Sunday, May 27, 2018

Irish Military Seminar a date to be noted

Witness to War Crimes, by Colm Doyle with Conor Graham, will be launched by Kilcullen resident Col Des Travers (Retd), at the Irish Military Seminar scheduled for the weekend of 8-9 June in Newbridge, writes Brian Byrne.

Des Travers is himself an investigator of war crimes for the UN Human Rights Council.

The book launch is just one of a strong lineup of events at the seminar, which will be held in the Riverbank Arts Centre on the Friday evening and through the Saturday.

They include a discussion on the 1941 Glen of Imaal Disaster by Terence O'Reilly, readings from his Lebanon writings by author Martin Malone, and a forum on how the commemoration of the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922 might be handled.

The Saturday schedule includes a talk about the defence of Rorke's Drift in the Zulu wars, a discussion on the role of women in the fight for Irish freedom, and events based on the letters of Irish soldiers on the Union side in the American Civil War and on whether Oliver Cromwell's attempt to conquer Ireland was his greatest failure.

After lunch on Saturday the features are a look at the life of pirate queen Grace O'Malley, the life and times of feminist Anne Chambers, and the significance of Irish involvement in WW1.

Attendance at the Friday events is free, and there is a €5 administration fee for Saturday participation.

The seminar is well worth putting in calendars for anyone interested in the broader Irish military connections.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Summer camp in Brannockstown

A Kids Club summer camp is being organised by Brannockstown Baptist Club.

It will be held Monday-Friday 2-6 July and will include a programme of games, crafts, quizzes, music and bible study.

It is open to all children who have been at school in Junior Infants-6th Class during the last year.

The club will run from 10am-3pm each day, and costs €30 per child with a cap of €50 per family. Booking at

Participants will need to bring a packed lunch.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Jenny is Drama Dynamics Student of the Year

Jenny Dillon was presented with the Student of the Year Award at the Drama Dynamics awards event held in CPC on Friday, writes Brian Byrne.

The award is in memory of Laura Dineen, the late sister of Drama Dynamics director Evelyn O'Sullivan, and was presented to the Newbridge College Transition Year winner by another sister, Rosemary O'Connor.

Jenny played the lead role in 'Alice', the Act/Dance/Perform production presented in the Moat Theatre in March.

"She also achieved 92 distinctions in her Grade 6 speech and drama exam," Evelyn says, adding that Jenny's work reflected the 'hard work, dedication, good humour and huge smile' which had been Laura's wonderful attributes.

(Pic ex Drama Dynamics Facebook page.)

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Canoe Club gets cheque from CU

Diane Brown of Kilcullen Canoe Club is pictured receiving a cheque for the club from Pat Stafford, manager of the Kilcullen branch of Kildare Credit Union, writes Brian Byrne.

The club was one of 11 organisations in Kilcullen which received grants from the Credit Union's Outreach Programme for 2018.

They also included the Camphill Community, Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen Community Action, Kilcullen Community Centre, Kilcullen Cycling Club, the Dawn Walk for Pieta House, Kilcullen Indoor Bowls, the Maintain Hope charity, St Bridget's Pitch and Putt Club, and St Josephs National School, Halverstown.

A total of 50 applicants across the Credit Union's area received funding of various amounts.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Save the date for Acoustic Picnic 4

The fourth annual Acoustic Picnic in the Town Hall, Kilcullen, will this year take place on Wednesday 20 June.

This fundraiser in aid of the Maintain Hope charity in Kenya is again being organised by our own Roy Thompson. We don't yet have the lineup of entertainers, but we do know it will be great.

Remember, there are only 100 tickets, at a mere €10 for a great cause, so save the date and keep an eye out for the ticket sales date.

If you want a taste of what it's like, here's a clip of some of last year's contributions.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Defence Forces Open Day tomorrow

Anyone looking for a day out tomorrow, Sunday, could well consider the Open Day at the Defence Forces Training Centre on The Curragh, writes Brian Byrne.

Beginning at noon, there's a wide range of military demonstrations planned and there's sure to be a lot to interest all ages.

If you haven't recently visited the military museum on The Curragh, this is your chance, with tours every half hour. It is small, but chock full of exhibits and information.

The event also has displays of vintage and modern military vehicles, a '25-pounder shoot' in an attack display between 1.30-3.30pm, and a parachute jump by the Black Knights if weather permits, at 2.30pm.

There will be music from the Defence Forces Band, stands manned by army veterans and local community groups, and a Kids Zone.

And all free ...

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Kilcullen turnout in Referendum was 67pc

The final turnout in the Referendum in Kilcullen was 67pc, writes Brian Byrne.

There was a surge of voting in the final hours, from the 51pc who had come to cast their votes by 7pm.

At 4pm it had reached 35pc, while earlier at lunchtime today it was 24pc.

High levels have been reported from many parts of the country, where overall polling is described as 'brisk'.

The results of an exit poll announced on RTÉ's Late Late Show last night suggested an overwhelming 69pc-31pc result in favour of removing the 8th Amendment from the Constitution.

The poll was carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes for RTE.

