Sunday, July 30, 2017

D'you remember? Kilcullen this week 10 years ago

Looking back at this week ten years ago, there were a lot of similar and some quite different things happening in the Kilcullen of then, writes Brian Byrne.

Fr Paddy Ryan (above) had just arrived to minister in the Parish and had celebrated his first mass here on the vigil the previous Saturday. He was to stay with us for three years.

Sgt Eddie Relihan was then the main Garda officer in town and he issued a warning to local homeowners about home security following a burglary in which a number of electrical items had been stolen. The town had also just got a new Garda member, Brian Kearny.

Planning permission had been received by Ladbrokes to set up a new licensed betting office beside the Hideout. And a new chef was also starting in what was then Donnelly's Restaurant in the same pub — John Barker from Sunnyhill.

A planning application for what was described as a 'landmark development' in Kilcullen was made on behalf of Sir Anthony O'Reilly. It related to Liffey Bank House and the adjoining Liffey View House, and was to include a restaurant, cafe, retail space and a 4-storey apartment block.

And meantime, a Diary poll on planning elicitated the view that planning in Kilcullen was 'being managed badly' or 'being left to drift'.

James Nolan celebrated the 20th year of his successful kidney transplant, received from his sister Catherine (and this last week celebrated the 30th year), which allowed him to have a full life in business and sport and also to become a tireless activist for organ donation.

Alan Corcoran from Kilcullen, then doing geographical environment studies in NUI Maynooth, was spending the summer surveying Dun Ailinne with a magnetic gradiometer. His work was helpful in laying the groundwork fo further investigation on the ancient royal site in recent years.

Hannah Murphy and Frances Clare were honoured as 'Melvin Jones Fellows' by the Lions organisation, for dedicated humanitarian services, joining Sheila Peacocke and the late Vincent Conway of the then ten year-old club, as Fellows.

It was revealed that marathon walker and broadcaster Donncadh O Dualing would visit Kilcullen in September as part of his national tour of holy wells, to raise funds for the Bothar charity.

Donnelly's arm was on display with the 'Fighting Irishmen' exhibition in New York, now at the South Street Seaport Museum, and curator James J Houlihan was considering requests that it go on tour. First shown at the Irish Arts Centre in New York, the artefact was later shown as part of the exhibition in Boston, Omagh in Co Tyrone, the Croke Park Museum, and the University of Limerick.

Madge Clarke celebrated her 80th birthday with a family party in Sarsfields GAA Club in Newbridge (and her latest celebration of her 90th was in Fallons last Friday evening).

The 'Eye Candy' beauty treatment enterprise was adding a hairdressing service to its operation at Hillcrest, staffed by Michelle Fairly, Emma Healy and Wendy Dixon.

In drama, Evelyn O'Sullivan's summer course for young actors culminated in the presentation of a play for their parents, an event with is still happening as evidenced by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this week.

Staying with the theme, Kilcullen Drama Group was considering the Ray Cooney farce 'Funny Money' for its autumn production, which prompted a memory from group member Vivian Clarke of having at one stage gone to London in the company of Pat Dunlea to see the West End production of the play.

Looking back, as today, Kilcullen was all movement then.