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Printmaking studio to look for foreign artists exchange

CLANE, DECEMBER 11, 1998: by Brian Byrne. The only printmaking studio in Leinster is to look for foreign artists to come to County Kildare on exchange visits in order to spread their style and expertise for the benefit of local and Irish national artists using the studio's facilities in Clane. The Leinster Printmaking Studio was officially opened this week by minister for finance Charlie McCreevy TD. The project is the brainchild of artist and stained glass designer Margaret Becker, who set up the operation in part of the Old Convent in Clane with the help of Cormac Nolan and support from the Arts Council and KELT among others. The facility is being used to train printmaking and also as a resource for some of the country's foremost artists. The organisation has charity status and donations of over £100 are completely tax-deductible by the donors. Margaret says the printmaking course is full at the moment and they have a waiting list of people from a hinterland comprising Kildare, West Wicklow, West Dublin, Meath, Offaly and Laois - areas she adds, that are 'rich in artistic talent'. Further information from Margaret at 045 868168 or 087 2310114.

RealAudio : Margaret Becker on the Leinster Printmaking Studio



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Schools' drugs awareness poster exhibition

KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL, DECEMBER 11, 1998: An exhibition of posters and models related to drugs has been on view in the offices of Kildare County Council in Naas for the last week. They are selected from the entries received from schools in an EHB-sponsored competition during the recent national Drugs Awareness Week. They include this mask by Sarah Cosgrove which illustrates the two kinds of life, with and without drugs. She says the left side 'represents drugs and their effects on people's future, with black symbolising death and the unhappiness drugs bring to people's lives ... the right side shows life without drugs, and the enjoyment of activities such as sports, drama and reading'.



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Council should encourage more to refuse collection

SOUTH KILDARE, DECEMBER 11, 1998: Kildare County Council should conduct a campaign to encourage more people to join its refuse collection service in the South of the county, Cllr Martin Miley said this week. He said that the continued privatisation of the refuse collection would mean that those people currently with waivers from paying for their refuse collection will end up having to pay money they can't afford if there is no council service. And he suggested that with County Council lorries going all over the county anyway, there's no reason why they can't be used to collect refuse from the more remote areas of the county.

RealAudio : Martin Miley on refuse collection




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Brownstown writer does well in major RTE competition.

THE CURRAGH, DECEMBER 11, 1998: Brownstown writer Martin Malone came fourth in the recent RTE Francis McManus short story competition, for which there were more than 820 entries. Martin is a member of the Cill Dara Writers Circle and has been writing for several years. A member of the Defence Forces, he has served several tours in the Lebanon and many of his stories reflect his observations and experiences in that part of the world. The winner of the competition was Coilin O hAodha from Galway, at 23 the youngest-ever winner of the competition, which has been running for 13 years in commemoration of the highly-respected writer of short stories, Francis McManus.


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Kildare Community Network is officially launched

NAAS, DECEMBER 10, 1998: by Trish Whelan. County Kildare's innovative internet website was officially launched by the chairperson of Kildare County Council, Cllr Jim Reilly (pictured left with ASK chairperson Colm Flynn and ASK IT manager Reg Youster), in the County Hall at St Mary's in Naas today. He said the website represents 'the coming together of Kildare County Council and Action South Kildare to provide the people of the county with a one-stop access point for information about themselves, their services, organisations, environment, business supports and local news. It is in fact becoming an all-embracing information service'. The new site is also supported by FAS. The Kildare Community Network chairperson, county librarian Breda Gleeson, said the site is 'quite unique because it deliberately creates one site for information delivery and communication'. Students of Confey College in Leixlip represented schools from the county and introduced those present to their own website. ASK chairperson Colm Flynn said 'today we embrace technology and have created a model we can be proud of. The dream is here. It fundamentally provides a conduit for the free flow of information. One of the aspects of this project was to train young people in basic computing and IT skills, and trained trainers to train in their own organisations'. He congratulated councillors for setting an example and said 'together we will build a network unparallelled in Ireland'. The Kildare Community Network has been active since February and is set to become the most important source of information on up-to-date news, community activities, organisations and events in the county, proving a boon to visitors, from home and abroad. To date it has received over 39,000 visitors and is expected to attract well over 100,000 visitors over the next year. As part of an improvement in communications, each councillor in Kildare has been provided with internet access in their own homes and an e-mail address so that electronic interaction between public representatives and the people will become commonplace. Kildare public library network will provide public access to this website and generally to the internet - this begins in January with Athy and Naas libraries which have been piloting their service for some months and will extend to all branches. Pictured below at the launch are (pix from left) assistant county manager Terry O Niadh with Charlie Talbot, County Kildare freedom of information officer; and Fiona O'Driscoll, Aoife Brittain and Emily Ryan, all from St Mary's School in Naas.


