Saturday, January 31, 2009

Review: The Carbon Diaries

The Carbon Diaries 2015. Saci Lloyd. Preparation for the next apocalypse

carbondieriesAt a bioethanol seminar I attended in Sweden last year, one of the key people in the research for renewable energy did a lookback/look forward presentation on where we are with fossil fuels. He offered a scenario that in practical terms the time will come when we all get an annual ration of oil per person that wouldn't even drive us to Dublin and back.

An apocalyptic vision? Yep, and it didn't take in a lot of probable answers to the whole energy equation that necessity will jump start. His idea was, though, to make us think.

Well, a book newly available in Kilcullen Library does the same thing, cued in to the whole climate change issue. It is set in Britain in 2015, the first nation to impose 'carbon rationing' in a bid to cut down on the country's carbon footprint. A massive storm the year before had triggered the move.

It's humorous, in a very black way. It takes the Brown family and their friends and reports on their journey through the first year of rationing, when everything they do revolves around the allocation of 200 'Carbon Credits' per month per family member. We follow their progress through the eyes of Laura, one of the daughters. She's a bit of an anarchist, but the only one with some sense.

One entry in her diary sets the scene succinctly.

'Carbon card arrived today. It's got these little blocks down one side going from green to red and as you use up your year's ration they fade away till you're down to the last red and then you're all alone, sobbing in the dark...'

The diary records a year of trauma, of occasional hilarity, and of a resurgence of the 'Blitz' mentality. There's even the 21st century electronic version of the 'Glimmer Man', a smart meter that starts to control various appliances if the family exceeds its monthly quota. There are 'Offender' rehabilitation programmes, too, for such families and uncompliant members within them. A kind of a CO Big Brother looms behind everything. And there's much more gloom, as we read of vicious winters and roasting summers causing all sorts of daily difficulties for the Browns and their neighbours and the country.

This book is bloody depressing in its theme. But it is also brilliantly written in a naive style which is strangely elegant, ironically comical, and sketches deftly the human sides, both good and bad, of a nation dealing with the next apocalypse.

A primer for the coming decades? Maybe, if you're a pessimist, and if you believe the current global business meltdown is only the start of the end. I still wear the other hat, the optimistic one. I made one mistake, though. I went through this book quickly, to avoid becoming depressed. But without a bottle of full-bodied red to hand. Trust me, it's necessary.

Brian Byrne.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Study in peace at the Library

With the second-level national exams now looming closer, study places and aids are becoming more and more important to students at CPC.

One possibility which those of them who actually live in Kilcullen may not have considered is the local branch of the Kildare Library Service.

Although opening times are limited to just a few times a week, Librarian Julie O'Donoghue says the facility can be useful to such users.

"We now have space, and a quiet environment, for a number of students to work away in peace and quiet," she says. "And we have the broadband facility, which is very useful for research on a number of subjects on the curriculum."

One which is particularly worthwhile is the 'ehistory' element of the online resources provided directly by the library service.

It includes a special Schools Curriculum category with tips on how to write a project and possible project choices. It can be accessed on

Of course, the resource can also be accessed from home on any internet-linked computer.

But if you want to use the library, and maybe you don't know where it is, take a walk along the New Abbey Road from The Hideout corner. There's a big new sign, erected only this week.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Phone boxes to be removed

Telecom Eireann is planning to remove the pair of phone boxes outside Steve’s Daybreak shop across from CPC.


It is part of a national programme in which 40 percent of all Telecom public phone boxes are being removed. A notice on the boxes says they will be removed in mid-March.

Interested parties are invited to submit their views on the proposal before 16 March.

The contact is S Culbert at Eircom’s regional HQ in Tycor, Waterford City.

His phone number is 051 873266, or email him at

The nearest street payphone after they are removed will be on Main Street, Newbridge.

The phone baxes have been a constant target of vandals through the years.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Car Park deal off

A proposed deal between the Parish and a local development consortium involving the Church Car Park is no longer on the table.

The deal was outlined last October, and drawings were published showing the placing of a new car park for the church at the back of the Parish House, in return for a land swap that would have facilitated the developer in building a residential/retail scheme.

Fr Michael Murphy told parishioners at the weekend that the 'negotiations have broken down and the deal is now off'.

He paid tribute to members of the Finance Committee who invested an 'inordinate amount of their talent, time and treasure' in trying to make the deal happen for the good of the Parish.

Maeve's Massage Therapy


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Keith sets up new kennels venture

It’s not surprising that Keith Powell in Kilcullen has a love of animals, as his whole family have been involved in one way or another with them for generations.

keithpowellKeith’s father was the late Anthony Powell, himself son of Paddy Powell, the famous National Hunt Jockey over several decades, and his Aunt Stella spent 17 years working as a veterinary nurse. Paddy himself was also Master of the Kildare Harriers, and looked after that club's pack of hounds.

Keith has always loved dogs, and in recent years has been breeding and showing rottweilers at international shows. (He is pictured here with his daughter Elisha, family pet Holly, and Keith's own show rottweiler Storm.)

