Thursday, April 26, 2018

Meeting to organise 2018-2023 Centenary Programme

An open meeting for people and organisations interested in taking part in Kildare County Council's Ireland 2018-2023 Centenary Programme and Decade of Commemoration strategy will be held in Newbridge on Wednesday 9 May, writes Brian Byrne.

The Decade of Commemorations team will be in attendance to hear views of participants at the meeting, in Hotel Keadeen, from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

The coming years see the centenaries of some of the most significant and also divisive events in the history of modern Ireland, according to the Expert Advisory Group which organised the 1916 commemorations. The Group emphasises that widespread public engagement in this second phase of commemoration is necessary and welcome.

"Commemorating the period 1917-1923 raises particular challenges, requiring imaginative, thoughtful, innovative and authentic interpretations to appeal to a discerning and expectant public and to stay true to the intricate and controversial sequence of events of that time."

In order to facilitate numbers, prospective participants are asked to register their interest to attend by emailing before 4 May 2018. Light refreshments will be provided. More information from 045 448350 and Facebook.

Glendalough Dawn Chorus Walk

Photo: The Wicklow Way.
Well, summer may still be teasing us before freezing us again, but the birds are busy getting ready for nesting and noisier in the early morning, writes Brian Byrne.

It's getting close to big dawn chorus time, and if you feel like an early hike and an informative morning, you might consider the Dawn Chorus Walk hosted by Irish Hillwalkers and The Wicklow Way on Sunday 13 May, starting at 5am in Glendalough.

Organised by Wicklow Mountains National Park, it's a free event and no booking is required, just turn up to the Upper Lake Car Park for the 1.5 hours trek. All ages welcome, but no dogs, and Wicklow County Council charges €4 for car parking.

On the guided walk, listen to the birds. Learn their songs. Glendalough is home to one of Ireland’s newest species of breeding birds, the Great Spotted Woodpecker, and it is hoped to hear them drumming. Bring a flask for afterwards.

For more information, please phone the National Park Information Office 0404 45425 or Education Centre 0404 45656.

Community Games U11 rugby team in Leinster finals

Kilcullen Community Games would like to wish their U11 rugby team the very best of luck at the Leinster rugby finals this Sunday 29 April, writes Papillon Rabbitte.

The team are pictured below after receiving their new training tops which have been very kindly sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care.

Pictured with the team are Donna Hoey from Kilcullen Community Games and Enda Bohan of Home Instead Senior Care.

Aoibhin is a Trinity Scholar

Congratulations to Aoibhin Tutty-Bardon who was recently enrolled as a Trinity College Scholar. Aoibhin is a second year medical student and past pupil of Scoil Bhride, Kilcullen and Newbridge College.

Trinity College has always had its Scholars, students who are selected on merit and given certain benefits during their time in College.

At present Scholarships are awarded in all courses to students showing outstanding achievement in a set of non-compulsory exams that are typically taken in their Senior Freshman year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Swifts breeding endangered by church scaffolding

Photo: Pau.Artigas, via Wikipedia.
A meeting at Kilcullen Parish Church tomorrow, Thursday, could decide the fate of up to half of the swifts that nest in the church's eaves, writes Brian Byrne.

It is estimated that there are 18 long-established nests between the two levels of the church's eaves, but the scaffolding put up for repairs to the roof is impeding entry to 8-10 of them.

The church is the only known nesting place for swifts in Kilcullen. While nesting boxes have been placed in Scoil Bhride in recent times, it could take at least three years before any birds take residence.

A representative of Wild Kildare is to meet with the scaffolder on site tomorrow to see what can be done. Time is scarce as male swifts are currently preparing nests for females to breed.

Swifts come back to the same nest to breed for some 15 years after they have fledged. If they can't access the regular spot it throws their whole breeding pattern out of kilter. Except when nesting, swifts spend their lives in the air, living on insects caught in flight. They drink, feed, and often mate and sleep on the wing. Some individuals go 10 months without landing. No other bird spends as much of its life in flight, and a swift is capable of speeds in excess of 100km/h.

"The problem is, swifts fly into their nests, arriving at up to 40mph," says Paddy Sheridan of Wild Kildare. "They're not able to land first and clamber around to access the nest. If there's something in their flight path, they can't get around it."

