Saturday, August 17, 2019

Emer visits St Laurence's on trail to Tralee

Kildare Rose Emer Fogarty visited her sporting alma mater, St Laurence's GAA Club, this afternoon where she was much in demand for photographs with youngsters in the club, writes Brian Byrne. And with quite a few of the parents and adult club officials too.

She was welcomed by Marcella O'Reilly, chairperson of the club's Ladies division, who recalled that the Fogarty and the Tallon families had long had a great involvement in the club.

Club President John Joe Walsh also took the opportunity to wish Emer well in the upcoming Rose of Tralee Festival. He spoke of how her grandfather Paddy had been one of his best friends. "He'd be very proud of you today, and so would your father Michael," he said, referring to the sad loss of her dad last year. "I know you're one of the favourites, and I hope you'll do well."

For her part, Emer confessed to being somewhat overwhelmed at the welcome from all the club members present. "It's really a privilege to not just represent Kildare, but also to represent this club. I've been blown away over the last couple of weeks by the level of support, people coming to the house, to the Coffee Morning."

She spoke of how she had started out playing in the club 'underage and playing against the lads, because there was no girls team'. "The boys all wanted to mark the girl, but I remember one day I scored a couple of goals and the young lad went home crying ... and that's when I realised that the girls can be as good as the boys." (Loud chorus of 'Yeah!!' from the legion of small girls present.)

She said that a lot of what she had learned on the football field she has been able to apply to her own life, and 'this is a lovely way to give back'.

Emer was then presented with a bouquet from Emma Flynn, representing all those 'girls who are as good as the boys'. (Again, Yeah!!)



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A Main Street walk of nostalgia

It's getting very hard to keep up with the proliferation of displays in Kilcullen for Kilcullen 700/National Heritage Week, so this piece looks at three of the latest ones on Main Street, writes Brian Byrne.

Very appropriate for an optometrist's heritage window, the centrepiece of Nichola Kennedy's display is this old Zeiss Ikon Nettar camera. For the photography buffs, it was sold from the early 1930s, used 120 film, and was described by the maker as being 'especially suitable for keeping a week-by-week picture diary of family, home, friends, trips, vacations, etc'.

The window was dressed by Karen Donnelly, and also features a couple of books from the Purnell publishing house established in the 18th century which was at its height in the mid-1960s and in its wide range produced very popular juvenile literature classics. The veteran pair of reading glasses suit that period, and the photograph of the building when it was Dowling's petrol station is also from around that time.

Down the street in the Final Furlong, Ruth O'Neill shows a family history project undertaken by her two boys, Jan and Sean, in CPC. They represent the eighth generation to live on their family farm at Killinane.


With pictures ranging from their great, great grandparents John and Bridget O'Neill right up to the mid 2000s, it's an extraordinary record of local agricultural heritage.

At the bottom of the street, in the An Tearmann cafe beside the bridge, there are photographs from the early days of the Bridge Camphill Community in Kilcullen, with representations of the sewing and weaving skills which are an integral part of the life of those in Community.


They have already prompted many conversations of memory of living 'in the old days' in Kilcullen.

Heritage Week 2019 runs from this weekend all through next week, and a number of businesses and organisations have signed up to provide a display for the Kilcullen 700 competition, the prizes for which are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Kilcullen. The links below are to some of the other entries so far covered on the Diary. We are almost hourly becoming aware of other presentations, and we'll try and get around to them.

A steamer trunk's story in Secret Kloset.

Music, games and books in Woodbine's Heritage Week window.

More beautiful memory pieces in Sharon's Perfect Image

Ger's Fruit and Veg brings memories back

Julie's tableau of 50s home memory

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'Emigration' in song and story next week

Rehearsals in full swing. Pic: Kilcullen Library.
As part of National Heritage Week 2019, 'The Curse Of Emigration: The Local Perspective in Song and Story' will be performed in Kilcullen Community Library on Thursday next 22 August at 7.30 pm, writes Brian Byrne.

This presentation, scripted and devised by Frank Morrow and friends, captures the hopes, dreams and heartbreak of Irish emigrants in song, music and the spoken word.

The music is great with some fine singers and all the old familiar songs take on a new life and relevance.

The production is presented in association with Kildare Library and Arts Service. Admission is free, everybody is welcome and light refreshments will be served.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

M9 archaeology talk next week

Archaeologist Noel Dunne of Transport Infrastructure Ireland will deliver an illustrated presentation next Tuesday of the results of archaeological investigations in advance of the M9 Motorway and M9 Motorway Service Area.

