Saturday, May 26, 2018

Canoe Club gets cheque from CU

Diane Brown of Kilcullen Canoe Club is pictured receiving a cheque for the club from Pat Stafford, manager of the Kilcullen branch of Kildare Credit Union, writes Brian Byrne.

The club was one of 11 organisations in Kilcullen which received grants from the Credit Union's Outreach Programme for 2018.

They also included the Camphill Community, Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen Community Action, Kilcullen Community Centre, Kilcullen Cycling Club, the Dawn Walk for Pieta House, Kilcullen Indoor Bowls, the Maintain Hope charity, St Bridget's Pitch and Putt Club, and St Josephs National School, Halverstown.

A total of 50 applicants across the Credit Union's area received funding of various amounts.

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Save the date for Acoustic Picnic 4

The fourth annual Acoustic Picnic in the Town Hall, Kilcullen, will this year take place on Wednesday 20 June.

This fundraiser in aid of the Maintain Hope charity in Kenya is again being organised by our own Roy Thompson. We don't yet have the lineup of entertainers, but we do know it will be great.

Remember, there are only 100 tickets, at a mere €10 for a great cause, so save the date and keep an eye out for the ticket sales date.

If you want a taste of what it's like, here's a clip of some of last year's contributions.



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Defence Forces Open Day tomorrow

Anyone looking for a day out tomorrow, Sunday, could well consider the Open Day at the Defence Forces Training Centre on The Curragh, writes Brian Byrne.

Beginning at noon, there's a wide range of military demonstrations planned and there's sure to be a lot to interest all ages.

If you haven't recently visited the military museum on The Curragh, this is your chance, with tours every half hour. It is small, but chock full of exhibits and information.

The event also has displays of vintage and modern military vehicles, a '25-pounder shoot' in an attack display between 1.30-3.30pm, and a parachute jump by the Black Knights if weather permits, at 2.30pm.

There will be music from the Defence Forces Band, stands manned by army veterans and local community groups, and a Kids Zone.

And all free ...

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Kilcullen turnout in Referendum was 67pc

The final turnout in the Referendum in Kilcullen was 67pc, writes Brian Byrne.

There was a surge of voting in the final hours, from the 51pc who had come to cast their votes by 7pm.

At 4pm it had reached 35pc, while earlier at lunchtime today it was 24pc.

High levels have been reported from many parts of the country, where overall polling is described as 'brisk'.

The results of an exit poll announced on RTÉ's Late Late Show last night suggested an overwhelming 69pc-31pc result in favour of removing the 8th Amendment from the Constitution.

The poll was carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes for RTE.

The count proper begins this morning and the result will be known later in the day.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Small things make big energy differences — KSEC meeting

Ray Kelly, KCA; Paul O'Reilly, energy consultant; Barry Griffiths, Kildare Co Council; John Harrington, energy consultant; and Padraig Maloney, KCA.
If there was to be just one takeaway from last night's information evening and launch of the Kilcullen Sustainable Energy Community, it would be that a lot of small things make the big differences in saving energy, writes Brian Byrne.

From that, it was then clear that it is best that individuals and communities take control of their environment to achieve these small improvements which will later allow them to take on bigger ones.

But first, we have to know where we are, so that we can see where we get to on the road to a smaller energy footprint.

"What you can't measure, you can't manage," energy consultant Paul O'Reilly told the clearly engaged audience who turned up for the event in the Town Hall. For homeowners and businesses alike, a simple investment of as little as €45 in a real-time energy monitor is a good first step, he said.

Paul O'Reilly, energy matters author; with Saoirse Behan of Woodbine Books.
The author of Watt Footprint — The Smart Citizen's Guide to Save Energy also brought the process down to a simple component of every home, business, and community — the light bulb. "Every light bulb counts," he said. "Understand that simplicity and then you can move on."

He spoke of the savings that can be made by simply replacing older bulbs with more efficient types, even if they are significantly more expensive. "Remember, that it isn't just a case of the wattage, there is the time element also, that a bulb is in use." Noting that there are 8,700 hours in a year, changing a bulb from a 90W incandescent to a 12W LED can make a significant difference in running costs while it is on.

Lights were also one of the examples of power saving on a corporate level as detailed by Barry Griffiths (above), Facilities Manager with Kildare County Council. Speaking on the current programme to improve energy efficiency at the Council's headquarters in Naas, he said that replacing with more efficient bulbs in areas which are most in use realised substantial savings very quickly. "We also replaced 150 lighting controls that had broken down, and in all our outdoor areas we put in passive switches which turn off lights five minutes after people have gone through."

