Feburary Mona NewsletterStaplestown PageTimahoe PageDonadea PageEditorial PageFebruary 01, Mona NewsletterGreen Page

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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 act!)
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.


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.


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.”
Pat Ramsbottom


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