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Curragh Camp losing historical memories?

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Curragh Camp losing historical memories?

THE CURRAGH, JANUARY 2, 1998: by Brian Byrne. Young men and women being trained in 1999 at the Defence Forces Training Centre on the Curragh are likely to be unaware of the the camp's historical connection with the signatories of The Proclamation of Easter 1916, because all the barracks buildings bearing the signatories' names are now known by other titles. Pearse and McDonagh Barracks are now the Military College (the banner of which is shown on the left); McDermott and Clarke are part of the Combat Support Centre and the Combat Service Support Unit; while Ceannt, Connolly and Plunkett are now Combat Support Centre HQ, with Plunkett also housing the Artillery School. In operational terms, only part of the Third Battalion now remains on the Curragh, where the British Army established the first permanent camp in 1858.

The camp was handed over to the National Army in 1922, at which time the barracks buildings were renamed to honour the 1916 patriots. "The camp has already been downgraded in the restructuring of the Defence Forces," one member of the forces commented to KNN. "But it seems an even greater pity that the memory of those who began the final process that led to the formation of the Irish state has also been downgraded."

The restructuring of the Defence Forces, implementation of which was begun last November, has been met with considerable anger in many parts of County Kildare, particularly in Kildare town and Naas, where McGee and Devoy Barracks respectively were closed and the activities centred in them relocated to the Curragh and other military establishments.


Special report for Kildare town sewerage problem

KILDARE, JANUARY 2, 1998: A special report is needed on how Kildare town's sewerage system can be upgraded to cope with the prospect of a doubling population, according county manager Niall Bradley. He was replying to Cllr Michael McWey's concerns that the system will not be able to cope with the situation, because surface water is currently going into the main sewer system in the town. "It's a complex issue," the manager said, "and a special report will be brought before the council in January."


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Major development proposal for famous Naas hotel

NAAS, JANUARY 1, 1998: A new function room, basement bar, and a seven-shop retail and office development are all part of a major planning proposal for Lawlor's Hotel in Naas which has been lodged with Naas UDC. The application by the Fitzgerald Group also includes demolition of buildings to the rear of the existing restaurant and bar, refurbishment and alterations to the existing licensed premises as an hotel with dining, lounge bar and 18 bedrooms, and minor amendments to the existing Poplar Square facade. Three existing residential premises adjoining the current hotel facade will also be demolished under the proposal, and off-street parking for 40 cars is proposed. The hotel was sold to the Fitzgerald Group earlier this year after being in the Lawlor family for several generations.


KNN would like to wish all our friends and visitors a very happy and prosperous 1999 ... and we'd like you all to make it a New Year Resolution to come back to us every day - Trish Whelan & Brian Byrne

Kill retail project gets go-ahead for material contravention process

KILL, DECEMBER 31, 1998: Kildare County Council has decided to initiate the material contravention process in relation to the proposed £20 million Tourist Outlet Village beside Goffs at Kill. This follows a 'very detailed' examination by council staff of the application from Irish Retail Outlets Ltd for the development, and after 'comprehensive discussions' between the council and the applicants and their advisers. County manager Niall Bradley is of the view that the specific nature and potential significance of the development is such as to warrant initiation of the material contravention procedure. This will afford members of the council an opportunity of considering whether or not planning permission should be granted, subject to appropriate conditions. A public notice to this effect will be issued shortly.

The county manager has publicly supported the concept in the past, pending the resolution of a number of issues, including traffic matters. But when the project was first mooted in 1997, a campaign against it was launched by a significant number of traders in Naas. Traders in Bicester in England, however, where there is a similar operation, said emphatically that - though they had themselves initially been against the retail village there - no detrimental effect had been experienced in their businesses. "We now live side by side with the retail outlet village," a typical shopowner said, "and in fact it has been good for business here."

A recent KNN survey of local people and community leaders in Kill showed overwhelming local support for the project, mainly on the grounds that it would provide much-needed employment opportunity - up to 500 jobs have been promised by the promoters.


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Pub for Naas on 'archaeologically-sensitive' site

NAAS, DECEMBER 31, 1998: A new pub is planned for Naas on a site which has significant archaeological value, and promoter Tom Treacy will have to employ an archeologist to advise on the preservation of any such material found during the work. Permission for the two-storey pub has been granted by Naas UDC to Baba Exports Ltd, the company through which the application was made. The location is on the Dublin Road in the area of Joe Mallon Motors, and represents just part of an extensive triangular site bounded by the Sallins Road and the Sycamores residential estate. A condition required by Duchas, the Heritage Service, is that the developer may have to fund a full archaeological excavation by hand should the proposed ground disturbance be considered excessive within 'archaeologically-sensitive' areas. Human skeletal remains were found in 1995 on the site, possibly associated with an Augustinian Priory. Objections to the application on behalf of residents of The Sycamores included concerns about visual and noise intrusion, and increased traffic hazard, as well as a wish that 'sporadic' planning permissions not be granted to small areas of the much larger overall site. The Chief Fire Officer had recommended refusal of the application which has been granted subject to a number of conditions, including a revised plan of fire escape provisions.