An 'Energy Day', to advise staff in the building on simple ways of saving energy also helped. "Turning off computers at night, turning off radiators instead of opening windows when it gets too hot, putting timers on the Burco boilers in the coffee bays so that they're not on all night ..."

Such measures have already made enough difference that in 2017 the Facilities section was able to hand back €80,000 of its previously estimated budge for running a building with up to 500 staff. In the next phase of the programme, solar panels are being installed, which will provide about 15pc of the total energy use in the building. "The total cost of that will be recovered in five years."

For the ordinary homeowner, he said similar savings could be achieved. "It's just walking around your house with your eyes open. Turn your lights off when you don't need them. Turn your TV off. It is pointless doing the big things unless you do the little things first."

Padraig Maloney, KCA; Paul Harrington, Future Fit; and Derry McKeown, Kilsaran.
The role of savings in the residential sector was also highlighted by John Harrington, co-founder of Future Fit — a company aimed at helping organisations and communities to be 'fit for the future' in energy terms. "They need to be smart, to be prepared for what's coming our way," he said. "Energy costs are only going to go one way, up."

Noting that 'a huge amount' of energy is wasted in the residential sector, which means the wastage is highly dispersed, he said the country needs to figure out 'how to save small amounts of energy in everybody's home'. "It's the smart thing to do as well as the nice thing to do."

He provided information on some of the grant aids available to homes, business, farms, public buildings and schools for energy conservation. He also said that a community which took on the responsibility of producing an 'energy master plan' in partnership with the SEAI could get a 'VIP Pass' to funding.

"I see the process as a continuum, from the simple things all the way to the big projects like deep retrofits. And it can also earn extra points in the Tidy Towns competition."

The final section of the meeting dealt with a variety of individual questions on matters ranging from electric vehicles to insulation and upgrading energy systems. Padraig Maloney and Ray Kelly of Kilcullen Community Action outlined how the Kilcullen SEC group is 'still at the very early stage' and 'learning as we go along'.

"We needs the clubs and organisations to come to us with their needs for saving energy, and we'll sit with you and help you out," Ray said, while Padraig expects that a draft energy master plan will be developed over the next three months.

In addition to individuals and community and business representatives from Kilcullen, last night's meeting also attracted interest from people in other parts of Kildare and from as far as Kilkenny.

Barry Griffiths, KCC; Robert Moran, Facilities Manager, Kerry Group; Padraig Maloney, KCA; and Eoin Houlihan, KCA.











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The passing of Vincent Nolan

The Diary has learned with personal sadness of the death of Vincent Nolan of The Glebe, Halverstown.

Beloved husband of Anne, loving father of Dermot, Michael, Jennifer and Vincent. Sadly missed by his loving wife and children, sister Mary (Brophy), son-in-law Dermot, daughters-in-law Penny and Wooly, grandchildren Jack,Faye, Nicholas, Robert, Olivia-Rose and Annabelle, relatives and friends.

Vincent is reposing at his home today (Friday) from 2pm-6pm. His funeral will arrive at the Church of The Sacred Heart and St Brigid, Kilcullen on Saturday for his funeral mass at 11am. Burial will take place afterwards in St Brigid’s Cemetery, Kilcullen.

May he rest in peace.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Betty signs out

Pic by Pat Clarke.
Betty White retired from the Kilcullen branch of Kildare Credit Union today.

She is pictured here with branch manager Pat Stafford, signing out for the last time.

We wish her well.

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The Hideout launches its website


The Hideout has its new website completed, providing a range of details about the history, events, and a gallery of pictures including a 360deg interactive system.

The full menu is also available, with sample photographs of the Starters, Main Courses, Desserts, Children's and Snack ranges.

Contact and location details are on the site, as well as links to key amenities in the Kilcullen area, including The Curragh Racecourse, Punchestown, and Kildare Village.

Well worth a browse.

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Who wants to be a millionaire ...?

The Bank of Ireland lodgement ATM outside its Kilcullen premises tried to lodge €18.8m to my account this morning, writes Brian Byrne.

It had mis-scanned the cheque I was lodging, which needless to say had a real value substantially less than that figure.

Fortunately (or not) I noticed before hitting the 'Agree with Amount' button.

Sometimes it's hard to read that screen if the sun is shining on it. I wonder how long I would have remained the equivalent of a National Lottery winner if I hadn't noticed?

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CPC students arrive at European Parliament

Cross and Passion Business Class students arriving at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this morning, where they will be experiencing the day to day activities of an MEP.

They won the trip in the Euroscol animated film competition. (Pic: Noel Clare.)

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Tributes paid to retiring Tidy Towns stalwarts

Kieran Forde and Ray Kelly at KCA AGM 2018.
Tributes were paid to Kieran and Joan Forde at last night's AGM of Kilcullen Community Action when they announced their decision to retire from Tidy Towns and KCA activities, writes Brian Byrne.

