Friday, July 19, 2019

Grangemore issues raised at Council

Photo: Google.
Local municipal district manager Joe Boland is to meet with Cllr Tracey O'Dwyer at Grangemore Cottages in Brannockstown to discuss repairs and maintenance matters in the area, writes Brian Byrne.

This follows a discussion at the recent Kildare-Newbridge MD meeting where a report for the councillor's motion wasn't available, because nobody was sure who was responsible for answering the query.

Officials said it was both an 'anomaly' relating to there being two municipal districts involved, as well as the fact that the matter 'fell between' the Engineering, Parks, and Roads departments.

Cllr Kevin Duffy, who raised the motion on party colleague Cllr O'Dwyer's behalf, said it was an example of the 'frustration' that happened when matters fell between departments, and the Council needed to decide how it was going to respond. “We waste Council time when we're always dealing with multiple people on the same issues,” he said.

Mr Boland agreed, and said that as manager he will 'escalate the issue' and meet with Cllr O'Dwyer at the location.

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Valley closed on Saturday

The Valley Park and Fairy Trail will be closed on Saturday morning from 8.30am until 1pm, writes Brian Byrne.

This is to allow essential maintenance to be carried out.

The Park, which belongs to the community of Kilcullen, is maintained by Kilcullen Community Action volunteers and CES workers.

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Antarctic exhibition not to be missed

A reminder that an exhibition of photographs opening at Crean's Place this evening, Friday, will showcase just how far a determined amateur photographer is prepared to go in his craft, writes Brian Byrne.

The photographs by Tom Byrne are from a trip to Antarctica and provide an extraordinary record of the beauty, splendour, and vast emptiness of one of the most remote places on earth.

The display will feature abandoned whaling stations, the Antarctic wildlife, and amazing scenery.

Tom Byrne developed his interest in photography and wildlife from an early age while fishing the rivers and lakes of Ireland with his father. His love of nature and photography has brought him to many places across Europe, Asia, Canada and South America.

His trip to Antarctica was inspired by the adventures of the explorers Shackleton and Tom Crean, and the venue is an apt location for this not to be missed exhibition.

The official opening will be at 7pm and there will be some light refreshments. Save the date to see some amazing photographs from one of the most amazing places on the planet. All proceeds from sales of the photographs will be donated to cancer research.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Co-working space idea in Dunlavin

Dunlavin District Forum are planning to open a business co-working space in Dunlavin, which may be of interest to some Kilcullen people.

It aims to support small businesses or people working remotely and in the process help to reduce carbon footprint, and promote rural development and sustainability.

"It's beneficial to all if we can keep people working locally rather than having a long commute," says the DDF's Antionette Whelan. "Costs are low as we aim to simply cover the costs — it's not for profit."

With access to high-speed broadband in the Stephen Street premises, 24-hour availability to a desk, a meeting area, colour printer, and light kitchen facilities, the proposed cost is €200 a month or €50 a week.

Phone Aisling Grace at 087 9627389. More on their Facebook video.

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Plans for Parish property development 'on display this summer'

Plans are being prepared by Kilcullen Parish for a redevelopment of land behind the church, writes Brian Byrne. It is anticipated that they will go on public display in the Parish Centre before the end of summer.

The proposed development will take in part of the existing car park, and includes the acquisition of two houses for Parish use. The Diary understands that the houses will be on what is currently a garden area behind the church and the parochial house.

A joint planning application by the Parish and a local developer is likely to be made in the near future.

We understand the parochial house will remain, and will be refurbished for other use. Some repair work has recently been carried out on the roof.

Discussions have been under way on the matter ever since the commencement of the adjoining Millstream Court development, part of which involves a location change of access to the church car park. The car park at the moment, though not lined, can hold up to 80 vehicles.

These discussions have involved the Dublin Diocese, and it is understood that substantial progress has been made. "But nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," a person close to the matter cautions.

Speculation in 2017 that such changes were being considered raised considerable discussion in the community, particularly in relation to possible extension of parking to the green area in front of the parochial house.

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No bus shelter for Kilcullen ... yet

The location has been used as a bus stop since 1929.
Restrictions on footpath width in Kilcullen is the reason why the National Transport Authority do not have the town on the current list for bus shelters, writes Brian Byrne.