So a new venture, Kilnott Kennels, is a natural progression. A state of the art operation, Keith has set up the enterprise in partnership with his aunt, and can provide top notch accommodation for up to 15 dogs.

A plasterer by trade, Keith has taken the opportunity of the downturn in the building industry to take up full time what he had been spending many hours at anyhow.

“With my own dogs, I’d be taking up about four hours after work every day, and I was making a few pounds from the breeding and showing, so I decided I might as well do something like this fulltime.”

With the help of some friends who were also in the building trade, Keith has built a custom premises accessible from the Athy Road.

It includes individual kennel units for dogs of various sizes, with underfloor heating, and proper separated individual exercise runs. It is as good as a quarantine area, so there’s no risk of any difficulties such as infection spread from one dog to another. There are also sand runs and a paddock for more extended exercise sessions.

Keith’s own experience in travelling with show dogs -- he does it for other owners as well as his own animals -- provides a sound underpinning for the venture. Looking after dogs on the show circuit and making sure they are in top notch condition at the shows themselves, takes a considerable level of expertise and commitment.

“Setting up the kennels as a full time occupation also means I also get more time to spend with my own dogs, and get paid to do what I love doing every day,” Keith says with a grin. “It’s almost like a professional footballer, maybe?”

Maybe. But with a lot less glamour, and consequently a lot less hassle?

Further information is available from Keith at 086 2896569, or Stella at 086 66038000.

Brian Byrne.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hanna introduces herself

The Candidate Pastoral Worker who has recently been seconded to Kilcullen and Gormanstown Parish introduced herself to parishioners at masses on Sunday.


Hanna Evans is from Mullingar, currently living in Dunboyne, Co Meath. She will work until the end of May in the parish, spending three days a week in a new Pastoral Office at the Parish Centre.

Hanna's work in the parish is in tandem with her studies in the Mater Dei Institute to become a pastoral worker in the pilot scheme initiated by the Archbishop of Dublin Diocese, Dr Diarmuid Martin.

She is one of 16 such candidates in training to work in close partnership with priests, pastoral councils and volunteers in the cummunity, to promote the mission and spiritual teaching of the church, 'in the spirit of the Gospels'.

"In general, the aim is to contribute to the building up of community life, cathecesis and evangelisation," she told parishioners over the weekend. "We're a resource given to the community by Archbishop Martin."

Following discussions with Fr Michael Murphy, it has been decided that Hanna will focus on a renewal of faith programme for all ages in the parish. A Liturgy Team will also be established to work with Ministers of the Word, Eucharistic Ministers, Servers, and Music, amongst other things.

"Other areas I hope to work in include youth work within the parish, and other music matters."

Saying that she has come to a place where she doesn't know anybody, Hanna is encouraging all in the parish to come to her and introduce themselves, as well as sharing any ideas they might have.

"I will also be looking for volunteers down the road for the various projects," she said. "Again, I would encourage you to come on board with them."

Hanna studied Theology and Music at Maynooth University. She worked as a music teacher before returning to Maynooth to finish her Masters degree in Sacred Music and Liturgy. Before coming to Kilcullen, she spent time in a similar parish placement in Balinteer.

She is available at the Pastoral Office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New HQ celebrates company's 40th

The new HQ for Provincial Security Services officially opened last week is located on the top two floors of Market Square.

It incorporates the 40-year-old company's offices and training centre. Provincial Security was previously based in Newbridge. The enterprise was founded by a former Army officer, Captain Karl Dunleavy.

The opening was performed by the Minister for Defence, Willie O’Dea TD.

Acknowledging Provincial Security’s role as one of the leaders in training people for the industry, the Minister said they would be able to further this position in their new, state of the art premises in Kilcullen.

Provincial was the first Manned Guarding company in the country to get ISO certification and this year is one of only three companies to get the Qualsec Gold certification, the top standard for the Irish security industry.

Provincial’s first major contract was with the ESB, to provide security for the Turlough Hill power generation project, built in the Wicklow Mountains during the 1960s and early '70s. When foreign multinational companies began coming into the country a quarter of a century ago, Karl Dunleavy’s operation was uniquely set to offer the kind of security they demanded. When Intel arrived, Provincial was awarded the contract.

Similar contracts followed with companies such as Hewlett Packard, Polaroid, and Wyeth. In addition to these, Provincial Security provides services to many smaller sites around the country, and at any given time has some 270 staff.

Among those present at the opening of the new offices were Brigadier General Sean McCann, Minister for State Sean Power TD, and Kevin McMahon from SIPTU, as well as representatives from a number of the security company’s key clients.

Brian Byrne.

(Full coverage of the opening, and the company's history, is in this week's Kildare Nationalist.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Editor's thoughts of the moment

This is just for the record, and to remind myself how useful it is to have two working hands. Especially if you make your living by writing.

For the last two days I haven't had that ability. An operation on Monday to deal with a couple of fingers on my right hand which had become curled-in due to Dupuytren's Contracture has left me temporarily a southpaw, and I'm writing this with my left hand. It's amazing how, in such a situation, a writer's thoughts run far ahead of his ability to get them down.