Outgoing chairman Ray Kelly said he couldn't recall exactly how many years Kieran had been active in Kilcullen Tidy Towns, but he could remember him being involved, with Joan 'always there', accompanied by their daughter Sinead when she was just a small child.

Kieran served in many capacities with KCA/Tidy Towns, including chairman, secretary and treasurer, and was a key participant in the transformation of the organisation from a loosely-knit community group to a limited company with charitable status.

"Through the years he has been part of most of the major projects and instrumental in many of the changes at the organisation as it has evolved," Ray Kelly said, expressing his thanks on behalf of the committee and all its members for Kieran's and Joan's contribution to the group and to the community. He said that Kieran's attention to detail had been invaluable for KCA. "I learned from him that if you prepare well, the rest is easy."

He added that 'their stepping away will be our loss, but they will not be far away from us', noting that the couple's Saturday morning visits to An Tearmann will remain a point of contact with their many Tidy Towns friends.

Kieran thanked Ray for his comments, and reminded those present that it was 14 years since he had told them of health problems. "I didn't think then that I'd still be so involved today." He completed his final official function by detailing the financial position of KCA, which is in a correct and sound state.

In his chairman's address, Ray said there is 'a lot going on' with KCA/Tidy Towns at the moment, far more than could be fully discussed in a few minutes at the AGM. He noted that a number of new major projects were under way, including the market square development, and the launch (tonight, Thursday) of the Kilcullen Sustainable Energy Community, organised by KCA member Padraig Maloney. On the former, he said he hoped plans would be available 'in the next couple of weeks' that will show the level of progress there.

"The KSEC will also prove to be a very worthwhile project," he said, noting that in addition to its potential for cutting the town's energy costs, both for businesses and individuals, it can provide 'kudos' in the annual Tidy Towns Competition, which has a new emphasis on energy-related matters. "I know it is a major bugbear to me that we don't always get the points I think we deserve in the competition, but in the end the work we do is for the town."

He said that KCA had put more emphasis on accessing funding through grants and other sources from outside organisations, with considerable success, and he expressed his appreciation especially for the support from Kildare County Council in recent years.

Ray announced that he was stepping down from the chairman role, having served for two years in the position. He thanked all who had helped him during that time, and noted that there have been a number of new and active members to KCA in the last couple of years. "There are also many other people out there who help with the work and the projects, and it has been a feature that any time I asked for help it came in bucketfuls."

New officers for KCA will be elected at the committee's first meeting following the AGM.


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Tennis Club social and prize-giving

Kilcullen Tennis Club held their prize-giving and social evening in O’Connell’s Pub on Saturday last, writes Club PRO Mary Butler.

It was a good turn out for our small but thriving club and will be the first of many for years to come.

Presentations were made to Pat Canty (Gents Singles Cup winner), Niall Kavanagh (Gents Singles Cup runner-up), Helen Dolan (Ladies Singles Cup winner), Lorraine O’Sullivan (Ladies Singles Cup runner-up), Lucia Brennan (Ladies Plate winner), Joyce Ryan (Ladies Plate runner-up — not in photos), Pete Nicholson (Gents Plate winner), and Alastair De Beer (Gents Plate runner-up).

A big thank you to Paula Kavanagh for all her assistance in organising the first ever singles tournament with myself since we reopened the club last June.

If anyone would like to sponsor a court, please contact Eamonn O’Toole on 086 8115605 as it’s a great way to advertise your business!



(Photos supplied by Kilcullen Tennis Club.)

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Kilcullen at the IFTAs

Susie Power and 'Little Roy'. Photos via IMDb.
A strong Kilcullen connection at this year's IFTA gala television awards will be the animated children's TV series 'Little Roy', starring Calverstown child actor Susie Power and her Kilcullen friend and colleague Robyn Dempsey (11).

Susie, a Second Year student who attends Gael Cholaiste Chill Dara in Naas, plays the voice-over title animated character of 'Little Roy'. The series is currently broadcast on RTE, CBBC in UK and also on ABC KIDS channel in Australia, and is nominated for Best Animation at this year's awards.

Robyn plays Little Roy's sister 'Becky' in the series. Both girls are represented and taught at Talented Kids/MVW Talent Agency in Kilcullen Community Centre.

Susie has just recently finished shooting two films 'Ellie' and 'Procession', as well as voicing lead roles for major animation series for Nickelodeon and RTE which will be released later this year.

Susie is very well known for playing Eleanor Daly on RTE's Fair City, which also happens to be nominated for Best Soap at the IFTAs, which will be held at the RDS in Dublin of Thursday 31 May.

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