November Mona Newsletter

____________November Editorial_____________

November, clocks turned back, leaves gone from the trees, long nights. This is the month when we remember especially our dear departed relatives and friends. With the first hint of winter cold, we begin lighting the sitting room fires- we should have our chimneys cleaned and checked, as a lot of house fires are caused by a build up of soot and tar in chimneys. Also check if your smoke alarm is working to ensure fire safety. Check in on your elderly neighbours to make sure they are safe and warm during this cold time of year. We are delighted to greet the news that our Donadea-Timahoe group water scheme begins soon. Well done to all who worked so hard to canvas and collect the household subscriptions. We welcome the newly elected members to our local area committees and we thank all the outgoing members for all their work in the community over the past year. Congratulations to Morna Hosey & James McAndrew on being presented with their training certs under the OAK Jobs Initiative Scheme Again we appeal for more members. I’m looking forward to seeing you at our AGM on Monday 6th November, 8.00pm in Kelly’s pub Timahoe. It should be a meeting with a difference! Come along to find out! P.S. please support our advertisers.
Thank You,
Liam Holton, Chairperson

In speaking of a persons faults, pray don’t forget your own, Remember those with homes of glass should never throw a stone. If you have nothing else to do but talk of those who sin, It is better we should think of home and from that point begin. We have no right to judge a man until he’s fairly tried. Should we not like his company we know the world is wide. So many have faults- oh who has not -the old as well as young. Perhaps we may for aught we know have Fifty to their one. I’ll tell you of a little plan, I find it works Quite well- I try my own defects to cure before of others tell and though I sometimes hope to be no more than some I know My own short comings bid me let the faults of others go. So let us all when we commence to slander friend or foe think of the harm that we may do to these we little know. Remember curses sometimes like our chickens come to roost at home Don’t speak of others faults until you have none of your own.
Author Unknown.


Having hosted children form Belarus in our home for the past four years I recently availed of an opportunity to travel to their homeland and see for myself the difficulties or otherwise of life in this country.
I stayed in the town of Mozier, a medium sized town with a population of approximately 120,000. It is 40 miles from the site of the nuclear explosion. The town is built on the Prepit river, which is full of radiation. Mozier is a “flat land”. These flats were built in a great hurry after the reactor exploded. The materials used were substandard and therefore you can clearly see where all the bricks are falling off the buildings. Buildings which were started 10 and 15 years ago are still not finished. There is no economy as such and those who are working sometimes cannot even buy enough food for their families. Most shops have long since closed. The average monthly wage is between 30 and 40 dollars.
Those who had a house or apartment before the explosion are “lucky” in the respect that they have somewhere to live. The unlucky ones are those who were young children at that time. Now they have families of their own but often have nowhere to live. Lots of such families live in hostels where eight families live on one floor and share a tiny kitchen with just a three ring stove - no oven, toasters etc.
I visited hospitals and the No.14 school which is supported by Chernobyl Children’s Appeal (Irl) in Skerries, (a registered charity). The children’s hospital is an old, freezing, building with no heating, which if situated in any other country would be deemed uninhabitable. The children sleep on bare spring beds with no mattresses, sheets, or blankets. It was hard to see children so under nourished and sick lying on such beds in the freezing cold. You’d think they would be better off at home but then you have to ask yourself “what home?” - some of these children were just left in the hospital by their parents because they could not “afford” them. (The abortion rate is very high and the birth rate very low).
I had been told by one of the translators who stayed in our home that when you go to hospital you bring everything with you - bed linen, food and medicine if you have it. I could clearly see how true this was. The hospital lab consisted of a small square room with one shelf running around three walls. The shelves were full of empty jars - no fridge, microwave, kettle. There was nothing in the room to say how samples had been taken or analyzed.
In one of the wards was a cot with a small baby which I thought might be about three/four weeks old. Imagine the shock when I was told this baby was just over three months old. Some of the things you come across are unbelievable unless you see for yourself. When was the last time you had to touch a child to see if they were alive or dead? It’s something you don’t think you’ll ever have to do but I did it. The child was alive then but that was on October 9th. Two other beautiful 2 ½ year olds were lying in their cots waiting for adoption as their families had simply left them there. All this was only on part of one floor of the hospital. The same scene is repeated throughout with terrible heartbreak.
The TB hospital is a little more isolated. On the day the group visited there were 76 patients registered. However 12 of them were missing - subsequently found pulling up potatoes from a farmers field. When I say that there was nothing but one small bowl of sausages between 76 patients for dinner you’ll know why they were getting potatoes. Again there were no sheets or blankets. Some of the beds had old foam mattresses.
In this country the lucky ones are the children who visit other countries during the summer months. Three – four weeks in fresh air reduces one years build up of radiation from their bodies.
The forgotten people are those in hospitals and orphanages. The Belarussians have to work so hard to supply the bare essentials (not clothes) for their own families that looking after others is not an option - it would be a luxury but luxuries are not found in this country. The life expectancy for a man is 55 years and for a woman it is 61 years.
Thrift is taken to the utmost here. Next time you have a cup of tea think of a friend who, while making a cup of tea one day was told “No, get another one Brendan, that one has been used four times already.” The only worrying thing was that the one bag had been used by four different people.
The immediate need in the hospitals is for food, bed linen and medical supplies e.g. packets and tins, rice, crackers, pasta, soups, stews, tuna, salmon, fruit, breakfast cereals, painkillers, cough bottles, plasters, vitamin tablets, dettol, soaps, toothpaste & brushes, blankets and sheets.
Between all the heartbreaking scenes there were actually a couple of light-hearted moments. One was when, upon asking where the bathroom was, I was taken outside and shown the general location at the bottom of the garden where the toilet was - a large hole. Not being able to see very well in the dark and afraid to move very far I looked for the nearest shed and made for the back of it.
Now when answering a double meaning question I can say that I did it outside under a starry, starry sky - but very hurriedly in case of interruption. If you can help in any way or would like more information please contact 045-869419 or the Tir na Mona office at 045-869977. Thank you most sincerely to all those who donated blankets, sheets, food and medical supplies recently. These supplies left Ireland for Belarus on Monday 23rd October and will arrive by Thursday of the same week.
Mary Murphy