I can put up with it for now, but -- because somebody once said to me 'your fingers talk' -- I'd not find it easy to carry on like this on a permanent basis.

Even if I had to, though, wouldn't I be lucky? I'd have my mind, and at least one hand. I think of Christy Brown, whose books I read which were famously written with the toes of his left foot. And physicist Stephen Hawking, with a voice synthesiser, has given us some extraordinary essays on what he believes makes the world tick.

So whatever temporary difficulty I might be experiencing tonight as I write this at the counter in Bardon's pub is small enough. Especially as I know that it IS temporary. And also because I know I'll never write anything as important as those two I mentioned.

But, since I first started typing out articles during the mid-seventies, on a portable Brother typewriter, in the public bar of the Hideout after I had seen customers and staff gone home, the ability to get down in print my thoughts and observations has been such an important part of my life. And, I hope, it has had some importance to those who have read or listened to the several millions of words I've written since those after hours type-scribbles.

'Important' is not the right word here. That what I wrote might have informed or entertained, or both, is really what matters.

Just now, I'm so grateful for the simple technology of my Alphasmart Dana keyboard, my sight so that I can see what I'm trying to say, and the the ability to string these few words together.

Yesterday, being so slightly incapacitated, I had the opportunity to sit by the fire at home, and watch and listen while a man tried to bring hope back to a sorely troubled country, and also, by doing so, to a similarly troubled world.

Over the course of the long inauguration of President Barack Obama in the United States, I worked with my left hand to help meet a couple of writing deadlines.

And after listening to him say the kind of words which our own small nation badly needs to hear from our own leaders, I felt uplifted. I emailed friends in the US that, this time, they seemed to have 'elected the right man'.

When I get my right hand back next week -- and, because of the way I type, I only need one finger of it to be back to full speed -- it is the kind of message I'm going to push forward in my own community, where I am lucky to represent the fourth generation of my family in this place.

Because I can. And, even if our leaders are, apparently, still confused ... because WE, as the people who make up our Irish nation, can.

Join me. And all the other people in Kilcullen who wish to carry on a tradition of a village, becoming a town, where the spirit called for by Barack Obama has existed for as long as I can remember.

Let's take to our hearts the core of the new US President's tone on Tuesday, and roll up our sleeves and get on with getting out of our own particular mess.

Brian Byrne.

More finds at Dun Ailinne

Though last year was a big one for Kilcullen in relation to the Dun Ailinne ancient royal site, with the opening of the Interpretive Park, it looks like it will continue to be an important focus here.

That's what can be surmised from the latest report from Dr Susan Johnston to the Heritage Council, which has sponsored three seasons of further investigatons since 2006.

She says that a ‘remarkable’ range of sub-surface features discovered in her surveys includes a ‘massive’ ancient enclosure which likely predates the Iron Age activity previously known about the site.

Her work builds on the knowledge gained from excavations made on Dun Ailinne in the 1960s/70s under the direction of Professor Bernard Wailes from the University of Pennsylvania. These digs established habitation on the site from Neolithic times, but significantly during the Iron Age up to 400 AD.

The surveys have provided significant new data for the interpretation of the site, she says. "It has allowed us to think in new ways about its use during prehistory,” she adds.

Dr Johnston is now seeking support for further investigations.

Brian Byrne.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The passing of Sheila Bergin

The Diary has with sadness to record the unexpected and untimely death of Sheila Bergin of Sunnyhill.

She is deeply missed by her husband Noel, their daughters Ann and Orla (Dignam), son Shane, sister Joan, brother Sean, son-in-law Dave, daughter-in-law Bethany, grandchildren Celine, Heather, Lillian, Emmett and Finn, and all her extended family.

Sheila is reposing at her home from 6pm this (Tuesday) evening. Removal to Kilcullen Parish Church tomorrow (Wednesday) arriving at 7pm. The funeral mass will be celebrated on Thursday at 11am, followed by interment in St Brigid's Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.

The passing of Jack Jordan

The Diary has learned of the death of John 'Jack' Jordan, late of Bishop Rogan Park, Kilcullen and O'Higgins Road, The Curragh, Co Kildare.

His removal from Anderson and Leahy's Funeral Home, Newbridge, will take place this evening at 6.30pm and arrival is expected at Kilcullen Parish Church at 7pm.

The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11am tomorrow, Wednesday, and will be followed by burial in St Conleth's Cemetery, Newbridge.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blood clinic next week

There is a blood donation clinic in Kilcullen on Monday 26 January, between 4.30-8.30pm. The session will take place as usual in Kilcullen’s Community Centre.

“Blood stocks are low at the moment due to an unprecedented demand for blood from our hospitals during January,” says Onagh Brennan, local area manager of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. “The Irish Blood Transfusion Service rely on the generosity of their donors to ensure that blood stocks are available.

“I want to thank all our regular donors in Kilcullen and surrounding areas for thier support throughout the last year and urge them more than ever to attend regularly and keep stock available for hospitals around the country.”

Parish celebrations upcoming

A new extension to Halverstown School has been completed. The event is coincidental with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the school, which will be celebrated later in the year.

