Tuesday, September 17, 2019

December date for tower, bridge symbolic lighting

A date for the ceremonial lighting of Old Kilcullen’s round tower and subsequent switching on of special lights on the bridge was set last night at the Kilcullen 700 meeting, writes Brian Byrne.

Sunday 15 December will see the final official event of the Kilcullen 700 year of celebrations.

Provisional planning envisages the symbolic handing over of Kilcullen’s past to Kilcullen’s future beginning at 4pm at Old Kilcullen. All interested residents will be invited to gather there for a short talk and the switching on of floodlights by one of Kilcullen’s oldest residents.

This will be followed by a walk from Old Kilcullen with lanterns and candle lights, to Kilcullen’s bridge. There, a school child representing today’s Kilcullen and the town’s future will switch on a special set of lights decorating the bridge.

Members of the Kilcullen Gospel Choir will join the walk on Main Street and the event will finish up in the Heritage Centre with music and refreshments.

Also at last night’s meeting, Kilcullen 700 chair Nessa Dunlea expressed her thanks to everyone who had helped make ‘a very successful’ Heritage Week happen.

In particular she noted the ‘Past Times’ windows and montages presented by many businesses and other groups. “The judges of the Bank of Ireland sponsored competition were blown away by the entries,” she said.

The monthly heritage talks have also been ‘a great success’, with three more still to be presented.

There was a short discussion on the proposed book of articles based on the talks series. Most of these have now been provided by the presenters, and a concept of the publication is to be devised in coming weeks.

A close to final draft of a 17km ‘Camino Chill Chuillin’ was presented to the meeting. With a working title of ‘A Walk through Millenia’, the route takes in all of the key heritage and historical sites in the area in and around Kilcullen, with a commentary on what can be seen on the walk.

It is to be produced as a small booklet with a map and suitable illustrations. The route can be walked, cycled, or driven as required.

During a short discussion on the project, it was agreed that a future development of the ‘Camino Chill Chuillin’ could include signs and direction indicators of the route.

A shorter 9km variant is also being developed, leaving out some of the further areas.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Fresh look for Kilcullen Post Office

Kilcullen Post Office is getting a new look this week, in a makeover following the acquisition of the franchise earlier this year by Eurospar Kilcullen owner Derek Walsh, writes Brian Byrne.

The key change is a completely new counter area, lower and brighter and in a more customer-friendly style, especially for those using wheelchairs who now have access to every teller position.

"It's more like a modern bank," Derek told the Diary today as the painters were working to complete the transformation. "We also gained more space to work behind the counter."

The back shelf used by customers is temporarily removed to facilitate the completion of painting and general freshening of the outside area, and will be replaced with something suitable when that's done.

Derek was awarded the franchise following the retirement of Noeleen O'Neill last January. Noleen had operated the Post Office for 12 years.

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On yer bike, or your legs, for Mobility Week

European Mobility Week 2019 takes place all this week, writes Kildare County Council's Sustainable Transport Officer Declan Keogh, and this year, the theme is focusing on 'safe walking and cycling' and the ways active mobility can benefit our health, environment a bank balances.

This EU Mobility Week puts a spotlight on safe walking and cycling and the benefits it can have for our health, our wellbeing, the climate and environment and our bank balances! Active transport modes such as walking and cycling create zero emissions and help keep our hearts and bodies healthy.

People who use walking and cycling as their main mode of transport over driving, have found it to be more attractive, with less congestion and a higher quality of life.

"Our bodies are designed to move, yet many of us struggle to find the time to get active during the day," Declan Keogh says. "We find that much of our routine is made up of sitting in traffic, at a desk, or in front of a screen for long periods, and we are not doing enough active moving during the working day." He says we should integrate exercise into our daily life and save money at the same time.

In terms of individual health benefits, studies show that cyclists on average live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15 percent fewer days off work through illness, while 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven years to your life!

The council is encouraging us to ditch the car this week and choose an alternative mode of transport for our journey. Consider walking or cycling where possible, and practicable. Even during your lunch break you could take a long stroll or a cycle, or in the evening time, perhaps go for a walk or cycle. It's not just good for the environment, its also good for your health and fitness.

Or even if you can't walk or cycle to work because of the distance involved, have you ever considered 'car-pooling'? Think about it!

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Tickets available for Gala gospel concert

Kilcullen Gospel Choir.
Tickets are available from Kilcullen Gospel Choir members for a Gala Concert on 11 October, in aid of the Friends of Naas Hospital, writes Brian Byrne.

The concert in St Bridget's Church on The Curragh will feature both the Kilcullen choir and the Dublin Gospel Choir. If a previous event they performed together at is any indication, it will be another night to remember.

Dublin Gospel Choir.
The event will start at 7.30pm, and tickets at €15 each are also available from Friends of Naas Hospital Committee members, or by phoning 086 1099311 or 085 7788562.

There will be a raffle on the night.

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Stop. Think. Check.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.
Three short words, but a they're the important part of a short guide to being media smart, available from the National Youth Council of Ireland, writes Brian Byrne.

Be Media Smart is aimed at helping all readers of social media to take a closer look at what they're being fed on their screens. The NYCI is involved because young people are possibly the most heavily invested in the fast-churning tide of today's information and entertainment media.

But it's a guide for everyone. Which is why the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Media Literacy Ireland group which it facilitates are partners with the youth group in Be Media Smart.

