Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Della wins prestigious Zurich Portrait prize

Young Kilcullen artist Della Cowper-Gray has won this year's Zurich Young Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland, writes Brian Byrne. Her portrait  Painting in a different world now (My father The Artist) is of her father, a professional artist.

Della, aged 14, was one of three Kildare artists on the shortlist, which comprised entries from all over Ireland from artists between five and 18. There were five age grade winners, from which the overall winner was chosen.

Exhibitions of shortlisted works in both competitions will run at the National Gallery of Ireland between 13 November 2021 and 3 April 2022. The exhibition will travel to Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, where it will be displayed between 23 April and 17 July 2022.

Della also won first prize in the 13-15 category of the 'Draw Our Heroes' art competition, launched last year to have children memorialise the everyday heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic. Della chose Aideen Delahunt, the carer who came to her house during the first lockdown to care for her 91-year-old Grand-Uncle Amby.

In the 66th Texaco Children's Art Competition last year, Della — then a pupil at Scoil Bhride — was one of four Kildare child artists to win an award, for her portrait 'The Mighty Finn'.

In 2019 she won first prize in her age group in the Credit Union Schools Poster Competition. Also in 2019 she won the Brenda Scullion Memorial Trophy in the local Community Games Art Competition. In 2018 she was a silver medallist in the county final of the Community Games Art.

Della's 12-year-old sister Mae is also an accomplished artist, and her portrait of her best friend, Ella Browne, with the title ‘Missing Ella (Loneliness during Lockdown)’, won her a national category first prize in the 2021 Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

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Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen and Gormanstown Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 30 November 2021 were 18, 22, 26 and 30. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will again be €18,000. The value of the follow-up Draw stands at €12,000.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Bernie Clifford (Promoter Kilcullen Credit Union), Ross & Chloe (Kay Dixon), and Marie Brennan (Kay Dixon).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Vivienne Clifford and Kay Dixon and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Adrienne Byrne.

The Parish thanks all who support the Lotto.

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Launch of 'warts and all' Curragh racing novel

Jim Kavanagh and Murt Malone at the launch of 'Iapetus '81'.

The latest book from Kildare Town author Martin 'Murt' Malone was described at its launch last Friday as 'an honest portrait of life in racing, the ups and downs, warts and all', writes Brian Byrne.

'Iapetus '81' was launched by retired trainer and Kilcullen resident Jim Kavanagh, who said he wanted to commend the writer for the novel's authenticity, which brought back many memories of his own experiences on the Curragh for so long.

The book is set in the summer of 1981, at a small stable-yard run by a struggling trainer on the Curragh. The detail comes straight from Murt Malone's own experiences, working in the yard where the story is set. There are two racing 'coups' involved, which are real, but he insists the characters are imaginary.

Growing up in the horse industry — Murt's father worked with Dermot Weld for many years — the author was well aware of the transient nature of the business. Young men came to the Curragh from all over the country with hopes of making it big. "The book is about hope that’s lost, hope that’s preserved … and hope gained."

With seven published novels, three collections of short stories, and plays for both radio and stage to his credit, Murt Malone is also embarking on a new adventure of his own with 'Iapetus '81', publishing it himself under the imprint Owl Fellas' Press. The name is a play on words and sounds: “It’s that this is no longer a country for old male writers, and the advances have dwindled over the years. So because I got two good grants from the Arts Council of Ireland and one from the Arts department in Kildare County Council, I was able to try this. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to publish it myself otherwise."

'Iapetus '81' is now on sale in 35 shops around the country. It’s online with Kenny’s of Galway, and it's in the American and British libraries.

Meantime, anyone who remembers the coups of 1981, especially the Down Royal one where the bookies went on strike for the first time ever and the RUC had to be called in to deal with the disturbance, will have an interesting time working out who is who in the 'imaginary' characters. Price €12, available locally in Woodbine Books. 

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The passing of Henk van Zegveld (Update with arrangements)

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.

Henk's removal will take place this Wednesday from his residence at 10.30am to arrive at the Carmelite Friary Church, Kildare, for 11am funeral Mass, followed by burial in St. Conleth's Cemetery, Kildare Town, for those that might like to line the route in a socially distanced manner.

