Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Another award for Fallons

Fallons of Kilcullen have just won the best Restaurant Service Award for Kildare in the Irish Restaurant Awards, writes Brian Byrne.

The Awards were presented tonight at a ceremony in The Clyde Court Hotel, Dublin.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A swinging country night

"It was possibly the best concert I have ever attended in the Town Hall Theatre," local photographer Pat Foley said today.

And no doubt the full-house audience agreed, as they enjoyed Nashville singer-songwriter team Leona and Ron Williams, along with Tony Kerr, Just Two, and Kilcullen's own Jimmy Aspell.

Organisers Carmel Aspell and Tommy Lawlor were delighted with the fact that the event, in aid of the Special Olympics, was sold out far in advance of the night.

The Diary was unable to attend, but Pat Foley kindly supplied the pictures.

Anna recalls Thailand cultural project

In 2006 I did a fundraiser in Kilcullen to establish the Cultural Canvas Thailand arts-based outreach project, writes Anna McCarthy.

We started with a photography project, run in association with Lomography Thailand and a local school for the refugee children in the area.

Although I returned to live in Ireland, my colleagues continued to run Cultural Canvas Thailand, and the art outreach project developed into a separate initiative called, Art Relief International.

The fund from the Kilcullen community was instrumental in the setting up of the art outreach project, and its development and continuation to this day a tribute to the kindness of the community, even all these years later.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

U10 soccer lads in the medals at Community Games

Kilcullen's U10 Indoor Soccer Team won a silver medal at the county finals of the Kildare Community Games yesterday, writes Ray Kelly.

They were beaten 3-2, but gave a great performance. Well done, lads.

Don't forget tickets for 'Caught in the Net'

Just a reminder that tickets are on sale (and selling fast) for Kilcullen Drama Group's production of the Ray Cooney farce, 'Caught in the Net'.

The play goes on stage on 10 April which will be the Gala Night starting at 7.15pm, in aid of the Kilcullen Community Childcare & Education Centre.

It will then run for a further five nights 11-18 April, the first night of these latter in aid of KWWSPCA.

Tickets as usual in Berneys Chemist.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tomorrow's country concert sold out

A country music concert in Kilcullen tomorrow night is a sellout, writes Brian Byrne.

Arranged to raise funds for the Special Olympics project, the concert features Nashville singer-songwriter team Leona and Ron Williams, along with Tony Kerr, Just Two, and Kilcullen's own Jimmy Aspell.

Organisers Carmel Aspell and Tommy Lawlor are delighted with the response. "We could have sold it twice over, such was the demand," Carmel told the Diary today.

GAA Easter Camp for Juveniles

A 2-day Juveniles Easter Camp is being organised by Kilcullen GAA for 9/10 April, geared for 5-12 year-olds.

The fee for the two days is €25 and places are limited to 100.

Activities include football training, a penalty shoot-out, races, tug o war, and arts and crafts.

Contact club PRO Jacinta Sully on 087 6689028 or Liam Cronin on 087 9680399 for details and registration.

Easter Egg Hunt in Brannockstown

An Easter Egg Hunt is being run by Brannockstown Community Committee tomorrow, Sunday, and everyone is invited.

It starts off from Brannockstown Baptist Church at 2pm.

Friday, March 27, 2015

St John's Table Quiz winners

The winners of last night's Table Quiz in Fallons in aid of the St John's Church 200th anniversary Flower Festival were the Kilcullen Badmindon table — Margaret Fallon, Nora Hogan and Margaret Burke. (Pic Ronan Murphy.)

John Murry in the BAG

John Murry is a remarkable songwriter from Tupelo, Mississippi, USA, writes Roy Thompson of the Ballymore Acoustig Gigs. He makes his BAG debut on Monday night. Doors open 8:30pm.

There will be support from Peter Doran.

There is already considerable interest in this gig. As it's pay at the door, to avoid disappointment I urge you to come early; Mick's can fill up quick on nights like this, so don't miss out.

John Murry has quite a cult following in Ireland, and most shows on the tour are sold out, or very close to it. See ye in Mick's!

Support Daffodil Day today

Just a reminder that today is Daffodil Day, and the local team will be selling daffodil badges in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, writes Brian Byrne.

Last year generous Kilcullen people gave around €4,500, and around €90,000 has been collected here since the idea was started in 1987.

The day is organised in Kilcullen by Nuala Collins.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Table Quiz for Yellow Bog anniversary tonight

A reminder that a Table Quiz to raise funds for the 200th anniversary celebrations of St John's Church in Yellow Bog will be held in Fallons tonight, 26 March.

The usual costs per table, but the event kicks off at the earlier time of 7.45pm.

The anniversary will be celebrated with a Flowers Festival in June, on the weekend of 26-28 of the month. It will include a reception for sponsors and will conclude with a Service of Praise.

