Wednesday, August 16, 2017

'Pencil cones' answer to cyclist safety at Thompson's Cross

These pencil cones installed at Thompson’s Cross some time ago are what a much-heralded Safety Audit at the junction has come up with to make the junction 'safer', writes Brian Byrne.

They are part of a number of measures which are being implemented following the Audit, which resulted from serious criticism of changes made at the controversial crossing in October of last year. In these, the slip lanes to and from the secondary roads of the junction were removed and replaced with concrete abutments.

The criticisms came from motorists affected by turning traffic, and from cyclists forced out into mainstream traffic ahead of the junction.

The Diary has been told that a contractor will be on site next month to complete the new measures, which include the pencil cones which ‘encourage gradual merging onto the main road for cyclists, as per road safety best practice’.

Other measures are the removal of excess signage, ‘to help concentrate driver attention on the important ones’; and the addition of a 1.2m footpath ‘extending from the junction for a short distance’.

Cllr Rob Power, who elicited the information following a request from the Diary, says these improvements will come from existing resources within KCC. “As was mentioned before, if a roundabout is to be funded it would require significant investment and would certainly require national funding.”

ED NOTE: The foregoing is the news item. Here’s my comment … except that I’m temporarily at a loss for words! For the moment, all I can do is ask how many of those conducting the safety audit actually spent some time negotiating the junction on bicycles?

Happy Leaving Cert results at CPC

Jack Skerritt, who is going on to study biochemistry, with his mother Pam, sister Aoife and CPC Principal Catherine Moynihan.
There was lots of excitement this morning at Cross & Passion College as many of this year’s group of Leaving Cert students came to collect their results, writes Brian Byrne.

Principal Catherine Moynihan said the school was very happy with the results for the 113 pupils who sat the exams at the school at the start of summer.

“It’s great for them,” she said, “and it’s great for their families too, because it is all the family that does the Leaving when they have a candidate in the house.”

Noting also that the results ‘are more than the marks’, she expressed her congratulations for all involved, including the family members who supported the students, and the College teaching staff.

Tara Breen, Donna Carpenter and Baonnie Villis.

Stephen Coyne, Mark Lawler, Sean Fitzgerald, and Tommy Doyle.

Very successful Leinster Loop cycle

Lots of Kilcullen cyclists took part in the weekend Leinster Loop fundraising cycle in aid of Breast Cancer Research, writes Tom Horan. There were many volunteers from the town there too.

This was the eighth year for The Leinster Loop which has grown over the years to become Ireland's leading charity cycle sportive event. With nearly a year in the planning, involving dozens of sponsors, hundreds of helpful local volunteers and of course, over 1,000 cyclists, this year's event was superbly run and the 12, 25, 50, 90 and 130 Kms routes throughout very scenic countryside were enjoyed by all in beautiful Summer weather.

From the Board of Galway-based Breast Cancer Research, Miriam Hand spoke very highly of the level of commitment of the people involved and thanked everybody for coming along, adding that the funds raised help BCR to work on developing effective targeted treatments to benefit breast cancer patients. St Laurence's Community also benefit financially from the event.

As a mark of respect and of the high esteem in which they were held by their communities, moving memorial tributes were led by the Mayor of Kildare Cllr Martin Miley as the family of the late Mick Fogarty RIP were the official events starters on Sunday along with the family of cyclist Tonya McEvoy RIP who was tragically killed in a cycling accident this year.

Photos by Tom Horan and Sandra Doolan and Alex Tallon.

Day 1.  Day 2.

Paddy Casey to headline River Fest

The headline act for the music side of this year’s Kilcullen River Festival is singer-songwriter Paddy Casey, writes Brian Byrne.

The Dublin-born singer has six albums to his credit, several of them certified multi-platinum, and in addition to his own tours and theatre and festival performances, he has supported U2, R.E.M., Ian Brown, Ani DiFranco and The Pretenders among others. His latest album is ‘The Secret Life Of’, recently released.

Paddy will close the River Festival, following local band Barley and Grape Rag.

The Festival is Sunday week, the 27th, kicking off from 12 noon with food, crafts, and many familiar attractions through the afternoon.

Damien's screenplay in Florida final

Kilcullen writer Damien Aulsberry has had his screenplay 'Sons & Broken Noses' short-listed in a prestigious competition in Florida, writes Brian Byrne.

His script is a finalist in the Neo-Noir category of the Film Noir Shorts Competition of the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival in Miami and Key Largo.

The Festival runs from 15-22 October in what the organisers describe as 'A Sunny Place for Shady Characters'.

"It's a nice bit of news," Damien told the Diary last night as the word came through.

The same piece took the Best Screenplay award at the recent Wexford Film Festival.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The passing of Maureen O'Gorman

The Diary has learned of the death of Maureen O'Gorman (nee Ryan) of Usk, peacefully at home in the loving care of her family. Maureen was pre-deceased by her brother Michael.

Her passing is deeply regretted by her loving husband Tom, children Andrew, Caroline, Fiona, Tommy, Muriel and Michael, sisters Bernie and Angela and brother Pat, sister in law, brothers in law, daughters in law Siobhan and Aine, sons in law Bill and Damian. Granchildern Catherine, Ellen, Jennifer, Thomas and Ana Rose, nieces, nephews, extended family, neighbours and friends.

