Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Market Square committee 'leaving businesses out'

The committee organising the proposed redevelopment of the Market Square have been criticised for not including the business community, writes Brian Byrne. This follows the presentation of a draft plan to the members of the Naas Municipal District yesterday afternoon.

The plan was devised by urban designer James Hennessy, commissioned by Kildare County Council, in conjunction with a committee of Kilcullen people and local public representatives.

However, the only retail business currently operating on the square itself — the Carry Out off-licence operated by Paddy Nugent — says it has never been invited to take part in the discussions, since the single Public Consultation Day last September.

Paddy also says that he has been in touch with a number of other businesses in the lower Kilcullen area, and they also say they have had no contact with the committee in the last year.

"I attended the presentation to the councillors in the Council offices, from the public gallery," he told the Diary. "It was very professional, but it came as no surprise to me that the car park will no longer exist. I believe that was the agenda from the start. There was no mention of any alternative to the car park or what the hundreds of people that use it on a daily basis are going to do."

Paddy says he believes this will have a detrimental effect on his own business and, in his opinion, on the other businesses in the area.

There have been a number of meetings of the committee with public officials and councillors (above), and Paddy says that as one of the businesses in the area, he counts as a 'relevant stakeholder'. "But I have never been approached by any member of the committee to discuss the concerns I have. The Market Square as a car park is essential to the social and commercial life of the town."

In relation to the stated aim that the square should become a venue for community events, he says such events which have used the area over the last year have shown that it can be used both as a venue for community events and as a car park.

The plan as shown to the councillors envisages a plaza area, with broad steps down to a walkway along the river. As part of the development, it is proposed to put a pedestrian crossing on the main street so that a 'circular' walking route would be available via the back of the Heritage Centre and under the bridge. This would also facilitate wheelchair access to the river walkway. As an extension of the development, the long-mooted footbridge across to the Valley Park could be built, possibly as a second stage.

The proposals also envisage free wifi in the square area, as part of infrastructure which also incorporates a PA sound system.

It is understood that the redevelopment would cost in the region of €400,000. Applications for funding from a number of sources are currently being prepared, and the project has already received the support of Kildare County Council.

Some pressure has been put by the redevelopment committee to have some elements of the plan implemented in time for next year's celebration of 'Kilcullen 700', marking the 700th anniversary of the building of the first bridge across the Liffey at Kilcullen.

The first public presentation on the idea for redevelopment was in July of last year. The results of the Public Consultation Day were published last October, showing a significant interest in changing the square. A parking survey was undertaken in December 2017 with the aid of TY students from Cross & Passion College.

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Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 19 June 2018 were 6, 11, 20 and 26. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €18,000.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Ger O'Connell (Promoter Mag O'Connell), Teresa Curran (Berneys Chemist), and Miriam McDonnell (Miriam McDonnell).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Vivian Clarke and Berneys Chemist and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Ann Corrigan.

The Parish thanks all who continue to support the Lotto.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Big day tomorrow for Scoil Bhride

Tomorrow is a special day of celebration for Scoil Bhride, writes Brian Byrne, with visits from sports stars, presentation of medals, and the raising of yet another green flag.

Kildare senior footballers David Hyland and team captain Eoin Doyle will kick things off at 10am with the presentation of medals to the school's victorious Hawkfield cross country winning team.

After that it will be the turn for medals to the Senior boys and girls soccer teams who were both crowned champions in Division 1 of the inaugural Kildare Primary senior soccer leagues in 2018.

The Crookstown Inter-Schools athletic team will also be celebrated and acknowledged after their recent triumph and retention of the large schools cup last Wednesday 13 June.

"Our victorious Under 11 girls football and camogie teams will also be acknowledged and celebrated," says teacher John Molloy. "Our boys Gaelic football teams will be commended on their terrific efforts all year, having narrowly missed out on victory in all three finals at U10, U11 and Senior level."

A presentation by Ian McLoughlin from EMS Copiers of two new sets of soccer jerseys for the boys and girls teams will follow. "We also received generous donations from Health Services Staffs Credit Union and a parent," John Molloy notes, "and we are extremely thankful to all our sponsors."

The celebrations will conclude with a flag raising ceremony to celebrate the school being awarded its fifth Green-Schools flag for 'Bio-Diversity', after two years of super hard work by the Green-Schools committee.

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Great summer BBQ and competition day at KTC

Saturday was a very eventful day in Kilcullen Tennis Club with the Juniors competition running during the day and then our first Summer BBQ that evening, writes Club PRO Mary Butler.

Everyone throughly enjoyed the day with fantastic food, music and tennis.

A highlight was former founder and chairman of the club Pat Lynch accepting his original tennis racket in a frame from current chairman Eamonn O’Toole (pic above).

A big thank you to everyone who helped out on the day.

Girls group.

Overall girls winner Amy Butler and overall boys winner Jack Kavanagh.
Junior team.

Boys final play off Fred Sage and Jack Kavanagh (winner).

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Old Kilcullen Cemetery Mass

The Annual Cemetery Mass and Blessing of the Graves at Old Kilcullen will be held on Friday 29 June, writes Brian Byrne.

The celebration begins at 7.30pm, and all are welcome, especially those who have family buried in Old Kilcullen.

The mass is held in the ruins of the old church beside the tower, which was itself damaged in the 1798 rebellion.

The churchyard is the site of a monastery founded by St Patrick in the 5th century.

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Free business information event tomorrow

A free business information session in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, tomorrow morning will give participants an introduction to the LEAN business principles, writes Brian Byrne.

The system provides tools and techniques to help users address competitive issues in their businesses by improving efficiency and effectiveness.

The event is hosted by Local Enterprise Office Kildare, with registration at 8am. The session offers the opportunity for participants to find out more about the programme and to talk to LEO Executives, previous participant companies and Enterprise Ireland staff in respect of the programmes and its benefits.

Those embarking on the full program can avail of consultancy from a LEAN Expert (value €5,000).

Further information here.

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Summer cooking at Kalbarri

A summer cookery demonstration will be held at Kalbarri Cookery School on Friday night next, 22 June.

Cooking off at 7.30pm, all dishes prepared will be available for sampling.

Bookings from Siobhan at 087 2932501, €30 a head.

(Pic: Kalbarri Cookery School.)

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Another 'Kilcullen 700' meeting tonight, all welcome

A reminder that a general meeting for anyone interested in helping in any way with the celebrations in 2018 for the 700th Anniversary of building of the first bridge over the Liffey in Kilcullen will be held tonight Monday, 18 June, writes Noel Clare.

The venue is the Town Hall, and the meeting will begin at 8.30pm. It is open to everybody, and it would be very good to see attendance from representatives of communityy and social organisations, and especially from businesses.

This is a follow up to an earlier meeting where a steering group was selected to push the idea forward and to form a committee for the project.

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Blood donor clinic this evening

The next blood donor clinic will be held in Kilcullen this evening, Monday,18 June, writes Brian Byrne.

It will take place in Scoil Bhride NS between 5pm-8.30pm.

All donors are requested to attend.

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