Sunday, March 15, 2015

It Says in The Bridge: March 2015

Kilcullen’s community magazine The Bridge has begun its 45th year with the current edition, writes Brian Byrne.

It’s an arguably unique occasion in local publishing, as we’re not aware of any other similar volunteer-operated publication which has continued uninterrupted for so long.

The issue kicks off by reporting how local student Aoibhinn Tutty Bardon was one of a group of young people selected by the Newbridge Rotary Club to visit Strasbourg and address the European Parliament. There’s also coverage of Nolans recent celebrations of their ‘Champion of Champions’ award, and a promo for a St Patrick’s Day screening of vintage Disney comedy in the form of ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’, some four and a half decades after the movie was first launched.

A rather different comedy is also promoted by Bernard Berney, the upcoming Kilcullen Drama Group’s presentation of ‘Caught in the Net’ to go public on Thursday 9 April, with four performances scheduled so far.

A country music event in the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday 30 March also gets space this month, and while the headliners are Nashville stars Leona Williams and Ron Williams, the supporting acts are Just Two Country and our very own Jimmy Aspell.

Photo coverage of that recent Nolans celebration is the main visual part of this month’s Bridge, and they are happy pics. Not so nice are the images on the KWWSPCA page depicting some very bad treatment of animals. Always raises the question of ‘why?’, and frankly, like littering and graffiti, it’s one I’ve never been able to fathom.

There are lots of features to browse through this month. Topically, an non-bylined page introduces us to the ’New Man at Castlemartin’, John Malone. He’s described as a philanthropist who wants most of his vast fortune to end up in charitable foundations. Closer to home, Jacinta Sully profiles Albert Keenan, our local veteran athlete who ‘just keeps on running’. There’s another extract from Billy Redmond’s own life story, and in this one he recalls one of Ireland’s long-gone ‘characters’, Arthur Tapley (about whom there is yet to be a book done, under the title ‘Tapley’s Tall Tales’ … but it would need to be researched quickly before all those tales are forgotten).

Aoibhinn Tutty Bardon writes an extensive piece on her trip to Strasbourg, a ‘wonderful opportunity’ gained through her winning of a Youth Leadership Award organised by Rotary Ireland. The now regular contribution from Julie Dunlop this month focuses on bereavement and grief and what can be learned from both close companions. Bernard Berney’s numerous words in the magazine include memories of the Brady family who lived in a house on Naas Road where Moanbane Park is now located. The other regulars retain their pages, including Billy Redmond’s ‘Off the Cuff’, and Sean Landers still writing from Taiwan.

The 45th year of The Bridge prompts James Healy as the ‘Archivist’ to look back at the magazine in the 80s. He writes that it was ‘an exciting time’ in the publication’s four and a half decades, and his remarks raise a number of forgotten memories in this writer’s mind.

The Schools updates have as always fine nuggets of writing and commentary as only the excitement and wonder of being very young and curious can produce. In the Sports coverage, the ‘Face in the Window’ GAA subject this month is one of the club presidents, Pat Lynch, who has been associated with the club since 1940.

In the anniversary year that’s in it, we again have a plea from those who perform the monthly miracle of producing The Bridge for more people to get involved. Writing, photography, production, wherever is their bent. ‘Can You Help The Bridge Reach 50?’ is a good question, and one which should be answered in the positive.

Meantime, get your copy of the March issue now. Where else will you get the scoop on Bernard Berney's first date, or why Billy Redmond was refused entry to the Dail Canteen?