Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Scam +252 call doing the rounds

A couple of people locally have got this missed call this morning, writes Brian Byrne.

It rings for just a couple of seconds then stops. If you call back, you'll be charged a premium rate for as long as you stay on.

The scam surfaces periodically in different countries and usually runs for a few days. It appears to originate in Africa.

Just delete the call notification.

Concerns about children's mental health highlighted

Nearly a third of respondents to a survey of parents' needs in Kildare said they had ongoing worries about their children's mental health, writes Brian Byrne.

In particular they were worried about negative and damaging influences their children might face on a daily basis.

The main influences noted included the potential of bullying as the most significant single issue. Other influences of concern included drug or alcohol use. Concerns about access to social media was linked both with bullying and the use of drugs and alcohol.

A typical responses noted the need to keep children safe 'and protect them from the ills of the internet and social media'.

Getting help for pre-teens and teenagers in the aftermath of a situation like online bullying was also an issue.

A final report on the survey can be sourced by emailing emma.berney@tusla.ie. A pdf version can be downloaded here.

Defibrillator meeting in Calverstown

The provision of a community first aid defibrillator will be discussed at a meeting in Calverstown on Wednesday night, writes Brian Byrne.

The public meeting is being held at The Stream Lounge, beginning at 8.30pm.

Training in the use of the unit will also be discussed.

All welcome.

'Eyes on fly-tippers' scheme mooted

A 'Litter Alert' scheme is being considered by Kilcullen Tidy Towns, writes Brian Byrne. The idea is to combat the increasing instances of fly-tipping of rubbish.

The scheme would operate in a similar way to the Community Text Alert system, with instances of littering being quickly reported to the Tidy Towns Group by 'eyes' in different parts of town.

The scheme would involve volunteers in areas of Kilcullen being the points of contact for fly-tipping reports in their street, estate or district, and who would pass on details to Kilcullen Tidy Towns. It would be particularly important to involve people in the outlying areas around Kilcullen where dumping of rubbish is lately almost epidemic.

It's hoped the existence of the scheme would make residents more aware of suspicious activity that leads to dumping.

Publication and promotion of the scheme could also help to deter fly-tippers, whether from the locality or those coming in from outside the town.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Co Housing Group meeting this week

The Kilcullen Co Housing Group is holding its next meeting on Thursday, 18 January, writes Brian Byrne.

It is again being held in Fallons, beginning at 7.30pm.

The meeting is aimed at getting more information from potential buyers and to update people on the potential 10-house project.

Representatives of the O Chulann Housing Alliance in Dublin will be present to answer questions on the co housing model.

The Kilcullen group was formed to help middle income earners get on the property ladder in a fair and affordable way.

The group had its inaugural meeting in November. New members are welcome.


Plan a visit to The Cool Planet Experience

Pic: Cool Planet Experience.
If you want your children — or yourself — to understand a bit more about climate change and its effects, a new attraction due to open in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, might be well worth putting on your calendar, writes Brian Byrne.

The Cool Planet Experience is the world’s first permanent visitor centre dedicated to climate change and connects science, engineering, gaming and drama to present the story of climate change in a new way. Opening to the public in mid-February, it is the first of ten that are planned to open around the world in the next three years.

It's aimed at people aged from 7 through adulthood, takes about an hour to complete, and is full of interesting facts and games centred around climate change. It personalises the story to you — at the start you receive a wristband that you tag on, and enter simple information about your day-to-day life. This is then collated to tell you your carbon footprint (demonstrated by the amount of trees it is equivalent to!).

As you go through the centre, you tag on to different interactions or games, culminating at the end with an opportunity to make a pledge, such as cycling to school rather than being driven. Simplifying the message for our younger generations, this is a fantastic opportunity for children and adults alike to have a real understanding of climate change issues facing Ireland. More than that, it provides visitors with an opportunity to have a better understanding of their own personal impact and the magnitude of the global challenge ahead.

It's not all bad news, the Experience also showcases technologies and techniques already here or on the way which can help to mitigate the effects of change.

The Cool Planet Experience will be a fantastic day out for everyone, and it's only an hour from Kilcullen. The operators are particularly focusing on school groups, so make sure if you have children in primary or secondary that you start spreading the word to those who organise school trips. Coupled with Powerscourt gardens it could be a great excursion day for the family.

(Information courtesy of the EPA Catchments Unit.)

The week ahead in Kilcullen


A series of Children's Art Classes are getting under way in the Community Centre from today, with a set of five classes for children running through to 12 February, and these will be followed by a second set on Tuesdays from 16 February. The time slots for both sets are 3.15pm-4.30pm, and an early drop-off for children is available. The cost is €50, with all art materials supplied. For further information and booking contact Sinead on 087 2384779.

