Birdhill Tidy Towns


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12th December 2011


Switching on the Christmas Tree Lights


A large crowd assembled for the switching on of the Christmas Tree Lights in the Village Green on 7th December. Fr John O'Keeffe performed a blessing and members of the Church Folk Group led the carol singing. The honour of doing the official 'switch on' was given to 3 local lads who were members of the North Tipperary Under 12 soccer team which won an All Ireland title last summer.
All enjoyed the music and refreshments afterwards at The Coopers - some viewed a certain game on TV, but might not have enjoyed the result.

Right: Cathal Floyd, Kevin Connolly and Kealan Floyd in front of the Christmas Tree (with the cup won by North Tipp soccer team) after they switched on the lights.

Below: Members of the community, local children and the choir enjoying the 'Switch-On.'


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Newsletter issued 3rd December 2011



2012: The Year of the Bird

We have designated 2012 as ‘The Year of the Bird’ in Birdhill. A number of activities will be organised revolving around the theme of birds; the community day will focus on birds; some talks will be arranged on this topic and competitions held. So get your thinking-cap on and come up with some ideas on how best to celebrate the creatures that our placename bears.

You have to believe in happiness, Or happiness never comes ...
That's the reason a bird can sing—On his darkest day he believes in Spring.



Christmas Tree Light-up
The annual ceremony for the switch on of the Christmas Tree lights in the Village Green will be held on Wed 7th December at 8.15pm. The blessing will be accompanied by carol singing and followed by refreshments and music in The Coopers.

Win a Hamper
We will be raffling a number of Hampers before Christmas. Make sure your name is on one of the cards which are available from any committee member. €2 per line could win you an attractive Christmas box of goodies.

Dispose of your Xmas Tree
Birdhill Tidy Village Committee will again provide the service this year to assist residents to dispose of their Christmas Tree. Please contact us before January 6th if you wish to avail of this service.

Committee for 2012
The make up of the Tidy Village Committee has now been completed with the addition of the following names representing their own Area Focus Groups:
The Village: Anne O’Dwyer
Newport Road: Brett Fitzpatrick
Cregough: Aileen Campion
Ballyhane-Cooleen: Kathleen Bradley
Coosane-Old Road: Nuala Lawlor
Nenagh Road/Killaloe Rd: Geraldine Raddie

Community Allotments
Considerable interest has been shown in the setting up of Community Allotments and a suitable site has very kindly been offered. We need to determine the exact number of participants before embarking on the project. Those interested should contact Denis Floyd before 1st January. A nominal fee will be required from all participants.

Table Quiz
It’s been a few years since the Tidy Village Committee held a Quiz. Well, we plan to make a come-back on Friday 10th Feb with a Table Quiz in The Coopers, featuring a ‘love’ theme for Valentine’s weekend.

Walking Group
Two community/family walks will be held on the local roads over the Christmas period - Tuesday 27th Dec. & Monday 2nd Jan. There will be a choice of walks each day ranging from 3km upwards, concluding with a ‘cupán tae’ in the local hostelries. Assemble in the village each day at 2.00pm

Environmental Neighbourhoods
10 householders in the Birdhill area have signed up to the ‘Energy Neighbourhood’ initiative, promoted by the Tipperary Energy Agency. The programme started on 1st December and will run to 1st April. It should lead to greater energy efficiency and cost savings for those involved.
We would also like to set up a ‘Neighbourhood against Waste’ initiative where householders would monitor and record their domestic waste over a period of 3 to 4 months. Anyone interested in becoming involved should contact any member of the committee.

A CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND IN THE PARK
SUNDAY 18TH DECEMBER 2011 at 4.30pm IN BIRDHILL COMMUNITY PARK
Journey with the elves through the Magical Trail in search of Santa.
A unique occasion for all the family
Enjoy Mulled Wine, Hot Chocolate, Mince Pies, Cakes, Cookies , Music & Dancing
Wrap up well and wear Santa hats
We would appreciate the loan of some outdoor Christmas lighting and ornaments for the evening.




Birdsearch
In keeping with the bird theme, you are invited to find the names of 18 birds in this Wordsearch - 2 of the names are in Irish. All the birds are common in the Birdhill area. You can read up or down, left or right.
Entries only via the Birdhill Tidy Towns website. Go to the Contact Us button; enter your name in the Comment section followed by the names of all the birds you can find and then send.
Entries before 31st December 2011. Voucher for the first correct entry drawn.



