimed at participants aged from ten upwards, and a €10 fee is chargeable to non-members of the group.

The event begins at 7pm.

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Drama Dynamics Student of the Year Awards

Pic: Drama Dynamics.
The Drama Dynamics Student of the Year Awards will be held this coming Friday in the Cross & Passion College, writes Brian Byrne.

"This is our first year in Drama Dynamics to have an awards presentation," says the speech and drama school's founder and director, Evelyn O'Sullivan. "I hope that this will be a fun, relaxed and fitting conclusion to our very successful year in Drama Dynamics."

The event begins at 6.30pm and all are welcome.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Operatic love story book launch

A novel set in the operatic world of Italy in the early 20th century will be launched in Newbridge Library on Wednesday evening, writes Brian Byrne.

Brendan Bracken's historical romance grew from his own love of opera, instilled by his mother Theresa Bracken who brought him to many operatic performances at a young age.

As an adult he attended operas in the famous Arena Verona in Italy, and during these got the idea for his novel.

Reflecting the other famous love story set in Verona, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Brendan's Aria: A Symphony of Love is tragic, featuring a young girl Consuella from a Verona convent and a young man from Milan, Antonio.

The launch is on Wednesday 23 May, from 7pm. All welcome.

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Grangebeg Camphill are hiring …

Grangebeg Camphill, a vibrant rural community with a strong family atmosphere near Dunlavin, is looking for the following Social Care roles.

A full time Deputy Person In Charge with responsibility for Residential Services.

A part/full time Social Care staff, part time Administrator.

A full time Health & Safety and Estate maintenance worker.

If you are interested in any of the above roles, do ring Aine Geoghegan or Andrea Pedersen on 045 406050 or e-mail grangebeg@camphill for more details.

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Kilcullen's calendar for the week

A quick look at some of the things on the Calendar for this week, writes Brian Byrne.

On Tuesday 22 May there's the Swifts Walk and Talk, about swifts nesting in our town, given by Wild Kildare. From 7.30pm at the Parish Church.

On Wednesday evening 23 May, there's the Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns AGM, in the Town Hall, from 8pm and everybody is welcome.

On Thursday 24 May the launch of the Kilcullen Sustainable Energy Community will take place in the Town Hall from 8pm. All welcome, and the keynote speech will be given by Paul O’Reilly, an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, and energy consultant. He has over 25 years experience advising both public and private sector organisations on energy saving matters in the built environment.

A First Aid course for Babysitters will be given by the Irish Red Cross on Friday evening, from 7pm. A €10 sub is required, not expensive for gaining what could be critical and life-saving knowledge.

The Scouts Race Night will be in McTernans on Saturday 26 May, from 8.30pm and an important fundraiser for the Troop.

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Buddy Mondlock and Mike Lindauer back in the BAG

Buddy Mondlock and Mike Lindauer are almost as much 'favoured sons' of Ballymore Eustace as the locals themselves, as they have been coming and playing music in the village for 20 years, writes Roy Thompson of the Ballymore Acoustic Gigs. So it is always a personal pleasure to welcome them back for their (pretty much) annual visit ever since.

They return to play BAG at Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, tonight. Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12.

Buddy Mondlock is one of the finest songwriters of our generation, and if you've never seen or heard him before, I can tell you that he has written songs that you almost certainly do know, for his songs have been recorded by the likes of Janis Ian, Art Garfunkel, Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, Garth Brooks, and others.

I can also tell you that once you've seen a Buddy and Mike show once, you'll want to keep coming back! Mike Lindauer is, without doubt, one of the finest fretless bass guitarists, and harmony vocalist you'll get to see live. He regularly tours with Al Stewart.

So come along; I can promise you a wonderful night of songs and music — but most of you already know that!

Coming next: Roy Thompson - Monday 28 May, Kairen Caine supporting; followed by summer break. Back in early September.

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CPC students become MEPs for a day this week

Pic: Noel Clare.
A group of Cross & Passion students will be at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday, following their winning of the Parliament's Euroscola Competition last autumn, writes Brian Byrne.