Looking through the week, this evening at 7pm there's an Information event in the Gael Scoil Nás na Ríogh at Piper's Hill for anyone thinking of enrolling their child for September.

On Wednesday night it's the new year concert in aid of Maintain Hope, always lots of good music and chat, in the Town Hall Theatre. A few tickets left in Berneys Chemists.

Also on Wednesday evening is the first session of the January 'Improve Your Photography' course run by Conor Williams. The course runs on three successive Wednesdays from 7-9pm for €75.  Call 086 8721707.

On Thursday evening Kilcullen AFC training for the Senior team gets under way at 8pm on the Astro pitch.

Next Saturday is the next Book Sale in aid of the KWWSPCA in Kilcullen Heritage Centre.

There's an Adult Baking class in Kalbarri also on the Saturday (and a Children's one on Monday 29 January).


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Boys and girls rugby training at NRFC

Mini's Training is now taking place on Saturdays at the Newbridge Rugby Club grounds at Rosetown.

The sessions are for boys and girls aged 6-12, and start at 10am on each Saturday.

Further information available from the Club's Facebook page Newbridge-Rugby-Football-Club.

The passing of Jimmy Aspell

The Diary has learned, with a great personal sadness which will be reflected across all of Kilcullen, that Jimmy Aspell passed away peacefully at home in Avondale this morning, in the company of his family.

Jimmy was well known as a musician and a friend across the wider Kilcullen community, but to his family he was a fiercely loving and proud father.

Since his own initial bout with cancer some years ago, he also became a tireless campaigner and fundraiser for the work of the Irish Cancer Society.

Gone far too soon at the age of 61, he will be terribly missed by Mairead, son Neil, daughters Leah, Michelle and Lisa, sisters Judy, Molly and Sue, brothers-in-law Johnny and Des, his friend Evelyn, son-in-law Chris, daughter-in-law Osh, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

His passing will also be mourned by so many friends in and beyond Kilcullen, and widely across the Irish musical community.

Jimmy will be reposing at his residence from 4pm tomorrow Monday, with prayers at 8pm. Removal will be on Tuesday morning at 10.30 to the Church of the Sacred Heart and St Brigid, arriving for 11 o'clock Requiem Mass.

Burial will take place afterwards in St Brigid's Cemetery.

May he rest in peace.

The passing of Thomas Keane

The Diary has learned of the death of Thomas Keane of Brannockstown, on 12 January at the Hermitage Medical Clinic after a short illness.

Dearly loved husband of Peggy, loving and much loved father to Gillian and Karen, he is sadly missed by them and by his sisters-in-law Maureen and Eilis, niece Marie, nephews Pat and Michael, sons-in-law James and Mark, adored grandchildren Luke, Adam, Chloe and Tom, relatives and friends.

Thomas is reposing at his residence today, Sunday, from 4 o'clock with Rosary at 8 o'clock. Removal will take place tomorrow, Monday moring on Monday morning at 10.30 to arrive at Kilcullen Parish Church for 11 o'clock Mass. Burial will take place afterwards afterwards in St Brigid's Cemetery. Family flowers only.

House private on Monday morning please. May he rest in peace.

Money worries top Kildare parents' concerns - survey

The need to have enough money topped a list of serious concerns expressed by respondents to an important survey 'Needs and Concerns of Parents in Co Kildare', writes Brian Byrne.

The survey was commissioned by the Kildare West Wicklow Parenting Forum and the County Kildare Children & Young People's Services Committee.

It was conducted during March and April of 2017, through social media, websites, and relevant networks. It was supported by the Child and Family Agency Tusla, and Atlantic Philanthropics.

The survey's primary aim was to provide parents with an opportunity to influence services and supports for them.

In all, 328 parents took part, of whom 290 completed the survey online. Almost nine in ten (87pc) were women, and 277 of the total were Irish, including one member of the travelling community.

The families concerned included 507 children, almost equally divided by gender. A fifth of the respondents represented lone parent families.

Around a third of respondents were living in the Newbridge area, the balance in 13 other communities, with significant numbers from Naas, Kilcullen and Athy.

Other common concerns included children accessing negative social media, keeping them safe from harm, ability to access schools of choice, having time with children, and their health and well-being.

Respondents also reported 'very serious problems' in accessing psychological and occupational therapy services, general hospital services, and leisure facilities.

A final report on the survey can be sourced by emailing emma.berney@tusla.ie. A pdf version can be downloaded here.

The report recommends that the information should highlight service access needs of parents, show the negative effects of the current situation for parents and their children, and influence resources decision-making. It should also show those in greatest need. The report also says the most positive outcome of the exercise was the nature and extent of engagement by parents.

The Diary will be providing more detail on different elements of the report over coming days.