Friday, December 30, 2016

So that was 2016 ...

With more than 1,300 stories posted during 2016, the Diary has reflected a very busy town, and yet I'm certain that what we get to report is only a fraction of all that goes on, writes Brian Byrne.

Still, when taking a trawl back through those stories for this round-up of the year, it proved to be quite an eye-opener. So here is 2016, the selection box.


JANUARY

It was a watery start to the year with continuing high levels in the Liffey threatening to breach its banks in a number of areas close to the town. With a constant flow of a third more than normal ‘high’ flood points, part of the Bridge Camphill Nature Trail was inundated, and the basement of the Bank of Ireland had some ingress. But overall, the river came just short of doing any serious harm.

Local doctor Elizabeth Cullen won the main prize in a new BT Masters section of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, for her project, ‘A proposal to investigate the feasibility of undertaking enhanced surveillance of cancer in Ireland’, focused on recording environmental factors in people diagnosed with cancer. The competition was developed for all those who wished they had taken part in the exhibition when they were younger or wanted to revisit the great experience they had when involved.


FEBRUARY

The Teach na nDaoine Project got under way in earnest, with Albert Keenan and friends getting stuck in on demolition duty inside the Old Dispensary. Through the coming year, much would be achieved, including planning permission for an extension to the building which will make the project seriously useful to the community when it is finished.

The new Scoil Bhride building was officially opened and among the items of particular note was an artwork mosaic in hand-cut tiles decorating the corridor that links the older and the new building. It was designed by the artist, illustrator and children's book author Chris Judge, pictured (left) with Scoil Bhride Principal Ann Flanagan, and Jay Roche and John Carter of Triskill, which produced the work.

CPC pupils Chloe Scott, Georgia Markham, and Aisling Bolton Dowling and their 'The Ice Queen' fashion creation reached the regional final of the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2016 competition. The main material in the dress was newspapers, with sweet wrappers, old CDs and a hula hoop making up some of the decorative elements.

A Tidy Towns public meeting both attracted new volunteers as well as beginning a new development plan for future Tidy Towns effort in Kilcullen. The plan took as its base an environmental report on the town carried out with the help of Kildare County Council’s Support Project.

It was also the month of the General Election, and the shape of Kildare South representation changed with the win by FF candidate Fiona O’Loughlin, joining her colleague Sean O Fearghaill, and Kilcullen-based poll-topper Martin Heydon of FG.


MARCH

The Fun Run organised in aid of St Joseph’s NS and St Anne’s School on The Curragh brought out more than 300 participants from the locality and further afield, showing that the event was gaining traction in the national calendar of such initiatives.

News that Kilcullen had been selected by Bank of Ireland to have an ‘Enterprise Town’ Expo weekend brought out the business community to an information evening launch of the initiative. It was to be the start of a short and hard-working period to bring the Expo to fruition.

For Proclamation Day, the local school-children and their teachers got very much involved in this aspect of the Centenary memories, culminating in the raising of the tricolour in the Scoil Bhride grounds.

Members of Kilcullen Tidy Towns, including many new people, spent a day on the next phase of the Convent Garden, planting new flower beds in the redesigned amenity.

There was a very successful St Patrick’s Day Parade in Kilcullen, organised by Kilcullen Scouts. As part of the 1916 commemoration theme, there was a ’family heritage' group who marched wearing the service medals of ancestors or family members.

Among the many 1916 commemoration details was the story of Mary Ellen ‘Daisy’ Patterson from Naas, who played a substantial part in and after the Rising, then came to Kilcullen and married local miller James Collins, himself an active member in IRA activities subsequent to Easter Week.


APRIL

An enthralling and informative evening on military aspects of the 1916 Rebellion, and on Kilcullen life at the time, took place in the Town Hall, organised by librarian Mary Orford and military expert John Martin. The attendance included members of the family of the late Paddy Rankin of Nicholastown, Kilcullen, who had cycled from Newry to take part in the Rising, serving in the GPO.

A new sculpture was unveiled by Kilcullen Development Association to commemorate all those who had been involved with the organisation, which was very important to the town’s survival and growth from the mid-1950s. In particular the piece, by local artist Noel Scullion, noted the work of the late Paddy Nugent and Michael St Leger. Members of both families were guests at the unveiling and subsequent presentation on the activities of KDA.