The presentation in St Joseph’s NS Halverstown will deal specifically with the work in the vicinity of Old Kilcullen and Halverstown.

Previously unknown archaeological sites discovered and excavated included six prehistoric fulachtaí fia, Early Neolithic hearths and pits, Early Bronze Age settlement and structures, an early medieval souterrain or underground chamber, early and post-medieval cereal-drying kilns and a late medieval limekiln.

This free public lecture takes place at 8pm and has been organised in association with the Old Kilcullen Area Community Association.


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Damien's 'Sons' film nominated for awards

The short film Sons & Broken Noses has five nominations for awards in the 10th Underground Cinema Short Film Awards, writes Brian Byrne.

The film, written by Damien Aulsberry who is originally from Kilcullen, is among 19 in contention for the main awards, announced last night.

The nominations are Best Comedy - Colin Fleming; Best Director - Colin Fleming; Best Actor - Eric Lalor; Best Supporting Actor - Robert MacCormack; and Best Production Design - Nigel O'Brien.

The Underground Cinema screens short films regularly in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.

Damian's screenplay has won a number of Irish and international awards in recent years.

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A steamer trunk's story in Secret Kloset

Sometimes a piece of memorabilia will come startlingly to life when the back-story is recalled, and that's the case in Shirley Kavanagh Hallion's Secret Kloset entry for the Kilcullen 700/National Heritage Week Competition, writes Brian Byrne.

One of the pieces in the window is what was known as a 'steamer trunk', a large piece of luggage which would make a Ryanair bag-drop agent blanch if it were presented at check-in today. "It was used by my great-aunt Bridie when she sailed to America with Cunard in the early 1900s," Shirley says. "She never came back to live here, but did come on visits, so the trunk must have come back to Ireland on one of those."

That great-aunt was Bridie Murphy from Kilgowan, and she spent her life in an area north of New York city after marrying in America. "And she lived to 104," Shirley told the Diary yesterday.

There's also a Singer sewing machine in the display, which reflects another piece of family history, that Shirley's great-grandmother — another native of this area — was the first agent for Singer machines in Ireland.

A photograph of boys playing with whipping tops shows some of the pastimes of the past, while a postcard photo of Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Consort to King Edward VII, sits well with an old book of which the opening chapter is titled 'Old Clothes—Old Glory'.



The enamelled advertising signs for corsetry are also worth perusing in the context of the very modern fashions of the Secret Kloset.

Heritage Week 2019 starts this weekend, and a number of businesses and organisations have signed up to provide a display for the competition, the prizes for which are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Kilcullen. The links below are to some of the other entries so far covered on the Diary.

Music, games and books in Woodbine's Heritage Week window.

More beautiful memory pieces in Sharon's Perfect Image

Ger's Fruit and Veg brings memories back

Julie's tableau of 50s home memory








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Film, drama, blacksmithing and boxing for Kilcullen's heritage event

Kilcullen’s official event in the 2019 National Heritage Week kicks off at 8pm on Monday next, writes Brian Byrne, with talks, displays drama and conversational memories.

With the title ‘Water under the Bridge’, the event in the Heritage Centre includes a display of Dan Donnelly’s arm accompanied by a talk on Kilcullen Boxing Club by David O’Brien.

Maurice O’Mahony will explain the technical wizardry of the old projector which is one of the heritage sentinels of the former cinema, where older generations of Kilcullen people were regularly entertained by the movie blockbusters of their time.

Pat and Ned Kelly will share their memories of the forge at Mile Mill, bringing to today’s generations a sense of a bygone industry which had several local practitioners.

Three short video presentations will run in the theatre, respectively on Old Kilcullen, the history of the bridges at Kilcullen, and the Donnelly’s Hollow pageants.

Members of Kilcullen Drama Group will perform excerpts from a number of productions over the group's many decades in existence. In addition ,some of the Youth Drama Group will demonstrate popular children’s games of times past.

An exhibition of the Kilcullen 700 art and craft works produced by the pupils of Scoil Bhride will be a centrepiece of the evening, and will remain on display through Heritage Week.

Meanwhile, entries for the Bank of Ireland Kilcullen sponsored competition for displays relating to the theme of National Heritage Week, Past Times - Pastimes, will be judged from 10am on Saturday 24 August.


