Wednesday, September 02, 2015

FG candidate to hold Kilcullen clinics

Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy will be holding a weekly drop-in constituency clinic in Kilcullen every Thursday from next week.

The councillor is a Fine Gael candidate in Kildare South in the next General Election, along with Deputy Martin Heydon.

The clinics will be held upstairs in Berneys Pharmacy, between 11am-12 noon, from 10 September.

Appointments can also be made, by emailing; on Facebook FionaMcloughlinHealy; or Twitter @fionamacky.

Pete Fagan and Anna Mitchell in the BAG

Pete Fagan & Anna Mitchell are playing the BAG next Monday, 7 September, writes Roy Thompson of the Ballymore Acoustic Gigs.

Hailing from Kilcullen, Co Kildare, Pete Fagan is one on the hardest working Irish musicians on the circuit.

With a reputation as a passionate live performer able to capture an audience, Anna has performed and toured with many celebrated singers & songwriters including Sarah Jarosz , Aoife O’Donovan, Mick Flannery, John Smith, Duke Special, Lisa Hannigan, Simone Felice & many more.

Pairing two fine young Irish singer/songwriters, BAG continues to bring the best of original roots edged music to its devoted followers.

As usual, Mick Murphy's doors will open at 8:30pm, with a 9pm sharp showtime. Admission is just €12, at the door.

Sing & Sign 'Mama Mia' for Kilcullen

The Athy-based Sign & Sing & Sing & Sign Club will perform 'Mama Mia' in Kilcullen Town Hall Theatre on 26 September, writes Brian Byrne.

The Club was formed about 10 years ago when a group of local young people needed a theme for their Gaisce Awards.

"We made contact with a deaf lady in Tullow and there began a relationship with the deaf community," says Aiden McHugh, formerly from Kilcullen, who was helping the youngsters work for their Awards. "Afterwards we found a local lady who was a teacher in St Mary's School for the Deaf in Cabra, Maggie Owens, who lived locally. With her help in introducing the signing of songs, the club flourished."

The Club members sing or mime to original music, and 'sign' at the same time, and many times over the years they have entertained at events with the Irish Deaf Society. They have also presented Christmas shows.

"But last year we took on Mamma Mia the Musical and it was a great success. Our signing is fully understood by users of Irish Sign Language (ISL), which is the means of communication for up to 40,000 Irish people, including the parents, children and siblings of deaf people."

The last week in September is International Deaf Week and the Club were asked by the Chairperson of the IDS if they would perform it again to celebrate the week, 'so Kilcullen here we come'.

Tickets will shortly be available in Kilcullen, at €10 for adults and €5 for children. We'll let you know where as soon as we know.

Help build tomorrow's Bridge

The Bridge Magazine, now in its 45th year, is planning significant changes to meet the needs of Kilcullen's residents over the coming years, writes Brian Byrne. But it needs new blood. And the blood is out there. It's you.

The longest-running community magazine of its kind in Ireland, the Bridge has documented generations of the village-become-a-town's heritage and development, and is a touchstone to what is important in Kilcullen both for those here for many decades as well as many people and families who have come to live here in recent times.

It has also been an outlet for people with an interest in writing, triggering some of us to go on to careers in that arena. It has, too, been a place where local issues, opinions, and hopes could be aired on a platform that was truly without any underlying bias but to echo Kilcullen and its people within where they lived.

The format for most of the Bridge's life has been A4, with a side trip at one stage into tabloid size when this writer became the editor back in the 1980s. What hasn't changed over the magazine's four and a half decades has been the endeavours of successive editorial boards that it would provide Kilcullen people old and new with news, opinion, features, history, and other content related to the town.

During those decades there have been many times when those producing the Bridge were seriously concerned about the viability of its future. And always, it has managed to continue. As it is doing now, and will continue to do from now.

But in a communications era where the 140-character Tweet and the fast-flowing Facebook 'status' newsfeed are where most people in any community 'meet', there's a question over the relevance of an old print format and monthly magazine even in a still-small place like Kilcullen.

I'm a very digitally involved writer and publisher. With colleague Trish Whelan, I set up Kildare News Network, KNN, long before there were any of the now many county-based local news outlets on the web, and before Twitter or Facebook. That was in the days when we had to build our own website, before Blogger and Wordpress made such things easy for anyone. I was also a startup partner in Ireland's first motoring website,, now incorporated into the Irish Examiner, and later set up In that motoring context, Trish Whelan and I currently operate as part of our Irish Car+Travel and Irish Van & Truck print magazines business. I have also developed and produced the Kilcullen Diary for more than a decade.

But I still have a strong belief in the value of a community print magazine. Not least because it gave me a first platform for a career that, as of yesterday, I am now continuing in my 72nd year. There's always something special about words on a printed page, something that doesn't easily transfer into digital.

That's why I'm writing this. Because there are people both older and younger than me who give their voluntary time to keep the Bridge appearing ten months out of every year. Who do it because ... well, because that's what they do.