After the damage caused by flooding was repaired, the Bridge Community reopened the Nature Trail section which was now reinforced with concrete and wouldn’t be as easily damaged in the future. The work was done with the aid of contributions from the community.

Kilcullen Drama Group set a number of firsts with their production of ‘The Quare Land’ by John McManus. It was the first amateur production of the comedy, the first time actor Bernard Berney sat in a full bath for the entire performances, and the first time that proper plumbing was required on the stage. Hilarious, as always, with Vivian Clarke as the other half of the cast, and the play had to be repeated later in the year.

Concerns about the safety of children going to school in Kilcullen were beginning to become a focus for the attention of parents, school staff, and local representatives. It was later to become a major matter, resulting in action by Kildare County Council in providing some safer crossing initiatives.

More than 100 companies, small traders, sports and community organisations took part in the Enterprise Town Expo, organised by a local committee under the leadership of local BofI manager Jo McMahon. Some 70pc of them were businesses, spread across sectors which included Arts & Craft, Childcare, Construction and Home, Fitness, Food, Health & Care, Print & Publishing, Property, Retail, and a variety of Services. There was general agreement that it was a great success.


MAY

Litter continued to be a thorny problem through the year, despite trojan efforts by Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns to keep things clean. Pictured is Caoimhin McDonnell's collection from the area around Thompson's Cross, on one of the approach roads to Kilcullen.

A long-awaited new fence along the pedestrian walkway to Bishop Rogan Park was constructed by the local residents with the help of Kilcullen Development Association. Pat Kelly and James Delaney of the BRP Residents Association, noted that the residents first mooted the project over a decade ago.

In financial terms, Kilcullen Community Action almost doubled its activities in 2015, the organisation's AGM was told, but as a non-profit community entity, outgoings also rose in a similar proportion. The extra income and spending was by way of grants, fundraising, and expenditure for specific purposes during the year, in particular related to the upgrading of the Christmas lights programme. Ray Kelly was subsequently elected new Chairman, succeeding Kieran Forde.

Nolan's of Kilcullen won yet more awards for their produce at the IFFA World Craft Butchers Finals in Frankfurt. James Nolan was presented with three Gold Medals in the International Quality Competition for Sausages, for Nolans Traditional Pork Sausages, BBQ Jumbo Sizzelers, and Chilli Sausages, as well as Gold, Silver and Bronze for Home Made Puddings. An incredible achievement for a small family business at a major global food event.

After five years of leasing The Spout, and making a success of it, popular publican Tommy Dignam and his new partner in the business, Marian Courtney, officially marked their purchase of the pub with a 'customer appreciation night', at which no money crossed the counter. Pictured above are (back) Podge Byrne, Tommy Dignam and his wife Jenny, Derek Courtney and his wife Marian, and Tommy's father Jimmy Dignam; and (front) Tommy's mother Ann, and his children Cian and Leanne.

Retired teacher Gerry O'Donoghue rediscovered a fairly forgotten Bronze Age ring barrow burial site at Old Kilcullen, long officially catalogued, but very few locals have been aware of the artefact. The burial area predates the Christian settlement of Old Kilcullen, and may well be linked to the nearby Dun Ailinne ancient royal site.

Local businesswoman Shirley Kavanagh-Hallion won the Business Woman of the Year in the Emerging New Business category of the Kildare Branch of Network Ireland’s Women in Business Awards. The owner of the Secret Kloset ladies fashion store on Hillcrest set up her Kilcullen store in mid-2015.

A decision was made for Kilcullen Credit Union to merge with Kildare CU, along with Narraghmore CU. The merger would result in a combined membership of approximately 13,400 members and the three Credit Unions would benefit from a combined administrative structure, instead of each having to replicate the many administration requirements required under current financial regulation.

A well attended meeting on the possibility of reviving Kilcullen Tennis Club heard a very well thought-out plan from local enthusiast Eamonn O’Toole. The Club, established in the 1950s, has been inactive for a number of years, but Eamonn has since been working on it and expects it to be fully playable in 2017.

A local swan, nicknamed ‘Sean’, caused some angst to members of the Kilcullen Canoe Club, getting very territorial as his mate ‘Siobhan’ nurtured eggs in their nest near the Mill Stream. Later, six cygnets were hatched, though only one was to survive the ravages of riverside predators.