According to author and historian James Durney, the present church was erected in the early 1800s on a site which was possibly where a previous church had been built to replace the ancient one beside the round tower of Old Kilcullen.

Great result in Community Games

Kilcullen had great success winning seven medals at the Kildare Community Games County Art competition, held in the Patrician Primary School, Newbridge, on Sunday 22 March, writes Papillon Rabitte.

The event was well attended with up to 300 talented children, from 14 different community games areas, competing to represent Kildare in the National Finals. The Kilcullen contingent consisted of 25 competitors across the different age groups (U8-U16).

The competition can be quite competitive at this level and all the participants have to be commended on getting to the County finals.

At the end of the day, Kilcullen brought home two gold, three silver and two fourth place medals.

Our two gold medallists, Ella Cullen (U10) and Leon Cullen (U14) now go forward to represent Kildare at the National Finals in August.

The medal winners are U8 Girls: 2nd Aoife Moran and 4th Leah Keogh; U8 Boys: 4th Sean Dunne; U10 Girls: 1st Ella Cullen; U10 Boys: 2nd Tom Aspell; U14 Boys: 1st Leon Cullen; U16 Girls: 2nd Stephanie Byrne.

Congratulations to all the participants and winners.

Signs request for Whitehall, Old Kilcullen

The Municipal District Engineer is to meet with Cllr Rob Power to discuss the erection of direction signs to the rural districts of Whitehall and Old Kilcullen.

This follows the raising of the matter by question at the recent meeting of Naas MD.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nice food demo night at CPC

There was a good turnout last evening for the Cookery Demonstration by Siobhan Murphy in CPC.

The event was hosted by the CPC Parents Association. Pictures by Conor Williams.

Drama Group Gala for KCCEC

The proceeds from the Gala Night of 'Caught in the Net' on Friday 10 April will go this year to the Kilcullen Community Childcare & Education Centre, courtesy of Kilcullen Drama Group, writes Brian Byrne.

Tickets for the night at €15 include a cheese and wine reception, and are available from Berneys Chemist.

(Please note this is a correction to an earlier version of the story, which erroneously said the Gala is for the KWWSPCA, which in fact will be on the Wednesday of the following week; apologies for the confusion — ED)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Parish Lotto Draw

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 24th March 2015 were 7, 11, 15 and 20. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €10,200.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Miriam McDonnell (Promoter Miriam McDonnell), Joan Walsh (Friday Bridge), and Breda Patterson (Vivian Clarke).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Ethna Dempsey and Nora Hogan and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Laoighse Boyle.

The Parish thanks all those who support the Lotto.

The passing of Peggy Wall

The Diary has learned with a deep sadness that Peggy Wall of Kilgowan died early today.

Peggy was the soul of Walls of Kilgowan, wife of the late Tom and mother of the late Declan.

To her children Michael, Thomas, Laurence and Annette, and all the extended family and friends, we extend our heartfelt sympathies.

Peggy will be reposing at her home from 7pm on Wednesday with prayers at 9pm. Her removal will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday to arrive at Crookstown Parish Church at 8pm.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 11am on Friday, followed by interment in the adjoining cemetary.

May she rest in peace.

Deputy wants feedback on Curragh

Walking tour of The Curragh at Donnelly's Hollow.
Local TD Deputy Martin Heydon is asking residents of Kildare to complete a survey on their use of The Curragh Plains, writes Brian Byrne.

He says the 5,000-acre area has 'huge' potential for the equine industry, tourism, and recreation and amenity for local people.

"It has an illustrious heritage which could be better understood and utilised by locals and visitors alike with some changes and improvements," he says. “I want the feedback of those familiar with the plains, from those who work there with horses, sheep or the military to the many South Kildare residents who use it for running, walking or just flying a kite with the family."

The short survey is available on his website www.martinheydon.com.

The Spring Equinox, another view

While most of you will be familiar with the pictures taken on the morning of the Spring Equinox at the weekend, here's a different view.

It's a picture taken through the monument by the artist, Noel Scullion, on the evening of the Equinox, and looking towards the setting sun. A really intriguing photo.

Great fun at Town Quiz

There were 15 tables at last night's Town Quiz in Bardons, in aid of the KCA Summer Flowers Project.

As always, a great night of camaraderie and craic.

CPC cookery fundraiser tonight

A Cookery Demonstration hosted by CPC Parents Association tonight will be led by Siobhan Murphy of the Kalbarri Cookery School.

The fundraising event will take place in the Home Economics kitchen at CPC, beginning at 7.30pm.

As well as being instructive, it should also be an entertaining and convivial evening as Siobhan draws on her experience as a comedy actor as well as her wide ranging culinary expertise.

Tickets at €10 will be available at the door.

Survival Course in Brannockstown

Brannockstown Youth Club members will be having a Survival Course on 25 April, starting at 3pm.

Participants will need parental permission to do the course.

Permission forms can be collected at the Club's next meeting on 17 April.

