Wednesday, April 26, 2017

KBC’s cracker in Carlow,

Kilcullen’s two Grade 3 Mix Teams contested the South West Knock Out Cup Final in Carlow Lawn Tennis Club and what a cracker it turned out to be, writes Kilcullen Badminton Club PRO Enda O’Neill.

Kilcullen’s Mix A team captained by Owen Wallace had already made the League Final, but hoped to go one better this time and take the cup home. It was going to be a difficult task for the A team as the B team had a four-point advantage.

Mens 1 got the Final under way with Owen and Mick Cass from the A Team taking on the two O’Neills from the B team, Enda and Barry. Owen and Mick won the first set but the O’Neills dug deep and took the second. The third and deciding set was a cracker with both teams fighting hard to win the vital points. In the end Barry and Enda won the deciding set putting KBC’s Mix B team 1-0 up.

Ladies 1 were next on court with the two female O’Neills, Tara and Karen representing the A’s playing Chelsey Cox and Sarah Walshe representing the B’s. Again this game went the distance of three sets with Chelsey and Sarah taking the first set before Tara and Karen composed themselves and took the remaining two sets. Both sides now level 1-1.

Second Ladies graced the court for the third game with Bernie Smyth and super sub Siobhan Willis representing the As and B’s captain Jen Monaghan and Kathrin Logan playing for the Bs. Again the Bs got off to a flying start winning the first set. Bernie and Siobhan showed calmness and control in the remaining two sets giving the As the advantage now ahead 2-1 in games.

The second mens doubles were out next with Ray Dalton and John Mullen playing for the As while the ever dependable B pair were Vincent Coller and Oisin Egan. Oisin and Vincent narrowly beat Ray and John 21-20 in the first set. The second set went Vincent and Oisins way as well and the Bs triumphed taking the game 2-0. The match was tied at 2-2 but importantly the KBC B team had a set advantage going into the mix games.

First mix saw Tara and Mick from the As take on Chelsey and Vincent from the Bs. Tara and Mick played exceptionally and justified why they were mix 1. The beat the brave Chelsey and Vincent in two sets now giving the KBC A team a 3-2 advantage.

Second Mix proved another tough game with Karen and Owen from the As clashing with Kathrin and Enda from the Bs. Kathrin and Enda took the first set in a hard fought close game. The second set proved to be an even closer affair with Kathrin and Enda just pipping it, 21-19 in a nail biting contest taking their game in two sets. The match now stood at 3 all, if Jen and Barry could take their mix in two sets that would cause the shock of the season with Kilcullen Mix B winning the Grade 3 Cup home.

It was the turn of Bernie and Ray to take court for the As against the might of Jen and Bardy for the Bs. This wasn’t going to be an easy ride for Bernie and Ray as the KBC B pair have been undefeated all season in the South West League. Jen and Bardy took their first set in a cracking display of badminton. winning the first set, this strengthened their resolve and they won the second set 21-14 crowning the Grade 3 Kilcullen Mix B team Cup Champions. Well done to our Grade 3 B team on their fantastic win.

Thanks to Lynsey Walshe, David Jackson, Catherine Dalton, Rita Cass, Murt Dunne and Sinead Kelly for travelling down to cheer us all on.

Finally the reason why I love Kilcullen Badminton Club was shown last night with the response from both teams before, during and after the final. Win or lose we all were congratulating and encouraging one another and showing great club spirit. You could even hear the As and Bs shouting “good shot” or “well played” to each other. Watching the games was like “being torn between two lovers” there was elation that your team had won, tinged with sorrow at seeing your club mates and in most cases team mates from other teams loosing their match. On April 25 in Carlow Lawn Tennis Club there was only one Grade 3 Cup winner and that was Kilcullen Badminton Club. Up the Rags!

Also good luck to our two Ladies teams captained by Sinead Kelly and Tara O’Neill who play in the Division 2 and Division 4 Dublin District League Final on Friday 28 April in Baldoyle.

Pictured top are Grade 3 Cup Champions, back row Vincent, Oisin, Enda, Barry and (front) Chelsey, Sarah, Kathrin, and Jen. Below: All the Kilcullen finalists.

A roaring opening to Punchestown

A Kilcullen connection with yesterday’s first day of Punchestown was the Dooley Insurance-sponsored flat race won by trainer Gordon Elliott’s Roaring Bull.

The sponsor company is owned by Kilcullenites Tim and Mary Dooley, who watched jockey Lisa O'Neill guiding the 25/1 Gigginstown House Stud horse home.

Dooley Insurance Group is one of Ireland’s largest independent insurance brokers, who recently celebrated the launch of their new Equine Insurance Division, offering tailored cover to those in the industry. The company operates out of Millenium Park in Naas and is celebrating 60 years in business

Pictured at the handover of the trophy by Tim Dooley’s father Ned is Eddie O’Leary of Gigginstown Stud (in the hat), in the company of Mrs Mary Dooley, her mother Mrs Nuala Healy, Eddie O’Leary’s son Ted, jockey Lisa O’Neill, Tadhg Dooley and his father Tim.