JUNE

Members of Kilcullen and Ryston boxing clubs took part in a re-enactment of the Donnelly and Cooper fight in Donnelly’s Hollow, for a segment in the RTE TV series ‘John Creedon’s Ireland’s Ancient East'. The segment, broadcast later in the year, included Josephine Byrne talking with John Creedon about Donnelly’s Arm. Pictured are Ryston BC coaches Tom McDermot and Luke Connors, boxer Bobby Molloy, Referee Dave Molloy, Kilcullen BC boxer Dan Hoolahan and Kilcullen coaches Joe Orford and Dave O'Brien.

A surprise celebration was held in Fallons for the 80th birthday of the town’s favourite emigre, Donal St Leger of New Jersey. It was a big, big surprise for Donal himself, organised by his son Brian and daughter Kathleen and other members of the St Leger and Nugent families, with the connivance of local intriguers led by Vivian Clarke. Music was provided by the Kellys, a typically hilarious sketch was performed by Bernard Berney and Vivian Clarke after the birthday boy was welcomed home by Lord Mayor Michael Lambe, and Ger Peacocke immortalised the event in an all encompassing prose poem.

Second Year CPC students Jane O'Toole and Evie Ronayne, along with their teacher Michelle Flanagan, flew away to spend a week in Malawi as guests of Concern. They were chosen by Concern because their class was one of the top fundraisers for Concern during the past year. They are pictured in Dublin Airport with Concern staff member Claire Marshall. Later in the year the two girls contributed to a presentation on the effects of climate change, at Dail Eireann.

Kilcullen got into ‘Summer Mode’ with a lot of refurbishment going on in different parts of the town. Pictured is local artist Kieran Behan, refreshing a mural which he made for the town some years ago.

A revival of archeological excavations at Dun Ailinne outside Kilcullen brought back memories of the original ‘digs’ 50 years ago. Dr Susan Johnston of the Anthropology Department of George Washington University, who was in charge of the excavations in 2016, gave a presentation on the results in the Town Hall. She’s pictured with Hugh Crawford, President of the Kildare Archaeological Society; Nessa Dunlea, Kilcullen Heritage Centre; and Kildare Heritage Officer Bridget Loughlin.

It was a special day in Kilcullen for the Byrnes of Silliot Hill and Kilcullen when Angus Fyffe competed in the U23 section of the National Cycling Championships which were held in Kilcullen. A strong support group from the family were here to cheer him on. Angus is an up and coming international rider, son of Kilcullen-born Marella Fyffe (Byrne) and now with the An Post-ChainReaction professional cycling team owned by Sean Kelly. From Omagh in Co Tyrone, Angus is grandson of the late Tommy and Carmel Byrne of Kilcullen. The overall Elite Men race was won by Nicholas Roche, who also won the Time Trials.

Fresh from recent wins at food fairs in Germany, Nolans of Kilcullen hit the TV screens in that country in a food programme series on Irish meat. James Nolan is pictured with a film crew, being interviewed by Ludwig ‘Lucki’ Maurer, who raises his own wagyu cattle, and Wolfgang Otto from Otto Gourmet.


JULY

A van was purchased for the Maintain Hope Children's Home in Ngong, Kenya, thanks to contributions from volunteers and supporters back home in Kildare. As the charity’s founder Gerry O’Donoghue put it, ‘the children can travel safely to school and to clinics without fear of harassment or assault’. It also means that they can attend school regularly.

The now-annual Dawn Walk and subsequent barbecue again drew out big numbers. It’s organised in aid of Pieta House by Lorna Brophy and Richie Kelly along with a group of friends. They later have Pieta House a cheque for €9,200.

Kilcullen athletes did very well in the County Kildare Community Games Athletic Finals held in Clongowes Wood College. The Kilcullen contingent put in some very strong performances with plenty of success in both the individual and team events. In all, they brought home two gold, a silver and fourth place medal in the individual events, while the relay events saw huge success for Kilcullen with the teams winning gold in both the U10 and U15 mixed relay races and bronze in the U10 girls relay race.

Some 17 dancers from the Landers Dance Group headed off for a week-long visit to Namur in Belgium for the European International Dance Festival. The youngsters, aged from 10 through 17, were all from Kilcullen and the surrounding area, and stayed in a school in the town.

