Monday, July 24, 2017

More than €10K already in from Crumlin Cycle 2017

The funds raised so far from Saturday's Murphy Surveys Cycle for Crumlin 2017 are €10,269, and the figure is expected to rise as more pledges and sponsor cards come in, writes Brian Byrne.

Murphy Surveys have expressed their thanks to the some 200 cyclists who took part and gave so much to the day itself.

They've also thanked the Kilcullen Cycling Club members for their support and help in organising and managing the event.

The funds from this year will bring the total raised since the inaugural event to more than €40,000.

'Kilcullen could benefit from community CCTV' — Heydon

Kilcullen could benefit from a roll-out of community CCTV systems to combat crime, writes Brian Byrne.

That's the view of Kildare South FG TD Martin Heydon, who recently led a delegation of local Municipal District Mayors for a meeting with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan TD to discuss the matter.

The deputy says Kilcullen and communities such as Rathangan, Ballymore and Castledermot could all benefit from a plan which would offer grant aid of up to 60pc of the cost of such installations.

"Working with An Garda Siochana and local community alert groups, we want to ensure that the technology and resources available are used to the best effect in Kildare South," Deputy Heydon said.

He is pictured with the Minister and Cllr Fintan Brett, outgoing Mayor Naas MD; Cllr Mark Stafford outgoing Mayor Kildare/Newbridge MD; and Cllr Ivan Keatley, incoming Mayor of Athy MD.

Appeal for coding mentors

A coding programme for young people needs new mentors to assist with growing demand, writes Brian Byrne.

According to Deputy Martin Heydon FG, the Coderdojo based in Newbridge, which caters for youngsters and young adults aged between 7-17, wants to expand, but needs more adult mentors in order to be able to do so.

Coderdojo Newbridge is located in the Patrician Primary School and was established two and a half years ago.

Affiliated with the global Coderdojo movement, which is led by volunteers, the programme offers an opportunity to any interested young person to learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment. The Newbridge club is registered with Coder Ireland and meets on Tuesday evenings.

"Mentors must be over 18 and will be subject to Garda vetting and child protection measures operated by Coder Ireland," Deputy Heydon says. "They need only offer two hours a week of their time and expertise. Anyone with an interest in getting involved can contact or any Newbridge Coderdojo committee member."

The Deputy is is pictured above with some members of the Newbridge Coderdojo Committee.

Music video workshop for teens

Following a very successful Film Workshop for young people earlier this month, Kings and Clowns will be offering a similar course from 21-25 August.

The venue will be The Studio in Harristown and the course is limited to ten students, aged between 12-15.

The course will involve making a music video, which will be presented to parents and friends at a showing at the end of the week.

Students collaborate to choose the music and song, in picking the locations for shooting, costume design, rehearsals, and film final editing.

€20 deposit will secure a place with payment €50 on first day of workshop. Contact Rani Grennell 087 7923139 for booking.

Dance Summer Camp

A Dance Summer Camp is being organised by Freestyle Forever Kilcullen from 31 July to 4 August.

It will be held in the Community Centre from 1pm-3pm each day and is for children between the ages of 4-15.

The cost is €50 per child for the week, and styles will include Lyrical, Freestyle, Acro, Slowdance and Hip hop.

There will be a presentation for parents and friends at the end of the week.

To book a place text 0834554609 or check out Freestyle Forever Kilcullen on Facebook.

Regular classes are held every Tuesday night between 6pm-7pm in the Community Centre.

Support Relay for Life by buying candle bags

Kilcullen Group Relay For Life is selling candle bags from Kilcullen Credit Union on every Saturday to the run up to Kildare Relay For Life weekend on 19/20 August in Punchestown Racecourse, writes Sabina Reddy.

The Candle of Hope Ceremony is held on the Saturday evening of the Relay weekend. This is an occasion where we remember people who fought the fight of cancer and may not have survived, but also to honour those who are fighting the battle.

Cancer now touches virtually every family, it's unique if a family has not been affected. Kildare Relay for Life is a weekend of remembering, acknowledging and honouring those who have experienced cancer. It gives the opportunity to talk and share experiences. It can be part of a healing process.

All monies raised go back to Kildare Cancer services -- in fact, by supporting the Relay, we are looking after ourselves and loved ones.

The candle bags are sold for €5.The name of someone that you wish to remember or tribute is put on the bag, it is handed back to the seller and it is then laid out on the track during the Relay weekend. A candle is placed in the bag and then light along with every bag for the Candle of Hope Ceremony on the Saturday night.

We would appreciate if anyone could lend some time to help sell these bags. Please call in to the Credit Union on Saturdays over the next month.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Creative bursary opportunities

Bursaries of up to €10,000 are being offered by Kildare County Council for the development of projects or events that encourage creativity, collaboration or cultural participation, writes Brian Byrne.

The bursaries, ranging from €3,000, are being provided under the national Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022. They can be applied for by individuals and organisations.

The applicable themes under the programme are Wellbeing, Sense of Place, Heritage, Music, the Irish language, and projects under the STEAM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

Objectives of the programme include an aspiration that by 2022 every child in Ireland will have access to tuition and participation in in art, music, drama and coding.

Enabling creativity in every community is another prime objective, as is the investment in creative and cultural infrastructures to ensure a vibrant arts and culture sector.

The programme is also aimed at building Ireland as a centre of excellence in the creative industries, including media, architecture, design, digital technology, fashion, food and crafts.

From a Kildare perspective, the programme is an opportunity to showcase the best elements of of the county in the relevant areas, under the banner of Creative Kildare.

Closing date for applications is 2 August 2017. All applications must be in hard copy, no emails will be accepted. Applications should be addressed to Creative Ireland Bursary Awards 2017, Kildare County Council, Riverbank, Main Street, Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Application forms may be downloaded from here.