Gospel Choir back on song this weekend

A reminder, before you set your holiday weekend in stone, that the Kilcullen Gospel Choir will be singing at its first Mass of 2017 on Saturday next 29 April, in Kilcullen Parish Church, writes Brian Byrne.

The Choir was founded in 2014 with Phionagh Gibson as Musical Director and from an initial ten people, there are now some 50 regular singers in the group — which means it is currently full.

Under Phionagh's energetic and committed direction, the Choir has become a 'must-have' group at many community and social occasions in Kilcullen.

The members have been particularly appreciated for their singing at the Saturday Vigil Masses in Kilcullen, but have also performed concerts for Christmas, and for fundraising for charities.

Their End of Year Concerts in 2015 and 2016 were sellout events, and the Choir has performed with Rob Strong, Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Hyland and Edel Mackey.

As of February this year, Lorraine Nolan from Newbridge has taken over Musical Director, and the Choir is looking forward to new challenges.

Changes to LEADER grant system outlined

Changes in the application and decision processes for LEADER grants were outlined at a meeting in Kilcullen last night, writes Brian Byrne.

At an information evening in the Parish Centre, Brian Kelly of the County Kildare Leader Partnership noted that a new independent group within Kildare County Council now has responsibility for delivering the LEADER 2014-2020 programme.

This is the Kildare Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), which now has the decision-making powers on applications for grant aid. The CKLP is now designated as the Implementing Partner for the programme.

A new two-stage process for applications is also in place, using time-specific ‘targeted calls’ for Expressions of Interest from qualifiable enterprises and community groups. From such EOIs, a number will be invited to go to the Applications stage, though this is not a guarantee that they will get funding.

It now takes longer to get grant approval, about eight months from EOI to final approval, Brian Kelly said, adding that there are now two Departmental oversight checks on applications as well as the LCDC decision process.

Successful applicants will have six months to complete their project under the new system, though extensions can be agreed in three-month blocks if necessary.

Last night’s meeting was in relation to the current call for EOIs in research and capacity building support for Micro/SME and Social Enterprise projects, and for increasing employment in Renewable Energy businesses.

The EOIs will have to be in with the CKLP by 15 May and further information is available from

Choices from Woodbine Books

Book of the Week:

Himself (Jess Kidd)

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland's west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past. No one — living or dead — will tell Mahony what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth. This beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.

Something Different:

Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly)

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as ‘human computers’ used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black ‘West Computing’ group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Parish Lotto Draw result

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 25 April 2017 were 7, 22, 28 and 29. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €6,800.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Mary & Jack Phelan (Promoter Mary Phelan), Wayne Hegarty Kelly (Ger Kelly) and Tess O’Rourke (Fruit & Veg Shop).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Adrienne Byrne and the New Abbey Bridge Club, and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was
Adrienne Byrne.

Meeting tonight on renewable energy grants

Renewable energy will be the focus of a public information meeting in Kilcullen tonight on the Rural Development Programme, writes Brian Byrne.

Hosted by the County Kildare Leader Partnership, the meeting will take place in Kilcullen Parish Centre from 8pm.

Grants between €5,000-€50,000 are available under the Programme for qualifying community groups or small and medium sizes enterprises (SMEs).

It’s part of a call for expressions of interest in the renewable energy pillar of the Programme.

Completed forms for expressions of interest must be returned to County Kildare Leader by 15 May.

Later in the year there will be calls for expressions of interest in Community Infrastructure, Youth Facilities & Amenities, and Rural Towns initiatives in Broadband, Water Resources, and Protection of Biodiversity.

Nessa wins local leg of 'Paint the Town Red'

Nessa Dunlea’s display on the Dunlea Property frontage at the Market Square building is the local finalist in the Kilcullen end of the Punchestown ‘Paint the Town Red’ competition, writes Brian Byrne.

She will pick up her prize today at the start of the Punchestown Festival week of racing.

Local organiser of the business windows promotion Antoinette Buckley has thanked all those businesses who took part.

“It was lovely to see so many beautiful themed window displays in support of the Punchestown ‘Paint The Town Red’ in our fabulous town, Kilcullen,” she said, and wished the other finalists well in the overall competition for the main prize, worth €1,500. The competition is sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

Community Games Athletics on Thursday

We are running our Athletics competition on Thursday 27 April in Crookstown Millview Athletic Club, writes Papillon Rabbitte of Kilcullen Community Games.

Registration is at 6pm with the first event due to start at 6.30pm. There will be a charge of €3 for 1 child and €5 for 2 or more children.

Races from under-8s to under-16, including relay trials will be held on the night. Participants must be living in the Kilcullen area.

Please check our Facebook page for more details.

Out of Town: Hook Head

If you’re planning to leave town for the Bank Holiday weekend, you might consider taking a spin down to Hook Head, writes Brian Byrne.