More than 120 cyclists took part in the annual Murphy Surveys Charity Cycle for Crumlin, organised in association with Kilcullen Cycling Club. The event took place over two routes of 50K and 100K respectively, with familiar faces from both local and other clubs further afield in the Cycle, which in previous years has raised five-figure sums for Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Later in the year, a cheque for more than €10,000 was presented to CRF Crumlin.

Kilcullen Canoe Club performed very well in the British National Championships where Aaron Thorpe and Ronan Foley came fourth in the U16 Mens K2, and Ronan came second in the U16 Mens K1. The races were held in Reading, UK, hosted by Reading Canoe Club.

Local food producer Jane Russell won two gold stars in the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards 2016 for her Toasted Fennel & Chili Sausages, one of 430 awards to food producers in the Republic of Ireland in the UK and Ireland event run by the Guild of Fine Food. There were more than 10,000 entries across the two islands for the Awards, which were assessed by a large panel of food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, food writers and journalists.

An annual ‘contest’ between Halverstown Cricket Club and the visitor White City All Stars had a nicely sunny day for their encounter. The visitors have been coming to Ireland and Kilcullen for some three decades now, and are still well matched with the local team, as the result was, probably again, an official draw. Afterwards, as usual, both sides repaired to The Mill for some well deserved refreshments.

Kilcullen was the scene of a ‘cholera outbreak’ in an exercise carried out by the United Nations Training School Ireland. The course was geared to military and humanitarian personnel serving overseas in peacekeeping roles, on the subject of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in conflict or emergency zones. Participants included military from Nigeria and Argentina as well as Irish Defence Forces members. as part of the exercise, participants interviewed ‘key leaders’ in Kilcullen, Donard and Blessington. Among the Irish participants was Captain Lisa McMahon from Kilcullen.


AUGUST

That we had a relatively rain-free summer was illustrated by the lack of floods being released along the Liffey from Golden Falls at Ballymore, something that prompted local anglers to raise concerns about the health of trout spawning beds. The ESB said they were restricted in the amount of water that could be released because of statutory levels needed to provide water to Dublin.

Boots which travelled 17,000kms were soled and polished in Ger Peacocke’s traditional shoe repair shop on Mani Street. They were owned by Lachlan Kemp, from Merriwa in New South Wales, and were originally his grandfather’s. Ger immediately recognised them as Craftsman boots made by RM Williams, established in 1932, and brought them back to a state as good as new.

Up to 50 trucks were among the wide range of vehicles which took part in the 14th Mac & Norman Vintage Drive. There were also the usual motorbikes, vintage cars, and of course lots and lots of tractors from very old to very new. Organisers once again were Ann and Peter Sully and their very large group of friends, who tap an enormous well of generosity in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. The day raised €27,100.

Summer is traditionally a time when businesses and private property owners get out the paintbrushes, but this year there seemed to be a lot more of such activity. The market square streetscape was particularly interesting, with Brian Fallon organising a coherent colour scheme with the help of a designer, and garnering funds for the project from the Kildare County Council small town improvement grants.

A ‘River of Wild Flowers' was the Bridge Camphill contribution to National Heritage Week 2016, an extra feature which was enjoyed by those who like to walk around the Farm & Nature Trail developed by the Bridge Community some years ago and generously open to anyone who wants to take time out in the rich tapestry of sights, colours, sounds and smells. The community's Weavery was also open to visitors, to view the technology of another time still alive and producing textile delights.

There was a full house in Kilcullen Community Library for Mario Corrigan's illustrated talk on the life of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The National Heritage Week event provided a picture of a man who became obsessed with the South Pole, but who also never let his obsession take over his belief that life, especially the lives of those who travelled with him, was the most important thing.

An unusual guest stayed with Hilary Jones Pallister in her Kilcullen Homestay accommodation, a Japanese man who is running around the world. A former Senior Secondary School Teacher, he visits schools and explains the devastation following the tsunami. Takashige Katsuhiko started his adventure on May 25, 2011 and hopes to run 40,000km around the world on five continents.


SEPTEMBER

Brannockstown Baptist Church welcomed a new pastor and his family — Rich Blayney, his wife Steph and their three young children, who came from Coleraine near the north coast of Northern Ireland. They moved into the manse next to the picturesque church building in August, just in time to settle down before a new term at school and at the church.

