Skip links and go to Page Content

County Kildare News


News Menu

News Archive


Advertise Here

May 2013 Archives

« April 2013 | News Home | June 2013 »

May 29, 2013

Keith Duffy and Brian Kennedy launch Irish Derby Ball

The face of the Curragh Racecourse, Ally Garvey is joined by Keith Duffy and singer songwriter, Brian Kennedy to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby BallThe Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Ball, one of the Irish racing calendar’s most anticipated social events, will take place in the stunning surrounds of The K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare on Friday, 28th of June – the eve of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse. Once again, the nominated charity and worthy recipient of the proceeds of the ball will be Irish Autism Action.  Last year almost €100,000 was raised on the night for the charity which also included a very generous donation by Dubai Duty Free.
The black tie ball will begin with a drinks reception, served in the elegant surroundings of Straffan House, the original house which now forms the hotel at The K Club.  The assembled guests will then walk through the manicured gardens, led by ‘Tropical Storm’ a fantastic musical trio, to the Smurfit Clubhouse where a sumptuous four course dinner will be served.
Award winning Irish singer-songwriter, Brian Kennedy will perform during dinner and later guests can dance the night away to the sounds of ‘House Party’, the live band on the night.  The ball is a glitzy affair and attracts guests from the worlds of entertainment, sport, business and horse racing. 

Tickets are priced at €125 and are available from Irish Autism Action or from O’Brien PR. 

To book your place at the ball call Colette Charles on (044) 93 71654, email

Or contact Aileen O’Brien, O’Brien PR or (045) 446422.


Further Details of the 'Mondello 45' Celebration Released

Mondello 45With less than two weeks to go to the biggest car race event of the season thus far, more details of the 'Mondello 45' have been confirmed.

The 45th Birthday celebrations for Ireland's only International Motorsport venue, take place over the weekend of June 8th & 9th beginning with a special evening on the night of Saturday 8th in the circuit’s Clubhouse Bar.

To mark the occasion and for the first time, circuit owners past and present will appear on stage together to give the audience a real insight into Mondello Park, from its conception to the current day. Stuart Cosgrove who built Mondello Park, with his partners Eddie Regan and Jim Morrin, will give an account of the early years, while Martin Birrane, who took control in 1985, will talk about the modern development of the facility. It promises to be a fascinating evening and will begin with a guided tour of the Museum of Motorsport at 19:00. The evening is a completely free, no ticket affair, and all are welcome to attend.

The Party will be followed by a Car race meeting on Sunday, which will be run by the Motor Enthusiasts Club, the same organisation who ran the first ever Mondello Park event. The race meeting itself will also be a must see, with one of the biggest success stories of recent years set to head the bill. That success story is the Patch Tyre Equipment sponsored Fiesta Championship, which at only its second ever event has over forty registered drivers and looks likely to have more than thirty cars on its entry list.

Also joining in will be the new GT championship which has also attracted sponsorship for its début season. Optimum Performance & Handling will back the series which will be known as the OPH GT Championship and the Dublin Based independent Porsche specialists will also be part of the series with company MD Connaire Finn piloting a Ginetta G50 in the top class. The series will cater for everything from pure GT Racing machinery through to Touring Cars across its four distinct classes. The sponsorship will be given back to competitors by way of an additional €50.00 entry subsidy for all three events at the track.

Further event details are still being finalised, but the event is already building into one of the highlights of the motorsport year. To keep up with all of the news of 'Mondello 45' see


Naas Racecourse Bank Holiday Family Fun Raceday


Naas Racecourse's headline Flat Racemeeting takes centre stage this Bank Holiday weekend the 3rd of June, first race 2.35pm. Last year Dawn Approach & Sky Lantern won the Alfred Nobel Rochestown Stakes & the Coolmore Stud Fillies Sprint Stakes respectively.

What potential super stars will it unearth again this year??!

As well as Top Class racing, it's also Top Class Family Fun!!

With lots of FREE entertainment including Go Karts, Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, Creche Facilities & a FREE Draw for a Mountain Bike! Family Day at Naas Racecourse is kindly sponsored by Monread Shopping Centre.


May 28, 2013

Chamber calls for a National Retail Strategy Group

Disastrous CSO figures show a retail sector that needs urgent intervention
Eilis QuinlanNorth Kildare Chamber this afternoon called for a better deal for the retail sector in Kildare from our Government, and urged our local TD’s to listen and act, for a sector that is crying out for help and assistance.  The figures released today by the CSO confirm that retail sales continue in a distressed state, while shops close and jobs are lost. The Chamber called for the immediate setting up of a Retail Strategy Group to formulate a coherent survival/revival plan for the sector.  President of the Chamber Eilis Quinlan only last week referred to this Strategy Group on national TV during Prime Time.
According to Eilis Quinlan “The continued burden of rates and water charges coupled with associated cost and crippling red tape in setting up business in the retail sector, is contributing to the continued negative figures released by the CSO. In addition, the retail sector is destroyed by the effects of black market trading on the one hand, and highly competitive trading practices from multiples on the other, forcing many smaller stores to close”.  “However, the Chamber does acknowledge that even in these tough times, we are continually encouraged by entrepreneurs who continue to open shops and businesses in Kildare”
“Our retail members are investing in their shops by way of new fit-outs, equipment and staff training ahead of any increase in consumer spending. But we now call on the Government to play its part in stimulating the economy to encourage spend in this sector”
“Our call for the setting up of a Retail Strategy group has fallen on deaf ears so the Chamber has now decided to set up a retail group for North Kildare which will make recommendations to Government through the Chamber’s direct link with some local TD’s.  Members are already asking the Chamber to tackle and lobby for Government action on commercial rates and bank credit availability for its members.
Quinlan concluded by saying “It is unbelievable that the Government can sit idly by, watching while one of the largest sectors in the economy slowly disintegrate, with 44,000, mainly small businesses, in danger of closure and a further 240,000 jobs in jeopardy.