But tomorrow night, Thursday, in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre, there's an opportunity for others — such as you who may not already be involved — to help carry that very important community flag beyond them. To carry the Bridge to its half century and, hopefully, beyond.

If you are already involved as a PR in your local organisation, come along tomorrow night. Because there will be advice, help and encouragement to do your volunteer community job better. If you have a thought to help in writing, photography, production or any other way in YOUR local magazine, Ireland's longest-running, come along.

There will be opportunity to crib, to contribute, to learn. There will be questions, and hopefully some, maybe tentative, answers about the future. There will be wine, and nibbles.

Hey, it looks like, sounds like, and maybe will be, a party. It's also a workshop, if you come.

Kilcullen Heritage Centre, 8pm. For you. And yours. And Kilcullen's tomorrow community media space. Lots of people brought it this far. Now it's yours.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Parish Lotto Draw

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 1st September 2015 were 1, 15, 24 and 31.

There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €14,800.

The winners of the €50 Open Draw were David Price (Promoter Mick Dunne), Eugene & Mary Hall (Miriam McDonnell) and Barry Magee (Barry Magee).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Wednesday Bridge and Aoife Boyle, and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Ethna Dempsey.

The Parish thanks all those who support the Lotto.

Drainage work on GAA pitch

Kilcullen GAA got started today on the drainage programme for the training pitch beside CPC, and the work will be finished by Friday, writes Brian Byrne.

The work is part of Phase 1 of the Club's development plan, which includes the drainage and the lighting system on the main pitch at the Club's own grounds.

The total cost will be €160,000, towards which they received a grant of €100,000 last year. The Club has taken out a loan for the balance.

The drainage work involves putting in pipes in trenches some metres apart across the pitch, then covering them in with gravel. The pitch will be non-functional until next April to enable the drainage to take place.

A second set of pipes may be laid lengthwise on the pitch in the future, to make the system more efficient. "When we get more money," Martin Murphy, who is managing the project, clarified.

The work this week is completely by machinery, making it much faster and a more accurate job than the last time it was done, by hand.

Culture Night at the Bridge community

Come and join us on on 'Culture Night' for an evening of unplugged music, storytelling and poetry in the intimate atmosphere of our hall in The Bridge Camphill Community, writes Mischa Fekete.

It all kicks off at 7.30pm on on Friday 18 September. Our special guest is singer songwriter Roy Thompson, and Fenton Blue will be doing a small acoustic set.

Also, our own Tim Ditchburn is going to treat us to some of his unique storytelling. And there are some other surprises in store ...

Come and join us entry is free!

Bridge Magazine workshop on Thursday

On Thursday next, 3 October, at 8pm The Bridge Magazine is holding a workshop for contributors, club PROS and anyone who might be interested in getting involved in any way with the monthly production of the magazine.

The Bridge is now in its 45th year and in recent months significant improvements have been made, including the introduction of colour on a regular basis.

Local journalist Brian Byrne and local radio sports presenter Killian Whelan will be among those present to help explore ideas on how to further improve the content.

The workshop takes place in The Town Hall. Refreshments will be provided. Everybody with an interest in communications within the community, and the many social and sports organisations in Kilcullen, will be very welcome.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cleaner look to New Abbey Road

A big shout out to the TUS guys working for the Parish, whose painting of the wall of the New Abbey Road, along with the recent doing up of the Library by the Council, makes the area look very well indeed. Well done all (also to all the owners of premises on Main Street who have had their places painted over the summer).

First Aid course for parents

A First Aid course geared to parents of small children will be held in Naas Library on Tuesday 22 September, writes Brian Byrne.

The course will be presented by Siobhan Butler from First Aid for Everyone, and gets under way at 7pm.

Topics covered will include calling the emergency services, the First Aid kit, choking, meningitis, burns, and temperature/febrile seizures.

The course will use lots of visual aids in the presentation and there is plenty of opportunity for the participants to ask questions.

Jimmy Aspell and friends ICS fundraiser on Saturday

The annual Jimmy Aspell fundraiser in aid of the Irish Cancer Society takes place on Saturday night next, 5 September, in The Spout, writes Brian Byrne.

Jimmy will be supported by musicians from amongst his family and friends. Things kick off at 9pm.

Our picture shows a cheque for €20,000 being presented to the ICS last October, representing the amount raised by Jimmy and friends from The Spout since 2011.

Rally sponsorship cards call

The proceeds of the recent Mac & Norman's Vintage Rally will be presented to the Irish Cancer Society on 10 October.

The cheque presentation will be at The Priory, Walls of Kilgowan, and the evening will include music by Sister Act and a raffle.

Rally organiser Ann Sully is asking that all holders of sponsorship cards return them to her by 20 September.

Canoe Club wins in Lough Rynn

Kilcullen Canoe Club had a successful outing at the weekend at the Irish National Sprint Championships on Lough Rynn in Co Leitrim.

Ronan Foley came first in the U15 K1 1000m and 200m events and his team mate Aaron Thorpe took second place in both.

Paddling as a pair in the U15 K2 events, Ronan and Aaron were first in the 1000m and second in the 200m.