Portrait of Memories: Kilcullen 1916-2016, a series of interviews with local people, were made by Mary Orford relive local family links to WW1 and the 1916 Rising as well as involvement in community activities in more recent times. The series was launched in Kilcullen Community Library and those interviewed were Charles Poufong, Noel Clare, Liam Walker, Lucy O’Toole, Sheila Peacocke, Julie O’Donoghue, Sue Goulding, Emma Birchall, Mischa Fekete, and EilĂ­s Phillips.

To raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, Riggy Reid and Trish Fanning allowed their lovely hair to be shorn in a ‘Shave of Dye’ event in The Spout organised by local musician Jimmy Aspell. It was also a night of music from the legendary Brush Shiels, the enormously brilliant local band Badge, and the ultimately professional contribution both in performance and sound management of Kilcullen man Shane McGrath's Harlequin. And Spout co-proprietor Tommy Dignam also took his own very competent turn at the microphone. Later, a cheque for €10,959, raised in The Spout over two years, was given to the ICS.

A ‘Rock for the Teach’ barbecue and music event held at The Mill in Mile Mill was both a successful fundraiser for the Teach na nDaoine project and also a celebration of the project being granted planning permission for a major extension to the building currently being renovated.

Another BofI initiative had a Kilcullen link when the Big Blue Box Cycle Challenge made a stopover at the town. Once again a local committee was set up by bank manager Jo McMahon, to organise activities to contribute to the effort, which involved groups of riders travelling between 29 towns on routes related to the ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ tourism region. Bank of Ireland matched all the funds raised, which means the Kilcullen contribution totalled €3,600.

Up to 150 people attended the ‘Angels Guard Thee’ concert in Kilcullen Parish Church, in aid of the organ repair fund. Tenor Dave Maguire and pianist Paul McKeever headlined the music, with the stories behind each piece told by Owen C Lynch and Siobhan McKeever. The music covered a range of styles and included works by Mendelssohn, Bach, Handel, Elgar and Charles Villiers Stanford, as as compositions from Mozart, Benjamin Godard, Reynaldo Hahn, Tchaikovsky, Barber, Chopin and John W Metcalf.

The arrival of the Kildare GAA Ladies All-Ireland winning team and the cup to Brannoxtown NS was a more special occasion because the team captain was Aisling Holton, one of the school’s teachers. The visitors got a rousing reception after bringing home the first All-Ireland cup to come to Kildare since 1965, when the county u21s brought home the silver.

There was evident satisfaction on the part of Kilcullen’s Tidy Towns organisers on the improvement by four points in this year’s competition. The gains were in Community Involvement & Planning; Built Environment & Streetscape; Wildlife Habitats & Natural Amenities; and Sustainable Waste & Resource Management. Kilcullen topped its category over Sallins and Monasterevin, while Straffan was the overall county winner.

Among a number of new businesses opened in Kilcullen this autumn was Woodbine Books, a brand new bookstore in the downtown area. Dawn Behan and Aidan Cunnane have in excess of 4,000 books and lots of reading related other items in their shop, which has been attracting lots of customers.


OCTOBER

The CPC Class of ’86 Reunion involved a lot of fun and remembering about their days at school and involved first some socialising and then touring the school to bring back some more memories. The 37 or so former pupils then assembled in the school’s Sacred Space — a recent innovation which wasn’t there in their time — for some quiet reflection, before heading downtown for a little less quiet.

A public meeting organised by Kilcullen Community Action with most of the area’s public representatives was a very direct exercise in letting them know that Kilcullen is being proactive in its plans and requirements from local authority. No less than 11 reps turned up, including the three TDs of Kildare South. An illuminating evening for all.

Kilcullen got a new eatery when chef Daryl Devine opened up a completely refurbished restaurant in the premises formerly known as the Good Food Gallery. The decor is bright, unusual, and makes really nice spaces whether one is in for coffee, breakfast, lunch or later.

Kilcullen’s Fr Niall Mackey resumed a former interest by heading off to Columbus, Ohio in the US, where he ran a half-marathon. Happy with his performance, he nevertheless noted that in his younger days he completed full marathons in less time than he recently completed the half. Next year …

After a decade as Principal at St Joseph’s NS in Halverstown, Marion Sherlock moved to a new appointment as Principal of Robertstown NS. She received many tributes from members of the local community as she bade farewell to students, colleagues, parents and their extended families. Barry Whelan is the new St Joseph’s Principal.