Community & Development Notes

Collectors are at present out collecting the next installment for the water. The collectors are as follows:

Timahoe area Ger Kelly
Drehid area Gerry Woods
Mucklon area Liam Egan & Eddie O’Brien
Derry area Pauline Finnegan
Ballagh & The Range Dessie O’Leary
Cloona area Davey Holton
Hortland area Eamonn Maguire
Cooltrim area Liam Doran
Tiermoghan area Tom Kearns
Staplestown area Feargal MacEoin



North West Kildare Development Company intends to hold a committee skills course in ACDAL Business Park, Allenwood, in the near future. This course will be run over weeks and will be available to all clubs in the area. This course will be of particular interest to chairpersons, secretaries, treasurers and p.r.o.’s. If you are interested please contact the Tir na Mona office at 045-869977

Tir na Mona are looking into running a computer course for beginners in the New Year. If anyone would be interested in such a course please contact Morna at the Tir na Mona office at 045-869977 as we need to know if there would be sufficient numbers for such a course.

Tir na Mona on the Web
If you have friends abroad with access to the internet they can now contact us at



On the 5th October last the latest round of elections for the community & voluntary forum took place. This involved selecting representatives for the two places on the County Development Board. Both myself and Aiden Keane were reselected to the County Development Board. Area representatives for the executive of the Forum were also elected. The executive representatives for the Clane electoral area are Ian Donald of Allenwood Dev. Assoc. Ltd., representing groups with an emphasis on social development and disadvantage and Tessie Curry of the B.R.E.D.A. centre in Johnstownbridge, representing groups with a focus on culture, sport, recreation and environment. The first meeting of the executive took place on 19th October. The new executive has a lot of work before it, including working on issues for the County Development Board and the Strategic Policy Committees as well as building the network of groups currently involved in the Forum and developing services for these groups. I would like to thank all those who turned out to vote at recent election nights in the Keadeen Hotel and in particular I would like to thank Morna Hosey for organising the turnout. If any of the groups represented would like to raise any issues at the Forum or the County Development Board please contact Morna @ 045 869977. An “Issues Paper” will shortly be sent out to all groups from the County Development Board. It is important that groups take this opportunity to let the County Development Board know if these are the issues that are important.

Gail Maher


Table of Events, in the Community

6th Nov Tir na Mona AGM, Kelly’s Bar, 8.00 p.m.
9th Nov Mobile library in Staplestown @ 11.50 – 12.30pm
10th Nov Race night in aid of Staplestown / Cooleragh &Newtown /Donadea Senior Citizens in Connollys of Ballagh, 9.00pm
17th Nov Cappagh GFC Dinner Dance 9pm, Spa Hotel, Lucan
18th Nov Adult Social Club, The Hob Kelly’s Bar, Timshoe, 3.00 p.m
23rd Nov Mobile library in Staplestown @ 11.50 – 12.30pm
23rd Nov Table Quiz in Kelly’s Bar Timahoe @ 9.00pm
24th Nov Kildare Camogie Board Presentation, Celbridge, at 8pm
24th Nov Derry Gun Club Draw in Roches, Donadea
29th Nov Camogie Board AGM in Sarsfields at 7.30pm
1st Dec Poker Classic in Kelly’s Bar @ 9.00pm

Articles for the MONA Newsletter can now be dropped into the Tir Na Mona office at St. Kevin's G.A.A. club, Staplestown. If possible please supply articles on disc in Microsoft Word format. If you have an event happening during the first week of the month please let us know about it in time for the previous issue as it take approx. 10 days to produce the MONA. The NOV issue was put together by Orla Kelly, Therese Holton, Nicola Lynam and Hugh Maher

The views represented in this Newsletter are not necessarily the views of the MONA committee. While every attempt is made to print factual information, we are not responsible for third party information that may be incorrect at time of going to press. Where errors occur, every attempt will be made to redress and amend. All parties have the right to reply within the MONA Newsletter.

Thank you.


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