Meanwhile, another celebration is planned for August 5, to mark the 140th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of Kilcullen Parish Church, by Cardinal Cullen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Storm damage to church

Saturday's storm did serious damage to the roof of the parish church, stripping slates from a section of the roof near the altar.


For safety reasons, 7.30pm mass last evening was cancelled, and Fr Murphy says the job of patching the roof temporarily is in hand.

It is believed the incident has weakened the roof, and professional assessment is required to see just what the position is.

Meantime, while the roof remains open, protective measures have been taken around the altar and the carpet.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Micko presents U16s with medals

Kilcullen GAA U16 players were presented last night with the trophy and medals for winning the B County Championship recently.

The presentations were made by GAA legend Mick O'Dwyer, who gave a very stirring talk to the young people of the club.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big music interest in Games

The organisers of the first Kilcullen music and drama entries for the Community Games have been somewhat overwhelmed with acts.

A total of 29 entries, mostly solo singers, will take to the stage in the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday 24 January, to vie for a place in the County Finals in February.

Organiser Anne Quigley has expressed her appreciation for the help from the St Conleth’s Community Games group in Newbridge in getting the Kilcullen entry under way, as well as the local help from Evelyn O’Sullivan, operator of the Drama Dynamics drama school.

The event will run from 10am-1pm, an extension of an hour from the original plan.

There will also be an entry in the drama category in the County Final.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homeless appeal

With over €20,000 raised to help the Michael Garry House hostel of the homeless, the organisers of the pre-Christmas ‘Miscellany on Sunday’ fundraiser series can feel proud of themselves.

That’s the amount raised over the eight years of the event hosted by the Bermingham family at Mooretown. The most recent effort has to date raised €4,150.

But Phena Bermingham has appealed for further donations in the light of the hostel’s recently published figure of €60,000 as the shortfall it expects in its work this year.

“In these cold times, we must try even harder to help those without a roof over the heads,” she told the Diary, adding that though the event itself was only a half-day, the fund remains open.

Minister dedicates building

When Defence Minister Willie O'Dea officially opened the new headquarters of Provincial Security Services in Market Square on Wednesday afternoon, he also unveiled a portrait of the late Pat Dunlea, dedicating the building.


The Minister is pictured here with Peter Dunlea and Nessa Dunlea. (A full report will appear in next week's Kildare Nationalist.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The passing of Nan Miley

The Diary has learned of the death of Nan Miley, Gormanstown.

She is reposing tonight at Gormanstown Church and her funeral mass takes place tomorrow, Thursday, at 12 noon.

We extend our condolences to her family and many friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

It Says In The Bridge: Jan 09

As is to be expected, the first Bridge of 2009 looks back a lot at the end of last year. But one of the lead stories goes back much further, to many thousands of years ago. It's based on a report produced by Dr Susan Johnston about her work over recent summers on the ancient site of Dun Ailinne. Bottom line, it seems there really is more than meets the eye at the site.

Her investigations suggest there was a much more complex architecture than what had been discovered in the excavations of the 60s and 70s. Des Travers extracts some of the key details of her findings, and hopes that she gets funding and support to investigate further.

That front page also reports the success of the Soccer Club's second team recently, winning a league last conquered by the club in 1997.

Back to the more recent past again, and photographs retell a lot of Christmas tales. They include a presentation from the GAA to KCA towards the Christmas decoration of the square, the latest Credit Union Poster Competition winners, the gala opening night of 'A Christmas Cracker', and the presentation by the Lions of a cheque towards the New Abbey Cemetery Tarmacadam Fund.

There's coverage of Jeffrey Hovenden Keane's win in the RTE 'It's My Show' competition, and a Senior Citizens party hosted by the students of CPC. Junior classes at Scoil Bhride also feature in a spread of pictures taken while they performed their Christmas play ... photographer Pat Foley was certainly working hard over the festive season! He also got to cover the Carol Service held in the Parish Church by the children of Brannockstown and Halverstown national schools.

It is Community Games time again and there are pictures of the run-offs in the Draughts League to represent the town.

Sean Landers, home for the Christmas, records some of the difficulties in getting here from Taiwan, and also the familiar pre-Christmas scenes here in Kilcullen. In his historical article he recalls details of one of Cross & Passion Convents more illustrious past pupils, writer Maeve Brennan. In a later career with the 'New Yorker', she published stories like 'The Devil is in Us', which took inspiratiomn from her two years in Kilcullen's secondary school from 1929.

Billy Redmond goes 'Off the Cuff' on his usual wide range of topics. This time he muses about the fate of the 87 million euros at the centre of the recent Anglo Irish Bank scandal, the unfairness of comedians in their depiction of our current Taoiseach, a certain ennui about not being asked to play at a recent Senior Citizens party, waste depredation in the Church Car Park, and the seemingly insoluble problem of parking on the Church Road.

Finally, a look forward to a town organisation rooted 78 years in the past. Yes, 2009 is the 78th year of Kilcullen Drama Group, and as part of the celebration, they intend to produce Hugh Leonard's play 'A Life'.

We look forward to the party!

