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Newbridge poet's award-winning book is launched


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Newbridge poet's award-winning book launched

NAAS, NOVEMBER 21, 1998: Newbridge-based poet Des Egan's latest book was launched last evening during a reception at Naas Town Hall. The volume Poesie Scelte (Collected Poems) is in both English and Italian translation and has won him the Bologna Literary Award, for which he travels to Italy next week. The guest speaker for the evening was Dr Enzo Farinella of the Italian Institute, who said work such as Des Egan's becomes a 'powerful sail-boat upon which all who believe in the common flag of development and peace in a United Europe and a more humane world can travel'. Noting the fact that the prize included a three million lire cash element, the author said it was nice to feel, if only for a moment, that one was a millionaire. Among the large audience at the launch were Francoise Connolly of the Alliance Francaise, Kildare arts officer Mary Lenihan (below right), Des Egan's mother Kathleen (below left) who is 90 this Sunday, Pat O'Reilly of Naas Twinning Committee (pictured with Dr Farinella centre below) and his 84-year-old 'Aunt Maggie' (pictured with him on the left during a signing session of his book). Des Egan hails originally from Athlone and taught English in Newbridge College from 1972 to 1986 before becoming a full-time writer.

RealAudio Interview:Brian Byrne talks to Des Egan


New library computer system comissioned

ATHY, NOVEMBER 21, 1998: A new computer system at Athy Library will allow borrowers to check the inventories of Newbridge, Naas and Celbridge libraries for any book that may not be locally in stock. The Genesis system went live last Tuesday and automates all the routine work of the library, including assessment of fines die for overdue books. Existing library tickets are being replaced by a 'scannable' plastic membership card. Maynooth and Leixlip libraries, and the Mobile Library, will soon be using the Genesis system too.


Need for small business sites

KILDARE, NOVEMBER 21, 1998: The lack of suitable industrial sites in Kildare is stifling the development of small enterprises in the town according to local businessman Michael McWey. He says the shortage of such sites has caused two small businesses to relocate to Newbridge, losing 30 jobs to the town. And he claimed that the IDA is only interested in bringing large enterprises into the area ad for the provision of small units where potential small business could locate and expand.


Kilcock's first priest ordained

KILCOCK, NOVEMBER 21, 1998: Kilcock has celebrated the first-ever priest from the locality to be ordained in the town. Fr Kevin Walsh was ordained in the Church of St Coco by the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Dr Laurence Ryan, who said it was important that people would not discourage a young man who is thinking of the priesthood. "It is important that we acknowledge the growing demands on priests and show them understanding and support," he said. He added that the suffering of dedicated priests in the wake of the Church's sex scandals was out of all proportion to even the horrific crimes that led to it, and noted that just 31 priests out of the total of 5,500 in the country had been convicted of sex abuse.


Naas Tidy Towns awards are presented

NAAS, NOVEMBER 20, 1998: Young people were much in evidence at the presentation of prizes by Naas Tidy Towns Committee during the week, at a packed gathering in the Town House Hotel. The Nas na Riogh Brownies won the Youth Prize - the Hayes Perpetual Trophy - while the Naas Youth Parliament were awarded the Naas UDC Perpetual Trophy for Environmental Endeavour. Speaking on their achievement, Cllr Timmy Conway said they had won it not for their activities in the parliament, but because 'they went out on the streets with their black bags and made litter collections'. Among the 22 award categories, Mattimoes won the best shop front, the Town House Hotel the Best Business Premises, and Champion Spark Plugs the Commercial/Industrial Premises accolade. The Overall Best Garden Oldtown Perpetual Cup was won by the Fennessy family of Rose House in Church Lane, while the Overall Best Estate was Kingsfurze Avenue. Our pictures show Aoife Brittain of the Naas Youth Parliament receiving their prize from Naas UCD chairman Paddy Behan, and some of the Nas na Riogh Brownies with their trophy.


Speed cushions called for

MAYNOOTH, NOVEMBER 20, 1998: The Lyreen Residents Association in Maynooth have asked that speed restriction cushions be put in place in Back Lane/Pound Lane, and that afterwards the 'no entry' signs should be removed from both ends of the lane and replaced with a one-way traffic system from the Dunboyne Road to Mill Street. Cllr John McGinley has submitted a motion to this effect for consideration by the Celbridge Area Committee of Kildare County Council.


Daewoo franchise awarded to Kildare dealer

KILDARE, NOVEMBER 20, 1998: The county's franchise for the newest car brand to come to Ireland has been taken up by Burkes of Kildare. The Daewoo Korean range was recently launched in Ireland and includes the Matiz small car, the Lanos, Nubira and the Leganza large luxury car. The Daewoo distributors here expect to gain a 2.5% share of the market in Ireland in 1999.