Kenya trip made girls think differently

It might seem strange that a two-week trip to Kenya would result in spending less time in the shower when back home, writes Brian Byrne, but that is a result for at least one of the three young students from Cross & Passion College who went to the African country last February.

Niamh Doran, Ellen Byrne and Sophie Murphy, Transition Year students at the Kilcullen college, spent the trip working with the Cara Girls Rescue Centre near Ngong, outside Nairobi. The Centre was founded in 2002 by Ballysax man Paddy O'Connor, meeting a need for a place for vulnerable children in advance of them being placed in more permanent facilities. With the help of people in mid-Kildare, he raised funds to buy the site and a team of volunteers built the current facility.

For the girls from CPC, it was an eye-opening trip in many ways. "You look at everything so differently when you come home," says Niamh, who comes from Newbridge and who was the instigator of the trip by the three CPC girls. "We found ourselves becoming impatient when we hear people complaining about things that aren't really so important." And not spending so much time in the shower is a reflection of having been in a situation where resources like water are much less taken for granted.

Niamh had heard about the Cara Projects from friends in Newbridge, and after enquiring she managed to get a place on this year's annual two-week work trip to the Centre. "We're both very good friends and I decided to go as well," Ellen Byrne says. "They were full up, but eventually contacted me when somebody dropped out."

Along with their other friend Sophie, they got stuck in to raising the required funding to make the trip. Cake sales, a college Civvies Day, and a sponsored static exercise cycle event all helped, but the biggest contribution came from a party they organised.

"We held it in the clubhouse of Cill Dara RFC in Kildare," Ellen recalls. "We charged €10 a head and it was a great success, bringing in most of the money the three of us needed."
Prior to the trip, they had meetings with others going out for the fortnight, many of them from Kildare, including Newbridge, Milltown, and Rathangan. Finally, along with adults from among the young people's parents, they took the two-leg trip to Nairobi on 9 February.

Ellen recalls the drive from Nairobi to Ngong, noting the homes of people along the way as in many cases being little more than huts. It was a thought-provoking introduction to a different country and culture, but also helped for their arrival at the Cara Girls Rescue Centre. "It was quite lovely compared to some of what we had seen on the drive."

The group, which was mixed boys and girls and parents, had plenty to do during the two weeks spent in Ngong. There were about 30 girls in the Centre, aged between three and 13, and they all had one thing in common. "They were always smiling when we'd come into a room," Niamh remembers. "It was the thing that surprised us the most, how happy they were about every little thing. We had brought little things with us, like stickers, and pencils, which they very much appreciated. And we had a fashion show with the clothing that we had brought with us for the residents, and that was great fun."

They also had something less pleasant in common, the various stories about why they were in the Centre. Hearing those stories had their own effect on the visitors, Niamh Doran says, without going into any details because, obviously, they are personal to the residents in the Centre.

When not interacting with the children, Niamh, Ellen and Sophie (who wasn't available for this interview, but her experiences were similar) spent much of their time doing refurbishment chores such as painting, and putting nets around fish ponds at the Centre which provide part of the food supply. They met up with other volunteers from different parts of the world, including Australia and Mexico.

The Irish contingent also visited the local town, and were again struck by the cheerful demeanour of all they met, even if their circumstances were much more difficult than any of the visitors were used to back home.
When the time came to come back to Ireland, it was a surprising wrench. "We didn't want to leave the children, it's amazing how much a bond you can develop in just a couple of weeks," Ellen says.

Back in CPC, the three were asked into many classes to talk about their experience, which they would all very much like to repeat. Being the first students from the College to take part in the initiative, it's now pretty certain that others will follow the route over coming years, so Niamh, Ellen and Sophie have started something that is likely to continue long after they leave school.

For anyone wanting to find out more about Cara Projects, they can contact Paddy O’Connor, 7 Ballysax Hills, The Curragh. Tel: 086 8210569.

This article was first published on the Kilcullen Page of The Kildare Nationalist.

Mac & Norman Vintage Drive next month

The 15th Mac & Norman Vintage Rally will take place on Sunday 13 August in aid of The Irish Cancer Society.

The Vintage Rally will leave from Peter (Mac) Sully's yard in Brannockstown at 1pm and proceed from there into Kilcullen and finishing at the Priory (Walls of Kilgowan).

Registration on the day is €20 per vehicle. Music will then be on in the pub's main car park for about two hours followed by a charity auction. The Celtic Gypsys will then take to the stage from 9.30pm.

To date the Mac and Norman Committee have raised an incredible €410,000 and are hoping for another successful year.

Coffee morning for Dunshane

Nando's Restaurant in the Whitewater Shopping Centre have a Thursday Coffee morning in aid of the Dunshane Camphill Community near Kilcullen.

It runs from 10-11.30am, with free tea, coffee and Nando's nibbles. Balloons and treats, and fun for all the family.

All welcome.

FF TD wants to hear local priorities

Fiona O'Loughlin TD is having a free coffee morning in McTernan's Bar, to talk to local people about their priorities for the area.

It kicks off at 11am on Tuesday and everybody is welcome.

The Fianna Fail deputy says all coming are also welcome to bring a friend.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Murphy Surveys Crumlin Cycle 2017

With 190 registered riders, today's Murphy Surveys Crumlin Cycle 2017 was highly successful, writes Brian Byrne.

The participation was 40 more than last year, and the funds raised will add significantly to the more than €30,000 already raised since the annual run was founded.

There are some pics from today's event below. All 88 photos can be seen here.

After the ride, participants were able to avail of the massage expertise of MDC Physiotherapists for free.