As I sit looking out at
our snow-covered patio at 9.30 p.m. Dec 29th, I think of
how lucky we were on St. Stephens Day in Donadea Park. I
think of all the good people who helped to make our Millennium
Wren Boys concert such a success. Christy Maxwell and his
son Barry for the trailer (our stage), James Reid for the
cable for power, photography and collecting donations. Alan
Brereton and Dara for performing and rigging up the sound
system. Pat McLoughlin for our steps to the stage and Alan
Byrne and his merry Straw Boys, the Price family for helping
with the opening and closing of the park. Coillte of course
for the use of the park.
It was decided this year to run the event beside the castle,
due to the success of our September Millennium concert,
which was attended by 2000 people. We also decided to give
the proceeds to our Senior Citizens Centre in Newtown.
The concert kicked off at 1.30 p.m. on a cold dry afternoon,
the car park was already half full of cars when Mick O’
Shea, John, Jim and Mick (from Mountmellick ), got the crowd
in good cheer for the afternoon. Santa arrived on stage
with help from Tommy Simms from Kilcock (well done Tommy).
Santa rang his bell and told the kids he was very tired
after all his work the previous day. Josh Rose re – cycled
his bike around the open spaces in front of the stage, this
man of many talents then juggled on the stage. Josh later
surprised the crowd when he juggled his flaming juggles
(I believe Duffy’s circus have approached Josh to join their
Brian Maher sang some lovely Christmas songs and by now
the crowd was very large. The Durkan girls from Kilcock
with their cousins the Bourkes from Timahoe and Colm Kenny
performed some Irish music, these are great kids and with
Alice Holton they really went down as a big hit with the
large crowd. Colin Hickson our own singing cow boy! from
Hortland entertained the crowd with fine songs. Dessie Boland
sang a beautiful rendition of “Christmas Day 1915”. Well
done to all.
We had our Wren pageant next, Kevin Doran appeared as our
Wren for the 2nd year and he flew around the park dodging
the crowd and the Wren boys. The Straw boys arrived in force
and grouped to protect the Wren from the Wren boys. As the
Wren boys struggled to catch the Wren, one of the Straw
boys crashed into a tree. The tree was checked and was ok,
the Straw boy continued on with minimal disruption! The
Sraw boys saved the day and our little Wren came up on stage
and thanked the Straw boys.
Sister Fintan came up to perform a Christmas song from Kerry
and she recited “ Pat Dunne from Kilcock “, we hope to see
her next year, thank you Sister Fintan. Alan, Brian, Dara
and Santa finished off the evening with a medley of “Beatle
songs”. It was just dark as Christy Maxwell drove the truck
and trailer out of the forest.
We all adjourned to Ballagh house for a great Wren boys
concert with musicians and singers from Kill and Naas. Marian
Byrne and her family arrived in with welcome sandwiches
to a hungry bunch of performers. Over £550 was raised for
Donadea / Newtown Senior Citizens Centre .
The Tir Na Mona Wren Boys
Concert is now well established as an annual event. We had
an estimated 500 people attend the event this year. There
is now a definite need to erect a permanent performance
structure in Donadea Park.
Thank you, all who came and supported this event, we will
be back next year.
AREA CLEAN UP
DON’T FORGET THAT THE AREA CLEAN UP WILL TAKE PLACE
ON SATURDAY THE 1OTH MARCH.
This is an important day
in the calendar for the environment as it is a chance for
us to get out there and do something for the area we live
in. The County Council play their part by providing us with
skips to take the rubbish away and during the past year
the County Council have had their crews out doing their
bit for our environment by picking rubbish from our roadsides.
However, it is up to all of us to do our bit to make the
countryside a better place for ourselves and our children.
WE are the “SOMEBODY” who should “DO SOMETHING”. This is
our area, our rubbish and OUR RESPONSIBILITY. So get out
there on the 10th March and make a difference, because our
countryside is WORTH IT.
OUR OWN SAINT BRIGID
The first day of Spring(Feb
1st.) is marked by the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare. Brigid
was born about the year 450 A.D. There are conflicting claims
about her place of birth. Some say at Faughard, Co. Louth,
others say Kildare —perhaps in the area between Rathangan
and Monasterevin ; others claim she was born in Croghan,
Co. Offaly. Whatever about the exact location of her birth—place,
there is no doubt but that she built her Monastery in Kildare
at the end of the fifth century. Some historians attribute
the foundation of Monastic life in Ireland to St. Brigid.
Her spirit lives on today, fifteen hundred years after her
death. There is a great renewal of interest in St. Brigid
not only in Ireland but world-wide. There are many reasons
for this. Groups of people today who are interested in the
environment and care of the earth look to St. Brigid as
a woman who had great care and respect for the land. She
is very much associated with ploughing, sowing, milking,
butter-making and so forth. She was a person who loved her
environment very dearly.
Brigid embodies the spirit of Christian and pre-Christian
Ireland. There is today a whole new revival of interest
in our Celtic roots. Our spirituality is richly nourished
by our background. Brigid was a woman of great compassion
for the poor of her day. She toiled to feed the people of
Kildare at a time when great hardship and poverty prevailed.
She shared her bread with those who had none, but she also
gave people a respect for themselves and a sense of their
own dignity. What inspired Brigid and the Celtic Christians
of her day was an awareness of the presence of Lord in themselves
and in all creation.
You and I honour St. Brigid when we reach out to help each
other, especially the poor and voiceless in our society.
Those who are left behind in today’s materialistic world.
those who are written off because they are the have—nots.
Our world has less and less time for the have-nots. The
spirit of St. Brigid of Kildare points in the opposite direction.
Times of trial and hardship often bring out the very best
in people. We often see and hear of heroic acts of kindness
and generosity. There is a story told that during the bombing
of London in the Second world war, many were wounded and
killed in that great city. An elderly woman bought a First-Aid
kit and wrote a sign over the door of her home “If you need
help, knock here”. Yes indeed, that is the true spirit of
Christ and the spirit of St. Brigid who gave her life helping
others. We honour her when we give ourselves to each other,
lightning each others burdens on the way through life.
The ones who give most in life are the most fulfilled of
all. “It is in giving we receive.”
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