Host Families Required for Spanish Students

Mi Clan EnterprisesWould you like to experience the Joy, fulfilment and excitement of hosting a young Spanish student in your own home and get paid for the pleasure?

If so, Mi Clan Enterprise Limited currently require additional “Host Families” for two weeks during the month of August 2013 to provide full board accommodation to our Spanish students.

For complete details and further information please contact Peter at

Please note this opportunity applies to County Kildare only.

May 27, 2013

A Great Week for Biodiversity at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre

IPCCFrom the 18th – 26th May Ireland celebrated National Biodiversity Week.   This week aimed to raise awareness for the many different types of plant and animal species found in habitats around Ireland.
On Sunday the 19th of May the Bog of Allen Nature Centre was open for free for visitors to explore and learn about peatlands.  Before visitors arrived staff at the centre saw a young hare in the wildlife gardens and although younger visits on the day tried to discover the hares resting place it was to no avail.  A visitors pond dipping session identified water boatmen, diving bettles, freshwater hoglouse, shrimps, frogs, newts and dragonfly larvae.  A bog walk showcased for visitors some of the wonderful peatland plants such as bog cottons, sphagnum mosses, sundews, lichens and heathers.  Visitors also watched the Curlew fly over the bog throughout the afternoon searching for food. 
On Wednesday the 22nd the centre hosted a butterfly workshop where participants learned about the variety of butterflies in Ireland and while taking part in a butterfly walk identified the green veined white and speckled wood butterflies.  A greater variety of butterflies can be seen at this time of year however it is essential the weather conditions are calm and sunny when searching for butterflies.  Wednesday the 22nd was quite overcast with a moderate breeze keeping butterflies resting on plants.
On the 25th and 26th the Irish Peatland Conservation Council showcased their new biodiversity pop up displays at the Native Species weekend at Dublin Zoo.   The IPCC would like to acknowledge the support received for these events from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Gaeltacht through their Notice Nature Campaign,  Ireland’s public awareness campaign for biodiversity.

If you missed out on these events don't worry, the Bog of Allen Nature Centre has loads more great biodiversity events throughout the summer including a biodiversity walk around Lullymore Island on the 21st July,  IPCC's Gathering weekend offers a guided walk on Pollardstown Fen on the 27th July and celebrates International Bog Day on the 28th July, from 29th July - 2nd August the Bog of Allen Nature Centre will be hosting its Wet and Wild Nature Camp for young explorers of biodiversity and on the 18th August the centre will enjoy a Heritage Week Open Day.  So lots more to enjoy over the summer months at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre.   For futher information on any of these upcoming events visit or contact us on 045-860133 or

May 24, 2013

13 year old Jack Shanahan is next big Motorsport Star

13 Year old Drift Academy graduate Qualifies for Pro Championship event

Jack-ShanahanThe first round of the new premier Irish Drifting Series, the Irish Drift Championship, produced a number of star performances including one by thirteen year old Prodrift Academy graduate Jack Shanahan from County Cork.

Competing in the Semi Pro division, and the concurrent Rookie Cup, Shanahan wowed the judges with some superb drives which saw him finish as second best rookie and third overall in the Semi-Pro competition.

The opening round of the IDC took place in Mondello Park, Co Kildare, the home of the Prodrift Academy, where Shanahan first learned his Drifting skills. Eighty drivers across three classes rolled into the historic Motorsport venue, vying to rise to the top of their respective divisions.
Saturday was the day for Semi-Pro competition with drivers aiming not only to score points in that series but also aiming to qualify to take part in the Pro event on Sunday. Shanahan worked his way spectacularly through to the Semi-Finals before he was eliminated, overcoming some highly experienced competitors on the way. The youngster bounced back from his defeat however to win the third place run off and qualify for Sunday's event, becoming the youngest ever driver to compete in a Irish National Championship Drift event.

Jack Shanahan began his career at the Prodrift Academy where drivers as young as thirteen can experience the thrill of drifting. The Cork teenager has progressed so quickly from that first lesson that he is now widely regarded as Ireland's next big drifting star. Shanahan will be aiming to build on his first round success over the remaining IDC events and who knows, by the Final round at Mondello Park's Jap-Fest in September, he could well be challenging the Pro Class drivers.

If you fancy following in Jack's footsteps by experiencing the adrenaline filled sport of drifting then check out and book your place at the Prodrift Academy.