In this instance, horizontal elements of the scaffolding are blocking those flight paths on both eaves of the church. The structure was erected to effect repairs after storm Ophelia, but those repairs have been delayed while a conservation architect, the Parish and the Diocese discuss whether the whole roof will need to be replaced.

In the meantime it has been patched with plastic to guard against further deterioration of the roof structure and the church interior. Tomorrow's meeting may result in a decision to dismantle some or all of the scaffolding pending a decision on repairs or replacement of the roof.

Paddy Sheridan says the lower eave is unusually low to house swift nests, which typically are found in the eaves of older 2-storey houses. In his work with Wild Kildare he has been surveying the swift population in the county for a number of recent years.

He says the birds' situation in Kilcullen is precarious, as there is only the one known nesting place. "It's literally a case of having all your eggs in one basket, and that's not good."

Meeting will help you cut energy costs

Image: SEAI
Do you want to reduce your energy bill or get a grant to make your property more energy efficient? writes Padraig Maloney.

The recently established Kilcullen Sustainable Energy Community (KSEC) project is holding a free information night where you can learn how to make simple changes to reduce the amount you spend on your gas or electricity bills.

Experts will be on hand from SEAI, Kildare County Council and the Energy industry to help you make your property more energy efficient and show you how to apply for Government grants to help with the process.

With energy renewable technology evolving all the time and different technologies suitable to different circumstances the night will aim to give you an insight into what renewable energy solution best suits your needs.

The information evening is aimed at all community organisations, local businesses and anybody interested in making improvements to how they use energy at home.

It will be held in the Town Hall on Thursday 24 May from 7pm with the main talk starting at 8pm.

All welcome. Contact Padraig Maloney,, for further information.

Local company will help to make site digging safer

Any time digging has to be done on the road or footpath, or on commercial and private property, there's always a risk of damaging cables, pipes, and other infrastructure, writes Brian Byrne.

That can lead to disruption, time lost, and even danger to life and limb. But local company Murphy Surveys has teamed up with a specialist international expertise to help eliminate such misfortunes.

The specialist company is PelicanCorp, and the partnership relaunches the existing national ‘beforeUdig’ service, helping to safeguard underground infrastructure and raise the standards of safety.

The deal was announced at the Utility Week Ireland Power Conference in Dublin, and will expand the coverage of the existing service. This will make it easier for asset owners to be aware of digging activity near their assets, and for contractors to locate and identify buried utilities prior to digging.

Niall Murphy, Managing Director of Murphy Surveys that repercussions of damage to services can be 'disastrous' and could cause serious injury. "For a utility company, the resulting financial and reputational impact of costly repairs, delays and interruption in service can be avoidable," he adds. "The increased awareness of planned digging activity provided by the service will help asset owners plan measures to protect their assets.”

Updates to the beforeUdig service will be developed jointly by Murphy Surveys and PelicanCorp with consultation from utility companies and local authorities. It is anticipated that the improved service will be available from Q4 2018.

Pictured are Niall Murphy with Duane Rodgers, CEO of PelicanCorp, signing the contract.

Congrats to Breda on her 80th

Congratulations to Breda O'Sullivan who celebrated her 80th birthday on Sunday with family and friends, writes Brian Byrne.

Breda, whose husband was the late and much loved Danny O'Sullivan of Gormanstown, had her party in Fallons with her daughter Trish Byrne and son-in-law Enda as well as grandchildren Colm and Enda Jnr, and her nephews Raymond and Nigel.

Many more members of the extended family and lots of friends were also there. "We all had a great day, and lovely memories were made," Trish told the Diary.

Reverend Tim Wright is new Rector of Kildare

Photo: LinkedIn.
A new Rector of Kildare and Dean of St Brigid's Cathedral will celebrate his first mass as Rector of St Patrick's Church in Carnalway on Sunday 29 April, writes Brian Byrne.

Reverend Tim Wright was inducted by Bishop Patricia Storey at the Cathedral on Monday, as Incumbent of the Grouped Parishes of Kildare and Newbridge at Diocese of Meath and Kildare, Church of Ireland.