Brian Byrne.

A taste of fame

Jeffrey Hovenden Keane, the 13 year old who recently won the RTE ‘It’s My Show’ contest to find a young TV presenter, is getting ready to host an episode of ‘ICE’ on the station before the end of the month.

Jeffrey Hovenden Keane“I’m a bit apprehensive, but I’m looking forward to it because it’s a great chance for me,” the Calverstown youngster told the Diary. “You wouldn’t know where it might bring me in the future.”

And Jeffrey is already experiencing the first effects of fame. When he went back to school at Newbridge College last week he found himself the focus of a lot of attention from his classmates.

“And over Christmas, when the family in a hotel restaurant in Limerick, one of the waitresses asked was I that ‘famous boy from television’,” he grinned.

Jeffrey attends the local Talented Kids Performing Arts School and Agency, run by Maureen Ward. The school’s pupils have been placed in a number of TV series and even movies, including RTE’s ‘Fair City’.

Brian Byrne.

NOTE: You can read the full extent of Kilcullen involvement in TV and film in this week's Kildare Nationalist.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Art Group planning first exhibition

The prospect of running their first group art exhibition has the Kilcullen Art Group all business at the moment.

painting---14The event is being mounted in the Heritage Centre on the week before Easter, beginning Friday 4 April.

In addition to working on paintings for the exhibition, the group are also building their own stands, and indication that more exhibitions are likely in the future.

“We’re all looking forward to it,” says group leader Sabina Reddy, who founded the club three years ago. Membership ranges from 15-20 regulars, and the group meets every Tuesday night in the new Kilcullen Canoe Club premises. Their tutor is professional artist Clodagh Gale.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Badminton first for Kildare

Kildare Badminton Association held their first Kildare Graded Open in Kilcullen on January 3 and 4, 2009 attracting 126 players from all four provinces.


The tournament, organised by Sheila Smyth and Claire Flood, was a huge success and proved yet again that the counties have great venues and players who enjoy competition.

Singles, doubles and mixed competitions in all grades from Senior 1 to Class 6 were highly contested in the event at Kilcullen Community Complex.

Food, hot drinks and complimentary fruit was provided for the two days by committee members and proved very popular.

Matt Tobin from CMF Badminton Club celebrated his 70th Birthday and a surprise birthday cake and Kildare T-Shirt was presented to him by Sheila and Claire. A fantastic weekend of badminton was had by all and next year's Kildare Open is already in the calendar.

A special thanks to Breda Connolly, president of the Leinster Branch who travelled from Dublin to present over 80 trophies to all the winners and runners-up.

Thanks to everyone who entered and to the KBA Committee who work tirelessly for Kildare badminton.


Results as follows:

Senior 1

Mens Doubles

Winner: Paddy Burke & Kevin Corrigan
Runner-Up: Aubrey Cox & Martin O'Hanlon

Ladies Doubles

Winner: Claire Flood & Donna Kee
Runner-Up: Laura Hennessy & Clare Davidson

Mixed Doubles

Winner: John Curran & Laura Hennessy
Runner-Up: Paul Donnelly & Claire Flood

Senior 1/Class 1

Mens Singles

Winner: Seamus Halpin
Runner-Up: Brian Dignam

Ladies Singles

Winner: Donna Kee
Runner-Up: Aisling Chapman

Class 1

Mixed Doubles

Winner: Seamus Halpin & Darina Mangan
Runner-Up: Paddy Burke & Lavinia Proudfoot

Class 1/Class 2

Mens Doubles

Winner: Paul Ennis & John Maher
Runner-Up: Seamus Halpin & Neil O'Flaherty

Ladies Doubles

Winner: Michelle Hayes & Aisling Chapman
Runner-Up: Fiona Farrell & Leanne Kelly

Class 2/3

Mixed Doubles

Winner: Joe Byrne & Helen Donnelly
Runner-Up: Ronan Kevitt & Nicola Mountford

Class 3

Mens Singles

Winner: Robert Ingram
Runner-Up: Robert Power

Mens Doubles

Winner: Robert Ingram & Kieran O'Brien
Runner-Up: Jason Fahy & Robert Power

Class 4

Mens Singles

Winner: Seamus O'Flaherty
Runner-Up: Daniel Wynne

Ladies Doubles

Winner: Susan Kilcline & Paula Scully
Runner-Up: Michelle O'Toole & Caroline Sheedy

Mixed Doubles

Winner: Seamus O'Flaherty & Susan Kilcline
Runner-Up: Sean Pollard Jackson & Helen Rouse

Class 4/5

Mens Doubles

Winner: Patsy Nugent & Kieran Barber
Runner-Up: John Plant & Sean Pollard Jackson

Class 5

Mens Singles

Winner: Damien Molloy
Runner-Up: Gareth Hogan

Ladies Doubles

Winner: Helen & Rachel Rouse
Runner-Up: Pamela Kelly & Michelle O'Toole

Mixed Doubles

Winner: Tony Hennessy & Pamela Kelly
Runner-Up: Pat Stafford & Caroline Sheedy

Class 6

Mens Singles

Winner: Neil Hosey
Runner-Up: Ger Bissett

Mens Doubles

Winner: Ger Bissett & Keith Pearson
Runner-Up: Gareth Hogan & Adrian Doran

Ladies Doubles

Winner: Sinead Phelan & Ann Casey
Runner-Up: Muriel Downey & Nora Hogan

Mixed Doubles

Winner: Jason Elliott & Bernadette Stafford
Runner-Up: Eros Biasiolo & Karen O'Toole

Hilary Makin

New stock in Library

Kilcullen’s Library has just taken delivery of hundreds of new books, a bright spot in these otherwise recessionary times.


