Wednesday, March 21, 2018

'Don't stuff everything into square'

Urban designer James Hennessy makes a point.
The Market Square re-development project committee have been advised not to try and put too much into the square as they work towards a plan to make it a central focus of activity in the town, writes Brian Byrne.

Speaking at the recent workshop on the project held in the Town Hall, urban designer James Hennessy said it isn't a large space and they should 'resist the temptation to stuff the square with everything'. He also said the project is 'as much about economics as it is about architecture' and that a key question is to establish what is the square to be used for? "You are already answering that," he noted, in reference to events such as concerts and festive season street markets. "And what you have done is excellent."

On the 'character and quality' in any redevelopment, he advised the group not to do anything without commiting to the highest quality possible.

He observed that the area could become a focus for the heritage and cultural aspects of Kilcullen. "It should be about the history, and the stories that you have to tell."

That last comment triggered a discussion on just what are the heritage and history characteristics of Kilcullen? Noel Clare noted that in 2019 the town will be celebrating 700 years since the first bridge was built here across the Liffey, beginning the shift away from the monastic site of Old Kilcullen being the principal settlement. "And it is probable that Old Kilcullen was there because of the nearby ancient royal site of Dun Ailinne, a regular gathering place for people long before Christianity came. These are important stories."

Local architect Laura Bowen, who is working with the project committee on the development of a plan, noted that modern Kilcullen is unusual in the number of multi-generational family-owned businesses, and that this should be reflected in any branding that might be developed for the town.

Joe Boland, Director of Services with Kildare County Council, said that other 'stories, myths and legends' should be gathered which could be part of the story of Kilcullen that would be integrated in the physical environment of the square.

Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on Tuesday 20 March 2018 were 3, 11, 13 and 30. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's Main Prize will be €16,000.

The winners of the €50 open draws were Martina Whiteley (Promoter Vivienne Clifford), Colin Egan (Vanessa Clarke) and Noel Travers (Kilcullen Credit Union).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Wednesday Bridge Club and Miriam McDonnell and the winner of the Draw for those in the Parish Centre on the night was Fr Niall Mackey.

The Parish thanks all who support the Lotto.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Daffodil Day Coffee Morning, collections

A Daffodil Day Coffee Morning will be held at Ger Dooley's Kildare Bathroom Company on Friday morning next.

The event at the company's showrooms in the Link Park will run from 10.30am-12.30pm.

All are welcome to support the Irish Cancer Society on their annual national collection day.

Local collectors will be outside the usual shops on Main Street on Friday. Last year people donated over €5,100 to the collection.

Answering your recycling questions on Thursday night

A reminder that a recycling workshop to be held in Kilcullen Town Hall on Thursday will update people on current methods and regulations in the area, writes Brian Byrne.

There will also be advice on composting at the event, which starts at 8pm and is open to all. There will also be information on other sustainability initiatives, including electric cars.

The workshop is being organised in association with Voice Ireland, the Irish environmental charity that involves individuals and local communities to take positive action to conserve natural resources.

The passing of Patsy O'Halloran

The Diary has learned with deep personal sadness of the death of Patsy O'Halloran, nee Rankin and formerly of St Brigid's Avenue. She passed away peacefully this morning in the presence of her family.

Predeceased by her husband Vincent (Vinnie) in 2009 and her adored son Eugene in 2016, Patsy is survived by Monica, Aisling, Freda, Mary, Sean and Vincent. She is sadly missed by them and her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and her good friends and neighbours.

Patsy will be reposing in the Kilcullen Parish Church, where she served as Sacristan for 36 years, from 4pm tomorrow, Wednesday 21 March. Prior to that, family and friends will walk from St Brigid's Avenue to the Church, from 3.50pm.

Patsy's funeral mass will be at 11am on Thursday 22 March, following which she will be laid to rest in St Brigid's Cemetery, Kilcullen.

May she rest in peace.

Footfall count suggested for Easter Market

A 'step-through' count of people attending the Easter Market in the Market Square next Saturday would help to determine the commercial value to the town from such events, the recent workshop on redevelopment of the Square heard, writes Brian Byrne.

Sharon Whelan, an urban designer with Kildare County Council, said a similar count on a day when there was nothing on would provide a baseline for the study, which could encourage nearby businesses to support the project.

Saying that the project group had already 'taken ownership of the square' by holding various events on it, she added that there were a lot of 'really interesting lanes and other areas' in the vicinity which could be linkied with the square.