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Parochial House to become Education Centre

KILDARE GENERAL, DECEMBER 31, 1998: The Parochial House at White Abbey in Kildare is to become an Education Centre with meeting room, computer room, offices, reception area and ancillary services. The Minister for Education & Science has applied to Kildare County Council for permission for a change of use of the existing house for this purpose, and for an extension to the premises. Other planning applications around the county include one for an extension to be built at Kilcullen Community Centre which will incorporate a scouts den and a storage area; Monread Developments Ltd have applied for permission for a development of four detached 4/5-bedroomed two-storey houses on sites 33 to 36 inclusive, on Road No 1 at Monread Road, Monread North, Naas, as well as for one similar on site 1 Road No 3, and two detached 4/5-bedroom two-storey houses on site no 5. Eugene and Mary Brennan, Stephenstown, Two-Mile-House, Naas, have applied to Kildare County Council for a housing development comprising 21 bungalows with individual septic tanks and Puraflo effluent treatment systems, and for eight bungalows, at Stephenstown North and South.


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County's twinning potential 'not being achieved'

KILDARE GENERAL, DECEMBER 30, 1998: by Trish Whelan. Kildare County Council should extend its twinning links with Lexington, Kentucky, USA, according to Cllr Timmy Conway who believes the complete potential of the county's formal twinning with Lexington has not been achieved ... and he says that former county manager Gerry Ward (pictured on left) should be put in charge of developing twinning for the county. "It is of immense value for the community, and for economic development in the county," Cllr Conway said, "but it has to be driven by somebody who is au fait with how the system works, and for County Kildare that man is Gerry Ward."


Cars stolen in Naas - one recovered

NAAS, DECEMBER 30, 1998: Gardai in Naas have recovered one of three cars stolen last night in the north en of the town. The Ford Escort taken from Monread Mews was discovered near Tandy's Bridge, but they are still looking for information on the thefts of a red Honda Civic 94 D 4162, and a gold Ford Orion 91 WH 498 taken from Monread Heights. Gardai say they're not aware of any crimes overnight in which the stolen cars may have been used. Honda Civics are currently very popular with car thieves, and many of them are stripped for parts for resale.


Roadscaping, Kildare style?

NAAS, DECEMBER 30, 1998: by Brian Byrne. This is what used to be a ditch outside Caragh Court estate in Naas, and local residents are glad that it hasn't been a dangerous ditch for quite some time now. But they're not at all pleased at how it has been left by their local authority and they have a new year resolution for those in charge, just in case they're short on ideas. "Clean it up," says local residents association chairman Tom Grace. "It's making the front of our tidy estate look like the entrance to a dump."


NRA must 'clean up its messes'

KILDARE, DECEMBER 30, 1998: The National Roads Authority should 'clean up the mess' it causes around the county when building by-passes, according to Cllr John Dardis. He said councillors have a duty to 'defend' the interests of their local communities in this regard, but this has not always happened in the past. He recalled that conditions about construction traffic in the building of the Newbridge by-pass had not been complied with, leading to damage to roads which such traffic should not have been using. He was commenting on complaints which have recently been made in relation to the preparatory work for the Kildare by-pass. Meanwhile Cllr Sean O Fearghaill said that the amount of funding for local roads repair work should be agreed in principle in advance of any such major by-pass projects beginning. County manager Niall Bradley assured councillors that any funding required will be made available.



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TCD Bursary to be renewed for 1999/2000

MAYNOOTH, DECEMBER 30, 1998: The Kildare branch of the TCD Association and Trust is to renew for 1999 its bursary for an undergraduate student at the university. The bursary is worth £350 and goes each year to an un-named student with an address in County Kildare. The Kildare branch of the association is now in its third year of existance, serving 1,260 graduates of the university living in County Kildare. "There are a further 200 TCD alumni living in West Wicklow, which is part of our functional area," says Michael McCann, chairman of the branch. "The branch continues to thrive. In April '98, we were given a sparkling lecture on 'Georgian Ireland' by the Hon. Desmond Guinness LL.D. (H.C.) (1980), followed by a visit to Leixlip Castle and grounds. This was very well attended by members and friends. Torrential rain did not dampen enthusiasm and drinks in Kildrought House, the home of Hon Sec June Stuart (1966), afterwards kept the good humour to the fore. A tour of Carton House and grounds (not usually open to the public) took place in May '98. In the 200th anniversary of the 1798 rebellion, it is tragic to see the future of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's ancestral home threatened and uncertain."



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