Saturday, November 27, 2021

Did you get your two-wheeler tuned this morning!

Well, if you didn't take the opportunity to have your trusty two-wheeler serviced or repaired down at the Kilcullen Community Centre this morning, you missed out, writes Brian Byrne.

I got our two family bikes done at the free Bicycle Repair Clinic, and both rothars have never rolled so sweetly. 

Sponsored by the Kildare Public Participation Network as part of the Kildare Climate Action Weekend, the free checkup was undertaken by the Cycle Clinic mobile repair unit. The session ends at 2pm, and while it was slow to start, possibly the Toy Show sleep hangover, business got going steadily from mid-morning.

Pictured working on a bike is the Clinic's Fergal O'Mahoney. The company has been in operation for six years and has three units which go to homes and businesses to service bicycles for individuals and corporate staff groups.

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Community Centre Forum hears appreciation, and thoughts for improvement

A Forum last evening representing different groups using the Kilcullen Community Centre heard appreciation for the facility as it is operated and also some ideas for further improvements, writes Brian Byrne.

The event, held in the Centre's Connolly Room, was organised by manager Enda O'Neill with the aim of encouraging all to work together to add more community value to the campus. It was also an opportunity for individual groups to suggest how their activities could be enhanced. "Say what you want and we’ll see how we can work to do it," Enda urged them after his initial words of welcome.

In addition to Community Centre Board members Ronan Murphy and Cathy Phelan, the organisations represented last evening were the Kilcullen Community Childcare and Education Centre, Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns, Kilcullen Scouts, St Bridget's Pitch & Putt, Scoil Bhride, Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen Boxing Club, Kilcullen GAA and the Community Employment Scheme.

For the Childcare Centre, Carl Traynor noted that their group had been officially on the campus since 2014, and 'we were there in several guises before that'. He said access to the All Weather Pitch had been very useful for the children when playing outside, and that now they had almost completed their own all-weather facility behind their building. "We've had very good relationships with the Centre and we very much appreciate that." Enda O'Neill commented that an improved and safer pedestrian system from the KCCEC facility would soon link up with the new traffic management which had been set up around the main Centre building during the last year.

Chairperson of KCA Anne Cashman suggested it would be great to have a Men's Shed type of facility on the campus. From a biodiversity aspect, she said it would be nice to see more bedding sections around the Centre, and she also hoped that the soon-to-be-opened Coffee Hatch service would use sustainable materials and that there would be an appropriate number of bins around to deal with waste. She also took the opportunity to remind all the organisations represented to have their members do the public consultation survey currently in train for the development of a Kilcullen Design Statement.

For Scoil Bhride, Muiris Ó Raoghaill said the school considered themselves very lucky to have all the facilities of the Community Centre 'on our doorstep'. "We have around 700 pupils, and we use facilities like the All Weather Pitch a lot," he said. "They play GAA and other sports as well and we always appreciate the welcome we get." On matters of dealing with occasional instances of vermin attracted by the Pinkeen Stream, and on security for the children, he suggested there might be closer cooperation. Enda O'Neill said he would speak with the Centre's relevant contractors on these matters, and Carl Traynor of KCCEC added that they could adjust their CCTV cameras to take in more of the external area around their building.

The Principal of CPC, Joe Leonard, noted that with 835 pupils and not having their own PE facilities, the College is 'heavily dependent' on both outdoor and indoor facilities on the campus. "We are probably the main user of the Centre, and there has always been a great relationship between us." He noted particularly the support that will probably be needed for the performance of the next musical, as the school's own Assembly Hall has been turned into classroom space because of distancing needs due to the pandemic. "I can not foresee a time when we won't need the support of the Centre and we're really appreciative of it," he added.

As one of the oldest groups associated with the Centre, Christy Sweeney of St Bridget's Pitch and Putt noted that they had been there since 1987, and continued to grow. "Despite the pandemic, we have grown our membership even more in the last two years," he said, adding that the numbers of Juveniles playing had increased substantially. "We have one of the finest clubhouses in Ireland, and we recently got extra room to extend our museum. The Centre gives us great cooperation."

For Kilcullen GAA, Dan Bell said the facility is a 'credit to the town' and that many people may not appreciate how lucky they are having all these facilities in one place. "I've travelled all over the country and there's nothing like it anywhere else," he said. He suggested that there could be opportunities for further cooperation on lighting and security.

Representing the Community Employment Scheme for the local area, which is based in the Centre, Nessa Dunlea said the Scheme already provided for three staff at the facility, and the new Coffee Hatch will add more. She reminded those present that it's important to remember that 'we wouldn't be here' without the generosity of the Cross and Passion Sisters. "And don't forget also the people who have gone before in the management of the campus." Enda O'Neill noted that without the CES employees, 'this place wouldn't be functioning'. "We couldn't run this facility without them," he added, thanking the CES for making them available.

Bernie Orford for the Kilcullen Boxing Club said that while they didn't need to use any of the outdoor spaces on the campus, whenever they needed anything, the Centre always helps out. Michelle Hourihan, representing Kilcullen Scouts, spoke about the plans to build a permanent Scout Den behind the All Weather Pitch.