Antoinette Buckley of the project committee noted anecdotal evidence that the Christmas Market had enhanced business in the run-up to the festive season. "It provided a showcase for local small businesses, which brought people back into the town to buy in the following weeks," she said. "We can use the square as a business in itself, to have events which bring in money that goes back into the commercial life of the town."

Urban designer James Hennessy said that it's not only big events that make the project worth while. "It's the small day to day things too, such as people thinking of going there if there was a musician regularly playing on a Saturday."

Leave this place, Winter ...

 'Your time has come, now hasten little snowflakes. To vanish quite away; The spring-tide hours are sounding gentle warnings, forbidding you to stay.' — M E HATHAWAY.

There was a decidedly winterish feel to this morning's Equinox effect at the Dun Ailinne spear sculpture as we officially tipped over into Spring, writes Brian Byrne.

With -3degC not an encouragement to hang around, there was at least some fairly clear sky to get a shot of the effect created by sculptor Noel Scullion ten years ago.

The annual Spring Equinox 'gathering' at the KCA-commissioned monument will be at around 6.15am on Saturday. Weather-wise there's a decent chance of a viewing of the rising sun, but it's 100pc certain that there'll be Nolans sausages, brown bread and tea in Ray and Fiona Kelly's home at 1060 Nicholastown afterwards.

You can go through previous Equinox events here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Above anything else, get to 'Alice' this weekend

All pics taken at Monday's rehearsal/
If you want to see just one more performance that highlights the incredible talents of Kilcullen's young people, get thee to 'Alice' on Friday or Saturday night in the Moat Theatre in Naas, writes Brian Byrne.

There's without doubt been a feast of achievement by local teenagers in music and dramatic roles in the past couple of weeks, with the sold-out 'Chicago' by the TY students in CPC, and the winning of the Kildare Drama Festival Schools Competition by yet another group from the College with their presentation of 'Macbeth' in an amazing 30 minutes performance.

With 'Alice', produced by Evelyn O'Sullivan of Drama Dynamics and Anne O'Connell of CPC, we'll see no less than 20 young Kilcullen people aged 13-17 in a truly original adaptation of play based on Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland', originally written by Laura Wade.

This is not 'Alice in Wonderland' as you may remember it from your youthful reading. This is a thoroughly modern Alice trying to work her way through her way through a teenage bereavement with the help of some of the comical and often enigmatic characters of the original story.

Evelyn and Anne have taken Laura Wade's story a step further … or, more accurately a lot of steps further. They have incorporated original dance routines into the piece, thus stretching the abilities of the cast to even greater achievement.

Just two nights, so don't miss it. Tickets are available at 12.50 each or family entry for 40 for two adults and two children. ickets can be booked by Phone 045 883030 Visa, Mastercard, and debit cards are accepted. There is no extra credit card charge.

The cast includes Jenny Dillon, Lucy Coller, Seamus Gervin, Mìla Droin-Garavaglia, Danny O'Grady, Leyla Cummins, Helen Duffeey, Shane Doran, Yoshua Petit-Frere, Evan Smyth, Tara Mooney, Ella Robinson, Seán O'Sullivan, Corena O'Keeffe O'Reilly, Líle Cramer, Caitlin Keogh, Emmet O'Sullivan, Ellen Byrne, Faye McCann and Lesa McCann.

Berney's Inch, in blizzard beauty

At the risk of people being fed up with snow scenes at this stage, here's a shot which really captures the beauty of a particularly Kilcullen spot, Berney's Inch, in such conditions.

It is courtesy of Phil Cummins, who braved a blizzard to make the picture. Well worth the effort, we think.

Big C Choir sing for Crumlin, Little Way cancer support

A concert in aid of the Burns Unit in Crumlin Children's Hospital will be held in Clane on Friday 27 April. The event will also benefit The Little Way Cancer Support Group in Clane.

The Big C Choir, which includes a number of Kilcullen singers, and the Kelly Brothers from Mile Mill will feature in Raising Voice, Raising Notes.

Other guests include Bernie Heaney with Edel and Des Marron, and comperes for the evening will be KFM's Ciara Plunkett and Liam Kett.

The show is in the Westgrove Hotel & Conference Centre, doors opening at 7.15pm for an 8pm performance.

Tickets at €15 can be had locally from Sabina Reddy on 087 6807139 or Pat Kelly on 085 1202100, or from Westgrove Hotel Reception.

Musical memorial night for Jimmy

A memorial music night for the late Jimmy Aspell is planned for The Spout Bar on 2 April, a public holiday Monday, writes Brian Byrne.

The event will be in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, for which Jimmy and friends raised substantial funds down the years.

We understand that the evening will feature many of Jimmy's musician friends.

More details closer to the event.