The numbers at the Mass are limited, in line with current restrictions. Those who would have liked to attend the funeral, but due to current restrictions cannot, please feel free to leave a message in the condolence page on RIP.ie.

Henk's Funeral Mass can be viewed at The Carmelite's Church, Kildare Town Facebook page or at this link. Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to Alzheimers Association of Ireland

May he rest in peace.

Christmas Market: The Vincent's Shop

The Vincent's
shop is one of the Kilcullen secrets in plain sight for finding clothing, homewares, gifts, reading, or toys, all of excellent quality and at unbeatable prices.

With constantly arriving stock, the Kilcullen shop on Main Street is one of those you can come back to at any time and find something fresh, and always surprising. Check it out.

Space on Kilcullen Diary Christmas Market is free for local sellers. Send a photo, a paragraph about your business, and phone and email contacts for publishing, to kilcullendiary@gmail.com with the reference Christmas Market.

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Weatherday: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

Bleecker Street NYC (2003).

Rather cloudy but mostly dry during the morning. A band of rain moving across the country will become persistent in the afternoon, with the possibility of heavy bursts.

Temperature up to 9deg in light to moderate wind from the west, with strong gusts later.

On this day in 1900, Oscar Wilde died in Paris.

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Substantial grant for Old Kilcullen heritage project

Minister Martin Heydon TD with Cllrs Tracey O'Dwyer and Ivan Keatley, at Old Kilcullen.

A grant of €45,000 has been allocated to the Old Kilcullen Area Community Association for a feasibility study and design of a walking and cycling route around Old Kilcullen, writes Brian Byrne.

The money is from the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund and was announced by Minister for Rural & Community Development Heather Humphries TD. The project aims to develop a heritage trail around the various historical places in the Old Kilcullen Area.

The funding news has been welcomed by Minister Martin Heydon TD and Cllr Tracey O'Dwyer. "It will be a great amenity for residents in the area and a way of bringing the rich heritage of the Old Kilcullen area to a wider audience," Minister Heydon said after today's announcement, paying tribute to the work of the Area Association in getting the project to this stage.

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Christmas Market: Des Dunne wood craft

There's something very special about hand-crafted wood pieces, and they can make presents that are always appreciated.

These are local hand-crafted wooden bowls, platters, tea-light holders made from local timber, and other items are also available. 

Contact Des at dunne.dp123@gmail.com or call 087 2647594.

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KWWSPCA Christmas Fair this weekend

The Santa Paws and Mrs Claws Christmas Fair for the Kildare West Wicklow SPCA will be held this coming weekend in Kilcullen Heritage Centre.

The event will start at 11am on both days, finishing at 4pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday.

A wide range of Christmas gifts and decorations will be on sale, together with calendars, new books, cakes, gifts for your pets and lots more.

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Christmas Market: Burkes Pharmacy

Burkes Pharmacy
is your first stop on Hillcrest to browse for a wide range of Christmas gifts this year.

From the traditional scents and toiletry kits to smart scarves and handbags, there's lots to choose from at leisure on their special seasonal displays, in a bright and airy space with good parking behind.

This Kilcullen Diary Christmas Market is free. Just send a photo of your products, a paragraph about your business, and phone and email contacts for publishing, to kilcullendiary@gmail.com with the reference Christmas Market. 

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Weatherday: A 'scandalous trade'

View along the Seine in Paris from the top of the Eiffel Towner (2016).

Cloudy with some patchy rain or drizzle to start. It should dry up in the afternoon, and there's a possibility of a little sun.

Temperature getting up to 9deg in light southerly winds veering later from the west.

On this day in 1740, a 'degraded' clergyman, Edward Sewell, was hanged in St Stephen's Green in Dublin for the offence of 'couple beggar', marrying a Protestant and Catholic.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Applications open for Tess Lambe Bursary

Prof Teresa Lambe by Zoom at the recent launch of the Bursary.

