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Christmas lights and tree switched on

Santa came and switched on the lights of the town Christmas Tree last evening. The Christmas lights in the town and on the bridge, all part of the project managed by Kilcullen Community Action, are also now on.

Awards, lights and tubs at meeting

The recent Community Awards Night, the Christmas Lights Collection, and planting bulbs for the spring were the main elements of last night’s KCA meeting.

The Awards were generally deemed to have been successful again, though some disappointment was expressed at the relatively low numbers who came along in comparison to the previous year.

The question was raised as to whether the general community felt it was for invited people only, but it was noted in the discussion that there had been plenty of publicity saying that all were welcome.

A suggestion that the event might include entertainment in the future, turning it into a more gala evening, was mooted, and deferred until when next year’s Awards were being planned.

Gratitude for the generosity shown to the Street Collection for the Christmas Lights was expressed by KCA chair Esther Kiely. For the first time it was a second collection in the year, and there was good support on the day. Esther said there was considerable appreciation for the fact that cable and equipment had twice been stolen, but KCA was still committed to organising the lights.

A discussion on alternatives to the current source of power for the lights ended in the meeting making a decision to continue with the ESB as in previous years. Ray Kelly said he was still in negotiation with the provider on the issue of standing charges, which has left KCA with an overhang of costs not related to the actual charge for electricity over the short annual festive season.

The matter of a Christmas Tree was also raised, and whether it should be relocated to the Market Square. The meeting heard that parents appreciated the safe space of last year’s location in the grounds of CPC, especially for the switch-on ceremony. The possibility of utilising an existing tree in the College grounds was also discussed, with concerns expressed as to whether it would cost too much because of the number of lights required. No decision was made.

It was also decided that the livery on the KCA collection boxes in various business premises in the town should be changed to reflect the Christmas Lights fundraising. The planned date for the switch on of the lights is 8 December.

On funding, Noel Clare said Kildare County Council had provided a Heritage Grant for replacing the signs in The Valley, which are in a serious state of disrepair. The €1,300 grant had been triggered by the KCA-commissioned Biodiversity Study of the River Liffey and its Environs in Kilcullen, which had been supported by the County Kildare Leader Partnership.

After a discussion of planting of the street flowers tubs for next spring, it was decided that the tubs at the traffic lights, the bank, and on Hillside would have bulbs planted soon. Celia Travers undertook to deal with purchase and planting.

Biodiversity Survey Documents

At the launch of the Biodiversity Survey in the Heritage Centre, followed by a walk along the Valley Park and the Bridge Nature Trail.

The documents relating to the Biodiversity Survey of the Liffey & Environs in Kilcullen, commissioned by Kilcullen Community Action and authored by Dr Mary Tubridy are available for download at the links below.

Biodiversity Survey of the Liffey & Environs in Kilcullen. Mary Tubridy and Associates.

Geological Geodiversity around the town of Kilcullen, County Kildare. Dr Robert T Meehan, PGeo.

Biological Survey of the River Liffey and its Tributaries in Kilcullen, Co Kildare. Noreen McLoughlin, MSc.

Bird Survey at Kilcullen, County Kildare. Tom Cooney.

Habitats and Plants Survey. Mary Tubridy.

The Valley Riverside Walk, Kilcullen: Guidelines to Enhance Biodiversity and Amenity. Dr Betsy Hickey.

Bats Survey. Dr Tina Aughney.

All the Kilcullen Diary stories on the Biodiversity Survey are here.

Launch of Biodiversity Survey tonight

When the shape of modern Kilcullen was being carved out by a post-Ice Age River Liffey, the river was probably about 250 metres wide, writes Brian Byrne. And it was flowing up at the height of Hillside.

That’s one of the fascinating bits of background information in ‘Biodiversity Survey of Liffey and Environs in Kilcullen’, by Dr Mary Tubridy and Associates.

The Survey is being launched today, Friday, at 7pm in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre. It will be followed by a walk along some of the river banks included in the Survey area, and then there will be adjudication of a Photographic Competition which was run in conjunction with the project.

The Survey was commissioned by Kilcullen Community Action, and represents an in-depth review of the flora and fauna in and around the river as it flows through Kilcullen.

It deals with life in the river and its associated wetlands, habitats and plants, birds, and bats. There’s also a set of Guidelines for maintaining the good environmental health of the area, especially the River Valley Park.

Like the much-enjoyed ‘Wild Weekends’ which were part of the work on the Survey last year, tomorrow night promises to be a wonderful occasion for all who are interested in the environmental past, present and future of Kilcullen.

Don’t be regretting that you missed it.

(An update of recent KCA stories on A Kilcullen Diary can be seen here.)

KCA AGM last night

The officers and directors of Kilcullen Community Action Limited agreed to serve for another year at last night’s AGM of the community organisation.

Esther Kiely is in the chair, Kieran Forde is treasurer and Ray Kelly is secretary.

In accordance with the articles of the company, Niall McDonnell and Celia Travers resigned as directors, and were reappointed.

Esther Kiely reviewed the activities of KCA during the last year, which included the usual activities of the Tidy Towns effort, the commissioning of a Biodiversity Survey, the Summer Flowers and Christmas Lights projects, the maintenance of the Community Playground, support for the St Patrick’s Day Parade organised by the Kilcullen Scouts, and the Community Awards.

Kieran Forde noted that finances were very tight with the ceasing of the grants from KTK Landfill, and cuts in grants from Kildare County Council. He expressed his thanks for the financial support from the community through donations towards projects, and support for fundraising events such as the Table Quiz and Street Collections.