The matter was raised by way of a motion from Cllr Tracey O'Dwyer at yesterday's meeting of the Kildare-Newbridge MD, which heard that the current list of approved bus shelter installations will not be revisited until they are completed over the next two years.

Officials said the NTA had assessed the situation opposite the Applegreen petrol station in Kilcullen, 'and made their determination' that there is insufficient space. "If we don't have the space, then that's unfortunate," councillors were told. "It doesn't happen very often."

The MD members were told that the NTA provides the shelters in conjunction with the Council. In relation to the Kilcullen issue, Cllr Kevin Duffy asked if any alternatives had been looked at? He was told that in some MDs, councillors have used LPT funding to provide 'smaller' bus shelters, but this did not fit with national strategy. "The NTA objective is to have standard bus shelters across the country," officials said. "If councillors go different ways, we don't get a standard."

Cllr Suzanne Doyle noted that funding for shelters should be from the budget provided by NTA, rather than alternatives such as LPT. "If the NTA wants to train people to use alternative transport, then they need to provide for that out of budget."

Cllr Duffy, who was proposing the motion on behalf of Cllr O'Dwyer, who was absent, said the overall matter merited more discussion.

ED NOTE: The Diary has previously suggested an 'unblinkered' look at options. And as far back as 2014, members of the Bridge Camphill community made a detailed presentation and petition to KCC for shelters to be provided. 

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Praise for Kilcullen knitters

Tributes were paid to the members of the Suas Knitting Group at a recent meeting of the Kilcullen 700 Committee, where it was suggested that the 'yarn bombing' should become an annual feature, writes Brian Byrne.

Committee chair Nessa Dunlea described the decorating of the bridge by the group as 'such a success', while Sabina Reddy commended the 'huge work' done by the knitters.

Antoinette Buckley said the event would be repeated every year as part of the Tidy Towns effort, noting that the knitted decorations can be taken down, and be washed and stored for next year. She made the point that an end date should be decided, before the yarn gets too dirty from traffic.

Sabina Reddy agreed, commenting that they would distract from the blooming flowers on the bridge.

After some discussion, it was agreed that the decoration will be taken down at the end of July.

The Diary's pictures of the yarn decorations are here.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Square redevelopment will be 'shared/multipurpose': Council

Kildare County Council has confirmed that the proposed redevelopment of Kilcullen's Market Square will be designed in 'a shared/multi-purpose manner to represent the requirements of the community', writes Brian Byrne.

That was part of the written answer to a question on the agenda of this morning's meeting of the Kildare-Newbridge Municipal District, put down by Cllr Tracey O'Dwyer.

Cllr O'Dwyer had asked that the Council 'work with the residents and businesses' of the town on the design for the development, for which a €200,000 grant from the Town & Village Renewal Scheme 2018 has already been allocated. The redevelopment is estimated to cost in the region of €500,000.

Concerns have been raised about an impact on businesses from the loss of parking spaces in the square. A conceptual plan presented to councillors of the Naas Municipal District in June 2018 has not yet been made available publicly. A Part 8 process under the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 required for a local authority to undertake public developments has been promised, and the draft plan will be part of the public consultation for this.

The reply to Cllr O'Dwyer's question noted that the Council has been working with Kilcullen Community Action, who carried out a public consultation day in the square in September 2017.

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Scoil Bhride installing running track

Site plan and samples of finish for the track.
Site works are beginning this week in Scoil Bhríde for the installation of a Running Track around our school pitch, writes school principal Anne Flanagan. This is a big investment for our future and the fitness and activity levels of our school children.

The recent 'mile a day' initiative was extremely popular, and increases in the fitness, energy and concentration levels of our pupils was evident very rapidly after starting the walk/run a mile initiative. The daily exercise programme was very beneficial and worthwhile to the almost 700 pupils attending our school.

Running as a sport can be a lifelong activity and can be continued right into old age. We are confident that the provision of the running track will further develop an interest in running to support healthy lifestyles, promote positive mental health and increase the fitness levels of our younger generations — and maybe not so young!

Our Board of Management have decided to invest in the running track to provide up to date facilities and resources for our school children. It will also provide an overflow activity area at break-times when playgrounds are crowded or when weather is inclement. We would like to thank our Parents Association for their fantastic fundraising activities which have contributed greatly to the installation of the track.

The track will take a number of weeks to complete but we are hoping to have it ready for use when we return to school in September.

