Saturday, January 19, 2019

Old Kilcullen to bridge walk planned

Lantern pic: Burak K; Bridge pic: Brian Byrne.
A lantern walk from Old Kilcullen to Kilcullen's bridge is being planned as one of the highlight events related to Kilcullen 700, writes Brian Byrne.

A date for the walk hasn't yet been set, but the format will be a gathering for a symbolic floodlighting of the tower of Old Kilcullen — the original main settlement of the area — and then a group walk back down to Kilcullen. Lights on the bridge will then be switched on, to mark the shift over the centuries of the centre of importance from the hill to the river.

Last Monday night's open meeting of the Kilcullen 700 organising committee heard that an LED lighting system for the bridge is still being evaluated. Pending a decision on this, the new lights erected on the bridge for Christmas have been left in place.

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Lions Table Quiz next week

A Table Quiz in Fallons next week kicks off the activities of Kilcullen Lions Club.

The event on Friday 25 January is in aid of the Club's support for local charities and community organisations.

Start time is 8.30pm, cost €40 per table of four.

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Talk on King Cormac's 'little church'

Pic: Google.
A presentation on the 'Little Church of King Cormac', located at Colbinstown near Kilgowan, will be given in The Tanyard, Ballitore, on Monday 4 February, writes Brian Byrne.

Archaeologist Sharon Green will give the talk, which is hosted by the South Kildare Villages Heritage and History Group and begins at 7.30pm.

The 'church' at Killeen Cormac is mainly a stand of trees in a walled cemetery, with the remains of pillars, some of which feature pre-history Irish Ogham writing. There's a pillar with Roman numerals, and a stone with what is believed to be the outline of a hound's paw.

"It is perhaps the most intriguing spot in the county," says Timolin resident Sean Cleary.

The cemetery was excavated by R S Macalister and R Lloyd Praeger and a report of their findings published in 1929 in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy.

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'The Maiden Aunt' in Narraghmore

Two performances of Jimmy Keary's 'The Maiden Aunt' will be staged next week in Narraghmore, in aid of the local community group, writes Brian Byrne.

The play is directed by Maryclare McMahon and will be performed in Mel's Pub in the village.

Dates are Thursday/Friday 24/25 January, starting at 8pm, tickets costing €10 (€7 concession for students and seniors) will be available at the door. Over-16s only.

'The Maiden Aunt' was Westmeath-based playwright Jimmy Keary's first three-act play when it premiered in Killala, Co Mayo, in 2000. It has a cast of eight.

The widely-performed work is about Gertie O’Grady, a retired teacher and spinster, who comes to stay with her niece Mary Murphy, after a spell in hospital.

Mary tries to persuade her aunt to make a will. When Gertie apparently ‘dies’, Mary’s husband Dan comes up with an elaborate plan to get their hands on her money.

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Storyteller Janice returning to Kilcullen

The next storytelling event in An Tearmann will feature Janice Witherspoon from Belfast, who will tell some Irish love stories under the theme 'Early Spring — Love is in the Air', writes Brian Byrne.

The event on Tuesday 12 February will start as usual at 7.30pm and is suitable for all ages. Entry is by a €5 donation at the door and teas and cakes will be provided by Jo.

Janice's storytelling interests centre around her Celtic heritage and the environment. She began telling stories when working as a tour guide in the 1990s, before she moved to Scotland to work in gardens, continuing her storytelling there at festivals.

After training with the International School of Storytelling at Emerson College, and a period telling stories to children's groups visiting a community garden, she has since worked as a professional storyteller.

She previously performed in Kilcullen with the Triple Spiral Storytellers last summer.

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Friday, January 18, 2019

CAO Check List advice

The deadline for CAO is fast approaching, writes Eoin Houlihan of Right Choice Careers. In preparation you should consider the following. Follow your dreams and your passions. Do a course that you will like and enjoy.

Research is important:

o Know what the course is about

o What are the college requirements?

o What are the course requirements?

When filling out the CAO consider your order of preference

o Do not place your courses in order of points – points change from year to year and not all students who get on courses got the points required!

o You can add courses to your CAO after the 1st of February (except restricted courses) but it will cost you €10 up to May 4th. From 5th of May – 1st July it is free to add courses, remove courses or change the order of courses around.


· January 20th
The closing date for the CAO early-bird online applications. A fee of €30 applies before this date. It increases to €45 until February 1st.

· February 1st (5.15pm)
Main deadline for CAO applications. Standard fee of €45 applies. All restricted courses must be on your CAO choices by this date (Don’t worry about the order, this can be changed later)

· May 5th
Change of Mind facility opens – No fee

· July 1st (5:15pm)
Change of Mind deadline. Final date for amending your choices and order of preferences on all applications.