Cecil Day Lewis closing date looms

Friday next, 27 March, is the closing date for entries for the annual Cecil Day Lewis Literary Awards Competition for primary and secondary school students in Co Kildare.

Application forms and T&Cs can be downloaded from athyheritagecentre-museum.ie, or call to the Heritage Centre-Museum on Emily Square.

Phone 059 8633075 or email athyheritage@eircom.net for more information.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Thanks from Grainne

There were 170 adults and 100 children signed up to yesterday's Fun Run and approximately €1,400 was raised for each school — St Joseph's NS and St Anne's on The Curragh — writes Grainne McGrath.

The first three men back for the 5k route were Guy O'Callaghan, Brian Geraghty, and Kieran Kelly. The first three ladies home were Pippa Hackett, Ruth Murphy and Molly Aspell.

Much thanks to the Osprey Spa and Leisure for the generous prize of three months' free membership and the one-hour spa treatment. Also to the local businesses who gave generously —Nolans Butchers, Berneys Chemist, The River CafĂ©, Eye Candy, Eurospar, Tesco and Dunnes Stores.

And, of course, to all who took part. Everyone had a great day and we were blessed with the weather again.

Help for applications to National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme

I would like to let farmers know about the one to one assistance that will be available from the Department of Agriculture offices in Portlaoise this week from Wednesday 25th March to Tuesday 31st March, writes Martin Heydon TD. The application process and online system can seem complex, especially to new applicants so this is a very worthwhile resource.

In order to provide assistance to Young Farmers and New Entrants who may be experiencing difficulty in completing and submitting online applications under the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will provide one-to-one assistance between Wednesday 25th March and Tuesday 31st March at its offices in Portlaoise.

The closing date for receipt of online applications for the two priority categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant’ under the National Reserve is 31st March 2015. As there may be a small number of farmers who are experiencing difficulty in submitting their application and supporting documentation online, the Department will endeavour to facilitate these farmers by providing assistance to complete the online application.

Department officials will be available at Government Offices, Old Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise from Wednesday 25th to Tuesday 31st March from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 5pm.

This service is being made available to individual farmers who hold a registered herd number and are also registered for online services with the Department. In order to best manage the service and to avoid potential unnecessary delays, prospective applicants who wish to avail of this service should contact Lo Call: 0761 064 446 to agree an appointed time for their visit.

Applicants who have been allocated an appointment should ensure that they bring the following necessary items when attending:

Login, password and PIN details for Department online services; Photo ID; Herd number; All supporting document as required under the Terms and Conditions of the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme.

For prospective applicants who are unable to access the online application system as result of having applied for a herd number or an amendment to an existing herd number prior to 31st March 2015, and these have not yet been allocated or processed, a separate manual application is available to download from the Department’s website at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/nationalreserveandyfs/

Big exam day for Drama Dynamics

It was a big day on Saturday for 93 students from the Drama Dynamics School of Speech & Drama, writes Brian Byrne.

The students, aged between 6-17, were doing their Royal Irish Academy of Music exams in Speech & Drama, and Acting.

Pictured in Kilcullen Parish Centre with Drama Dynamics owner Evelyn O'Sullivan are some of them — Peter at back, and in front are, Zara, Saoirse, and Siena.

It was a very successful day, with smiles all round when each group of students completed their sessions.

Meanwhilehe Drama Dynamics Teen Theatre will present Neil Simon's 'The Odd Couple' on Friday 24 April.

The production will be in the Drama Dynamics Studio on Hillcrest and the performance will begin at 8pm.

The evening will include performances from the Adult Acting Group.

Tickets at €10 will be available on the door, and include a glass of wine.

Town Quiz tonight for Summer Flowers

The annual Town Quiz to raise funds for the Summer Flowers Project takes place tonight, Monday 23 March, in Bardons.

It kicks off at 8.30pm, at the usual fees of €40 per table of four.

The Quiz is one of the main fundraisers for the project, along with the annual street collection.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Great day for Fun Run

Well, the Fun Run organised by Grainne McGrath and friends was once again a great success, writes Brian Byrne.

We don't have the final numbers yet, but it looks like participation might have exceeded last year.

Certainly there was a much wider variety of runners and walkers, some cyclists too, and lots of families with buggies.

Great weather, great atmosphere.

More pictures here.

Ned Kelly's 60th

Ned Kelly, blacksmith/farrier of Mile Mill, celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends on Friday night, in Athy where he now lives.

Gerry Lambe and Tommy O'Brien, who live with Ned, joined in the celebrations. Ned's cousins nieces and nephews travelled from far and wide, and music on the night was provided by his brothers Joe, John and Pat, with lots of singers doing their party piece.

Ned brought the house down with his medley of songs from 'Oklahoma' and the 'Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen'.

Ned was presented with a cake featuring the tools of his blacksmith days, and a great night was had by all.

(Photos courtesy John Kelly.)