The guide is simple, just four double-spaced pages. As a longtime journalist I'd urge everyone reading this blog to download it and read it. Even with half a century of this work gone through dozens of my typewriters and keyboards, it was a useful reminder of what I should always do myself. What I hope I always do.

Stop. Think. Check.

Read it.

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Rob Power in final for national politics award

Kildare councillor Rob Power has been named as a finalist for the Government/Politics Professional of the Year Award.

The category is one in the Lincoln Irish Early Career Awards which will be announced next month in Dublin. Sponsored by Lincoln Recruitment, the awards celebrate excellence and recognise the achievements of young professionals in Ireland, based on innovation, best practice and outstanding achievement across a broad range of sectors.

Speaking about the award on social media Cllr Power said he is absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted as a finalist. "I’ve been very lucky in having supportive friends, family and coworkers that have enabled my involvement in local government," he said.

Cllr Power, previously a member of Kildare County Council representing the Naas MD to which Kilcullen was attached, now sits in the Kildare-Newbridge MD of which the town is now part. He comes from a strong political family, his father and grandfather both having served on Kildare County Council and as Dail deputies as members of the Fianna Fail party.

“Local government should be representative of the people and I’m fortunate that my work situation is flexible enough that I can play a role in it but I’m conscious this is not the case for many people. If we want local government to be open to and representative of, the general population, we must strive to make our work practices more facilitative.”

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Christmas Market date set

Shopping at last year's Christmas Market.
This year's Kilcullen Christmas Market is taking place on Saturday 7 December, from 10-4 pm.

There is a change of venue for this year's event, which will be held within the Heritage Centre and the riverside plaza behind it.

Anybody interested in being involved can contact the organisers' Facebook page or email katrinaoconnell2@gmail.com.

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Logstown-Carnalway Road closure from tomorrow

Works location. Map: Kildare County Council.
A reminder that Kildare County Council intends to close the road between Kilcullen and Carnalway Cross for a full three weeks, from tomorrow, Monday 16 September, writes Brian Byrne.

The closures will be rolling ones, required to facilitate the installation of a culvert on the Logstown road.

Diversion route. Pic by Google.
Southbound traffic travelling to Kilcullen from Carnalway Cross will be diverted along the L6072 westwards to the junction of the R448 at Brownstown, where they will turn left for Kilcullen.

Northbound traffic travelling to Carnalway Cross from Kilcullen, will be diverted along the R448 onto the L6072 at Brownstown for Carnalway Cross.

Local access only for the period of the closure.

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All-Star Business Award for Harristown Language School

Noella Beaumont, founder of the Harristown House Language School, was presented with a Business All-Star accreditation last week from the All-Ireland Business Foundation, as a start-up business in the education sector, writes Brian Byrne.

The accreditation is held by over 350 companies in Ireland. It is awarded only after a series of interviews with the applicant business, its customers and suppliers.

"We are proud ... our passion for how we teach foreign languages and utilise our wonderful resource in Harristown House has been recognised and appreciated," Noella says.

The presentation was made by Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School and Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, at the All-Ireland Business Summit held by the Foundation in Croke Park.

The Foundation identifies and accredits best-in-class Irish businesses, overseeing the All-Ireland Business Awards and the All-Ireland Business Summit. It also promotes businesses to Irish consumers, giving them confidence and reassurance when making their purchasing decisions.

The Foundation is led by an advisory board made up of a panel of volunteer judges, mentors and business experts. The independent adjudication panel is chaired by Dr Briga Hynes, head of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick; and Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics.

According to Dr Hynes, the accreditation process provides small and medium businesses with a measurable standard of how they operate their enterprises.

The 36-strong Advisory Panel of the Foundation includes CEOs and MDs of many nationally and internationally known companies, among them entrepreneurs and former 'Dragon's Den' household names Bobby Kerr and Gavin Duffy.

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Back from India, Emer will tell her stories in O'Connells

A fundraising night in O'Connell's for Camphill India will be an opportunity for Kilcullen people to hear how the sister organisation of a group that is a very embedded part of our community is faring, writes Brian Byrne.

The event is organised for Friday 27 September by Emer Mucke, who is recently back from spending a year working as a volunteer with 'Friends of Camphill India' based in Bangalore.

It was a time, she says in a Facebook post, where she has 'grown so much as a person, learning about myself and the world and where my place is in it'.

Emer will show photographs and tell her stories about her experience in O'Connells, starting from 8pm. In what she promises will be a fun night, there will also be live music.

"I'm organising the fundraiser because I know how much even a little money can help them," she says. "The Camphill Community there wants to start a new project close to Mysore, where they already own land. The next step is to build houses, etc. They are young and full of energy to start something new. The adults who will benefit from this land are good friends of mine."

We know all about the amazing Camphill energy in Kilcullen, so there should be a very good turnout on the night.

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Calverstown Fun Day today

Pic: Calverstown Action Network.
A reminder that musicians, poets and storytellers will entertain at the Calverstown Fun Day being held today Sunday 15 September, writes Brian Byrne.

The event is on the Village Green between 2pm-6pm and will include novelty races, penalty shoot-out, a tug of war, other games and a treasure hunt.

Everyone is invited to bring a picnic and a deck chair. The day is being organised by the Calverstown Action Network.

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Thank you ...

Just a little thank you to those who sent in information to the Diary while your editor was on holidays over the past week. We try to keep things going from afar as best we can, but such help is always appreciated.

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