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22nd November 2011


Winners

Birdhill representatives picked up 3 awards at the Tiobraid Álainn Awards Ceremony (North Tipp Co. Co. Environmental Awards) this week. The Coopers won the award for Best Shop Front in North Tipperary. Birdhill N.S. were winners in the Schools Category in the Newport electoral area. Birdhill Tidy Village Committee also won the Tiobraid Álainn prize for the Newport Area. Congratulations to all.


Pictures show:
1. Michael Kelly receiving the award for Birdhill Tidy Towns, accompanied by Fr John O'Keeffe, Denis Floyd, Martin O'Brien and Fiona Ryan
2. Fiona Ryan (Cooper) accepting the award from Micheál Lowry, Mayor North Tipperary.
3. Fr. John O'Keeffe, Marie Gorman and Joanne Ryan accepting the school award.
Also in pictures: John Carroll MCC, Jonathan Meaney MCC, Phyll Bugler MCC and Joe McGrath Co Manager.


New Initiatives
Following last week's Open Meeting, the following are among the new initiatives proposed for the coming year:
10 householders have signed up for the 'Energy Neighbourhoods' project. This will involve monitoring energy consumption in each house and implementing best practices seeking to reduce costs.
A site has been procured to lay out Community Allotments. Quite a few have expressed an interest in participating and details will be finalised before the New Year.
It is hoped to organise a 'Christmas Event' in the Park. A small committee has been put in place to make arrangements.

Focus Groups
The following Focus Groups have been put in place for 2012:
The Village: Chairperson Ann O'Dwyer
Newport Road: Chairperson Brett Fitzpatrick
Cregough: Chairperson Cecil Ryan
Coosane: Chairperson Margaret Hogan
Ballyhane: Chairperson Paddy Bradley
Nenagh/Killaloe Road: Chairperson Geraldine Raddie


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9th November 2011


OPEN MEETING
All residents are invited to an Open Meeting in Matt The Threshers on Wed 16th November, commencing at 8.00pm. This meeting will provide all members of the community with an opportunity to have a voice in the future direction of the Tidy Towns Committee. Up for discussion will be such items as initiating an 'Energy Neighbourhood' programme, Community Allotments, Community Day 2012, Producing a history of Birdhill, Improving your neighbourhood, etc. The meeting will also put our Focus Groups in place for 2012 and enable the completion of our executive committee.

BIRDHILL HISTORY
Arrangements are being put in place to compile a history of the Birdhill area. We are proud of our heritage and past and it is important that all available information is recorded and preserved for future generations. We seek the support of everyone in gathering relevant photograps, documents, cuttings and memorabilia or in identifying people with historical information.

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
Following on from the survey of the Ecological Footprint carried out in 2010-2011, it is planned to embark on an 'Energy Neighbourhood' project, aimed at reducing energy consumption in private households and raising awareness of energy efficiency. More details later

FACEBOOK
Birdhill Tidy Towns is now on Facebook. Check us out at www.facebook.com/BirdhillTidyTowns. Join as a friend and leave a comment.

WALK
Ou next walk will be in Ogonnelloe on Sun 20th Nov. Choice of 2 loop-walks: 4km on good road, or 6km on mixed terrain some of which is liable to be wet and mucky. Combine both for a good leg stretcher. Assemble at 2.00pm at Ogonnelloe Church, 10km from Killaloe on the Scarriff Road. Part of both walks is on the public road, so high viz vests advisable.

PRIZES
We collected our prizes earlier this week for our successes in National Tidy Towns in 2011. See pics below of our President, Fr John O'Keeffe receiving the county award and our Sec, Majella Foley-Friel accepting the gold medal at the regional awards ceremony in Bunratty


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20th October 2011

The following were elected at the recent AGM;
Hon Presidents: Fr John O'Keeffe & Ted Moynihan
Chairman: Denis Floyd
Vice Chairman: Paddy Bradley
Joint Secretaries: Majella Foley-Friel & Terry Griffith
Treasurer: Paddy Barry
Ast Treasurer: Donnchadh Floyd
P.R.O. Anne Barry

The remaining members of the committee will be nominated to represent the various Focus Groups, who will meet over the next weeks. These groups will be composed of residents of the different townlands and will examine matters of interest to their own areas as well as topics of general Tidy Towns interest.


Competition Winners
Congratulations to the following who won prizes for the 'Plant in Recycled Container' competition:
Kate & Keith Hogan, Emma & Shane Flanagan, Elizabeth Floyd.
(Pictures of some of the winners to the right)


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27th September 2011

Annual General Meeting
The AGM of Birdhill Tidy Village Committee will be held in Matt The Threshers on Wednesday 12th October, commencing at
8.00pm.

All members of the community are invited to attend.

