Dreaming Big
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Newcastle Newsletter
January 2017


Newcastle Residents’ Association is a group of people who come together to improve Newcastle as a place to live; by addressing issues and acting as a voice for the community. It makes representations to the Local Authority and to Government bodies,  organises the entry to the Tidy Town competition, liaises with the local Gardai, applies for grants to improve amenities and puts up a Christmas tree every year (despite protests from one environmentalist).
Get Involved
Come along to the meeting and join in the discussion as to how best we can draw up our 20/20 Vision Plan at our community consultation meeting on Feb 6th 2017 at 7.30pm.
If you would like to join our mailing list, you may do so here

Big Meeting to Spring Forward is Upon Us

Do You Have 20/20 Vision?


On Monday night, February 6th we will have our community consultation meeting upstairs in the Castle Inn to dream a dream of Newcastle in 2020 (updating our 3 year plan).  The purpose of the 2020 Vision meeting is to make a plan. The meeting will be attended by residents and representatives of the various groups, organisations and interests in the community. It will be made easy by an experienced facilitator from Bray Area Partnership. The format will be a workshop/brainstorming type session to produce a 3 year plan which will reflect what people want.

Newcastle Residents’ Association has been going for nearly 50 years and the time has come for us to draw breath.  It was started back in the late 1960s when the village faced rapid changes and expansion.

The idea was to come together to enhance our village’s many good points, develop much needed amenities, and to protect the environment.

  The first big, very elaborate project (which hasn’t been equaled since in terms of either ambition or scale), was to build the community centre.  It took a lot of effort and involved the whole population. Now, while the Centre itself looks a bit dated, the building still stands as a proud testament to the commitment and passion that got it developed in the first place.  To their credit, some who worked on it so are still involved in the Association today.

A few have come and gone and many have passed away, but it is still a focal point that brings pride to all of us who use it.

This meeting is the ideal opportunity to find out what has been happening and to have your opinions and ideas heard about what you'd like to see in the future.
So, if you have ideas, plans or passions, come along on Monday night Feb 6th, at 7.30pm. Bring a neighbour, bring  a stranger, bring a friend. Do your best to make sure everyone knows about this and is encouraged to come.

Thank you.


Newcastle Newsletter January 2017

Fund Raiser 

The Pub packed for the Fundraiser

The night to raise funds after village house fire was a great success with a massive turnout and a staggering €6,940 raised with many offers of help and other benefits in kind offered to the family whose home was badly damaged by fire two weeks before Christmas.


Chimneys Gone & Blaming Santa


Great concern was expressed recently when it was revealed that two chimneys disappeared from the old cottages in the centre of the village. The row of cottages, are admired greatly by many in general, and by the adjudicator of the Tidy Towns competition in particular, and their loss is a big one to the heritage and visual amenity of the village.

The big man in the red coat and white beard was quickly named and blamed for the destruction and a file was being prepared for the DPP.  However, it appears that Saint Nicholas (the Fly By Night), was not the cause on this occasion as the stacks were standing proud as he was leaving on Christmas Eve, or so he told Newcastle News.

His story was confirmed by many, and apologies were proffered by those who jumped to conclusions. However, concern is still running very high about the visual impact of the missing chimneys and it is hoped that they will be replaced very soon.


Get Fit with the New Year
Yoga and Mindfulness Classes in Le Cheile


Save diesel kilometres by going local with Yoga.
The next term of Yoga Classes starts Thursday 19th January 10.30am -12pm and is suitable for all levels of experience and beginners are welcome. Classes cost €170 for 12 weeks or €16 drop in. The next Yoga and Mindfulness by Candlelight Class is on Sunday 22nd January 7pm -8.30pm €18  suitable for everyone. Booking is essential and you can contact Angelika on 087 2176068 or see full class timetable on

Rites of Spring

Imbolc, also known as the Feast of Brigid, celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and the early signs of spring on February 1.
It is one of the four major "fire" festivals (quarter days, referred to in Irish mythology from medieval Irish texts. The other three festivals on the old Irish calendar are Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain (Halloween).
Pam Minnock is planning to go to Kildare on Brigid's Eve (31 January) and is willing to take three passengers to Cill Dara. She will be leaving village around 2 pm, where she will first visit Brigid's well for quiet reflection prior to evening celebration at 7.30. For more info:

Pam says there's also 6 day fest in Dundalk   and you can find more information by clicking the link.  

