Friday, November 08, 2019

Community and Tidy Towns Awards 2019 presented

Pat Mangan presents the Suas Knitting Group with an award for their yarn bombing of the bridge.
A full Kilcullen Town Hall Theatre applauded the presentation last night of the Community and Tidy Town Awards to a wide range of recipients, by Kilcullen Community Action, writes Brian Byrne.

Master of ceremonies Eoin Houlihan welcomed the recipients, their families and friends, and local representatives. He briefly outlined some of the work which had been accomplished during the last year, noting the support of Kildare County Council and councillors of both Kildare Newbridge MD and Naas MD. Among the Council help was repairs of footpaths, the provision of lifebuoys in the Valley and the installation of new bins. “These are the kind of things that make our job as volunteers easier, when we are doing things like litter picking,” he said.

He spoke of the ‘huge amount of work’ achieved by KCA in 2019, which had helped to up the town’s game in the national Tidy Towns competition. “This year we won the Endeavour Award from Kildare County Council for the most improved town, and hopefully we are on the way to getting some kind of medal in the competition in years to come.”

He thanked the community in Kilcullen and the volunteers who had made the year's achievements possible. He highlighted a number of special projects, including the Fairy Trail initiated by Antoinette Buckley and Ger Doyle, which has ‘transformed’ the Valley park, and a Pollinator Plan to be organised for 2020, which will encourage local residential estates to plant pollinator-friendly areas. A meeting on 13 November in the Credit Union will kick that off.

He referenced a number of celebrations during the year, including the Kilcullen 700 year-long event, the 130th anniversary of Kilcullen GAA, and the 60th anniversary of St Joseph’s NS in Halverstown.

Derek Hoey presents the award to Tony Nolan of Avondale.
In the Tidy Towns awards, the Best Green Area trophy went to Avondale; the Best Large Estate to Laurel Wood, with Cnoc na Greine receiving a Commendation; and the Best Small Estate was won by Esker Lea.

Antoinette Buckley presenting Ronan Collier and Barry Brennan of Laurel Wood with their award.

Ann Cashman presenting Lisa Murphy and Ilona Brede of Cnoc na Greine with their award.

Steve Kinneavy presenting Brigid Ryan of Esker Lea with their award.

Martin Sheridan presenting Dermot Mitchell with the Nolans award.
The Best Business Premises award went to Nolans; the Most Improved Business to Fallons; and the Best Window Display to Woodbine Books.

Paul Leighton presenting Saoirse and Dawn Behan of Woodbine Books with their award.

Noel Clare presenting Antoinette Buckley with the Burkes Pharmacy award.

A new award for Residential Impact went to the Behan family for their restoration of the windows on the former Fitzpatrick’s residence on Main Street. A new Business Impact award was given to Burke’s Pharmacy for their making safe and restoring the formerly derelict building opposite Bardons.

Eoin Houlihan presenting Alan O'Connell with his award.
Flowers being a very important part of the Kilcullen streetscape in recent years, a number of Kilcullen in Bloom awards were presented. The best Flowers in Business went to O’Connell’s Bar, with a similar award to McTernans.

Paul Burdis presenting Mary and Francis Shortt with their award.
Best Front Garden awards were made to Francis and Mary Shortt in Old Kilcullen, and John and Anna May Brady in Grangemore. Mick and Hazel Spencer on Hillside once again won the Hanging Basket award.

Pat Mangan and his son Neil presenting John and Anna May Brady with their award.

Ilona Brede presenting Hazel and Mick Spencer with their award.

Ann Cashman presenting Nessa Dunlea with the Kilcullen 700 award.
Community Awards were presented to Nessa Dunlea and her committee for their work on Kilcullen 700; to Frank Morrow for his valuable contribution to the sporting and cultural life of the community over many years; to the Suas Knitting Group for their yarn bombing display at the bridge in the summer; to Yvonne McSweeney and her team for establishing the Dylstock music festival in memory of her son Dylan, who passed away after leukaemia a decade ago; and to the Scoil Bhride pupils who had decorated the new community beehives.

Antoinette Buckley presenting Frank Morrow with his award.

Steve Kinneavey presenting the Dylstock award to Karen Al Mane, Lee Murphy and Yvonne McSweeney.

Paul Leighton presenting the award to the Scoil Bhride pupils who decorated the community beehives.

Ann Cashman presenting the Chairperson's award to Celia Travers.
A special Chairperson’s Award was made to Celia Travers of KCA for the all the work she has carried out for the town and KCA over 20 years. “She quietly supports all our projects, looks after the management of the playground," Ann Cashman said. "She picks up litter in the Valley and on the New Abbey Road, liaises with Kildare County Council, and is always a ‘sense of reason’ in our discussions.”

Closing the evening, Eoin Houlihan appealed to the public representatives present to ‘step up and be at the forefront of climate action’. “It is really wonderful to see all the young people around the world getting involved in public protests, but unless we do something about it ourselves, they won’t have much of a planet left.”

The awards were designed and produced by Joe O'Connor.

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