So, onwards and upwards, people. Whatever about your disappointments in work, home or love, in 2018, let’s all endeavour to try our very, very best to simply fail better.
Gary Paine Town Historian This was the year that I hoped to have the eight volume in the Pictorial History books started by my late father, Derek, but, time got the better of me.
I’m determined to make this book just as good than the previous seven, with colour reproductions, old photographs professionally restored, and generally going ever-deeper when it comes to the research.
So, as much as I would have loved to have the book out, as planned, by the end of 2017 – it’ll be sometime in the first half of 2018, I reckon – it was still a joyous year, pulling together 288 pages of happy memories and fascinating history…
Phil Thompson Tiglin 2017 started with a few challenges, the most pressing one being the battle to save Carraig Eden. This building was home to 30 people who have battled to gain back their lives in the aftermath of addiction. The focus on housing and homelessness has been strong for the past few years due to an ever growing homeless crisis, so, ensuring that this building remained as a place for people to rebuild their independence was crucial.
What started out as a battle that seemed a little gloomy at times successfully ended with Wicklow County Council being able to step in to close the deal and save the homes of these 30 men.
Every year at Tiglin we start off not knowing how we will meet our financial obligations. Each year starts off with a deficit of approx €300k. This is the great unknown! Unknown because we don’t know how we will make ends meet each year but we have always been able to do it since 2008. Each year, we scrape across the line, and this is done because the large and small donations all come together to make up this monumentous figure and ensures that Tiglin can continue to reach people who are caught in homelessness and addiction.
Some of the great memories from 2017 are of the fashion show held in The Whale theatre, where €16,000 was raised. This, along with the annual Unity Gospel Choir event held in Hillside Church, are great example of how communities are the lifeblood of many charities in Ireland today.
These are merely two local events but there have been many more and all supported by local people. That’s why 2017 has been a great year because together we made it through again! Thank you for your support.
Phelim Drew Leg End So, reasons to be cheerful…?
1. Four gorgeous children and a dog called Paddy. 2. A loving and funny partner. 3. People who care about those living in dire circumstance and prepared to do something about it.
My wish for 2018 is that there is more common sense employed for the benefit of the many and not the few. That a great big motorbike for my birthday.
Aidan Smith Kilcoole Walkways I feel Irish people can always pride themselves on having a great sense of community and I would love to see more people getting involved in local volunteering. Every one of us has something to offer, however small.
I believe we are witnessing a sea-change in peoples’ attitudes towards their environment and indeed their own well-being and this is beginning to be reflected in local government realising the enormous potential of cycle lanes, greenways and walking routes. Great work has been done locally on enhancing our heritage walkways, particularly on the Mass Path and Strawberry Lane here in Kilcoole and other groups have created new paths, such as the lovely new heritage walk in Newcastle, and Season Park woods in Newtown.
I look forward 2018 with renewed optimism, that can build on our heritage, together with the creation of new walks and enhance this beautiful little corner of the country we live in.
Peter Robbie Wit At this time of year, it is sometimes rather pleasant to look back and examine the events which coloured all our lives during the past twelve months and beyond.
Looking at the various happenings is somewhat akin to peeling the many layers of a large onion. Like peeling an onion, some of these layers will produce tears, but once past the initial bout of crying and snivelling, sometimes, when the layers have ceased being dry and crusty and deeply unsatisfying, they become fresh and juicy. Let us cogitate over these ripe and crunchy, good news stories from this year past.
Yes, we still have the wreck of the La Touche Hotel, yes we still have the ongoing abomination which is the marina and yes, we still have the ever-increasing crime rate…..but let us concentrate on all the good stuff. So where can we start?
A good place to commence our reverie, might be the plethora of coffee shops, eateries and delicatessens that have sprung up all over our town. We are spoiled for choice. How can one person choose between the delights of the chicken sandwich from The Firehouse (not to mention their damned coquettish scotch egg), the wraps and sausage rolls from The Bear Paw, the crepes from La Creperie Pierre Gris, the vegan delights from our two chums in The Happy Pear, or the infernally delicious chicken wings from the Beach House? These are just a few of my own personal choices, so imagine the length that this list would be, after everyone adds their own favourites.
So, once we have ruminated over the delights of all of our eateries, we are in a happy place…..and this is even before we have really started. Where can we go to next in our journey back through the events of this year past? Well, what about the place itself. Looking at the plethora of photos which appear in great profusion on this site, we will see that our location is surely the jewel in the crown of all good things that we are subjected to during any particular year. Does this not put a smile on everyone’s face…..are we not beaming as we think back to all those sunny walks along the South Beach, the freezing blasts of cold air that bring out the rosy glow on kids cheeks and the shouts of glee from those self-same children as they play in our soon to be expanded playground? And all of this, for free!
The onion layers are peeling away, thick and fast now. Let’s take a few minutes to celebrate the people who share this wonderful place with us. Those certain people who make a difference. Some of these legends have sadly left us, but we can still salute them and their stories. We don’t need to pigeon hole them into any particular year, as their tales will live on for quite some time to come. I could type out a column as long as your arm, but I will name a few that spring to mind, from my own list of giants.
Wee “Super” Gavin, Ronnie Drew, Simon Fitzmaurice, those two feisty Kennedy lassies, who have taken on all before them, all those unsung and largely nameless heroes and heroines who are travelling in to our capital, night after night, to help the poor and downtrodden who are forced to sleep on our streets….the list could go on and on. So when reflecting back over the years, take the time to muse over your own personal list of heroes and legends. That should warm the cockles of your hearts. Repeat after me, the mantra, “We live in a fantastic place, with fantastic people….and feck the begrudgers”!