She is reposing at her home from 2pm Wednesday with removal at 6:20pm to arrive at the Church of SS Mary and Lawrence, Crookstown, for 7pm. Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Thursday at 10am and will be followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Donations if wished may be made to the Irish Cancer Society, for which purpose there will be a donation box in the church.

May she rest in peace.

Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 15 August 2017 were 6, 19, 28 and 30. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be 10,000.

The winners of the 50 Open Draws were Miriam McDonnell (Promoter Miriam McDonnell), Trish Sully (Ann Sully) and Carmel Gleeson (Wednesday Bridge Club).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Tom O’Connell and Vivian Clarke and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Vivian Clarke.

The Parish thanks all those who support the Lotto.

Teach na nDaoine ready for next work phase

Work on the construction phase of the Teach na nDaoine project is due to begin in the next couple of weeks, writes Brian Byrne.

This follows the completion of statutory certifications from various organisations including the County Kildare Fire Service.

The Teach na nDaoine project received full planning permission late last year, which includes an extension to the rear of the current building that will make possible an extensive range of services, particularly to older people in the community, when it is completed.

Preparatory work to secure the former Dispensary building and make it safe for development was carried out last year by volunteers.

A €45,000 grant from the National Lottery was received towards the funding requirements last November, and this is being supplemented by a range of fundraising events, which included very successful ballroom dancing classes.

Pending the completion of certification, a new fence between the site and neighbouring homes was installed during the summer.

Thoughts for each hour of the day

This interesting ‘clock’ in the window of the Vincents shop highlights various ways and reasons for people to help others who need it, writes Brian Byrne.

It’s worth a few minutes to see what thoughts you might entertain at each hour of the day, that might trigger a moment of goodwill which could lift someone else’s situation.

For example, at 8 o’clock, you might consider paying someone’s bill who can’t meet it. Or there’s the midday (or midnight) thought that ‘Enough is Plenty’.

Pause a moment as you wander down town. One hour of the day’s suggestion might just suit what you could do.

Tennis club growing nicely

The first of a series of assessment and coaching sessions at Kilcullen Tennis Club for young players was very successful last Saturday, writes Brian Byrne. They will be continued on coming Saturdays and will result in the development of an autumn coaching programme for youngsters.

The reformed club officially got under way earlier in the summer, and the membership already stands at over 100, according to the prime mover in the project, Eamonn O'Toole.

Both hard courts are now fully refurbished and painted, and high fencing as well as sound deflecting material has also been installed.

Earlier this year Kilcullen Development Association — which supported the formation of the original Tennis Club in the same location back in the 1950s — provided a terms-free loan of €24,000 to get things moving. A number of local businesses have pledged sponsorship amounting to several thousands of euro, and a development plan is in train to add two more courts, and a sheltered viewing area. It is also planned to install lighting.

Now that the club is officially open application can be made for further funding from organisations like Tennis Ireland and the Sports Council.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Billy's Bazaar dates set for next month

Billy Redmond’s annual Bazaar will take place this year from 6-8 September, this time in aid of research into Neurofibromatosis, writes Brian Byrne.

It will be held in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre, from 9am-5pm each day.

Billy welcomes donations of anything that is saleable, such as unwanted gifts, small items of furniture, lamps, bric-a-brac, candles, tables and chairs.

He has operated the Bazaar for many years of fundraising for organisations which have included the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Jack & Jill Foundation.

You can contact Billy at 087 6311177 to arrange delivery or collection.

The Bridge Community celebrates 25 years

The Bridge Camphill Community and friends yesterday celebrated 25 years since the group set up in Kilcullen in the former Nugent’s Field, writes Brian Byrne.

In a balmy afternoon of music, food, and memories, the silver anniversary was marked by former and current staff and volunteers, and local people who have been involved over the years.

Mischa Fekete, current director of the Bridge Community, thanked the people of Kilcullen for welcoming the group all those years ago.

He presented small gifts to four people who reflected the input from the people of Kilcullen to the Community. These included Mary Berney, who has given nearly 20 years of involvement, mainly in the Adult Education Programme; and Annette McCarthy who was also involved in the same programme as well as being a good friend to the Community in many ways.

The other recipients were Anne Hughes, a volunteer down the years in many ways; and John Martin, who initially helped out with musicals produced by the Community and became further involved in developing the creative potential among the residents.

Responding on behalf of Kilcullen, John Martin said the Bridge Community had not just established a haven and a home for their residents, but had also made a major contribution to the wider community of Kilcullen.

“The Bridge opened its arms to Kilcullen, and Kilcullen responded by opening its arms to them,” he said. Noting the physical part of the Community’s activities, which include An Tearmann, the Manna shop, the bakery and the weavery, he also reminded those present of how those in the Bridge have been involved in the local social, environmental, and cultural side of Kilcullen.

“The interaction has resulted in a seamless partnership and cooperation,” he concluded. “We are privileged and blessed to have had the Bridge Community in Kilcullen for the last 25 years.”