Sunday, July 19, 2015

It Says in The Bridge — July/August 2015

There's a lot packed onto the front page of the latest Bridge, in photos and event mentions, reflecting yet again the diversity of what goes on in Kilcullen in a mere month, writes Brian Byrne.

From drama at the Arus, where Eilish Phillips and Joan Murphy hobnobbed with President O'Higgins as representatives of Kilcullen Drama Group, through a representative picture from the recent 200th anniversary flower festival celebrations at Yellow Bog Church, to our own Paul Dixon with Des Willoughby and Bernie Heaney at the 'Kildare Goes Country' day in Newbridge, are added a nice pic of Ann and Tom Birchall at the GAA 'Joe Dolan Tribute' fundraiser in The Mill, and a pictorial reminder of the upcoming Mac & Norman Vintage Run. Plus a strap reminder of the parish Cemetery Masses coming on 24/26 July ... it's all busy, busy, busy in our little town.

Much of the front page is amplified inside the magazine, which has extra colour pages sponsored by The Mill bar and Kilcullen GAA to show off the floral displays at the St John's Church bi-centenary, and the 'Dancing at the Crossroads' for that Joe Dolan Tribute event. There are also more Pat Foley pictures of Kilcullen people at the country music gig, and from the equally successful 'Kilcullen Goes Country' night in the Town Hall Theatre ... we certainly do have a lot of country fans here.

Pat Foley was also out at the recent Dunshane Field Day, which looks like it was a very sunny affair indeed. Other picture spreads include one from the Community Games, where young Kilcullen athletes got plenty of podium exposure.

News in the magazine includes more on the new social network centre being set up in the old Dispensary, information on the new local bus routes on the way to replacing the through services dropped by Bus Eireann and JJ Kavanagh, and concerns about the sand put in the Community Playground by Kildare County Council in place of the bark mulch — it's not good. People news features the retirement of Fr Tim Murphy, who served in Kilcullen many years ago, as parish priest of Blessington; the coming retirement of Jack Wall from politics; Ivan Keatley being elected as Deputy Mayor of Kildare; and local man Howard Origan who competed in the World Fitness Federation Universe contest recently.

There's an update, with pictures, on KCA's work creating summer colour in flowers — and as always, they could do with more volunteer help — and Gerry O'Donoghue reprises the success of the recent Acoustic Picnic fundraiser for Maintain Hope, and previews another gig for the same cause, the Gala Reunion of The Moon & Sixpence charity band. Phena Bermingham both sends in a review of progress in Mozambique from her son Fr John on the building of a church which is helped by the 'Miscellany Sunday' event every year, and adds some of her own memories to those raised by recent items in the Bridge. Changes to the Eurospar Supermarket under new management are detailed in an interview with the new manager, Derek Walsh.

There are some of the usual feature contributions, an unexpectedly poignant one from Jacinta Sully's Brannockstown page where she profiles Tom and Kitty Clarke and their family at their 60th anniversary, not knowing that Tom would sadly die as this issue was arriving in the shops. Julie Dunlop shares an inspirational summer poem she came across in recent travels. Billy Redmond wonders if there should be a Tribunal of Inquiry on all the ongoing and previous Inquiries from which nothing seemed to happen to those being Inquired Into.

Sean Landers takes a summer break opportunity to write about the foundation of two organisations which were very important in their own time to future developments in Kilcullen, Fr Moynihan's Drama Class eighty years ago, and Kilcullen Community Council in the 1970s.

Kilcullen's boxing heritage gets a major outing thanks to a recent visit by Billy Schwer Snr to The Mill pub which was for a time run by his family. A winner of many Irish and UK titles, his son Billy also followed him into the ring and became a professional boxer in his father's adopted country. It's an article especially interesting to those of us old enough to remember those days.

There's a very thoughtful and thought-provoking piece by Brian Walsh on living in a rural community as a gay person. Unlike many, whether gay or otherwise, he finds it a positive experience, liking the slower pace of life and what is often the 'unspoken tolerance and even celebration of diversity'. His dedication is to creating a space for a wide difference of opinion, 'and out of this focal point begin to build a better future for all of us'.

The schools pages include a note on the move in Scoil Bhride to the fine new buildings, which 'worked a treat and nobody ended up in A&E'. When the old school buildings are refurbished at the end of the summer, some will be moving back again.

In sports news, the Kilcullen GAA U12 Girls wrapped up the Division Championship after beating Naas, and there's also a report from the Boys U14 getting themselves into place for their county semi-final by beating St Laurence's.

Lots more. Buy the magazine. It's very diverse ... and busy.