16 fillies to line up in Irish 1000 Guineas this Sunday

Irish Guineas Festival 2013 The Dermot Weld trained Big Break, Snow Queen trained by Aidan O'Brien and Viztoria trained by Edward Lynam are the leading Irish trained contenders for Sunday's Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas taking place at the Curragh.  They are among the 16 runners for the Group 1 Classic which also includes a strong British trained challenge with Just The Judge (currently 11/4 favourite with Paddy Power),  Exactement, Maureen (11/2 second favourite) and Masarah.
Also on Sunday last year's Epsom and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Camelot will face only three rivals in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, including Al Kazeem trained in Britain by Roger Charlton.
The President of the UAE Cup has a strong international flavour with runners from Britain, Holland, Germany and Belgium lining up in the prestigious race for pure bred Arabian horses on Sunday
A top quality field of 10 runners will face the starter in Saturday's Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas with Johnny Murtagh  attempting to win his first Irish Classic as a trainer when Fort Knox and Ask Dad
A strong British trained challenge features the Richard Hannon trained pair Van Der Neer and Havana Gold . Aidan O'Brien, who will be hoping to gain his 9th success in the race, will be represented by Magician,  Flying The Flag, George Vancouver and Gale Force Ten
Also on Saturday Maarek, Dandy Boy, Antious, Leitir Mor and Tiddliwinks are among a record 17 runners in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes, while last year's Epsom Oaks winner Was lines in the Group 1 Abu Dhabi Stakes.
1st race 1.45pm
Admission 20 euro, Seniors and Under 25s 10 euro, Under 16s Free.  Trains to Kildare Town with free shuttle to racecourse. Dublin Coach service from Dublin to Curragh - see for details
Sunday is also Ladies Day with spectacular prizes for the Most Stylish Ladies and Men judged by Norah Casey and Aoibhin Garrihy of Fair City fame.   Other attractions include a Boutique Shopping and Food Village, Pamper Clinic for ladies with Shades & Shapes and display of the Etihad Formula One Ferrari Car.

May 23, 2013

10 runners to line up in Irish 2000 Guineas, Saturday

curragh-logo A top quality field of 10 runners will face the starter in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas, the first Irish Classic race of 2013, taking place this Saturday at the Curragh following today’s declaration of runners.
Johnny Murtagh will attempt to win his first Irish Classic as a trainer when Fort Knox and Ask Dad will represent his Curragh based Stable
A strong British trained challenge features the Richard Hannon trained pair Van Der Neer and Havana Gold.
Aidan O’Brien, who will be hoping to gain his 9th success in the race, will be represented by Magician(currently 9/4 favourite with Paddy Power), Flying The Flag, George Vancouver and Gale Force Ten, while Jim Bolger has recent York runner up Trading Leather in the 300,000 euro contest and the Andy Oliver trained First Cornerstone will ensure that Ireland has one of the strongest home trained teams in recent history

May 20, 2013

Johnny Murtagh attempts to win first Irish Classic as a trainer

Guineas Festival 2013

THE Guineas Spring Racing Festival gets under way at the Curragh next Saturday when the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas is the highlight of an eight race card. There are a total of 19 entries for the Group One Classic, including the Johnny Murtagh trained and ridden Fort Knox and eight from the powerful Aidan O’Brien yard.
Murtagh only received his licence to train from the Turf Club last Friday and the Co Meath-born man is really looking forward to Saturday. “I got the licence on Friday and it’s all systems go,” commented Murtagh today. “Fort Knox is a decent colt and will appreciate a decent bit of ground. We could not be happier with him and he is ready to put up a big showing. We supplemented Ask Dad for the race and he is likely to take his chance too.”
Trainer Richard Hannon has left three in the race, including Newmarket 2000 Guineas third Van Der Neer, along with Olympic Glory (who got no run in the French 2000 Guineas from a bad draw) and Havana Gold. Cristoforo Colombo, Mars and George Vancouver, fifth, sixth and 10th respectively behind Dawn Approach at Newmarket, are the three main Aidan O’Brien hopes, but he also has Flying The Flag, Forester, Magician, Pedro The Great and French 2000 Guineas fourth Gale Force Ten to rely on. Meanwhile, trainer Andy Oliver has also committed First Cornerstone to the race.
Jim Bolger has left four in the race, but the Co Carlow-based trainer is likely to plump for Loch Garman following that horse’s second placing behind Battle Of Marengo at Leopardstown just over a week ago. “He has come out of the Leopardstown race and the plan is to run him in Saturday’s race,” commented Bolger.
Bookmaker Paddy Power have installed Cristoforo Colombo as their 3/1 favourite for the Tattersalls-sponsored race. They then go 100/30 Olympic Glory, 5/1 Van Der Neer, 7/1 Fort Knox, 8/1 Gale Force Ten, Loch Garman, Mars and Trading Leather, 12 George Vancouver, Magician and Havana Gold, 14/1 Pedro The Great, 16/1 Leitir Mor, 20/1 Bar.
The Group Three Abu Dhabi Stakes has attracted 12 quality entries and will be one of the races of the weekend. Dermot Weld, who won this race 12 months ago with Emulous, will rely on Caponata this time around, while Kempton Listed winner Lily’s Angel is also primed to run along with Precious Stone, Sindjara, Was, La Colina and Aloof. There are three British-trained entries in Chigun, Sentaril and Thistle Bird.
Gordon Lord Byron, Maarek, Jimmy Styles, Cape Of Approval, Hitchens, Slade Power and Gale Force Ten are among 20 entries for the Group Three Weatherbys Ireland Greenland Stakes, while there are 11 entries for the Listed Cold Move EBF Marble Hill Stakes.
1st race 1.45pm
Admission 20 euro, Seniors and Under 25s 10 euro, Under 16s Free.  Trains to Kildare Town with free shuttle to racecourse. Dublin Coach service from Dublin to Curragh – see for details
The eight race programme on Sunday will feature the Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas, Tattersalls Gold Cup and President of the UAE Cup, while it is also Ladies Day with spectacular prizes for the Most Stylish Ladies and Men judged by Norah Casey and Aoibhin Garrihy of Fair City fame.   Other attractions over both days include a Boutique Shopping and Food Village, Pamper Clinic for ladies with Shades & Shapes and display of the Etihad Formula One Ferrari Car.