The count proper begins this morning and the result will be known later in the day.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Small things make big energy differences — KSEC meeting

Ray Kelly, KCA; Paul O'Reilly, energy consultant; Barry Griffiths, Kildare Co Council; John Harrington, energy consultant; and Padraig Maloney, KCA.
If there was to be just one takeaway from last night's information evening and launch of the Kilcullen Sustainable Energy Community, it would be that a lot of small things make the big differences in saving energy, writes Brian Byrne.

From that, it was then clear that it is best that individuals and communities take control of their environment to achieve these small improvements which will later allow them to take on bigger ones.

But first, we have to know where we are, so that we can see where we get to on the road to a smaller energy footprint.

"What you can't measure, you can't manage," energy consultant Paul O'Reilly told the clearly engaged audience who turned up for the event in the Town Hall. For homeowners and businesses alike, a simple investment of as little as €45 in a real-time energy monitor is a good first step, he said.

Paul O'Reilly, energy matters author; with Saoirse Behan of Woodbine Books.
The author of Watt Footprint — The Smart Citizen's Guide to Save Energy also brought the process down to a simple component of every home, business, and community — the light bulb. "Every light bulb counts," he said. "Understand that simplicity and then you can move on."

He spoke of the savings that can be made by simply replacing older bulbs with more efficient types, even if they are significantly more expensive. "Remember, that it isn't just a case of the wattage, there is the time element also, that a bulb is in use." Noting that there are 8,700 hours in a year, changing a bulb from a 90W incandescent to a 12W LED can make a significant difference in running costs while it is on.

Lights were also one of the examples of power saving on a corporate level as detailed by Barry Griffiths (above), Facilities Manager with Kildare County Council. Speaking on the current programme to improve energy efficiency at the Council's headquarters in Naas, he said that replacing with more efficient bulbs in areas which are most in use realised substantial savings very quickly. "We also replaced 150 lighting controls that had broken down, and in all our outdoor areas we put in passive switches which turn off lights five minutes after people have gone through."

An 'Energy Day', to advise staff in the building on simple ways of saving energy also helped. "Turning off computers at night, turning off radiators instead of opening windows when it gets too hot, putting timers on the Burco boilers in the coffee bays so that they're not on all night ..."

Such measures have already made enough difference that in 2017 the Facilities section was able to hand back €80,000 of its previously estimated budge for running a building with up to 500 staff. In the next phase of the programme, solar panels are being installed, which will provide about 15pc of the total energy use in the building. "The total cost of that will be recovered in five years."

For the ordinary homeowner, he said similar savings could be achieved. "It's just walking around your house with your eyes open. Turn your lights off when you don't need them. Turn your TV off. It is pointless doing the big things unless you do the little things first."

Padraig Maloney, KCA; Paul Harrington, Future Fit; and Derry McKeown, Kilsaran.
The role of savings in the residential sector was also highlighted by John Harrington, co-founder of Future Fit — a company aimed at helping organisations and communities to be 'fit for the future' in energy terms. "They need to be smart, to be prepared for what's coming our way," he said. "Energy costs are only going to go one way, up."

Noting that 'a huge amount' of energy is wasted in the residential sector, which means the wastage is highly dispersed, he said the country needs to figure out 'how to save small amounts of energy in everybody's home'. "It's the smart thing to do as well as the nice thing to do."

He provided information on some of the grant aids available to homes, business, farms, public buildings and schools for energy conservation. He also said that a community which took on the responsibility of producing an 'energy master plan' in partnership with the SEAI could get a 'VIP Pass' to funding.

"I see the process as a continuum, from the simple things all the way to the big projects like deep retrofits. And it can also earn extra points in the Tidy Towns competition."

The final section of the meeting dealt with a variety of individual questions on matters ranging from electric vehicles to insulation and upgrading energy systems. Padraig Maloney and Ray Kelly of Kilcullen Community Action outlined how the Kilcullen SEC group is 'still at the very early stage' and 'learning as we go along'.

"We needs the clubs and organisations to come to us with their needs for saving energy, and we'll sit with you and help you out," Ray said, while Padraig expects that a draft energy master plan will be developed over the next three months.

In addition to individuals and community and business representatives from Kilcullen, last night's meeting also attracted interest from people in other parts of Kildare and from as far as Kilkenny.

Barry Griffiths, KCC; Robert Moran, Facilities Manager, Kerry Group; Padraig Maloney, KCA; and Eoin Houlihan, KCA.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs.

The passing of Vincent Nolan

The Diary has learned with personal sadness of the death of Vincent Nolan of The Glebe, Halverstown.

Beloved husband of Anne, loving father of Dermot, Michael, Jennifer and Vincent. Sadly missed by his loving wife and children, sister Mary (Brophy), son-in-law Dermot, daughters-in-law Penny and Wooly, grandchildren Jack,Faye, Nicholas, Robert, Olivia-Rose and Annabelle, relatives and friends.

Vincent is reposing at his home today (Friday) from 2pm-6pm. His funeral will arrive at the Church of The Sacred Heart and St Brigid, Kilcullen on Saturday for his funeral mass at 11am. Burial will take place afterwards in St Brigid’s Cemetery, Kilcullen.

May he rest in peace.