Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kilcullen link to rare Homer bust

An 18th century bust of Homer going under the hammer in December at Sothebys in London at a guide price of up to €125,000 has a connection with Kilcullen, writes Brian Byrne.

The previously unrecorded piece by the Florence-based artist Francis Harwood was formerly the property of Canon Joseph Furlong, parish priest here from 1952 until he died in 1971, according to today's Irish Times.

Canon Furlong, who had served as an RAF chaplain in France during WW1 and flew his own plane from 1937, is understood to have bought the piece at an auction in Co Louth in the 1950s. After his death is was inherited by a relative, who recently decided to sell it.

The bust is dated 1757, which makes it the oldest of now three depictions of the Greek poet by the artist, who made his living providing sculpture for British aristocrats visiting Florence on the so-called Grand Tour. Harwood had moved to Florence from England.

The other two pieces are in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and in Castle Ashby in Northamptonshire. The one owned formerly by Fr Furlong will be on offer in the Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art sale at Sothebys on December 3rd.

Community Awards: the citations

Community Awards were presented last night by the chairman of Kilcullen Community Action, Niall McDonnell, to Owen Farrell, Julie O’Donoghue, Kilcullen Community Child Care Committee, Kilcullen Youth Club, Kilcullen Members of Kildare Ladies Inter County Pitch and Putt Club, the Text Alert Committee, Declan Dowdall, Kilcullen Scouts and Leaders, Georgie Allen, Steve Kinneavy, Bernard Berney and Joe O'Connor.

Owen Farrell

At 16 years of age Owen is the youngest ever winner of the National Inter Stroke Play which he won on July 26th 2014. Owen is a student of CPC and is a great credit to his school, his community and especially St Bridget's Pitch and Putt club. Kilcullen town should be so proud of Owen as a representative for young people and also a sports star.

Julie O’Donoghue

Nominated for her wonderful stewardship of the local library and her services to arts and culture in the area and in particular this year for her leadership in the initiative to commemorate locals who fought and died in World War 1 including the Our Unfortunate Sons event.

Kilcullen Community Child Care Committee

Presented to those have worked tirelessly over recent years so that we now have a brand new purpose built Community Child Care Facility in Kilcullen. Award presented to Orla O’Neill and Iseult O’Donoghue acting on behalf of all who helped make this dream a reality.

Kilcullen Youth Club

This nomination goes to five young people, who volunteer their time with Kilcullen Youth Club; they are 14-16years old and for the last three years they attend the youth club each week, take part in training and help out at the Junior Youth Club. They are Brandon NG, Adam Dillon, Jack Skerritt, Martin Allen, and Raymond Clare. They give up their spare time not only to attend but also to participate in training which is an integral part of being a junior leader. They have participated for the last few months in a programme run by the Bishops Drug and Alcohol Initiative and they also help to organise events for the other members and give up a lot of their own free time. In presenting this award we would also like to acknowledge all who give of their time to help the youth club. It is greatly appreciated. Thanks to Sarah, Conor, Gavin. Roisin and Aisling.

Kilcullen Members of Kildare Ladies Inter County Pitch and Putt Club

Four of the six ladies on the Kildare Ladies Inter County Pitch and Putt team are from Kilcullen. While each has achieved much individual success in recent times, bringing great honour to club, town and county, the national inter county team competition is something which has eluded Kildare since 2008. The ladies in question are Chrissie Byrne, Marian Byrne, Margaret Keogh and Tara Dillon. After finishing 2nd in this year's Leinster inter-county championship it looked as though things might not change. However, in Tullamore on the first weekend in September the ladies took the National Inter County title defeating their great rivals Dublin by 5 shots and bringing the James Vaughan cup back to Kildare. Not only are these ladies fantastic pitch and putt players but they are all active committee members within their club and help out with the running of the club. Aside from this they are all superb role models for the sport and always represent themselves in a fitting and correct manner within and outside of the playing field.

Text Alert Committee

The Text Alert Committee operates a system in the Old Kilcullen, Calverstown, Castlefish area. This committee came together about two years ago and has unified the rural community on the outskirts of Kilcullen in acting together to keep an eye on each other's well being and safety. The committee members are Ivan Keatley, Aileen Thorpe, Phil O'Brien, Maurice O'Mahoney, Mary Hayden, Brian McParland, PJ Fagan and Sabina Reddy.

