Sunday, February 18, 2018

Church roof repairs await funding

Repairs to the church roof in Kilcullen are awaiting decisions on funds towards the cost, writes Brian Byrne.

In the meantime, the Parish has a specialist expert coming to fully survey the roof, to ensure that whatever repairs are consistent with the ongoing state of the structure.

"Essentially, the roof has had its time," says Liam McDonnell of the Parish Finance Committee. "We won't get a full new one, but we'll see what has to be done. There's no point is doing something that has to be taken down again in a few years."

He said the Parish has applied for Protected Structure funds to help with the work, and they are also awaiting a decision from the Diocese on the work. "The Diocese is behind us on the need for proper repairs."

The church is listed as one of a number of Protected Structures under the Kildare County Development Plan 2017-2023. The Council manages an annual DCHG Structures at Risk fund for essential repairs to such structures, which can provide up to €30,000 to 80pc of the total cost.

Just four applications will be considered by the local authority for 2018, and qualifying works include those to ensure the weather tightness of a qualifying building.

A letter to Christopher

An emailed Letter to the Editor from Christopher James Corrigan for the February issue of the Bridge Magazine asked some questions regarding the Teach na nDaoine project, writes Brian Byrne.

Mr Corrigan gave his address, and in a subsequent email said that he would prefer if his details 'were not disclosed at this time'. Perfectly reasonable, as it is policy in The Bridge to publish letters which come with 'name and address with Editor' requests, while totally anonymous letters will not be published.

Mr Corrigan was articulate, to the point, and his questions were not untoward. Though research through the Kilcullen Diary over the years since the Teach na nDaoine project was initiated would provide answers to many of them. Other answers would have been available in past editions of The Bridge. And a leaflet produced by the TnD Committee in December is also a comprehensive source for the projected costs, the spending, and exact plans for the building now under construction, and its projected use.

I'm writing this piece for three reasons. One, as I have for the moment taken over the production management of The Bridge on behalf of the magazine's board, the Letter crossed my virtual desk and it seemed reasonable to publish it.

Two, the Letter referenced an article I wrote some weeks ago outlining some of the support which Kilcullen people have given to a range of worthy causes. So I know he will read this, as he obviously follows the Diary.

Three, because Christopher J Corrigan is a very smart hombre. Or believes he is. Whoever he is ... or she is.

It seems indeed, that Christopher J Corrigan may not exist. That apparently he or she set up a hotmail account solely for the purpose of sending this Letter to the Editor of The Bridge. Certainly that email address doesn’t come up in any internet search.

And this very smart Christopher J Corrigan also hijacked a real local physical address for his or her missive. Which is a clever thing to do. But not very nice to the real occupants of this address.

So, Christopher — I may as well use your possibly nom de plume, or I suppose I could use your IP address — I'm thinking that you, for some reason, simply wanted to stir the proverbial in relation to the Teach na nDaoine project and the good people behind it. For what reason, well, only you know.

As I said, your questions were not untoward. But you messed it up. By not having the guts to use your real name, and by being smart-assed in taking someone else's local address so that it would look real, you've collapsed your somewhat lofty position on behalf of 'The People'.

You're probably smiling, Christopher. You put one over on the Editor of The Bridge — me in this instance. You had a crack at a group of good-minded people, under the guise of asking reasonable questions. It's good for a laugh, I suppose.

But you know what, Christopher? Nobody can see or hear you laughing. Because only real people can be seen, heard, interacted with. Only real people can ask questions, gather answers, act on behalf of themselves or for others. Only real people can give their time, energy, and money to make life better for those who don't have as much as they should. And it seems that you're actually ... well, apparently, under this name you don't exist. You're nobody.

Have a nice day, Christopher.

(BTW, my name is Brian Byrne.)

Chess training for CG this week

Chess training for Kilcullen Community Games will start on Thursday next, subject to there being sufficient interest.

Players must be under 13 years on 31/17/18.

If interested, send a PM from the Kilcullen Community Games Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the planning date for the Kilcullen Art & Handwriting competitions is Friday 23 February. Watch the Facebook page for updates and timings.

Tenth anniversary of the 'spear'

The 10th anniversary of the installation of the Dun Ailinne Interpretive Park will be marked this year by a walk and picnic, writes Brian Byrne.

The Park, with its distinctive 'spear' sculpture by local artist Noel Scullion, was an initiative by Kilcullen Community Action, and marks the importance of the Dun Ailinne royal site a few kilometres south of the town.

It was officially opened in the summer of 2008 by the late Professor Bernard Wailes, who had led archeological excavations of the site in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The work confirmed and expanded the importance of the site as a regular place of congregation from pre-Christian times.

More recent investigations have extended knowledge of the underlying ancient gathering place, and while the site is on private land, the Interpretive Park provides a very clear timeline and explanation of the development and importance of Dun Ailinne in its time.

The spearhead monument is based on an artefact found during Professor Wailes' excavations, and Noel Scullion incorporated a number of elements which provide experiences at the Equinoxes that rival those of the ancient site at Newgrange. And you don't have to be in a lottery to enjoy them ... as long as there is a cloud-free dawn.

Since its installation, a tradition has grown that the Equinoxes are celebrated on the nearest Saturday morning with a sausages and brown bread breakfast in Ray Kelly's nearby Nicholastown home. That will happen again in March, we'll confirm the date closer to the event.

