March Mona Newsletter

__________March Donadea News__________



Friends of the forest will be holding their next meeting in Connollys of Ballagh on Tues 13th March at All welcome. Councillor Michael Fitzpatrick has confirmed that a meeting with representatives from Kildare County Council; Friends of the Forest, a member of Tir Na Mona; and Coillte regarding Donadea Forest will take place in the near future. Mr. Niall Bradley, Kildare Co. Manager has nominated Mr Willie Carroll as his representative at this meeting.


Molly D, Hodgestown is, we hear, feeling a little under the weather at the moment. All her friends in Hodgestown and Staplestown wish her well and hope to see her back to her usual bright and happy self in the very near future.


The Friends of Donadea Forest and the Donadea Development Group, members of Tir Na Mona, had a very successful “Night Out” in Newtown Hall on Saturday 17th February. The beautiful refurbished was warm and welcoming in the glow of the candlelight and the turf fire burning brightly in the grate. Liz Ward prepared the delicious meal which was enjoyed to the full by the forty or so in attendance. After dinner Jim Colgan showed extracts from the video he made of minister McCreevy’s re launching of the walks in Donadea forest Park in September last year. The video is a masterpiece and captures the forest at its best. On seeing it one is proud to be involved in the Donadea Forest Project. Our own one man band, Colm Hickson, with his music and song added to the enjoyment of the night. We strongly recommend Newtown Hall to anyone planning a function or reception. Details are available from Marian Byrne at 045-969303.


Congratulations to Olive and John Glennon on the birth of their daughter Maeve and to Ollie and Siobhan Keogh on the birth of their son Luke. We wish every joy and happiness to the happy couples.

The next meeting of the Donadea Com Dev section of Tir Na Mona will take place on Tuesday 27th March at 8.00 p.m. in Ballagh House. New members always welcome.


An account of the round the world voyage of Edmund and Malachi Sweetman, of Mount Egan, Kilmurry, compiled by their mother Ruth.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream” Mark Twain

It was this weekend last year that Edmund purchased the Santhia – in Malahide! He had travelled to Corsica and Malaga chasing the “dream” boat, but when neither boat was readily available, he decided to look closer to home, and decided finally on Santhia, a Beneteau – First 35. She was by no means perfect but had great potential (even with an elusive slight leak!) and she had sailed in the Round Ireland Race some 8 years before. Anyway, she now belonged to Edmund and all his plans were suddenly realised. His crew were to hand – Paddy, a recently qualified Barrister from the Northern Bar and Andy, a teacher from England. They spent about 3 weeks fitting her out as best they could and then suddenly – so suddenly –on the morning of 19th February, 2000, together with Ruth (a friend) and Malachi (the brother), both of whom would join them later, they left Malahide for Crosshaven (Cork) on the first leg of the voyage.

They were 3 weeks in Cork, waiting for a “window in the weather”. There had been some ferocious storm winds during the previous weeks, which continued persistently. Then, on Friday, 3rd March, I got a message on the answering machine to say that they were clearing Cork Head – goodbye. Malachi was back on board, and the four of them settled into the first long stretch of sailing days and nights. They reached Bayona, on the northwest coast of Spain, at 2am on the following Wednesday morning, having left our ferocious weather behind on Monday morning: that was the last time they had to wear woollen jumpers! They had left the cold behind, but not the wind and rain. Malachi returned home to finish his studies, and when the Crew had reorganised the Santhia, stocked up on provisions and rested, they set sail on the 11th March for Las Palmas, which they reached on the 18th . Strange to relate that when they berthed there, it was by chance alongside another Irish boat – actually belonging to the father of a friend of Edmund. First of many small worlderies!

Again, days spent restoring order on board Santhia, mending sails, fixing this and that and then they started across the Atlantic on the 25th March. After what seemed like an eternity, we got a wonderful satmail (sea email) saying that they had found the trade winds (on April 1st!), which meant that they could relax somewhat, as they just needed to set their sails and the trade winds would carry them across the Atlantic – just as they had for Columbus, on that first voyage to America 500 years ago. It seems that the highlight of that sea passage was when the autopilot, which they had purchased in Cork, jammed and not only did it stop functioning, but it also knocked the normal steering device out of action;

so amid 20ft. swells, Edmund had to dismantle all, disconnect the autopilot, and reconnect normal steering gear – and still steer his course with the Trades. Staple diet seems to have consisted of homemade bread, curries of all varieties (usually vegetarian or tinned corned beef) and dried fruit.

This article will be continued next month, Ed..


The latest vacancies are as follows:

Flag marshalling at Mondello starting immediately, 9.30 - 5 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. (would suit students). Contact 860200 or the OAK office. Crèche assistant 2 - 6 p.m., Caragh. Shop assistant, Clane. Painter handyman, Curragh Racecourse. Trainee General operative, Clane. Flat Machinist (part time), Celbridge.

Full details on the above from the OAK office at 045 861183


Well done to all the teams who took part in the recent Coill Dubh and District Credit Union Primary Schools table quiz. In all teams from eight local schools took part. All were a credit to their schools.

AIB Clane opening hours

  • Mon 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Tues 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wed 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Thurs 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Fri 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sat 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

[ Top | Kildare Community Network ]