Single Chamber of Commerce proposed for Co. Kildare in 2014

Introductory evening to be held in Athy
Taoiseach Enda Kenny (centre) launching the Co. Kildare Strategic Plan 2012-2015 accompanied by Eilis Quinlan, President of North Kildare Chamber (left) and David O‚ÄôReilly, President of Newbridge Chamber (right) The first promotion for the proposed amalgamation of the Chambers of Commerce in Co. Kildare will take place in Athy on Tuesday 28th May 2013 at 6.30 pm in the Clanard Court Hotel. This Business to Business event will consist of a brief presentation outlining the anticipated benefits of single Chamber representation throughout the county followed by a question and answer session. In addition a presentation on a local business success story will be provided on the evening by Maeve Lynch, Managing Director of Athy International Concentrates, the town’s biggest employer, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary of business in Athy.
Representatives of neighbouring Chambers in Kildare Town, Newbridge and North Kildare (Maynooth, Leixlip, Celbridge and Naas) will be on hand to run through the Co. Kildare Strategic Plan 2012-2015 that was launched by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, last year.
David O’Reilly, President of Newbridge Chamber explains, “At a challenging time for our Country, we need the business community to take a leadership role in our society. The proposed merger is in line with the scheduled closure of all Town Councils in Ireland next year when Kildare County Council will become the single unit of Local Government in the county.”
Eilis Quinlan, North Kildare Chamber president added, “A countywide Chamber could have a membership of over 500 companies providing the critical mass that a modern Chamber of Commerce requires to deliver a fit for purpose, permanently staffed and resourced operation meeting the needs of business in the county. We look forward to working closely with the business people of Athy and South Kildare to maximise our impact on the economic development of the county as a whole” she concluded.
The event is open to all business, big or small who wish to help make County Kildare the location of choice for existing and potential business enterprises. Similar presentations have been scheduled for Leixlip on Tuesday 11th June 2013 and in Kildare Town on Monday 17th June 2013.

May 16, 2013

Free Biodiversity Events at Bog of Allen Nature Centre

biodiversity week 2013 National Biodiversity Week is the 18th – 26th May and the Bog of Allen Nature Centre are delighted to announce that funding provided by Minister Deenihan through  ‘Notice Nature’ Ireland's Public Awareness Campaign for Biodiversity has allowed the centre to offer two free events during the week for members of the public.
From 2-5pm on Sunday the 19th May the Bog of Allen Nature Centre will be open for free for everyone to come and explore and learn about peatlands.  There will be children’s activities including pond dipping and frog and newt searches and for adults an information talk on the diversity of peatland plants followed by a guided walk to Lodge bog.   Visitors can also enjoy guided tours of the peatland exhibition centre and wildlife gardens.  No booking necessary.
From 10am-1pm on Wednesday the 22nd May the centre will host an information workshop on the butterflies of Ireland followed by a butterfly identification session along the National Biodiversity Data Centres butterfly transect at Lullymore West.  Butterflies recorded on the day will be submitted to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.  Participants should contact the centre to book a place on this information workshop by calling 045-860133 or e-mail

May 15, 2013

Mondello.TV to broadcast 'Mondello 45' event Preparations for Mondello Park's 45th birthday celebration event are gathering pace with the announcement that the June 9th celebration will be televised by

Following on from the inaugural web TV broadcast of Mondello's first car race event of the season, the 'Mondello 45' event will once again be streamed live on the internet. Viewers will be able to tune in on, for a full days racing, complete with driver interviews and live circuit commentary. Speaking about the decision to Live Stream the event, Mondello Park’s Managing Director John Morris said: “The reaction to the Live Streaming of the April event massively exceeded our expectations and consequently we were keen to try and add 'Mondello 45', to the three other events scheduled for Live Streaming in 2013. At present, five classes are confirmed and we’re hopeful of bringing the remaining two on-board as well”

The June 9th race meeting will include the first race for the newly revived Irish GT series, which has been taken under the wing of the Mondello Park Sports Club for 2013. Revised regulations, featuring four classes, along with some interesting race formats, have injected new life into the Irish GT racing scene and a number of drivers have already signed up. Mondello is hoping the GT class will follow in the footsteps of the Patch Fiesta Championship, which has already set records for a new class in its first season.

The Mondello 45 programme will also feature Formula Sheane, Formula Vee, ITCC, Strykers and the other new class this year; Future Classics. The exact event timetable will be revealed closer to the date, but some of the additional attractions are already in place. Having won the first ever Mondello Park car race, the Mini will play a large part in the event. Inaugural race winner John Keaney will be on hand to lead a Mini parade while all spectators who arrive in a Mini will be admitted free of charge. In addition, a new award, named after circuit owner Martin Birrane will be presented to mark the 45th anniversary and the 'Birrane Cup' will go to the winner of the class with the biggest grid of the day.

'Mondello 45' will be one of the highlights of the Car race season and should be an excellent days racing as well as trip down memory lane. Admission will be reduced to just €4.50 for adults with under sixteen’s admitted free of charge and all spectators will receive a complimentary souvenir programme.