Declan Dowdall

Not just for his wonderful achievements in Special Olympics, but also for being a kind, considerate member of the Kilcullen Community who is always willing to share a cheerful smile, a greeting and a bit of banter with his fellow Kilcullenites! Declan is always ready to help at weekly mass with the collections. He takes a genuine interest in the people he meets. He is particularly interested in the younger members of the community and likes to know how school, exams etc are going. When anyone is sick he is always concerned and offers help or a prayer. Kilcullen is a better place because Declan lives in it and he certainly deserves this award.

Kilcullen Scouts and Leaders

For their great support given to the Kilcullen for Life Team who helped raise money for the Irish Cancer Society recently. They were incredible helpful in giving of their time and materials to help with the project. Their organisation of this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade cannot go without mention either — it was another wonderful occasion in the Year’s calendar.

Georgie Allen

This award goes to someone who is a great neighbour, always willing to help in any way he can. He cuts grass, cleans windows gutters and his van is always available to any neighbour to collect and deliver anything that any of us need or to go anywhere. You can phone him at any hour, day or night, and he is always there for any emergency. He was a great help in preparing Conroy Park for the 40th Anniversary Celebrations — putting up bunting and helping with the barbecue. It is great to have a neighbour like Georgie — he certainly has made Conroy Park and Kilcullen a better place to live.

Steve Kinneavy

(Steve was unable to be there to accept his award, but we'll catch up with him over the weekend.)
While Steve has been our Garda for many years now and has done a great job in that role, his work in Kilcullen has extended well beyond his day-to-day duties as a Garda. Living amongst us he has got to know people very well and has himself become very much part of the community and has worked hard to support everyone in the community including those who may not have always been working towards the betterment of the community. He has been particularly supportive of young people who may have found themselves in difficulty. Steve has also been involved with local sport and in recent years has been a tireless worker for the Kilcullen River Festival. We thank Steve for his contribution which was well beyond the call of duty, wish him well in his retirement and look forward to his further involvement in the community, now that he may have more time available.

Bernard Berney

Bernard Berney has been an integral part of the Kilcullen Community throughout his entire life. Born here, schooled here and an entire working life spent here. His contribution to organisations like the Drama Group and The Bridge Magazine and to the Parish have been obvious to all and those alone are worthy of an award and recognition. Every organisation in the town will readily acknowledge the tremendous support that he has offered down through the years. But perhaps his greatest contribution has been in the many ways, most not quite as public or as obvious, that he has touched peoples lives while working amongst us in Kilcullen. In ‘The Chemists’ he dispensed medicines. But better than any chemical drug dispensed was the other type of medicine which he freely gave of — his willingness to listen, to offer a kind and supportive word to all who passed through the shop — especially the more elderly of the community. And of course the best medicine of all which he also freely dispensed over many years — laughter. A man with a tremendous way with words — both written and spoken, he has made us all laugh on so many occasions both at ourselves and at the world in general. His presence on the Main Street will be greatly missed but luckily his presence in the community will continue and while we wish him many long and happy years of retirement, much success on the golf course, we also look forward to his active participation in community life well into the future. Thank you, Bernard, for everything you have done.

Joe O'Connor

A surprise Award was given to Joe O'Connor, who celebrates his 60th Birthday on the day. Joe has made all the awards for tonight so we couldn’t ask him to make one for himself. Not only has he done the awards every year, he has also helped out in all KCA projects including Summer Flowers, Clean Ups, Christmas Lights. He is also very involved with the Lions Club and has been involved with many productions in the Drama Group over the years. No matter what is being done he is always more than willing to lend a hand and give of his talents and expertise.

Tidy Towns Local Awards

Best Large Estate, shared between Esker Lea and Avondale; Best Small Estate, Conroy Park; Most Improved Estate, Riverside Manor; Best Green Area, Moanbane; Landscape Award, Castlemartin; Best Business, White Horse Inn; Most Improved Business, The Medical Centre.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Big night of awards

There was a great turnout in the Town Hall tonight for the 2014 Community Awards, writes Brian Byrne.