The one-minute video on 'Why young people should vote in European Elections' produced by the 5th Year Business Class won them the trip to represent Ireland at Euroscola, where young people live the life of an MEP for the day.

The main purpose of the competition was to get students thinking about European democracy and active citizenship as some of them will vote for the first time in the European Elections in 2019.

The group are led by their Business Studies teacher John Tynan. Noel Clare will be reporting for the Diary and The Bridge on the trip.

The group were addressed last month by the Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness MEP, as part of the preparation for the event.

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'At Your Service' recalls 'budget-shattering' year

It was a bit of fun watching the 'At Your Service' episode relating to the refurbishment of The Hideout, last night, writes Brian Byrne.

It also brought back to owner Jonathan Keogh sometimes scary memories of the year of work it took to get the pub to its current exceptionally high level of quality, in the process 'shattering' the original budget as he freely admitted in the programme.

"I was looking at various things and coming away not liking them," he recalled last night. "I wanted the best possible, because there's nothing worse than being down the road a couple of years later and wishing we had done it differently. It's also more expensive to fix something later than do it right the first time."

In the nature of such programmes, the distillation of a hundred hours of filming into 24 minutes of 'video bites' TV left an awful lot more out than it showed, and the boilerplate bits of the script ('back in Kerry, the Brennans are worried ...') have become more rote than revealing.

While mention was made of the historical background to the pub, and Jonathan's wish and strenuous efforts  to reference that in his design, there was little from the editing to show any of it. So for anyone who wasn't there through the decades when Jim Byrne, and his late son Des (this writer's father and brother), made it a global name, there was nothing in the programme of heritage interest.

But then, this is tomorrow's world, not yesterday's.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Support Grangebeg Camphill in VHI Women's Mini Marathon

A support and donation page for Women's Mini Marathon runners fundraising for Grangebeg Camphill has been set up by Dorly O'Sullivan, writes Brian Byrne.

She says she has created the page because her son Damien is now living in Grangebeg, 'and he couldn't be happier'.

"It has given him a life as an adult that he could never have achieved living at home," she says. "More than this, his future is secure."

Dorly and her daughter Rachel are taking part in the Women's Mini Marathon, on behalf of Grangebeg, on Sunday 3 June 3rd. The race is the largest all-women’s event of its kind in the world, and since it was first run in 1983, there has been a total entry of over one million.

You can donate to Dorly and the Grangebeg team here.

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Ducks on the Liffey 2018

While covering the 'Life in the Liffey' event yesterday, I took the opportunity to get pics of the pair of ducks that are busy preparing for an expanded family, writes Brian Byrne.

They had earlier been sunning themselves on the bank below the Credit Union garden.

It'll be interesting to see developments over the next while.

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What about a 'mystery' Food Fest?

We enjoyed an evening meal in Crean's Place during the week (steak, cod), and not for the first time, writes Brian Byrne. And I also had occasion in the same week to have a lunchtime bowl of soup in The Hideout.

In both cases the food, presentation and service were absolutely brilliant. And it got me thinkin'...

With those two establishments, and Fallons and Bardons, and Walls of the Priory, we are so very well served for high-quality eating out (and not forgetting the various great cafes that provide sustenance during the day), that there's an opportunity to bring in a lot more people from outside Kilcullen itself.

There's talk of organising a food festival in the market square at some stage in the summer. And that's fine for a day in the sun, but what about a more substantial marketing effort by the town and its eatery businesses?

So, without having thought it through — and I don't have time to get involved — here's my starter tuppence-worth.

How about a weekend Food Fest, which could include a 'blind' advance-purchasable voucher for, say €25 a head. By 'blind' I mean that the buyer of the voucher has no knowledge of which eatery they are going to until the evening they arrive in town. That way, they might well find themselves in one which they haven't sampled before. The voucher destinations would be allocated by lottery, equally between the participating establishments.

There would be the element of a mystery tour about it. And it could kick-start a perception of Kilcullen abroad that it's an even better place to come to eat than anywhere else of its size in the county.

For what it's worth ... over to you, guys.

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