Hmmm, I know you will find this unbelievable, but I think I might have gone on a little too long. I do have the slightest of tendencies to digress a tad, so I’d better get to the heart of this onion as soon as practicable. Stick with me for but a few more sentences.
So many good things have happened in this, our little corner of paradise, it is hard to cherry pick. Our station will remain manned, our library is not going to close and we have won the battle for Carraig Eden, the skins keep coming, thick and fast. True, there have also been a few smelly and rotten layers as we peeled our vegetable of time, but surely, if we think back at all the lovely moments, that each and every one of us can remember, we will realise that where we are now, with the people we are travelling with on this journey through life, is a pretty decent place. We all have so many friends on social media, whom we can rely on.
How many times have we all seen various requests for help on Facebook, which are not only answered, but answered in style? By and large, I feel that we, the human race are not a particularly nice animals, but individuals and especially the individuals we have in this locality are by and large, just wonderful.
My onion is peeled! Truth be told, I discarded a number of layers, purely in the interests of time, but I think you might get the picture. Life is not and never will be easy. There are times when everything may appear too much and we are all tempted to shout that it’s just not fair. But when the chips are down, just look around and peel your own onion. Look beyond the dark and unsightly layers and focus on what we have and who we share it with. There, there my friends is the treasure! Let’s all take the time to smile at each other and maybe even force ourselves to say hello. It doesn’t cost much and you might be surprised at how you feel.
I can’t think of what to say next, except a big thanks to Pablo for allowing me to rant at length on his site. Please try and remember what it felt like when we were kids at Christmas and let’s see if we can’t keep the magic going for the whole of next year. Let’s ensure that the onion we open next year is ten times as thick and juicy as this one. Anything else? Oh yes, of course……….God Bless us, everyone!
Tom Fortune Councillor 2017 was a good year for Kilcoole ,there was progress on a lot of fronts, with lots of activity. Our new playground was opened. Our community centre goes from strength to strength with an expanding number of activities. Youth cafe working well. Scout Group doing a good job. Tidy Towns doing a great job, where would we be without them? We ran a very successful business Expo. We continue to be very proud of Colaiste Croabh Abhann; great exam results and good show at Young Scientists exhibition. Our Thrift Shop doing a great community service ,well done to all. We received a village renewal scheme programme to the value of €54,000, resulting in new walkways, signage, seats, tree plantingm, wall and village audit, with work still being done. Well done to Kilcoole Community Development Association (KCDA) for the contribution they make on behalf of all our community.
Fr Eamon Clarke retired and will continue to live in Kilcoole. Holy Faith Convent was sold; the Holy Faith sisters were in Kilcoole for over a 100 years. The property has been part of Kilcoole forever. Hopefully it will continue to be going forward. Kilcoole GAA had a very good year, lost by one point in junior A final. Fantastic work been done with the juvenile section and ladies football. Camogie also going well. St Anthony’s soccer club going very well. Kilcoole Athletic Club still producing great athletes.
Kilcoole continues to evolve, planning now in place to develop a couple of derelict sites, old post office and Young’s land, also some improvements to our railway station – this is progress. Working with our WCC local engineer, we have carried out road and footpath improvements, put signage in place, new wall, installed rubbish bins, and carried out improvements to the Mass Path.
Population continues to grow, now 4,000; important we retain our village atmosphere. We are now the largest commercial centre in Wicklow after Bray; this creates a lot of employment. Important that next phase of our development is done properly, and we are not dumped on.
So 2017 has been good for Kilcoole, and as it closes, can I wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year. Let’s all of us look forward to 2018, and as a community make Kilcoole even better. Kilcoole is a great place to live, get an education and enjoy a good work/life balance.
Tommaso Spennato Grump
I won Best Coffee again. That’s all that matters.
Rebecca Guildea Curate St Patrick’s The band Counting Crows has a song which begins, ‘A long December, and there’s reason to believe/maybe this year, will be better than the last’. That’s why we make New Years’ resolutions. We want a better year. We feel life has more to offer.
But looking back on the last year, what has struck me is that life is so, so good, in so many ways. Sometimes hard, sometimes harrowing, but often so joyful and beautiful that it’s staggering.
There is joy to be found everywhere, in everything.
I’ve been living in this hippy pocket of the south coast for a little over three months now, and I’ve fallen in love with it. I count off joyful moments, but they’re too many to number. My mad friend, Ellie, who got me into sea swimming against my better judgement, and now joins me and a bunch of other shivering mums at the cove, post-school run, and, in my case, before morning prayer at church. The joy of watching the light as it catches the water. The frantic and numb fumbling to get changed before leading prayers with shivering lips. The joy of going into the primary school, and being assailed by children with Lego, play-dough, newly-lost baby teeth, and musical voices clamouring for attention…
Freshly baked bread in the Baker’s Table, and the chat over a cup of tea.
Running the Cliff Walk.
Snow on Djouce, stuck in unreal shards along blades of grass, water frozen in slick rivers on the footpath.
It’s not that I’ve breezed through the last 12 months. It’s been a year of big changes for us, and I’ve had nail-biting moments and meltdowns. The wider world seems to be in a state of turmoil. I go to bed each night, reading the headlines, and it’s all doom. But I wake up each morning, so happy to be alive, because life, this life, is so beautiful. God is good, and he loves me. I have good reason to be cheerful.
Paul Dunne Golfer
Whoever you are, wherever you are, here’s to a smarter, funnier, kinder and maybe even cooler new year, kids…
You can check out 2016’s Reasons To Be Cheerful here, and 2015’s here.
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