Kildare Biodiversity Week 17th – 26th May

Newbridge Tidy Towns Association #DroicheadNua on X:  "#NationalBiodiversityWeek2024 When: 17th – 26th May'24 Where: Countrywide  It's about connecting people with nature & encouraging them to explore &  discover the fabulous flora &

Biodiversity Week Kildare Event Guide 2024

Last year I missed the little biodiversity event guide  published by the Local Authority Biodiversity Officer detailing local events and so missed some of them. The book is now available in the Library (in Naas) and if you follow the link you will find venues, times and booking details.

I think some events may already be booked out  so register for your favourites quickly!!!






I’m always delighted when called to sub at ARTI meetings – it’s a great opportunity to meet up with retired colleagues, many of them who were fellow INTO campaigners. It’s also great to see Croke Park from a different vantage – my usual is Hill 16.

The Annual Congress on Tues 12 was particularly interesting. Following welcome from outgoing President, Mary McCarthy, we were addressed by inspirational speaker, Nuala Moore. Nuala is one of the most recognised swimmers in the cold water world, rather than racking up records, however, she viewed the swimming journey as a constant building of character and exploration. She attributes her spirit of courage and adventure to the freedom of her childhood

INTO Vice President, Carmel Browne (previously CEC rep of our District) assured us of continued INTO support particularly in pension parity.

RTAI member, Ursula Knox and her husband whose organisation Opportunity Knox  has forged links with the village of Tiira in Busia, Eastern Uganda. There, they work with families to relieve poverty and provide education to the poorest children.

RTAI General Secretary Designate Appointed | RTAI Ireland

After coffee break, General Secretary, John O’Brien addressed the meeting with the Public Sector Pay Talks central to his presentation. If supported by unions there will be 2.25% increase to salaries backdated to Jan ’24, June and Oct 1% increase and two further increases in Feb and June 2025. Most importantly pension parity wull be maintained. Everyone at meeting acknowledged that while inflation has been reduced, there is still a wide gap between money in and money out!

A variety of motions were proposed and debated. All of them wete adapted and will probably be listed (and explained) in next Comhnasc:

  1. Statutory bodies should continue to accept cheque/cash
  2. Increase in substitute payment rate
  3. Training for Branch Secretaries
  4. Inter-branch Networking
  5. Changes in rates and age thresholds for ARFs
  6. Increase to Branch funding
  7. Review of Life Cover benefits
  8. New Head Office post responsible for data base, web campaigns, benefits, social media platforms, training, payment in line with C Service grades


About | RTAI Ireland

Charlotte Maye was installed as our new President, with Maire Ní Chuinneagáin Vice President  for 2024/25



Brigid 1500 Festival Programme Unveiled


Just a reminder before our “newest” bank holiday of some events that are planned for around the county particularly for February but also the restof the year.

The full festival programme of events can be found on 

Kildare County Council extends a warm invitation to our communities and visitors alike to participate in the Brigid 1500 Programme and celebrate the extraordinary life and legacy of St Brigid throughout 2024, marking the 1500th anniversary of the death of St Brigid. For more information and updates on the programme, please visit and all Brigid 1500 social media channels.

Green Gardening Enthusiasts

Paddy Madden has contacted me. He plans on running a course in Ardclough Village Centre towards the end of February and wonders if any retirees might be interested.


Ardclough Village Centre, Ardclough, Co. Kildare and Botanic Gardens.  Tea/Coffee and biscuits available on arrival.


€50; Minimum 10 persons; Maximum 20 persons.

Course Presenter                   Dr. Paddy Madden

Paddy was a primary teacher and a lecturer in a College of Education for over four decades. He is an advocate of wildlife and organic gardening. In 1984 he established the first school wildlife garden in Ireland and later wrote a book entitled, ‘Go Wild at School’ which is now in its 3rd edition.  This book demonstrates how to garden in tune with the earth. Paddy became a ‘Heritage in School Specialist’ in 1999 and since then he has visited nearly 700 schools around the country teaching pupils and teachers about the natural world and gardening. His website is:


Paddy sent me a colourful poster – but unfortunately the format is not copying to blog – follow link to see it – but all the info is here

Organic Gardening Course Spring 2024

Topics covered in course

Wed. February 21st



11-1 pm Benefits of gardening; Soils; Composting; Growing new potatoes-bed/bag; Mangetout peas in biodegradable pots; Making biodegradable pots; Lightbox; Organic deterrents.  Suppliers of open-pollinated seeds
Tues. February 27th




11-1 pm Rationale for growing organic vegetables; Growing organic peas, carrots, marrowfats; Growing scallions, beetroot, lettuce, salads indoors; Growing onions and tomatoes.


Wed. March 6th




11-1pm Growing herbs; Rotation of crops; Gardening for bees and butterflies; Friends and foes in the garden; Home-made fertilizers; Wormery
Wed. March 13th



11-1 pm Green manures for summer beds; Sowing vegetable plants outdoors; Analysing wildlife potential of the grounds of Village Centre; Taking softwood cuttings.


Sat. March 16th 11-1pm Guided walk of the Botanic Gardens by Paddy Madden



St Brigid’s Cloaks

I took a trip to nearby Kildare town on Saturday to visit the launch of the Brigid’s Cloaks exhibition. I love “launches” as they usually provide an opportunity to talk to the artist and I was not disappointed here.

It was a pleasure to meet the manager/director of this project, Lorna McCormack of the Wool in School programme. She discussed how the schools’ programme aligned closely with local culture and heritage and Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (my muinteoir roots are obvious!)
Lorna introduced me to lead Artist Michelle Hickey Legge who described the works. Four stunning St Brigid’s Cloaks were crafted “with an all-encompassing approach to wool heritage and art” Lorna explained. “With a focus on an all island approach involving many generations, people across Ireland came together and immersed themselves in heritage crafts and community connections”. Lorna had some amusing stories about how the children chose the placement of their work. She also pointed out some interesting features I might have missed: a knitted piece from one of Seamas Heaney’s aran jumpers featured; one of the cloaks had Brigid Cross motifs included.
A total of 925 were involved, including 250 local school children from the town of Kildare who made pompoms, covered CDs, pieces of wool lace and knitting,  each placed onto a cloak.
St Brigid’s Cloaks is a community artwork developed by Wool in School in association with Creative Ireland and Kildare County Council.