A lot of footpath repair and build work suddenly happened in Kilcullen, with the cones taking over all the way to Lui na Greine, down Hillside, and at the junctions beside Scoil Bhride. Short-term traffic disruption was worthwhile, though.

Local author Hazel Gaynor, a best seller in the US for her historical fiction, was shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards with her ‘Girl from the Savoy’. While she didn’t eventually win in the Popular Fiction category, she was deservedly over the moon to have made the shortlist. It’s only a matter of time …

Thompson’s Cross got back into the notoriety stakes again with the latest works at the troublesome junction. This time motorists, cyclists, walkers and public representatives all got up in arms over the changes, which were ostensibly to slow traffic but push all but motorists into the main traffic space.

There was great fun at Brannoxtown NS when pupils and staff had a 'Witchy Walk' to raise funds for Temple St Hospital. Donal Shaw won the prize for the best costume. Kalbarri Cookery School sponsored some delicious bread and cakes and home baked delicious treats were also provided by Kate, Deirdre and Jimmy including pancakes and muffins. Fresh fruit was provided by Anne-Marie.

Local much loved musician Jimmy Aspell is used to organising fundraising events, but he got a big surprise when he found he was the centre of 60th birthday celebrations organised by Michelle and Leah. There was a full house of friends in The Spout for the event, which even had its own Facebook page for months and Jimmy never copped it. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.


NOVEMBER

Kilcullen Relay for Life received a generous donation from John Berney and the company he works for, JOL Covers, of a much needed weather proofed banner. It was presented at the launch of the team’s Memory Candles for the 2017 county Relay event. The 2016 Kildare Relay raised an outstanding amount of €112,897, which will go towards Cancer services for the County of Kildare. The Kilcullen Group raised over €2,000 towards that amount.

There was a sellout performance for the Maintain Hope concert performed by The Moon and Sixpence charity band in Kilcullen Town Hall, with both the cause and the music always going to be top class attractions. Siobhan and Co in the band were in superb form and the audience was fully entertained by the time the night ended.

The summer flowers came down, and the Christmas lights went up, and Kilcullen’s tidy towns and KCA volunteers once again headed the town towards a glittering end of the year. But first, the Christmas tree had to be lifted into place.

It was one of those celebratory nights tinged with nostalgia, when both Podge Byrne and Nigey Phillips said goodbye in The Spout, to two different things. Podge was bidding farewell to his thirties, and Nigey was singing for the final time as a member of Badge, which he had fronted for 16 years. It was a wild rockin’ night with some hazy recollections for many the next day.

A 5K Fun Run organised by Kilcullen AFC was a success, with a good turnout of around 200 local and visiting participants.

The annual Kilcullen Tidy Towns and Community Awards once again provided local recognition for volunteerism and neighbourliness as well as tidy estates and businesses. A highlight recipient was Kilcullen GAA, members pictured here with Albert Keenan, President, and Lord Mayor of Kilcullen Michael Lambe, who presented the Club with their aAward for sporting achievements

After being closed since the summer, the landmark Hideout pub was sold to two local businessmen. Formerly owned by the Byrne family between 1925-1997, it has had a succession of owners since. Many locals are very interested to see what way it will be developed now.


DECEMBER

The show that has become a marker for the last run into Christmas, the Maintain Hope Concert in the Town Hall, brought again an eclectic range of entertainment to the supporters of that Kenya-based charity. Bell-ringing, harp, singing, memoir and Irish literature were all constituents of a Christmas pudding of talent.

More than a third of crime offences recorded at Kilcullen Garda Station in the first nine months of 2016 were under the category of ‘Theft and related offences’. Of the 97 offences recorded at the station, there were 33 under this category, while the next largest number, 24, came under the ‘Burglary and related offences’ heading.

Lorna Brophy presented a cheque for €3,450 to Kilcullen Lions Club Meals on Wheels, the proceeds of the Carols by Candlelight concert in Kilcullen Parish Church. In the space of four days, 8-11 December, some €8,750 was collected in Kilcullen for three different charities — Meals on Wheels, Maintain, Hope and Miscellany on Sunday. That’s some money for a small community!

And so, until this time in 2017, that was the Kilcullen Year that was … or a fair chunk of it anyway.