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Last Updated October 13, 2008

Feile na Samhna

For hundreds of years, harvest festivals have brought neighbours together as a community, to talk, trade and celebrate the plentiful food before the beginning of the long nights of winter. We need to bring back just that kind of community network, traditional skills and local food that festivals used to celebrate, and so FADA and several other community groups are hosting a Halloween Festival, Feile na Samhna, at the Ryston Social Club in Newbridge Saturday, Nov. 1.


The one-day, family-friendly event will feature traditional hand crafts and skills, informative talks on sustainable living, facilitated discussion forums, low-tech kids entertainment, a heritage exhibition compiled by local students, local artists, dancers, performers and musicians.


Adults can sign up for workshops where they can learn how to make felt out of wool, how to make a basket out of willow branches, how to use a bow and arrow and how to drum. The workshop will host several workshops for children at a cost of around five euros each, where they can learn about worms and how to make a wormery; how to make their own small windmills; learn how to weave willow together to make baskets, and how make their own masks. After the workshops, they can also enjoy theatre, storytelling and puppetry.


Several regional organizations will have booths at the festival on subjects like gardening, seed saving, bee keeping and forests, while Colaiste Gaol students will offer an exhibition on what County Kildare was like in the early 20th century, based on their interviews with elderly residents.


Several local experts will give talks on why such a festival, and the skills it teaches, are important. Theresa Carter, of FADA and Kildare Transition Town, will talk about the Transition Town movement, which is moving hundreds of communities away from fossil fuel dependence. Davie Philip, of the Dublin organization Cultivate, will speak about the methods communities are using to do this. Eleanor Sutherland will talk about using hedgerow plants to stay healthy, and Brian Kaller – me – will talk about peak oil and the world’s future. After the talks, Gay Brabazon of VOICE  will lead people in a group discussion of where Newbridge can go from here.


The event is entirely organized by local volunteers and using local talent and resources, and means to encourage people in County Kildare to meet their neighbours, understand the broader issues that affect the county, and re-learn old-fashioned skills.  Events like these help remind us that our prosperity was not always tied to the fortunes of Wall Street gamblers, and do not need to be tied to them in the future – if we know how to support ourselves, and work together.


For more information contact FADA, a local voluntary organization seeking local solutions to global problems. For more information visit or attend one of our twice-monthly meetings in the Bridge centre,

Charlotte Street
, Newbridge. For information about the group you can also contact Brian Kaller at 087-299-4552 or at 





Public talks for Feile na Samhna will be:

Brian Kaller on Peak Oil

Former reporter, editor and radio host Brian Kaller was born in the United States and worked for several newspapers there. He has written several major magazine articles about peak oil -- the point when petroleum supplies reach a limit and decline -- as well as the future of society. He writes a regular column for the Kildare Nationalist, and gives public talks on peak oil and climate change. He lives in Clane.

Theresa Carter on Transition Towns   12.00pm – 12.25pm

Bio- Theresa Carter has been involved in voluntary community development for more than 30 years. She is a member of FADA, trained in creating Transition Towns and helped found Transition Town Kildare. She is a mother of four and a half with a major interest in their future. She can be reached at or 086 159052.

The transition initiatives currently in progress in the UK and Ireland represent the most promising way of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil and Climate Change.

The Transition Model is a loose set of real world principles and practices that have been built up over time though experimentation and observation of communities as they drive forward to build local resilience and reduce carbon emissions.

We demonstrated phenomenal levels of ingenuity, intelligence and adaptability as we raced up the energy curve over the last 150 years, and there's no reason why we can't use those qualities, and more, as we negotiate our way down from the peak of the energy mountain
If we plan and act early enough, and use our creativity and cooperation to unleash the genius within our local communities, then we can build a future that could be far more fulfilling, more connected and more gentle on the earth than the dominant lifestyles we have today.

Davie Philip  on the Community Powerdown Toolkit

Bio -  David Philip is currently the Education Manager at the Cultivate Centre for sustainable living and learning in Dublin. He was a founding member of both FEASTA: the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability and Sustainable Projects Ireland LTD the company behind the sustainable community project in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary.

David has ten years of experience of managing events and projects in the ‘sustainability’ sector in Ireland.  In May 2006 he was an NGO adviser to the Irish government at the UN Commission for Sustainable Development conference in New York. David has produced a number of educational programmes including, ‘Tipping the Balance’ a CD ROM learning resource exploring the UN Millennium Development Goals and ‘The Little Earth Show’ a four-part radio drama. He is currently developing a 10-week course designed to help citizens respond to oil depletion and climate change

Inspired by the book "Powerdown" by Richard Heinberg, Powerdown Community is a network of community groups around Ireland who aim to find creative, pro-active responses to the immanent peak in world oil and gas supplies. The current globalised economic system will not be able to continue without abundant liquid transport fuels and we will instead have to relocalise our lives, meeting much of our basic needs from within our region once again.