Married to Karen and with three adult sons, Revd Wright was previously a Deputy Chief Chaplain to the Royal Air Force, which he joined in 1998. Through his Air Force career, he served in RAF bases in Wales, Germany, Shropshire, Cornwall, The Netherlands, Wiltshire, Cyprus, and High Wycombe.

Prior to his RAF period he served as a curate in Nottingham and as a Vicar in Glenavy in Co Antrim.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 24 April 2018 were 6, 10, 17 and 27. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €17,000.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Sabrina Hughes (Promoter Mag Hughes), Clarke & Sherry (Vivian Clarke) and Kathleen Enright (Leanne Clifford).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Jim Collins and Leanne Clifford, and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Josie Connolly.

The Parish thanks all those who support the Lotto.

The Donnelly's Hollow Pageant 1953

This is a podcast about the Donnelly's Hollow Pageant of 1953, writes Brian Byrne.

The photographs from the day are by a photographer unknown, and were provided to me by Jim Berney, who played the part of Dan Donnelly in the Pageant, which was devised under the An Tostal scheme to raise money for Kilcullen Boxing Club.

This is the second Rough and Ready Production in a series on local heritage interests.  Feedback and comments very welcome.

Vice-President of European Parliament visits CPC

MEP and Vice President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness has been in CPC addressing a group group of Fifth Year students, writes Noel Clare.

The group will be travelling to the European Parliament in Strasbourg with their teacher John Tynan at the end of May.

The trip was first prize in an EU sponsored competition which the students entered last year.

New pilates term begins next week

The new intermediate level pilates matwork term starts next Monday 30 April for seven weeks in Kilcullen Community Centre.

The sessions run from from 8-9pm, and the price is €70 per course per person. Advance booking is required.

The class is suitable for those with existing pilates matwork experience. To book, contact Yvonne at or through the Facebook page YUMANDFIT.

Dawn Behan writes about Woodbine Books in IT

Dawn Behan of Woodbine Books has a lovely piece in the Irish Times today about why and how she set up the bookshop in Kilcullen, writes Brian Byrne.

Well worth a read, and she has nice things to say about her home town too.

Woodbine Books is Ireland’s Independent Bookshop of the Year, the regional winner in the UK and Ireland competition.

The overall winner of the £5,000 prize, won last year by Dublin’s The Gutter Bookshop, will be announced at the British Book Awards ceremony in London on 14 May.

Stations of the Cross installed in Gormanstown

Some of the recently-installed Stations.
A set of Stations of the Cross acquired from a closed-down convent in Dublin have been installed in Gormanstown Church, writes Brian Byrne.

The Stations came from the Sisters of Charity Convent and Chapel in Gardiner Street, which dated back to Victorian times and was put up for sale in 2016.

In due course, there will be a dedication ceremony of the Stations in Gormanstown, to the Sisters of Charity.

Meantime, the church has recently been painted by John Dunne and Alfie Haslam. Artistic lettering and other details within the church have also been refurbished by artist Gale Pullen, recently retired from teaching at the Kildare Steiner School.

Gormanstown Church itself was built around 1830 and pre-dates the Parish Church in Kilcullen. It is assessed as being typical of churches built in Ireland around the period of Catholic Emancipation, and retains many of its original features and materials, including the slate roof and fine-cut granite bell-cote.

The simplicity of the interior is a particular attraction, and allows the newly-installed Station to be viewed without distraction.

Pictures by Peter Moloney.

Symposium on GDPR regulations

A Breakfast Symposium on the new GDPR data protection rules will be hosted by County Kildare Chamber in the Osprey Hotel, Naas on 3 May from 7.30am, writes Brian Byrne.

The keynote speaker is Emerald de Leeuw, CEO of EuroComply, a software company that helps companies manage GDPR compliance.

Data protection expert Stephanie Tutton, a Senior Analyst of EuroComply, will also speak and conduct an outbreak session.

The Symposium will cost members of CKC €50, while non-members will be charged €100.

The breakout sessions at €30 each will be Marketing for business with Stephanie Tutton; Data security and data governance with Emerald de Leeuw; Impact on HR for business with Stephanie Tutton; and Demonstrating compliance & GDPR upkeep with Emerald de Leeuw.

Bookings may be made online at