About Myself

Thank you for taking the time to have a look through my website. It is important to me to outline why I feel I have the ability and drive to accomplish tasks that will benefit the local community. I have outlined my experience and highlights from the last 40 years in the community below.


The spirit of Festival was rekindled in Newbridge by the fervor of Jackie Tyrell and Mary Linehan. JuneFest had arrived and I became it’s chairperson in 2012 for the next five years. At first a weekend, then two weekends linked by a midweek of ‘quiet events’ before becoming a month long celebration of community life in Newbridge and it’s hinterland.

The Family Funday, The Walk on the Curragh Plains, The Talks, The Concerts and then the phenomenon that is the Yarnbomb in the ‘so well kept’ Park. Basically JuneFest has become an opportunity for ordinary people to express their creativity howsoever they wish.

JuneFest is evolving all the time with the support of Kildare County Council, Meehan Family Food Group and others. It is in a position to become a sustainable community festival for years to come with something creative and entertaining for everyone.

The Bealtaine Festival

The Hop festival in Kilcullen inspired the setting up of the Bealtaine Festival in Newbridge, which drew me into it’s web. After a few years ‘serving my time’ I ended up being chairman for five years. From the start we tapped into the creativity within our community. For about twelve years a whole lot of people had a ‘whale of a time’ over the May Bank Holiday weekend in Newbridge.

Red Hot Music Club

A few of us set up The Red Hot Music Club in late 1999. Our house rules were ‘no chit chat during the performance and no smoking(years before the ban!) The Red House was the venue and people took to the concept like ducks to water.

Our formula was to start promptly 9pm first Thursday each month  with a local opening act. Then a thirty minute ‘social interval’ in the adjoining bar. The main acts were invariably quality, well known and well loved artists. Eg Luka, Christy, Dervish, Damian Rice& Lisa Hannigan Glen Hansard etc. Membership fees were paid upfront. The club became a favorite for artists and members and casual gig goers who appreciated the respect and the craic that was the Red Hot Music Club.

Founder of the HOP festival in Kilcullen

A chance meeting in 1991 with Des Byrne (RIP) with whom I played rugby for Old Kilcullen resulted in us agreeing to run a festival to celebrate ‘Teenhood’. We assembled a motley crew and called it the Hop and we rocked Kilcullen for one glorious weekend. For some obscure reason we chose Marlyn Monroe as our icon. Ray Darcy was the DJ at the Teenage Hop. Rob Strong played Berneys, Liam O Flynn ( R.I.P. ) and Steve Cooney played the Heritage centre. Owen O Toole ‘put the stars into the river and the river will light up the night sky’ Bernard Berney lent me his Wellington boots to go into the river. It was my first venture into the magic of Festival.

Involvement in Raheens GFC

In the early nineties I was flat out as we grew our mushroom business. I became aware my family was growing up very fast and I was missing out on a lot of this. I rang a friend Johnny McMahon I knew to be involved with Raheens GFC. Three weeks later along with JJ Power we became the mentors of Raheens Under 14 and under 16 teams.

Thus began a wonderful journey as we trained and trained and travelled the highways and byways of Kildare often a whole team in the back of my VW van in search of victory. Anytime a team of mine won we’d stop off at a chippers to celebrate. The few times we lost our young footballers were lucky if they were given a drink of water! For three years we searched and searched to win a championship. We nearly did and all but were narrowly beaten in two finals. The Carragh and Clongorey men who were ‘the muckbabies’ haven’t any medals from this era but I know they’ll be smiling at the memories if any of them chance to read this.

Starting a succesful mushroom business

In 1989 I took Leave of Absence from my teaching post in Co Kildare VEC to enter the Mushroom Business. We started small but went on to become one of the most successful mushroom businesses in Ireland. My main achievement in business was shifting our production from the U.K. to the Irish market and developing this market to it’s full potential. 33 years later Greenfield Mushrooms ( from which I’ve retired) is still knocking out the mushrooms. (TBC)

Chairman of Co Kildare Council of trade unions

I was an active member of TUI (Teachers Union of Ireland) and went on to become Chairman of Co Kildare Council of Trade Unions in the late eighties. We successfully lobbied for the establishment of the Resource Centre for Unemployed, which still exists today in Eyre Street.

Kildare employment for youth

I founded the community Co-OP KEY (Kildare Employment for Youth) as a response to the rampant despair among young people in the mid eighties. We provided a community one stop shop for budding entrepreneurs from our rented premises in Eyre Street before moving to Drewsboro Buildings on Main Street.

The Start Of My Professional Career

A weekend separated my final exam as a B. Ag Sc undergraduate in 1974 and standing behind a desk in Prosperous teaching Maths and Science to first, second and Third years.

My first reaction was terror mixed with disbelief, but I quickly settled and went on to love teaching and all that goes with it for fifteen years. In eighties Ireland, the economic situation caused many young people feel despair and this is why I founded the community cooperative known as KEY.

One of the projects involved four young people manufacturing a mushroom growing kit and this led me to become an entrepreneur in mushrooms. My teaching days were numbered and for the next thirty years I embarked on an amazing journey that culminated in becoming a major supplier to the emerging multiple retail sector.

Clongorey GFC

The reestablishment of Clongorey GFC In 1977 was the kickstart to awakening a community with a rich history of togetherness. Within two years we had won all before us, bought a property and refitted it as our clubhouse and had practically everyone in our catchment area active in the pursuit of our objectives.I was it’s first chairperson, it’s first trainer/ coach, it’s first county board delegate and centrefield player for seven years.

My Family

My family life dates from 1976 after Bernadette and I married. Nollaig arrived in 1978, then Liam, Sorcha , Aileen in that order until the arrival of Eamon that sunny day in 1988 closed the circle.

Anyone who knows us will tell you that we are an open friendly family but each of us have characteristics that define us as strong individuals in our own image just like most family members all over the world.