Clár
Minutes of previous AGM
Secretary's Report
Financial Report
Chairman's Address
Consider Adjudicator's Report 2011
Election of Officers
Plans for 2012
Aon gnó eile

The Tidy Village Association has developed in recent years to embrace community, environmental and recreational interests. It is important that people avail of the AGM to voice their opinions on the activities of the committee and ensure that the best plans
and personnel are put in place for future development.



History
A meeting will be held in the Community Hall, Birdhill on Friday 7th October, commencing at 8.00pm, to consider the possibility of
compiling a history of the Birdhill area.
Birdhill has a rich heritage of history, folklore and traditions and it is opportune that these are recorded for future generations
Anyone with an interest in the Birdhill area, its people and its past, is invited to attend the above meeting which will conclude at 9.00pm.


Walk
The next walk will be a Hill Walk in Silvermines on Sunday 2nd October. Participants are asked to assemble in the car park at ‘Step Viewing Point’ at 11.30am. (Directions: Drive straight through Silvermines Village
and turn right after 300 metres; watch for sign post).


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7th September 2011

Another Gold!
Birdhill maintained its Gold Medal status and its place as No 1 in North Tipperary when the national Tidy Towns results were announced on Monday.This is our sixth gold and the eighth year taking top spot in the county. We gained 3 extra marks, which is welcome news, having improved just one point overall during the previous two years.
Congratulations to Killarney on winning the overall award and to Emly on taking the accolade for Tidiest Village.

Bag Packing
We are seeking help to man the checkouts at Dunnes Stores in Nenagh on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. Can you spare a few hours to help raise much-needed finance? Contact any committee member.

Open Meeting
We have arranged a pre-AGM planning meeting to review and analyse what we have done in the past and to begin preparations for another year. All are welcome to Matt the Threshers on Monday 12th Sept at 8.30pm.


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22nd August 2011

Walk
Our next walk is on Sun 28th Aug when we will sample the spectacular views of Tountina. Participants are requested to meet outside Ballina School at 11.30am. Walks range from 2 to 8km in length and from moderate to difficult in climbs involved.

Bingo
Your support is requested for LOCAL BINGO
Starting on Tuesday 6th September at 8.30pm in Newport Community Centre.
For more information contact 085-1578133 or check out www.newporttown.ie.

Carbon Footprint
The fourth information leaflet on our Ecological Footprint initiative will be distributed this week. Results show a reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions and a decrease in the community's imprint on the environment. (See information leaflets on this site under Waste Minimisation/Carbon Footprint).

Tidy Towns Results
We have received 5 invitations to the Tidy Towns ceremony at The Helix on Mon 5th September. Fingers crossed for good news!

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11th August 2011

Our Summer of Colours Community Day was a great success, in spite of the inclement weather.
The Fancy Dress Parade from the Park, led by Cheltenham winner Bensalem, was a very attractive spectacle. Everyone entered into the spirit of the occasion and dressed in colourful regalia and much imagination and creativity went into the creation of numerous scarecrows.
The tea rooms proved to be very worthwhile, when people were confined during the rain and had the opportunity to sample the many cakes, buns, tarts, etc so generously provided by members of the community.
The 'Auction of Promises' was a novel and financially-rewarding venture, thanks to those who made commitments and those who bought them.
Young and old enjoyed the sports, novelty events and face-painting, and the tug-o-war drew a huge crowd to watch the 'Bally Boys' again take the honours along with the newly-presented perpetual trophy.
There was a disco for the children, the young members of Comhaltas Tulach Sheasta gave a flavour of their talents and everyone danced the night away to the music of Sharon Turley.
Thanks to all who contributed to a wonderful day.

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Thanks to Dulux

We are indebted to Dulux Paints who donated the paint for the re-decoration of the exterior of the Community Hall under their Let's Colour Project. The hall is now resplendent and will continue to be an attractive venue for many local meetings, functions and social gatherings. Since the building was refurbished and extended some years ago, it serves as an important community focal point. Long may it be thus.

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27th July 2011

Final preparations are now being put to the programme for our Community Day on Sat 6th Aug. See 'Events' for details. All we need is some sunshine to ensure an enjoyable day. Time to get the rosary beads out!

After a slow start, our flowers have really come to life in recent weeks, providing a magnificent vista of colour throughout the village.

Luckily we got a few fine days in early July to get the hay saved on the Roundabout. The two trams, standing stately, remind us of times past and the traditional farming methods in the locality. The hay saved and Cork bet - the traditional ideal summer in Tipperary! An All Ireland in September would make for an ideal Indian Summer!

