Friday, July 03, 2015

Canoe Club Update

Congratulations to all KCC paddlers who took part in recent events, writes Sinead Foley.

Junior Liffey Descent - End May
Ronan Foley & Aaron Thorpe 1st and 2nd in U 15; K1; Anthony & Tracey Whitley 1st & 2nd in U23.

Blueway Marathon in Athy – End May
David McDonnell 1st, Lar O’Brien 2nd 21KM;
Ronan Foley 1st 10km.

Erne Paddlers race in Enniskillen 14th June
David McDonnell 2nd K1 Div 2;
Ronan Foley 1st , Lar O Brien 2nd K1 Div 3;
Johnny Barry 1st , Joe Brown 2nd K1 Div 4;
Aaron Thorpe 1st Div 5, Scott Dignam 2nd Div 5;
Alison Miley 1st , Debbie McHugh 2nd Womens G;P
Dermot Coogan 1st, Paddy Fitzgerald Mens GP.

Upcoming events include:
• National Marathon Championships July 11th in Galway.

We would also like to wish the best of luck to KCC paddlers flying the flag abroad this summer.
Darragh Walsh who is currently taking part in the Surf Kayaking Championships in Galicia, Spain.
Anthony Whitely who will be travelling to Belgium on the Irish under 21 Polo team in July.
Oisin & Ciara Farrell with the Irish Slalom team will be paddling in a number of different Slalom events all around Europe, including the Junior & U23 European Championships.

Beginners courses are currently running at the club, Mondays and Wednesdays. All equipment is provided. For further information contact Diane ( or call to the club Mon–Fri from 7pm.

Lots happening this weekend

Although it's not an Irish holiday, there's a lot going on in Kilcullen this 4th of July weekend, writes Brian Byrne.

Tomorrow morning there's the very good cause Relay for Life Coffee Morning in the Heritage Centre, kicking off around 10am. This is Kilcullen's RfL Team raising their sponsorship funds for the big gig at the Curragh Racecourse. The cakes and stuff will be well worth giving them a few bob for.

Hot Rod races at Ballyshannon are the thing over both days over the weekend, with lots of family attractions as well as noise, exhaust smoke, and getting around the grass and ruts. Camping is available.

Tomorrow night, Kilcullen GAA is holding its Joe Dolan Tribute Night event, which will have them dancing on the street (probably literally for some). The Mill is the place, with Ger and Co keeping everything sizzling on the BBQ.

The Juvenile Fishing Competition organised by the Kilcullen Trout & Salmon Angers will be the first competition in a long while, and should attract a lot of younger interest in fishing on the local Liffey.

For those who like a ramble in a strange garden, there's one in Logatrina Cottage Garden in Dunlavin on Sunday afternoon in aid of St Joseph of Myra Church. Lots of secret places in it, by all accounts.

And don't forget the pubs in town over the weekend, plenty of music on tap as well as a good line in summer drinks. All in all, there should be lots to keep us all occupied.

More medals for Nolans

Nolan Butcher's of Kilcullen won five Gold and four Silver Medals at he Leinster Craft Butchers Competition which were held in Donabate, Co Meath, last Sunday.

Fred Mitchell, who makes all the Home Made Sausages & Puddings in Nolans, was thrilled with the medals and said it was a fantastic result and an outstanding reflection of the consistency of high quality products made at Nolan's of Kilcullen.

Nolans can now look forward to the All Ireland Butcher Finals in September.

Boys in estate driving incident

The Diary has received a disturbing report about an incident involving three children on their way home from school to Castlemartin Lodge last Tuesday, writes Brian Byrne.

According to the details provided, two brothers aged 12 and 7 were with another 7-year-old, crossing the road to the Castlemartin Lodge estate when a grey car sped in from the Newbridge Road and stopped a few inches from them.

According to the brothers' mother, the children were scared. "The driver opened the window then and started shouting at them, telling them that they could be killed," she told the Diary. "My older boy answered, saying that no one should be speeding in the housing estate. After that the children went home, but the driver followed them in his car and he was sitting in front of our house in the car. The kids were very scared, they rang me and I came from work in 15 minutes, but the car was gone."

The gardai have been informed, with a description of the driver and a partial registration of the car and its make.

"I just thought that the community in Kilcullen should be warned about the incident," the mother says.

NOTE: There is currently a public consultation with Kildare County Council about lowering the speed limits in residential estates.

'General Lee' in Newbridge

If you're a fan of iconic American movie/TV cars, then get yourself over to Newbridge Silver and have a gawk at the the ‘General Lee’ from the classic TV show ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’, writes Brian Byrne.

The ‘Hell’s Chariot’ from ‘Grease’ has joined it today, arrived earlier than expected. Both cars will be on display outside the main doors of the visitor centre until the end of July and members of the public can view them free of charge.

More about them here.

Dog walking challenge on Sunday

Dog owners in the area might be interested in a 'Three Courses Challenge' being run this Sunday, 5 July, involving sequential dog walks on the three racecourses in County Kildare.

It's a fundraiser for the Kildare & West Wicklow SPCA, taking in the racecourses of  Punchestown, Naas and The Curragh.

Many people have already collected sponsorship for the event. Donations on the day will also be gratefully accepted.

The Punchestown Racecourse walk starts at 10.30am and will last just under an hour. The one at Naas Racecourse starts at 12.30pm and will last about 45 minutes. The final location, the Curragh Racecourse walk, starts at 2.30pm and will last about an hour.

For more information please call 087 6803295.

Teach na Daoine moves closer

It looks like there's progress on the proposed Teach na Daoine social centre which was mooted at the beginning of May, writes Brian Byrne.

The Diary understands that an agreement has been reached with the owner of a premises for a suitable lease.