May 14, 2013

Kildare business strongly represented at Bord Bia Bloom 2013

Ireland’s Top Floral, Food & Family Festival to Bloom this June Bank Holiday

In the Frame: Garden Designer Leonie Cornelius launches Bloom 2013 with the help of Millie Kelly (4) from Raheny, Dublin and Allan O'Kearney (5) from Lucan, Dublin. Bloom 2013 takes place at the Phoenix Park from Thursday May 30th to Monday June 3rd. The gardening, food and family festival attracted 80,000 visitors last year. Bord Bia has announced the return of Bloom, its hugely successful gardening, food and family festival, which will take place within a 70 acre site in the Phoenix Park, Dublin this June bank holiday weekend. Now in its seventh year, the event attracted over 80,000 visitors last year.
Bloom 2013 will be officially opened by The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on Thursday May 30th and will run until Monday June 3rd. This year, Kildare will be represented by three food companies, five floral displays and various garden designers involved in the 28 show-gardens at the event. Visitors will also have the opportunity to attend more than 25 cookery demonstrations by some of Ireland’s best loved chefs (detailed below).
Details of the Kildare representatives at Bloom are as follows:
Kildare Garden Designers

  • Kildare-based Tünde Szentesi (originally from Hungary) and Svaja Vaicula will display their Garden called ‘Eco Tango Garden’ which draws attention to the important role that gardens can play in promoting sustainable practices. The Eco Tango Garden challenges perceptions about gardens and sustainability in an engaging and vibrant way.
  • Mark O’Loughlin from Naas will display his Garden called the ‘Wizard of Oz Sanctuary Garden’ which invites the public to follow the yellow brick road, recreating Dorothy’s enchanting quest from the Kansas prairie over the rainbow, through munchkin land, via the cornfield crossroads, into a dark forest, by poppy fields and on to the enticing vista of the Emerald City.
  • Kildare Growers in association with Peter O’Brien Landscapes, Bord na Mona and Killashee House Hotel will display the ‘The Jack and Jill Foundation Garden’ in support of the organisation. It is a contemporary garden incorporating the concept of a journey. A simple exciting and fun garden for kids, a deeper more reflective theme for adults. The Jack & Jill Foundation provides nursing care and support for children with severe neurological development issues, as well as offering some respite to the parents and families. Jack & Jill also provides direct funding to families, enabling them to buy home respite care to give them a break. The essential core of the support that the Jack and Jill foundation provide, relates to one of our most primal and touching instincts. The power and strength of coming together to provide support is counter balanced on the other hand with the delicacy and fragility of life. This essence resonates with people of all ages, and is the inspiration for this garden.

 Kildare floral displays in the floral marquee

  • Flannery’s Nursery
  • K&M Nursery
  • Garden Direct
  • Herbs of Thyme
  • Dorans Nurseries


Kildare Food Companies in the Food Village

  • Brady Family / Rudds of Donadea will be on display in the Meat, Poultry & Fish Marquee
  • Brewing of Old Mill will be on display in the Bloom Inn
  • Russell’s Orininal Irish of Kilcullen will be on display in the Artisan Food Market


Gary Graham, Bloom Show Manager, Bord Bia said “Our show-garden designers are working hard to ensure visitors to Bloom 2013 will be both entertained and inspired. We have a great show lined up with gardens that focus on sustainability, times gone by and fashion. We also have some wonderful show-gardens from charities such as Aspire, The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, the Jack & Jill Foundation and Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin which we’re hoping will raise awareness of these great causes.”
This year, Bloom is also inviting 1,000 people to the Gathering of Gardeners - offering people who are passionate about gardening a chance to bring together their friends and family to share in the wonderful experience that is Bloom in the Park.
Attractions in 2013

Horticultural Happenings

  • New features this year include an expanded ‘concept garden space’ allowing garden designers to explore creative ideas, ‘postcard garden exhibitions’ created by community garden groups from all around Ireland and a Botanical Art Exhibition.
  • The winner of RTE's Super Garden show will also be revealed at Bloom! (See for the full list of this year’s designers)
  • In-keeping with tradition, the Bloom show-gardens will be complemented by a spectacular Floral Marquee, featuring displays of the best of Irish flowers and plants while leading experts in the horticulture, gardening and floristry industries will appear on the Garden Expert Stage.
  • The tree-climbing competition is back. It will see tree climbers from all over Ireland and further afield test their balance, agility and speed against the clock! Visitors to the show of all ages will also have an opportunity to join the fun.

A Feast-ival of Food

  • The hugely popular Bord Bia Food Village will once again offer visitors the opportunity to sample some of the finest artisan foods produced around the country.
  • At the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage, some of Ireland’s best loved chefs with live cooking demonstrations including Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, Martin Shanahan and Donal Skehan, among others. The events will be hosted by TV presenter and well known foodie, Ella McSweeney who will also interview food producers throughout the weekend.
  • Fans of craft beer and whiskey will enjoy a visit to the ‘Bloom Inn’ while Bloom will also host the Irish Cheese Awards for the first time this year.
  • Ireland’s food and drink industry is on a sustainability journey through the Origin Green development programme that aims to demonstrate the commitment of the sector. This journey will be explained in Bord Bia’s Food Village using interactive features allowing visitors to discover what it means for them.

Family Entertainment

  • As Bloom is a family event, kids go free and there will be a variety of entertainment options for all the family to enjoy including music, Budding Bloomers, a dedicated children’s play zone, with games and activities, craft workshops and a picnic area.
  • A new feature from Active Retirement Ireland will include fitness and exercise displays, an outdoor bowls green, bird box making and flower arranging.
  • The picnic area surrounding the Main Stage promises to be a perfect spot for relaxation and enjoyment with various musical artists entertaining visitors from mid-morning to late afternoon, for the duration of Bloom.