There’s a free festival weekend at the world’s oldest intact working lighthouse on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford. The original fires used to guide sailors through the dangerous seas were tended for centuries by monks from a nearby monastery.

There’s fun and games for all the family and the youngsters can enrol at the new Pirate School headed up by none other than Captain Hook.

There will be an opportunity to learn first hand about safety at sea from members of the Irish Coast Guard. Visitors will also have the chance to step back in time with the re-enactors from Claoimh who will demonstrate life and battles from the medieval past.

There will be lawn games and fun adventures with Pirate Pat and Captain Hook, or, for the ‘bigger adventurous kids’ there’s the Bungee Trampoline. A craft market featuring pieces from crafters based all across the southeast region will also be hosted over the weekend.

The festival will also focus on the heritage and past of Hook Lighthouse, shining a light on life as it was. A guided tour at the ancient lighthouse also shines a light on its history and heritage with first hand stories of life as a light-keeper shared via recordings of these tales from former lighthouse keepers and their wives.

The annual ‘Hike to the Hook’ event organised by Hook Tourism, also takes place this weekend. Walkers will take on a 20km walk along one of Ireland’s most scenic routes from Tintern Abbey to Hook Lighthouse.

For details on the Great Lighthouses of Ireland see

More pictures here (I took these on a spooky and wild October day … should be much nicer on this weekend).

Big weekend upcoming for AFC

Kilcullen AFC U17s.
Next weekend in Tougher Park will be a massive weekend for Kilcullen AFC, writes Ray Kelly. The club is asking that as many supporters as possible travel to Tougher Park to support the teams competing in the various Cup finals over the weekend.

Kilcullen AFC will be involved in a total of FIVE CUP FINALS which is an absolutely massive achievement by the club, respective players and management.

Those teams involved are the Kilcullen AFC’s Under 13s Premier team, Under 16s Premier team, Under 17s Premier team and Under 18s Premier team.

Kilcullen AFC U13s.


Saturday 29 April

U13 Cup Final KO 10.30
Kilcullen AFC V Naas
Kilcullen Coaches Greg Curran and David Mitchell.
The lads are also playing the second leg of the Midland Cup against Naas, Kilcullen leading 3-2 after a fantastic away win against this season’s League winners, on Wednesday next at home. A tight game is guaranteed after the previous few games between these teams were really nail biting spectacles.

U16 Cup final KO 11.00
Kilcullen AFC v Naas
Kilcullen Coaches Paddy Kelly and Hook (Michael) Kelly.
The lads made the final with a fine 3-2 win against a highly fancied Caragh side.

U17 Cup final KO 14.30
Kilcullen AFC V Kildare Town
Kilcullen Coaches Thomas Redmond and Ger Shanahan.
The Under 17s finished a fantastic season in second place in the League.

Monday 1 May

U18 Cup final KO 11.00
Kilcullen AFC V Edenderry Town
Kilcullen Coaches Eoghan Kirby and Trevor Harris.
The Under 18s are also involved in the Youth Cup finals for which the date has yet to be set.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Major accommodation upgrade at Bardons

A very clever mixture of plush furnishing and quirky accessories has totally changed the accommodation at Bardons, writes Brian Byrne.

Completely revamped under the direction of interior designer Elaine McKenzie-Smith, there are now seven rooms available, including a family suite, each of which has its own colour-based theme.

With the designer's flair and Leanne and Eddie Cross’s vision of what they wanted, Bardons now offers high-end hotel opulence in the kind of a bed-without-breakfast operation anonymity which many travellers like and which allows them to choose from the many breakfast options available in Kilcullen.

The offering is being marketed as ’The Rooms at Bardons', and these are very much upmarket rooms, which will be well appreciated by punters who have booked in for Punchestown this week.

There’s a full report in tomorrow’s Kildare Nationalist. Meantime, a full range of pictures can be seen here.

Last dance lesson for the Teach ... and then there's Sunday

Tonight, Monday 24 April, will be the final night of the Jive lessons which have been running for the past eight weeks in aid of Teach na nDaoine, writes Noel Clare.

Anyone is welcome to come along to the Cross and Passion Assembly Hall at 8.30pm — even if you haven't attended previous lessons.

On Sunday next at 4pm there will be special evening of dancing to finish off the season. There won't be any lessons — it’s just a chance to put into practice all the dance moves — but there will be plenty of people there of all levels who will be willing to give a hand.

Participants are invited to bring along a cake for sharing and there will be refreshments provided, so it promises to be a very enjoyable and sociable evening. The venue again is the Assembly Hall in CPC.

Great night at Tidy Towns Quiz

There was a great turn out at the Table Quiz in support of Kilcullen in Bloom on Friday night last in Fallons, writes Noel Clare. The winning team after a very close contest consisted of Peter O'Sullivan, Peter Bardon, Siobhan Tutty Bardon and Evelyn O'Sullivan.

In second place were Jim and Esther Kiely and Sean and Carol Dillon.

Funds raised will go towards the cost of the summer flowers for 2017.