Thursday, January 18, 2018

Grow it yourself at school

Pupils in primary schools across the country are being invited to start growing their own food, writes Brian Byrne.

Part of a scheme aimed at some 43,000 pupils, the Grow It Yourself movement has teamed with the Innocent drinks company to provide 'Big Grow' packs to those interested.

It's the seventh year of the promotion, which is done through the individual schools. The Big Grow Packs come with soil, growing pots, and seeds, each Pack enough for a class of 30.

More than 125,000 school children in Ireland have taken part over the last six years.

It's not just promoting an interest and knowledge in growing things, it can underpin a healthy lifestyle in the future as there are studies which indicate that children who grow their own vegetables are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables.

Other incentives of the initiative are the prizes — there is a trip to Bloom for the most engaged school, along with a trip to Dublin Zoo and €500 worth of gardening equipment. There are runners-up prizes too.

Registration is available at

From the Maintain Hope New Year Concert

As promised, here's a video sampler from last night's performances at the Maintain Hope New Year Concert.

A most entertaining evening for Maintain Hope

It was a most entertaining event last evening in the Town Hall Theatre with the Maintain Hope New Year Concert, writes Brian Byrne.

The first and only performance of the Camptown Singers set the pace of an evening which continued in an eclectic mix from harpist Leah O'Sullivan; singer-songwriter Roy Thompson; the Leahy Family and friends; an aviated pub-crawl as recounted by your editor; the inimitable Bernard Berney, Dick Dunphy and Vivian Clarke at the bar; and a finale of unique interpretations of varied old songs from Noel O'Grady.

Some of the pictures from the evening here will give a flavour of the range of entertainment. More pictures here, and we have also prepared a short video, so you can both see and hear.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

School times past ... any names?

Another one for our 'photo detectives' as Mary Orford calls them ... this picture from a friend of hers needs names.

Mary thinks it is dated from the 1930s, and it probably depicts a class from the Girls National School. Boys studied with the Girls until 2nd Class year, when they went to the Boys NS School, now the Library, established in 1925.

It's a long shot, but some family faces may be familiar.

Workshop for parents of children with disabilities

A workshop on techniques to help children and adolescents with disabilities to be more independent will be held in Newbridge Library on Tuesday 6 February, writes Brian Byrne.

The event, titled 'Let me do it by myself', is for parents of such children and will be conducted by speech and language therapist Catriona Campbell.

She will show participants how to use visuals and objects to support their children's independence in daily routines. Among the aids discussed will be visual schedules, job lists, and communications cards.

The workshop is part of a series organised by the Kildare Library Service under its Toys, Technology & Training programme.

Participants will qualify for Continuous Professional Development Certificates of Attendance.

More information from 045 448353 and

Kildare Bathroom Company top rated on specialist home service platform

Ger Dooley's Kildare Bathroom Company has achieved a 5-star rating on the website, which provides a one-stop-shop online for people who want high-quality professionals for work in their homes.

Listing on is by invitation only, and the platform only invites the best Architects, Builders, Carpenters, Interior Designers and other home service professionals to participate.

The site rates those it invites on over 80 elements which include legal status, years in business, qualifications, memberships, and completed projects among others.

In addition to more than 50 architects, currently lists 163 home service professional companies and individuals under a variety of relevant areas, including Commercial & Industrial, Community Work, Conservation Work, House Extension Design, House Renovation Design, One-Off Housing Design, and Public Work.

The platform says it plans to change the way home owners choose professionals to provide the services they need, and promises a number of innovative features towards achieving this over coming months.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Parish Lotto Draw results

The numbers drawn in the Kilcullen & Gormanstown Parish Lotto Draw held on 16 January 2018 were 7, 12, 18 and 19. There was no Jackpot winner and next week's main prize will be €14,200.

The winners of the €50 Open Draws were Lisa and Paddy O'Rourke (Promoter Mag O'Connell), Siobhan Murphy (Mag O'Connell), and the Staff at Curragh Lawns (Miriam McDonnell).

The winners of the Promoters Draw were Nessa Dunlea and the Abbey Bridge Club and the winner of the Draw in the Parish Centre on the night was Fr Martin Harte.

The Parish thanks all those who support the Lotto.

Scam +252 call doing the rounds

A couple of people locally have got this missed call this morning, writes Brian Byrne.

It rings for just a couple of seconds then stops. If you call back, you'll be charged a premium rate for as long as you stay on.

The scam surfaces periodically in different countries and usually runs for a few days. It appears to originate in Africa.

Just delete the call notification.

Concerns about children's mental health highlighted

Nearly a third of respondents to a survey of parents' needs in Kildare said they had ongoing worries about their children's mental health, writes Brian Byrne.

In particular they were worried about negative and damaging influences their children might face on a daily basis.

The main influences noted included the potential of bullying as the most significant single issue. Other influences of concern included drug or alcohol use. Concerns about access to social media was linked both with bullying and the use of drugs and alcohol.

A typical responses noted the need to keep children safe 'and protect them from the ills of the internet and social media'.

Getting help for pre-teens and teenagers in the aftermath of a situation like online bullying was also an issue.

A final report on the survey can be sourced by emailing A pdf version can be downloaded here.

Defibrillator meeting in Calverstown

The provision of a community first aid defibrillator will be discussed at a meeting in Calverstown on Wednesday night, writes Brian Byrne.

The public meeting is being held at The Stream Lounge, beginning at 8.30pm.

Training in the use of the unit will also be discussed.

All welcome.

'Eyes on fly-tippers' scheme mooted

A 'Litter Alert' scheme is being considered by Kilcullen Tidy Towns, writes Brian Byrne. The idea is to combat the increasing instances of fly-tipping of rubbish.

The scheme would operate in a similar way to the Community Text Alert system, with instances of littering being quickly reported to the Tidy Towns Group by 'eyes' in different parts of town.

The scheme would involve volunteers in areas of Kilcullen being the points of contact for fly-tipping reports in their street, estate or district, and who would pass on details to Kilcullen Tidy Towns. It would be particularly important to involve people in the outlying areas around Kilcullen where dumping of rubbish is lately almost epidemic.

It's hoped the existence of the scheme would make residents more aware of suspicious activity that leads to dumping.

Publication and promotion of the scheme could also help to deter fly-tippers, whether from the locality or those coming in from outside the town.