New and returning sponsors for this year’s event include Failte Ireland, Love Irish Food, OPW, Woodies, Bord na Móna, Dublin City Council, Calor Gas, Keelings and the Irish Independent.
Tickets are on sale now and visitors are encouraged to book early for discounted rates by visiting  Follow Bloom 2013 on Facebook, or join the conversation on Twitter, or #Bloom.

Junior Table Tennis in Celbridge

table tennis Junior table tennis (8-12 years old)

  • Day/Time: Saturdays 3.00-4.30pm
  • Venue: The Mill, Celbridge Community Centre
  • Cost: €5
  • Contact: Philip - (01) 6242707

May 13, 2013

Kilcock Gears up for Dublin-Galway Cycleway

Kilcock Gears up for Dublin-Galway Cycleway A new community Tourism group have formed in Kilcock in response to the planned Dublin to Galway cycle route. The cycle route is planned along the Royal Canal paths and old rail lines. The first section of the planned cycleway is to be completed by the end of the year. The Integrated Services Programme and Kilcock Business Association hosted a meeting in April to discuss the possibilities that could emerge with the development of the inter-urban cycle route which will run through Kilcock. Thirty people from a range of interests attended the meeting. It was agreed to form a Tourism group to progress ideas highlighted. This group is supported by the Integrated Services Programme and have met regularly since the initial meeting and will build on the heritage, business and community opportunities that exist. Members of the Tourism group include representation from the Royal Canal Amenity Group, Kilcock Business Association, Kilcock Community Network, Triathlon club, and Royal Canal enthusiasts.

Jonathan Deane, Kildare County Council Area Engineer, informed the Tourism group that Part 8 planning proposal and particulars of the proposed Cycle path development will be available for inspection in Kilcock library and in the County Councils head office in Aras Chill Dara, Naas on the 20th May. This is a key opportunity for public consultation and all suggestions and comments will be carefully considered.

Kilcock is ideally situated along the Royal Canal and offers many heritage attractions, sports and social clubs and quality dining experiences. The Tourism subgroup are currently working on a number of projects including a Community Survey to assess needs for visitors and those already using the Canal, a Royal Canal Clean-up campaign and the development of a Heritage trail. The Tourism group have also established a Facebook page ‘Discover Kilcock’.

May 10, 2013

Town Council and North Kildare Chamber Marketing plan for Naas

Naas Town Council and North Kildare Chamber recently commissioned Colliers International to produce a Marketing Plan for Naas.    Background work has been taking place over the past month and we are now at the stage where we would like to invite Retailers in the town to a vision workshop/ roundtable meeting on Thursday 16th May 6pm in The Osprey Hotel.
The structure of the workshop is:

  • Overview of context to date
  • Thoughts on emerging strategy
  • Vision & place branding & marketing
  • Small group tasks.

Allan Shine
Allan Shine, Director of the Chamber said this morning, “ The Chamber urge all businesses in the retail sector to attend this workshop, we are in the process of completing a marketing plan for Naas and we need the involvement of the retail sector.  Colliers International have been doing tremendous work over the past month and we now need the involvement of the retailers in the town and their input into this plan”.
Mayor Callaghan said,” Naas Town Council urge all businesses in the town to become involved in this  marketing plan.  The more ideas and suggestions we get at this workshop, the better the plan will be.  The town needs to come together and become active in this project.  The Council and the Chamber have worked together over the past few months on this project, now it’s time for the retailers in the town to come along to this workshop and make sure that their voices are heard”
Allan Shine concluded by saying, “ If any business in the town would like more information on the work done to date, they can contact the Chamber office in Naas on 045 894074

Fashion Takes Flight at the Curragh Racecourse

Etihad Airways Classic Icon in Association with Irish Tatler

Aobhin-Garrihy at the launch of the fashion cmpetition The Guineas Spring Racing Festival at the Curragh Racecourse will kick off the exciting classic season of racing at the Curragh this year when it takes place on Saturday, 25th and Sunday, 26th of May.
As always, style is top of the agenda for the ladies and this year fashion is set to ‘take flight’ as Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE and Irish Tatler will be searching for their ‘Classic Icon’, the lady they believe represents classic racing style. For the first time at this race meeting there is also a prize for the best dressed man and the guys are being encouraged to dress up for the occasion in a bid to catch the eye of the judges. 
The fashion judges include CEO of Harmonia publishing and media personality, Norah Casey, Fair City actress, Aoíbhin Garrihy and Tatler Man editor, Alexander Fitzgerald. The prize up for grabs for the best dressed lady is an amazing trip to Abu Dhabi with accommodation and return flights from the award winning Etihad Airways. The best dressed man can choose a weekend break away in any of the four family run Flynn Hotels which include The Old Ground, Ennis, The Imperial, Cork, The Newpark, Kilkenny or the Park in Dungarvan as well as 2013 membership to the Curragh Racecourse.
Ladies are encouraged to pre-register before the day at, however it will still be possible to register on the race days with roaming ‘Fashion Police’ who will also be inviting fashionably dressed race goers to enter the competition. The first 100 ladies who pre register for the Classic Icon competition will receive a fabulous goodie bag from Irish Tatler.
The Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas is the first Group 1 race of the year in Ireland and will be the highlight on Saturday. The €300,000 contest is established as one of the great races for 3 year old colts in Europe.  Trainer Kevin Ryan is likely to add his English 2000 Guineas runner up Glory Awaits to the race as a supplementary entry at a cost of €30,000 and is likely to renew rivalry with Van der Neer who finished third while fifth placed Cristoforo Colombo is likely to try to give trainer Aidan O’Brien his 9th success in the first Irish Classic race of the season. Fort Knox, trained on the Curragh by Tommy Carmody, who has recently been purchased by Sheikh Mohammed - Ruler of Dubai, is another contender.
The Emirates Equestrian Federation has agreed to continue with its sponsorship of the Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas and His Highness The President of the UAE Cup on Sunday, the only race run in Ireland for pure bred Arabian Horses.   English 1000 Guineas second place, Just The Judge and third, Moth are expected to renew rivalry.  The Tattersalls Gold Cup also takes place on Sunday and is likely to feature a mouth watering clash between the Roger Charlton trained Al Kazeem and triple classic race winner Camelot.
Aside from top class racing and elegant fashion there will also be lots of activities in the Garden Enclosure including gourmet food, boutique festival shopping and free children’s entertainment.  Admission €20, under 25’s and seniors €10.  Children under 16 accompanied by an adult go free.  Special 3 for 2 admission offer available by booking in advance.  1st race:  Sat 25th May and Sun 26th May, 1.45pm  For more information log on to or call (045) 441205.