“There’s a saying that Libraries are used more during recessions, and I’ve certainly noticed that since about last November we’re getting more adults,” says Librarian Julie O’Donoghue.

She’s hoping also that more young adults will start using the facility this year, especially as a place for study. The Library, in the old Boys School building, was given a significant refurbishment recently, which followed the provision of an extension with storage space and toilets.

The systems have recently been computerised, which makes it much easier both to keep track of books and also to get ones particularly in demand from other parts of the County network.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Kilcullen Year

Just a note to highlight the 2008 Review of Kilcullen which is in the current issue of the Kildare Nationalist.

You might like to have it as a reminder of how much happened here, and when it did.

Your Editor must declare an interest, as he writes the Kilcullen Page in the Kildare Nationalist every week.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Generous response to VdeP collection

There was a very generous response to the Kilcullen St Vincent de Paul Christmas Collection in the parish’s churches, with €4,163 contributed.

Of that, €3,218 was given at Kilcullen Parish Church, and the balance at Gormanstown Church.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Light the candles again

That time of year again, as we approach the fourth birthday of the Diary.

Though we seem to have reached a plateau in recent months, there was again a growth in readership during 2008. More than 103,000 visits to the site, with over 150,000 pages read. It's a lot of attention. Thank you, readers.

You tuned in from more than 130 countries, which makes us something of a United Nations. But with around two thirds accessing from Ireland itself -- and by logic, from the more or less direct locality -- the Diary is very much a facility for the community in Kilcullen itself.

That said, our town's expats in the US are the next most interested readers, followed closely by the UK. After a couple of European countries -- Germany has quite a few Kilcullenites -- it won't be any surprise that there's a good chunk of regular readership from Australia. It seems that every second home in Kilcullen has somebody in Ozland at any given time, your Editor's family included.

Why do they bother? I suppose, when you're far away, any regular link with home is nice. I often meet parents or siblings of our Wild Geese and they tell me that the outlanders often know more about what's happening here than do those they've left at home.

For those who look in from around here on a regular basis, we try to offer something new every day. But to be fair, it's a part-time and unpaid effort, and we increasingly find that time is indeed finite, and there are real physical limits to productivity. We'll keep on trying to push out this Internet envelope, though ... because it really is fascinating to this sexagenarian to be still learning new things.

The good thing is that, since we set up the Diary those some years ago, there are other local websites which have come on stream, catering for their own specialised interests here. In most cases, they don't take from what we're at, because we weren't there anyhow.

The Badminton Club, the GAA Club, are to the fore as exemplars, using the WWW in the best way possible, as regularly updated sites to let their members and followers know what's going on in a timely fashion.

The Parish is also getting in on the act, and the original static website is being developed to provide a more dynamic reporting of the Catholic interests in the locality. There's also a new Baptist congregation site which extends further the local spiritual ethos.

Also, Cross & Passion College has now got seriously onto the web, and is providing a regular news feed of the varied and often wonderful things that are happening in that youthful and vibrant part of our community.

Does all this begin to make the Diary look a little redundant? We don't believe so. Apart from the fact that we can direct you to news from these other interests, there are a number of segments out there which still haven't grasped the advantages of what we might call 'Kilcullen on the Net'.

So, approaching this latest birthday of the Diary (third week of January), we're saying 'watch this space'. Because this is the space where we'll try to keep making new things happen.

Otherwise we'd get bored ...

Brian Byrne.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

'Talent' upcoming

The 'Kilcullen's Got Talent' event organised by Kilcullen Community Games is on in the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday 24 January.

Open to boys and girls aged under 14 on 31 July 2009, the competition runs from 10am-1pm.

The participants can be solo or group musicians, dancers and singers. There's also a category from the old days, solo recitation.

Registrations took place in mid-December, so the talent show is fully scheduled. Further information is available from Ann Quigley 087 77335176.

Badminton open for business

Kilcullen Badminton Club plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9pm to 11pm, at Kilcullen Community Sports Complex. The facility has four fully-equipped courts with changing and shower facilities.

The club welcomes new members from all age groups and all standards -- from beginners to league players.

Why not dust off your runners and get along there for a game?! Just turn up on a Tuesday or Thursday or feel free to contact the club to find out more.

Pilates classes

Evening classes in Pilates begin on Thursday 15 January at Martinstown, The Curragh.

Suitable for beginners, the movements tone up muscles throughout the body, and are recommeded for general body care as well as relaxation and destressing.