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13th June 2011

  • Despite the weather, which is making life difficult for our flowers, Birdhill is looking well again this summer. A few days sunshine would be very welcome, but of course that would place extra demands on our watering crew. You can't please everyone!
  • The new bench, recording our successes in Tidy Towns, has been installed near the Coopers. It will look well when the surrounding planting matures.
  • The Dove Cote at the bus-stop, with its accompanying 'Moon Garden' is a new and novel feature and has been a source of curiosity for passers-by.
  • The large boulder placed on the approach from the Nenagh direction needs some amending and should be completed soon.
  • The Ogham Garden has been completed in the Park. Visit the garden and see how many trees can you identify from the Ogham script.
  • Our next walk is on Sunday 3rd July in the Clare Glens, commencing at 11.30a.m. Choice of 2km or 4km walks.
  • Have you returned your Ecological Footprint survey? If not, please do so as soon as possible.
  • Following the success of last year's celebration of Railway 150, it has been decided to organise another community event this year. The theme will be "A Summer of Colours" and Sat 6th August is the date fixed. To plan the day, an Open Meeting will be held in The Coopers on Thurs 23rd June, commencing at 9.00p.m. We hope to see a good attendance and hear lots of novel ideas.

25th May 2011

Despite the inclement weather, we are busy this week planting out our summer bedding flowers. Hopefully the strong winds will not do too much damage.
We are seeking the assistance of members of the community to survey the birds in our locality. Please download the survey form from this website (Notice Nature - Surveys - Birds) and start observing and counting.
Householders are reminded to complete and return the Ecological Footprint surveys within the next week. The information gathered will help to determine whether any changes have been made to our impact on the environment during the last year.
Children are invited to participate in the competition to 'Plant in a recycled container.' Planting takes place in the Park on Fri 27th May at 8.00pm.

3rd May 2011
Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to update the site for the past few months. We are now back "on air" and following is a brief summary of recent activities:
38 people attended the Composting Workshop which was held in February.
The Walking Group have visited O'Briensbridge, Ballycuggeran and UL for the monthly walks.
A successful social was held on Valentine's Night.
Big numbers turned out to help with the potting of flowers in March.
We had 4 Clean Up days in April, covering all the approach roads. Thanks to all who helped.
We have been counting the cost of the severe winter weather: Many shrubs have died; Beds have had to be replaced; Our fountain needed repair; Some footpaths and roads were badly damaged.
Work is ongoing on new projects for 2011: Installation of a Dove-cote; Refurbishment of the Herb Garden; Boulder with the Birdhill emblem; Refurbished shrub beds; New seat listing Birdhill's achievements in Tidy Towns; Completion of our Ogham Garden.


24th January 2011

Sale of Work
Our Sale of Work on Jan 23rd was an outstanding success. Thanks to the many helpers for such excellent work in making contacts, collecting goods, arranging the hall, manning the stalls, cleaning up, etc. Thanks also to the community for contributing various items and for attending on the day. The venture was very rewarding financially.

Walking Group
We had a good attendance on Jan 2nd for our first walk. Most of the group took a trip down the Shannon banks, while a few enjoyed the shorter route through the Pollaghs. The next outing will be on Sunday 6th February for a walk in O'Briensbridge. Participants are asked to meet opposite Bonners at 2.00pm and there will be a choice of 3 walks.

Composting
A Composting Workshop has been arranged for Birdhill Community Hall on Wed 2nd Feb commencing at 8.00pm. Nuala Madigan will talk on home and community composting, wormeries and wildlife. There will also be a display of model railways and creations from recycled materials by Shane O'Brien, Castleconnell. This event is being hosted by Birdhill Tidy Village Committee and Birdhill ICA in association with North Tipperary County Council.

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CIRCULAR 28TH DECEMBER 2010

Sale of Work
The above committee will hold a Sale of Work in the Community Hall, Birdhill on Sunday 23rd January, commencing at 2.00pm.Your support is requested in ensuring the success of this venture. We are appealing to the community to donate items which could be sold at the Sale of Work. Representatives of our committee will do house-to-house calls during the coming weeks seeking contributions of items such as household goods, fuel, books, tools/implements, groceries, home baking, vegetables, furniture, clothing, etc. Please ensure that items donated are of good quality.
Thanking you in anticipation of your support.

Walking Club?
It has been suggested that a Walking Club be set up in Birdhill. To gauge the interest in such a venture, we have organised a walk to take place on Sunday 2nd January. Assembly at Matt The Threshers at 2.00pm. Route and distance will be decided depending on weather and interest. A short meeting will be held afterwards to consider setting up a club.

Disposing of Christmas Trees
This year, Birdhill Tidy Village Committee will again provide the facility for local people to have their Christmas Trees transported to Nenagh for shredding. If interested, please make contact by email or through the website before Saturday 8th January.