Direct bus service to Tallaght Hospital 'not feasible'

KILDARE COUNTY, NOVEMBER 20, 1998: Bus Eireann has said it is 'not feasible' to divert services between Kildare and Dublin to take passengers around by Tallaght Hospital. But the Area Manager at the Broadstone depot said the matter 'will be considered' in the next yeview of services in the area. He said that people taking the services on the N7 can get the 76 service from Newlands Cross. The information came in a letter to Deputy Sean Power, who had made representations on behlf of constituents reporting 'difficulties' in getting to the hospital.


Celbridge Development Plan almost complete

CELBRIDGE, NOVEMBER 20, 1998: The Celbridge Development Plan is scheduled to go on the agenda of the Kildare County Council meeting of 30 November, for approval. The plan will then go on display for three months. Completion of the plan was delayed pending the Celbridge Traffic Study, which will now become an appendix to the plan on the proposal of Cllr Catherine Murphy.


Conway lambasts 'outrageous' media coverage

NAAS, NOVEMBER 19, 1998: A strong attack on how local news media covered the recent Naas UDC debates on the town's Draft Development Plan has been made by Cllr Timmy Conway. He said the coverage of what he termed a 'most magnificent plan' was 'outrageous' and that a one-sided slant had been portrayed on a development that would have 'enormous benefits' for the town. He pointed out that as a result of the rezoning decisions Naas now had nearly 30 acres for industrial development, almost 20 acres for 'affordable housing', and a situation where the indigenous families of Naas would be able to work and live in their home town. On the matter of the strong objections made to some of the key rezoning decisions by the county's planning department, Cllr Conway said if the councillors followed the planners' 'view of life', then Naas would not be the beautiful town it is today.


Grant money 'ringfenced' for Maynooth

MAYNOOTH, NOVEMBER 19, 1998: A total of £30,000 in Kildare County Council recreation and amenity facilities grants has been put aside for proposals by Maynooth Soccer Club and Maynooth Development Committee. But the County Development Officer said the initiatives highlighted that a 'strategic approach' is necessary in Maynooth towards the disbursement of grant aid. He said there should be an investigation to work out the best and most beneficial use of the Harbour Field area from a community perspective, as it was in a 'pivotal and strategic' location in the centre of the town. It was decided to 'ringfence' £15,000 for each of the two organisations pending definitive proposals.


Private contractors suggestion for Leixlip cleaning

LEIXLIP, NOVEMBER 19, 1998: Leixlip Town Commission has decided to triple the amount of money allocated for street cleaning, to £12,000. The proposal to do so had been made by Cmmr Paul Kelly who welcomed the decision and said it should allow for 'real progress' in 1999. "In making sizeable cuts in other areas of our budget to provide this money, we have demonstrated our commitment to tackling the scourge of litter in our Town," he said afterwards. "I now want the Town Manager to co-operate with us in making sure that we get the best possible value for this money. We need to be creative in its use, and we should not be afraid to adopt new ways of doing this work." He suggested that the work be done mechanically, preferably early in the morning, to free up council workers for emptying litter bins and the parts of town which had not been swept. The possibility of using private contractors should also be examined, he said. "We have frequently been told that the Council cannot provide the type of service we need. We should therefore be allowed to make alternative arrangements ourselves."


Crimean cannon won't be coming back to Naas

NAAS, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: Members of Naas Urban District Council have expressed strong dismay at the decision by the minister for defence not to have the Crimean cannon, which stood since 1957 just inside Devoy Barracks gate, restored to Naas. The cannon is currently undergoing 'necessary overhaul and repair' at the Curragh Camp and will, according to a letter from the minister, be placed outside the new HQ of the Army Apprentice School at McDonagh Barracks on the Curragh. Meanwhile, the UDC members voted unanimously to ensure that the former Naas military facility will never be rezoned for anything than its current status as an educational institution. The barracks was recently vacated by the Army as part of a national restructuring programme, and the remaining 28 army apprentices are finishing their training at the Curragh Camp. Chairman of the UDC Paddy Behan said he was 'outraged and deeply disappointed' at the minister's decision on the cannon.

