Sunday, July 27, 2008

A BIG THANK YOU!The CDA would like to thank the members of this year's Punchestown Festival Committee on behalf of the people of Ballymore Eustace.This energetic bunch of young women, Deirdre Hackett, Aisling Cronin, Suzanne Byrne, Sinead Cronin and Sally Anne Pallister, showed great initiative in taking on this very large task to continue a great tradition (which sadly did not happen last year due to a lack of volunteers).I don't think the girls actually appreciated how much work and effort has to be put in to making the Punchestown Festival in Ballymore Eustace a success so we can only begin to imagine!Their efforts were obvious because everything associated with the festival was carried out to an extremely high standard - they will be a tough act to follow next year. Hopefully they haven't been put off by the experience and will be involved again next year.The CDA will be communicating with the festival committee to get a review as to how they felt it went and how it might be possibly modified to ensure a successful festival annually supported by the people of Ballymore Eustace.Thanks again girls - great job!Fiona Breslin(chairperson CDA)

Tidy Towns successful in obtaining
KTK Levies to fund Street Signage

The CDA would like to congratulate the Tidy Towns committee in securing funding from KTK levies for street signage in Ballymore Eustace. The CDA has dappled with the concept of erecting street signage for Ballymore Eustace for some time now but this funding will now make it a reality. We are nearing the end of our street sign survey and so huge thanks to everyone who participated. The analysis of the results of the street sign survey will determine the colour scheme of all street signs for the village.

Members of the CDA committee will then do a walkabout of the village to ascertain where the signs need to be erected. The owners of the buildings where the signs will hopefully be located will be shown a sample sign and permission will be sought from these owners to erect a sign on their premises. The next step is to contact a fluent Irish speaker to ensure we have the correct names for the streets ‘as Gaeilge’. When we have all these tasks completed, we will hand over the information to Séan Deegan and let him work his magic. Then all that will be left to do is get the signs erected and voila – nobody will ever be lost in Ballymore Eustace again!!

We are hopeful that we will have this project completed by the end of summer 2008. The CDA would like to take this opportunity to thank Séan Deegan for producing sample signs for us free of charge – thanks a mill.

Editors comment: Well done to past and previous members of the CDA who have worked on this project; please note though, whilst the funding has been passed by the KTK KCC Community Levy Committee, it must be officially approved at the next sitting of the Naas Area councillors.

Housing Adaptation Grants for Private Dwellings
Minister for Housing, Michael Finneran TD has announced that a capital allocation of €1.64m has been allocated to Kildare County Council for the payment of Housing Adaptation Grants for Private Dwellings. The allocation to Kildare is for the payment of Disabled, Essential repair and Housing Adaptation Grants for older people and people with disability, for private dwellings. The announcement is part of a national €71.4m allocation for 2008. Contact Kildare County Council for further information.

Guide to walks along the canal towpath around Naas and Sallins
Kildare County Councillor Paddy Mac Namara has just written and produced a guide to walks along the canal towpath around Naas and Sallins. This guide is to be distributed free in Naas and Sallins. We are unaware as to whether the booklet is going to be distributed to homes in these areas or will be available in commercial outlets to pick up. If anyone obtains clarification on this, please let us know and we will inform readers in the next edition of the bugle. This guide will encourage people to use these walkways and thus get more enjoyment out of the amenity of the grand canal.
A GOOD READ with Angie

I recently read a review of Joseph O’Neill’s novel “Netherland” ( Paperback:4th Estate : 15 euro) and it sounded so good I went out and got hold of it straight away. I read it almost as quickly- what a book. It tells the story of Hans van den Broek, as Dutch financier who is based first in London and then New York. The story initially appeared as a thriller because it pivots on the mysterious death of Hans’ erstwhile friend, a Trinidadian, Chuck Ramkissoon. The novel flits between Hans’ present, working back in London and his somewhat dazzling experience of living and working in the Big Apple. The author himself is Irish born and lives in New York and his portrait of the city is superb, almost visceral.

The novel also has a sports theme, which wouldn’t be guaranteed to interest me, but it actually gave the book a great depth. Hans and Chuck become friends through their mutual love of cricket- a somewhat incongruous sport in the US context. As the story unwinds it takes the reader on a fascinating journey into Hans’ psyche, through the depiction of his relationship with his wife, his son, his mother and most rewardingly, with his m maverick friend Chuck.

It turns out to be not so much a thriller as an intriguing and complex tale of families; friendship and what it is that makes a home, or even makes us feel that we belong. O’Neill is a very gifted writer and I really warmed to this book, even though it was essentially a very masculine account. I found the central character to be engaging and interesting and above all totally believable as he struggles with making sense of his life and identity. I can highly recommend this novel.

The other novel I encountered was completely different- a rollicking Dickensian style roller coaster of a book situated in Barcelona in the post war years, and wild and hilarious in places. The only similarity with the first book was the evocation of place, in that it also made me want to visit the city where it was set. ”The Shadow of the Wind” By Carlos Ruiz Zafon ( Paperback: Phoenix fiction:12.00) has a sumptuous plot full of strange and sinister characters and follows the life and loves of Daniel, son of a bookseller. The context of the post war years in Spain proves to be an excellent backdrop for this atmospheric epic, with its corrupt officials and crumbling mansions.

Daniels’ adventures in the underworld of Barcelona have lots of twists and turns as we gradually learn more and more about the mysterious life of the author of a rare book “The Shadow of the Wind”: Julian Carax. It becomes a little like a novel within a novel as Daniels’ own story comes to reflect that of his hero. Although the book can be a little flowery and laboured in places, it is peppered with a lovely homespun wisdom, and it would be an ideal book to take on holiday, as the plot is compelling, so it can be difficult to put down once you get into it.

Enjoy your summer reading!

PS Sorry for the typo in last month’s review- Sephira’s album is actually called “Believe” not Angel! I reckon I made that mistake because the two sisters in the group look so angelic!
Angie Thompson

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