We would also like to remind people that the school site is 'Private Property' and people go there at their own risk. Also, as signs at every entrance state 'No dogs allowed' we would ask that this request be respected to ensure the health and safety of our pupils.

See attached drawings of the layout of the track and a picture of the proposed finish.

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Donnelly's arm to feature in Heritage Week exhibition

The arm on display in New York in 2006.
Dan Donnelly's arm will be on public display in Kilcullen next month for the first time since the mid-1990s, writes Brian Byrne.

Courtesy of Mrs Josephine Byrne, the mummified right arm of the famous Irish champion pugilist will be part of a Kilcullen 700 exhibition in the Heritage Centre during National Heritage Week 2019, 17-25 August.

Other exhibits will include the Kilcullen 700 exhibition from Scoil Bhride, as well as short videos relating to Dan Donnelly, the bridge at Kilcullen, and Old Kilcullen.

The arm was a key element of an eclectic collection of memorabilia in The Hideout from 1953 until the pub was sold in 1996 when the late Des Byrne retired from the business. In 2006 it was the centrepiece of a 'Fighting Irishmen' boxers exhibition put on in New York, which subsequently travelled to Boston, the Ulster Folk Museum, Croke Park, and the University of Limerick.

Since the Byrnes left The Hideout, the arm has only been viewable by appointment to people with a particular interest in Dan Donnelly, his life and times.

Also during National Heritage Week, the Kilcullen 700 Committee are organising a competition based on how people of past times spent their leisure and play hours. There will be four prizes sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to be allocated by an independent judging panel, for the best display on that theme, which lines up with the Pastimes/Past Times theme of Heritage Week 2019.

Businesses, clubs and other organisations in the town are being invited to put up small exhibitions on the theme in their premises for Heritage Week. There's an open brief for the format, which could range from window displays where appropriate to exhibit collections, tableaux, or photographs and other visual materials.

More details will be announced at a launch of the competition planned for next week.

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Soccer Summer Camp upcoming

The Kilcullen AFC Soccer Camp will take place on Monday through Thursday of 29 July to 1 August, writes Brian Byrne. The Camp is organised by the Kildare & District Underage League.

Located at the Avondale Pitch, the cost is €65 per person, with daily sessions from 10am-3pm. Boys and girls are welcome, aged 6-14 inclusive.

All booked participants will receive a free football at the start of Camp.

Bookings can be made at, Summer Camps Week 4.

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Sixth Cycle for Crumlin next Sunday

A collage from last year's pics by the Diary.
A reminder that the 2019 Cycle for Crumlin hosted by Murphy Surveys will take place next Sunday, marking its sixth year, writes Brian Byrne.

The event, in association with Kilcullen Cycling Club, has already raised over €65,000 for CMRF Crumlin (the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation), and the organisers are hoping to raise another €20,000 this year.

There are two courses, of 50 kms and 100 kms, both starting and finishing at the Murphy Surveys HQ in Kilcullen. The 100km cycle start time is 10am, and the 50km start time is 10:30am.

There will be refreshments before and during cycle, a goodie bag for all online registrations and free entry to the raffle for those that register online in advance.

Hot food will be served after the event and 100pc of the registration fee will be donated to the CRMF Crumlin.

Full details here.

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'Dire prospect' of no-deal Brexit warning from Kildare Chamber

Businesses throughout the county are being urged to assess their operations with the increasing 'dire' prospect of a no-deal Brexit, writes Brian Byrne.

County Kildare Chamber CEO Alan Shine says such a scenario is now 'highly possible', and businesses need to 'consciously prepare' for it in the light of the lack of action by the British Government to remove the threat of a disruptive and damaging ‘no-deal’.

"Businesses must continue to examine and strengthen their existing models of operation and make use of every opportunity and resource which is available," he says. "This includes registering for an EORI number*, reviewing supply chains and seeking specialised customs advice."

Kildare Chamber's advice is for both exporters and importers, and businesses dependent on imports, to consider their exposure to ‘no-deal’ threats and the additional tariffs, delays and administrative costs of the UK operating under WTO rules for trade.

"It simply must be taken as a credible prospect and preparations for its economic shock to Ireland’s businesses and all-island economy must be prepared for," Alan Shine advises.

(*Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number, a system of identification numbers used by customs authorities throughout the European Union.)

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