If you require further information please contact Eoin and Sandra on

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Des Travers to talk about war crimes investigation

A Kilcullen expert on war crimes investigation will speak in Naas next month on his work, at an event organised by the Kildare Palestine Solidarity Campaign, writes Brian Byrne.

Lt Col (Retd) Desmond Travers will speak about aspects of the investigations of crimes of war instancing events he has investigated in Palestine, the Yugoslav civil war, the Sri Lankan Tamil war and other conflicts.

The event is in Naas Town Hall, Tuesday 26 February, from 8pm.

A former soldier and currently Vice-President of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (, Lt Col Travers's expertise has been drawn on in relation to a range of conflicts around the world.

In 2010 he was appointed to the UN Fact-finding Mission into the Israeli forces attacks in Gaza in 2009. The Mission's finding has come to be known as the Goldstone Report after its Chair Justice Richard Goldstone.

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Prepare for Brexit panel discussion

With the accelerating pace of recent events in the UK, the need for local businesses to prepare for Brexit has moved up a few notches, writes Brian Byrne, and a panel discussion on 31 January in Naas should be on the schedule for all sizes of business.

'What now for Brexit? and how to prepare ...' is being organised by County Kildare Chamber and Kildare Local Enterprise Office. A breakfast event starting at 7.30am in The Osprey Hotel, it will feature panellists Lucinda Creighton of Vulcan Consulting, Sasha Kerins from tax specialists Grant Thornton, and senior adviser in Enterprise Ireland's Brexit Unit, Manus Rooney.

The event is open to everyone, and is free. But spaces are limited and registration is necessary. Booking available here.

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Call for participation in St Patrick's Day Parade

Views from the 2017 Parade.
Businesses and clubs in Kilcullen are being encouraged to participate in this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Kilcullen and to help make it a special day as part of the Kilcullen 700 celebrations.

"Forms are currently being circulated to assess the interest in the parade," says Noel Clare of the organising group. "It will only go ahead if there is sufficient interest. To date the response has been positive."

Those who can’t put in a float are being asked to help out by making a donation towards the costs.

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Hectic start to Badminton New Year.

There has been a demanding start to the New Year with January as always being one of the busiest months in the badminton calendar, writes Kilcullen Badminton Club  Match Secretary Enda O'Neill. To date with only two weeks gone our teams across the Leagues and Divisions have played nine matches with another 19 to be played before the month's end.

Here are a few of the results so far, on Thursday 10th January the club hosted three matches, which made for an electric atmosphere on the night. On Court 4 Oliviers P Valroy's Grade 6 Mix team played Bough of Wicklow and in some close games managed to get a fantastic 5-3 win over their rivals. Not only was it a great start for the Grade 6 team but it was also a great debut for our newest member Aidan O’Connell who has never played competitive badminton before. Well done to Oliver and his team.

On Court 3 Tara O’Neill's Grade 2 Mix team hosted Johnswell of Kilkenny, the game of the night in this match had to be First mix with Lynsey Walsh and Gareth Hogan winning their game in three sets to beat their Johnswell counterparts. It was a fantastic tactical game with the three sets going to the wire each time. Tara and the team won the match without dropping a game with a fantastic 8-0 victory sending a serious message out to the other teams in their group.

On Court 2 our Division 5 Mens captained by Vincent Coller faced Vikings of Dublin. This fixture also had all the hallmarks of a great match. In first mens John Mullen and Vincent after losing the first set, took the second but it was the third set that showed the character of the Kilcullen duo. The two lads were 19-12 down in the third set but with a epic effort managed to drag the match back to 20-20 finally winning it 22-20. The team lost second mens but won third and fourth mens giving the team a 3-1 victory. This win puts the lads top of the table and in a good position to make it out of the group. Well played Vincent, John, Oisin Egan and Keith O’Neill on a fine performance.

In the Dublin District Cup, Enda O’Neill's Division 4 team were dumped out of the competition when they played a very strong Titans side on Tuesday 8th January in the complex. The lads never got going and were beaten 3-0. The Div 8 Ladies however progressed to the semi final after beating Holywell 3-0 on Tuesday 15th January in a very competitive match. Well done and good luck to Orla Brophy, Teresa McGlynn, Lynda Murtagh and Maeve P Valroy in their semis this week.