Awards were presented to Owen Farrell, Julie O’Donoghue, Kilcullen Community Child Care Committee, Kilcullen Youth Club, Kilcullen Members of Kildare Ladies Inter County Pitch and Putt Club, the Text Alert Committee, Declan Dowdall, Kilcullen Scouts and Leaders, Georgie Allen, Steve Kinneavy, Bernard Berney and Joe O'Connor.

Tidy Towns Awards were also presented.

We'll have a full report tomorrow. More pictures here.

Halloween is all around

Halloween is closing in, and there's a lot of effort going in around town to dress windows and business premises with the theme. We'll try and show you as much as we can in the next week, but kicking it off is McTernans.

Antoinette and Jennifer get their shop open

Well, Antoinette Buckley and Jennifer Monaghan have their new shop on Killcrest open since this morning.

Over the next week, they'll be building up stock all related to the crafts and upcycling which they're building the business on.

We wish them all the best, another spark of initiative that brings hope of an end to recession hopefully in the not too distant future.

GAA going to the dogs

Kilcullen GAA is running a fundraising night in Newbridge Greyhound Track on Friday 14 November, writes Brian Byrne.

Tickets at €10 must be bought in advance, and the Club would appreciate any help in selling tickets and sponsorship cards.

Race sponsors and advertisers for the night's programme are also invited, at €300 for the former and €100/€60 per page and half page respectively.

The evening will include two Novelty Races, a mixed Adult Sprint and a Juvenile Jockey Back.

There will be sponsorship cards for each entrant in both races.

For more details, contact any member of the Committee.

Community Awards tonight

Just a reminder that the Community Awards organised by Kilcullen Community Action will be presented this evening, Friday 24 October, in Kilcullen Town Hall Theatre.

The Awards will be presented to individuals or groups who have achieved significant success during the year, or who have helped in some way to make Kilcullen a better place to live in.

The annual local Tidy Towns Awards are also made tonight. Everybody is welcome.

A Night to Remember

A night of music, song and dance is being organised by the Kildare Branch of the Alzheimer Society, on Friday 7 November, writes the Branch's Angela Lane.

Under the banner of 'A Night to Remember' it will feature Johnny Peters, Lorraine Nolan, Pud Barrett and Friends, Bernie Heaney, Eileen Keane, CathĂș, Scoil Rince Cill Dara, Mick Dunne, Tara Shamrock and the Newbridge Gospel Choir with Michael F Malone as our MC.

All this for €10 in Toughers Ballroom, Naas Road, Newbridge at 8pm.

Tickets may be purchased from the Parish Centre, Newbridge, Farrell & Nephew Gift Shop, 8 Main Street Newbridge, and from Committee members and on the night at the door.

Many thanks in advance for your continued support.

Kilcullen Badminton update

It has been a busy week in KBC and we have five SWL matches to report on, writes Enda O'Neill, PRO of Kilcullen Badminton Club.

First to Mens 1 who played Gurteen at home on Tuesday 14 October, in this tough match Darren and the team were 2-1 down going into their last game. Darren and partner Gareth managed to win their game 2-0 thus giving Mens 1 a well earned draw in this Grade 1 group of death! Well done to captain Darren, Gareth, Murt and sub Dave on great performances all round.

Tuesday 14 October saw Ladies 2 captained by Helen away to Athy and the ladies managed a 3-1 win in their Grade 4 league, this puts Helen and the girls top of the table and hopefully they can build on this win in their next match away to Ballinakillan.

Oliver and his Grade 6 Mens played their second league match on Thursday 16 October against Annacurra away. The lads didn’t disappoint and blasted Annacurra out of the water with an excellent 4-0 win, this leaves the lads on top of the table.Good luck to Olivier and the team on their next outing to Bough.

On Friday 17 October Norries Ladies 1, Grade 2 team visited Ballinakillan. Unfortunately the girls lost 3-1 to a very organised home team. Hard luck to the ladies who are definitely competing in the hardest group.