May 03, 2013

'Mondello 45' set to celebrate Mondello Park history

mondello-logo 45 years ago this month, Mondello Park opened as Ireland’s first permanent motor racing circuit. Starting as a short 0.8 mile loop the original layout grew within a year to become the 1.26 mile National Circuit which is still in use for the majority of events today.

In 1985, the County Kildare circuit was purchased by Martin Birrane and with his support it was developed further, including an extension to bring the track length to 3Km and create the internationally recognised venue that now exists.

To celebrate the venue’s 45th anniversary, the next Car Race event, on June 8th & 9th, will run as the “Mondello 45”, with a new award, the Birrane Trophy, being presented to the winner of the race which has the biggest grid of the meeting. Additional features are being added to the event to create a celebration of Mondello Park's history including a Mondello Park birthday party in the circuit bar on Saturday night.

John Keaney famously won the first ever race at the Kildare venue in a Mini Cooper S back in May 1968 and as one of the events highlights he will lead a parade of Minis around the circuit at lunchtime on race-day. Admission to the event will be decreased to just €4.50 for adults with under sixteen’s admitted free of charge, unless you arrive in a Mini, new or old, in which case admission is free.

With reduced admission, a birthday party, the Mini parade, additional attractions still to be announced and of course a top quality weekends racing, the event will be one of the highlights of the motor racing year. All current and past spectators and competitors are welcome to come and join in the celebrations and perhaps share some memories!

May 02, 2013

Truck Show & Truck Racing return to Mondello Park

truck-racing After more than a ten-year absence the Mondello Truck Show makes a welcome return to the Irish Show scene complete with the return of the always popular Truck Racers. Always one of Mondello Park’s most popular events, this two-day festival of road transport will be held at the County Kildare motor racing circuit on July 20th & 21st.

As with the hugely successful shows held at Mondello Park in the past, truck displays, trade stands and competitions will form the main off -track ingredients of the show. On-track entertainment will be provided by the massively popular Truck Racing, which will see a selection of the top trucks from the UK championship take part in a number of demonstration races over the two days of the show. The 1000hp racers will be backed up by a number of additional track activities, including a Truck V's Car challenge and the Irish Time-Attack championship.

Like any Truck Show, big interest will be generated by the Static Displays where truck owners and truck drivers can compare and contrast each others 'pride and joy', while also vying for big prizes from Top Truck to Best Working Truck to Best Kept Fleet. Other attractions will include the Quickest Courier, a Stop & Go competition for cab units on the main straight and Motorcycle stunts in the Paddock.

John Morris, Managing Director at Mondello Park is delighted to see the return of the Mondello Park Truck Show. “we are really pleased to reinstate the spectacle that is the Mondello Truck Show. Thanks are due to Irish Ferries who are helping us with some logistics and Fleet Transport, our media partners. Over the next few months we will be announcing full details of this family orientated event and welcome trade enquiries and truck entries for the many categories on offer”.

The Mondello Truck Show takes place on at Mondello Park on July 20th and 21st



Punchestown Festival Attendances Breaks 100,000

punchestown_logo The 2013 Punchestown Festival concluded on a massive high on Saturday with a bumper crowd bringing the overall event attendance to 101,745. The final day is AES Family day at the Co. Kildare track and this year it attracted 24,254 people of all ages from every corner of the country.
This is the first time since 2008 that the six figure mark was exceeded and only the second time ever in the history of the event. The Punchestown Festival  broke an opening day record in 2013 with 18,605 pouring into the track on Tuesday to witness the imperious Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase.
As well as the super stars of the sport, Hurricane Fly, Quevega and Sir de Champ, both President Michael D. Higgins and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny enjoyed the event this year.
Welcoming the figure, Dick O’Sullivan, General Manager of Punchestown said, ‘It has been a thrilling Festival and we are delighted so many people enjoyed what has been a wonderful event this year. I would like to thank all those involved, owners, trainers, jockeys, sponsors and my own team here at Punchestown for making it possible, and most of all the racing public who came out in their droves this week’.

'Newlands Cross Fly-over will be of huge benefit to Naas' - Lawlor

Anthony Lawlor TD Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, welcomes the announcement  from Transport Minister Leo Varadkar that government contracts have been signed to remove the bottleneck at Newlands cross by constructing a fly-over. The Newlands Cross flyover will remove the only traffic lights between the south of the country and the Northern Ireland border and will be of huge benefit to people coming to and from Naas.