The word Imbolc means literally "in the belly" in the old Irish Neolithic language, referring to the pregnancy of ewes.
In ancient Irish mythology, Brigid was a fire goddess. Nowadays, her canonization is celebrated with a perpetual flame at her shrine in Kildare. For more info

The Bridge Club

The Bridge Club meets in the Castle Inn every Tuesday evening at 19.30. New members always welcome.

Oh Deer, Oh Deer

There has been quiet a bit of speculation about what possibly might have caused the "brown" tourist sandcastle sign to be ripped out of the ditch at Blackditch, at the top of Five Mile Point Road.  Aliens were mentioned, as was a certain Combine Harvester and / or a Hedge Cutter that was said to have caused the unusual marks in the ditch and the mashing of the sign.  

However, our Southern Correspondent reports that it was caused by a vehicle that came into contact with a number of deer in the early hours of the morning during the rutting season in November. The driver has a very lucky escape but was understandably, very badly shaken.

Also, near Blackditch recently, a motorised vehicle lost some of its load of straw bales, causing a serious hazard for a brief period.   The dangerous obstruction was cleared so quickly it was admirable.

Getting Technical              

In our last email there was hope of a group being established to help people get to grips with modern technology. A local hero has stepped forward to volunteer with121digital  which teaches Learners (adults in the local community) - FREE of charge - starting from their current level of knowledge to their desired level  ... at their individual pace. Their 121digital course is tailored to their needs – they choose the topics. Tutors (employee/student) work, one-to-one, with them.  Learners are invited to bring their laptop, tablet and/or smartphone to a local participating community venue  by an employee/a transition year student/undergraduate or member of the public who has digital skills to share under the guidance of volunteer facilitators. 
Courses comprise 8 hours of tuition over 4 or 6 lessons, one lesson per week.
Graham Kennedy who lives locally and is a business analyst in South Dublin County Local Authority. Graham has  offered to be a local organiser and you can contact him here. He will be facilitating lessons once per week in April and is currently seeking a venue.  He says he has received good interest in it so far. 


No More Great Balls a Flying

Ball barriers have been repaired at the pitch which means no more flying spheres across the fields during matches or training sessions. The job was done with the assistance of the good folk from Watch Tower House who had a cherrypicker . 
The lotto total is now €10,400 and tickets are only €2 each.

Country Market

Every Sat 10.30-12.30, the coffee pot is ready and the kettle on the boil and the tables full of fresh homemade brown bread,  gifts & goodies. Come, chat, have a cuppa, browse.

Car Boot Sale 

There will be a Car Boot Sale on Sunday 29 January,  and every second Sunday after that. Gates open for sellers at 9am.  Cars: €10 Vans: €15. Contact: Brendan on 086 060 6511 / 087 695 6096  

The Garden Bird Survey

Birdwatch Ireland's popular survey, the Garden Bird Survey (GBS) is currently underway.  It attracts over 1,000 submissions each year.  As the Irish countryside changes, gardens are becoming increasingly important havens for many species, and it is vital to know how their populations are faring.  The GBS does this not only by giving a good idea of how our garden birds themselves are doing, but also an indication of how the environment is faring in general.
Garden birds are among our most familiar and easily observed bird species, are easily attracted to feeders and bird tables, and can be watched from the comfort of your own home. 
The way the survey works is very straightforward... 
Between December and February each year, Birdwatch Ireland asks members of the public to keep note of the highest number of each bird species visiting their garden every week.  They also ask for information on the size of the garden being surveyed, the kinds of food, if any, being offered to the birds, and so on.  Taking part is fun, easy and an ideal way to get to know your garden birds better; it also makes an ideal school project.
There are two ways for you to send in your records.  You may use their online version of the survey, allowing you to submit your records electronically.

Simply go to Birdwatch's  online surveys section and register your details, then follow the on-screen instructions.
Alternatively, and as in previous years, you can download the current Garden Bird Survey Form, print it, fill it out over the course of the winter and return it to us by post or fax on or before 1st April next year; a full set of instructions is included with the form. 
The results of the GBS are published each year in the winter edition of Wings, Birdwatch Ireland's quarterly membership magazine. If you have a question about Garden Birds or about the survey, please contact Birdwatch.

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Newcastle Residents' Association · Newcastle Residents' Association · Newcastle Community Centre · Newcastle, Co Wicklow · Ireland

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