Further information from Gillian on 087 9491125, or email

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Fallons to host elders

Kilcullen's senior citizens are being entertained to a New Year party by Fallons on Thursday 13 January.

The event takes place at 3pm and Brian and staff look forward to meeting them there.

GAA prizewinners

Chris Harris, c/o Bardons, was the winner of the Monster Hamper first prize in the Kilcullen GAA Club's annual Christmas Draw.

Linda Price, also c/o Bardons, won the second prize of a turkey and ham, while a cake and bottle of whiskey was taken home for Christmas by Sinead Hamilton, on a ticket sold by Mark Brophy.

Other winners were Maurice Baxter of Kilcullen, Anne Birchall of Gilltown, Seamus Pembroke from Ballymore, and Tom McCarton of Conroy Park.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Late Christmas gift for AFC

Kilcullen AFC’s second team playing in the Kildare Junior Football League, won their League on Sunday.

This is a great achievement for the managers, Mark Farrell and Joey Dempsey and the team itself, who played some great football during the season. The team went unbeaten in the league and were only beaten once in the CUP. Well done also to Eoin Wheeler who, at 48, became the oldest and fittest player to win a League medal for the Club.

Early celebrations were held in O’Connells on Sunday, the Cup was presented by League Chairman Michael Casey.

Photos of Celebrations and presentation to follow.

The first team are still in with a chance of winning their League but it is out of their hands. They have to wait on the result of a match next weekend.

Who knows, we might be celebrating a Double …?

Ray Kelly.

Priests lock in

Attempted break-ins to the Parish House over the Christmas period have forced the priests living there to lock the outer doors of the building at night time.

It seems there were two attempts in the one night to enter the house, the first involving kicking at the back door into Fr Paddy Ryan's residence in the early hours of the morning. Fortunately, Fr Ryan was away at the time.

A further attempt was made at entry through the front door later towards morning, but failed when Fr Murphy got up to see what was going on.

As a result of the necessity to lock the outer doors, the only way of contacting the priests at night, for the moment, is by phone.

Back at the easel

Kilcullen Art Group are back together tomorrow night, Tuesday 6th January.

Our first Art Exhibition will be held over the weekend of 3rd, 4th, & 5th of April.

New members are welcome, please contact Sabina Reddy at 087 6807139.

Kilcullen winner of TV show

Thirteen-year-old Jeffrey Hovenden Keane, from Calverstown in Kilcullen, has won the RTE programme 'It's My Show'.


He's pictured above, second from the right, at the final.

The all Ireland search for a junior TV presenter saw Jeffrey made it to the final 25 contestants, then to the semi finals. There he won the title of 'Best Young Irish TV Presenter'.

The heats for the competition were shown throughout the Christmas holidays with the grand final being aired on 2 January.

Jeffrey has been a member of Talented Kids Performing Arts School and Agency in Kilcullen Community Centre for two years now.

Presented by Sinead Kennedy, 'It's My Show' gives a group of 25 youngsters the chance to prove they could be the next big thing in the world of tv presentation.

There were five heats with two winners from each show going forward to the semi-finals.

The prize for the winner is the chance to present 'ICE'. The 25 participants were mentored by presenter Caroline Morahan for the five heats. The judging panel for the semi-finals and the final were theatre and film director Peter Sheridan, and TV presenters Brian Dowling and Caroline Morahan.

Child Protection Statement published

Kilcullen Parish has issued a Child Protection Statement, based on the guidance provided in the document Our Children, Our Church, Child Protection Policies and Procedures for the Catholic Church in Ireland.

It details the Parish policy in relation to creating a safe environment for children and young people who participate in Parish activities.

The statement provides contact details for those in the Parish and the Diocese who have responsibility for child protection.

The Statement also outlines a Code of Conduct for clergy, staff and volunteers working with children and young people.

The full text of the document is available here.

Brian Byrne.

We wish you ...

New Year resolutions are hard work. For Kilcullen in 2009, let's have a wish list instead. Your Diary has a few of its own. Add to them, and let us know ... we don't subscribe to the superstition that a wish should be kept secret. Otherwise how can it be made come true?

We wish that all our readers and their families enjoy good health and reasonable expectations, because being a high-flying Celtic Tiger has truly proven to be no guarantee for long life or happiness.

We hope that the volunteer effort of Kilcullen Community Action is both recognised and augmented by the community which that group has most unstintingly served for many years.

Acknowledging the very positive input of Kildare County Council to the street cleaning programme in the last year, we would still like them to communicate with the people of Kilcullen before they implement such dross as the grotty reflective tape on the bollards (and arrogantly replacing it when the community showed actively what it thought of the idea). Y'know, sometimes it is good to admit one is wrong?

It would be nice if the parents of Kilcullen's (very minority) wayward young people took their offspring in hand and made them aware of the ancient concept of respect for where they live.

We would really like those who park their cars badly and illegally to consider the effects of their actions before they exit their vehicles.

Ah, yes ... while KCC's street cleaning crews are working hard to pick up the litter, wouldn't it be nice if we didn't drop it ourselves in the first place?