Mens 2 captained by yours truly hosted Kildare CYMS on Tuesday 21 October and after drawing away to Killoughy in a difficult first match needed to take maximum points to build on their league position. After a shaky first game the lads managed to grind out a 3-1 win to a good Kildare side. The next match is at home to St Laurences where hopefully the Mens 2 team can take another three points. Well done to Vincent, Fintan and Sean.

Finally, good luck to Sarah Walshe and Vincent Collier who play in the Division 6 Final in the Midlands Open on Friday night and to all competing in the Octoberfest this weekend.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gospel Choir records at KFM

Kilcullen Gospel Choir will feature on a KFM Radio broadcast on Thursday of next week, at 2.25pm, writes Brian Byrne.

The broadcast will include an interview with members of the Choir, and a couple of songs. Although it won't be a rendition from the full membership, as studio space for the recording this evening means that just 10 members of the 30-strong group were able to be involved.

But mark the date and time in your diary for listening in. The debut of the Choir is reported here.

More push on bus shelter issue

Clarification on the process to have private individuals or companies sponsor public facilities, such as a bus shelter, is being sought by Naas MD councillor James Lawless, writes Brian Byrne.

His motion at this week's MD meeting on this was based on the fact that a potential commercial sponsor has been identified for the provision of a number of bus shelters in mid-Kildare communities, including Kilcullen. Cllr Lawless has been seeking the provision of such shelters for some time.

He says his query at this week's meeting resulted in a 'not entirely satisfactory' response from the Council. "It seemed to suggest I might need to contact the National Transport Authority or maybe Bus Eireann again, which seemed to me to be going in circles," he told the Diary. "It appears to be somewhat of a unique situation that a private individual is prepared to fund public works and the council do not appear to have dealt with it before."

However, as there is definitely a precedent for commercial sponsors interacting with local authorities in relation to maintaining road roundabouts and green areas, he will investigate further, and will be meeting with relevant officials and engineers on the matter.

'Millionopoly' bank launched

The school bank for 2014/2015 was inaugurated by Cross & Passion students in the College yesterday, writes Brian Byrne.

Officially launched by AIB's ambassador, Kerry GAA star Colm Cooper, the bank theme this year is 'Millionopoly', adapted from the property speculation board game.

The team are Katie Quigley, Bank Manager; Cian Creaton, Assistant Manager; Laura Quigley, Customer Service; Sean Fitzgerald, Financial Officer; Megan Carey, Sales & Marketing; and Donna Carpenter, Customer Service.

AIB Newbridge has been associated with the CPC School Bank for the last seven years. Each year the bank team competes in regional and national competitions for the most successful venture, and last year's CPC bank reached the national finals.

There'll be more on 'Millionopoly' on the Kilcullen page in next Tuesday's Kildare Nationalist.

Remembrance Mass date set

The November Remembrance Mass will be held on Friday 7th November in the Parish Church in Kilcullen at 7.30p.m, writes Mary Dillon.

A general invitation is issued to all who would wish to attend. Members of the Bethany and Funeral visit those who have been bereaved during the last year to invite them to attend and participate in the Mass.

Refreshments are served afterwards in the Parish Centre.

Christmas Fairs for Kilcullen

A series of Kilcullen Christmas Fairs is being planned for the weekends in December prior to Christmas itself, writes Brian Byrne.

The initiative is being promoted by Antoinette Buckley and Noel O'Connell, who plan a 'retail regeneration' in Kilcullen that is hoped to make the town a 'destination' for focussed retail in mid-Kildare.

The Christmas Fairs will be held in the downtown area, around the River Cafe, and will involve appropriate stallholders from within and outside Kilcullen.

"We're hoping to have a Retail Committee in the town soon, with the aim of building up the Kilcullen offer to attract people in to shop," says Antoinette, who has a strong background in retail in Kildare and Dublin.

In advance of the Christmas Fairs, a Fashion Show is planned for November in Kilcullen's Town Hall, to raise funds which can be used for the provision of suitable tented stalls for the season.

"We're looking further down the line to having enough funds from the Christmas Fairs to provide for more seasonal lights and other things to attract retail customers to Kilcullen," she says.