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Kildare Failte constrained by funding, manpower shortage

ATHY, DECEMBER 10, 1998: by Brian Byrne. Kildare Failte's year was 'quite positive' in lots of ways, acting chairman Tom Malone said last night after the AGM of the County Kildare tourism promotion organisation. But he said that while there has now been a recognition that the county has a tourism product second to none, there is a difficulty in that tourists tend not to move out of the Dublin city area when they come to the country. "We need to market more widely, in order to get more people to come to us," he said. The Kildare Failte accounts for the year showed a turnover of some £37,446, with the largest element of the organisation's income coming from an £11,000 grant from Kildare County Council. The meeting, in Kilkea Castle, was relatively quiet, but several reservations were expressed about the constraints on the organisation's activities because of low funding and the fact that there is only one full-time employee. There is to be a Tourism Forum in the new year to discuss the future direction of tourism promotion and structures in the county.

RealAudio : Tom Malone on Kildare Failte


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Leixlip schoolgirl designs Intel Christmas card

LEIXLIP DECEMBER 10, 1998: The designer of this year's Intel Christmas cars is Sarah Donovan of 6th class in Scoil Bhríde in Leixlip. Her design was chosen from hundreds of ideas submitted by pupils in North Kildare, in an initiative run by Intel Ireland's Public Affairs Group. The theme suggested for the 1998 card was 'Santa's computing class for the elves'. Sarah's school will be presented with a high power Pentium II processor PC in recognition of her achievement, while Sarah herself gets a £50 voucher for HMV record sales.


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Quality award for National Stud

KILDARE, DECEMBER 10, 1998: by Brian Byrne. The National Stud at Tully, Kildare, will be awarded the 'Q' quality mark at a function next week. The county's premier tourist attraction is the first stud to be awarded the Q mark and according to the former marketing director of Kildare Failte, Frieda O'Connell, it could also be the first tourist attraction to receive it. The award will be presented next Thursday during a lunch at which the minister for agriculture, Joe Walshe, will be the guest of honour.


Call for Drugs Clinic in Newbridge

NEWBRIDGE, DECEMBER 10, 1998: by Trish Whelan. The seriousness of the drug problem in Newbridge has been highlighted by Town Commissioner Murty Aspell who has asked commissioners to insist that the Eastern Health Board provides a drugs clinic in its new health centre in Newbridge. He also wants drug users to be able to get the professional help and support they need to come off drugs. He fears the problem will worsen if something is not done to remedy the situation. He also wants TDs lobbied to push for heavier sentences for those convicted of selling drugs and is seeking a meeting between commissioners, the Gardai, GPs, teachers and parents 'to provide a good community spirit to remove the scourge from the town, once and for all.'

RealAudio : Murty Aspell on drugs clinic




Private buses 'could help' with Newbridge parking problem

NEWBRIDGE, DECEMBER 9, 1998: A private bus service for the Newbridge area could help solve a serious parking problem in the town according to town commissioner Joe Kearns. At this month's meeting of the commission he said that contact should be made with the operators of the private double-decker service in Naas to see if there was a possibility of them doing something similar in Newbridge. Commissioner Kearns was joined by colleague Cmmr Ray O'Brien in highlighting what they see as an 'impossible' situation for parking, with the town's only car park always full and the problem now spreading to housing estates on the edge of the town centre, where residents are finding difficulty parking their own cars because of vehciles left by people working or shopping in the town.

RealAudio : Brian Byrne talks to Ray O'Brien and Joe Kearns


Farming community 'needs alternative industry'

KILDARE GENERAL, DECEMBER 9, 1998: There's an urgent need to plan for alternative occupations for the farming community, which faces a continuing situation of declining on-farm incomes. That's the view of Cllr Paddy Power, who told the estimates meeting of Kildare County Council that he had been given what he termed 'alarming' figures about the problem, and he asked that industrial development plans for the county should take account of this. He suggested that there are many farm buildings and barns which could be converted to small industry use, and this is a possibility which the relevant agencies should look into.