Meantime, KCA is considering how to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the official opening of the Park. In the most recent discussion, a 'walk and picnic' were suggested for starters. It should, and probably will grow beyond that.

In particular, it would seem very appropriate that we might once again hear a live rendition of the KCA-commissioned special piece of music sponsored by Dr Tony O'Reilly of Castlemartin House, 'Dun Ailinne and the Clann March' composed and played by Liam O'Flynn in a really extraordinary evening in Kilcullen Town Hall during the dedication of the sculpture in 2008.

And then we can take the celebration from there ...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Meeting to organise 'Kilcullen 700'

The replacement bridge erected following the destruction of the first one.
A public meeting is to be held with the view of setting up a broad-based working group to organise a celebration of the 700th anniversary of Kilcullen, writes Brian Byrne.

The initiative next year would mark 700 years since the first bridge at Kilcullen was built across the Liffey, in 1319. It was constructed by a canon of Kildare Cathedral, Maurice Jakis, and formed the basis of a settlement that became Kilcullen Bridge. The new settlement eventually replaced the original monastic town of Old Kilcullen, which had been in existence since the 4th Century.

The matter was discussed at the recent fortnightly meeting of Kilcullen Community Action, where the decision to call a public meeting in the Town Hall for early March was taken. The date will be confirmed next week.

It was suggested that regular annual events in the community, such as the River Festival, could all be incorporated into a special programme for the year which would include opportunities for all social, sporting and business organisations to suitably mark the seven centuries of Kilcullen as a distinct entity.

Seven years of The Spout

Tommy Dignam was celebrating seven years of operating The Spout Bar last evening. He's pictured here with customers and staff marking the event.

Friday, February 16, 2018

CPC students for Kildare Drama Festival

Kildare Drama Festival Committee.
Pupils from Cross & Passion College will perform at the Kildare Drama Festival which opens on Wednesday 28 February, writes Brian Byrne.

They will be among five schools from the county which will present 30-minute dramas each on Saturday 3 March.

Kilworth Drama Group will give the opening performance of the 60th year of the Festival, with their production of 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane'.

The programme also includes the Ballyduff Drama Group with 'Albertine in Five Times' (Friday 2 March), Curtain Call Productions' 'Some Girls' (5th), Holycross/Ballycahill's 'Bold Girls' (6th), Kilrush Drama Group's 'The Weir' (7th), Kilmuckridge Drama Group's 'The Seafarer' (8th) and Bridview's 'Stolen Child' (9th).

The adjudicator is Lee Wilson, the founding artistic director of Resurgence Theatre Company in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

Currently he is developing a world premiere Irish Musical called The Sea Brothers with Ger Clancy, Joanna Crawley, and Kevin Nolan. In addition, he is developing a TV Series with Aircraft Pictures. Lee holds an MFA in Directing from The Lir, Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College Dublin.

The Festival was launched last night in the Derby House Hotel, by Noel Cunningham of TV3. Pictured above at the launch are the organising committee (back) Anne Madden; Matthew Dowling; Denis Flood, Chairman; Fr Adrian Carbury, President; Joe Connolly, Vice-President; Ger Fogarty, Margie Sheridan; and (front) Lil Byrne; Ann Fogarty; Ian Weir, Secretary; Edwina Weir, Treasurer; and Mary O’Sullivan.

Saoirse planning a big jump for suicide charity

Saoirse Behan from Woodbine Books has signed up to do a skydive for the Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland charity, writes Brian Byrne.

She has to raise a minimum of €500 ... €250 to pay for the skydive and €250 minimum for the charity.

"I have a higher personal target I’d like to raise, however," she says. "I have sponsorship cards in the bookshop and in the River CafĂ©, and I also have a GoFund Me page set up and an online campaign to raise donations."

A coffee morning is being planned in the shop for some date in April.

Saoirse's campaign page on the YSPI web page is here, and her GoFundMe one is here. Start clicking and donating to help Saoirse do the Big Jump.

Game Machine looking for Children's Party Hosts

Local business Game Machine is looking for Children's Party Hosts for the company's rapidly expanding mobile video game party van enterprise, writes Brian Byrne.

The candidates must have excellent knowledge of popular video games on a range of platforms, have an outgoing, fun personality.

They need to be good with children, and be competent in coaching and helping children with a variety of video games. Candidates must also be confident drivers with at least five years driving experience on a Full Driving Licence.

Hours are mid-afternoon, both midweek and weekends, and full training will be given.

The job location is Naas, and candidates need to have a full clean Driving Licence. Contact or 045 484800.

Game Machine has recently sponsored new kit for Kilcullen AFC U13s team.

'Canvass pubs for clean-up volunteers'

If a similar result as comes from organising a Fun Run could be achieved for a Community Clean-up Day, it would have a dramatic effect on the look of the town, writes Brian Byrne.

That was a comment during a recent Tidy Towns discussion on a programme of work for the coming year.

The group will pick a date for the Clean-up and then try and involve all resident areas, clubs, and other organisations for a major push to clean the town in advance of spring and summer.

"It needs to be done before everything gets covered in new growth," Eoin O'Houlihan noted. "If we could get clubs to agree to devote one training session on the day to cleaning up, it would be very helpful."

It was also suggested that the pubs could be canvassed to sign up customers for the Clean-up day.

The meeting also decided that Tidy Towns litter picking during the summer would be carried out by teams of two, with one person bagging discarded recyclable items and the other the rubbish.