Concluding the meeting, Enda thanked all for coming and suggested that a twice-yearly Forum like this could be very beneficial, and 'sort out a lot of things'. On behalf of the Board, Ronan Murphy said they were anxious to have more representatives from the community on the Board.

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Two events today not to miss

A reminder of two important local events today which are worth attending, writes Brian Byrne.

For those who want to do a bit more sustainable local transport, but the old bike is a bit dodgy, there's a free Bicycle Repair Clinic this morning at the Community Centre. It's part of the Climate Action Weekend organised by the Kildare Public Participation Network. Any parts needed will be charged for. The Clinic runs from 10.30am-1.30pm.

In the Town Hall there's a Drop In Clinic for those who want to find out more about the Kilcullen Design Statement currently under development.  Organised by the Kilcullen Community Action project team in association with consultants Paul Hogarth and Company, the Clinic is also an opportunity to fill in the initial survey which is part of the process. An online version of the survey can also be accessed. Drop In times are from 11am-4pm, and all covid protocols will be observed.

Suggestion: Bring your bike to get it sorted, then cycle down to the Town Hall.

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Weatherday: On with the show!

Valentia Island, Co Kerry (2003).

The cold conditions will continue through the day and into the evening. Good sun, isolated showers, wintry on high ground.

Highest temperature today 4deg, feeling colder because of strong breezes from the northwest.

On this day in 1871, the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin opened with a performance of She Stoops to Conquer, written by Oliver Goldsmith.

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Kilcullen Santa post boxes ready for after Toy Show

After the Toy Show tonight, there'll be lots of letters written for Santa. There are at least two special Santa Post Boxes now open for business, in The Valley and in Burkes Pharmacy.

No stamps required for Santa (and all Santa Post Boxes are labelled No. 1).

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Vivian Clarke solves Christmas for the men in your life

Kilcullen's Vivian Clarke has been providing quality and stylish menswear in Newbridge for 37 years.

For this Christmas gift for the man in your life, you could be considering these in the new range of Casa Moda half-zip sweaters.

Or beat the now-inevitable cold snaps with the smart and warm options in winter jackets and gilets now in stock. And don't forget the possibility of a Clarkes Menswear Voucher if you want to let them choose their own.

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Kilcullen Christmas Market refunds on the way

Arrangements to refund stallholders
who had booked for the Kilcullen Christmas Market are under way.

The event scheduled for 4 December was cancelled recently because of concerns about rising covid infections and the need to avoid gathering crowds.

The organisers are asking that stallholders bear with them over the next couple of weeks while they roll out the refunds.

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The passing of Jérôme Vittet (Ballyshannon)

The Diary has learned of the death of Jérôme Vittet, Lugatanna Park, Ballyshannon, Kilcullen, on Tuesday 23rd November.

He is sadly missed by his loving wife Nell, his children Philéman, Marin, Gilda and Ambroise, mother Michelle, sister Marie, mother in law Martine, father in law Gilbert, brother in law Simon and sister in law Aurélia.

Jérôme will be reposing at his residence from 4pm to 7pm on Sunday 28th. Removal from there on Monday morning 29th to St Brigid's Church, Suncroft (R56 YY43), arriving for 11am requiem Mass followed by burial in Holycross Cemetery. The funeral Mass will be live-streamed from Suncroft Parish Church on Youtube and on radio at 108fm.

Those who would like to attend the funeral but due to current restrictions cannot, please feel free to leave a message in the Condolence page on  If attending, please wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing at all times.

May he rest in peace.

St Anthony's Youths seeks new players

St Anthony's Youths FC is looking for new players for next season.

The club is based at the Astro Pitch in Kilcullen and has confirmed that they already have a second Senior Men's Team for next season. They are especially seeking new players from 16 years upwards, and there are discussions about a Ladies team.

More information from the club's Facebook page or phone 086 2896569.

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Weatherday: "We're slightly old-fashioned in our ways"

The carousel at Cascais, Portugal (2021).

A mix of a winter day with showers, sunshine and cloud.

A high of 7deg in the morning will chill down significantly through the afternoon in strong and gusty winds from the northwest.

On this day in 1902, the first edition of Ireland's Own magazine was published in Wexford Town.

Headline: Former editor Phil Murphy comment on celebrating the centenary of Ireland's Own.

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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Remember, Have Your Say

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The passing of Henk van Zegveld

The Diary has learned of the death of Henk van Zegveld, Dunmurray Road, Kildare Town and late of Kilcullen, on November 15th 2021, suddenly.

Henk's passing is deeply regretted by his loving wife Cathy, children Lizet and Mariska, step children Aubrey and Lynn, daughter-in-law Emma, grandchildren Chris, Olaf, Tess, Arthur, Freya and Julia, sisters Els and Andrea, extended family and friends.

Funeral arrangements will be posted later. May he rest in peace.

Weatherday: The Mousetrap

Section of Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park, Co Kildare (2016).

The cold frosty start will take time to warm up even a little. Sunny spells through the morning, clouding over in the afternoon.

Highest temperature 5deg in light breeze from the northwest, shifting to southwest later.

On this day in 1952 the Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap opened in London's West End in 1952 and ran continuously until 16 March 2020, when the stage performances had to be discontinued due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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