RealAudio : Brian Byrne talks to Paddy Power



'Bite the bullet' on travellers - Liam Doyle

LEIXLIP, DECEMBER 9, 1998: Kildare County Coucil will have to 'bite the bullet' in relation to travellers if the situation at Louisa Bridge in Leixlip is not to be repeated elsewhere in the county, according to Cllr Liam Doyle. He says the litter and dumped vehicles at the bridge and the nearby historic Spa have spoiled what he believes is one of the most important areas of the North Kildare Way, with car wrecks dumped in the canal and the presence of traveller caravans 'inhibiting' people from visiting the area. Proper halting sites have been urgently needed for a long time, he said, and the council will have to stop talking and 'bite the bullet'.

RealAudio : Brian Byrne talks to Liam Doyle


Naas Fire Station before the elections?

NAAS, DECEMBER 9, 1998: Site exploration has begun on the proposed location for Naas's new Fire Brigade station, and it is understood approval that the station will be forthcoming 'before the local elections'. In response to a query at the recent estimates meeting of Kildare County Council, county manager Niall Bradley would only say that the council is 'actively pursuing' the approval, but it is understood that this will be forthcoming in fairly short order. In the estimates he notes that work has already commenced on the Athy station and that there will be imporvements to the one at Monasterevin when Naas is under way. The site currently being examined is between the Harbour Hotel and Day Care Centre for the elderly on the Newbridge Road.



Need for skateboard facilities in Newbridge

LEIXLIP, DECEMBER 9, 1998: Facilities for skateboarding should be provided for young people in Newbridge, who are currently using the Market Square as a skateboarding area. That's the view of Newbridge Town Commission chairman Seamus Finn, who said that flower beds are being damaged from the activity. "These are very nice young lads and the problem is that they have nowhere else to go," he said at this month's meeting of the commission. "This is now a world-class sport and we should have somewhere safe where they can practice. If something could be put in for them, and in my own capacity I will work for them because I think young people should be encouraged." Colleague Cmmr Fiona O'Loughlin agreed that something should be done, but she pointed out that sometimes there's a lack of awareness of the facilities that are already in place in Newbridge for young people. She suggested that a newsletter be produced, or an exhibition mounted by the commission, to show what's available for them."

RealAudio : Brian Byrne talks to Seamus Finn and Fiona O'Loughlin


Naas planning permission news

NAAS, DECEMBER 9, 1998: Kate Conway-Behan has applied for permission to retain alterations and conversion to a shop extension at 5 North MAin St, including a window in the gable end. Sam McCauley Chemists Ltd have been granted permission for alterations, a new shopfront and change of use from a public house to a pharmacy of The Moate House, the Moate Shopping Centre, Naas. The Eastern Health Board has been granted permission for the retention as built, of structures comprising a purpose-built Ambulance Centre at the Maudlins Industrial Estate, Naas. J O'Connell, c/o Maguire & Associates of Railway Terrace, has been granted permission for a 47-bedroom nursing home with offices, staff quarters and related facilities, at Craddockstown Road, Naas East. Naas Credit Union has been granted permission for the demolition of a 3-storey building and the construction of a 3-storey over basement extension to Naas Credit Union offices at 19 North Main St, for public area, cashier points and general offices.



New UDC planning call could put Naas Draft Development Plan in disarray

NAAS, DECEMBER 8, 1998: (Exclusive by Trish Whelan and Brian Byrne) An official request to consider rezoning further land in Naas could lead to an increase of more than 50% in the amount of land rezoned for the Naas Draft Development Plan. And it could put into disarray the recently-voted package by members of the town's UDC in which more than 90 acres was voted for rezoning as housing and commercial development opportunity - against the strong advice of County Planner Philip Jones. The new call for a special planning meeting to consider a previously-rejected submission from Moorestar Ltd, for a 40-acre development of housing, a hotel and parkland, has come from the leas-cathaoirleach of Naas UDC, Cllr Seamie Moore. This follows strong criticism of Naas UDC by the chairman of the Caragh Court/Green/Meadows Residents Association, Tom Grace (pictured at Caragh Bridge), for not even considering the Moorestar application. He says it would have solved a long-standing safety issue in the area where Naas UDC has failed to provide adequate public lighting and a new bridge over the canal on Caragh Road, and where some 240 houses were built in the last 15 years. According to Tom Grace, levies for these facilities were paid on the house-buyers' behalf by the developer of these houses and should have been used to provide them. More on this story here.