Meeting
A meeting of our 5 Focus Groups (The Village, Nenagh/Killaloe Road, Coosane Road, Ballyhane, Newport/Cregaugh Roads) will be held in The Coopers on Monday 10th January at 8.00pm. This will be followed by an Open Meeting at 8.45pm. All are welcome.


Heritage Wordsearch

Enjoy the Wordsearch based on Birdhill Heritage Trail and Walking Routes launched during 2010. Find the names of 12 locations in the area (reading left or right, up or down) and you could win some book tokens. Entries not later than 8th January.
Entries only accepted by email or through the website (www.birdhilltidytowns.ie). Go to the Contact Us tab, type your 12 words in the Comment section, enter your email address and Send.

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Keeping the cost down
See the other side of this page for some useful advice on getting more for your money (adapted from www.safefood.eu).


Sincere thanks for your support during 2010. Happy New Year to all members of our community


Athbhliain faoi mhaise do chách


Keeping the cost down


Whether it's picking up the basics like bread and milk, having a cup of coffee in town or finding lunchbox fillers for the kids, shopping for food is something most of us do nearly every day and the cost can easily add up! We all want to find good quality, healthy food at affordable prices, so check out our tips to see how you can get more for your money…

At home
Keep a store cupboard of non perishable items e.g. pasta, rice, cous cous, noodles, crackers, crispbreads, oatcakes, flour, cornflour, canned fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and sweetcorn, kidney beans, baked beans, canned oily fish (e.g. sardines, tuna, mackerel), tomato puree, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, herbs, spices, garlic and ginger.

Before you shop - plan
Set your budget for food.
Plan your meals for the week.
Make a shopping list.



General shopping tips

  • Don't shop on an empty stomach!
  • Stick to your shopping list and avoid impulse buys
  • Do a big weekly/monthly shop for bulk items and a daily shop for foods that have a short shelf-life, e.g. milk
  • For larger households, buy in bulk, e.g. large bags of potatoes
  • Check out supermarkets' own brands - they are cheaper and the quality is normally just as good. Compare labels on products for salt, fat and sugar levels
  • When comparing brands look at the weight you get for the price
  • Look for useful special offers - but be careful - it's only a bargain if it's something you needed in the first place and if you can use it. Some items can be frozen in smaller amounts so you can defrost when needed
  • Supermarkets often sell food cheaply at the end of the day - check use by dates though
  • If possible, shop around. It may be more cost effective to go to a supermarket when doing a large shop
  • If buying sweets, chocolate or crisps, limit to perhaps one or two days per week. Purchasing multi-packs may be more cost effective and offer smaller portion sizes


When cooking

  • Eating ready meals and take-away foods can be expensive and they can contain large amounts of hidden fat/salt/sugar. Home-cooked alternatives are more nutritious and usually less expensive
  • Bulk up stews, casseroles and other dishes using extra vegetables and pulses.
  • If using tomato-based pasta sauce, add a tin of tomatoes as an inexpensive way of making the sauce go further
  • Base your meals around starchy foods such as potatoes, rice and pasta. These foods are cheap and nutritious
  • Check your use by dates on the items in your fridge/cupboards. Many of us waste vast quantities of food because it goes out of date before we can use it. Plan your meals so it all gets eaten or frozen for future use
  • Cook once - eat twice! Make extra when cooking foods such as curries, stews and soups and freeze the remainder in individual portions. These can be useful for lunches or on evenings when you don't have a lot of time


Fruit, vegetables and potatoes

  • Fruit and vegetables can be cheaper in green grocers than in the supermarket
  • Potatoes are very versatile - steam, boil, mash, roast or make your own potato wedges or make your own chips.
  • Buy foods in season
  • Include some frozen, dried or tinned versions - they all count towards your 5-a-day
  • Frozen vegetables are super because there's no waste with them. And because they're frozen just after they're picked, they're normally full of flavour
  • When you buy pre-packaged fruits and vegetables you are paying for the packaging

Meat, fish and eggs

  • By buying meat in a butcher's shop or at the meat counter in a supermarket, you choose the exact amount you want. As a guide, a serving of meat is normally about 2oz (60g) per person - the size of half a chicken breast, or the edible portion of a lamb chop
  • Mince is good value, very versatile and has little waste. But it can be quite high in fat. A good tip is to buy a smaller amount of leaner (and better quality) mince and bulk up your dish with vegetables.
  • Fish is quick to prepare and really nutritious. Mackerel, coley, herrings, fish fingers and tinned fish are all good value for money.
  • Eggs are good value, easy to cook and full of goodness.


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