RealAudio Interview:Brian Byrne talks to Paddy Behan


Lawlor slams a 'total hash' at Kill Dump road

KILL, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: An explanation as to who has been accountable for what he terms 'a total hash' of the road widening at Arthurstown and Turf Bog Lane near Kill has been demanded by Cllr Anthony Lawlor. The work was to have been done by Kildare County Council as part of an £850,000 contract for South Dublin County Council in relation to the Kill Dump project. But Cllr Lawlor says two-thirds of the estimated cost has already been expended on Phase One of the work, with the result that the whole centre section has not been done. "There's not even an engineer working on the matter," he told KNN. "It's causing great inconvenience and even danger to people living on and using the road, and I've been trying without success to get a motion debated at the council for the last three months." He says he intends to raise the matter at next week's Estimates meeting of the council.

RealAudio clip


Water schemes funding gets approval

MONASTEREVIN, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: The Grange Road Water Scheme in Monasterevin is one of a number of such projects which have been approved for funding by Kildare County Council. The design of the scheme is to be altered to suit the Monasterevin Regional Water Supply Scheme. Other schemes approved for funding include Drehid, Ladttown, Killybegs, Lippstown/Narraghmore No 2, Prosperous No 2, Commons Road South at Suncroft, Old Court in Athy and Old Mill in Kill. Some 44 other schemes around the county have not yet received approval.


Later 'feeder' for Sallins Station call

SALLINS, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: A call for a later feeder bus service from Sallins Station to Naas has been made as one suggested answer to a serious parking problem which has developed at the station. Naas UDC member Seamie Moore made the suggestion at the council's meeting this week, saying that the 7pm finishing time for the feeder service did not fit in with the requirements of many Naas commuters to Dublin. He said this was one reason why so many cars were parked in the environs of the station all day, and that if commuters knew they could get a link bus home after work they wouldn't drive to the station.

RealAudio Clip


Taxi bays for Newbridge station

NEWBRIDGE, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: Four taxi bays are being provided at Newbridge railway station, to provide better link services between the station and the much expanded residential areas of the town. The station has become very busy in the last couple of years with the development of the Arrow commuter service, and because of day-long parking by commuters to Dublin it has become difficult for taxis to stand while waiting for the arrival of a train.


Extra grants for residents' associations

NAAS, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: Residents associations in Naas are to receive extra funding in the community grants agreed at the most recent meeting of the town's UDC. Each will receive £250, an increase of £50 on last year's allocation. Cllr Mary French said the grants were the council's 'small way' of recognising the work done by such associations in helping to keep their estates in order. Naas Care of the Aged was granted £1,000 towards their project of installing alarms in the homes of the elderly, and recreational and cultural grants were also approved, with the Naas Local History Group allocated £1,000 towards the publication of a book on Naas Hospital, and £300 each being provided for the Naas Musical Society, the Nas na Riogh Singers, and the Naas Arts Group.


North Kildare lighting problems highlighted

MAYNOOTH, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: There will be a serious accident or even a possible loss of life if something is not done urgently about the number of public lights which are out of action in North Kildare. That's the view of Deputy Bernard Durkan, who says that several such lights at traffic-sensitive or dangerous locations have been out of order in Maynooth, Kilcock, Leixlip, Celbridge, Clane and Naas for an unacceptably long period. He cited the absence of replacement of at least 10 public lights at the catholic church in Maynooth for the last month, and also on the Easton/Kilmacraddock Road in Leixlip. "With the onset of winter, bad driving conditions and increased volumes of traffic, it is imperative that Kildare County Council make the necessary arrangements to have all public lighting restored immediately," he said. "Failure to do so will have serious consequences.


Bond Bridge go-ahead

MAYNOOTH, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: Construction work on Bod Bridge is likely to begin next November, according to Kildare County Council. Finance has been allocated in the council's Book of Estimates for the project, which is expected to take up to 18 months to complete. The Council is to raise a loan to meet the cost, to be repaid by special development levies in the area. A parallel project will be the Meadowbrook link to the Straffan Road, presently being designed. Cllr John McGinley has insisted that traffic calming measures will be incorporated in the project, which will both take traiif out of Maynooth town centre and allow eassy access to the motorway for Newtown residents.


Computer study pack for UDC members

NAAS, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: A computer study pack is to be made available to every member of Naas UDC to help them make the best use of the computer systems which were provided for them in recent months. Assistant Town Clerk Anthony Hennessy told them that the study pack assumed no knowledge and provided a very good course from 'switching the computer on' through word processing and spreadsheets to email and the internet. The course was geared to allowing its users to sit an examination for the 'European Computer Driving Licence' qualification, and members could study at their own pace and take the examinations in their own time. The examinations can be taken at Kildare County Council headquarters in St Mary's, where council staff members are also studying for the qualification. Naas UDC was one of the first local authorities to provide members with computers.


