Tuesday, June 27, 2017

KCA Tidy Towns fundraiser in Spout, 1 July

A fundraising night to support the activities of Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns will be held in The Spout on Saturday next 1 July, writes Noel Clare.

Tom and Marian are always first up to support what we do in Kilcullen, whether Christmas Lights or Summer Flowers, and we would encourage anyone in Kilcullen to come along and support them and us.

Fenton Blue will be providing the music, so you may want to stay …

Monday, June 26, 2017

Brannoxtown NS faces 'imminent closure'

A crisis public meeting on the future of Brannoxtown NS will be held on Wednesday next, 28 June, writes Brian Byrne, to try and stop what is described as the possibility of the 'imminent closure' of the school.

The meeting will be in the Baptist Church Hall starting at 9pm, and the Diary has been told that the help of the local community is 'desperately needed' to avoid a closure.

We have been told that 'pupils are not returning' to the school in September. A spokesperson said 'all input' to Wednesday's meeting is 'valid and very welcome', and everyone in the community is urged to attend.

Deputy Martin Heydon is working with all concerned to try and sort out the issue. He told the Diary the current situation is potentially 'disastrous'. "But I want to do everything possible to make sure the school stays open."

A brand new school building was opened (pictured above) in 2013, at which time there were 85 pupils. We now understand that the roll stands at around half that, and there is a real possibility that this will diminish further by September. A number of longtime members of the Board of Management have left in recent times. And staff numbers have also diminished.

The School was originally established in 1855 by the local Baptist Community and became a school in the Kilcullen Catholic Parish in 1922.

More car smash and grab attacks

Following our report at the weekend of three cars being targeted by thieves looking for valuable contents, we've now learned of another incident on the same night, writes Brian Byrne.

UPDATE: There was also a similar theft at St Brigid's Cemetery in Kilcullen yesterday, when a sum of money was taken from a car in which a bag had been left.

A car in the Community Centre car park had its window broken on Friday evening. CCTV examination subsequently showed a black car driving in beside it, and a man getting out to look into the rear of the parked vehicle.

Then the black car — which appears to be a Mercedes-Benz A-Class model sold between 2001-2004 — drives around the other side, when the back window on the other side was smashed.

A bag of no value was taken. But once again the car's owner is put to significant expense and inconvenience to have the window replaced. And the same lesson applies — leave nothing visible in your car that will tempt a smash-and-grab thief.

The whole thing took less than two minutes. The pictures have been given to An Garda.

Tidy Towns remove Hillcrest watering system after warning

A flowers watering system installed at the Hillcrest properties owned by the Comer Group development company has had to be dismantled by Kilcullen Tidy Towns after they were warned against potential 'trespass and criminal damage' by the agent for the owners, writes Brian Byrne.

The watering system for the Kilcullen in Bloom-sponsored hanging baskets on the properties had been put in place after months of correspondence between the two sides, and Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns had understood they had been given permission for the system after the agents informed KCA that they were not in a position to install it themselves. But in an email during the last week they were told to take it down immediately.

Senior property manager at Comer Property Management Kyle Denny said his 'first presumption' was that the Tidy Towns group only required access to water to bring hoses to water the baskets. However, when he noted that a 'system' was what was intended, he visited the property on Tuesday 20 June and saw that pipework had been 'put up without landlord consent'. He also criticised the pipework as 'unsightly', though acknowledging that it had still to be tidied up. The system consisted of a 20mm diameter pipe running along the front of the building with feeds to the relevant hanging baskets. Previous correspondence with the Comer Group was not through Kyle Denny but two other Comer representatives.

"Note that such action is deemed as trespassing and criminal damage," Kyle Denny wrote to Eoin Houlihan of Kilcullen Tidy Towns, adding that the work proposed in the original application — on his understanding that it was for just a ten-week period — was 'excessive, unfeasible, and unjustifiable'. He instructed that the pipework be removed by close of business on Tuesday. KCA chairman Ray Kelly subsequently complied with this demand.

Kyle Denny also said that if the Tidy Towns group still wanted temporary access to a water supply tap at the back of the premises, he is 'prepared to draft written terms and landlord consent'. In relation to the watering system, he says the matter is 'closed'.