Finally as you may have noticed that the KBC Logo has changed! The Kilcullen 700 Logo was designed by Gareth Landy who is a member of the Kilcullen committee. Kilcullen Badminton Club has changed its logo to support Kilcullen’s 700 committee and of course the celebration of this little towns 700th birthday. Hopefully the other clubs in the town will follow suit attaching it to their logos too. The Kilcullen 700 Logo will be a part of the Kilcullen Badminton Clubs Logo for 2019, which the club are very proud to be a part of.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

The bridges of Kilcullen

Just as a reminder what Kilcullen 700 is all about, here's a short video produced by the Diary last year, which gives an historical background to the bridges of Kilcullen.

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Community Games swim training resumes

The Kilcullen Community Games swim training sessions which were suspended due to insurance issues, will resume on Friday of this week in the Curragh Pool.

The issue, which was at Community Games national level, has now been sorted.

The sessions will run from 8pm-8.45pm. Participants must live in the Kilcullen Community Games area, must be able to swim a length of the pool unassisted, and must be able to safely tread water in the deep end without the assistance of flotation devices.

They will also be required to compete in the Kilcullen Community Games Swim Gala at the end of the training programme.

The weekly fee for the sessions is €3 per child, or €5 for two or more.

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Date for first Twinning meeting

The first official meeting of the Kilcullen Twinning Group will take place in the Town Hall on Tuesday 29 January, writes Brian Byrne.

The event begins at 7.30pm and it is hoped that both the councillors recently appointed to the group will be in attendance. All are welcome.

The meeting will formalise the twinning activity begun when a number of Kilcullen people visited Saint-Contest in Normandy last September to explore the twinning possibility.

A group from the French town is considering a reciprocal exploratory visit to Kilcullen in March.

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GAA 'Operation Transformation' walk tonight

Kilcullen GAA training pitch floodlights, across from astro pitch, will be lit up from 7pm–8.30pm this evening in order to facilitate the GAA Lights Up For Operation Transformation initiative.

Registration will start at 7pm, No 1 Fitness Club will direct the warm-up from 7.15pm onwards and also warm-down exercises after the walk at 8.30pm.

RTE presenter Tracy Piggott will lead the walk with her daughter, and drinks and refreshments will be served after the walk at 8.30pm and during the walk where needed, sponsored by Ballygowan.

Please make sure to have your walking gear with bright hi-viz vest/clothing at all times when walking, if you don’t possess hi-viz Kilcullen GAA will provide on the night. Please note dogs are NOT allowed on the walk for health and safety reasons.

For any further information contact Liam Cronin at 087 9680399.

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The passing of Noel Thorpe

The Diary has been informed of the death of Noel Thorpe, of Tinnock, Campile, New Ross, Co Wexford, and formerly of Conroy Park, Kilcullen.

Noel passed away yesterday peacefully, in the company of his loving family, after battling a long illness with dignity and determination.

He is deeply missed by his heartbroken wife, Aileen, his son Dwayne, grandsons Tyler and Conrad, sisters Patricia, Stephanie, and Eileen, brother Christopher, and his nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and parents in law, extended family and friends.

Noel is reposing at his residence on Friday between 2pm-8pm. Removal on Saturday will be at 9am, arriving at Kilcullen Parish Church for Funeral Mass at 11. Cremation will take place afterwards in the Garden Chapel at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold's Cross, Dublin at 1.30pm.

Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, may be made to to Wexford Hospice Homecare.

May he rest in peace.

Photography Club planning another Calendar

The Kilcullen Photography Club is to produce a 2020 Calendar at the end of this year, following on from the success of their current 2019 one, writes Brian Byrne.

The sellout initiative featured seasonal photographs chosen from members' work, with individual sponsors for each month. All of the pictures were based around Kilcullen.

It was launched in December in Woodbine Books and quickly proved very popular both for local use and as a gift for Kilcullen people living abroad.

The current Calendar is one of the Club's projects for the Kilcullen 700 celebrations.

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Kilcullen 700 stickers to be distributed

Car and window stickers of the Kilcullen 700 logo are to be distributed in Kilcullen, to publicise the celebrations of the 700 years since the first bridge set the path for the establishment of the modern town, writes Brian Byrne.

The recent open meeting of the Kilcullen 700 group was told that 500 of the stickers have been ordered from a local firm — The Signmaker Creative Studio at The Link Business Park. The logo was designed by Kilcullen Community Action member Gareth Landy.

A special banner logo has also been designed, by The Signmaker, which links the tower of Old Kilcullen and the bridge. This will be used for a set of banners on the bridge.

In a discussion at the meeting, Sabina Reddy suggested that all clubs and other groups in Kilcullen should be encouraged to incorporate the Kilcullen 700 logo on their signs, websites, and Facebook pages, for the duration of the year.

She noted that it can be easily adapted to individual group use, observing that Halverstown NS had added a Viking ship element, to mark the school's 60th anniversary.

The stickers are also suitable for use in shop windows through the town.

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