Councillor claims he's getting 'runaround'

KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL, NOVEMBER 18, 1998: The problem of the elderly and people with disabilities living in substandard houses in the county was raised at this month's meeting of Kildare County Council by Cllr Martin Miley. He said that he had been working on behalf of a number of such people over the last two months and had been getting what he called a 'runaround' between the Eastern Health Board and the Council. "The EHB says in some of the cases new houses are needed, but I can't even get somebody out to put slates on an old person's roof," he said, adding that while the Celtic Tiger was all right for some people, it didn't mean much if you were old or had a disability. County Manager Niall Bradley said he would have the matter looked into after Cllr Miley said he would furnish him with a list of the cases.

RealAudio Interview:Brian Byrne talks to Martin Miley


'Intimidation and verbal abuse' condemned

NAAS, NOVEMBER 17, 1998: A strong criticism of what he termed 'personal intimidation and verbal abuse' was made by Naas UDC member Seamie Moore at the start of the Monday meeting on the Naas Draft Development Plan. He said he had suffered this from members of the public in the gallery following the previous meeting and, while acknowledging their legitimate right to have concerns, he personally would not be intimidated. His remarks were supported by several other councillors - Evelyn Bracken said they were making their decisions for the people of Naas, Willie Callaghan said it was an 'absolute disgrace' and that the councillors were 'only doing their best', and town manager Terry O Niadh said any further such incidents would 'not be tolerated' in the precincts of the Town Hall. Cllr Teresa Scanlon also deplored such intimidation, but noted that what they were doing 'was going to affect Naas for the next 100 years'. "I think that people have a right to talk to councillors and express their feelings," she said.


'Raise loan for Castledermot sewerage' - O Fearghaill

CASTLEDERMOT, NOVEMBER 17, 1998: Kildare County Council should raise £1.8 million needed for a new sewerage system for Castledermot from its own resources, and not use the excuse that it needed money from the Department of Environment for the job, Cllr Sean O Fearghaill said at this month's meeting of the council. He said the council had passed a development plan that encouraged development of the south of the county, and Castledermot was in a position to benefit from this. But the lack of services was holding up such development. He proposed that a special development levy on land zoned for 600 houses would pay for the sewerage system over a 7-year period and the council should immediately raise a loan for the project on the back of this. He said that given the low prices for land in Castledermot, the levy would not have a 'disadvantageous' effect on prices.

RealAudio Interview:Brian Byrne talks to Sean O Fearghaill


Naas housing proposals accepted

NAAS, NOVEMBER 17, 1998: Eighty-nine acres of Naas land was voted to be rezoned for housing development by members of Naas UDC during the latest of a series of meetings on the Naas Draft Development Plan on Monday. In doing so, the councillors also voted that a total of 14 acres be allocated for schools development and 10 acres for social housing. During a sometimes contentious and often confusing debate, the largest parcel of housing voted was 35 acres at Oldtown, from a submission to the draft plan by Lehmex International Ltd. The councillors also voted in favour of a leisure development on the same site which proposes to include a 25-metre swimming pool, a 10-lane bowling alley and a multi-screen cinema complex. In the debate on this part of the proposal, county planner Philip Jones suggested that the councillors should consider voting for those elements which would not be likely to cause disturbances at night. Both the county planner and the town manager Terry O Niadh expressed their reservations that any move to allow cinema and similar developments on the site would take trade away from the centre of town. In the final vote on the overall housing element of the plan, councillors Teresa Scanlon and Charlie Byrne asked that their reservations be noted on the record of the meeting.


Illegal motorway signs cause concern

MID-KILDARE, NOVEMBER 17, 1998: The proliferation of temporary auctioneers' signs on the M7 and M9 motorways is a growing cause for concern in County Kildare. At least four auctioneers or property developers have erected such signs in recent weeks on the Naas and Kilcullen by-passes. The signs are illegal, according to the National Roads Authority, which says the only signage allowed in view of a motorway are authorised traffic signs, normally erected on the NRA's behalf by the relevant local authorities. Meanwhile, at a recent meeting of Newbridge Town Commission, the issue of auctioneers' signs on the bridge was also raised, particularly in relation to the possibility of distraction of motorists at times when large numbers of schoolchildren cyclists are using the bridge junction with the Kilcullen Road.


One-way experiment for Newbridge

NEWBRIDGE, NOVEMBER 17, 1998: Cutlery Road in Newbridge is to be made one-way before Christmas in a pilot programme to see if such initiatives would be of benefit to an increasing traffic problem in the town. If it is proved to be successful, other streets are likely to be designated in the same way. Cutlery Road has long been a difficult thoroughfare to negotiate, with motorists parking on both sides and making it impossible to have two lanes of traffic flowing freely. Meanwhile, there are strong indications that disc parking will be introduced to both Newbridge and Naas next summer. Sources close to the governing bodies of both towns have told KNN that this is definitely on the cards ... though, perhaps fortuitously for the local representatives in both communities, it is unlikely to happen before the next local elections. Disc parking was tried before in Naas in the late eighties, but was abandoned after trenchant opposition from local traders.