The Tess Lambe Bursary is now open for applications. The bursary will be awarded to two female students of the CPC Leaving Certificate Class of 2021 (those who did the Leaving Certificate last June) who are studying any STEM subject at third level. It can be any science related subject ranging from Nursing, Engineering, Astrophysics, Science, Pharmacy, IT, Forestry, Agricultural Science, etc.

The first step in applying is to send an expression of interest by email to tesslambebursary@gmail.com. An application form will then be sent which must be returned by January 10th 2022. Each successful student will receive €500 and will travel to Oxford to see the work being done by Teresa at the Jenner Institute in Oxford University.

Teresa is a past pupil of Cross and Passion College and her parents Mary and Anthony still live in Nicholastown.

Donations to the fund can be made at Kilcullen Credit Union or on line to the Tess Lamb Bursary Fund, IBAN IE02KIRI99217910400892. The fund was established to give Kilcullen people a way of honouring the great work done by Teresa in Oxford.

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Are you a Kilcullen past pupil of Patrician Secondary Newbridge?

There's a call out from the Patrician Secondary School in Newbridge for any past pupils from Kilcullen who would like to be part of an Alumni Association for the college, writes Brian Byrne.

The Association is at the moment in the foundation stage, and the college is building a data base of past pupils and staff members.

It is quite likely that a large number of Kilcullen boys from the 1970s and 1980s particularly would have been students at the Patrician Secondary.

They can make contact with the Association organisers through the college's website here, or by emailing connect@patriciansecondary.com.

There's a Facebook page here, and a Twitter account at @PSSNewbridge where updates about the school can be found.

Founded in 1958 in the Primary School premises, the present school was opened in 1969. The current Principal is Pat Moloney.

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Christmas Market: Stina Flowers

Stina Flowers
at the entrance to Leinster Marts on the Newbridge Road, offer a walk-in service five days a week for fresh flowers, bouquets, wreaths, and arrangements for all kinds of occasions. With the Christmas season now officially launched, after the Toy Show, they have available a range of handmade Christmas wreaths, and Christmas Trees.

The business is operated by friends Justina Rutaviciene and Kristina Plikiene, who both hail from Lithuania and have lived here for years.

Open Tuesday-Saturday 9.30am-6pm. In addition to the walk-in service they can take orders by phone 085 2548543 for local delivery. Contact can also be made by email stinaflowershop@gmail.com and on Facebook at StinaFlowers.

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Christmas Market: Faerly

was founded during lockdown by Kilcullen-based couple James Byrne and Eoin Houlihan, with the aim of helping people to live a simpler and more considered life and to help reduce unnecessary chemicals and plastics in the world.

Faerly sells a handpicked range of products from small Irish makers and eco friendly brands, with hundreds of handmade, plastic free and ethically made items now available.

Among the many brands which can be bought through their website are Hawthorn Handmade Skincare, Dublin Herbalists, Wildflower Seed Bombs, FieldDay candles and diffusers, Soilse Candles, Bodhi Blends, and Janni Bars.

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Design Statement Drop In brought people, interest, opinions

There was a steady stream of people into the Town Hall yesterday for the Kilcullen Design Statement Drop In Clinic, writes Orla O'Neill of the initiative's KCA project group.

Representatives of our consultants, The Paul Hogarth Company, spoke with everyone and talked through everything that those who came thought about Kilcullen, including the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Both long term residents and new residents of Kilcullen came to the Drop In. Many spoke about the traffic and congestion and how they wanted safer routes for their children. The poor bus service was also highlighted and the fact that most people had to leave the town for work. Some people did the survey on the day, and others will do it through the online link.

The survey will be open for at least another week and KCA encourages everyone to have their say. Those without smartphones can contact KCA and we will give them a paper copy of the survey to fill out.

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Weatherday: Video game pioneer

Air dancers, Paris (2014).

A dull and damp morning, scattered outbreaks of rain. Sunny spells in the afternoon.

Highest temperature 4deg in light wind from the south, veering northwest later. Very cold again tonight.

On this day 1972, the first commercially successful video game, Pong, was released by the Atari company. The video game industry last year was worth $90 billion, though Atari is no longer a major player.

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