Kildare student wins Rotary competition heat

KILDARE & NEWBRIDGE, DECEMBER 8, 1998: A young student at Presentation Secondary School in Kildare is this year's winner of the Rotary Club of Newbridge Youth Development Leadership Competition. She's Amanda O'Riordan, who hopes to eventually make a career in broadcasting. She beat nine other finalists in what organiser Conal Bradley described as the 'toughest to choose' competition yet. According to Amanda's teacher, Mary O'Sullivan, her win is a recognition of the level of ability of all the girls in the school, while Rotary President Tom Kelly (pictured here with Mary O'Sullivan and Amanda) said the club is very proud to organise the competition, which was open to schools throughout Kildare and West Wicklow (excluding Naas, which has its own competition). Amanda will now take part in the national finals in January, from which 24 young people will be chosen to take a week-long trip to the European Parliament and take part in debates in the parliament building with other young people from all over Europe.

RealAudio : Brian Byrne talks to Amanda, Mary O'Sullivan and Paddy Kelly



Kildare Book of Estimates is passed

KILDARE GENERAL, DECEMBER 8, 1998: Members of Kildare County Council yesterday passed the Book of Estimates for 1999 following a prolonged discussion on several aspects carried over from the previous Estimates meeting. There was only one vote against the proposal, from Cllr Anthony Lawlor. The estimates show a total expenditure of almost £41.5 million, with the largest single area being roads upkeep and maintenance of over £12 million. This is followed by water supply and sewerage of over £7 million, with housing and environmental protection costing around £6 million apiece. The expenditure will be met by rates of £17.29 million, a Government grant of just over £10 million, income from goods and services of almost £13 million and charges on the county's urban authorities of £1.1 million. Cathaoirleach of the council Jim Reilly (pictured) said it was probably the most extensively discussed Estimates of recent years.

RealAudio : Jim Reilly on discussions


Developer appeals charges demand

NAAS, DECEMBER 8, 1998: A developer who received planning permission for 38 apartments at Craddockstown Road in Naas has appealed to An Bord Pleanala against being asked to pay £83,000 to Naas UDC. The application is by Ravenshall Developments Ltdfor a residential development of 38 2-bed and 2 1-bed apartments in four 2-storey blocks at a site adjoining Ballycane House. Permission for this development was granted, subject to 24 conditions, on 22/10/98 and the appeal was received by ABP on 23/11/98 against a number of the conditions which the applicant considered 'unreasonable and inconsistent with the proper planning and development'. These included the requirement to pay in advance to Naas UDC the sum of £8,000 towards footpath/public lighting improvements, a contribution of £70,000 towards the provision of a distributor road network around Naas, a contribution of £5,000 towards landscaping works inmprovements, the proviso that two apartments in one block will not be constructed. The developer says all these represent 'unreasonable and unfair' treatment.



A 4% rates increase demand 'too high'

KILDARE GENERAL, DECEMBER 6, 1998: Kildare's ratepayers should not be asked to accept an increase in their rates of 4%, Cllr John Dardis says. He notes that there has been a very substantial increase in the amount of money allocated to the council from central government and that he feels ratepayers should not be asked to pay more than the rate of inflation, at the very most 3%.

RealAudio : Brian Byrne talks to John Dardis




Celtic Tiger delays New Row apartments

NAAS, DECEMBER 6, 1998: Tenants selected for the first phase of the new Naas UDC apartments being built at New Row have been informed that they will not now be able to get possession before Christmas. The reason is ironically in part due to the success of the 'Celtic Tiger' economy, according to Town Clerk Declan Kirrane. "We simply can't get people to finish the project, because tradesmen are all working with developers trying to meet the demand for private housing." The 28 apartments project includes a number which are specifically designed for the elderly and people with disabilities.


Help wanted in Newbridge families tracing

NEWBRIDGE & NORTH CAROLINA, DECEMBER 6, 1998: Mary K Hungerford of Murphy, North Carolina, has contacted KNN looking for information on Gannon and Hyland families in Co Kildare. She says she is descended from John Hyland and Eliza Bambrick, shopkeepers in Newbridge in the late 1880s. John's sister Catherine married a Richard Gannon and they also lived in Newbridge. Their daughter Daisy married one Mr Brophy and they had sons Bill, Edward and Charlie; while another daughter, Ciss, married a Mr Brennan and they had daughters, now Mrs Maureen Powell and Mrs Bernadette Redmond, and sons Liam, Bobby and Denis. If anyone wants further information they can contact KNN, or directly to Mary K Hungerford at




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