The Tidy Towns group point out that the summer flowers period is closer to 20 weeks in a year, and that the watering system, as installed in the rest of the town, is 'an investment in the future'. The group is not seeking any further discussion with the Comer Group on the matter, accepting that it is now closed.

Eoin Houlihan has contacted the businesses trading on the property, informing them of the situation, and noting that KCA will unfortunately have to take down the hanging baskets, 'as it is not feasible for tidy towns volunteers to continue to water the baskets manually' with the threat of 'trespass and criminal damage' in place by the property owner. The businesses have all contributed to the Kilcullen in Bloom programme, the €9,000 cost of which is funded by enterprises across the community, contributions by individual residents, a grant from Kildare County Council, and support from the Curragh Race Course. The most recent donation was €1,000 raised by the pupils and staff at Scoil Bhride NS. A substantial amount of voluntary work is not included in the costing.

All the window boxes and hanging baskets throughout the town use a similar automatic watering system as had been installed at Hillcrest.

The matter is to be discussed at the next meeting of Kilcullen Community Action, with an emphasis on how it will impact on future work in the Hillcrest area, including the Christmas Lights programme.

In addition to the Hillcrest property, the Comer Group also acquired the Market Square development in Kilcullen during recent times. Established more than three decades ago by Brian and Luke Comer from Galway, its property interests are now global, with operational locations in Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe, and the United States.

Kilcullen link to National Cycling podium

A cyclist with Kilcullen family connections won silver in the Irish National Cycling Championships yesterday, writes Tom Horan.

Angus Fyffe (left above), grandson of the late Tom and Carmel Byrne, formerly of Silliot Hill, achieved his medal on the final day of the Championship, in Wexford.

The U23s were incorporated into the Senior Men's race, with Michael O’Loughlin riding hard and fast to win Gold, Angus Fyffe the Silver, and Ryan Reilly followed up with Bronze.

Riding with Newry Wheelers Cycling team, congratulations to Angus on his superb race and podium finish — a proud moment for Angus's family, friends and many supporters in the Kilcullen area.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dog found in Kennycourt

This dog was found today in the Kennycourt area. A sheepdog, it is friendly and seems well looked after, but has no collar or ID.

If it's yours phone 087 6628632.

U14 Girls Féile campaign ends

The Kilcullen GAA Girls U14 were edged out in the last minutes of their semi-final against Kilkenny at the John West Féile Peil na nÓg 2017 today.

The final score was Kilcullen 2-3 Kilkenny 3-5 after a very tough competitive match to the very end.

It was disappointment for the girls but a great achievement to get so far. They topped their group, winning all their matches to reach the semi final and it was a fantastic few days of football, making everyone at home proud of them all.

The Club also thanks the host families in Belturbet who followed their progression to Monaghan today after their own team was beaten by Kilcullen yesterday.

The Club wants everyone possible to give the team a great welcome home this evening and is calling on people to meet at the Club grounds at 6pm this evening. The team bus will depart from Clones this afternoon and the estimated arrival time will be posted at 4pm on the Kilcullen GAA Facebook page.

(Pic from Kilcullen GAA Facebook page.)

CPC helps with Phoenix Park fawns tagging

A video clip on yesterday's Irish Times website features CPC science teacher Eleanor Higgins and some 5th Year pupils helping the OPW and UCD students in the annual tagging of fawns in Dublin's Phoenix Park, writes Brian Byrne.

According to the clip and the detail in the accompanying article, about a hundred fawns are expected to be born each year in the Park. They are caught using large nets, and then measured and tagged before being released again.

"We're very proud of them all," says Catherine Moynihan, principal of CPC.

The link to the IT story is here.

Purty work by Tidy Towns

Just for those Kilcullenites who don't get into town often, writes Brian Byrne, this is the before and after sequence of Kilcullen Tidy Towns work last weekend on the derelict property formerly occupied by Pat Lawlor, just up from Berney Bros saddlery.

Just shows what can be done with a little photography and some corrie board, and a splash of imagination.

The Tidy Towns group's next step is a bit of ivy trimming and some paint work.

(Pics Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns.)