Finally, it happens that we have a good crew of An Garda in Kilcullen at the moment; let's appreciate what they do, and do what we can to make their jobs doable.

Here endeth the Diary lesson for the start of 2009. But feel free to add your own wishes for Kilcullen through the rest of the year.

Brian Byrne.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Farewell, 2008; welcome, 2009

So, was 2008 a year, or was it what?

Nationally and globally a roller coaster, and all downhill. Just look at any economic graph for the year and the shape is just that, the track of roller coaster cars in free-fall after the long slow winch to the top. Gravity always wins in the end.

In Kilcullen it was more local ups and downs, of course. And it has to be said that there were plenty of highs, a couple of them really good peaks resulting from community goodwill and unstinting effort.

For a full lookback that you can keep, check out the Kilcullen Page in the next issue of the Kildare Nationalist. For here, you can easily scroll back through the individual months of 2008 for memory jolts. But in case that’s too much trouble, here are a few of the best and the worst.

It was a year when we were all both Christians and Pagans, the former exemplified by the very successful Chriunniú Chríost parish Gathering. It reminded many of the regular ‘processions’ of their childhood, brought into the 21st century. The pictures on the Diary tell the tale of a religious spirit still strong in Kilcullen.

For the Pagan in us, the erection of the javelin sculpture at the new Dun Ailinne Interpretive Park was the culmination of literally years of effort, on an individual level by our local sculptor Noel Scullion and collectively by the Kilcullen Community Action group. For those of us there to witness the first Spring Equinox sun shining through the edifice was an experience which we can only imagine as akin to that in Newgrange.

Later in the year, the official dedication of the Interpretive Park was a wonderful occasion to bring back both memories and the people involved in the ‘digs’ on Dun Ailinne in the 1960s/1070s. Underscored by the premiere performance of the commissioned music from Liam O’Flynn, the whole weekend was yet again an example of a community celebrating itself and its heritage.

Those last were rare sunshine days in a summer of mainly wet weather, but Sol was also prepared to shine on yet another official dedication, the opening of the new Kilcullen Canoe Club premises. The result of some of the late Pat Dunlea’s vision in tandem with the willingness of the club members to think outside the box, the new place is a fitting headquarters for a club that resulted from yet another visionary, Paddy Maloney.

The work of the afore-mentioned KCA was also splashed out colourfully in the floral window-boxes which gloriously lifted the sodden summer spirit of Kilcullen, as well as the new Christmas lights which helped to keep the legions of doom and gloom at the town limits. In each case, an infrastructure has now been put in place from which to put out even better displays in coming years.

The Community Awards was another splendid occasion to stimulate positivity and mark appropriately the work of individuals and groups for the general good of Kilcullen.

And we must also note the continuing good works undertaken by many of those groups, as illustrated by the Lions, the Senior Citizens, the Womens Mini Marathoners, and too many others to list ... but we all know who they are.

Achievements by our young people during 2008 must also be noted, including the Green Flags won by both Scoil Bhride and Brannockstown NS. Both occasions were marked appropriately, and will without doubt bear great fruit as those young generations grow into an adult world where they can bring the environmental benefits they learned in the projects.

The students of CPC did their own community things too, including the entertainment of ‘The Boyfriend’ produced and performed by the Transition Year students. Those performers who remain in the locality are surely the new blood for the Kilcullen Drama Group, which gave us a 'cracker' of a Christmas entertainment.

Kildare County Council must also be thanked for the success of the new street cleaning team, which certainly made a big difference to the tidiness of the town and backed up the continuing efforts of the Tidy Towns stalwarts.

Business people who invested in improving their street premises, and those who set up new enterprises despite the prospect of recession, also showed their faith in a growing town. It isn’t easy out there, and Kilcullen no more than any other community needs a bedrock of business to remain viable. A new year resolution to support local fist won’t go astray for 2009.

Plaudits must also be noted for the general Kilcullen community, big-hearted as always in supporting the local fundraising of the many worthy causes which are aided by local citizens.

There’s much more to recall with fondness about 2008 in Kilcullen. Unfortunately there were a few downsides too. Petty crime and vandalism remained far too problematical, and we can only hope for improvement as those responsible mature. And although it has for some time been just a small employer, the closure of Renley Engineering’s facility in Kilcullen ended a 38-year story which began when the late Gay Warren met up with Paddy Nugent of Kilcullen Development Association in McTernans. But, sin scéal eile, as they say.

Finally, we lost people too, in the inevitable natural attrition of life. Among others whose passing we may have missed were Ben Atkinson, Stephanie Sheehan, Jim Dempsey, Carmel Kennedy, Kevin Enright, Dick Hendy, Sam Sloan, Ellen O'Leary, Doreen Mullen, Paul Byrne, Sheila Bathe, Jimmy Phillips, David and Claire Broughall, Dolly Lynch, Mary Conway, Paddy Brangan, Ann Berney, Bob Hutton Snr, Andy O'Connor, Lazerian Kelly, Declan Wall, Ronan Conway, and Vincent O'Halloran.

May they, and all other absent friends, remain alive in our memories.

Brian Byrne.