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Acclaimed organist to play in Kilcullen on Saturday

Photo: LTComposition.
Internationally acclaimed organist and composer Leon Tscholl from Karlsruhe in Germany will play in Kilcullen Parish Church tomorrow, Saturday evening, before, during and after the 6.30pm Vigil Mass, writes Brian Byrne.

This will follow his performance this evening, Friday 16 August, in St Brigid's Cathedral Kildare, where he will be playing from the works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Franck.

Organist and organ enthusiast Peter Moloney, who arranged the Kilcullen visit, says that as far as he knows, it is the first time a musician of Tscholl's international stature has played the John White organ in the church.

Peter is currently running a fundraising campaign to refurbish and upgrade the organ.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Manna organic shop relocates

The Manna organic shop in Bridge Camphill has been relocated into the Weavery, writes Brian Byrne.

The shop will concentrate on organic dry goods as well as selling some of the surplus vegetables from the community's garden.

Margaret O'Shea says the new location will make the shop more visible to the footfall in and around the An Tearmann cafe.

The current plan is that the shop will be open on Thursdays and Saturdays until 2pm, and all day on Fridays.



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Market Square car park 'for public use'

Market Square overground car park
The overground car park at the Market Square apartments complex is open for public use according to the original planning permission, writes Brian Byrne.

This has been confirmed by Kildare County Council, following a query from Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy, who has passed on the information to Kilcullen Community Action.

It follows a discussion at the recent KCA meeting on the Market Square redevelopment proposal and parking, where the councillor noted that there seemed to be a confusion between departments about the status of the building's parking areas.

In the clarification from the Council, the overground car park 'is privately owned but it was a condition of the planning permission granted for the apartment development that they be available for public use'. The Council says the underground parking spaces 'are for the use of residents', and there was no condition attached that they be made available for public use.

At the KCA meeting, Cllr McLoughlin Healy said delays in providing a plan for viewing in the public consultation were to make sure that any issues in the draft plan prepared by consultants were dealt with. Following the public consultation, a final plan incorporating any relevant amendments will be presented to councillors.

In relation to parking arrangements, which have been a contentious issue amongst some businesses in the area, the councillor said 'there are solutions'. "But you can't provide them until you bring people along with you and listen to their concerns," she said. She also noted that going underground to park was 'not an easy sell', especially to women motorists.

Parking in the market square.
In the discussion, the matter of people working in the area leaving their cars in the market square currently came up. Antoinette Buckley asked 'why can't they use the underground car park?'

There was also a suggestion that in any plan, the Loading Bay be restricted to certain times for loading, and the rest of the time be a recognised parking area, 'as it is mostly used for that anyway'.

Market Square Loading Bay.
The meeting heard that attempts had been made to discuss the status of the building's car parks with the current owners, 'but they don't respond'.

On the overall proposed redevelopment of the square plan, Cllr McLoughlin Healy said there was a possibility of another public meeting, possibly in September. Noel Clare said it would be essential that consultant James Hennessy be there.

Meantime, Cllr Tracey O'Dwyer says the Council has committed to answering a range of questions on the Market Square by the end of August/early September. She says she has asked the Market Square Redevelopment Committee if it might be an option for everyone to come together when she has all the information and discuss it together collectively.

She also says 'small but positive steps in the right direction' are being made in relation to a range of other issues in Kilcullen, including the taking in charge of estates, the installation of additional pedestrian crossings, bus shelters, a full review of traffic and speed management in the town and resurfacing the playground.


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Music, games and books in Woodbine's Heritage Week window

The field in the Kilcullen 700/Heritage Week Competition is getting pretty crowded now, and our latest to feature is the window in Woodbine Books, writes Brian Byrne.

With memorabilia from the Behan family home, we're brought back to some terrific recollections of the 1950s and 1960s, many of them musical.

The Clancy Brothers LP, with the record player to play it, and a Tom Jones single record from 1966 are part of these. There's a collection of violin lessons and music, and the violin itself. What looks like part of a Hornby train set, a venerable Monopoly board game, and a really special old set of Chinese dominoes tiles ...

And of course, there are books, mainly young people's books, so it's very clear where Dawn and her family got their love of books that underpins the building of today's business.

And there's more ... every time you look closer, there's something else to see.

More to come — I hear the Secret Kloset and An Tearmann windows are also now ready for perusal.

Heritage Week 2019 starts this weekend, and a number of businesses and organisations have signed up to provide a display for the competition, the prizes for which are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Kilcullen.

More beautiful memory pieces in Sharon's Perfect Image

Ger's Fruit and Veg brings memories back

Julie's tableau of 50s home memory








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