Eleanor Sutherland  on Herbal Healing from the hedgerows
1.30 pm. - 2.15pm
Bio - Eleanor Sutherland is a qualified homeopath and experienced herbalist living in Wicklow with a passion and wealth of knowledge in wild foods and their healing properties

Promises to be a highly informative talk after which you will never look at the hedgerows in the same way again, no more 40 shades of green but a wealth of food and health.

Facilitated Discussion Forum –
World Café

“What could be the seeds from which positive change for Newbridge will grow? “
Hosted by
Facilitated by Chris Chapman


The World Café global network of practitioners, have devised seven principles of World Café, which set out the process very clearly.
Set the context – A well-prepared event – Topic – questions to be explored, who to invite and what outcomes we hope from the event
Create a hospitable space
Explore questions that matter
Encourage everyone’s contribution
Connect diverse perspectives
Listen together and notice patterns
Share collective discoveries

Information Stands

CRANN  -                                                
works to make people aware of our trees, hedgerows and woodlands
promoting sustainable and biodiverse woodlands and encouraging the development of a vibrant Irish wood culture.
Change is working with families across Ireland, showing them how to save on energy bills, while doing their bit for the environment

The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency
CKEA was established by the Carlow and Kilkenny Local Authorities to provide sustainable energy information and services to the people of Carlow and Kilkenny, to local businesses and community groups and to the Local Authorities.
The Agency can be contacted for impartial information, advice and support by anyone considering energy management or renewable energy projects in Carlow or Kilkenny.

FADA is a voluntary organisation based in Newbridge that was established in 2006. It is part of a rapidly emerging international grass-roots response to the most pressing challenges our globe faces today, namely: the End of the Era of Cheap Oil and Climate Change.

Abundant Gardens’ Section

Resource Stall  

 Gardening Advice and resource information on where to do course     Selection of produce available at the Newbridge Farmers Market

Tips on growing food                                                                                                                                                               

South Kildare Bee Keepers Association,

Future Forests 

Dragon Herbs
Eleanor Sutherland – Range of herbs food medicinal and dye plants for sale along with locally produced ointments and salves

Kildare Steiner School
Walnut Books

Kids Free Fun Entertainment

THE ARMAGH RHYMERS 1.30pm – 2.30pm

“This show is the real thing—a glorious example of Irish Heritage, a heritage under threat from modern trivialities.  As someone who has been bringing groups to Ireland for over 10 years, I know that visitors want to escape the garish, pop culture and find a real Ireland of tradition and gentle folkways.  In times in what it is increasingly difficult to engage the genuine, the Armagh Rhymers are a rarity and must be treasured and fostered and encouraged.”
John Gleeson, Director Irish Studies--University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

The Armagh Rhymers are one of Northern Ireland’s most colourful cultural traditions groups.  They are musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers, providing interactive drama in such a way that leaves the audience (and the participants) laughing in hysterics!  In contrast, they can also present a more serious show of non-stop poetry and music featuring a variety of Ireland’s poets and writers.  For over 30 years they have performed locally and internationally to audiences of all ages and abilities—theatres, festivals, schools and hospitals throughout the United States, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, South Korea, the International Children’s Festival in Canada (“The audience could have stayed and sung and stomped their feet all day!” Toronto Times), the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, and in 2007 helped represent Northern Ireland in the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C.  They are a respected and professional group of entertainers, comprised of Dara Vallely, Peter Shortall and Brendan Bailey.

Puppet Show
Eileen Kennedy’
“Helena’s Friends”

This original and locally produced piece will enthral youngsters and is sure to raise the roof.
Eileen Kennedy is an experienced puppet artist and dancer.

 ITFAS or The Irish Traditional Field Archery Society

History and Aims
The Culture Factory group was born of the frustration and anger at the lack of facilities for the young people of Newbridge and it was quickly agreed that that something must be done to tackle the chronic shortage of services. We aim to provide a suitable space that will promote the creative collaboration between artists & young people, many of who, are excluded from what is traditionally regarded as the ‘arts sector’.

This space will be open to all young persons regardless of race, religion, sex etc. Ideally, it will be situated in the Oscar Cinema. This old building is up for sale, although other buildings may also fit the bill.

In this building we will provide facilities for: Live music, rehearsals, recording studio,
dance, filmmaking, playing pool, artistic teaching zones, cafe, and meetings.

If you would like to help, get involved or have suggestion about what you would like to see in 'Culture Factory', just get in touch with us!

Is Proud To Present
Go Funk yourself
Cutting off Kids
Band on an Island
Main Hall
Saturday November 1st 7-10pm

A collection of films from young filmakers including:
Culture Factory Dream
Love & Adventure
The Affected
Saturday November 1st Upstairs 2 – 5
Find out more about us from 2-4 at our information stall

All Welcome


 KYT Presents short devised drama pieces 7pm – 10pm