Leixlip long-stay motorists face 'penal' charges

LEIXLIP, NOVEMBER 16, 1998: Motorists who park for more than two hours in Leixlip's central areas should be hit with penal charges after that period, according to the recommendations of a traffic survey by a firm of consultants. The draft survey by P H McCarthy was shown to local area councillors on Friday and says the first two hours of parking should be free. The survey shows a 29% increase in parking 'events' since a previous study in 1995 and says there is a major problem with medium and long-stay parking taking up spaces to the detriment of short stay demand. The consultants are to undertake further surveys of parking possibilities between Captain's Hill and Silleachain Lane and are to report in December. Cllr Catherine Murphy says she hopes that residential areas such as Dun Carraig and Buckley's Lane would be relieved by a dual approach of additional parking provision and management of medium and long-stay parking.


Naas enterprise group to assess its future

NAAS, NOVEMBER 16, 1998: The directors of the Naas Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) are to meet this coming Friday to look to the future of the organisation. This follows a decision by the Industrial Development Authority not to go ahead with a proposal to provide NEDI with a site on the Blessington Road for enterprise development. The organisation was set up three years ago out of an interest by members of the Naas Pastoral Council, with a view to encouraging and providing locations for enterprise. NEDI had undertaken planning and design work for the IDA site, but now they have to look to other alternatives, including the possibility of getting enterprise sites from one or more of the developers proposing to develop in Naas.


New fears of superdump in Maynooth

MAYNOOTH, NOVEMBER 16, 1998: The North Kildare South Meath Environmental Protection Group (NKSMEPG) is to organise a public meeting in Maynooth for early December to discuss a planning application for a 1 million-tonne capacity dump four kilometres from the town. The application to Meath County Council is from Pauric Thornton Waste Disposal Ltd, and envisages a anagement facility on a 50-hectare site at Barrockstown on the Maynooth-Mullagh Road. The dump would have a projected life of 17 years and would take 850,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste as well as 188,000 tonnes of inert waste. The actual dump would eventually form a 25-metre high mound covering 12 hectares. The NKSMEPG last year opposed a similar application from the company on a smaller site, which was turned down both by Meath County Council and An Bord Pleanala.


Employment service works hard

EDENDERRY, NOVEMBER 16, 1998: An employment service in Edenderry set up in April by the partnership group OAK has so far dealt with over 800 enquiries from unemployed people living in the region. According to OAK, an estimated 50 people have already found work with the help of the facility, while others have taken advantage of courses being offered through the service, which is a joint operation between OAK and FAS. A full-time FAS Placement Officer has been assigned to the area and the service also has outreach facilities in Prosperous and Daingean in County Offaly. The service was recently officially opened by local TD, health minister Brian Cowen.


Nepal Leprosy Trust sale a 'blizzard' success

NAAS, NOVEMBER 15, 1998: An exhibition and sale of Himalayan handicrafts in aid the Nepal Leprosy Trust this past week was the 'best ever' according to the Naas woman who started the annual event a number of years ago. Joanie Reilly (right in pic) reported they had received a 'blizzard' of people to the sale, held in Naas Community Library. Nepal has one of the world's highest incidents of leprosy, which fortunately can now be cured. "But there's a lot of education to do out there," says Joanie, originally from Armagh. She got involved when her church fellowship helped build a hospital in Nepal and has since organised the sale along with a number of friends, including Liz Brown (left in pic) from Brownstown. The exhibition moves to Kilkenny and Waterford at the end of the month.

RealAudio Interview: Brian Byrne talks to Joannie and Liz


Grants recommended for Celbridge groups

CELBRIDGE, NOVEMBER 15, 1998: Two Celbridge and recreational and amenity organisations have been recommended for grants following the consideration of a report by Celbridge Area councillors. They include Celbridge Athletic Club, which received a £15,000 allocation for a 200-metre indoor athletic track at Ballymakealy. The grant is conditional on the project beginning by 1 July 1999. Celbridge Paddlers canoe club were also allocated £15,000 towards the provision of shower facilities, the construction of a septic tank and wheelchair-accessible facilities. The recommendations were welcomed by Cllr Catherine Murphy - they now go before the full Kildare County Council meeting on November 30 for approval.




Stories for week ending 14 November 1998 are here

Stories for week ending 7 November 1998 are here

Stories for October 1998 are here


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