A steering committee for the project, envisaged as a community hub for a range of local activities, includes Jacinta Sully, Albert Keenan, Martin Heydon, Joe Dooley, Liz Maloney, Steve Kineavey, Noel Clare and John Brady.

Some work would have to be done on the premises, which would require both volunteers and funding. Further details on this when things are fully pinned down.

Martin Heydon TD Local Clinic this morning

Deputy Martin Heydon, FG, will hold a clinic in Kilcullen this morning (Friday).

He will be available to anyone who has a query or requires information, from 10am to 10.45am in the Kilcullen Parish Centre, beside the church.

His clinics will in future be held there on the first Friday of each month.

Appointments can be made for other times by calling 045 487624 or email

His Constituency Office & Advice Centre is open daily at Moorefield Road, Newbridge, phone 045 487624.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Missing child scare ends happily

A scare about a missing child in Kilcullen this afternoon ended happily when the 3-year-old girl was found safe in a bed in her home, writes Brian Byrne.

The child was believed missing from her mother's apartment in Millrace around 5pm, and the Garda were notified as well as local people and the Kilcullen Canoe Club.

There was a very quick and comprehensive community response, as well as swift action by the gardai on the scene very quickly. Many local people, including teenagers in the area, joined in the search in the town and along the bank of the Liffey close to where the girl lived. The owner of a small skiff (above) had just launched into the river when word came through that the child was found.

The apartment had been checked, but the child, who had been playing in the living area, wasn't noticed in the bedroom where she had apparently gone for a nap. Afterwards, apologising for the 'turmoil' and thanking everybody who turned out to help, the child's mother said she was sleeping in her sister's bed covered with a duvet.

"You couldn't say there was anyone there," she said. "Three people went around the house, but nobody spotted her. Her sister and her friend went upstairs later and saw her feet sticking out under the duvet. She apparently had stretched her legs. She doesn't sleep during the day unless really tired and in the car."

"It doesn't matter that there was an emergency called, it would be much worse if it hadn't been and there was a different outcome," responding gardai said afterwards, adding that the Garda helicopter had been tasked and would have been in the air only a few minutes after they were notified that the little girl was safe.

The happiest bottom line to any such story is that all's well that ends well. As this turned out to be.

(There's another story here. About community and response to emergency. I'll come back to that later. But thank you all in the meantime.)

Up, up and away

A bit of the end of an era today as the first of the portable classrooms used on a temporary basis at Scoil Bhride for many years were lifted for return to the leasing company, writes Brian Byrne.

It was an awkward lift for the contractor, as the first ones were very close to trees, but they were successfully taken over without damaging them.

The first two prefabs arrived in 2004 and thereafter an additional prefab came each year, culminating in nine class prefabs being installed by 2014.

"Additionally we had three small prefabs for use by Learning Support and Resource teachers," says Principal Anne Flanagan. "They served us very well while they were on site but now we have our lovely new school building and with the removal of the prefabs we are looking forward to having an extended field and playground space.

"The landscape around Scoil Bhríde will be remarkably different as we move forward."

Pics: Brian Byrne/Kilcullen Diary.

Council consults on 30km/h speed limits

If you live in a local housing estate and you want a 30km/h speed limit, get your views in to Kildare County Council, writes Brian Byrne.

The Council is undertaking a public consultation on such a limit, with the aim of ensuring that housing estate roads are as safe as possible for pedestrians, cyclists and especially children.

The probability of a pedestrian child dying in a road collision rises ‘dramatically’ when the speed of the vehicle is over 30km/h, according to experts.

Residents Associations and members of the public are invited to make submissions to the Council in writing, marked '30 km/h speed limit' to the Senior Executive Officer, Roads, Transportation & Public Safety Department, Arus Cill Dara, Naas; or via email to

Submissions must be received on or before 12 noon Friday, 31 July 2015.

Adeline's 'Once Upon a Time' ends tomorrow

Just a reminder that Adeline Pufong's sculpture exhibition in Naas Library ends tomorrow. There's a full account of the opening night on the Kilcullen page of this week's Kildare Nationalist.

Relay for Life coffee fundraiser

The Kilcullen team in this year's Relay for Life event are holding a fundraising Coffee Morning next Saturday, 4 July.

It will take place in the Town Hall on the Saturday morning, beginning at 10.30am.

All welcome.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Summer colour busting out all over

With the recent bit of heat, and some judicious watering, the flowers put in place by Kilcullen Community Action are just beginning to burst with colour, writes Brian Byrne.

Full marks too, for the idea to put a set of window boxes along the CPC wall. They're really going to make a bright difference in a week or so.

Drama and spear at the Arus

Eilis Phillips and Joan Murphy represented Kilcullen Drama Group at a garden party in Aras An Uachtarain yesterday, hosted by President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, writes Harry Murphy.

Kilcullen was among 150 drama groups from around the country represented at the event.

The Kilcullen duo presented President Higgins with a representation of the Spear Sculpture at the Dun Ailinne Interpretive Park, crafted by Joe O'Connor.

The event was blessed with being held on the warmest day of the year, and there was wonderful food, and musical entertainment compered by Aonghas McAnally.

The President spoke of both his and Sabina's  long association with amateur drama, going back to his student days and their sense of involvement in the local community.

Eilis is the current chair of the Kilcullen Drama Group, which has been in existence for some 80 years. Joan is the secretary.

Barretstown Open Day on Sunday

Barretstown Camp for seriously ill children is holding its annual Open Day this Sunday, 5 July from 12–4pm.

There will be loads of activities available on the day, including horse riding, canoeing, zip wire, archery, pony rides, crazy golf, fairy trail and picnics in the Secret Garden, with a special performance from boyband Taken.

The event is sponsored by Brady Family Ham.

There is a suggested donation of €20 per car on the day.

No tickets are required just turn up and enjoy!