“This announcement is the first Public Private Partnership transport project since 2007. It signifies a move in the right direction for this country and thankfully for those in the Kildare area, will benefit commuters by easing the transport links to and from Dublin.

“It is also of huge significance for the Kerry Group facility, which was approved planning last week, as it is freeing up bottleknecks from all areas of the country, both North and South allowing easy access to those visiting the facility.

“In light of today’s announcement, I will now continue to press Minister Varadkar and Kildare County Council to proceed with the Osberstown Interchange and the Sallins By-Pass as soon as possible as these are the remaining infrastructural impediments to the town of Naas and ultimately the Kerry Group facility”.

HRI 'Go Racing Kids' Club' at The Curragh Racecourse

go-racing-kids-club Over 300 Local School Pupils were joined by Trainers Shane Duffy and James Leavy & Jockeys Jamie Codd and Mark Enright

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at The Curragh Racecourse this morning (30th April), to promote interest and awareness in horse racing, among primary school children in the Kildare area.

Over 300 5th and 6th class pupils from local schools took part in demonstrations from RACE (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) and farrier, Donal Bennett. They heard talks from jockeys Jamie Codd and Mark Enright and Valet Paul Fox and local trainers James Leavy and Shane Duffy. The pupils also met Racecourse Manager, Paul Hensey who explained how the team at The Curragh Racecourse prepares for a race day. The children had a chance to try out the RACE horse simulator, to assist the farrier with his work and they even took part in a running race right on the famous Curragh racetrack.

HRI Marketing Executive, Lorraine Page, said: “The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ initiative is to build ties between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future racegoers. The activities educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind the scenes at the racecourse.”

All of the children received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag at the end of the day and were invited to enter an essay competition based on their experience at the racecourse. The top ten finalists and their parents will be invited to the Newbridge Community Race Day at The Curragh on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May, where the winner will be presented with a laptop, sponsored by Newbridge Credit Union. There will also be prizes for the nine runners-up.

Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager, The Curragh Racecourse, commented: “We were delighted to welcome so many children from local schools to the racecourse which gave us the opportunity to not only give children a behind-the-scenes view of what takes place on a race day and the importance of the sport to Kildare, but also promote our Newbridge Community Race Day. The pupils really enjoyed the day and it was good to make them more aware of an important industry that is literally right on their doorstep.”


May 01, 2013

Camelot and Parish Hall clash at Curragh, Bank Holiday Monday

curragh-logo TRIPLE Classic winner Camelot and Dewhurst Stakes winner Parish Hall are the star attractions on show at the Newbridge Parishes Family Race Day at the Curragh this Bank Holiday Monday  with the pair among the entries for the Group Three High Chaparral Mooresbridge Stakes following today’s publication of entries.  Proceeds from the day will be donated to worthy charities in the locality by both the Catholic and Church of Ireland parishes.

Camelot, winner of the Newmarket 2000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last year, makes his seasonal debut in Monday’s 10 furlong contest. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has had this contest earmarked for Camelot for some time. “This has been the plan for him all winter,” commented O’Brien. “The intention is to run him on Monday provided the ground is not too testing. He is in good order and is ready for a run,” concluded the Ballydoyle maestro, who is also represented in the race by El Salvador, Ernest Hemingway and Triumphant.

Parish Hall, gutsy winner of the 2011 Dewhurst Stakes, missed all of last season through injury, but the son of Teofilo returned to action at the Curragh last month and showed that he retained all his ability when landing the Irish Open Alleged Stakes. “The plan remains the same and Monday’s race is his target,” commented his trainer Jim Bolger. “Parish Hall needed that race and he has come out of it in good shape. “Provided he gets a bit of decent ground he will take his chance.” Bolger has also entered Light Heavy for the race, while Macbeth and Negotiate make up the eight entries.

A total of 21 horses stand their ground in the Group Three Canford Cliffs EBF Athasi Stakes, including two from Britain in Moonstone Magic and Switcher. Also remaining in the race are Kempton Listed winner Lily’s Angel and Yellow Rosebud, while Aidan O’Brien can choose between Moth, Snow Queen, Hanky Panky, Magical Dream and Infanta Branca. Meanwhile, the Andy Oliver-trained Dubaya has been supplemented to the race.

The Listed Power EBF Tetrarch Stakes has attracted an entry of 16 horses, including five (Parliament Square, Pedro The Great, Count Of Limonade, Forester and Fortify) from the Aidan O’Brien stable. Other notable horses entered for the seven furlong contest include Cougar Ridge, Big Whiskey, Viztoria, Sruthan and recent Gowran Park winner Tobann.

National Hunt fans are also catered for on Monday with the running of the Irish Field INH Flat Race. The two mile contest has attracted an entry of 13 and included among them are Brave Hearted, Champagne James, Concordin, Ebazziyr and Made In Germany.

In addition to eight exciting races on the track starting at 2.15pm, an impressive variety of free entertainment for children is planned to take place throughout the day with a major family theme.

The race day will also feature a strong sporting theme with children from local sports clubs taking part in exhibition games between races, while Kildare Football captain Johnny Doyle, Dermot Earley, Ronan Sweeney, Daryl Flynn, Alan Smith and Kerry senior football coach and selector, Cian O Neill will be some of the sports stars attending.

A magnificent display of military equipment courtesy of the Defence Forces (Curragh Camp) will be a major highlight of the day

Admission is €10, Seniors and Under 25s €5 and kids go free while a family package costs only €15 with €5 from each package sold going towards this exciting fund raising initiative